Best Portrait lens? 85mm vs 70-200mm
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Best Portrait lens? 85mm vs 70-200mm



as a portrait photographer the 85 million ever far from my cider absolutely love the focal length and since I bought the Canon 1.2 have had a lot of people asking me again if I already own the 70 to 200 is there any advantage to buying the 85 today I want to compare the two specifically how they relate to portraiture okay so there's a couple of things to think about and it kind of comes down when you're comparing any zoom to a prime so if you're comparing like the 50ml prime which a lot of people own to the 24 to 72 eight or the 72 200 to the 85 the difference is obviously a zoom you get a bigger range in terms of how much of the focal range you can have so if you want to bring them in tight or zoom out to get a wider shot and then your fastest working aperture which you know is great if you have a 1.8 1.4 to be able to capture more light in low-light situations but the other big reason why portrait photographers love it is what it can do for your depth of field to create the really nice blurred out backgrounds people often say that a 200 mil at to 8 is just as good in terms of its rendering out-of-focus areas as a 1.4 at eighty five mil but I want to talk to you a little bit about that because there's a couple of things that come down to how the boki looks so it's not just how small is the depth of field that has a big part to play but the way different lenses render the out-of-focus areas varies so let me just do a little comparison to show you these two both at 85 mm both at F 2.8 and you'll see that there is some difference between them okay these first two images are taken with the 70 to 200 at 85 Millett F 2.8 take a good look at the background areas and then this one's using the 85mm at 2.8 here we go Tina thought that 70 to 200 looked like a lens Cup so she decided to drink from it and then I don't know deep throated or something anyway looking back at the 70 to 200 there is a difference and there again is the 85 okay the other thing is the big advantage of the 70 to 200 is that it gives you that range so I'll get a couple of different shots here at 70 and then at 200 to show you the the different perspective and what it does to the background so these shots demonstrate what we call compression with the telephoto lens and compression doesn't mean that it necessarily stacks things up it's just that you get a narrower field of view when you focus that a longer focal length so for example at 70 mil it's a wider so you'll see more of the background behind the person and here at 200 it's taking a narrower section it's like a blinkered horse I can only see in a straight line so you only see the small amount of background behind her here that's been filled up more with the fence and the grass whereas at 70 you've got some of the sky and stuff in it as well okay next one a lot of people assume that at 200 Miller at a longer focal length you're going to have more out of focus area than you will on a wider lens to an extent it's true but only if you replicate the frame if you get like a twenty four mil in a two hundred mill and you stand in the same place take a shot of the same personal object so if I'm standing from here shooting at say 24 mil or 200 mil it's too close for 200 mil but obviously there will be a difference in the amount of depth of field but as a portrait photographer your frame is vitally important so once you take that into account so say if you go from a hundred mil to two hundred mil you need to move twice as far away to keep your frame the same and when you do that and keep your aperture the same your depth of field is almost identical only the slightest little difference so I'll show you again on this one shooting at one hundred and two hundred you'll see that the background and the frame and the compression that I talked about changes but the actual amount of depth of field and the way the blur falls off is broadly similar okay time for some more sample images here we were shooting at 100 mil at around a metre and a half away from Tina now that gives us a total depth of field of six centimetres if you don't understand depth of field and how it's calculated I'll put some links to previous videos in the caption below then here going twice as far away to three metres and shooting at 200 millimetres we pretty much keep the same frame on her so that's what you want is a portrait photographer the same frame now that brings our depth of field down to four centimetres depth of field being the total amount that's in sharp focus let's look at them again here's the hundred mil now take a especially framed in the palm tree in the background look how out-of-focus it is there and then again at 200 mil so of course the shots do look different the compression is different and aspect overall is a bit different but the amount that's in focus is pretty similar to centimeters difference so there's obvious advantages to the 70 to 200 gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of if you could quantify that kind of thing value for money and the range of different things you can use it for they're fantastic if you're looking at the neck on Canon Sigma variance that both offer 70 to 285 so I would say the 70 to 200 they're the best-built they're faster to focus than the 85 from the same brand and they are optically fantastic but the 85 s generally those ones that I just mentioned are sharper from 2.8 on they have better find contrast better find detail they're a bit slower to focus but the fact that you've got the option to go below 2.8 to 21.8 1.4 or even 1 point 2 for portraiture that can just be really beautiful to not just I mean it's a simple anyone can do it kind of effect to blow the background out but it can be really effective to get rid of you know what is otherwise boring trees and just make it a nice massive out-of-focus green or to put a little bit of focus just where you want it now I have to say I didn't do exactly replicate the frame – with one point – to show you exactly how much extra blue you get a 1.2 compared to 2.8 but here we go here's to head to head that was taken at 2.8 and then this one was at one point – just look at the difference in the palm trees they almost disappear at one point – and it's over exposed because even at one eight thousandth of a second that was too much light to shoot on that day for example replicating the frame as we did in those last two if we went into one point two seven meters away that would have replicated the frame and that would give us one centimeter of depth of field as compared to four or six here's a shot I took a few days later in a law library and you can see the plane of her face and the Booker in sharp focus but everything else is just disappearing that bookshelf behind her is only a couple of feet back so in answer to the specific question I get asked all the time I own the 70 to 200 is it worth buying the 85 it's going to come down to you because this one is $2,000 the nickel ones over 1500 something like that so there yeah there you go cheaper than the 70 to 200 but it is a far more specialist land so if you're going to be working around 85 million you find that's the way you like to shoot then definitely a great investment I wouldn't be without mine if I had to choose getting rid of the 70 to 200 and the 85 for me I'd keep the 85 but I think for most people the 70 to 200 is the best that said if you want to do portraiture and you want prime speed then the 85 is just a fantastic option there other than the price and slightly slower focus is not really much to criticize on them I'm going to do a video in the next couple of weeks specifically on focal lengths from portraiture thanks buddy feel the same so stay tuned for that one leave us any questions or comments jump over to that nickle guide or com sign up to the forum and newsletter if you haven't already make sure you check out Tina's mad makeup slash comedy slash who knows where it's going to goes we can wicked videos and there's a link in the caption of that too and we'll see you soon bye give me that back back make it fun too as a portrait photographer for the 85 mil is my favorite focal length you yeah your mum as a portrait photographer the 85 mil is my favorite length let me start again

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