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Old 03-05-2006, 04:24 PM   #1
Mischa Milosevic Mischa Milosevic is offline
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New lens, Mike what do you think?

Mike, Even though I have been taught to work from life I find that potential clients care not to sit for a portrait. They rather have me work from a photo. So, investing in a good camera is a must. I have decided to invest in the Nikon D70s. The lens that comes with this camera is the 18-70mm. My question is: is this a good lens for portraits, head shots and what would be a good distance in order to avoid distortion?

I have followed up on a number of your threads and from your explanations I better understand what I should look for in order to have a good reference photo (proper lighting, backdrop to complement the sitter, reflective light if needed for the shadows etc).

If you can think of anything else that is a must to understand please let me know.

Mike thank you for your time.

Sincere regards,

P.S. If anyone else has any experience please, your advice is welcome.
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:19 PM   #2
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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I think the 18-70mm zoom lens that comes with the Nikon D70 package is an excellent lens for portraits. However, you need to stay away from the lower end of the lens. As we discussed in another thread, after the 1.5 multiplier, your lens will effectively be a 27-105mm lens. This works well for indoor portraits when your space is limited. My suggestion would be, while working indoors, to zoom in as far as you can then adjust your distance from the subject such that you can comfortably frame and compose your shot. You may find that you need to back off of the 105mm, and that OK, but don't let yourself drop below 50mm. After some practice you will get the hang of it.

Best case you can have two interchangeable lenses. I have the one mentioned above and a 70-210mm (effectively being 105-315mm) zoom that I find more useful for outdoor portrait use. Some people become more relaxed when your not right up in their face.

My best advice would be to do as much practice as you can. Every photograph you take is a lesson in composition and lighting - if you treat it as such. The most important factors in any portrait are design and lighting. With your digital camera you can study these most important aspects for free, over and over again. If you choose to paint from life these lessons will benefit those efforts.
Mike McCarty
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