Good portrait Lens for D7000

Started Feb 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
MarkJH
Contributing MemberPosts: 614Gear list
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Portrait Style Polemics
In reply to lnguyenh, Feb 22, 2013

lnguyenh wrote:

MiraShootsNikon wrote:

My advice to the OP: if you're shooting DX and want to use a portrait lens, ditch the whole concept of the "portrait lens" altogether and start thinking about the look you want, instead. Then, pick a focal length that'll get you there. Wide, "normal," telephoto can all be used for engaging portraiture, and you most certainly don't need FX equipment to access focal ranges in all categories.

mira

I like this advice. There are focal lengths that most people use to shoot a given subject, but it doesnt mean you HAVE to use the same. It is all about the look you want to achieve, as said Mira. I have taken what I consider nice portraits with anything between 11 and 200 mm with my DX camera. The most important is to be aware of the different properties of a given focal length.

I like it, too, on many levels.

And I think Mira's fightin' prose style might even hide some of its helpfulness.   Because the point--that figuring out what equipment you need starts with figuring out what kind of photographs you want to take--can get so easily lost on a forum where we're all inclined to answer creative questions with equipment suggestions before discussion of vision or creative desire or responsibility.

If I were looking for a portrait lens, I would start by looking at portraits.  I'd cruise the net, and I'd find examples that pique my curiosity.  And then I'd ask: what did they use to do that?

So many people, here, have posted discussion of telephoto optical properties as "proof" of how portraits ought to be shot.  I worry about that move being pretty misleading.  Those discussions and examples aren't meant to be a "law;" they're offered to help people get comfortable with perspective and one of millions of possible styles and techniques.   Posting one kind of perspective example as the "definition" of portraiture reads, to me, like a big failure of imagination.

Because if you do browse the net, you find incredible wide-angle (and normal) portraits everywhere.  And they're not weird creative flights or "distorted" or confined to commercial fashion.  McNally's blog for the past two years has basically been a tumblr of environmental portraiture with the 14-24G.  Pick your "rock star" wedding photographer of choice, and the blogs are all full of 35mm and 24mm shallow portraits.   And of these examples, of course, aren't any more "law" than telephoto examples.  I just don't understand why one technique should rule out another--especially, as Mira points out, if it ends up producing a less meaningful way to portray someone.

M.

 MarkJH's gear list:MarkJH's gear list
Nikon D700 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 +10 more
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