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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,485
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"The obvious dfference is that this smaller area changes the overall "angle of view" that you can see."

 

This is where your 'confusion' falls apart.  You assume the camera and photographer can't move?  Perhaps true with a movie projector but photographers are not movie projectors.  It is all about AOV.  The equivalent FL of 38-112mm is going to be just fine for portraits.  Saves some money!  The f2.8 aperture is still f2.8.  Same, same.

 

"... because the crop-factor changes how close or how far you are from the subject ..."

 

Then move, geez!  I can post some photos taken with various cameras and you will not be able to tell me if it was a cropper or a FF.  It is all about the lens and the AOV.

 

"The best lighting isn't just "natural" light (aka available light) but rather light you can control."    While this has a good point. The more natural light you have all the better.  Nothing beats natural lighting.  There again with natural light the photographer may have to 'move'.

 

If the OP had ten grand to spend I would recommend the EOS 1Dx Mk II and the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens.  I got the impression they don't have $10,000 to deal with. The recommended gear needs to remember that.


Ernie, we've been through this thing on crop sensors before.

 

You started as if I'm confused and assume the photographer can't move... but I've already covered all of that (did you not read the post before responding?)

 

It is the "moving" which causes the change in depth of field.  Depth of field is determined primarily by three things.

 

#1  Focal length of the lens (not the equivalent focal length... the true focal length)

#2  Focal ratio of the lens

#3  Subject distance from the camera (specifically from the camera's image plane).

 

 

 

When the angle of view is narrower because the sensor is smaller and the photographer wants a certain composition, that photographer will probably want to stand farther away from the subject to get the same composition.

 

When they position the camera farther away, this results in a change to the depth of field (that's one of the three factors listed above).  That's not an opinion... it's a law of physics.  It will happen whether we want it to happen or not.  We don't get to have opinions on laws of physics.  

 

I'm wondering if you're thinking that "angle of view" establishes the depth of field?  It's not a factor.

 

There is a more complex explanation which involves the "Circle of Confusion" (CoC) calculation ... and there's also the notion that if you want an image to be displayed at a specific size, you'll need to enlarge the image from the smaller sensor camera more than you would have to enlarge the image from the larger sensor camera.  I'll leave that out of the discussion.

 

This is NOT to say that you can't take beatiful portraits with a crop sensor camera.  You can... but you have to know what the crop-sensor is going to do to the depth of field and what you can do to compensate.  There are other factors that go into DoF calculations.  You can use a lower focal ratio lens -- although it's hard to find a zoom with a focal ratio lower than f/2.8 and even the f/2.8 zooms aren't cheap.

 

You brought up budgets... and primes... so lets address that.

 

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II (a lens I know you love ... and for good reason... it's a great lens) is a $1600 lens (with it's current $300 rebate... otherwise it's $1900).  It's also not a great portrait lens (you'd do better with the 70-200mm f/2.8).

 

But the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 is $350 (normally $420 but it has a $70 rebate).  

 

The 85 is going to be a better portrait lens than the 24-70... and it costs considerably less.  You could go with the new 85mm f/1.4L IS or the 85mm f/1.2L  but those are back in the expensive category.

 

But the 85 is a prime.  To get below f/2.8... you'll need to switch to prime lenses (Simga makes the only zoom I know of with a focal ratio lower than f/2.8).

 

So here's a case where the better lens choice (nevermind price... just w.r.t. suitablility for portraiture) is a prime but it also happens to be considerably less expensive. 

 

If you went with an 80D with a kit lens, the common kit lenses are either the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM or the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 STM... but these are "variable focal ratio lenses" and by the time you get to a long enough focal length for flattering portraits, they're limited to f/5.6 ... which isn't going to be able to compete with what you can achieve for portraits with the 85mm.

 

This is a case where if you're on a budget, you definitely want the prime lens.  You can make-do with a 50mm f/1.8 STM (must be the STM version) but the 85mm really is the much better choice.  

 

 

If I were buying a camera & lens specifically for portraiture (not general purpose photography) AND was worried about the price of the equipment... then I'd be looking at the 6D II ... and probably the 85mm f/1.8 lens.  That's probably the highest quality for the lowest price combination.

 

There are other primes I'd consider (many) ... but probably the only zoom lens I'd consider is the 70-200mm f/2.8 ... but that's not cheap.  I would not use a 24-70mm f/2.8 for portraits (other than candids).  

 

 

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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Posts: 9,141
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

"It is the "moving" which causes the change in depth of field.  Depth of field is determined primarily by three things.

 

#1  Focal length of the lens (not the equivalent focal length... the true focal length)

#2  Focal ratio of the lens

#3  Subject distance from the camera (specifically from the camera's image plane)."

 

Perhaps an AOV chart will help you understand. Here is one for you to check out.

chart.jpg

 

I feel the 80D with the ef 24-70mm f2.8L is the best choice considering price and quality.  That is why I suggested it.  I still think so in spite of your rather protracted reply.  I could go for the ef-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens if the cost is still too much.

I also imagine the OP will use the gear for more than just portraits.  That is why the primes have no place here. Not for starters.

 

"...either the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM or the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 STM..."  No not never in this lifetime would I even mention either of these let alone consider one.

 

Now, I suppose the OP is totally confused and probably abandoned this thread for no good reason as what you try to lay on folks simply doesn't exist.   Do you know how many weddings, Senior photos and portraits I have done with a 1D, 1D Mk II, 1D Mk III and 1D Mk IV, yes, crop sensor cameras? I made a living doing that.  If you pick the right lens with the right AOV (look at the chart, my friend) all will be right with the world.

 

There is no doubt you are a great mind in astrophotography.  You make beautiful pictures but you are over thinking this part of photography.  The problem simply doesn't exist.

A lot less stuff for 2018 but still a lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2018

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Thank you so much in the input ! Awesome information for me....This weekend I am going to read carefully all this info and learn as much as I can. I took part in photography course long ago in Europe and I need to refresh my knowledge from zero again. Even got 3 books in basics in Photography to get updated Smiley Happy I need to decide on my gear soon and start practicing !!!! Thanks again Smiley Happy
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2018

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Great info thanks ! I am going to digest all of these over the weekend and learn so much. It seems much easier to understand with this chart than with all that I was reading over Internet. It was getting too confusing ! Any questions, I will get back to you if you don't mind. The greatest things you learn from other photographers and I am so glad I signed up for this forum !
VIP
Posts: 9,141
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

" It was getting too confusing !"

 

The thing to remember is, if you don't have a FF 35mm format camera, 'crop factor' doesn't exist.  Nothing in photography requires you to compare your camera to any other camera.  Rebels and xxD series cameras do not crop anything as what you see in the view finder is exactly the photo you will get.

The funny thing is nobody compares the other way.  Meaning comparing the current FF cameras to medium format cameras. If you did, the FF camera is now the crop camera. So you see how dumb and confusing this can be when it is totally unnecessary.

A lot less stuff for 2018 but still a lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 9,141
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

[ Edited ]

Tim said,

This is NOT to say that you can't take beatiful portraits with a crop sensor camera.  You can... but you have to know what the crop-sensor is going to do to the depth of field and what you can do to compensate."

 

This is where I believe we conflict.  The AOV will be the same however you will need to open the aperture to achieve the same DOF.  Let's say you were shooting at f8.  You would need to use f5 but the AOV is the same. This is because a lens is a lens, is a lens and can not change its physical characteristics.  Say a 50mm vs a 30mm for instance.  But nothing is cropped.

 

Depth of Field (DoF), Angle of View, an...lculator _ Points in Focus Photography1.jpg

 

Depth of Field (DoF), Angle of View, an...lculator _ Points in Focus Photography21.png

Of course the photographer could just, heaven forbid, move a bit and not need to change aperture. 

 

And this supposes there is some inherent need to compare your Rebel camera to a FF camera.  Consider the photographer that never uses or has used a FF camera.  Do they need to compare or should they just learn how to use their Rebel?  

 

A lot less stuff for 2018 but still a lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,365
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

You are comparing apples to oranges, Ernie.  You are comparing different focal lengths and aperture settings.  Your “facts” are at best very misleading.  

 

I think a better example would be using the same aperture on the different camera bodies.  Look at the results for your 10 foot distance at f/8 now.  

 

First the APS-C body.  DOF is almost four feet.

 

ACDCE6BF-4DD0-42C4-B184-ADA4443B3663.jpeg

Next, the full frame body.  DOF is about 1.5 feet.

 

 

  1. 07485DF1-BE9A-4A98-851C-5A93B31AFB1A.jpeg

 

 

Significant difference.  The portrait photographer would want to have the smaller DOF.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,365
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Of course, the Angle Of View, or AOV, is the same in my above example.  

 

80mm x 1.0(crop factor) = 80mm - for the full frame sensor.

 

50mm x 1.6(crop factor) = 80mm - for the APS-C sensor.

 

The significant difference in the DOF numbers translate into more bokeh with the full frame sensor body.  

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Super Contributor
Posts: 229
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

[ Edited ]

@LucyG wrote:

Hello, I need help with picking a camera. After days of research I narrowed down to 3 cameras : Canon full frame 6D, Canon 80D and Canon Rebel t6s. I would like to start a photogrpahy busniess in Florida...I read that the body is not as important as the lens...I can afford the $999 that cost the first two cameras but I wonder if it is wise for the begginingto spend that much to see if this business will work out.

Anyway, PLEASE, need help : CANON 6D, CANON 80 D or CANON T6 ? Thanks !


OK, a couple of thoughts, which you may not like. For starters, I'd put the"photography business in Florida" on hold -- indefinitely. Think in terms of learning as much about DSLR photography as you can. The photography business seems to be a tough one to break in to and make a go of today, even for people who are deeply knowledgable and highly skilled. The nature of your questions reveal a lack of skill and knowledge that can only hamper you. So devote yourself to learning, without the headaches of trying to start a business that you might not be ready for. I feel that I still learn something everytime I shoot and review my images. 

 

As for the camera, I would go with the 6D Mark II. I just checked the Canon site, and the body is on sale for $1599 ($400 off) and they are including a free grip. I might jump on that deal myself. Good luck with whatever you choose to do. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,485
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY


@ebiggs1 wrote:

Tim said,

This is NOT to say that you can't take beatiful portraits with a crop sensor camera.  You can... but you have to know what the crop-sensor is going to do to the depth of field and what you can do to compensate."

 

This is where I believe we conflict.  The AOV will be the same however you will need to open the aperture to achieve the same DOF.  Let's say you were shooting at f8.  You would need to use f5 but the AOV is the same. This is because a lens is a lens, is a lens and can not change its physical characteristics.  Say a 50mm vs a 30mm for instance.  But nothing is cropped.

 

Of course the photographer could just, heaven forbid, move a bit and not need to change aperture. 

 

And this supposes there is some inherent need to compare your Rebel camera to a FF camera.  Consider the photographer that never uses or has used a FF camera.  Do they need to compare or should they just learn how to use their Rebel?  

 


As I’m not retired, I can’t always respond quickly to forum posts (my employer keeps me busy).

 

While you say “this is where I believe we conflict”, you then go on to provide an example which was basically my entire point.  Does this mean we agree?

 

You divided the focal length by the crop factor to get back to the same angle of view.  But in doing so you changed the depth of field... and then you reduced the focal ratio to compensate for that as well.  And that was my point. 

 

If the only change you make is the camera sensor size, then you only changed the angle of view (you would not have changed the depth of field).  But now that you no longer have the same angle of view, you wont get the same composition.  To get the same composition you *either* have to change the focal length of the lens OR change your camera-to-subject distance.  Either change alters the DoF.

 

You might be able to change the aperture to compensate for that (but this assumes you don’t exceed the aperture limits of the lens).

 

Full aperture stop differences are based on the powers of the square root of 2 (approximately 1.4x).  Canon’s crop factor for APS-C lenses is 1.6x.  It’s not identical... but not too far off.  This means if you use the same focal length but change the camera body from a full-frame to a crop-frame body, then your bokeh is reduced by slightly more than than the difference of 1 f-stop (and your depth of field is increased by that amount).

 

As for the comparison of what’s full-frame mean in comparison to other cameras... it’s completely arbitrary.  But so is the “yard stick” or the “mile”.  A standards for lengths, volumes, weights, are based on some arbitrary thing where someone or some organization decided what the standard unit would be.

 

In photography, the size of a frame of 35mm film (36mm x 24mm) is “full frame”.  That’s not my choice or your choice ... it’s the industry choice.  The Canon APS-C sensor has a crop factor of 1.6x (meaning the diagonal measure of the sensor is the diagonal measure of a full-frame sensor (approximately 43mm) dividend by 1.6.   You asked what a medium format camera’s crop factor would be.  That’s easy... a 6cm x 6cm sensor has a crop-factor of 0.5x.  Throw of the dimensions of any camera (regardless of how big or how small) and we can determine it’s crop factor.  If it’s smaller than a full frame camera then it’s crop factor will be greater than 1.  If it’s larger than a full frame camera then it’s crop factor will be smaller than 1.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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