A Quick Analysis Of My Most Used Focal Length's In The Studio

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The 24-70 is truely a remarkable lens. I had a shoot last sunday. It was for a flyer for an upcoming party. The setting was indoors on location and not that bright. I brought with me the 24-70 and 105 DC.
I started with the 24-70 and it went so smooth (not once it was hunting for AF, the first ten to twenty I checked if it was in focus what I wanted) that I kinda came into my zone and kept shooting. I totally forgot about my other lens ;)

I must say the results were stunning and I wish I could upload it to show but I've signed a contract to wait until the party is held.
No Problem Mike. Glad to hear it went well. The 24-70mm is a great lens and very versatile. I really appreciate primes but so much of my shooting requires me to move quickly and adjust on-the-fly so the 24-70mm is my go-to lens.
 
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Isn't this a case of "using your fingers to move the zoom in or out" or "using your legs to walk closer or further away"? You are in a studio after all--I would assume that there are very few obstacles in your way, right?
You are trying to bring the Perpective distorsion devil by stating ""using your legs to walk closer"... You have to be very careful on the MINIMUM DISTANCE from the model when you shoot tight headshot... :eek: :wink: :smile:
 
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I really find this interesting as an engineer but I think you have to keep in mind, Robert, that this chart describes how you use a 24-70. It offers no information how you would use primes or even a longer FL (like 85). How did you do this anyway? Look at all your photo's over a certain period of time?
 
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I really find this interesting as an engineer but I think you have to keep in mind, Robert, that this chart describes how you use a 24-70. It offers no information how you would use primes or even a longer FL (like 85). How did you do this anyway? Look at all your photo's over a certain period of time?
I said up front that this describes how I use the 24-70mm but it demonstrates the focal length's I use for a variety of types of shots I do in a typical shoot with a model. I also explained that the numbers come from one shoot and that it is representative of the way I work on a model shoot. I've owned a 20mm, 24mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, 180mm, so this isn't just guessing.

I used to have a bag of primes and my reason for using the 24-70mm is because of all the lens swapping I had to do in a shoot like this. As I explained in an other post, I can't just slap a 50mm on and do a wide range of shooting, nor can I shoot with a 35mm or an 85mm. It's not just a question of making the adjustment and taking a few steps. I would not be able to do a comprehensive shoot if I was limited to a few primes and I'd be swapping all the time because of the way I work. As much as I try to be systematic in terms of getting all the shots at one focal length and then moving on, that kind of mentality turns out to be limiting and restrictive. If I'm doing full length shots and all of a sudden see a killer shot and want to go tight for a head shot that won't work with primes. If that same idea came from the client or AD then I need to be able to nail that shot without swapping a lens or making adjustments other than just turning the zoom ring.

I've spent a great deal of time studying and analyzing my shooting style and the work I do. This only represents ME in MY STUDIO for MY STYLE.
 
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Cool break down. I'm a fan of zooms for client work as well. I use the 28-70 and 70-200 pretty much for anything client or studio related. I just don't like having to switch lenses cause I'm lazy and it tends to break the flow of the shoot.
 
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I noticed that Sigma makes a 70mm f/2.8 Macro lens that seems to get very good reviews. Considering the amount I shoot at 70mm I might give that lens a try when I know I'll be working on those types of shots that require me to be at 70mm.

I don't know if anyone here has tried it or knows anything about it. I think I'll start a new thread asking about that lens. If you have info about it please don't post to this thread.

Instead, post to THIS THREAD.
 
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I hear ya robert, It only took a 2 hour photo shoot to realize shooting with a 50mm and a 105VR was going to be tough. I didnt mind walking around with the 105 as it was only to be used for certain things like head shots and head and shoulder, 2/3.. but the 50mm was definately restricting. I bought the 28-70mm just for this reason so that i can concentrate on almost every shot with the 28-70mm except for head shots.

It just stunk when i didnt have time to run around with the 50 and to frame. having the 28-70mm to do fast framing would of been nicer. (I do my portraits more candid and less posed)

the 105VR though has been amazing for what i use it for, i almost never use it for macros but for portraits. Heck it even rocks for events in lousy lighting. my 105VR has better sharpness at F4 then any of my lenses have at even F8 and above. It also doesnt flare at all, even with the hood off, I have a great copy.

I love the 50mm as a walkaround but for paid pro work it can be a pain. When i was taking photos for my family reunion i had my 24mm,50mm,105mm and switching all the time was a pain (mostly because i had a backpack, bought a messanger bag now) But having a 28-70mm and a 105VR just seems a lot easier.

Having your 24-70mm and 70-200mmVR would be even nicer to :)
 
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Hey Josh,

Primes are so nice when appropriate or when you have two bodies ready to go and don't need to swap. If I was only having fun or playing around then I don't think I would mind swapping but when the pressure is on and time is money and you want to be efficient and keep the flow they don't always work.

If my studio was 10, 15 or 20 feet longer then things might be different and I could use one or two primes for everything. In my studio, I don't just have the space limitation but the perspective as well.

Like I said in one of my other posts, if I didn't have the 24-70mm and if was trying to use a cheap consumer lens that wasn't so outstanding then I might feel different but with such great optics and fantastic form factor in the 24-70mm I don't feel compelled to take a side step. From here the only way to go is up, or to find something like the Sigma 70mm that is a focal length I use A LOT and perhaps use that prime.

I still need a prime to use with the ring flash I'm going to be getting and I'm thinking that the 70mm might do the trick nicely, although with the ring flash I may go longer due to the fact that I like to shoot with subjects close to or against the background instead of distancing them when isolating the subject from the background for most of my other studio lighting.
 
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the 105VR is great with the ring flash apparently :biggrin:

I hear you about the pressure part with primes. When i have time i do use them as i love the character of each lense. I always know which lense im using when i post process, the 105VR is the sharpest and most vibrant and saturated, the 50mm 1.8 has a nice classic cool colors and very sharp, the 24mm is cool but with saturated colors and has a sweet perspective and is sharp as well.

I havnt had my 28-70mm very long (its at nikon) but im sure the 28-70mm and 105 will be my favorites.

I really think you should try the 105VR, there is a few of those on the FS forum. Its a great focal length and you can use ring flash. Plus its all sealed which is nice to. All internal focusing, nano coating.

I dont do indoor studio shooting, i do outdoor shoots so style varies. But i can use the 105VR effectively indoors easy.

I really am a tease lol :biggrin:
 
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the 105VR is great with the ring flash apparently :biggrin:

I hear you about the pressure part with primes. When i have time i do use them as i love the character of each lense. I always know which lense im using when i post process, the 105VR is the sharpest and most vibrant and saturated, the 50mm 1.8 has a nice classic cool colors and very sharp, the 24mm is cool but with saturated colors and has a sweet perspective and is sharp as well.

I havnt had my 28-70mm very long (its at nikon) but im sure the 28-70mm and 105 will be my favorites.

I really think you should try the 105VR, there is a few of those on the FS forum. Its a great focal length and you can use ring flash. Plus its all sealed which is nice to. All internal focusing, nano coating.

I dont do indoor studio shooting, i do outdoor shoots so style varies. But i can use the 105VR effectively indoors easy.

I really am a tease lol :biggrin:
Hi Josh,

I think you and I have discussed the 105mm before. I would love to get a copy of that lens. The thing that holds me back is that it's an odd focal length for my studio work and with the colder weather coming I see my business turning to the studio and getting away from location work. If we were going in to the warmer months I'd probably jump at the 105mm.
 
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Hi Josh,

I think you and I have discussed the 105mm before. I would love to get a copy of that lens. The thing that holds me back is that it's an odd focal length for my studio work and with the colder weather coming I see my business turning to the studio and getting away from location work. If we were going in to the warmer months I'd probably jump at the 105mm.
Got ya :smile:

It really depends on what you'd use a longer focal length for. Im trying to think of some indoor shots ive done with mine. I know to get a full body shot you're easily 10 feet away. for a head shot your at about 2-3 feet. half body shots are 5 feet or so. So if your studio is 10x10 then yes i would image it being difficult depending on what your using it for.

What do you plan to use the 70mm macro for?? if your using it for headshots your going to be pretty close.

Speaking of outdoor weather, so far my 105VR portrait shoots has been outdoors so i understand what your saying. But ive used it indoors for events (granted i'd love to own the 70-200mmVR for this)

I think your at a dead road. You could use the 70mm Macro with a ring flash upclose but your going to be CLOSE.

I cant remember if we talked about it before, my memory stinks :smile:
 
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Got ya :smile:

It really depends on what you'd use a longer focal length for. Im trying to think of some indoor shots ive done with mine. I know to get a full body shot you're easily 10 feet away. for a head shot your at about 2-3 feet. half body shots are 5 feet or so. So if your studio is 10x10 then yes i would image it being difficult depending on what your using it for.

What do you plan to use the 70mm macro for?? if your using it for headshots your going to be pretty close.

Speaking of outdoor weather, so far my 105VR portrait shoots has been outdoors so i understand what your saying. But ive used it indoors for events (granted i'd love to own the 70-200mmVR for this)

I think your at a dead road. You could use the 70mm Macro with a ring flash upclose but your going to be CLOSE.

I cant remember if we talked about it before, my memory stinks :smile:
Hi Josh,

I think we're looking at things very differently.
A 105mm will put you further than 10 feet from your subject to do a full length shot with room to breath on top and bottom. I never do head shots 2-3 feet away. I use my 70-200mm for tight head shots and I'm generally about 6-8 feet away or a little further depending on how tight I'm shooting.

The 70mm prime will replace the long end of the 24-70mm, which is anything from head and shoulder to 1/2 body and out to 2/3 body shots but a lot that depends on the studio setup and the required isolation.

My studio is 14' x 17' but you have to remember that those dimensions don't define lens to subject distance. If I'm rendering a white background as pure white and need to avoid unwanted return and wrap back to my subject area then I must have at least 5-6 feet between subject and background. Because of the configuration of the room, 14' is the dimension that I'm shooting. So, with the background support and the subject to background distance you're now working with about 8 feet at most between lens and subject and it's usually a little less than that.

Using the ring flash with the 70mm wont put me any closer than if I were shooting without the ring flash. It will let me shoot the same shots and get a really nice even shadow around my subject with a nice sized catch light. I don't plan on using the ring flash like others do as a fill light. Unless you've got enormous amounts of power and a very large ring light you can't produce nice sized catch lights without working at distances no greater than about 8 or 10 feet and 6-8 feet is just right. Since most of my ring light work will be against backgrounds as opposed to requiring the distance from the background then I'll be able to shoot with the ring flash and get any shot I want, perhaps even full length, but that's not my intent. I plan on doing everything from head shot to half body with a ring light.
 
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I dont do any backdrop or studio strobe lighting so most of what you said went straight over my head.

My feet comments were just approximates but since i dont have a 200mm my 105VR allows me to get close for headshots.

We just work different with different lenses. Im sorry that i confused you.

When im asked to take a few corporate head shots at my company (no shoulders allowed, just part of the neck) im 3 feet or so back. For head and shoulder im a lot farther back.


I dont have a indoor studio so i have no clue about that stuff. I hope you find your lense :)
 
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After reviewing the results I've pretty much decided that at least for now, a prime doesn't make sense for me in my studio and confirms that the 24-70mm f/2.8 is in fact the lens for me to continue using for my studio work.

Here are the results based on a shoot consisting of 345 shots with a mix of head shots, head and shoulder, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 and full length. I believe the usage shown is very typical for me and while the numbers may change a little from shoot to shoot, they pretty accurately represent how I work.
Sorry to bump this old thread, but were these results when using your D300, or a full frame body?

Thanks
 
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Thank you for the reply Robert. I searched this section of the forum for threads with 'studio' in the title, to get an idea of the lenses everyone was using in studio. Most of the threads were started by you, and I saw reference to you using a D300 with the 24-70 in studio, and sometimes the 85mm 1.4 (which I thought suffered purple fringing against a blown background).

It's surprising that most of the time someone recommended a focal length for studio use, they didn't mention whether they were using DX or FX.

Thanks
 
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Robert
What program did you use to calculate the different focul lengths that you have used? I used to have a link to a free program that did that, but can not find it. Very interesting.

Alan
 
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Hi Mike,

My first Nikon DSLR was a D300. Then I made the mistake of switching to a Canon 5D Mk II and despite its popularity and the love people are feeling for it, I thought it was a piece of junk. I know that's harsh and Canon guys can fire away but I have no brand loyalty and the word disappointment is an understatement when describing how I felt about that camera. That pushed me over the edge and I returned to Nikon and now shoot a D700. It's a gem of a camera.
 

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