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f stops and lens choices

In my last Photographing People class I was telling a student how she really needed to get a longer lens to get a more professional look on some of her work. I had just photographed Nathalie with my 70-200mm f.2.8 @ 160 and f 2.8 ( see left image) when I thought I would hurry and take a picture more like what she would get on her lens. I also had to shoot from a higher angle (a mistake almost all people do when the photograph children), because otherwise I would get all kind of problems in my background from the wider lens. In the first I shoot more into her face and am on her level with good contact. The one to the right is shot at 75mm f 9.0. It sure is important to me to choose the right lenses and f stops to look different and better then most people do, even with the same light. Picture%201%20copy.jpgNotice the background blur with the longer lens, yes it was shot on 2.8 so yes the 75mm shot would be a bit more blurred if shot on a lower f.stop. Both pictures are processed with one click in Colorperfect, the most useful workflow action we have in the Linge Action Packed PS 1 Workflow actions. It vignettes nicely and corrects very well, saves us about 80% of our time in Photoshop. The Actions set sells for US$ 175. To buy a set fill out the contact form to the left.

Reader Comments (3)

Definately getting down to the subjects level is always a bonus - and with enough distance between the subject you don't always need a telephoto at all

April 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris Ridley

Very true Chris, you can get great long lens feelings even with a 50 mm 1.4, but you are limited. I try to get long distance from the subject to increase the blurred background , yes, but to often the space is limited, so conclusion is: a long lens Rocks! And the perspective is nicer for the face.If you do portraits you should try to stay away from anything shorter then 90 to avoid a big nose, small ears etc etc. In the old days 135mm was what they thought of as ideal for perspective in photographing a face. Today we see way to many pictures taken on way to wide lenses because of the conversion rate, like family groups with BIG heads on front row, tiny once on the back row. The perspective issue of lenses and the 1.5, 1.6 etc situation is way to overlooked.......Always some exceptions around things, A very Good photographer I know used to shoot portraits on a Hasselblad with a 50mm,( around 28mm on a SLR) but he made sure the face was 100% on level with the film plane, so he handled it well, then put in Layers of light on the face, up to 13 strobes on a portrait!!!!!

April 11, 2008 | Registered Commenterkennethlinge

After I originally read this post it took me about a week to put my 70-200L IS back on my Mark III. I have greatly missed it!! What was I thinking not shooting it more? Even on my old 20D. I love the long lens and with exception of a full temple background or very large group, I don't need to breakout the wide-short zoom. When I shoot the 24-70L, I find myself trying to reach longer. Even zoomed at 70mm it = 91mm(with 1.3 magnification factor) and it's way to short for a couple. I think I might sell it for a 17-40mm.

June 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Lloyd

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