A couple Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 candid portraits (comments welcome)

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jloden, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Courtesy of LensRentals.com I've had a Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 and 17.5mm f/0.95 to play with for the week. Let me just say, I love working with these lenses :biggrin: The things I thought I might find frustrating (manual focus, manual aperture) turned out to be non-issues, and in fact actually the most enjoyable aspects of shooting with them.

    Here's a couple candid portraits taken with the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95, both post-processed with LR. Comments on the photos, composition, or PP welcome as I'm still very much in the learning phase.

    B&W conversion w/LR, adjusted contrast, colors, and added grain (going for sort of a "film" feel).

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7426929866/" title="P1100083.jpg by jloden, on Flickr">"800" height="601" alt="P1100083.jpg"></a>

    This one with a slight crop to remove some junk in the frame, and PP for WB, contrast, etc.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7414942928/" title="P1100432.jpg by jloden, on Flickr">"800" height="524" alt="P1100432.jpg"></a>
     
  2. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    448
    Feb 15, 2011
    The first one looks like she's sleeping. The second one is much better but you have a bottle kind of ruining your composition. The pipe through her head is also somewhat disconcerting.
     
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  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I could have done without the bottle in the shot...oh well :smile: I cropped out another, shorter bottle top but I didn't want to go too aggressive with the crop so I stopped there.
     
  4. CUB

    CUB Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 19, 2012
    The first portrait is slightly unflattering because the camera to subject distance is too short for classic portraiture. The second portrait is much more flattering because the camera to subject distance is longer.

    The reason why classic portraits on 35mm film use a focal length between 85 and 105mm is that the angle of view of those lenses dictates a camera to subject distance which is naturally flattering for portraiture. On m4/3, that means a focal length of 42 to 52mm would be ideal, and that is one reason why the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 is such a fine portrait lens.

    With a 25mm lens you will tend to get too close, which is what happened in the first image. The second image is more flattering because the subject is further away from the camera. If you crop the second shot to the field of view of a 45mm lens, it will be a pleasing portrait (subject to previous comments about the bottle and pipe).
     
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  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks for the feedback Cub, I'll bear that in mind for future reference. The Oly 45 does seem to make it easy to get nice portraits :smile:
     
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  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Here's a cropped version of the second portrait, just for kicks.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7415494784/" title="P1100432.jpg by jloden, on Flickr">"800" height="599" alt="P1100432.jpg"></a>
     
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  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Bump for the evening crowd... anyone have more feedback, good or bad?

    Per my other thread on book suggestions, I just picked up a couple photography texts including one on composition to help give me some more ideas to work with too. Should be fun putting it into practice! :thumbup:
     
  8. parka

    parka Mu-43 Regular

    88
    May 12, 2012
    The first photo looks like she's doing something (besides posing for a portrait), but we don't know what.

    The second one needs to be cropped for a better composition. There's too much unnecessary space around the person.

    The third one I felt it was cropped a bit high. It might be better if both her shoulders show.

    Also try a square composition just to play around.
     
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  9. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Now I need to rent the 17!
    I didn't think bout doing that... But will it make me NEEEEEEEEEEEEED to own it?! Panic!

    - Eliot@Austin, TX
     
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Look at portraits on 500px.com
    Notice similar things about the composition between ones u like a lot
    Copy paste into ur brain! Lol:)

    Look at tons!

    - Eliot@Austin, TX
     
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  11. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    This one feels too... Her heads too low in the framing feeling now

    - Eliot@Austin, TX
     
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  12. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I agree about the shoulders... I cropped higher than I wanted trying to get that bottle out of the shot but on balance I think it takes away more than it adds. Just for the heck of it I tried another crop and also a square crop per your suggestion. Thanks for the feedback!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7417386718/" title="Untitled by jloden, on Flickr">"800" height="601" alt="Untitled"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30940068@N02/7417387574/" title="P1100432.jpg by jloden, on Flickr">"800" height="800" alt="P1100432.jpg"></a>
     
  13. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    The 17.5mm is really quite heavy at 20oz (versus 15oz for the 25mm) and it felt overly front heavy after shooting with it for a while - and this is coming from someone who has no problem using a 14-140 or a 45-200 zoom lens. I like the focal length on the 17.5mm too, but for me the 25mm is a comfortable all-around length already, and it's more comfortable walking around shooting with the lighter and smaller Voigtlander 25.

    I'll warn you, the experience sold me on a Voigtlander 25mm if for no other reason than I just love shooting with it and it just makes me want to go take pictures! Bottom line... for ~$10/day incl shipping both ways, it was worth it to me even to just have fun playing with the lens for a while.
     
  14. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Here's an even tighter crop and some light editing to make it a bit more flattering for the young lady.

    Portrait_Edit.
     
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  15. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Jan 31, 2012
    Do you honestly prefer what happened to the skin tones in your version? It also appears a little like a Panasonic JPEG in terms of NR.

    Of course, these are matters of personal preference.

    Wow, very detailed tips! Quite useful, I'm going to remember these. :D

    I also stumbled upon this recent video: "The art of the headshot" with Peter Hurley. A little different, but some interesting tips.
     
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  16. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    It was a snapshot, not a portrait session. The original is poorly exposed, her face is ruddy, overly shiny, and bumpy. Not really a lot to work with...