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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Consumer ElectronicsCameras · 2 months ago

Hi everyone. Which lens for close up portraits?

Im looking to buy lens for my canon 5d mark 3. What are your recommendations on lens for portraits especially close up( when i want to show face features) I would like mostly to have only the face in frame. Thank youuu

6 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    I have to agree with the others here for good portraits use a longer lens 100mm to 200mm and stand back several feet.  This creates compression and will not distort facial features like shorter focal lengths that cause the nose and ears to look big.  you will easily get the face in the frame and probably more detail than you want.  A word the the wise, good lighting is far more important to good portrait work than an expensive lens.

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  • Frank
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You don't mention a budget, but since you're using a 5D Mark III, I'll assume an L series lens is okay.

    Which one to buy is in great part due to your budget (which we've already addressed), what you shoot (heads) and how you like to shoot it which is somewhat of an unknown.

    If you're shooting in a studio where you know that you will be able to consistently be at a set distance, then the 135mm f/2.0L, the 85mm f/1.2L, the 85mm f/1.4 are great lenses from Canon.  Other lenses like those from Ziess and Sigma, and Tamron are great, too.  Opticallimits.com does great reviews on lenses showing sharpness in real numbers (so you can see how much sharper lenses are to get the best value and avoid diminishing returns) and they also show images used to gauge bokeh.

    If you're not in a studio and your working distance is often an unknown, then I'd go with Canon's 70-200 f/2.8L which is a fantastic workhorse of a lens.  It comes stabilized and unstabilized.  

    The zoom will be much more versatile but the prime can be sharper and will always create a shallower depth of field.  The look of a f/1.2 lens is something that you can't recreate at f/2.8.  Your choice will be based upon your personal artistic style and, of course, the needs of your clients which is why the best answer is often more than one lens.  Personally, I'd love to have the 70-200 f2.8L and the 85mm f/1.2 or the 135mm f/2

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  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The first rule of portraiture is to take a step back.

    While I'm not exactly a fan of 70-200mm for this, your cropped-sensor DSLR will work fairly well with a 50mm.

    If you're stuck, take another step back, and crop the results in post (you'll easily get away with up to a 2x crop).  Also get hold of a pair of nylon stockings, and stretch a piece of the material tight across the front element to flatter your sitter. 

  • qrk
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    85mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 is a common portrait lens.

    If you want to go tighter than a face shot, like an eye or lips filling the frame, look in to a 90 to 105mm (100mm is common) f/2.8 macro. Warning, close distance shooting is not straight forward due to narrow depth of field. A 100mm lens is also good for full face shots as it will get you further back which reduces perspective distortion.

    • Andrew S2 months agoReport

      Apertures faster than f2.8 don't really lend them selves to portrait work.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Determine how close or far away you want to be from your subject. A 50mm will need to be around 3-4 feet away from the face for a comfortable headshot. This is good if you want to give instructions at bedroom whispering volume. A 75mm lens will push you farther away, around 5 feet and that space can be best used for lighting. Some even shoot portraits with 100mm or more, depending on their level of comfort or amount of lighting equipment.

    Once you have decided on that (note that I'm purely suggesting single focal length lenses here), get the lowest f/numbered version of that lens you can afford. The best for Canon are the L-series lenses. You won't be shooting on a wide open lens for portraits but that maximum aperture pulls up the sweet spot to a point where you can enjoy gorgeous blurry backgrounds. 

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  • 2 months ago

    Probably the best lens for portraits for your Canon is the Canon 50mm f/1.2L USM.

    • Andrew S2 months agoReport

      Apertures faster than f2.8 don't really lend them selves to portrait work.  And 50mm is really too short for really good portrait work, there is not much compression.  

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