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So, when I see topics (here or elsewhere) on portraits, the lenses mentioned are always between 50-100, and often with very wide aperatures, like the 85mm F1.2
Often the desire for the huge aperture is the madly shallow depth of field. My question is, framed the same, i.e. subject taking up approx half the frame, what would have the smoothest 'blurriest' background, an 85mm F1.2, or a 70-200 at 200 F2.8?
Do you get better blurry backgrounds with long lenses even if they havent got the super wide aperatures, and if so, if your outside with enough room, is a long lens the best for portraits?
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Pat. I don't know all the calculations or specifications or even how to explain it all properly but yes, you can even get blurry backgrounds with apertures of f5.6 or more. Have a look at my bird pics, they were all taken with a 100-400mm f4-5.6 lens, some of the BG's are completely blurred out like the Goldfinch & Siskin pics.
Yes, although with pics like birds and stuff, the backgrounds are often hundreds of yards away init!
Not on those pics, with the wren pic there was a bush & trees directly behind it.
Yeah, strikes me that with a long lens and a slightly smaller aperture, you still get the nice blurry background, but its more forgiving on the fine focus of the subject (i.e. focus accidentally on nose but eyes still in focus)
So, is a 70-200 the perfect portrait lens, given its constant 2.8 aperture?
There is another thing to consider too.... distortion/perspective with shorter lenses. But yes at 300 mm the dof can be tiny even at f5.6
If i can I use my 70-200 at about 150 mm as I prefer the background, and the way people look.
I guess it's personal but I love the Nikon 1.4 50mm for portraits.
Depends on what effect you like but I personally prefer to have the hair, eyes and nose in focus so use typically f5.6 to f8 in a studio. I generally use my Canon 24-105mm for most shots with the studio flash. Normally the studio is large enough that the distance from the model to the background is greater that the model to the camera so it is not usualy a problem to create a blurred background. However, I do take shots with my 70-200 f2.8 particularly for window light where the f2.8 may be useful where the light is not so strong and the background may be nearer.
I use a canon 70-200mm f2.8 l is usm and a canon 85mm f1.8 is usm both are stunning lenses and both have there uses.
I do love using the 70-200mm f2.8 and is my preferred lens for that deadly sharp image with shallow depth of field and a buttery soft back ground.
I use these outside generally but if i have to do portraits in a controlled studio then the canon 24-105mm f4 or the canon 50mm f1.8 comes out to play and only because of space issues.
I wish canon would bring out a canon 24-105mm f2.8 l is usm as this would be a perfect lens.
I recently won an award on both the 85mm and the 70-200mm lenses on portraits.
Make your own minds up on what you think.
both images i used the canon 70-200mm f2.8 and the 85mm f1.8
As a longer focal length tends to flatten perspective, isn't there an issue with distortion of the facial features when a long lens is used?
This is a real eye opener for me – I have a 70-200 but would never even think about using it for portraits. Having said that I guess the definition of portraits makes a difference. I don’t pose my portraits, are they portraits in that case? Using a 70-200mm for me is sniping people from a distance.
Worth a quick read
Using a long lens can make the subject appear slimmer and the greater working distance can be less intimidating for a nervous subject.
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