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Old 07-29-2009   #1
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Default Focal length for full length studio shot

Hi All

I am a little bit lost at the moment...
What is the best and minimum focal length for a full length or shot in a studio?
Currently I use a 50mm 1.8 but should I be looking at something different

Regards
Ian

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Old 07-29-2009   #2
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Default Re: Focal length for full length studio shot

There is no minimum.
What are you looking for that you don't get with the 50?
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Old 07-29-2009   #3
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Default Re: Focal length for full length studio shot

It depends on if you're looking for realism. I wouldn't go wider than 50mm if it were me. If you do you're going to end up with too much extra "stuff" in your photo or you'll have to get so close that distortion will become an issue.
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Old 07-29-2009   #4
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Default Re: Focal length for full length studio shot

Hi

I get great shots from the 50 but with limited space sometimes full length is not possible

As fo the min focal length i thought that i would not want to go below around 35mm (+1.6 crop) due to distortion.. is this correct or am i getting a bit confused

Regards
Ian
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Old 07-29-2009   #5
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Default Re: Focal length for full length studio shot

Realism is defiantly what I am after

Regards
Ian
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Old 07-29-2009   #6
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Default Re: Focal length for full length studio shot

For a full length portrait you should use your NORMAL lens or zoom setting; 35mm for a DSLR- 50mm for a full frame DSLR or a 35mm film camera and 80 to 90mm for a medium Format film camera. To get a distortion free image the camera should be placeed at the subjects waist level otherwise foreshortening will occur. The average distance for a full length portrait with the normal focal length lenses is from about 12 to 14 feet between the camera and the subject.

For 3/4 length images you can get away with the normal settings as well provided you do not shoot too high or too low in relation to the subject. Here we are working about 8 feet from the subject and the camera should be placed at about the subject's chest level. I if the space is available you can go a slightly longer in focal length and get a bit more distance. I don't like to work with very long lenses for this kind of portraiture because of the image compression that can occur and the subject look as if he or she are posed too close the background and this cuts down on separation and dimensionality.

I hope this helps. Ed
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Old 07-30-2009   #7
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Default Re: Focal length for full length studio shot

And I would like to add:

Be mindful of both the level (heigth) and the level (angle) of your camera. Even if you stay within the normal focal length and more especially if you go wide angle, be sure the camera is fairly level. Unflattering results can occurr. Just as shooting a tall building with a wide angle can make it appear to be leaning backwards, or buldging in the middle or bottom, the same distortions can occurr with a human subject. Watch out too for revealing unflattering elements like under-chin and nostrils. These things are not so pronounced in a full-length, standing pose since the subject is distanced from the camera but in the world of "devil in the details" these are coinsiderations.

I also like full-lengths that are not purely standing. Sitting someone on a chair will effectively reduce the distance away required, therefore give a larger head size (that's not saying they get a bigger heard - it mean the subject is composed so the head occupies a more viewable portion of the image).

Ed is dead-on with his assessment and reccommendation.

Steve
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Old 07-30-2009   #8
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Default Re: Focal length for full length studio shot

Thanks all for the great advice...thats sorted me out!!

Regards
Ian
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Old 07-30-2009   #9
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Default Re: Focal length for full length studio shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookei View Post
Realism is defiantly what I am after

Regards
Ian
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