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85mm Portrait Lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Boatman, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. I am looking for a fast 85mm lens. Not for portraiture, but for shooting live shows as a short telephoto, but I have a question regarding using such a lens on a m43 camera for portraiture.

    I know that the optical angles and such of any lens are the same on a m43 camera as they would be on the original camera. What changes is the crop of image. Would an 85mm lens work equally well on a m43 camera as on a 35mm camera assuming you stood back a ways to allow the frame to fill? I know that short lenses tend to distort faces (try a close up with a 28mm on a 35mm camera). I'm thinking therefore, the 85mm adapted lens, standing back, should be better than a 40mm adapted lens standing closer.

    Is my reasoning sound?
  2. Rob917

    Rob917 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2011
    jacksonville, florida usa
    I think your reasoning is sound at least that is how I understand crop factor.
  3. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    The 85mm lens will offer more compression given the same framing which is most often desirable in portraiture. If that's what you are considering in your definition of 'better' then yes, I would agree that your reasoning is sound.
  4. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    United States
    Not really. You're making the assumption that the further back you are, the better. Not true, you can be back too far. Perspective is solely a function of distance, and there's a "natural" distance for portraits. What that natural distance is varies depending on the type of portrait and the look or effect your trying to achieve, but it's always true that you can be too far away. That 85mm on a :43: body is on far end of typical FoVs for portraiture, so in many cases it will be too long.
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    an 85 on micro43 give you the same sort of 'reach' as you would get with a 170mm on a 35mm camera..... which is what I would call telephoto as opposed to short telephoto.

    the majority of these shots

    75mm Las vegas - a set on Flickr

    were shot with the Oly 75 (an excellent though not inexpensive lens) at a distance of probably 30 - 50 feet (I don't have the originals with me to check this). I have probably also cropped them a bit

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  6. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    If you want the same perspective as a 85 mm on a full frame camera, then you would need to stand in the same location.
    If you used the same lens on a M4/3 then you would only get the center portion of the image (2x crop factor).
    To get back your field of view you will have to use a 42.5 mm lens. This will give you the exact same perspective (depends only on distance) and the exact same field of view.
    To get the same depth of focus, you would need to shoot the shorter lens two f stop brighter (which is impossible if you started with a 85 1.4 lens).

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, you have it right. What causes the perspective distortion is the proximity to the subject. The crop factor causes you to distance yourself to get the same framing, thus reducing perspective distortion. An 85mm on m4/3 is a good portrait lens, and much better than 40mm... which I consider too short for portraits unless you're not getting any closer than a torso shot.

    One other thing to note is that you can't really get "too" long for a portrait lens. The limitation is your working space (or maybe your light trigger range, but I can't imagine anyone overstepping that, lol! Except maybe back in the day when we used wires... ugh, I remember that!), and of course going too long will make it difficult to interact with your model. However, the longest focal length you can comfortably fit in your studio and still have easy access to everything will generally be the most flattering for portraits. Longer focal lengths compress the perspective, and also reduce the inclusion of background.
  8. Tecpatl4

    Tecpatl4 Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 16, 2010
    I've shot a few plays using an OM 135mm, seems to work well for facebook type stuff. It allowed me to sit in the back of the theatre so the light from the display wouldn't bother anybody.
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  9. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Heavy but good

    I have the samyang 85mm f1.4. I have used it for portraits and you really do need space. For me, I felt that I was backing up too far (too hard to give the subject (kids) a hard time for not smiling when you are 30 feet away).

    I do love the lens, however, and enjoy using this type of lens with no flash in situations where I am seated at some event (not typically in the front row) and I want to take some decent photos.

    The Samyang (or other label) Korean made lens is very sharp even at f1.4. I have been very impressed. The only drawback is the weight and size.
  10. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 10, 2012
    Recommend Samyang/Rokinon 85mmf1.4 for performance/price: Razor sharp wide open, creamy bokeh, less CA ...

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  11. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Closest thing to an 85mm "equivalent" is the M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 which is great wide open. Cheap too. I have one and it's a great lens.

    The 45 mm is nice for the price and looks like this up close.

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    The OM-D at a Wedding Reception: Elder's Blessing by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    I used my 75mm f/1.8 to shoot night sports but the AF isn't really fast enough or track well enough for sports. I pulled off the gig (which was pro bono anyway) but it was very tough.

    Click here for a blog post on the night sports gig.
  12. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 10, 2012
    One more action shot :D 

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  13. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Narrow DOF and MF isn't exactly a recipe for action shots though is it? Your shots are great, but if you were shooting sports that thing on micro four thirds would soon drive you mad, lol.
  14. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 10, 2012
    There are someone can do that ( MF ) :D . Of course only 1 fast AF/fast lens for medium tele portrait = Olympus 75mm f1.8. OP chose adapted lens :) 
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  15. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I do understand your decision -- it's just that I wouldn't want to try to shoot a football game using focus aids with a MF adapted lens is all I'm saying.

    I think the Rokinon/Samyang lenses are fantastic budget choices to make photos you'd normally have to spend a LOT more money to get.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You don't shoot fast -paced action with manual focus by using focus aids, period. You shoot action with MF by using a high quality TTL viewfinder, be it optical or electronic (in other words, you do it on a non-reflex body the same way you did it on a DSLR).

    I shoot sport games with all-manual lenses on a regular basis, using f/1.4, f/1.8, and f/2.8 lenses, always wide open. The only accessory I need for that on a m4/3 body is a 1.44 million dot or 920 kilo dot viewfinder (ie, the VF-3 is the minimum, and an LVF-1 would not suffice). No focus aids are used, just good manual focus techniques and experience. It is not frustrating or difficult, in fact I find it to really improve my enjoyment of the game.

    PS, on the topic of this thread... the 85mm lenses are some of my favorites for indoor sports games.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    As others had mentioned probably the best 85mm equivalent would be the native Olympus 45mm. The O45 is a stunning portrait lens and one of my favourites. I also own the O75 which is also stunning but I lose some of the connection with the person I'm taking the photo of as I'm so far away. I love every picture I've taken with the 45mm because of the way the subject pops out.

    If you are looking for a 85mm lens (which will be 170mm quiv when used on m43) I have a nikkor 85 1.8. If you like I can take a portrait with it so you can see how it renders.

    Olympus 45mm

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50527022@N02/8254340556/" title="Tyaanie and Bria by iconindustries, on Flickr"> View attachment 262020 "800" height="570" alt="Tyaanie and Bria"></a>

    Olympus 75mm

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/50527022@N02/8248048765/" title="*Stealth by iconindustries, on Flickr">
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    "800" height="534" alt="*Stealth"></a>
    • Like Like x 1
  18. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    You're a better man than I am, Ned -- or have better eyes, lol. I have NEVER found ANY evf that was as good as my old SLR's ground glass. THEM I would shoot MF with no problem.

    Even modern digital SLR's don't have the ground glass of yesteryear. I just can't use an evf like you do.
  19. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    Don´t be afraid to step further away. There are some photographer's that prefer FF 200mm lens for portraits and a 85mm in m43 is close to that. It seems that a 200mm lens will give you a image at a distance that is equal to the distance by which our brain better memorizes a face. I saw some model photographers in Paris using this technic but it´s not pratical because you need a tripod and lot's of space.
  20. A lot of good information in this thread, and some great photos. I'm in agreement that you can shoot action with manual lenses, it just takes practice. My need is mostly to shoot live, stage-show material and I think a fast 85 will be prefect for close up work. I have a 1.4/50 Takumar and a 1.8/40 Hexanon now, that are fine for wider frames or if you are close to the stage. At ISO 1600 I can get ~1/200 shutter. This shot, which I think was with the Takumar, was from about the 6th row.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rNfmggTP13RRxhPAgh-F2NMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mGigSTSKUJc/UTCHOVpQ2pI/AAAAAAAAgh0/krUAosyGBEk/s640/_1140537.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=homershannon&target=ALBUM&id=5850324143119948177&feat=embedwebsite"></a></td></tr></table>

    I'm watching ebay for a Nikon 2.0/85. If I can't land one of those I'll probably spring for a Rokinon. I really like the old glass and I'm so tempted to get a Jupiter 9 (love that 15 blade iris!) but those are said to be soft wide open and I'm leery of purchasing from the Russian Federation.
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