Studio portraits with a bit of a twist.

My obsession with older lenses continues. In previous times I’ve spoken about this lens in a Journal upload that included images of surfers and a further portrait. This time the lens was chosen for it’s focal length first and it’s optical properties second. When briefed on the job I thought the lens to use was a Nikon 135mm F2.8 lens but as normal took along a 50mm and 100mm E series, 50mm G series F1.4, 85mm D series f F1.8, and a 135mm F2.8 ai, lens just in case of a “zombie apocalypse”.

On arrival at the location I tweaked the lighting that suited the nature of the brief more sympathetically. The video operator and I took turns with the hired models to create what was required. The studio enviroment didn’t have as much room as I would have liked so the 135mm was starting to look like a bad choice and I also had another dilemma – file size!

The finshed artwork was going to be quite a size, so I wanted a file of around 20 Megapixels. I opted to use a Nikon D3x. Yes, it’s really old but it’s probably the best stills camera ever made and when combined with the latest Adobe Lightroom software, the files can look outstanding.

Anyway back to the lens. The 100mm E series became the next choice as it provided a perfect distance from the subject and at F5.6 it gave enough depth of field to keep the subjects face in focus. I had to use an exposure index of 800 (due to the power of the LED lighting). A few years ago the D3x at 800 would have been struggling, but with modern software a nice clean image can be achieved even though the lens is only single coated, it’s really sharp!

On a retouching note, the video needed to use a green screen background (not the best choice, but them’s the breaks!) I took a lot of the green out in lightroom and adjusted the contrast and then retouched the eyes. If you venture over to the Portrait section on this site you can see a couple of these portraits that have been retouched in Photoshop using three different layers then overlaying them and blending the opacity to get the required result, which ones do you prefer?

Seeya soon.

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