Friday, 17 June 2011

What is a Cheap Portrait Lens for Canon 600D for studio shoots?

Are you looking for a Cheap Portrait Lens for your Canon 600D SLR Camera for studio shoots?

I've been testing out various cheap Canon lenses as well as my normal Canon L series that I normally use for studio shoots. If you are looking for a cheap lens to shoot studio portraits with then you can't get much better value than the Canon 35-80 lens that was sold with many cameras such as the Canon 500N during the 1990s. For portrait photography the Canon 35-80 is far better focal length than the Canon 18-55 lens that comes supplied with the camera. The Canon 18-55IS lens is too wide for flattering portraiture so the 35-80 range (equivalent to approx 50-120 on the Canon crop sensor) is a much more suitable focal length.

I picked up an example of the Canon 35-80 lens on Ebay recently for £22 and tested it yesterday on a shoot using my Canon 550D camera, which has the same 18Mp output as a Canon 600D. During the same shoot I also used my Canon 5D with the new Canon 100mm L f2.8 IS macro lens as a comparison. How will the £900 lens compare to a £22 one?

The answer is very well. The results in a controlled studio environment were very good although clearly the advantages of the Canon 100 macro are far more than the improved optical and build quality. You also get the f2.8 aperture as well as the image stabilisation. However the fixed focal length was more of a hindrance in the studio.

The shot above was taken with the Canon 550D and Canon 35-80 lens that is an amazing value portrait lens for studio photography. There can't be many lenses the cost less than the hire of the studio!