Thx, Frank. When it comes to headshots outdoors, even though I have all the space in the world, the longest focal length I use is 105mm. Copyright © 2005 - 2020 PhotographyTalk, Inc. All Rights Reserved, 3 Must-Have Portrait Lenses for Crop Sensor Cameras, Find out which prime lenses every photographer needs, Three Lenses Portrait Photographers Can't Live Without. If you use a full frame lens on a crop sensor camera, you need to multiply the focal length by roughly 1.5 to get the true focal length. Obsessed with light and composition. That’s the gear The main issues you could provide would be great: framing in a spare room, camera/ sticks placement (height, angle) and of course controlling and creating effective (not passport…) lighting techniques for submitting to background work. The wide angle makes the model’s features appear wider than they actually are which is usually not flattering. On a crop sensor camera, the 35mm acts like a 50mm, making it perfect for both full-frame and crop sensor cameras. Additionally, the longer focal length will help minimize the depth of field, which helps set your subject apart from the background. So, a full frame 50mm lens on a crop sensor camera photographs more like an 85mm focal length. Crop vs Full Frame. It’s a good question and there’s a good reason why portrait photographers obsess over focal length. It’s called the crop sensor because you’re effectively cropping the full-frame image. Depending on the crop factor - that is, how the size of the sensor impacts the effective focal length of the lens - a 90mm lens will behave more like a telephoto lens (135mm on a Canon camera and 144mm on a Nikon). So, you’ve been looking at how her face changes when comparing focal lengths. These are all very interesting and relevant if you want certain results, but before you get into thinking about the best lens for portraits, first think about the best focal length for portraits. If you have any questions about the best focal length for portraits, let us know in the comments. If you aren't a professional photographer, the chances are that you have a crop sensor camera. For each new focal length, starting at 28mm, you’ll have to move further back and realign your subject in the frame as closely as possible to your first photo, Take note of exactly where your subject is in the frame and keep it as constant as possible. Now examine your photos on the computer. Also, a 50mm lens on a crop sensor camera is equivalent to 75mm lens on a full frame camera, which is closer to the ideal focal length of at least 85mm for portraits. It is with these on crop sensors, we get a field of view similar to the 50mm. It is an art just to handle the process of that. I think this is why you'll see people using a 70mm (like a 70-200mm) for portaits on a crop-sensor (yielding an effective 105mm on full-frame). One of those differences is in the lenses that you use. The lens you use is the most important piece of equipment. On a crop sensor camera, a 24-70mm lens will act like a 36-105mm lens on a Canon camera and 38-112mm on a Nikon camera. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. So far 18% grey cotton backdrop (9ft W X 14ft L, to provide 3-4in. I don’t need to say anything more. When a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens is attached to that Nikon DSLR, the focal length is multiplied by 1.5x and effectively acts like a 75mm lens on a full frame DSLR. That means you need to find glass that works well with a smaller sensor. Canon SL 2: I know, modest) and Cactus triggers. But seeing the DOP’s on set who are decades in learning their skills has overwhelmed me in understanding the lighting and its powerful and at the same time delicate results to the portrait . Yes, it is. Copyright © 2020 The Lens Lounge. The great big camera debate and why it doesn’t matter, 4 of the best photography viewpoints for impressive composition, DSLR Live View pros, cons and how to use it, Why you need to know the rule of thirds, and how easy it is, Using symmetry in photography composition, How form in photography brings subjects to life, How texture in photography composition adds interest, 19 photography composition rules you need to know to be awesome, Using vertical lines in photography composition, 7 types of lines in photography composition and how to use them, Cropping photos for maximum impact and better composition, What is contrast photography and how to use it well. On the wide end, you can open up to 24mm and get full-body or half-body portraits, environmental portraits, and even casual street photography, too. I do a lot of walking back and forth to my subject to communicate between each series of shots, especially when using a focal length of 200mm! Crop Sensors. As photographers we get very involved in thinking about the maximum aperture of a lens, the make of a lens and creating great background blur. Anything between 50ish and 135ish in FF equivalent makes for natural looking portraits from almost any distance. Portrait lenses fall into this range and you increase focal length telephoto compression will cause foreground and background objects to appear close together. However, if you know your camera has a crop sensor, you might find it a bit difficult to shoot with the 50 or 85 – and it might be easier on you to try the 35mm, so that’s what I would recommend. 30mm conditionally turns into 45mm (or 48mm on Canon) 30mm x 1.5 = … For example, a 70-200mm lens becomes a virtual 105-300mm lens on a 1.5x APS-C sensor. However, whilst a longer portrait focal length (narrower field of view) will flatten the middle of a photo, and therefore make a big nose seem smaller, after a certain point, it will also start to widen a face. An 85mm lens is a great addition to your camera bag as well! Wide lenses are typically a bad choice for shooting portraits. https://thelenslounge.com/why-you-need-a-light-meter/. In turn, this decreases the depth of field, which mean… 2 octagon soft boxes (27in, I know: modest size) a third un-modified speedlite for bouncing off the 8ft white ceiling to “separate” subject from background (and maybe a tiny bit of hair/rim-light, if lucky. A wide angle will make noses and foreheads grow! Naturally, getting sharp images without spending a ton of money is a great advantage. One of the biggest differences between the 85mm lens and the 50mm lens is the distance that you’ll need to stand from your subject. Your email address will not be published. However, if you need a little more focal length for portraits of athletes on the field or if you like the compression that an 85mm lens offers for more traditional portraits, an 85mm lens would be ideal. Here are the two extremes of the focal lengths I used in my focal length comparison exercise. I just checked by applying a focal length filter to all my boudoir photos in the Library Module of Lightroom (it’s a great database, not just a great photo editing program). More expensive lenses are built better to last longer, work harder and in tougher conditions. With the 85mm lens, the minimum focusing distance is 2.8 ft, and with the 50mm lens, the minimum focusing distance is 1.15 ft. I would assume that most portrait photographers don't typically use a 70-200mm lens for portraits, especially with a crop sensor camera. With an 85mm focal length you’ll have to stand further away. After all, what’s the point of great depth of field if your subject is distorted, because you used an unflattering focal length for portraits? Some lenses are designed specifically for full frame sensor cameras. If all you have is a 50mm lens and you want to photograph headshots, then just shoot with more space around your subject and crop the image in post. Thanks to the “recent” changes with the tech, I’ve been 1-2 years self-teaching-by-doing – with Canon connect and the cell phone. That’s what’s so great about photography – it’s continuously challenging and stimulating. All the YouTube videos and blog posts in the world about portrait focal length won’t teach you as much as this five minute exercise…, To recreate your own series of photos like mine above…. Exposure Triangle – what is it and how does it work? These will be more full length portrait where the subject is smaller and doesn’t fill the frame. Your choice of focal length for portraits will have a big impact on the image. To get the equivalent focal length, you need to multiply the crop factor and the real focal length of the lens. Required fields are marked *. In the end, an expensive lens works out cheaper than a cheap lens. Dynamic composition vs static composition, How to use repetition to make your photos irresistible, How to use unity in photography for good design, https://thelenslounge.com/5-portrait-lighting-patterns-you-need-to-know/, https://thelenslounge.com/why-you-need-a-light-meter/, the shape and proportions of your subject’s face. Camera basics – why you need to know it inside out, How to develop your photographic style effortlessly. A simple rule of thumb for portrait photography is that, if you’re going to use a short focal length, step back and include more background in the frame to avoid distorting your subject’s features. It runs just over $340, and is a half stop away from the amazing … Crazy huh? It sounds like you’re progressing well and don’t worry about others, because there’s bound to be something that they’re still learning too and they’ll be comparing themselves to more experienced photographers as well. When considering the best portrait lens for crop sensor cameras, you want lenses that give you the ability to create different types of shots, and this lens (as well as the previous two) will certainly do that. Just keep going. And with a large aperture, you can easily blur the background in portraits (and shoot low-light portraits without a flash!). Plus, now you know which portrait focal length to use for headshots. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. For the most consistent results, don’t change any camera settings – same aperture, shutter speed, ISO and lighting. Most sensors used in digital single lens reflex cameras have a smaller area than the surface of 35mm film but focal lengths are still expressed in the 35mm format. As discussed above, these greater effective focal lengths give you excellent compression - so much so that facial features in your portraits look much more true-to-life. With Canons, you multiply the focal lens of a full frame (35mm) lens by 1.6 to get the crop sensor (APS-C) equivalent figure. Direction & Quality of Light On the left I used a 28mm focal length and the image on the right is the last in the series using a 200mm focal length. To avoid any distortion of your subject, just make sure that they’re not at the edge of the frame. It’s not ideal, but it works and you won’t distort your subject. This means that in general, you will be standing further away from your subject with the 85mm lens, than you will with the 50mm. CROP SENSOR. headroom, 4-6in. Beyond that the face will start to become wider. Best Portrait Lenses for APS-C (1.6 Crop) Canon Body On a Full-Frame camera, such as the Canon 5Dii, the Canon 50mm 1.4, also known as the "nifty fifty" is a great portrait lens. level 1 lns52 But what is the crop factor? .cls-99{fill:#000;fill-rule:evenodd} Help Center. It affects: The shorter your choice of portrait focal length (wider field of view), the more the middle of the photo is going to balloon forward. It makes no sense to make 35mm vs 50mm comparison, if we are talking about … Get them to stand or sit still in one place for the duration of the exercise. Whether you’re a crop sensor (EF-S) or full frame (EF) Canon shooter, the impressive, affordable and modern Canon 85mm f/1.8 may be the only portrait lens you ever need. Once you know the effect a particular focal length will have and how close or far you need to be from your subject with that portrait focal length, you can start looking at other aspects of portrait lenses. Having a little more focal length also allows you to step back from the subject just a little bit, and with that extra room, the subject is more likely to feel a little more comfortable in front of the camera. However, the best way to answer this very popular focal length question is with four more questions…. The Canon 60D is an APS-C (cropped-sensor) camera, so you’ll need to multiply the focal length of each of your lenses by 1.6x in order to determine their effective focal length on this camera (though if you use Nikon APS-C cameras, your crop factor is 1.5x). All rights reserved. For this portrait I used a focal length of 85mm. Line them up in your viewfinder for a head and shoulders shot, Take note of exactly where they are in frame. If you’re shooting on a more entry-level, crop-sensor camera (like the Canon Rebel series, for example), a 50mm will act more like a 80mm lens. A 50mm lens is a very versatile lens and a favourite of new photographers, because the price point makes it very affordable. Placed side by side, you can see how much the shape of her face changes. So while the lens' focal length of 50mm and aperture of f/1.8 did not change, the lens ACTS like an 80mm f/2.7 lens on a crop factor body. The wider the focal length, the more you can fit into the frame, because of the field of view of a wider angle. That's not a bad thing - it just means you have to approach taking portraits a little differently. Background blur is not bokeh. Still haven't uncovered all the tools, tips & tricks you need to take the stunning portrait shots you want? Suggested Focal Length for Portraits on a Crop Sensor: 24-70mm The great thing about a zoom lens like a 24-70mm is that it gives you incredible versatility in terms of focal length. They allow you to get close to your subject when space is limited, but they will distort your image, stretching out your model’s features.This photo was taken with a 24mm lens at f5.6 on a full frame Canon 5D Mark III. So the 50mm 1.8 and a polarizer (so far only using Man. If you want a full length shot and you don’t want to be too far away, go with a 50mm focal length. (Yes, I’m stressing this point, because it’s important), Take a shot at 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, 200mm. I've talked about the virtues of prime lenses before, but as a quick recap, prime lenses tend to be less expensive, produce sharp images, and have very large apertures. This is not a time to start cracking jokes and making it hard for them to cooperate! Could you do a tutorial (if there isn’t one already), on full length portrait and how you accommodate the same variables that head shots etc. Yes, a 50mm lens is a good portrait lens that are full length or taken from the waist up. It’s not just about wide apertures either. It will make faces thinner and noses bigger. So much so, in fact, that deciding between them can be difficult. Now, it seems that 85mm-105mm is most recommended for portraits (full-frame), so a 50mm on a crop-sensor might be too wide (you'd have to get in tighter and introduce more distortion). 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