Just Switched to the RX1 from the M9

Started Jun 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Robgo2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,786
Re: A 35 and a 50 ? 6K ? No way.

Chris Crevasse wrote:

"Even though that's a fine enough shot, and the guy seems like a friendly person, the bookcase in the background, I'd say it shows exactly what I'm talking about."

Well, what exactly are you talking about? You say that 35mm lenses are not good for portraits, but you don't say why, and I think Rob's two portraits disprove your theory.

Your reference to "the bookcase in the background" suggests you are referring to depth of field. I guess it's time for this observation: given the same sensor size, aperture, and framing, the DOF of all lenses is the same. There may be other advantages to an 85mm lens (or other traditional portrait lens), but shallow DOF is not one of them, at least not when shot at the same aperture as any other lens.

The disadvantage to wider angle lenses in portraiture is that in order to fill the frame with the face, one has to get close to the subject, which tends to distort facial features.  It is a matter of perspective, not DOF.  For this reason, when using my RX1, I try to establish some distance between the subject and me or have the subject turn her face obliquely, so that the nose and mouth will not appear abnormally large.  Also, there are times such distortion can be used as an aesthetic element in a portrait, but it takes skill to do it well.


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