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What type of lens do I need?

My camera is a Olympus OM-D Mark 10 II.

I need a lens that will take a life size full length portrait that will be used for a reference photo for an oil painting.

I’m having trouble understanding lenses. The photo has to be clear and sharp. I have an Olympus Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 IIR MSC.

I also just purchased an Olympus Digital 45 mm 1:1.8 and it also has 0.5/1.64ft -~ It’s a Portrait lens  called Prime and doesn’t move. It works OK for above the waist and the photo is clear enough to do a painting with a life-size face.

I understand to avoid wide angles because they would force me to move too close to the subject and will cause distortions. Telephoto lenses would be more useful.

I will be using a tripod and I will be using camera raw. Also, I understand I need to be eye level and at least 15 feet back. I understand at life-size, I will have a foreshortening problem that Photoshop could correct.  

What is the best lens for me?


  • dencaldencal -
    edited March 2018

    Save yourself some cash. Use the lenses you own. Take a waist to head shot,then a waist to floor shot, using your tripod platform elevator. Then stitch together in photoshop.

    Build a high resolution, pin sharp, mosaic of any image.


  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Your camera has a micro 4/3 sensor measuring 17.3mm x 13mm. If you make a viewfinder out of a piece of cardboard or paper that has an opening of that exact size, you can use it to frame your subject and at the desired composition and subject distance, the card distance from your eye will be the focal length distance you'll need to frame the camera image to the same composition with that sensor (or film) size at that subject distance. For example, if your viewfinder ends up 45mm from your eye when you have the subject framed as you desire, you need a 45mm focal length lens for that composition at that subject-to-camera distance. If it was 65mm from your eye, you would need a 65mm lens, etc. This obviously works better with larger cameras, but it is one way to figure it out with any camera.
  • Hello! I have this same question. So, in Mark's photography guide it says: 

    "If you don't know where to start when shopping for cameras, consider the Olympus OM-D E-M10, because it's well designed, easy to use, and priced very competitively.

    It is a "Micro Four Thirds" camera, which means the sensor is smaller than a full-frame sensor. This means your image resolution will be lower than a full-frame camera's, but still much higher than with a compact point-&-shoot camera, and it means the crop factor (see the Focal Length section) for your lenses will be 2. Thus, a 25mm lens on this camera would be the 35mm-equivalent of 50mm lens (the numbers simply double). Lenses with longer focal lengths tend to be more expensive, so your lens selection will generally be cheaper than it would be with a full-frame camera, since you're always "getting double". Just be sure to buy lenses that are designed to fit Micro Four Thirds cameras. Olympus lenses are considered to be very good.

    You can usually buy the camera with a "kit" lens (a relatively cheap lens included with the camera for a good price) or without a lens (if you don't want the kit lens and would prefer to buy other lenses). The kit lens with this camera is a 14–42mm lens, which will have a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 28–84mm. This will not be adequate for full-length portrait photography if you intend to paint life-sized (for that you will likely need to purchase an additional lens), but it's a good all-around lens for pretty much everything else and won't cost you much."

    You're saying the distance from your eye for the shot to be framed right is the lens size that you need. Do I understand right that what Mark is saying about the Olympus OM-D-E-M10  is that you need to cut that length in half? So if it has to be 85mm away to frame the shot you'd beed a 42mm lens for this camera? 

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