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Author:  MWF [ Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:19 pm ]
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Yeah 80mm would probably put you about 10ft away for a head and shoulders shot.

Author:  mattwaddy [ Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:24 pm ]
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I certainly wouldn't have chosen that lens for anything to do with portraits. As Daws and Chris have mentioned sharp lenses are not ideally suited to portrait work. 150mm for wildlife is going to be hard work, using a prime as mentioned. The main reason for the lens would have to be macro in my eyes. Seems odd to have gone straight for one of the highest priced macro lenses straight off without ever trying other options.

Experiment with some extension tubes, raynox adapters etc on your already sharp lenses. The only reason I could justify that lens is because of the amount of macro work I do. I can see you changing if for something like the 70-200 which is much better suited to the types of ares you have suggested. Or even the sigma 50-150 which is another great lens.

Hope you have fun with it though. I just think it's the wrong lens possibly for your areas of photography. You might need a better camera to powah such a sharp lens? Not sure the 40d would be good enough? Few more megapixels would be nice too.


Author:  Dawson [ Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:26 pm ]
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mattwaddy wrote:
... You might need a better camera to powah such a sharp lens? Not sure the 40d would be good enough? Few more megapixels would be nice too.


You've gone and done it now haven't you Matt!!!!!! :cry:

Author:  MWF [ Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:30 pm ]
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He has, especially since Ben will be on a sallary soon.

I have tried extension tubes and I have to say they are amazing, if I had to shoot smaller products than I do now I'd be getting some.

Author:  mattwaddy [ Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:40 pm ]
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The lens I have btw is just an old sigma 90mm prime. Its a manual focus only but the optics are pretty good. I have a set of extension tubes and a raynox macro optic. I must say I love the setup but would like the 150mm for more natural light work. Using so much kit really hinders the light entering the camera, that plus the 1-2mm dof! I must admit I really do love some of the results achieved with such a setup. Might not change it, but have found the limits for sure.

You know I was only pulling your leg with the camera body. But there is some nice kit out there, 40d is getting a little old hat now :?

Author:  MWF [ Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:45 pm ]
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I've used an old Nikkor 55mm manual focus lens with extension tubes. At first I thought they didn't work for some reason as everything seemed to go really blurry. Eventually dialed the focus round and it was one of those OH MY GOD moments as I started to see the atomic structure of what I had infront of me :cry:

I might look at a similar setup as you Matt since all my macro photography is just small products in artificial light. I am concerned about the really tight DOF a little though.

Author:  mattwaddy [ Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:29 pm ]
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Yeah the DOF can work really well but generally ends up been too shallow, even at f/22. Artificial light is a must, the images can be 'stacked' to give a larger DOF but requires a lot more PP

Author:  MWF [ Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:34 pm ]
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I couldn't stack them, just too many products to shoot in a session usually. I like the idea of using a setup like that for abstract shots though, especially when shooting groups of very small objects like resistors or such.

Author:  combatsquirrel [ Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:36 pm ]
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Haha :mrgreen: only just got back to this thread.

Some answers:

1 ) Right o, well I find these comments about 'to sharp for portrait' work interesting, for me, my personal style of studio and portrait work....the sharper the better, I find it gives massively better results for what I do, espec for the models I work with, they (not all of them), tend to have great skin and hair, I want to show this through in the photos, the 'crisp' hair looks good.

I know traditionally portraits are soft style, but if I want that, for this specific area im on jimys side of the fence, I can post process it. Im interested in what lenses would be used for portrait, surely a cheapo crap soft lens would be best then ? lol, thurs night I used a combination of the 50prime, 85prime USM, and my 150, in combination these are spot on for what im doing.

2 ) One thing I've rarely seen discussed here is bokeh, this lens produces gorgeous bokeh, cheap lens with less blades give horrible octagonal shapes, im fairly sure this one has 9 blades and there rounded, like L glass.

3) The telephoto range daws and others have pointed out, while a 70-200 for example is nice to zoom on in, most of the 'good' telephoto stuff I've done, and seen done by others has been with 200,300,400 and 500 L glass prime lenses, again you cant zoom with them, its purely down to the photographers skill and ability to see the shot from a few hundred meters away, again personal preference and style of shooting.

Its no difference in usage in terms of poping on another lens to put some converters on, if your on a 200mm prime or 70-200 u still have to pop the lens off to put on a 300 prime if u want that range......all comes with practice until you do it on instinct and almost instantly

And last of all, used correctly......this lens is such a good general purpose lens for me, its a fast prime, fast telephoto lens, good for portrait, albeit at a longer shooting distance (im lucky enough to have access to a huge studio area in the lec theaters here, so no space problems) And the main reason why I got it over the other possibilitys ? price to performance really, I got it for 340 delivered 2nd hand, but a1 mint condition, it will produce much shaper images than the 70-200L and has the ability to work in its main range, for like 3 times less in cost, whats not to like :)

Its all down to usage, the previous owner with this actual lens, took these shots:





And a crop from one of his:



And as promised some of the studio shots, not the greatest of the selection but the 1st ones I could find done with the 150mm lens, the 1st 2 are from said lens, the last shot is from the 50mm prime, nifty 50, in addition to the above, I don't mind admitting im starting to have some sort of bizarre love affair with prime lenses, they just have such awesome koala-tea's to them and it might be just me, it just seems to 'look better', meh, each to there own :D




Author:  Matt Wilcox [ Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:30 pm ]
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Lenses schmenzes. I think we should focus on the fact that Lauren is honeylicious.

Dude, bring her Salsa!

*shimmy shimmy*

Author:  MWF [ Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:56 pm ]
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Sorry Ben but I think those portrait shots are a bit of an epic fail mate :? Shocked you've posted them up to be honest.

Author:  combatsquirrel [ Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:22 pm ]
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Ha bad Jimy ! Where's ur professionalism :p

And eer can't please everyone mwf lol,look at the lens koala-tea! 2b fair the 1st has abit of camera shake,I'll do some proper post processing on them as n when,do colour balance and iron out the un ironed White back ground

Author:  mattwaddy [ Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:27 pm ]
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Great equiment won't make a good photographer unfortunatley. For me those shots do nothing. Sharp yes, flattering no. Personal preference yes. enough said from me

Author:  combatsquirrel [ Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:47 pm ]
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Again just lens examples, just to see how the lens performs and how it looks at that zoom, ill upload some 'ment for crituqe' shots soon, however I personally like the last one, she looks good

Author:  Dawson [ Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:04 pm ]
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1) I don't doubt that your "models" have great skin and hair - they certainly will have better skin than me for starters :cry: - but what I think Matt, Chris and myself mean by two sharp is that you can end up resolving too much detail. Nobody's skin is perfect, it just isn't, and a camera will "see" things you don't. Take that first shot... in real life I would never have seen the slight blotchiness on her arm, but chuck some studio lights and a good DSLR into the equation and it stands out. I don't agree with distorting people through PS, but since the days of black and white prints and dodging and burning people have touched photos to get these minor blemishes out. By using super sharp lenses you not only increase the chances of picking out these blemishes, but - in my opinion - give the photographs a very harsh feel that doesn't suit facial features and skin.
Leading on from 1) into 2), look at Leica lenses Ben; there are some terrifyingly expensive lenses that have beautiful bokeh but are soft... bokeh is a result of lens configurations, aperture blades and the like and have nothing to do with the koala-tea of the glass per say. But anyway, this is all besides the point as no-one has suggested you not get the 150mm and buy XXX cheap lens instead... the only other lens mentioned so far (bar the "nifty 50") is the 70-200mm IS L which I would hardly call cheap!

3) Pardon me if I don't have the skill to use primes and would suggest using zooms :roll: Have you not considered a Canon 2x converter which would turn a 70-200mm into a 140-400mm, a range that falls smack bang in the middle of your 200, 300,400,500mm L primes? I'm pretty sure they make them - I remember J pondering one for his 80-200 L - and being an L converter are sure to lose only as much detail as the Sigma running through the 1.4x or 2.0x converters. Again though, this is somewhat besides the point; I'm not arguing that a long telephoto prime - teleconverted or not - is useless at photographing wildlife or even an F14 flying through a valley, but your example to me is not one of the strengths of a prime but the limitations of. Given the right zoom every single one of the first 4 images could've had the plane occupying the same space in the frame instead of having to crop heavily in the first frame and only just squashing the plane in in the last frame.

Agree with the comments on the portrait shots... I had started to skim by that point and had already chosen the last one as the best - of the bunch - before I found out it was the 50mm... interesting! I find the lack of good white balance and even basic levels really off putting too, though a quick tweak in PS makes her face a sallow yellow when the background is white. :?

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