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Bokeh For Full Body Shots ...
Hi Everyone,.

I have fallen in love with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II. I have this lens on my Canon 30D. And, I enjoy the amount of Bokeh it produces for head and shoulder shots. It really is a great lens! A great lens for being so cheap. And, of course I know there are better lenses..

Problem:.

However ....

With this lens I can't seem to get good Bokeh (good blurring action) when I want a full body shot with a blurred background..

For one, if I want a full body shot I have to step back far enough so that the I or someone else is fully in the lens. However, the father my photo subject steps back, the less of a blurring shot I can take (at least with this 50mm lens). The way to get a full body shot with good Bokeh with my current 50mm lens is for my subject to squat and then take a picture where I'm more closer to the subject..

Looking For:.

A good lens that is reasonably priced but for which would give me good Bokah for a full body shot with a good blurred background. Meaning, I want to be able to have my photo subject fully in the shot and to have a good strong blurred background. I'm unsure what mm or aperture would be best..

Some lenses I have been looking at are the (both around $300):.

1) Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM EF Lens2) Tamron Autofocus 28-75mm f2.8 XR.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Possibilities?.

Thanks,.

Eric..

Comments (16)

Here's a depth of field calculator..

With a 85mm you will have to be about 1.7x farther back to get the same field of view as the 50mm making the depth of field the same as the 50mm.i.e. 50mm @f1.8 at 10 feet is the same FOV and DOF as 85 mm at f1.8 and 17 feet..

A wider lens at f2.8 will have even bigger minimum DOF and getting too wide isn't good for portraits.you need a lower f-stop (like f1.2) or move the background farther back..

Http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html..

Comment #1

NickC20D wrote:.

Here's a depth of field calculator.with a 85mm you will have to be about 1.7x farther back to get thesame field of view as the 50mm making the depth of field the same asthe 50mm.i.e. 50mm @f1.8 at 10 feet is the same FOV and DOF as 85 mm at f1.8and 17 feet..

Yes, but same depth of field doesn't mean same background blur. The longer lens will have greater background blur...

Comment #2

Yes, you're right I should have stated that more clearly...

Comment #3

Eric_California wrote:.

Hi Everyone,.

I have fallen in love with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II. I have this lenson my Canon 30D. And, I enjoy the amount of Bokeh it produces forhead and shoulder shots. It really is a great lens! A great lens forbeing so cheap. And, of course I know there are better lenses..

Problem:.

However ....

With this lens I can't seem to get good Bokeh (good blurring action)when I want a full body shot with a blurred background..

You seem to badly confuse bokeh for depth of field..

For one, if I want a full body shot I have to step back far enough sothat the I or someone else is fully in the lens. However, the fathermy photo subject steps back, the less of a blurring shot I can take(at least with this 50mm lens). The way to get a full body shot withgood Bokeh with my current 50mm lens is for my subject to squat andthen take a picture where I'm more closer to the subject..

Bokeh is the quality of out of focus background, especially specular highlights. It is quite constant for a given lens, and function of lens optical design and aperture blades number..

Looking For:.

A good lens that is reasonably priced but for which would give megood Bokah for a full body shot with a good blurred background.Meaning, I want to be able to have my photo subject fully in the shotand to have a good strong blurred background. I'm unsure what mm oraperture would be best..

What you want is less depth of field..

Some lenses I have been looking at are the (both around $300):.

1) Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM EF Lens2) Tamron Autofocus 28-75mm f2.8 XR.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Possibilities?.

Well... Basically DOF is a function of magnification. That is, if you frame the same subject in the viewfinder to be at the same apparent size, using different focal lenghts, at the same aperture, you'll get the same DOF..

E.g. if you fill the frame with your subject at 50mm and f1.8 and at 85mm and f1.8, you'll get the same depth of field..

On the other hand, you'll get a different field of view. Longer lens yield more pleasing images as far as blurred background is concerned..

Not to mention that longer lens are more flattering for humans - i.e. the nose does not appear the size of Titanic's bow..

So, what I suggest is:.

Go to a camera store and test the available lens for your needs. Don't buy anything. Go home and carefully study the images, also ask other people's opinion..

You'll find out pretty fast what lenses might do for your needs - but you'll have to consider other things, too, such as price, size and, indeed, bokeh..

/d/n.

Thanks,.

Eric..

Comment #4

Devnull wrote:.

Eric_California wrote:.

With this lens I can't seem to get good Bokeh (good blurring action)when I want a full body shot with a blurred background..

You seem to badly confuse bokeh for depth of field..

No, he's not. Strictly speaking bokeh refers to the quality of the background blur rather than the amount of it, but if we skip that subtle distinction, the issue is background blur and *not* depth of field..

For one, if I want a full body shot I have to step back far enough sothat the I or someone else is fully in the lens. However, the fathermy photo subject steps back, the less of a blurring shot I can take(at least with this 50mm lens). The way to get a full body shot withgood Bokeh with my current 50mm lens is for my subject to squat andthen take a picture where I'm more closer to the subject..

Bokeh is the quality of out of focus background, especially specularhighlights. It is quite constant for a given lens, and function oflens optical design and aperture blades number..

Yes, but it is clear from the question that the OP is asking about increasing background blur, he has just used the wrong terminology..

Looking For:.

A good lens that is reasonably priced but for which would give megood Bokah for a full body shot with a good blurred background.Meaning, I want to be able to have my photo subject fully in the shotand to have a good strong blurred background. I'm unsure what mm oraperture would be best..

What you want is less depth of field..

No, this is incorrect. More background blur does *not* mean, or require, less depth of field..

Some lenses I have been looking at are the (both around $300):.

1) Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM EF Lens2) Tamron Autofocus 28-75mm f2.8 XR.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Possibilities?.

Well... Basically DOF is a function of magnification. That is, if youframe the same subject in the viewfinder to be at the same apparentsize, using different focal lenghts, at the same aperture, you'll getthe same DOF..

Yes. But *not* the same background blur..

E.g. if you fill the frame with your subject at 50mm and f1.8 and at85mm and f1.8, you'll get the same depth of field..

Yes. But *not* the same background blur..

On the other hand, you'll get a different field of view..

Certainly you will have a different angular field of view, but you have compensated for that by changing the subject distance. The key point is that the perspective has changed - the background is 'larger' and the background blur is also correspondingly 'larger'...

Comment #5

Eric_California wrote:.

Some lenses I have been looking at are the (both around $300):.

1) Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM EF Lens2) Tamron Autofocus 28-75mm f2.8 XR.

There are composition factors and hardware factors which influence background blur, but concentrating on the hardware, two things will increase it - greater focal length and larger aperture..

It can be difficult to use a larger aperture, because it reduces depth of field and makes focusing more critical. But it is good to have - just another skill to master, and you have no doubt learned a lot from using the 50/1.8. And the 85/1.8 focuses faster and more accurately than the 50/1.8..

A longer lens carries no such penalty, I think that is the solution to your problem. Of the two you mention, I would choose the 85/1.8. Others would argue that the Tamron is more versatile and f/2.8 is enough - but I think you wouldn't see enough improvement. You could go for f/2.8 in an even longer lens, but you are starting to get into serious money for something like a 70-200/2.8. And a huge weight to carry around!..

Comment #6

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

Devnull wrote:.

Eric_California wrote:.

With this lens I can't seem to get good Bokeh (good blurring action)when I want a full body shot with a blurred background..

You seem to badly confuse bokeh for depth of field..

No, he's not. Strictly speaking bokeh refers to the quality of thebackground blur rather than the amount of it, but if we skip thatsubtle distinction, the issue is background blur and *not* depth offield..

I think we should words the way they are defined, and not create a circle of confusion around them .

Strictly speaking, he's making a confusion..

For one, if I want a full body shot I have to step back far enough sothat the I or someone else is fully in the lens. However, the fathermy photo subject steps back, the less of a blurring shot I can take(at least with this 50mm lens). The way to get a full body shot withgood Bokeh with my current 50mm lens is for my subject to squat andthen take a picture where I'm more closer to the subject..

Bokeh is the quality of out of focus background, especially specularhighlights. It is quite constant for a given lens, and function oflens optical design and aperture blades number..

Yes, but it is clear from the question that the OP is asking aboutincreasing background blur, he has just used the wrong terminology..

It's clear, indeed. However, this is beginners forum, and I believe we should try to educate, not necessarily respond to what we guess it was asked. I don't think I was harsh to the OP..

Looking For:.

A good lens that is reasonably priced but for which would give megood Bokah for a full body shot with a good blurred background.Meaning, I want to be able to have my photo subject fully in the shotand to have a good strong blurred background. I'm unsure what mm oraperture would be best..

What you want is less depth of field..

No, this is incorrect. More background blur does *not* mean, orrequire, less depth of field..

You are correct. My bad. I should have said "what you want is the background farther away from the back limit of DOF"..

Some lenses I have been looking at are the (both around $300):.

1) Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM EF Lens2) Tamron Autofocus 28-75mm f2.8 XR.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Possibilities?.

Well... Basically DOF is a function of magnification. That is, if youframe the same subject in the viewfinder to be at the same apparentsize, using different focal lenghts, at the same aperture, you'll getthe same DOF..

Yes. But *not* the same background blur..

Indeed, because the background is at a different magnification and it will be blurred differently..

E.g. if you fill the frame with your subject at 50mm and f1.8 and at85mm and f1.8, you'll get the same depth of field..

Yes. But *not* the same background blur..

Yes, see above..

On the other hand, you'll get a different field of view..

Certainly you will have a different angular field of view, but youhave compensated for that by changing the subject distance. The keypoint is that the perspective has changed - the background is'larger' and the background blur is also correspondingly 'larger'..

That's true - and what I meant to say. I probably wasn't very clear..

To the benefit of the OP: consider a picture of a person with a forest on the background..

Shoot at the same f stop with two different lenses: a wide angle and a telephoto. Keep the subject the same size in the viewfinder..

Wideangle shot: you'll get a sharp subject and lots of blurred trees. Since you have lots of detail, the background will appear less blurred.

Telephoto: sharp subject, and maybe ONE blurred tree. Since there is less detail in the background, it will apear more blurred..

When I said compare, I said that because it's difficult to evaluate the effect of, say, 50mm f1.8 vs 75mm f2.8 vs 200mm f5.6, etc..

Comment #7

If you maintain the field of view and f number as you change other things, the amount of blur in the background is proportional to.

Focus distance times distance from focus object to background divided by thedistance from photographer to background.

To get more blur, you maximize the focus distance, maximize, if possible, the distance of the background behind the focus object (and, of course, minimize the f number)..

The quality of the blur, bokeh, depends on other things that have to do with the particular lens. Here is a reference that describes the quality issues surrounding bokeh. Hope this helps.http://www.rickdenney.com/bokeh_test.htmLeonhttp://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm..

Comment #8

Eric_California wrote:.

Looking For:A good lens that is reasonably priced but for which would give megood Bokah for a full body shot with a good blurred background.Meaning, I want to be able to have my photo subject fully in the shotand to have a good strong blurred background. I'm unsure what mm oraperture would be best..

Thoughts? Suggestions? Possibilities?.

Hi Eric, If I may make a suggestion, if you run Photoshop2/3, then have you considered creating the precise bokeh effect you want by simply selecting your subject using the Magnetic Lasso tool > Inverse // Filters > Bur > Lens Blur?.

Easy Peasy )mark..

Comment #9

One hint move the people farther from the background..

Second hint focus in front of the main subject, making the background even more out of focus..

BAK..

Comment #10

Devnull wrote:.

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

Devnull wrote:.

Eric_California wrote:.

With this lens I can't seem to get good Bokeh (good blurring action)when I want a full body shot with a blurred background..

You seem to badly confuse bokeh for depth of field..

No, he's not. Strictly speaking bokeh refers to the quality of thebackground blur rather than the amount of it, but if we skip thatsubtle distinction, the issue is background blur and *not* depth offield..

I think we should words the way they are defined, and not create acircle of confusion around them .

Strictly speaking, he's making a confusion..

No - you said he was confusing bokeh with depth of field. He wasn't, he was making the much more forgiveable mistake of using bokeh to mean background blur. Especially forgiveable considering he probably copied the mistake from posters here!.

But you then went on to confuse more background blur with less depth of field and not only is it wrong to do so - the difference is fundamental to the correct answer to the OP's question..

It's pretty unfair to blame Eric for the confusion that you have introduced...

Comment #11

BAK wrote:.

One hint move the people farther from the background..

Frequently impossible..

Second hint focus in front of the main subject, making thebackground even more out of focus..

Very poor advice. This will make the subject out of focus and will hardly affect a distant background at all...

Comment #12

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

No - you said he was confusing bokeh with depth of field. He wasn't,he was making the much more forgiveable mistake of using bokeh tomean background blur. Especially forgiveable considering he probablycopied the mistake from posters here!.

But you then went on to confuse more background blur with less depthof field and not only is it wrong to do so - the difference isfundamental to the correct answer to the OP's question..

It's pretty unfair to blame Eric for the confusion that you haveintroduced..

Heh, I am not blaming anybody for my mistake. I made it, it's mine, I recognize it. I even claim patternity. .

I won't allow ANYBODY to become a devil's advocate and say it IS a problem of DOF; i.e. if we agree to consider the background at infinity (optically), we want it to get as far away from the DOF as possible - that is to get thin(er) DOF. OR to suggest that the distribution of light in the specular highlights has zero to do with the original question..

Ooops, I did it myself. Again. I've got a big mouth. I mean, fast fingers..

Happy Holidays and exagerately photogenical weather .

/d/n..

Comment #13

Devnull wrote:.

Happy Holidays and exagerately photogenical weather .

I wish. Today was my first full day off in ages and this morning, by a happy coincidence, the postman delivered the Kenko Pro TC I've been impatiently waiting for to mate up with my recently acquired 70-200/4L. We've had 100% heavy cloud cover all day..

However - HH to you too ..

Comment #14

Wouldn't the 50mm f/1.4 be just as effective? He already has a 20D which has a crop factor of 1.6 so it's 80mm (35 mm-equivalent). It also has a larger aperature. Why would you guys recommend the 85mm f/1.8 over that lens?..

Comment #15

Sgt_Strider wrote:.

Wouldn't the 50mm f/1.4 be just as effective? He already has a 20Dwhich has a crop factor of 1.6 so it's 80mm (35 mm-equivalent). Italso has a larger aperature. Why would you guys recommend the 85mmf/1.8 over that lens?.

Because a longer lens creates more background blur without reducing depth of field...

Comment #16

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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