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Update/getting your advice on the perfect portrait setup for my M50


So this has been interesting. I'm somewhere above beginner, I'd say, and for my fashion/portraiture work was looking to home in on my perfect solution.


I began with the expected kit lens and 50mm f1.8 with Canon adapter. Absolutely fell in love with the nifty and really, almost anytime I diverge from 50 at 1.8, regret it. It's just a perfect set up for 95% of the shots I take.


Well, almost perfect :). I didn't know about the sensor scaling aspect before purchasing and so the zoom-in with the 50 has been hampering me sometimes. Really, besides that it's been awesome.


Anyway, my attention was directed to the native 32mm f1.4 and it looked really impressive, especially given Canon designed it to scale to the equivalent of about 50mm.


Now, I'm just starting off and can't blow $300 on a speculative lens, so I started looking at rental places around me. As I somewhat expected, they don't stock $300 lenses :). But, last night I saw an EF 35mm f1.4 that many places carry and thought, "oh, THIS is going to be cool!" I confirmed with Canon support that it would be more or less the same as the native 32 (though I was of course expecting higher overall quality) and excitedly rented one nearby for $30 this morning for today's shoot. Wow what a beast, physically-speaking.


I take it to the shoot and no joke, 3 or 4 shots in and I'm RACING to swap my 50 back on there. The shots from the 35 were looking awful by comparison. For starters, the sharpness/color/overall quality were no better, but critically, the perspective change made the subject look awful. I didn't expect such a dramatic change going just from 50 to 35 (especially since Canon picked this length for their M portrait lens), but there it was!


So anyway, I decided 50 is much, much more my taste for these shots.


I happened to come across the Speed Booster last night when looking at random videos along these lines, and I think (?) that's the right solution for me. I get to keep 50mm perspective but get to undo the scaling, more or less.


But I am, alas, barely above beginner when it comes to such things. Should I consider anything else given all the above? I'm zoomed in too much as is but love the 50 perspective. I saw that the Speed Booster degrades image quality more than the Canon adapter so am a little hesitant on that front.


Anyway thanks for reading along and would love to get your thoughts!



Stick with your 50mm.  It is your best choice. Do not use any add-ons like the Speed booster.  Most of that stuff is junk.


I don't know where you got the idea of "scaling".  But it is incorrect.  There is just AOV or angle of view.  Since the sensor is smaller in the M50 than a 35mm camera is has a different AOV. But only if you are comparing the two. There is no reason to do that.  Certain AOV enhance the human face.  It happens the 50mm on your camera and/or 85mm of a FF camera do this well.


You can check an AOV chart to see where these lenses fall.  You will notice the 35mm on a M50 is way out of the specs.


The lens of choice for the pros seems to be the 70-200mm zoom anymore.  It is what I use on my 1DX. However there is no equivalent FL for the M50 I know of.  Roughly a 48-130mm zoom? Maybe someone else knows of one?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Bingo! I think you got it.
Yes the AOV suggested is considered best.

Crop factor was a phrase coined so people could compare a lens for one format to another. Otherwise it is useless and totally confusing.
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Right, and I was also going to say it seems like what we (noobs that is :)) are suffering from is the fact that full frame was such a prevalent thing for so long that focal lengths *for that sensor* became so ingrained/understood to be certain AOVs that that became the standard.


The king is dead, long live AOV?



"The EF 70-200mm f/2.8 is a VERY popular portrait lens for a reason."


Although 70mm end might work on the M50, the FL going up from there would be out of, to very much out of, our sweet spot AOV. There isn't a zoom in that FL for a M50 that I know of. Sigma used to make 50-150mm zoom that was close but I believe it has been discontinued.


The 70-200mm zoom is a favorite of the full frame guys.



EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Just think the 4/3 guys have to use 12mm to 17mm to get the same perspective.  As sensor size shrinks the ability to get wide to super and ultra wide AOV becomes impossible. That is a place where a larger sensor can be a benefit.  However, the 4/3 guys get a free kick on the tele end as that becomes much easier to achieve.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Shooting portraits is definitely not an area of photography I aspire to enter but one of the multiple sports students asked me to shoot some senior photos and because he wanted a lot of action shots in the mix I agreed to do so.  I used more traditional portrait lenses for most of the posed photos but I brought the EF 200 f2 along because it can create beautiful sports images at the right distance. 


For fun I tried a few posed shots using the EF 200 on a 5DS R body and it does have its applications.  Because of gale force winds destroying the tree leaves part of Fall color earlier in the week, the best Fall color left was a clump of colorful weeds.  The EF 200 nearly wide open nicely turned the weeds into a colorful blur, I wish I could so easily make them not a problem when they pop up in the gardens throughout the year. 


Fortunately full sports will be returning in the future so that I won't be cursing the portrait world with my work.  I am much more comfortable and have MUCH more fun with action shooting.  I do enjoy reading about those who do this work on this Canon forum site but I plan to remain safely inside my action photography comfort bubble.  I will be spending some quality time with Photoshop fine tuning some of these images tomorrow.





EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

ebiggs, something interesting occurred to me during this back-and-forth; I realized that my partner and I really chanced upon something ideal, and it was quite fortuitous. See, we knew all about the vaunted nifty and thought it was the perfect way to get started in all this.


Well, what we *didn't* know about, at all, at purchase was the sensor scaling. Point being, we were getting an 80mm lens (ok, I know, here I go again using full frame-biased speech ;), but you know what I mean) and the results, as said, have been nothing short of astounding. Truly, it almost feels unfair how well these come out, and I curse myself when I deviate from 50/1.8 during these shoots.


But we haven't been shooting 50! I got to experience 50 yesterday when I slapped on that big EF 32 f.14 as far as I understand it, and as I said, the results sucked by comparison.


So we fortuitously stumbled into the ideal 20-30 deg AOV range for our portrait work.


Thanks small little sensor! 😉

"(ok, I know, here I go again using full frame-biased speech ..."


Unfortunately this will  be with us for ever.  It seems it has become ingrained into photo-speech. The more correct, incorrect term is "crop factor".  Most will not understand what you are talking about if you use the word "scaling".

Funny, too, most new shooters (I have taught DSLR 101 classes) today have never use a 35mm camera and have no reason the compare FL to it. Most just realize their 18-55mm kit zoom is good for general purpose. They never think, oh I have a 28-85mm equivalent lens.

In fact you never hear the Medium format guys refer to their cameras as "enlargement factor" cameras.  They certainly qualify since they have the oppisite effect.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!