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View Full Version : Portrait Lens for Canon Digital Rebel



mindrules
01-25-2005, 08:01 AM
An amateur wants recommendations for one or more lenses for the digital rebel. I have read about Canon 50 mm f 1.8 in these and other forums, but I am not sure if this will provide background blurring.

The lens should work well for taking pictures of people (adults, babies...) in an indoor setting. The lens should have the ability to provide for background blurring so that the the focus is on the person being photographed. Any help about lighting or photography techniques or accessories that would help in taking these portrait pictures would be appreciated.

Also, I wanna thank the providers of this site for their enormous good work. The reviews and the forums are very helpful. :)

D70FAN
01-25-2005, 01:08 PM
An amateur wants recommendations for one or more lenses for the digital rebel. I have read about Canon 50 mm f 1.8 in these and other forums, but I am not sure if this will provide background blurring.

The lens should work well for taking pictures of people (adults, babies...) in an indoor setting. The lens should have the ability to provide for background blurring so that the the focus is on the person being photographed. Any help about lighting or photography techniques or accessories that would help in taking these portrait pictures would be appreciated.

Also, I wanna thank the providers of this site for their enormous good work. The reviews and the forums are very helpful. :)

Believe me at f1.8 all you will see clearly is the subject.

LoveOfSelene
01-25-2005, 02:25 PM
I agree w/ George.

Here's an example of the background blur.
This is from a fellow photographer that uses the 50mm F/1.4 as a main lens. Compairable to the F/1.8 version.

This shot at 50mm F/1.8 at ISO 100 at 1/800

ReF
01-25-2005, 04:43 PM
you will definately get enough blur from f1.8 - the background will be pretty much indistinguishable. you might want to put up a different thread for lighting tips.

btw, the site is run by just one guy. he also does all the official, non-forum reviews.

mindrules
01-26-2005, 10:53 AM
you will definately get enough blur from f1.8 - the background will be pretty much indistinguishable. you might want to put up a different thread for lighting tips.

btw, the site is run by just one guy. he also does all the official, non-forum reviews.


I plan on buying this lens from amazon for about $80. If I get a good photo, I will post. Thanks. Thanks Jeff.

jamison55
01-27-2005, 03:23 AM
You won't be disappointed with this lens. Not only will you get more blur than you counted on (at f1.8 and normal headshot distance the eyes will be in focus, but the ears won't!), but you will find that the color cast is perfect, and the images are tack sharp throughout its range. Easily the sharpest lens I own (and the cheapest!)

With the money you saved on the lens, buy a nice off camera bounce flash. I recommend the Sunpak 383 Super ($79@ Adorama.com). Angle the flash up to bounce the light off of the ceiling, and you will be amazed at the result.

mindrules
01-27-2005, 09:35 AM
Thanks Jamison. I have the flash on my list of things to buy. The price seems right. Any other accessories you would recommend. A protective case comes to mind. I bought the UV filter (?) as a safety accessory for lens protection. It screws up in front of the lens area.

I found local stores selling Canon 50 mm f 1.8 lens for about $90 whereas its listed at $80 at amazon dot com.

For indoor portrait photos, I was planning to have the person stand up against a white indoor home wall. Any recommendations regarding the background to use for portraits?

jamison55
01-27-2005, 10:01 AM
You should definitely have a case to protect your camera and lenses, and keep everything together. Your local Ritz Camera will have a large selection of camera bags at reasonable prices. Buy one large enough to hold your camera, a couple of extra lenses (just try to keep yourself from buying more lenses!), your flash, and any other accessories you want to carry along.

A plain white background is a great place to start your portrait career. Richard Avedon used such a setup throughout his life, and it turned out ok for him! One of my favorite studio backdrops is a roll of plain white paper: http://www.pbase.com/jamisonwexlerphoto/image/38907941

The important thing about using a plain white background is to control your shadows and light. Bouncing your flash off of the ceiling will eliminate shadows on the background, but be sure to experiment with the angle so that enough of the light provides a fill for the areas of the face which tend to lurk in shadows (under the eyes, nose, etc). You should also experiment with placing your subject near a corner and bouncing the flash off of the opposite wall. This will light one side of the face more strongly than the other and produce interesting shadows.

Remember, it's digital so experiment until your heart's content...the film is free!

Mark_48
01-29-2005, 05:10 PM
Thanks Jamison. I have the flash on my list of things to buy. The price seems right. Any other accessories you would recommend. A protective case comes to mind. I bought the UV filter (?) as a safety accessory for lens protection. It screws up in front of the lens area.

I found local stores selling Canon 50 mm f 1.8 lens for about $90 whereas its listed at $80 at amazon dot com.

Take a look at these two online dealers. I've bought from B&H and have been very satisfied with their service. I just looked and the 50mm/f1.8 with a USA warranty is $74.95 + Shipping. They also have this lens without the USA warranty ("imported" they call it) for $69.95 + shipping. On B&H's product listings you can click on the word "imported" for their explanation.

Adorama I haven't purchased from, but have heard good reports.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com

www.adoramacamera.com/

mindrules
02-02-2005, 02:01 PM
I found out recently that the blurring of backbround effect can also be easily achieved using Microsoft Photodraw. I guess the blurring software feature is available in several other basic and advanced softwares.

I wonder if there is any difference between the software based blurring and lens blurring?

BrianC
02-12-2005, 07:41 AM
I found out recently that the blurring of backbround effect can also be easily achieved using Microsoft Photodraw. I guess the blurring software feature is available in several other basic and advanced softwares.

I wonder if there is any difference between the software based blurring and lens blurring?

Most certainly there is a difference. Optically, focus blur increases as distance from you increases. That is very challenging to reproduce in software especially as the complexity of a photo increases. I have used software for only small amounts of background blurring. I would not push it.

Jredtugboat
02-12-2005, 02:47 PM
I found out recently that the blurring of backbround effect can also be easily achieved using Microsoft Photodraw. I guess the blurring software feature is available in several other basic and advanced softwares.

I wonder if there is any difference between the software based blurring and lens blurring?

I don't think there's anything wrong with software based blurring, but the nice thing about that f1.8 lens of yours is that in addition to giving you all that nice control over depth of field (what allows you to blur out background features) is that it is a very fast lens for its price--so you can get better ambient light pictures before you have to resort to fill flash.

Guayaiperojo
02-25-2005, 12:14 PM
Yes it is...
The camera is better... and more natural...
The bluring that you do in software is better for other type of effects...
I don't think it is fair or nice to try to compare them...

gary_hendricks
02-25-2005, 04:53 PM
Also, I wanna thank the providers of this site for their enormous good work. The reviews and the forums are very helpful. :)

Only one guy runs the site (Jeff). I think he's done a great job.