I've been following some of the threads here and other discussion groups about portrait lenses, and the consensus now seems to be that a 50mm lens is the "standard" for shooting portraits when using any of the D series cameras. But if we were using an 85mm for film, shouldn't we be using a 60mm for digital since the FOV brings that to a comparable 85mm?
I understand that the 50mm is a lot cheaper, but to get the same results from our old film cameras, the 60mm sounds more practical.
neither i still use my 85mm 1.8 with great results. I use the 50mm sometimes but I prefer the 85mm. I am going to add a 60mm micro to my bag more so for the magnification ratio. I enjoy seeing fine fine details.
Digital doesn't change the perspective a lens sees, it only crops the image so you see less of it. You would still want to use 85mm to 105mm for portraits to avoid an unflattering look. 50mm may be a "regular" perspective, but nobody ever objects to looking slimmer than "regular"
Except that perspective is a function of distance, not focal length. A 60mm lens on a D100 has the same perspective as a 90mm on an F100 because you're shooting both at the same distance to get the same composition. Right?
Lets say you wanted to take two identical shots, one using a 60mm lens on a D100, and another using a 90mm on an N80. You'd shoot the images with the same camera-to-subject distance, correct? And the "perspective" would be the same, since perspective is strictly a function of camera-to-subject distance (there's even a statement to this effect in the Nikon lens catalogue).
Therefore shooting portraits with a 50mm on a D100 should give me the same perspective as shooting the identical portraits with a 75mm lens on a 35mm body.
Well put. Lenses don't have inherent perspective that remains constant with every format. That's why a 105mm lens on a large format doesn't "compress" images. It's a relatively wide angle lens when used with a larger format even though it's a telephoto on 35mm.
KZPIX After a while you start to mentally compensate for the "changes" but when you boil it all down even the depth of field considerations are very close between a 50 mm on D100 and the 85mm on F100. I now use a 50mm as my environmental portrait lens and the 85 as my studio portrait lens, its the 105 that sits in the cupboard, lonely and discarded (for now) Bryan M
There are a set of things that constantly make me scratch my head regarding digital. The above is one of them I had to carefully think through what I was saying because it wasn't intuitive to me either. The other one that messes me up is macro reproduction ratios. A 200mm macro lens that gets 1:1 with 35mm also gets 1:1 with digital - no better. However, the composition is different and the picture made with digital looks like it's closer than 1:1 because of the smaller format. It's the inverse of what happens in medium format macro photography.