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Which focal length ranges look different for people photography?

Started Aug 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Which focal length ranges look different for people photography?
Aug 20, 2014

From my little experience I think there are 3 focal length ranges which have a distinctive look for people photography:

  • up to 35mm: Often too wide (distorts faces) unless you go far away for full-body shots
  • 50mm to 70mm: Looks "normal", can do anything from full-body to portrait. Often contains too much disturbing background.
  • 85mm and longer: for portraits with blurred backgrounds

Now I wonder: As I have the 85mm/1.8G and can foot-zoom if needed, is there any point in getting a longer lens such as the 70-200mm/4? Does a portrait or upper-body shot look different with 85mm/1.8 than at 200mm/4, assuming identical framing of the subject?

 Daniel4's gear list:Daniel4's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +1 more
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