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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:11 am 
hello guys!

im back again! almost a year back i asked what would be better a super zoom or a dslr, end up with a super zoom and it was great and all but now im ready to the real stuff

currently i have a sony hx1 pretty good camera but it doesnt have the IQ of a DSLR

Firsts of all 80% of the time my photos are portraits, i love to capture people in photos specially in those moments they are off guard hehehe, i would say 15% in macro and details and the other 5% on objects.

Now the problem is im looking forward to start a photography business but that could be 2 or more years ahead, but why not start now buying some decent stuff that i could use later.

Correct me if im wrong but lens are the most important part in photography right?

Since my main type of photos is portrait i was looking at the 50mm lens, the f1.8 i have read the plastic mount is crap, gets stuck on the camera o the focus ring just fall apart of course for a lens that cost $99 i wouldnt hope for quality.
Now the other one i looking to purchase is the the 50mm 1.4 is this a great lens for portrait?

Dont want to make it longer hahahaha(sorry)

so my 2 questions are

for portrait photo which body should i buy?
and which lens for portrait?

i have more canon in my mind than nikon, of course the d7000 is a beast! i would love it too.

but i kinda dream on having a L lens someday hehehe

my budget is around $1300 - $1500

cameras with video function is a plus but if a body with out video is great for portrait and cheaper please let me know.

Thanks in advance for your help :)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:50 am 
Hi naruto007,

"portraits" mean different things to different people. Close-up headshot, environmental portraits with a lot of the scene involved, full-body and torso...the options are endless.

Conventionally - which really doesn't mean anything - portraits are not required to be super sharp. Softer images are said to be more flattering. personally I think that's a bowl of hogwash, but some people swear by it.

Any prime is sharp...35mm AF-S, 50mm AF-D, 85mm AF-D, 135mm are all somewhat affordable. The 50mm AF-D has been produced since 1986 and they are still making new ones.

Some portrait photographers swear by a the 70-200mm F2.8 VR (I or II). They like the distance-to-subject it affords them and from a distance the proportions between standout facial features like nose, ears etc. is more flat.

Personally I like to get real my subject's faces...because it creates something. It is interaction and my presence influence the image. Sometimes for the worse, but most of the time for the better. But that's just me.

From a color-perspective, many swear by the Fuji S5 Pro and the super-CCD with it's larger and smaller photo sites beside each other, it's said to reproduce great skin-tones. If you can find a used one, you can spend more of your budget on Nikon lenses (S5 is a D200 body with a Nikon lens-mount).

Others swear by the three-layer Sigma FOVEON sensor, also especially because of it's rendition of skin colors. However the SD15 is expensive and you can't really find any SD14s used.

Personally I'm reasonably happy with my D300, but I always felt the D40 did better in the portrait-department due to it's color-rendition.

If you're just starting out, I recommend you buy just one lens - a prime - and practice a lot - before you invest in expensive zooms and whatnot. Furthermore, portraiture may well demand more of you in terms of portable controllable lighting and understanding how to create flattering light is probably more important for portraiture than body and lens put together.

Good luck with your choices!!

Cheers :-)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:37 pm 
never heard about the fuji one did a quick search on ebay and found a few ones for $700 and more

how about the 50d body is weather proof right like the 40d? found the 50d in central digital for around $770

is the canon 50mm f1.4 a good starting lens for portraits? i read in some places the 50mm 1.8 has poor build quaility.

thanks for your help and information!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:49 am 
Hi naruto007,

The 50D - quoting from Gordon's review: "Again like the 40D, there’s rubber seals around the various doors along with a plastic surround for the hotshoe which mates with the 580 EX II flashgun for dust and moisture resistance, albeit not splash-proof capabilities". I recommend that you have a look at the review for more details.

The Canon's and Nikon's use Bayer interpolation to generate the images. Each photo site on the sensors can only capture either Red, Green or Blue light and the interpolation combine to make the image. And certainly they can create award-winning portraits in the right hands.

I have no hands-on experience with the 50mm F1.4 from Canon, however it is very unlikely that you would miss the .4 max aperture difference. At 50mm, F1.4 might even bee too much at normal shooting distances, due to the very thin depth-of-field which would render the tip of the nose sharp while the eyes already begin to become blurry.

Personally I don't worry too much about build quality. Lenses don't fall apart and lenses that are "built like tanks" are heavier and usually much more expensive - but you'd have to be using your equipment unusually hard to really benefit from lenses that you can run over with a

Portraiture, especially, is a little more sedate in nature and doesn't really require extraordinarily solid lenses.

Personally I use my 50mm lens quite a lot for portraits. It's great for when you can't quite get within arm's reach. Like candids during parties where you mingle, for example. Otherwise I use my 35mm lens for when I have the luxury of being able to get real close..handshake-distance if you like.
And, I also use - for group shots and crazy perspective in close 11-16mm Tokina lens. You might know how rooms can appear very small in photos...this lens opens up interiors well and renders a better sense of space.

For "across the table" distance portraits, with lots of time, I use an 85mm F1.4 manual lens. It's slow as heck, but can yield very pleasing results too.

Any 50mm you can find will be sharp. Sharper than the majority of zooms - just to give you a sense of what prime-sharp means.

Good luck with your choices!!

Cheers ;-)

Last edited by Kenneth Skou on Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:31 am 

thanks for all your help sir, and the handshake distance is interesting, i have never took a picture from a person that close, though they might get intimidated by the camera being so close, but its sure one think ill try as soon as possible :)

might end up getting a t2i cause i just realized sometimes i use the video function on my hx1 so i might miss it on a d50 or d40.

the nikon d7000 looks like its going to be a beast! should i consider it? its a little bit pricier.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:37 am 
My pleasure!

Portraiture doesn't really require anything special from the camera body itself. Any camera body will do - lenses, technique, how you interact with and direct your subject and - above all - lighting, are the keys to stunning portraits.

So you can certainly pick any camera body that appeals to you for all sorts of other reasons, without sacrificing anything in the portraiture department.

As long as you remain aware that - with a fixed budget - you will have the potential to achieve much better portraits if you spend as little as possible on the body and as much as possible on lenses and your lighting (flash, diffusers, umbrellas etc.).

However, we are all susceptible to call of the siren and these new camera models - the D7000 certainly among them - sound really generously specced! lol

Cheers :-)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:29 am 
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 3:39 pm
Posts: 485
I can’t agree more LahLahSr.
About the canon 50mm f/1.4 , I think it’s a very good lens the moment one knows how to use it. The shallow DOF may cause the “nose focus” as mentioned but it is sharp and the extra aperture may come in handy in some situations. Other than that, build quality doesn’t mean that much in portraiture, unless you specialize in war zone portraits or the model manages to get your adrenaline very high :-).
If you look up a photography history book you’ll certainly find very many amazing portraits that were made 100 years ago with lenses, that compared to the cheap plastic 50mm primes of today, seem primitive and completely outdated. So, in conclusion, with primes for portraits be it 50, 80, or 100 mm you can’t really go wrong.

Canon PowerShot S100
Canon 50D , SIGMA 10-20 f3.5 ,Canon EF 24-105 L IS USM, Canon EF 100/2.8 macro Canon EF 50/1.4 ,Canon EF 85 f1.8,Canon EF-S17-85 4-5.6 Old Tamron 28-300 inherited from my Canon Rebel G film camera

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:28 pm 
thanks for all your comments both, ill go with a 50mm probably the f1.4 ill let you know which road i took at the end.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:43 am 
hey guys!! just wanted to tell you that i finally got my first dslr :) and guess what?

its a awesome D90! im loving it!!

d90+ 50mm is so much fun!

thanks for all your comments looking forward to post some pictures :D

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:07 am 
Hi naruto007,

Congratulations with making your choice - feels much better to get on with the actual shooting than the analytical hand-wringing we all do before pulling the trigger on specific purchase!! lol

There is absolutely no technical reason why that body+lens combination can't land you international applause and worship for your portraits :-)

Looking forward to seeing your shots when you post them!

Cheers :-)

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