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Portrait Lens

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by neverender, 1 Oct 2009.

  1. neverender

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jan 2004

    Posts: 1,866

    Location: Exeter, Devon

    Hey guys,

    About to branch out into portrait work. I already do a limited amount of event/commission work, and until now a combination of 28-135 IS and the Nifty Fifty has got me by. However, I've reached a point where I feel investing in some glass better suited to portrait (and wedding) jobs is a less of a good idea, and more of a requirement. Ideally, I'd quite like a mid-range zoom over a prime, so as it can also double as a walkabout lens for day to day work on my 50D and 350D backup.
    So far I've shortlisted (in ascending order):
    -Sigma 24-70 f/2.8
    -Sigma 24-70 HSM f/2.8
    -Canon 24-105 L f/4
    Sadly, the 24-70L f/2.8 is out of my reach, and really the 24-105 is pushing it - though the f/2.8 Sigma offerings are better suited to the job in hand anyway. I guess my question should really be
    1. is the more expensive 24-70 worth the extra ~£300?
    and
    2. Alternatives?!

    Cheers in advance.
     
  2. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 66,699

    Location: Wish i was in .Lethal's house

    Canon 85/1.8 for pure portraits

    otherwise if you can't get the Canon 24-70 then get the Sigma, 2.8 is nicer than F/4 on portraits, and IS won't help you when shooting moving subjects...which people do a lot at weddings.

    So, you could get a 85/1.8 plus the Sigma 24-70 for £500ish all in.
     
  3. neverender

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jan 2004

    Posts: 1,866

    Location: Exeter, Devon

    Thanks Raymond - very thought provoking reply!* I can't find anywhere selling the Sigma 24-70's for much less than £500 and £800 respectively though =(

    *However, you've made me think.
    Also in my shopping basket is a Sigma 120-400, ~£600 worth of cheerful tele. Together with £800 for the 24-70 Sigma, that takes my total budget to the £1400 ballpark.
    Now, obviously the 70-200 f/4 L isn't entirely comparable to the 120-400, but it would be better than what I have right now (nothing), and (important bit) the cash saved there would be I could stretch to either the 24-70 f/2.8 L.

    Aside from the fact that two L lenses being delivered together would make me embarassingly giddy (and would jolly nice next to my 17-40L), would you agree that's a better use of the budget?
     
  4. ScarySquirrel

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2004

    Posts: 23,597

    Location: South East

    From what I have seen the 85mm 1.8 (as suggested by RL above) is brilliant for portraits and is a bargain price as well.
     
  5. niko

    Hitman

    Joined: 29 May 2005

    Posts: 958

    Location: oswestry shropshire

    i used to have the 85mm 1.8 its got cracking glass ,get one if you can its worth the money
     
  6. gt_junkie

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 20 Mar 2006

    Posts: 8,090

    Location: The Lakes

    Yep, totally worth it! Super sharp and very fast focussing.

    I find the 50mm f/1.4 good enough for portraits on a crop sensor too.

    gt
     
  7. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 66,699

    Location: Wish i was in .Lethal's house

    What will you be doing with the 120-400? That will be useless for portraits and weddings. It is not a midrange zoom as you wanted.
     
  8. neverender

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jan 2004

    Posts: 1,866

    Location: Exeter, Devon

    The 120-400/70-200 will be for light wildlife work and to add to my landscape collection.
     
    Last edited: 2 Oct 2009
  9. p0ss3s3d

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Dec 2008

    Posts: 1,922

    Well I don't knwo where youre looking at the sigmas but I have them penned down in my notepad at £350 and £750.

    I can't really comment much more here because I'm in a similar postition looking for a walkabout & willife tele. Similar budget.

    Perhaps a Sigma 70-200 2.8 would make a good portrait lens for you and free up some cash for a 'brick' or a 120-400. Just a thought I have jotted down ATM.
     
  10. Vertigo1

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Dec 2003

    Posts: 15,335

    Surely 85mm is going to be a bit long on a crop for portraiture?

    If there are plans to go FF in the near future then probably worth going 85mm and "living" with it on the crop for now, otherwise maybe the 50mm f/1.4 would better suit?
     
  11. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 66,699

    Location: Wish i was in .Lethal's house

    Depends, if you consider FF, the perfect portraiture lens is between 85 or 135. Considering the OP already has a 50mm, then the alternative is the 85.

    Basically, generally speaking.

    on FF

    85 for wraist and up.
    135 for shoulder & Head
     
  12. neverender

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jan 2004

    Posts: 1,866

    Location: Exeter, Devon

    Bump for update.

    The lovely chaps at my local camera store renewed their lovelyness by offering me the 24-105L IS at a price I was unable to resist, and making the price difference between it and the 24-70 f/2.8 too hard to justify right now. Plus, the additional range of the 24-105 means I can safely sell on my 28-135 IS to recoup more of the cost.

    As for the tele, the 70-200L just isn't going to be long enough for me. I'm gonna mull it over for a few weeks, but either the Sigma 120-400 or a 70-200 f/2.8+2xteleconverter are the probably contenders.
     
  13. Derek W

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Oct 2008

    Posts: 11,567

    Location: Glebe Park

    There was a user called Trifid selling a Sigma 120 - 300 f2.8 on here last month. Possibly worth a look to see if its available?