Lens for full body shot

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ron_brown|6, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Can someone give me some helpful insight on a good lens to use for taking a full body shot of a person? I have a Canon 5D, and have an opportunity to attend a workshop shooting swimsuits. I would like to be able to shoot full body shots, clear, and without any distortions.
    All advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. how far back can you? that will dictate the focal length and any 'distortions' that you'll see.
  3. This comes down to the perspective you want to see, and the working distance you'll have in the studio (or is it on the beach?). You'll find people shooting swimsuit models from only feet away, using a wider-than-"normal" lens ... perhaps a 35mm, for example. But you'll also find them shooting from many meters away using a 300mm lens to narrow the background and flatten the perspective.

    Focal length for this sort of thing is driven by the pose (will the model be reclining, with her feet closer to the camera? - back up and use a longer lens!), and by the working distance (shooting in tight quarters in a pool-side cabana? - you may have no choice but to work wide).

    So without knowing more about the shoot and the look you're after, it's a difficult question. Which lens(es) do you have now? You can experiment by putting a family volunteer (or a five-foot row of pillows, whatever you've got that will approximate the size of your eventual subject), and then shooting with something as simple as a kit zoom lens at different focal lengths to see how changing that parameter impacts where you need to position yourself, and how the perspective changes.

    If I were walking into such a shoot otherwise unable to predict what I'd need and using a camera with the 5D's format sensor, I'd have fast primes in 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm, and/or likely a 70-200/2.8.

    But let's face it: the successful results are going to be a function of good composition, rapport with the model, the right set, hair, makeup, and lighting, lighting, lighting. Get all of that right, and you can get away with nearly any lens that isn't ultra-wide or super long.
  4. 50, 85, 100, 135, 200. What lenses do you have? Where are you shooting? Indoors with seamless, at swimming pool, on the beach? Do you want the background sharp, fairly sharp, or completely obliterated? You probably have an adequate lens now. If you're new to photographing swimsuits you may want to stick with the lenses you have so you are familiar with the equipment. If there's a special need you might need a new lens. Good luck with your photography.
  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    If you still have them- take both your 50mm Prime and your 70 to 200/4.

    If you want to hire a lens then the 24 to 70 or the 24 to 105 would be the first I would choose to hire.
    I would choose a STANDARD ZOOM (as per either the above) to use, because it is flexible, allowing one to experiment with different Focal Lengths: after all, it it is a 'workshop'.
    But, as already stated the Focal Length you choose use is dependent on what Perspective you want. . . which is determined by the Camera's Viewpoint.

    You might be limited by physical factors, such as the studio walls not allowing you to retreat far enough, to use your 200mm Lens for a Full Length Shot, so, before addressing lenses, I would investigate how much space you will actually have.
  6. I agree with William.
    In most studios, I would take my 50mm, 24-70 and the 70-200 and use whichever works the best, based on distance to the model and the shot I wanted. For full body length, I think the 50mm will end up being the most useful.
    We all know anything < 50mm will introduce some form of image distortion, which may or may not be desired. As far as I know, 85mm (ish) or longer is pretty flattering for most circumstances for portraits/head shots.

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