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Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia


Hi, Im just starting with fashion and beauty photography, and would like to know which lenses would be recommended for this style of shoot?.

I dont want to use zoom lenses as they are kinda dark for my taste. At this moment im using 50mm for beauty close-ups, but this lens seems limiting when it cames to a full body fashion shoot, as one have to move far away of the model to achieve the needed composition. Was thinking about getting a 35mm 1.2. But i'm not quite sure about the wide angle.

Just in case that the style itself of the picture has something to do with the lenses choice. I really admire Daniel Riera,Guy Aroch and Grant Thomas fashion photography, and I'm using them as models for the path of development of my own photography.

Thanks for your time smile
Feb 13 13 08:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phil Drinkwater
Posts: 4,713
Manchester, England, United Kingdom


On what camera?

P.S the biggest difference is in the styling, the model, the ideas / direction and the retouching. The lens is just a tool to get the shot and, for a lot of photography outside of low depth of field work, probably the least important element - unless you get a really poor quality lens.

P.P.S 50mm on a full frame camera is a bit wide for beauty. It's normally 100mm+.
Feb 13 13 08:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,263
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


Zoom lenses are 'Dark'... ???

I think we missed something in translation here.

Any lens can be use to photograph people. Generally-speaking you need a longer lens to shoot faces and head-shots than if you shoot full-length.
If you shoot with wide-angle lenses up close you risk distorting the figure.
If you shoot head-shots and faces with lenses shorter than about 60mm you risk making facial features assume more prominence (noses can appear too large and foreheads recede).

A good 'head & shoulders' portrait lens can be anything from 70mm - 135mm on full-frame.
A good full length lens can be anything from 35mm - 70mm.

If you're on a budget then a 24-70 and a 70-200 will be all you ever need.
But that said, there are no 'rules' - just 'guidelines' - you can do whatever you want.
Feb 13 13 08:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,546
Plainview, Texas, US


As someone else asked, what camera? And on your style, which will likely develop over the next few years. In a sense it doesn't matter too much what you pick because you will not know if you got it right until you have used the lens a few months. Be prepared to make changes as you go and don't get too much money tied up too soon.

Since your just starting I'll guess you are using APS (crop sensor). For non-zooms a 50mm is a good start, backed up with an 85 and maybe a 16 or 20. Personally, I'd go wider than 35, which to me is sort of a bland look.

Really, for fashion the workhorse lens is the 70-200 f2.8 usually paired with a f2.8 24-70 or 16-something, but that's a big chunk of money for most beginners. There are f4 options which will do the job just fine and are a lot easier on your back and your back account.

Another good choice is the f4 24-105 or 24-120 (depending on what brand you use). This is sort of the Chevy work truck of lenses - it doesn't get a lot of exciting press but it will do a hell of a lot of good work. On FF pair it with a 200 for longer looks; on APS add a 16 or 20 to cover the wide end.
Feb 13 13 09:46 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia


Thanks everyone for the replies.

Yes, I find zoom lenses too dark, I can't afford a 2.8 zoom, and the 4f ones are way too dark for me, since I like to shoot with available light (I forgot to mention that!, sorry). But getting a 35mm 1.2 or 1.4 isnt a problem.

Yes, my camera is a cropped one, an entry level nikon D90, hope to get enough money soon to upgrade it.

Why nobody likes the 50mm? Its the one that I mostly use, I took all this photo with those lenses hmm.

http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/6818/coverpicture.jpg
http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/9072/dsc00560g.jpg
http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/7128/karenbw.jpg


I havent noticed any distortion, but, im new to photography and accept that I haven't developed my eye for a lot of things hmm.
Feb 13 13 10:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-Ira
Posts: 2,174
New York, New York, US


Alejandro Crespo wrote:
Yes, I find zoom lenses too dark, I can't afford a 2.8 zoom, and the 4f ones are way too dark for me, since I like to shoot with available light...

Lens are referred to being fast or slow in regards to their maximum aperture.  An f1.2 is faster than an f2.8. 

Describing it as dark/light will throw many people off.

That said I prefer longer lens.  Your 50mm on a D90 will effectively become a 75mm...which is a good place to start.

Feb 13 13 10:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KirstyWiseman
Posts: 48
Wigan, England, United Kingdom


There is no right or wrong lens.  I barely shoot without my 24-70mm f2.8 for fashion shots.
Feb 13 13 11:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Use the lens that delivers the aesthetic and technical qualities you desire from the image.

eg. If you want a wide shot, use a wide angle; if you want to get in close for beauty without looming perspective issues, use a telephoto. If you want shallow DOF then use a wider aperture. If you prefer zooms then use zooms. Modern pro zooms are pretty damn good.

Honestly, although this may seem to be stating the obvious, I can't give you any better or more specific advice.



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com
Feb 13 13 11:13 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia


-Ira wrote:

Lens are referred to being fast or slow in regards to their maximum aperture.  An f1.2 is faster than an f2.8. 

Describing it as dark/light will throw many people off.

That said I prefer longer lens.  Your 50mm on a D90 will effectively become a 75mm...which is a good place to start.

Thanks for the correction. I find zoom lenses too slow for my taste and shooting conditions smile. I've a 18-105, but I barely used it, I suppose that I should find it now to try it for everything you guys told me here....

Feb 13 13 11:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,263
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


Alejandro Crespo wrote:
I havent noticed any distortion, but, im new to photography and accept that I haven't developed my eye for a lot of things hmm.

You won't - on crop frame, 50mm is equivalent to about 75mm on full-frame.

Feb 13 13 11:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-Ira
Posts: 2,174
New York, New York, US


Alejandro Crespo wrote:
I havent noticed any distortion, but, im new to photography and accept that I haven't developed my eye for a lot of things hmm.

Example of focal lengths, http://stepheneastwood.com/tutorials/le … lepage.htm

Feb 13 13 11:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotografica Gregor
Posts: 4,065
Alexandria, Virginia, US


On Nikon full frame digital DSLR  (D800)

primarily -

16-35f4N      wider / environmental shots
24-70 f2.8    standard range full length to half length
70-200f4N    head and shoulders to tight headshots

secondarily  (shoots where I need a lot of DOF control,
                   for subject separation at a close working
                   distance and / or good bokeh)
35f1.4
85f1.4

event or runway
200f2
300f2.8
Feb 13 13 11:36 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia


-Ira wrote:
Example of focal lengths, http://stepheneastwood.com/tutorials/le … lepage.htm

Thanks for that! very useful big_smile.
And 2 gregor, thnx for sharing your choices.

Feb 13 13 01:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Boreal Photography
Posts: 292
Duluth, Minnesota, US


Phil Drinkwater wrote:
...50mm on a full frame camera is a bit wide for beauty. It's normally 100mm+.

I always thought 50mm (full frame) gave 'true' proportions to a face, etc. Beyond that, compression of e.g. noses, body width. So I have heard that telephoto is used lots of beauty, but wouldn't a 50mm (or in my case I have a 30mm for 1.6x factor digital on my Canon T4i) give a non-distorted ('true') face in terms of the nose, etc?  I have a zoom telephoto, two actually, plus a 50mm (digital, 1.6x factor so more like 80mm film) prime I can also use. I do like the primes if I want to blur the bg because they can open up to f/1.4

Feb 13 13 01:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia


Randall_Oelerich wrote:

I always thought 50mm (full frame) gave 'true' proportions to a face, etc. Beyond that, compression of e.g. noses, body width. So I have heard that telephoto is used lots of beauty, but wouldn't a 50mm (or in my case I have a 30mm for 1.6x factor digital on my Canon T4i) give a non-distorted ('true') face in terms of the nose, etc?  I have a zoom telephoto, two actually, plus a 50mm (digital, 1.6x factor so more like 80mm film) prime I can also use. I do like the primes if I want to blur the bg because they can open up to f/1.4

I thought the same, thats why I bought a 50mm as my main lenses. But now it results that the "normal" lenses, arent so "normal" big_smile

Feb 13 13 02:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phil Drinkwater
Posts: 4,713
Manchester, England, United Kingdom


Randall_Oelerich wrote:

I always thought 50mm (full frame) gave 'true' proportions to a face, etc. Beyond that, compression of e.g. noses, body width. So I have heard that telephoto is used lots of beauty, but wouldn't a 50mm (or in my case I have a 30mm for 1.6x factor digital on my Canon T4i) give a non-distorted ('true') face in terms of the nose, etc?  I have a zoom telephoto, two actually, plus a 50mm (digital, 1.6x factor so more like 80mm film) prime I can also use. I do like the primes if I want to blur the bg because they can open up to f/1.4

It would. However if you get really close to someone's face with your eye, their face does look a bit distorted, like with a 50.

100+ is best for close up smile

Feb 13 13 03:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Boreal Photography
Posts: 292
Duluth, Minnesota, US


Phil Drinkwater wrote:
...100+ is best for close up smile

Roger Wilco oki doki, smile
Thank you.

Feb 13 13 04:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
sidney_k
Posts: 873
Paris, Île-de-France, France


Alejandro Crespo wrote:
Hi, Im just starting with fashion and beauty photography, and would like to know which lenses would be recommended for this style of shoot?.
Thanks for your time smile

Borrow/rent several lenses, 28, 35, 50, 85, 105mm and test. Zoom lenses are very helpful for this test, as they can offer you all the focal lengths plus the ones in  between, within one lens.

LOOK at the results and decide what YOU like best.

Average is 50% grey.

Feb 13 13 04:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Salo
Posts: 8,009
Olney, Maryland, US


Alejandro Crespo wrote:
I dont want to use zoom lenses as they are kinda dark for my taste . . . Was thinking about getting a 35mm 1.2. But i'm not quite sure about the wide angle.
Alejandro Crespo wrote:
Yes, I find zoom lenses too dark, I can't afford a 2.8 zoom, and the 4f ones are way too dark for me, since I like to shoot with available light (I forgot to mention that!, sorry). But getting a 35mm 1.2 or 1.4 isnt a problem.

Yes, my camera is a cropped one, an entry level nikon D90, hope to get enough money soon to upgrade it.

1) I can't imagine that a 35MM 1.2 is less expensive than a 28-70mm /75mm Tamron f/2.8 constant aperture.  This is my favorite for a crop frame.

2) Almost all of my images were shot with zooms.  The later ones were shot with f/2.8 constant aperture.  You may find my quality not up to your standards, but they are not too dark.

3) I really don't consider the D90 to be an entry level camera.

Feb 13 13 04:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


-Ira wrote:

Example of focal lengths, http://stepheneastwood.com/tutorials/le … lepage.htm

That's not an example of focal lengths, it's an example of how perspective changes with distance.

The focal length is being used to crop the field of view.

Feb 13 13 05:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Alejandro Crespo
Posts: 108
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia


MC Photo wrote:

That's not an example of focal lengths, it's an example of how perspective changes with distance.

The focal length is being used to crop the field of view.

After researching this topic a bit today, i came across this little app that shows the crop factor effect on different focal lengths.

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/si … /index.htm

Feb 13 13 10:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
T-D-L
Posts: 10,105
Los Angeles, California, US


I find that 28-70mm (or 24-70mm) is probably the most flexible and usable for the majority of what I shoot.  Would love for it to be a bit wider, but that hopefully will be rectified once I make the switch to FF.  If you don't have the budget for a fast zoom yet, then start with a couple primes: 35, 50, 135 or something like that should be fairly inexpensive and cover most ranges that you might encounter while shooting.
Feb 13 13 10:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J M
Posts: 372
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Silver Mirage wrote:
Really, for fashion the workhorse lens is the 70-200 f2.8 usually paired with a f2.8 24-70 or 16-something, but that's a big chunk of money for most beginners. There are f4 options which will do the job just fine and are a lot easier on your back and your back

I don't know any fashion shooters that use a 70-200 as their main lens maybe for lifestyle not fashion though. I get sick of people recommending it for fashion. I used one once on nikonhated it. It might be useful for beauty but even then a lot of beauty photographers like primes.

For fashion look at your 50mm, either a 24 / 28 / 35 doesn't have to be super fast if budget is low 2. Or 2.8 is fine. And an 85 or 105 these all depending on tastes. I've heard amazing things on the 85 1.4 but 1.8 is good too. These will be good for crop and set you up perfectly for full frame. Alternatively a 24-70 covers most of it at around the same price and quality. A tad short on full frame for some work.

Feb 14 13 12:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dragos Codita
Posts: 82
Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania


Focal lenght is the thing that relates to distortion.
Equivalent Field Of View does not distort, keep that in mind.
That good example had taken a crop of the initial distance to explain, but keep in mind that this does not relate with the original overall image.

An 50mm on a crop senzor will remain a 50mm when we are speaking of distortion and bokeh at the same distance and aperture! But FoV will force you to change distance, hence most of the people are confused.
Feb 14 13 03:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JohnEnger
Posts: 687
Jessheim, Akershus, Norway


Alejandro Crespo wrote:
Hi, Im just starting with fashion and beauty photography, and would like to know which lenses would be recommended for this style of shoot?.

I dont want to use zoom lenses as they are kinda dark for my taste. At this moment im using 50mm for beauty close-ups, but this lens seems limiting when it cames to a full body fashion shoot, as one have to move far away of the llama to achieve the needed composition. Was thinking about getting a 35mm 1.2. But i'm not quite sure about the wide angle.

Just in case that the style itself of the picture has something to do with the lenses choice. I really admire Daniel Riera,Guy Aroch and Grant Thomas fashion photography, and I'm using them as llamas for the path of development of my own photography.

Thanks for your time smile

For reference I'll assume you are using a FX camera...
the 35mm is too wide for fashion in my taste. It does give a little too much distortion for my taste. Use a bigger location and a lens no wider than 50mm.

For beauty closeups, use at least 105mm so you don't have to get all up in the llamas face... big_smile If you want to get real close (partial face) use a macro able lens.

There are zoom lenses that are plenty good for this, not being dark at all. They may not be 100% perfect, but they make composing a great deal easier. big_smile

GL.

J.

Feb 14 13 03:56 am  Link  Quote 
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