for photographers

On using manual lenses for portrait photography

Shooting portraits is a creative business. Since we're talking about leisurely portrait photography, manual lenses are becoming a real choice. With autofocus models, everything is clear - we focused on a certain point and the photo is ready. It's not so simple with manual optics. In this article, I want to cover (at least partially) the topic of choosing manual lenses.

More details on various lenses for portrait photography have already been written. in this article... Therefore, we will not dwell on specific models.

What are the advantages of manual lenses?

It is amazing, but true: for mere pennies you can buy a Soviet lens that will shoot more interesting and beautiful than a Canon lens for several hundred dollars.

With proper use, such a lens can make a very nice, airy portrait with an interesting pattern. The word itself рисунок here it is appropriate.

There are many "but"

You have to get used to manual focusing and get used to using it. Even with the seeming ease of live view in modern DSLRs, manual focusing is somewhat difficult from habit.

  • The biggest disadvantage of manual focusing is that it always takes some time. This is the time you could spend talking to a model. The longer you look into the camera and the less contact with the model, the worse it is. After all, the photographer's task is not only to work with technology, but also to build communication with the model. A technique that requires a lot of attention is a minus. Because you should pay attention to the model, not the lens.
  • Most of these lenses are very suspicious of side and backlighting, which reduces the number of places where you can shoot with them.

Considering the above features, I only partially consider manual lenses in commercial photography. You cannot completely discard them, because sometimes the picture is just amazing. By the way, which is important - non-autofocus lenses are still very appropriate for video filming.