need help with a lens

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need help with a lens

Postby jodilynn » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:06 pm

Im looking for a lens that can go from a small depth of field to a big depth of feild. Also a good zoom. I have a Cannon Rebel. Any info or recomendations would be soo awesome!! Santa is asking what I want for Christmas :wink:
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Postby blue-eden » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:30 am

For lenses, you'd have to first choose how wide of an angle you want. (All the lenses I have come in Canon versions too).

For example, if you are shooting indoors and don't have a lot of space to back up, then you might want something wider, like a 35 mm lens. I have the Nikon 35 mm 1.8, which is AWESOME for indoors. I took some pics of the kids by the Xmas tree last night. Because it's super sharp at the widest aperture, I don't have to worry about the images being soft.

Or you could get a 50 mm lens, which is also good for indoor, but for fuller body shots you need much more room to back up. I use my 50 mm 1.4 for indoors, and I have a lot of room to back up, but it's still better closer up because you have to stop down to about F2.8 or else the images aren't as sharp and you can miss focus a lot. And stopping down to a smaller aperture means that you lose more blurriness in the background.
The 50 mm 1.8 is also a good lens.

For outdoor, full body (backed WAY up) and up close, I use my 85 mm 1.4 lens. This is a fabulous lens, that is also super sharp at the widest aperture. But much trickier to use with fast moving toddlers, because of how much it shifts due to the longer length.

BUT depth of focus also depends on how far away you are from your subject. And also how far away they are from the background. If you put them up against a wall or backdrop, you won't get that blurry background. They're too close. You have to pull them AWAY from the background, to get it blurry. If you are fairly close to your subject, and the background is further away, you get that nice smooth blurry background, that is great for portraits. If you want all the background to be sharp and in focus, close down to the narrow aperture, like F11 or F16, but you have to have your shutter speed slower or your ISO higher to allow in enough light.

You have to think about focus and sharpness too. If you are further away from your subject, less pixels are dedicated to their faces, so they won't look as sharp as if you shot close up, kwim? You can use the DOF calculator to figure out how far you can be from your subject to get them in good focus.
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

All of these are prime lenses, not zooms.

For zooms, I don't know about the Canon ones. But the one I want is the Nikon 24-70 mm 2.8 lens which is expensive so I'm not going to get it until the spring. Canon has the same one, and it's also very expensive!
The good thing about it, is that the aperture doesn't change as you zoom. So you don't have to worry about changing your shutter speed as you zoom, to compensate for your exposure as the aperture changes.

Zoom lenses that change aperture as you zoom are called VARIABLE APERTURE lenses. I have one, the Nikon 28-80 mm lens, and I LOVE it. But not for moving subjects. I can change shutter pretty darn fast, so it works when they're not moving in and out of different light too much, but it's not my favourite. I'd much prefer to get one that doesn't change aperture as you zoom, so I know my exposure doesn't need adjusting.

I hope I helped and didn't confuse you more. :)
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Postby Christie2007 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:44 am

I would have to agree with Blue. It really depends on if you like primes or zooms. I prefer primes because I personally think the picture is sharper and clearer. I have a 50mm, an 85mm and a 35mm just as Blue mentioned. Mine are Canon versus Nikon though. Each are good for their own uses of course.

As far as a zoom goes, I think Blue's recommendations are right on the money. Also like Blue, I don't like zooms that change aperature because it just makes it a little more tedious to take photos when you constantly have to adjust for a different aperature range. I had an Canon Rebel XSi first that came with an 18-55mm lens. I actually sold it. I have since sold that camera and upgraded and I got a body only model to use with my favorite lenses. I am hoping to add a 135mm to my collection at some point as well.
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Postby blue-eden » Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:48 am

I would love a 135!!! I can't justify it though, since I already have the 105 mm for macros. But maybe someday!

I adore primes.
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Postby Christie2007 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:22 am

I really want the 135mm L. It has some of the best reviews of any Canon lenses! I really, really want it. I really have the lenses I "need" but what the hay, right? :)
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