Canon Rebel telephoto recommendation for portrait blurring

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jeff Durham, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Jeff Durham

    Jeff Durham Guest

    I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the stock
    lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am assuming
    that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing something
    wrong with the 18-55 lens?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    Jeff Durham, Jun 12, 2004
    #1
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  2. Jeff Durham

    Sorby Guest

    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:CEJyc.83159$...
    > I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the

    stock
    > lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am assuming
    > that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    > 55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing

    something
    > wrong with the 18-55 lens?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Jeff


    Have you tried putting more distance between your subject and the
    background?

    --
    Sorby
    Sorby, Jun 12, 2004
    #2
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  3. Jeff Durham

    adm Guest

    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:CEJyc.83159$...
    > I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the

    stock
    > lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am assuming
    > that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    > 55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing

    something
    > wrong with the 18-55 lens?


    You will get the most background blurring if you use the lens at the highest
    end of it's zoom, and as wide open as possible (lowest f number)

    If you want more, you could buy something like an 85mm f1.8 prime lens which
    would be ideal, or indeed use a more powerful zoom like the two you
    mentioned.
    adm, Jun 12, 2004
    #3
  4. Jeff Durham

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    The 55 would be difficult to get shallow dof from unless you are willing
    to take shots with your subject very close and the background very far. I
    would recommmend the 75-300 Canon - I've owned the original and now have the
    IS version and it is a lot of lens for the money. My wife uses it at 300mm
    and wide open to do flower portraits. Very shallow dof.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:CEJyc.83159$...
    > I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the

    stock
    > lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am assuming
    > that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    > 55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing

    something
    > wrong with the 18-55 lens?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    Tony Spadaro, Jun 12, 2004
    #4
  5. Jeff Durham

    Ben Munn Guest

    I have used both the 100mm F2.0 and the 135mm F2.0. Either of those lens
    will give you a very shallow depth of field and a great deal of background
    blur. Also the 70-200mm F2.8 from Sigma or Canon will do a great job.
    These lenses are a bit pricey though with the best deal being the 100mm F2.0
    which can be found in the $300-$350 range. This is a great multi-purpose
    lens though as you can do great portraits as well as indoor sports and such.

    If you are looking for something cheaper, I would suggest the 50mm F1.8 or
    maybe the 85mm F1.8 although the later is not that much cheaper.

    You can control some of the DOF by moving closer to your subject and moving
    the subject further away from the background. Also, longer focal lengths by
    nature give more background blurr. Still though, I have found that the
    larger apetures (F2.8, F2.0 etc.) seem to do the best job with background
    blurr.

    Ben

    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:CEJyc.83159$...
    > I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the

    stock
    > lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am assuming
    > that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    > 55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing

    something
    > wrong with the 18-55 lens?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    Ben Munn, Jun 12, 2004
    #5
  6. Jeff Durham

    DJ Guest

    On Sat, 12 Jun 2004 20:25:06 GMT, "Jeff Durham" <> wrote:

    >I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the stock
    >lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am assuming
    >that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    >55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing something
    >wrong with the 18-55 lens?
    >
    >Thanks,
    >Jeff
    >


    Look at the 50mm/1.8 prime. Portrait examples at
    http://www.splatco.com/david/kids-web_deploy/index.htm
    DJ, Jun 13, 2004
    #6
  7. Jeff Durham

    Jeff Durham Guest

    I will give that a try. I think I had about 15 feet between the subject and
    background. I was also as close as possible to the subject with the lens
    set to maximum zoom.

    Jeff


    "Sorby" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    > news:CEJyc.83159$...
    > > I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the

    > stock
    > > lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am

    assuming
    > > that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    > > 55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing

    > something
    > > wrong with the 18-55 lens?
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > > Jeff

    >
    > Have you tried putting more distance between your subject and the
    > background?
    >
    > --
    > Sorby
    >
    >
    Jeff Durham, Jun 13, 2004
    #7
  8. Jeff Durham

    Jeff Durham Guest

    To get the lowest possible F number, I assume that I would not use the
    predefined portrait setting, but use a custom mode where I could give
    priority to the aperture setting.

    Thanks,
    Jeff


    "adm" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    > news:CEJyc.83159$...
    > > I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the

    > stock
    > > lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am

    assuming
    > > that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    > > 55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing

    > something
    > > wrong with the 18-55 lens?

    >
    > You will get the most background blurring if you use the lens at the

    highest
    > end of it's zoom, and as wide open as possible (lowest f number)
    >
    > If you want more, you could buy something like an 85mm f1.8 prime lens

    which
    > would be ideal, or indeed use a more powerful zoom like the two you
    > mentioned.
    >
    >
    Jeff Durham, Jun 13, 2004
    #8
  9. Jeff Durham

    Jeff Durham Guest

    I appreciate everyone's input. I will try a longer telephoto setting with
    the minimum f number as well as getting the subject further away from the
    background.

    Thanks,
    Jeff


    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:CEJyc.83159$...
    > I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the

    stock
    > lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am assuming
    > that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    > 55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing

    something
    > wrong with the 18-55 lens?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    Jeff Durham, Jun 13, 2004
    #9
  10. Jeff Durham

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Basic problem with that is that if your subject is humn and you are too
    close they are going to have a big nose, or cheek or forehead or chin -
    whatever is closest to the lens.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:kDPyc.31117$...
    > I appreciate everyone's input. I will try a longer telephoto setting with
    > the minimum f number as well as getting the subject further away from the
    > background.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    > "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    > news:CEJyc.83159$...
    > > I am experimenting with the portrait mode on my Canon Rebel. With the

    > stock
    > > lens (18-55), I cannot get the blurring of the background. I am

    assuming
    > > that I need to use something other than a wide angle lens. How would a
    > > 55-200 or 75-300 lens work in this situation? Or, am I just doing

    > something
    > > wrong with the 18-55 lens?
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > > Jeff
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Tony Spadaro, Jun 13, 2004
    #10
  11. Jeff Durham

    adm Guest

    "Jeff Durham" <> wrote in message
    news:_BPyc.31116$...
    > To get the lowest possible F number, I assume that I would not use the
    > predefined portrait setting, but use a custom mode where I could give
    > priority to the aperture setting.


    Just switch into Aperture priority mode (A on my D70), then use the control
    wheel to change the aperture setting. A low number like f2.8 will give you
    less depth of field (i.e. more background blurring). A higher number will
    give you more.

    Play around !
    adm, Jun 13, 2004
    #11
  12. Jeff Durham

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Jeff Durham <> wrote:
    >I appreciate everyone's input. I will try a longer telephoto setting with
    >the minimum f number as well as getting the subject further away from the
    >background.


    >Thanks,
    >Jeff


    Be just a tad careful here. Many lenses are not at their
    sharpest wide open. If it is a portrait, you might actually
    like that effect as it adds to the blurring of the background
    at the edges.

    But if you are looking for hair sharp images of what is in
    focus, you might want to experiment a bit.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Jun 13, 2004
    #12
  13. Jeff Durham

    Bill Riel Guest

    Bill Riel, Jun 14, 2004
    #13
  14. << I appreciate everyone's input. I will try a longer telephoto setting with
    the minimum f number as well as getting the subject further away from the
    background. >>

    Jeff-

    By now, I expect you have tried this. How did it work out? You should have
    optimized the background blur as much as possible. As I see it, you may still
    be restricted by the f/5.6 maximum aperture at 55mm. That is why you need a
    different lens.

    The best suggestion so far, was getting the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, which
    compares to an 80mm lens on a 35mm camera. At less than $100, it is quite the
    bargain. At maximum aperture, the background blur should approach what you are
    looking for. For other uses, it produces extremely sharp images when stopped
    down two or three stops.

    Fred
    Fred McKenzie, Jun 19, 2004
    #14
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