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Portrait Photogs...thoughts on a 14, 23, 56 combo?

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I'm getting into portraiture and hope to start doing some part time paid work next year.  I've gravitated to Fuji from Nikon mostly for size and weight.  My current gear:




14mm 2.8 (got a steal on it...yes I know the 16 is nirvana and the 14 not so popular )


35 f2

56 1.2


I'm on the fence with getting the 16-55 f2.8 for convenience or just adding the 23mm 1.4 and being a prime shooter with most of the water front covered by the 23 for environmental and full length portraits and the 56 for the headshot workhorse.  I'm not inspired much by big heavy zooms but that seems like what all the pros use.  I have no plans to do weddings, too old for that stress so really don't need the zoom flexibility often required in those settings. My 14 or even 18-55 could serve the wider end of things, large groups etc.


I know I could use as the x100s as the surrogate 23mm but like the idea of using a single camera and the renowned images from the 23mm prime.  I've invested a lot in lighting gear also.



Edited by Therapeuo63

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The focal lengths would be great, but I'd keep the 35mm - 23mm is wide enough that you can get some dramatically skewed perspectives if you're shooting vertical portraits. I avoid using the 23mm for vertical portraits unless the situation is just too tight for the 35mm.


Also, I own the 23mm, and while it's great, I wouldn't bother getting it on top of an X100 unless you specifically need the faster aperture for low light. I definitely wouldn't get the 23/1.4 strictly for image quality purposes - I shot a wedding with a friend who has an X100S, and there's very little real-world difference between the two. And that's coming from a photographer; unless your clients are in the media industry, they'll never notice.


I shoot weddings, and use the 23/1.4 wide open quite a bit, but if it weren't for that, I'd prefer an X100 for the leaf shutter. The leaf shutter is more valuable for portraiture IMHO, especially since you mentioned you're investing in lighting gear.


Also, as nice as it is to carry one body, if you're going to be carrying multiple lenses and lighting gear anyway, you likely wouldn't even notice the addition of the X100, and having two bodies means less changing lenses, which is nice if you're outdoors or would be bouncing between a couple focal lengths frequently.

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Thanks Phil, I think I will try some vertical shots with my x100s and also my 35 f2 and compare.  The 35 is rapidly becoming my favorite lens...just something about I can't put my finger on but the images from that thing are razor sharp even wide open.

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I love the 14-23mm combo, they combine in a very natural way.

However, I always found 23-56mm too much hassle switching lenses back & forth. I prefer 35mm instead of 56mm, it's much more flexible. 56mm is restrictive, it' excels in single portraits and that's it, whereas 35mm can do portraits of both singles and couples. Because of that, 35mm is my favorite for family and  weddings. By flexible I also mean that with a 35 you can step back and mimic a 23 without needing a lens change, or step forward and mimic a 56. But you can never step back far enough with a 56 to mimic a 23! Neither can you step forward with a 23 for a headshot without hideous head distortion!! So you end up switching lenses all the time and wish you had chosen a 35mm.

If  I need anything longer than 35mm, a good tele zoom has always been a better tool than juggling tele primes. 


14mm - 23mm - 35mm for me.
Or 16mm  instead of 14mm.
This distribution is the most equal.









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