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debu_17
03-30-2007, 11:46 AM
read in several magazines,sites that the focal length for
protraits is between 85-120 mm, but what would be the
best aperature?, and what flash compensation to use ?

need some advise fom the experts on the forum.
please help.

toriaj
03-30-2007, 07:46 PM
You will need to adjust your aperture depending on the light available. I'd start with f/5.6 and see if that gets the whole face in focus. If not, go up as high as f/11. I don't know anything about flash ... maybe some experts would chime in?

mditlove
04-08-2007, 08:12 AM
read in several magazines,sites that the focal length for
protraits is between 85-120 mm, but what would be the
best aperature?, and what flash compensation to use ?

need some advise fom the experts on the forum.
please help.

85mm to 100mm are the best focal lengths for portraits, longer starts to flatten the perspective, just as wider exaggerates it.

As far as f/stop, if you fill the frame with a face, say from the top of the head to the bottom of the neck, you'll need to shoot at f11 to get everything in focus from the nose to the back of the ears.

As you back off, you pick up more depth of field.

As to flash, I assume you mean "flash fill", that's entirely a matter of taste, I never use it out of doors, I simply expose for the face and let whatever else happen go, rather than a flash fill, I like a white card.

Otherwise, a 2 to 1 ratio might be a good way to start, but you have to calculate that based on your flash... that means that if your daylight exposure is f/11, like bright sunlight at ISO 100, you might want to set your flash to give you an exposure of f/5.6 for the shadows.

This is a guess since I'm not quite sure what you're doing.

Remember that most digital cameras shoot about one stop less than the rated ISO, probably to help from blowing out highlights, which digital is prone to do.

Michel Ditlove
www.ditlove.com

LR Max
04-08-2007, 09:12 AM
Ok, so...

Biggest thing you need is LIGHT!! LOTS of light!! This is what makes a good studio/portrait shot. I recommend going outside on a sunny day. Set your camera white balance and go to work.

85mm is probably the lowest you should go. It seems like the general consensus is 105mm (on a digital camera). I use F16 (because that is the lowest my old lense can go), everyone I've talked to has indicated that you want a very small apeture. This will soften the image significantly which is what you want for a portrait.

Then post processing is crucial these days. This can bring out an image.

Here is a photo I took for a project I am working on (high altitude balloon). Here is the flight camera that will be used. I used an old non-cpu 85mm lense at F16. I used this lense because it was free and the closest I have to a portrait lense. Behind it is some poster paper duct taped to a chair sitting next to a window. You can see the shadows, but whatever...

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/201/447955800_c39b31c6b3.jpg

Its not a person/portrait, but the same concepts apply.

mditlove
04-08-2007, 02:05 PM
that the focal length issue depends on whether you're shooting film or digital, the 85mm to 100mm I mentioned are for film cameras, for digital which multiplies focal length by 1.5 to 1.7, the ideal portrait lens is roughly 58mm to 75mm.

Give or take a "mm"!

Michel

benjikan
04-09-2007, 05:14 AM
read in several magazines,sites that the focal length for
protraits is between 85-120 mm, but what would be the
best aperature?, and what flash compensation to use ?

need some advise fom the experts on the forum.
please help.

I think you might want to translate what 85-120 means. They were refering to the 35mm FF format. If you wish to use a 1.5 ratio sensor your looking at a 50 to 80 mm Lenses.

Ben

LR Max
04-09-2007, 05:22 AM
I think you might want to translate what 85-120 means. They were refering to the 35mm FF format. If you wish to use a 1.5 ratio sensor your looking at a 50 to 80 mm Lenses.

Ben


Well for me, 85mm on a DSLR was about as wide angle as one should get.

But I've always read that farther away is better, gives a more realistic look and to soften the image as much as possible.

Ben, I listened to your podcast online. I have a feeling you might know a thing or two about studio/portrait photography. I would be very interested in hearing what you have to say on the subject.

Because you *might* have taken a picture once or twice before :D

mditlove
04-09-2007, 06:44 AM
Well for me, 85mm on a DSLR was about as wide angle as one should get.

But I've always read that farther away is better, gives a more realistic look and to soften the image as much as possible.

Ben, I listened to your podcast online. I have a feeling you might know a thing or two about studio/portrait photography. I would be very interested in hearing what you have to say on the subject.

Because you *might* have taken a picture once or twice before :D

The choice of focal length has nothing to do with softness, but has to do with perspective distortion or the lack thereof.

At 85mm to 90mm on a 35mm camera or approximately 55mm to 60mm on a 1.5 digital, you come the closest to what the human eye sees.

To get the most accurate comparison of human eye to camera lens, close one eye and look at your subject, particularly when you're close to that subject.

Softness is not a desirable trait in a lens unless you're trying to diffuse and mask wrinkles and the like, a good sharp picture of a person usually makes him/her look their best and does not make you want to clean your glasses.

If you're shooting an attractive or beautiful subject, which is to be hoped for, you want to shoot good sharp images to show that off to the best advantage.

A good lens is not noticeably softer at long focal length than any other when you stop it down three stops, not so you would notice it unless you make enlargements 16" X 20", which by the way is my standard size.

And even then, boosting the contrast a bit will make a soft picture appear sharper, so will the opposite, contrast is a little understood major component of lens sharpness.

In the same manner, lessening the contrast will make the same picture appear softer, as if you used a long lens.

Michel
www.ditlove.com

debu_17
04-09-2007, 11:50 AM
i have to thank u all for the most interesting and
techincally informative discussion !
to put some of the points raised in the right;
1. i meant 85-120 mm FCAL length as the EQu. 35 mm
SLR Fcl lngth.
2. Flash , i actually wanted to know about the Fill flash
aspect, as i have often got dark shadows below the
eyes.

about the aperture part, i still have some issues, w.r.t
the discussion already we had,

1. at 120 mm if the AP(aperture) is > f5.6 i.e. towards f16, too much of the background gets foccused sharp, creating less impact about the main subject
2. at 80 mm i have to get so close to the subject,
that the subject starts feeling very sensitive!!
3. tried out with 180-200 mm also, pics are a bit flat
but one good advantge i saw was that the portrait
could be obtained in "unposed" mode,
i found it especially useful with my kids!

please continue the discussion!!

mditlove
04-09-2007, 02:46 PM
i have to thank u all for the most interesting and
techincally informative discussion !
to put some of the points raised in the right;
1. i meant 85-120 mm FCAL length as the EQu. 35 mm
SLR Fcl lngth.
2. Flash , i actually wanted to know about the Fill flash
aspect, as i have often got dark shadows below the
eyes.

about the aperture part, i still have some issues, w.r.t
the discussion already we had,

1. at 120 mm if the AP(aperture) is > f5.6 i.e. towards f16, too much of the background gets foccused sharp, creating less impact about the main subject
2. at 80 mm i have to get so close to the subject,
that the subject starts feeling very sensitive!!
3. tried out with 180-200 mm also, pics are a bit flat
but one good advantge i saw was that the portrait
could be obtained in "unposed" mode,
i found it especially useful with my kids!

please continue the discussion!!

The ideal portrait setup is the model about 8 feet from the background.

That ensures that the model can be in focus from nose to ear, and the background out of focus to separate it from the model.

That is still based on shooting at f/11.

With this setup and an 85mm to 100mm lens, I'm about 6 feet or so from the model to fill the frame with her face, with kids whose faces are smaller, you'll have to get a touch closer.

Also be aware that as you pull back away from your main subject, you increase the depth of field, so that if you only fill half the frame with the subject and the same setup I'm using, your background might well get into focus or will definitely be sharper.

Rule of thumb is that the closer you are to a subject and the more it fills the frame, the shallower the depth of field, meaning the area in focus.

As to fill, if you want a fairly flat shadlowless light on a face, you have to set the power on your strobe to give you the same f/stop as the ambient light you're shooting under.

Example: if you're shooting in bright sunlight with ISO 100, your shutter should be a 1/125 and your diaghram at f/11

That means that you have to dial up the power on your strobe unit to give you the same f/stop, meaning f11 at that distance.

All this presupposes that you can set some of these items manually on your camera, if not.... that's more difficult.

The only difference between shooting film and shooting digital is that with film (negative, not slide), you want to expose for the shadows, whereas for digital, you expose for the highlights.

Generally speaking.

The 85mm to 100mm focal length is still speaking film.

Michel
www.ditlove.com