70-200mm F4 Portrait

Started Apr 16, 2017 | Discussions thread
kelstertx Veteran Member • Posts: 5,247
Re: Portrait peeping?

JimKasson wrote:

kelstertx wrote:

JimKasson wrote:

Sunshine7913 wrote:

I see that a lot of people selling 70-200mm F4 in FB, Ebay, and more. Any ideas why?

They want the GM?

Btw, are there any sample portrait images with 70-200mm F4 recently especially at 200mm F4?

I don't know of any. 200mm is a bit long for portraits. I don't see a problem for that use, though (if that's what floats your boat), since the corners aren't usually important, and customers (or subjects) tend not to pixel-peep portraits.


200mm is where the pro's start for portraits, because it gets rid of perspective distortion.

I've asked to to tell me why you think that is so. I am especially interested since it is at variance with my experience working with pros in that environment.

But let me offer a few examples from my own efforts in that realm.

For head and shoulders portraits, I've always liked a 150 on a 6x6 or 6x7 or a 120 on a 645. That would be the equivalent of a 90mm lens on a FF camera, which I've also used:

You can even move in tight with that combination and not have distortion:

Sometimes a 135mm FF equivalent works when you're really in tight:

200 on a FF camera? That's possible wrt the perspective of the image, but at that distance you lose rapport with your subject and you've passed the point of diminishing returns on perspective.

But show some of your portraits with a 200 or longer. Maybe you have a different idea.


I was referring to articles and stuff I read years ago. I couldn't begin to find them now.  I just recall reading that a lot of pros used 200+, despite being further from the model due to perspective distortion.  I think it was tutorials explaining perspective distortion, but it seems like they were showed actual pros in sessions going on.  I remember seeing very long white lenses that looked way too long and heavy to me.  Who knows, maybe that was the best Canon lens at the time?  Searches now seem to turn up the 70-200L as the must have.

I do like the idea of only needing a "sliver" of good background area at 200mm, as pointed out in this page.  Although the 135mm shot doesn't need much either.

Personally, I've only done one session with a 200mm (a Nikkor Ais 200mm f4) and they turned out nicely, but not something I could post -- client wouldn't be happy about that. She's lost a lot of weight since then.  That lens worked well for that shoot, as it was outside and I was snapping her while she was swinging on a swingset.  I didn't choose the lens because of the working distance... I had just gotten it and wanted to try it out.  I'd have done just as well with a 135mm probably, if I'd had one at the time.


 kelstertx's gear list:kelstertx's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS +4 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow