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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Oct 2018 (Saturday) 15:50
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Portrait lens help/suggestion

 
firme
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Oct 13, 2018 15:50 |  #1

I have a Tamron 17-50 1:2.8 and would like to get another lens. Don't know what type of lens this is more useful for, landscape? Perhaps I just not using it correctly and still practice on it. Well I haven't done much photography and this is not my everyday job so I don't use it as much as I would like to. Also my wife, lets me practice on her, but only when she wants to. The kids have no choice when I tell them but won't last long. I think they do it on purpose, lol. I guess no reason why I can't use a doll or similar.

As mentioned, perhaps from my inexperience I am limiting myself. Would like to have photos where I can blur the background considerably. Hopefully making sense and not just rambling. What type of lense would be helpful for this? I have seen online where some suggest 70mm and above. Others I have seen using up to 200mm.

I am using it on a Canon 80d. Maybe not the greatest, but compared to the old XTI I had, for me it is way better. For me, I would like to stay within $300-$500?? But I guess that will also depend what lens can really be useful to what I am looking to get, if they are realistic.

Thanks for the help.




  
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MalVeauX
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Oct 13, 2018 15:55 |  #2

50mm F1.4
85mm F1.8

You can get them both with your budget.

Very best,


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firme
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Oct 13, 2018 16:13 |  #3

Thanks for the suggestions. Will definitely look into the 85mm. If I am able to go a bit past $500 what would be the another option. A quick search, and I saw the 85mm for $420 at BH. But will definitely keep looking.

Fail to mention I have the 50mm 1.8. How much does this differ from the 1.4?




  
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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 1 year ago by MalVeauX.
     
Oct 13, 2018 16:50 |  #4

firme wrote in post #18728228 (external link)
Thanks for the suggestions. Will definitely look into the 85mm. If I am able to go a bit past $500 what would be the another option. A quick search, and I saw the 85mm for $420 at BH. But will definitely keep looking.

Fail to mention I have the 50mm 1.8. How much does this differ from the 1.4?

A used 85mm F1.8 here on the forum is often $300 shipped.

The 50 F1.8 would do a fine job. I only suggested the faster F1.4 because if you're looking for shallow depth of field, longer and faster will get you there. I assume since you have the 50 F1.8 and you've likely tried it, but maybe you didn't find it had shallow enough depth of field for what you wanted. If that's the case, then go to a longer telephoto like the 85mm F1.8.

Keep in mind that the longer you go on focal length, the farther away you have to be to do full body and group shots. For just head shots, it's a lot less of a problem.

So think about how 50mm field of view and working distance is for you on your camera. 85mm will be considerably longer and require significantly more working distance.

Lastly, if you want blurry backgrounds, just make sure the distance between the background and your subject is as vast as possible and not backed up to a wall or something. If you're outside, try and have background material as far away as possible from the subject focus point, and you'll get creamier more blurry backgrounds even with slower lenses.

Very best,


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texkam
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Oct 13, 2018 16:59 |  #5

Without question, a used Canon 70-200 f4 L. Used is In your budget. You've got the 17-50 range covered. I'd easily sacrifice the focal gap between the two for the versatility of this wonderful lens.


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Versatile and makes wonderful portraits at 200mm.



  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Oct 13, 2018 17:22 |  #6

firme wrote in post #18728216 (external link)
Would like to have photos where I can blur the background considerably.

Before you go running off spending money, in light of what I've quoted, just how knowledgeable do you think you are on controlling depth of field?




  
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firme
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Oct 13, 2018 18:56 |  #7

Malveaux, yes I understand that I have to back up more. At this point I wouldn't buy the 50 1.4 as I have the 50 1.8. I have tried the 70-200 f4.

Texkam, those two pictures were from a 70-200? I like the first one very much.

John, I don't consider myself knowledgeable much on photography. As everyone would say, practice makes perfect. Not making excuses, just don't get to it and don't have much to use as far as models. I know I have to be more creative in finding ways to practice to get to where I want to be at. Wife doesn't like the idea of time for print either.




  
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Pigpen101
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Oct 13, 2018 19:23 as a reply to  @ firme's post |  #8

85mm F/1.8 is an awesome lens!!!

It is currently $419 @ B&H. It is worth $419, but do not pay that now. It is constantly on sale from $325 to $350.

https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …_f_1_8_USM_Auto​focus.html (external link)

Just go and read the nearly 2000 reviews, it still maintains a 5 star rating even with that many reviews. Keep opening this link, it is always on sale. In fact, this is the first time I've seen it NOT ON SALE.

Also, I've gotten some amazing shots with the nifty fifty.




  
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firme
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Oct 13, 2018 20:16 |  #9

Thanks for the tip. Would be nice to get it at that low price new.




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited over 1 year ago by John from PA.
     
Oct 13, 2018 21:21 |  #10

firme wrote in post #18728216 (external link)
Would like to have photos where I can blur the background considerably.

firme wrote in post #18728296 (external link)
John, I don't consider myself knowledgeable much on photography. As everyone would say, practice makes perfect. Not making excuses, just don't get to it and don't have much to use as far as models. I know I have to be more creative in finding ways to practice to get to where I want to be at. Wife doesn't like the idea of time for print either.

The point I was trying to make, and it is borne out by your statements, if you are primarily trying to improve your images by blurring the background, then you should do some studies of depth of field instead of spending money on a lens. You should be aware that your Tamron 17-50mm at f/4.5, a 50mm f/1.4 lens set to f/4.5, and your 50mm f/1.8 set to f/4.5, all will have the same degree of "blurriness" (for lack of a better term). The important part here is all the lenses are the same focal length and set to the same aperture. But set the 50mm f/1.4 to an aperture of f/1.4 and the background may be very blury compared to the other two lenses that are set to f/4.5. So how do I get the lens to f/1.4 and not overexpose? Change the shutter speed to some "shorter" time or decrease ISO.

As you can see there are several interacting variables that can be manipulated to obtain a blurry background. Just throwing money at a different lens will not deliver, you have to fully understand the variables and then decide if you need another lens.

And...to keep the wife happy you do not have to print an image to judge the image. You can see the effect on screen and once happy, then do your print.




  
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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 1 year ago by MalVeauX. (3 edits in all)
     
Oct 13, 2018 22:26 |  #11

Just to help with the idea of focal lengths, focal-ratio and depth of field, here's some examples with an APS-C sensor.

This is an APS-C sensor like you have.

50mm F1.2 @ F1.2, maybe 8 feet or so (approx) distance to subject. Pretty far distance to background, so blur is quite strong.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1961/44580218034_57e9ac31ef_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/2aVp​gES  (external link) DSCF0315 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

85mm F1.4 @ F1.4, maybe 20 feet or so (approx) distance to subject. Fairly far distance to background, so blur is strong, but it would have been stronger if the background was even more distant.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1927/44914328551_3f0e51cd64_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/2bqV​F62  (external link) DSCF0051 copy (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Now, for comparison, here's the same foliage with a full frame (5D) and 135 F2L @ F2 and the background was maybe 50 feet away, so not super distant, which is why it didn't blur out to creamy dreamy. Also this is at about 20 feet working distance approximately:

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4402/37154160252_4ce9e74a6c_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/YBbM​pS  (external link) IMG_8438 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Selecting background and distance makes a huge difference, compared to just having a longer faster lens. What's in the background matters too, as some things will be creamy, some things will be busy looking. Depends if you want environmental context that is soft, versus just completely rendering a background of unrecognizable featureless color smears. Both work, it's just a matter of what you want and how you want to see it.

Very best,

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texkam
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Oct 14, 2018 00:29 |  #12

Yes, both of those pics were made with the 70-200 at the 200mm focal length on a FF 5D3 body. The link below contains a bunch of running shots made with the same lens on an APS-C sensor, 650D body. Most were shot at 200mm. I like shooting at 200mm.

https://kamenish.weebl​y.com/running.html (external link)




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited over 1 year ago by John from PA. (2 edits in all)
     
Oct 14, 2018 04:55 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #13

MalVeauX, very nice examples showing good use of depth of field and how the technique can enhance an image.




  
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firme
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Oct 14, 2018 18:32 |  #14

MalVeauX, thanks for those pictures, they are great. That is something that I am wanting to accomplish.

Thanks John for the explanation. Will see what I have to try this out. Anyone have those 4ft star wars figures, lol.

Have to practice a lot more. Part of the reason I was asking about this as well was that last year, a cousin asked me to do some pictures for Christmas greeting card. I did it and it lacked some depth of field to where I ended up trying to blur the background in light room. What a pain! It came out to how he wanted them but I wasn't happy about them as I had to do it post production. I didn't charge him, wasn't going to either way but I would have been embarrassed and disappointed in myself if I would have though.

Texkam, funny you mention about the 70-200 F4. Before posting here, there is someone who is selling that lens for $300. Just wasn't sure about taking the offer or not. As mentioned I used it before when I rented it from borrowlenses.com and had actually used that when my son was playing outdoor soccer. Actually rented it for that reason just never got to buying one. I do remember giving me depth of field on some pictures when moving/still. Still does outdoor activities.

Really appreciate the help guys. Don't know people that are photographers but family who hired professionals to their big events, meaning not me, have noticed that some carried more than 3 lenses. I never approached them as one, they were working and two, I doubt they would answer basic questions and probably wouldn't give me the time either.




  
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DreDaze
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Oct 14, 2018 19:47 |  #15

i wouldn't buy anything...put the 50mm f1.8 on your camera, and start using it more...if you can't figure out how to blur backgrounds with that lens, than you're just wasting money on another lens...it's certainly capable for what you want...yeah are there other lenses that can blur, and give you different instances...of course, but i don't think the lens is holding you back right now

put it on the camera, only use it...ask questions, take lots of pics...eventually you'll still want to buy something else, but you'll be more suited to knowing what you want


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Portrait lens help/suggestion
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