Lens & Focal Length

Lens and Focal Length

I love shooting portraits with my Nikon 24-70 mm f2.8.

The lens itself is absolutely wonderful. I use it probably 75% of the time during sessions.

If you’ve looked at any of my work, you know that I like headshots – and I love the face.

Recently, I’ve been shooting with a 70-200 mm f2.8 lens – and guess what – I’m a double minded photographer now!

I have grown to love that lens as well. Here are some reasons why and some things for you to think about – even if you don’t have either of those types of lenses.

When you shoot very close to a person, certain features tend to be exaggerated. For instance the nose – becomes longer or wider. You may like the fact that your eyes now seem to take up 1/3 of your face – I love eyes remember – but for some of us the nose can get a little tricky :).

The solution is to step back or use a lens that isn’t “so close” to your subject.

While I’ve read that a 50 mm focal length is a good portrait distance, I’ve found with the 70-200 mm lens that when zoomed for a close up, everything looks very natural and in the right proportions.

Even most point and shoot cameras on the market today have zoom capacity. The key is to avoid those shots that make you look like Mr. Fantastic on the Fantastic 4. You don’t want your features (or those of whom you are taking pictures) to look like their features are sliding into other parts of their face!

Whether you use your legs to manually set your focal length, or you use your camera’s zoom – look for a focal length that will make your subject look natural and pleasing.

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