Advice for portrait lenses

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Luke Kaven
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,138
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Re: My Experience
In reply to sapralot, 6 months ago

sapralot wrote:

raymondg wrote:
Finally, the Zeiss 135 f2.0 APO Sonar. I absolutely love this lens. It is a dream to use. Very smooth manual focus and extraordinarily sharp. It also renders beautifully. BUT… I use this lens a lot for baby/infant photos and the number of keepers is low. This is due to the fact that while the focus is smooth and precise when you are working with large apertures you need to be spot on with the focus and kids have a habit of never staying still. If you are using it for general portraiture, no problems. If you use it on kids it will provide outstanding results if you have the time and patience or the gift of prescience. Personally, I find it worth the perseverance.

Raymond,

Someone told me that the Zeiss 135 f/2.0 requires Live View when shooting wide open, for the simple reason that the lens is incredibly sharp and therefore doesn't forgive any imprecision. Would you confirm that opinion?

I'm shooting kids quite often (see my profile), hence that sensivity would present me with a real problem. Not least because the OK button of the D610 cannot be customized for 100% zoom.

Anyway, many thanks for your help!

With an FX DSLR, good manual focusing skills are mandatory for best results.  The autofocus points don't go out very far into the frame.

Truth be told:  No subject ever just happened to fall on one of the autofocus points.  I'll use autofocus for an event if absolutely necessary, or as a way to acquire approximate focus.  But I'll never use it for anything serious.  It will kill your art.

You can surely focus a fast 135 manually for portraits.  A little practice is all it takes. Seriously, we did this for decades.  If your camera is in good working order, you can do it.

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