Portrait/Profiles- Lens choices

Started Oct 3, 2022 | Discussions thread
Klaus dk
Klaus dk Forum Pro • Posts: 10,468
Re: Blurred background

viper699 wrote:

Klaus dk wrote:

Besides DoF control, a longer lens has two advantages for portraiture:

  1. Perspective: To fill the frame properly with a WA lens, you have to get close, so facial features close to the lens (nose, for example) will look exaggerated compared to the ears. We are used to seing faces (of strangers) at a greater distance and thus at a more compressed perspective. This is why phones are particularly bad at portraits.
  2. Psychology: When shooting a portrait we want the model to relax. Everybody has a comfort zone that you can't enter. Some also feel abandoned if the photographer is too far away, which is why I usually recommend a medium long zoom (70-200 equivalent) for portraiture.

It's fine and dandy to have good DoF control, but IRL, what you need is to be aware of your background choice. You can't blur your way out of everything, and it gets tired fast, IMHO.

Good luck and good light.

Thanks on #1- hadn't considered that.

#2- true on personal space, this I knew. As this is a friend of mine, the personal space issue is non-issue. I have seen people look to 70-200mm but wasn't sure why either as I never shoot this.

What do you mean by this?

You can't blur your way out of everything, and it gets tired fast,

The current idea that you can only shoot portraits with large aperture lenses, because you want to blur the background into oblivion, is a fallacy. Most portraits I shoot are between f/5.6 and f/8, and one of your jobs as a photographer is to select a background that works for the portrait you're shooting. In the studio, it's easy enough, outside, you must scout for it.

It's work, but it saves you from burning money on a one-trick lens. If you don't do many portraits, buying a portrait lens is uneconomical. A 24-105/4 is a fine lens for the occasional portrait.

 Klaus dk's gear list:Klaus dk's gear list
Sony RX100 II Canon EOS R Canon EOS R5 Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM +9 more
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