portrait lense??

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by rash_powder, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. rash_powder

    rash_powder Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    Hello all,

    New here and trying to figure things all out. Hopefully this hasn't been asked before.

    I am looking to get a portrait lense for my GH2. Unfortunately, money is an issue for me so no high $$$ lenses for this guy. I did get a Voigtlander adapter so I could use my old Nikkor lenses from my college class on this new camera. So all the Nikon line is open to me as well as the 4/3 line.

    I understand that using a film camera lense on a 4/3 camera will give me approximately a doubling of the focal length. So my 50mm Nikkor is like a 100mm. Now if I understand this all right, my 55mm Micro is like a 110mm Micro, right?

    So, on ebay, the lenses listed as portrait lenses are all about 85 to 135mm. I am thinking a non-zoom unit. With the approx. doubling the 4/3 gives, do I want, say, a 105mm (effectively a 210mm on the camera) or do I want a 55mm (effectively a 110mm on the camera).

    I think I know the answer, but I am just not sure. I need the thoughts of people smarter than me!

    Thank you,

    Matt N
  2. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    You want the latter. Something in the 45-55mm works very nicely.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I like both 50mm and 135mm for portraits. The 135mm lenses aren't all headshots like you would think though, as legacy 135mm lenses often require a pretty long focus distance. The legacy 50mm lenses though can usually focus pretty close and are therefore useful for both body and headshots. A lot of 100mm lenses can focus close too, even 1:1 macro close. You need at least 50mm or so to prevent perspective distortion in a headshot, though.
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 8, 2011
    Don't forget too, that if you're coming from a crop sensor DSLR it's only 0.4x-0.5x longer than what you're used to.. I greatly prefer my Nikkor Ai 105mm f2.5 to my 50mm...

    Here are a couple shots from past weekend using the Nikkor 105 with my GF2.

    My mom and dad,

    Just my mom,

    I was probably about 20 feet away.
  5. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Understand that it's the Field Of View that's affected......
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Those are great portraits, Christopher!

    To Matt N, you want a 55mm legacy lens for a traditional "portrait" angle of view.

    Very long lenses work well too, but you need more working distance and a steadier hand!
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 8, 2011
    An 85mm on mu43 would be nice too. 50mm is too short IMO.
  8. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    I think a 50mm focal length, or thereabouts, is a better bet for mu43. On full frame I sometimes shoot portraits with a 50mm, and usually I won't shoot anything longer than 135mm (on full frame), unless I am looking for a specific effect. Between 85-135mm are my most-used portrait focal lengths on full frame, and with my mu43 camera it's either the 20mm Panny or 50mm Canon (it will soon be the 45m f/1.8 Oly). I just don't need anything longer, because I like to interact with my subject in a more "intimate" way.

    Some photographers prefer to shoot with longer lenses, it's all personal. But there is a reason why most portrait lenses on full frame are between 85-135mm in focal length - most people prefer that look, I guess.
  9. rash_powder

    rash_powder Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    Thanks for the replies!!

    That is what I was thinking; use about a 50-55mm adapted. I already have a couple of those so I am set.

    I like the older lenses as I can get a quality piece at (usually) quite a savings from ebay.
  10. Bugsi

    Bugsi New to Mu-43

    Oct 5, 2011
    I know most of us know what is going on, and this is really just nitpicking, but you're describing this rather poorly, and it has the potential to confuse things further for people who don't have a good grasp on what is going on, as it implies that the focal length of a lens somehow manages to double itself, such that 50mm = 100mm.

    For the sake of clarity, it makes no difference what type of camera the lens was made for. The focal length of the lens in mm is just what it says it is. A 24mm micro 4/3 lens from 2010 and a 24mm Canon FD lens from 1984 both have focal lengths of 24mm, and they give the same field of view when mounted to the same camera, so long as the flange to focal plane distance of the lens is maintained when mounted (which is the point of lens adapters for micro 4/3).

    The only difference is that the digital sensor on (typical) digital cameras (including micro 4/3) is smaller than a frame of 135 film, so you get a cropped field of view. (There are, however full-frame digital cameras.) Nothing *actually* doubles, it's just that the field of view *on a micro 4/3 camera* is the same as the field of view when using a lens with twice the focal length *on a traditional 135 film camera*. For example a 24mm lens on a micro 4/3 camera gives you the same field of view that you'd see with a 48mm lens on a traditional 135 film camera.

    If you already have a notion that a 50mm lens has a "normal" aspect ratio in 135 film, you have to convert your existing lens paradigm when moving to micro 4/3, and use a 50mm lens as you would have used a 100mm lens on traditional 135 film.

    For photographers with no existing attachment to 135 film or full-frame digital cameras, you could just simply learn that 25mm is "normal" aspect ratio, longer than that is telephoto, and shorter than that is wide-angle, and you don't need to worry about crop-factors or focal length multipliers. They're really only useful for people who have pre-existing understandings of what constitutes normal, telephoto, and wide angle.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.