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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Thread started 17 Apr 2012 (Tuesday) 12:12
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what is the best lens for blurred background bokeh!

 
pkilla
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Is it the 50mm 1.2 canon or 1.4 or 1.8 or sigmas 50mm 1.4 or the 35l or the rokinon 35mm 1.4 I'm looking for a lens that blurs everything in the background very very good

Apr 17, 2012 12:12

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sigma 17-50/nikon 50mm 1.2 ai-s/nikon 28mm ai-s 2.8/
helios 40-2/helios 44-2/mir 1b 37mm 2.8/supertak 135/
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jra
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Are you just wanting to know from the options you listed or just in general? If it's just in general, for maximum background blur, you would want to use something long and fast....It would probably be difficult to beat the Canon 600 f4 for maximum blur. For something a little more affordable, the Canon 200 2.8 or Canon 135 2.0 would also do a great job. From the lenses you listed, the Canon 50 1.2 would probably win the contest for most background blur. As for bokeh (which is the qualities of the out of focus regions and not the actual blur) that can be quite subjective but I guess that the Canon 50L and 35L would be at the top. The Sigma 50 and Canon's f1.4 50 aren't far behind IMO.

Apr 17, 2012 12:17

Jason
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tancanon58
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To me 50mm 1.2 is creamy and blurry in background.

Apr 17, 2012 12:18

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facedodge
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of the ones you listed the 50 f/1.2L is the best for bokeh. The king of bokeh is the 85 f/1.2.

there are two things to consider however.... shallow depth of field and background compression.

DOF depends on image size on sensor and aperture size. The image size on sensor is how you fill the frame. Filling the frame by zooming or getting closer will lower your DOF.

When you zoom with the lens, you compress everything, so the background will magnify. Google Hitchcock Effect or Vertigo or Dolly Zoom to get a understanding of the compression affect of longer focal lengths.

If you want a good portrait lens with blurry backgrounds, I would recommend the 50 1.2, 85 1.2 or 135 2.0

Apr 17, 2012 12:33

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themadman
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1200L with extension tubes :lol:

Apr 17, 2012 13:11

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pkilla
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Thanks guys I guess I might have my eye on 50mm L what's the durability of a 50mm l I remember seen one thread where dudes front glass fell out

Apr 17, 2012 13:15

T3i griped - rokinon 8mm/rokinon 35 1.4/rokinon 85mm 1.4/
sigma 17-50/nikon 50mm 1.2 ai-s/nikon 28mm ai-s 2.8/
helios 40-2/helios 44-2/mir 1b 37mm 2.8/supertak 135/
trioplan/http://www.flickr.com/​photos/pkilla617/external link
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jra
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facedodge wrote in post #14281376external link
When you zoom with the lens, you compress everything, so the background will magnify. Google Hitchcock Effect or Vertigo or Dolly Zoom to get a understanding of the compression affect of longer focal lengths.

Zooming by itself does not compress anything. It's the perspective and change in relative distances that causes the "compression effect". That's why the Hitchcock effect required that the camera be moved as the lens zooms. Without the movement, the perspective does not change.....you just magnify the view on your sensor (or film).

Apr 17, 2012 13:48

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amfoto1
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That mysterious thing called "bokeh" is determined by a whole series of factors....

1. Focal length... the longer a lens, the more it can potentially blur down a background. Conversely, shorter focal lengths have a harder time really blurring down a background.

2. Distance from the image plane to the subject... the closer you are, the shallower the depth of field, the more potential background (and foreground) blur.

3. Distance from the subject to the background... the farther away it is, the more it will blur down.

4. The size of the lens aperture... the bigger the aperture possible with a lens, the more blur that's possible.

5. The shape of the aperture... all lenses give a round aperture when used wide open, but stopped down at all the number and shape of the aperture blades start to come into play. Generally speaking, more blades is better, forming a more perfectly round aperture. Also, many modern lenses use a curved aperture blade, further enhancing the roundness of any setting and making for nicer blur effects. If wanting to use a lens at or near wide open, another factor is whether or not the lens is ideal for wide open use. Many are not at their best, are a little soft overall, when wide open. Some are specifically designed and optimized to be used wide open, or nearly so.

I've never heard of a 50/1.2L falling apart. It's a pretty well made lens, as are most L-series. It's also big, heavy and expensive... and pretty hard to use well, it's got such shallow depth of field. Don't expect a big aperture lens to be the fastest focusing (most emphasize focus accuracy over speed). Also, it's likely optimized for distances out to about 20 feet... portraiture... might not be as useful for landscape and such.

Your camera doesn't have the most sophisticated AF system... it doesn't have Micro Adjust, for example. A 50/1.2L might be a bit challenging to use on it... and might not balance all that well. You may want to give a less expensive, smaller, lighter 50/1.4 a try first (probably the Canon, the Sigma more often seem to need some Micro Adjust and is almost as big & heavy as the Canon 50/1.2).

The 50/1.4 would be a significant step up from your 50/1.8, in terms of background blur or bokeh (8-blades vs 5-blades). An 85/1.8 or 1.4 or a 100/2 or 135/2 might be even better able to render even more blurred backgrounds, depending upon working distance. You have to find the right compromise of working distance/focal length vs aperture that gives you what you are looking for.

There is no difference in DOF and background blur just from changing image sensor size. However, to frame the same thing the same way with the same lens, you have to move closer with a full frame camera, which reduces DOF and throws the background further out of focus. The sensor of FF cameras also tend to give smoother gradations, which can enhance background blur.

Finally, there are ways to enhance background blur in your images after the fact, with software.

Apr 17, 2012 13:49

Alan Myers
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facedodge
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jra wrote in post #14281723external link
Zooming by itself does not compress anything. It's the perspective and change in relative distances that causes the "compression effect". That's why the Hitchcock effect required that the camera be moved as the lens zooms. Without the movement, the perspective does not change.....you just magnify the view on your sensor (or film).

The assumption I made (considering his bokeh question) is that he was looking to do a full body or head and shoulders portrait. In this case the frame would be filled roughly the same way at all focal lengths. That is why the Hitchcock Effect is relevant.

Apr 17, 2012 13:58

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jra
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facedodge wrote in post #14281781external link
The assumption I made (considering his bokeh question) is that he was looking to do a full body or head and shoulders portrait. In this case the frame would be filled roughly the same way at all focal lengths. That is why the Hitchcock Effect is relevant.

Then I was just clarifying your point to avoid confusion :)

Apr 17, 2012 14:04

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facedodge
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^^ depth of field, focal length, aperture, compression, image size on sensor, subject distance....It's not easy stuff. always working on better way to explain it

Apr 17, 2012 14:19

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SkipD
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facedodge wrote in post #14281376external link
When you zoom with the lens, you compress everything, so the background will magnify. Google Hitchcock Effect or Vertigo or Dolly Zoom to get a understanding of the compression affect of longer focal lengths.

Focal length, by itself, has absolutely nothing to do with perspective (size relationship of various elements of a scene which are at different distances from the camera) or "compression" which is simply a perspective characteristic. The distance between the camera (or your eyes) and the various elements of the scene is the only thing that affects perspective.

Please read our "sticky" (found in the General Photography Talk forum) tutorial titled Perspective Control in Images - Focal Length or Distance?.

Apr 17, 2012 14:22

Skip Douglas
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pkilla
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Thanks amfoto for the post when u talking about 1.4 u talking about the canon not sigma right

Apr 17, 2012 14:24

T3i griped - rokinon 8mm/rokinon 35 1.4/rokinon 85mm 1.4/
sigma 17-50/nikon 50mm 1.2 ai-s/nikon 28mm ai-s 2.8/
helios 40-2/helios 44-2/mir 1b 37mm 2.8/supertak 135/
trioplan/http://www.flickr.com/​photos/pkilla617/external link
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pkilla
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I need my background to turn to cream lol

Apr 17, 2012 14:24

T3i griped - rokinon 8mm/rokinon 35 1.4/rokinon 85mm 1.4/
sigma 17-50/nikon 50mm 1.2 ai-s/nikon 28mm ai-s 2.8/
helios 40-2/helios 44-2/mir 1b 37mm 2.8/supertak 135/
trioplan/http://www.flickr.com/​photos/pkilla617/external link
CHECK OUT MY BLOG PICS http://pkilla61.blogsp​ot.com/external link

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SkipD
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pkilla wrote in post #14281926external link
I need my background to turn to cream lol

Get the background further behind the subject for starters. I typically keep at least six feet between my portrait subjects and the background. You may need ten to twenty feet depending on what else you are doing.

Apr 17, 2012 14:26

Skip Douglas
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what is the best lens for blurred background bokeh!
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