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Old May 16th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #1
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Telephoto for headshots?

Work hired in a pro photograper to take headshots of an exec one day. (Yeah, "no cameras at work" as far as I'm told, but if it's a pro it's ok... grrrr)
So he tapes a rag to the wall, sets up some flash heads, stands the suit in between and starts going at it... with a tele lens on the camera.
Why did he use telephoto? He was some 5-8' from the subject, tops. Getting less dof I suppose? Seems like a waste of light to me but I guess with strobes you can do that kind of thing.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #2
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Hi Jeff

Strange post.... as a pro photographer for over 15 years..my question would be

"Why would a professional photographer use anything else for a portrait shot?"

Most modern zooms ie.. Canon or Nikon 70-210mm are prefect for headshots..
they give pleasing perspective, shallow depth of field, nice working distance and tight shot with no unneccesary, distracting elements.

unless you want a widre angle with exaggerated nose and head shape, huge DoF, and loads of unwanted elements in the shot.. go for a zoom lens..

A 90mm Leica was always considered the portrait lens... if the you can't use a decent telephoto for a portrait.. your room is too small...LOL

regards
Gareth
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Old May 16th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins
"Why would a professional photographer use anything else for a portrait shot?"
........and this is why I'm not a professional photographer! :D
Thanks for the info though, I had a feeling it had something to do with DOF.
Funny you mention small rooms however... I was doing full body self portraits with my backdrop and a 50mm lens once, with the tripod leaning against the wall there was barely enough room to be in frame! hehehe
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Old May 16th, 2006, 02:09 PM   #4
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Hi Jeff

Not just DoF.. but the other stuff is important too.. it's just the right lens 90% of the time...

Haven't you noticed that video is even worse for not giving you enough room, or havng to back right up to get the shallowest DoF... I've been doing interviews where I'm so far away I can hardly hear the person, outside of the headphones...

cheers
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Old May 16th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #5
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::nods:: Yeah unless you have tons of light and/or some distance video DOF is no treat to deal with. I cheat a bit with the XL2 sometimes but it's nothing I'd mention here. On a documentary I did last year everything was so intimate and up close (in cars, elevators, cramped sets, etc) half the time I didn't even bother for Hollywood DOF and just shot for content and sound.
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