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katieb 15 255 4 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2009 2:02PM
for a photography challenge for a competition I have to do some portrait photography - either studio or outdoors, my question is what lens - I have a Sigma 50mm 2.8 which I have been using for macro work could I use this, I have a Nikon D200. I don't want to spend loads of money so cheap suggestions please.

Thanks
Kate

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Pete Plus
18 18.8k 97 England
21 Aug 2009 2:07PM

Quote: I have a Sigma 50mm 2.8 which I have been using for macro work could I use this,

Yes you can, it will be a little short, but ok and saves you spending any money.
katieb 15 255 4 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2009 2:09PM
Great! thanks Pete.
BigCol 18 1.8k 1 Scotland
21 Aug 2009 2:20PM
This shot wasn't taken using the 50mm and is a great portrait so why do you feel you need to use a 'portrait' lens?
spaceman 15 5.3k 3 Wales
21 Aug 2009 3:12PM
There's always been a lot of debate over what constitutes an "ideal" portrait lens but I don't think there is such a thing. I think any non-wideangle lens is suitable.
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2009 3:14PM
Yes I saw you were short listed, well done.

Now controversial stuff, lots of people do portraits using 50mm to 85mm lenses, Arnold Newman (and here ) produced some great portraits and I would swear he sometimes used wider angle lenses.

Just thinking of your strengths and whether you could bring some of your landscape strengths to the party.

Just a thought feel free to ignore.
spaceman 15 5.3k 3 Wales
21 Aug 2009 3:20PM
Even wide lenses are suitable if you're not too close. People tend to forget that it's the camera-to-subject distance that effects perspective, not the lens itself.
Coleslaw 14 13.4k 28 Wales
21 Aug 2009 3:21PM
50mm on crop sensor....no problem at all.
Anyway, it really depends on what you want to achieve or do.
BigCol 18 1.8k 1 Scotland
21 Aug 2009 3:21PM

Quote:I think any non-wideangle lens is suitable.

Depending on what you're trying to convey surely? Wideangle lenses are great for environmental portraits, provided of course you work within the confines of the lenses abilities.
katieb 15 255 4 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2009 3:22PM
I'm totally out of my comfort zone on this one - I am given a studio, model and 45 mins to produce something, so thought it might help if I at least had the right equipment as I will be like a fish out of water.
Have just ordered a book, hopefully it will be here tomorrow to help re studio lighting, although I believe there will be some experts to give a helping hand re this.
Nick_w Plus
12 4.3k 99 England
21 Aug 2009 3:45PM
Don't dismiss using something different Katie as that's what may set the image apart in a competition. Bill Brandt did a lot of portrait stuff with Wide angles to give a surreal effect, just an idea.

But a 50mm should be ideal it would be 75mm on FF which used to be regarded as the portrait standard.
katieb 15 255 4 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2009 4:14PM
Thank you for all your ideas - must go and have a look at Bill Brandt - thank you Nick. Going to spend the weekend experimenting, I am down to the last 12 and am not going out without a fight, I really want the Nikon D700 which is the prize.
Kate


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