How to Make the Most of a Portrait Lens

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (1 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

So you’ve got a portrait lens, now what? You want to take portraits, right? You can go right ahead, point your camera and spiffy new optic towards your subject and hope for the best, but you’re not that type of photographer. You want to step it up more. You want to create a photo that makes someone say, “Wow.”

First off, it’s time to get inspired. Then, you’ll need to understand the lens.

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Nine Lenses to Give Your Portraits Extra Pop

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impact One Light Kit Test photos (11 of 17)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impact One Light Kit Test photos (11 of 17)

Some portrait lenses are great and have bokeh that you’ll absolutely drool over. But then there are others that not only do that, but also make your subjects pop more. Sure, you could do it with lots of great lighting, but when you combine that with the fact that some lenses already have that extra magic to them, you’ll get portraits that wow you and leave your jaw stuck on the ground.

Here are some of our favorites.

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Three Essential Lenses for the Beginning Micro Four Thirds User

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Micro Four Thirds High ISO comparison (4 of 4)ISO 1251-30 sec at f - 5.6

The Micro Four Thirds system is all about great image quality in a small package. That was evident pretty much from the start, when Olympus introduced the legendary E-P1 camera with its minuscule 17mm f2.8 pancake kit lens. When buying a new Micro Four Thirds camera today, you’ll probably end up with one of the kit zooms from Olympus and Panasonic, ranging in focal length between 12mm and 50mm. While these may be a great entry into the system and provide some versatility and image quality, you will at some point want to upgrade to more specialized and higher-end glass. Here’s our list of three essential Micro Four Thirds lenses that provide great image quality and don’t break the bank.

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Seven Lenses for The Portrait Shooter on a Budget

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impact One Light Kit Test photos (11 of 17)

Whether photography is your hobby or you’re looking to make it into a profession, portraits are one of the best ways to flex your creative skills. There are some lenses that are very good and that may even stay in your camera bag for a long time. These lenses are indeed so extraordinary that you’ll eventually find yourself trying to justify an upgrade after you’ve grown with it so much.

And most of these lenses are well under $1,000. After our years of reviewing and testing optics, we’ve compiled some of the best just for you–and these ones won’t make your wallet bleed.

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All Will Be Well, It’s Just a Portrait: Enter to Win a Rokinon 85mm f1.4 Lens

Rokinon 85mm f1.4
Rokinon 85mm f1.4

Rokinon 85mm f1.4

You have definitely heard us say that everyone should have an 85mm lens. Well, now you have a chance to win one from Rokinon. The Phoblographer, in association with Rokinon, will be giving away an 85mm f1.4 in our, “All Will be Well, It’s Just a Portrait” contest. We want you to show us your best portrait. You can use any lens you like. Just be sure to capture a calm portrait of your subject in the best way possible.

This contest is open to everyone.

How To Enter:

-Join Rokinon’s brand new Flickr group 

-Each entry must be the original work of the entrant

-Entries must have the tag “Portrait lens”

-Entries are limited to one photo per person

-Keep all the photos safe for work (no nudity or anything like that)

-Minimum file size is 1024 x 768

-The contest ends on February 14, 2013; winners will be announced shortly after that

-The contest will be judged the staff of the Phoblographer and Rokinon

-The portraits will be judged on the originality, quality, and overall impact of the work.

– The Staff of the Phoblographer and Rokinon (“Sponsor”), and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child and sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and/or those living in same household of each, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate or win. Sponsor reserves the right to verify all eligibility requirements. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local law and regulations.

Best of luck! Get photographing.

EDITOR’S UPDATE: THE WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED!

First Impressions: Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 Macro Lens

006-1_40_sec_at_f___1.4-LEICA_DG_SUMMILUX_25_F1.4

006-1_40_sec_at_f___1.4-LEICA_DG_SUMMILUX_25_F1.4

Olympus has been on a roll with their latest batch of Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lenses. They kicked off this run with the 12mm F2 and followed it up with the 45mm f1.8 and the 75mm f1.8. Their newest offering is something different, their first MFT macro lens. The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 Macro is Olympus’ newest offering and we’ve got our hands on it. Here’s our initial thoughts…

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Review: Olympus 75mm f1.8 Lens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2012 has been quite a year for Olympus, beginning with the release of their incredibly exciting and postively reviewed OM-D E-M5 micro four thirds body to complement their steadily growing selection of high-end lenses for this system. The 12mm f2 and 45mm f1.8 lenses from Olympus were very well received, and have become standards for anyone looking for high end prime lenses for this format. But earlier this year, Olympus added 2 more lenses to this lineup: the 60mm f2.8 macro, and this lens, the 75mm f1.8. I spent some time with this lens, and took a trip out to the Santa Monica pier to see how well it fit in with Olympus’ premium lens lineup.

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