Portrait lens vs. Telephoto Zoom

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olgafox2002
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Portrait lens vs. Telephoto Zoom

Unread postby olgafox2002 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:14 pm

Dear photographers. I am thinking about buying a portrait lens. Question 1: If I buy 85mm f/1.4 Mid-Range Prime Lens to use with A35, how much better will it work for portraits compared to using 70-200mm f/2.8 Telephoto Zoom ? I do know that 70-200 is a good sport lens.
Question 2: If I upgrade my camera to the controversial A99, will 85 be good to use, or 135 f/1.8 be better on ff camera?

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artington
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Re: Portrait lens vs. Telephoto Zoom

Unread postby artington » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:24 am

The short answer is that a fast mid range prime is better than a less fast zoom because of ability to use differential focus moe dramatically. Bokeh will vary according to lens - check out reviews on photozone.de. However, if you don't need totally oof backgrounds you are likely to find the zoom more generally useful. Personally, I very rarely use my 85/1.4 but if I was a portrait photographer I'm sure it would live on my a900.

Re 85/1.4 vs 135/1.8, the latter, which I have not used, is said to be bitingly sharp, which would be fine for character male portraits but possibly unflattering for females. As to which is generally more useful on ff, the 135 would give a tighter crop and also flatten features more than the 85. Personally, I would say that the latter would give a more natural perspective and you can always crop in post processing if you wish.

If you are using an APS-C camera and want a fast prime consider the 50/1.4 - the 75mm equivalence is a good portrait focal length and the DOF equivalent of about 2.1 is fine for decent differential focus.

As far as FF is concerned there is also the a900 to consider - there will no doubt be a few around.

olgafox2002
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Re: Portrait lens vs. Telephoto Zoom

Unread postby olgafox2002 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:10 pm

I definitely could use more sharpness in my pictures and I try not to crop too much, so 135/ 1.8 sounds like a good choice.

I' ve heard great things about a900. Is a99 supposed to be Much better than a900? Only because it is ff?
Is it worth to look into Nikon D800? 36 mpx is so tempting. Does it make a big difference compared to Sony's 24?

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artington
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Re: Portrait lens vs. Telephoto Zoom

Unread postby artington » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:01 pm

The a900 is full frame with a famed and stupendous optical finder but no video. Its low light performace is less good than current models but its fine up to ISO 800 or so. It does not have Liveview either.

olgafox2002
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Re: Portrait lens vs. Telephoto Zoom

Unread postby olgafox2002 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:06 am

I ordered 85/1.4 yesterday. very excited. Thank you for your help.

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KevinBarrett
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Re: Portrait lens vs. Telephoto Zoom

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:01 pm

Congratulations! Be sure to come back and share the images you capture with it!
Kevin Barrett
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