135mm For tight headshots??

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by danny_liao, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. I'm just wondering if there's anyone out there that does headshots
    with the 135mm for 4x5? And if you could post samples? I usually
    shoot full length but occassionally I do come in close. I was just
    wondering if the lens is too wide for close ups and if it would
    distort the face? Or is the 150 a better choice?
  2. The 135 mm lens on 4x5 is about like a 43 mm lens in 35 mm: pretty much the same field of view as the human eye. Put a short (35-70) zoom on your 35 mm and frame a head shot, to see what it would look like. Great for photojournalism, but probably not your first choice for portraiture, unless you had no alternative.

    If you want headshots with 4x5, try a 360 mm tele-lens. A field camera with a 12 inch bellows should be able to focus one of these.

    Good shooting.

    /s/ David Beal ** Memories Preserved Photography, LLC
  3. Thanks David. I made a mistake stating that it's for tight headshots. I meant to say head and shoulder shots. Anyway, thanks again for the input.
  4. Minimum for a headshot would be the 210 MM, IMHO. This is equal to around a 60-65 MM in 35 MM photography.
  5. "... Minimum for a headshot would be the 210 MM..."
    Concur—with the emphasis on "minimum." Something over 300 would probably work much better.
  6. pvp


    I agree that 135mm is probably too short for close-in portraits, unless your subjects think their noses need to appear larger. A 150 would be only marginally better; it isn't much of a jump in focal length.

    Compared to 35mm, where an 85mm lens is often given as a portrait focal length, a comparable lens for 4x5 would be 240mm or a bit longer.
  7. Some issues: 1) Your DOF is not short enough to offer very good control, the way a 210 would be for instance, 2) Most 135mm's I've shot with (and one I own) are fairly soft, which can be an advantage in portraiture, 3) you shouldn't experience much barrel distortion, and 4) there is some advantage to having more distance from your subject--sometimes they're more comfortable.
  8. It won't distort the face, but keep in mind that depth of field becomes an issue, the longer the lens. Some here have suggested 210, or a 300mm lens. If you have plenty of light, then you can stop down adequately. If not, you may be in for a surprise when you see just how shallow the DOF is with longer lenses. Some people like that effect, but it's not for everyone.
  9. working distances would be pretty friendly too. A 210 is already close enough.
  10. Im looking at British Vogue (one of the latest issues)
    In which there is a colour contact sheet page and other pictures
    of young models for the Prada campaign taken by Paolo Roversi.

    Although Roversi uses 10x8 and polaroid.The lens used on these pictures looks short to me and DOF is minimal.

    You probably could get some interesting effects doing h/s or mid chest etc using a 135 wide open.

    Heres a link to the pictures http://img135.imagevenue.com/aAfkjfp01fo1i-20209/loc24/9a1d7_VogueUK_january2006_phPaoloRoversi_02.jpg
  11. one more try

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