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Manual lenses for portrait/headshots?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by topkop, May 10, 2010.

  1. topkop

    topkop Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oberlin, OH
    Hi, everyone. I currently own E-PL1 with 14-42 and 20mm, and I'm very happy with them so far.

    However my friends have been asking me to take headshots for them lately and as great as 20mm is, I don't think it's very suitable for headshots.... So I'm thinking about picking a used manual lens. Budget around $100 (adapter excluded). The problem is I don't know which one.... I was thinking about Canon FD 50mm 1.4, Rokkor 50mm 1.4 MD or Hexanon 40mm 1.8.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!
     
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    The Hex 40 or 57 is a great choice...
    The 40 does a great job but for portraits, the 57 gas great compression.....
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I think much will depend on exactly how close to the subject you want to work and how flexible are the lighting conditions. I did a quick series of shots of a teddy bear, the size of the bear's head is roughly that of a small childs, to illustrate rough working distances while keeping the image size roughly the same. The lens focal lengths are all in 35mm terms.

    35mm @ 1.3m

    [​IMG]

    40mm @ 1.4m

    [​IMG]

    50mm @ 1.8m

    [​IMG]

    90mm @ 2.8m

    [​IMG]

    100mm @ 3.5m

    [​IMG]

    135mm @ 4.1m

    [​IMG]

    My preference would really be something closer to the 90mm, say anything between 75mm and 100mm. This gives you good standoff from the subject and allows you flexibility in positioning and lighting.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. franklyspeaking

    franklyspeaking Mu-43 Regular

    OzRay, great breakdown!

    TopKop, I'd agree with OzRay after seeing the results of his test. It's interesting too because due to the crop factor my guess would have been that a 1.4 or 1.8 50mm lens would have made the best :43: portrait lens.

    Given the results though, I'd suggest anything between 60mm and 100mm.
     
  5. topkop

    topkop Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oberlin, OH
    Thank you all~

    OzRay, that's really helpful, thanks a million.

    Streetshooter, I would love to go for 57mm but it's rather expensive... Maybe I should start with Hexanon 40mm 1.8 and save for the 57mm?

    Any other lens worth considering?
     
  6. Coley Fillet

    Coley Fillet New to Mu-43

    1
    May 11, 2010
    I can fully recommend the Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.7 Planar T* which is pretty sharp wide open.
     
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    The Hexanon 57 1.4 is a gem. I didn't mean the other version...the 1.4 version can be had for around $100.00 USD or less.
     
  8. Vidar

    Vidar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    545
    Dec 31, 2009
    Bergen, Norway
    I have the Olympus OM 50mm 1.4. I really like it.. It is real soft wide open. I like that. Step down and it is real sharp. Sharp can be good too.

    For me this lens works well for headshots.
     
  9. topkop

    topkop Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Apr 7, 2010
    Oberlin, OH
    Thank you everyone for being so helpful. I think I'm gonna go with either Hexanon 57mm 1.4 or Olympus OM 50mm 1.4. Hopefully very soon.