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Portrait Lens Option - 50 f1.2 or 24-70 f2.8

wirebrush
Apprentice

I have a 6D that I am using for portraits of models.  It came with the 24-105 lens but not being satisfied with the max f stop size I purchased the 70-200 f2.8 and while it is a great lens for this, I often find I am shooting at the lower end of the zoom range.  I have been considering the 50 f1.2 or the 24-70 f2.8 to get a little wider shot and still have a nice wide apeture.  Looking for input on which will give the best performance for this situation.  Thx.

8 REPLIES 8

ScottyP
Authority

How do you feel about f/2.8 at 70mm on your tele?  If you are shooting in a studio then low light can't be an issue. The only thing left is depth of field then if you need shallower then maybe the prime is the choice. If not then I'd go with the zoom for the versatility as well as the length. 50mm is a little wide for head portraits and a bit long for full body shots. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

diverhank
Authority

You won't notice that much difference between f/4 and f/2.8 regarding bokeh, imho.  The dramatic difference will be with fast prime lenses.  My portrait lens of choice is the 85mm f/1.2L II but I think  the 50mm 1.2L will do fine also.

 

Canon just came out with a 85mm f/1.4L with IS...that's probably even better than the 85mm 1.2L which is without IS.

================================================
Diverhank's photos on Flickr

ebiggs1
Legend

If you have the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens, you already have the best portrait lens made.  It is probably the best lens made regardless of the bucket you put it in.  If you find yourself using the 70mm end a lot, take a step backwards.  Because replacing it with any other lens is going to be a step backwards.

 

I do have and use the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens and I love it.  But not if it were my only portrait lens.  I never use my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens for portraits even though it is also a fantastic lens.

 

I know several pro's still in the business, I am retired, that will agree with me the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is THE portrait lens to have.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

ebiggs1
Legend

Do you know the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is the only zoom of this type that gives you a full 200mm at close focus.  Nobody else not even brand-N can do that.  Matter of fact brand-N can only get 130mm or so because of focus breathing. problems.

Stick with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens !  Smiley Happy

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

Do you know the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is the only zoom of this type that gives you a full 200mm at close focus.  Nobody else not even brand-N can do that.  Matter of fact brand-N can only get 130mm or so because of focus breathing. problems.

Stick with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens !  Smiley Happy


This is true!  There are portrait and wedding photographers who shoot with Canon bodies specifically because of THIS lens.  No other 70-200 (or similar) lens in the industry performs so well... you can’t even get a 3rd party lens that can do this.

 

But using the 200mm focal length for portraits at close focusing distance still means you need to get some space between you and your subject and that can be hard to do indoors (unless you’re in a big room).  So it tends to be popular for outdoor/environmental portraiture.

 

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


@TCampbell wrote:

@ebiggs1 wrote:

Do you know the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens is the only zoom of this type that gives you a full 200mm at close focus.  Nobody else not even brand-N can do that.  Matter of fact brand-N can only get 130mm or so because of focus breathing. problems.

Stick with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens !  Smiley Happy


This is true!  There are portrait and wedding photographers who shoot with Canon bodies specifically because of THIS lens.  No other 70-200 (or similar) lens in the industry performs so well... you can’t even get a 3rd party lens that can do this.

 

But using the 200mm focal length for portraits at close focusing distance still means you need to get some space between you and your subject and that can be hard to do indoors (unless you’re in a big room).  So it tends to be popular for outdoor/environmental portraiture.

 


And yet the typical range of focal lengths of prime FF portrait lenses (85 to 135 mm) is well within the zoom range of this lens. Really its only drawback is that it's so big and heavy.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Wirebrush,

No disputing what others here are saying.  the 70-200 is legend.  I sort of like Bob's recommendation of 85-135 for portrait work.  50 is too wide.  The 85 is inexpensive.  I bought mine refurb and on-sale for next to nothing.  It quickly became a favorite.  Its a great "take me to a party" lens.  The 100 and 135 are a litle more expensive, but worth every penny.  If you plan to use the lens primarily for indoor shooting, I'd get the 85.  If you think you'll be outdoors and need "pro grade" the 100 or 135mm.  I have my eye on the 100mm Macro ATM.  Its a great prime that can take pictures of bugs and flowers and you get that "L" quality.  Hoping I'll find one on my stocking after the new year.

~Rick
Bay Area - CA
~R5C (1.0.1.1) ~Many Lenses ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra
~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 
~6D2 (v1.1.1) retiring

"Really its only drawback is that it's so big and heavy."

 

Actually depends on which 85mil (or 135) that you choose.  Have you handled or used the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens?  Big and heavy are key words in it's description.  It is a wonderful lens, though. 

              I really, really like it.   Smiley Happy                                

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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