Manual lenses for portrait/headshots?

topkop

Mu-43 Rookie
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Apr 7, 2010
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16
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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!
 

Streetshooter

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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.....
 

OzRay

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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

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40mm @ 1.4m

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50mm @ 1.8m

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90mm @ 2.8m

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100mm @ 3.5m

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135mm @ 4.1m

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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
 

franklyspeaking

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Apr 17, 2010
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Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
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.
 

topkop

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Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
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Location
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?
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
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Dec 15, 2009
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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.
 

Vidar

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
545
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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.
 

topkop

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
16
Location
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.
 
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