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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:11 am
Posts: 78
Location: locust grove, GA
I am looking for a portrait lens for my 550d. I am considering...

60mm f2.8 macro
85mm f1.8
100mm f2.8 macro
100mm f2

I don't do much macro, but... having one couldn't hurt, right?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
I personally like the 85 1.8 for portrait, its a nice range and a nice lens to use. I find my 50 too short, but that is just my thoughts.
What other lenses do you have , ie do you have a 70 -300 or 55-250?
Use that to get an idea of what focal legth you might like.

Just to throw it out there a Canon 70-200L 2.8 without IS, might be worth considering .

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:14 am 
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Location: locust grove, GA
what about 70-200 f4 is? F4 wouldn't be enough for putting background in OOF?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:55 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
yes the 70-200 f4 is a possibility, I got the 70-300L . Its starts at f4 or you could say its f5 from 70-200.So effectively very similar.
I love the lens and use it for portrait type work on my kids, typically outside, nice bokeh.
But then the 24-105 f4 maybe just as useful.

But it doesn`t compare to what you can get with the 100 macro 2.8 or the canon 85 1.8 with more open aperture. As the thread was talking about primes for portrait type work I guess that when looking at zooms specifically for that purpose f2.8 is a far better start.

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Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic


Last edited by maxjj on Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:50 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON
I'm a prime lens guy, as the image quality is superb and the fixed focal length forces you to be more creative with your shooting... I'd avoid the zooms, but your mileage may vary.

IMO, going the macro route on a 550D is the best option... You may find you like doing closeup work, and then it becomes two lenses in one. Before I went crazy and did full frame, I used my 50/1.8 and my 100mm macro (non-L) for portraits. You can get a fair bit of background blur with the 100mm wide open given enough distance between your subject and the background, and the minimum focusing distance isn't an issue if you want to get close to your subject. The 85/1.8 is great, but it's definitely a one-trick pony and if you're trying to get the best bang for your buck, you probably want to look elsewhere... The 100/2 also fits this description as it's essentially just a longer 85/1.8.

I'd definitely avoid the 60mm macro, it's just not an exciting focal length IMO and the 50/1.8 can do portraits on the cheap, plus it's full-frame compatible... Much better value, IMO.

All of the following on a 450D and with the 100mm non-L macro.

Macro on an engagement shoot:

Image

Portrait-type shot:

Image

Bit of silhouette stuff:

Image

Close-up portrait:

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:51 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
totally agree there is something nice about the primes, like I said, I just threw the 70-200 2.8 out there as an option.
Have to admit I am not a fan of my 50 1.8, mainly because it either front or back focuses depending on subject distance and manual focus is almost out due to the skinny and design and imprecise adjustment, also its build quality is a let down. I should have got the 50 1.4.

I also love using the 100 macro 2.8 and the 85 1.8 may be a one horse pony, but there is something about it. Certainly makes the 50 1.8 look pretty average.

This a shot of my daughter, there is no processing, just resize and jpg. Nice light and she was on her scooter. Focusing is fast and accurate. 85 at f2.
Image
Bella9431 by maxjj, on Flickr

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