50mm or 85mm for portraits?

Started Jun 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 6,116
Re: 50mm or 85mm for portraits?

SelSol wrote:

That's what I mean, at 80 and 136mm effective lengths, I was unsure if the 50mm basically becomes the default portrait choice on an APS-C camera.

Any thoughts on whether an F1.4 is just a waste?

If you're talking about a manual focus F1.4 (a previous poster assumed you meant the Canon 50 F1.4), I would forget about it. The 7D has a superb autofocus system, and, although you can use manual focus lenses with it, it isn't optimized for that use. The 85 F1.8 has much faster and more accurate AF than the 50 F1.8. I would pair the 85 with something in the 28-40 range. I have the 35L F1.4, but that is rather expensive. Sigma has a new 35 that is supposed to be very good, and less expensive than the Canon L, but still not cheap. The Canon 28 F1.8 is pretty good. For portraits, I really like the 85-100 range on a crop camera, but I tend to favor head and shoulders portraits over full body portraits. For the latter, a 28, 35, or even the new 40 would be good.

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