Portrait - native lenses for MFT cameras

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by 369, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    Hi,

    I just got to know about the 85mm lens is best for portrait (DSLR). In terms of micro four third cameras, is there an equivalent prime portrait native lens available? if yes which ones, if no then what lens do you guys use for portrait photography.
     
  2. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    The forthcoming Oly 45mm f/1.8 will be the closest. The current PL 45mm is OK, but the depth of field is not super shallow (f/2.8). Some use the 20mm f/1.7, too.

    If your DSLR is full frame, then the FOV will be close. If not, it will be wider on the 45mm in :43: (90mm equiv., while 85mm in DSLRs is 127-136mm equiv., depending on the brand.)
     
  3. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    Thanks for the info.
    Well, I don't have a dslr, I am just an amateur, and wanted some info, for buying my next lens for the EP-1.
     
  4. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    Many years ago I use to do a lot of portraits work. I did them in a studio with controlled lighting and a 2 1/4" camera sit a 150 mm lens which is similar to a 85 mm on a full frame dSLR. I rarely shot wide open as the background was controlled. The point of using a mildly telephoto lens is to force you to step back. This creates an image where the relationship of the size of the nose to the ears is very pleasant. A wider angle lens tends to create a nosecone effect and a longer lens runs the risk of making the image flat the image.

    With the ยต43 system a lens used somewhere between 35 - 45 mm will be ideal. If you have a fast lens it does have the added advantage of being able to soften the background if you are not in a studio.

    You can use the 20 mm lens if you want but just have to step back and crop your image give the desired portrait look.
     
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  5. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Great info Grant! Thanks!
     
  6. lstzephyr

    lstzephyr Mu-43 Regular

    54
    May 20, 2011
    I use a 50/1.8 personally. I think it works well. Although I sometimes prefer to use a wide angle lens right in somebodies face so I get the distortion.
     
  7. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    Thanks Grant you explained it well.
     
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
  9. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I believe that using the on-camera 2x digital zoom is supposed yield better results than cropping using software if you use JPEG, but that the opposite is true if you use RAW. So, if you generally use JPEG, then the 2x digital zoom with the 20mm/f1.7 would help with framing a portrait shot and give you better end results. With RAW, it would help with framing, but hurt image quality.
     
  10. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei
    Just is case you want to read about proportion in portraiture, Ken Rockwell has an article here about it. Interestingly, he says that for head and shoulders portrait, the ideal FOV is about 200mm (35mm equivalent).
    Portrait Lenses

    Ps. I don't want to offend anybody posting an article of a Nikon guy here. :rolleyes:
     
  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I think the new (actually, still just rumored) 45/1.8 is going to be a super-hot lens, and a must-have for any amateur looking for those great Christmas card shots, etc. It's priced reasonably as well. It's going to be a great addition to the m43 world, and should be shipping in July, if the rumors are correct, so hang in there a few weeks, and take a look at that lens once available.
     
  12. aznmochamike

    aznmochamike Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Jan 4, 2011
    California
    i use my rokkor 58mm 1.2... great for portraits and great bokeh... the only thing is, i have to step back pretty far to take a pic haha
     
  13. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    What about any other cheap alternatives... like perhaps MF lens? How easy or difficult will it be for an amateur like me to use a MF lens
     
  14. wildcat

    wildcat Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Apr 7, 2011
    I've been using a Minolta Rokkor-X 45/2 for portraits. They can be had on eBay for $50 or under, then get yourself an MD-mount adapter ($~20). Manual focus is not tough for portraits. Your results with this lens will be a bit softer when shot wide-open, but that's not necessarily bad for portraiture...and if you want it sharper and your background is controlled, you can always stop down.
     
  15. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    280
    Jun 1, 2010
    UK
  16. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    280
    Jun 1, 2010
    UK
    There is also a Samyang/Rokinon/Vivitar/Bower/Polar/Falcon 85mm 1.4 in the four thirds fitting. Supposed to be very good.
     
  17. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    Why not the PL45?

    Native for portrait? Bold claim: I have not yet seen a better 45 or 50 mm at 2.8 than the PL45. Not in center sharpness, not in rendering. For a headshot, 2.8 already leaves the ears out of focus when the eyes are in, so you don't really need any larger aperture, unless you also want to make half or full body shots that really have the background turned to mush.
    A very good (and a good deal cheaper) alternative would be the Panny 45-200 or the Oly 40-150. Both seem to be very decent wide open (I don't own one of them), and you'll have the 70-100 mm (135-200 mm FF eq.) range covered that is more flattering for headshots.

    Don't focus too much on large apertures (pun intended). Pose, lighting, and choice of background do much more for a portrait than shallow dof.
     
  18. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    The only problem I have with the PL45 is that it is a VERY expensive lens. $800 USD on Amazon. I couldn't wait and got the ZD 50mm f/2 4/3 lens with adapter instead a few weeks ago.

    Once the rumored Oly 45mm f/1.8 lens is announced, I will be pre-ordering it, no questions asked.
     
  19. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    Information overload!!! I am overwhelmed. I saw on the first page of this forum the leica 25mm 1.4 and I guess at $599 its not a bad deal. I would like something that can auto focus so that if I hand the camera to my wife she will be able to take pictures.

    But again $599 is a lot of money for an amateur to be spending on a lens. I just don't want to feel like I buy the lens and then I can't use it to its optimum. Anyways I will keep that lens in mind.

    Now how much does the olympus 50mm cost which one to get 1.8 , 1.4 I have no idea what adapter to get with it. can someone shed more light into this. Basically can I get a MF lens and adapter for under $100 and see if I am able to use MF lens before I invest too much on MF lenses.
     
  20. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I would suggest the following:

    Forget about the PL45 and ZD 50 - they aren't cheap. My ZD 50mm + four thirds adapter cost me almost $700 (but I wasn't willing to shop around for second hands... you can get better deals now).

    Get a legacy manual focus 50mm f/1.x lens and adapter. If you shop around you can probably get the combination for $100, give or take $30 - totally depends on your eBay luck and skills.

    If you find that you enjoy shooting MF, you can opt for the EVF if you have an Olympus m4/3 camera. While pricey it does help getting sharper pictures when manual focusing.

    Personally I recommend the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4, as far as portrait legacy lenses go.

    In a couple of weeks we will should know the full details of the upcoming native Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens (there has been no official announcements yet, only rumors)