Help: Advice on lens or should I just buy a DSLR?

4 comments · save · last comment by Sadie M. over 6 years ago

Darren T.

Darren T.

United Kingdom

10 posts


At the moment I am shooting using an Olympus C-5060. I'd like to take some nice portrait shots by experimenting with the focal length (need to shorten it, right, to get the background out of focus?)

Which of these two lens should I be going for:

Or should I just save the money and put it towards getting an entry level DSLR?

Many thanks in advance for your help!

over 6 years ago

Ryan Ramsay Bennett

Ryan R.


2 posts

Wouldnt recommend a 52mm lens for portrait shots unless you like getting up close and personal with that persons face.

0 · May 6, 2009

Kevin Watts

Kevin W.

United States

97 posts

@Ryan R.

Then again in my line of work, its a requirement.

0 · May 7, 2009

Chloe A

Chloe A.

United States

3842 posts

portrait lenses are usually between 50-130mm to eliminate distortion, but go as high as 200mm. It's about preference and the type of portraits you want to shoot.

0 · May 8, 2009

Sadie Marlowe

Sadie M.


134 posts

Lenses for manual cameras these days are super-cheap, people are practically giving them away. I would imagine you can get lenses pretty cheap and still save for your DSLR. Go for minimal 80mm lens for portraits; as Ryan B said, you don't want to be right in the person's face (it tends to really affect their expression, and not in a good way!) As for getting the background "out of focus", use the largest aperture you can; that will affect your image as much as anything. So, 80mm lens, large aperture, adjust light source accordingly (so you may want to use a nice "slow" film if you are shooting your portraits in bright light, which is better for detail anyhow).

As for the DSLR, I know it seems like you can do everything in Photoshop...but you can't. To be a great photographer, you still need to take lenses, focal length, aperture, shutter speed, ISO into account. Buying a DSLR is not going to change any of this.

0 · May 9, 2009


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