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View Full Version : 550d: cheapest lens for shallow d.o.f.?



daktulus
07-27-2010, 03:03 PM
What is the best deal for a (tele) lens to get a picture with a shallow depth of field?

I tested the 18-55 standard lens and am not satisfied. I want a more shallow d.o.f.,
which inexpensive lens should I get?


Where do I get it (in Germany or elsewhere)?

HDkilledFILM.
07-27-2010, 03:11 PM
Try the canon 50mm f1.8, even though it's not a tele lens, for around a hundered bucks it's a pretty sweet deal and at f1.8 it's got nice shallow dof. if you really want a tele lens try an older nikkor mf lens with an adapter. Also it's worth noting that both fast f stops and telephoto lenses will give you a shallow dof. Hope this helps.

Spartacus
07-27-2010, 04:12 PM
And what are you guys shooting at f1.8? Brick walls?
Seriously, the kit lens will throw enough of the background out of focus for most shots if you know how, if you like or dislike the bokeh is another thing though...

greeches
07-27-2010, 04:17 PM
get an older Nikon 50mm 1.8 and a Nikon to EF adapter for 10$ on ebay... Gotta love the old nifty-fifty feel! (I don't like the feel of the plastic canon 50mm)

daveswan
07-28-2010, 02:54 AM
I got a S/H Contax 50 1.7 for 90 from Ffordes. Nice long throw and a real aperture ring.
Mint condition, boxed with original QC docs.
Might look for S/H 85 1.4
Dave

stip
07-28-2010, 03:23 AM
EF 50mm 1.8 is a great lens for the money. Don't know why anyone would bash on it...Spartacus ;)

ChrisPrine
07-28-2010, 10:20 AM
Yeah, old lens plus adapter will be real cheap. My main lens is a Tamon 17-50 2.8. It's cheaper than other new lenses though might not be in your range. f2.8 is plenty shallow for me. I don't think I've shot that wide open though. keeping anything in focus becomes too hard.

PhilJackson
07-28-2010, 11:56 AM
Well if you want a telephoto lens, even at a 2.8 you'll get shallow depth of field due to focal length. The longer the lens the easier it is to get shallow depth of field. Now if you want to keep a similar focal length as to the kit lens, what everyone else has been saying would do you good.

HDkilledFILM.
07-28-2010, 12:21 PM
And what are you guys shooting at f1.8? Brick walls?
Seriously, the kit lens will throw enough of the background out of focus for most shots if you know how, if you like or dislike the bokeh is another thing though...

What's your beef with fast fstop lenses?

PerroneFord
07-28-2010, 12:37 PM
Fast F-Stops are terrific. But they rarely get used by most folks because it's HARD to stay in focus with these things. Focus pulling at F1.8 if the camera and subject are moving is nearly impossible for mere mortals.

Looking at our recent shoot, I decided to shoot nearly the entire film at F4-5.6 because we were handheld for most of the film. For the few static's we did, I called for 2.8 and I think one shot 2.0, but that was a tripod shot. And we had to pull that one also because the actress leaned forward about 18 inches.

All these F1.4 and F1.8 pieces of glass sound terrific, until you actually have to shoot down there.

HDkilledFILM.
07-28-2010, 12:42 PM
I shoot at f1.4 all the time, I don't go handheld with it when I don't have an ac pulling focus remotely but that goes without saying.

I see your point though, on a run and gun indie it might not be the best but if you want shallow dof...

PerroneFord
07-28-2010, 01:13 PM
I shoot at f1.4 all the time, I don't go handheld with it when I don't have an ac pulling focus remotely but that goes without saying.

How are you staying in tight focus? What lens are you on when shooting 1.4? I could see it maybe on a 28, possibly a 35, but any more than that, you must be a lot better than the ACs I work with!

PerroneFord
07-28-2010, 02:46 PM
Perrone, I guess you did not watch the link I posted?

I am at my office, so I have limited opportunities to watch videos.

HDkilledFILM.
07-28-2010, 09:51 PM
I think it comes down to blocking. I block out every shot I can and make focus marks for my ac. Mind you if I'm pulling focus by myself I'm locking it down, it really comes down to style of shooting. I'm more into locked shots than handheld anyway so it's kind of a matter of style. I have a 50mm f1.4 that I keep wide open a bunch (gives a really nice soft veil effect) and I do miss focus from time to time but I feel like I'm getting better at sitting in the pocket. I think that at high fstops, the more you shoot there the better you get.

Snapper123
08-01-2010, 04:17 AM
Here's my experience with the $100 1.8...

Basically, it's an angelic lens if you're up as close to the object as the focus point will allow. Photography wise, I have taken photos with it that practically look like I'm using a lensbaby, they turn out extremely pretty. But in all honesty, just like any lens, you're not gonna get those same results if you're many feet back from the subject (maybe 6 feet or so?). The tele properties still apply as do any lens. But then of coarse, huge landscape shots will also have a pretty good depth of field as well, say if you're shooting a very long parking lot. Glass wise, the prime has much more UV issues, one thing you'll notice is that out in the sun, if you barely focus too much, the outline of the object will be red or green, and if you focus just a bit too less, the outline will be red or green. Matters most in crop photography/manual focusing. This is not taking into account the addition of filters, though, as I'm still trying to decide on that product, and it doesn't take into account that certain white balance shifts may help that look a bit better. Overall though, the auto focus seems to always get it exactly right.

Focus wise, in Live View, the auto focus is horrible, almost non-working. I usually have to focus twice just for the lens to know what it's doing, and even then, it has to focus in and out like a turtle every single time. When using viewfinder, though, it's about as quick as the kit, maybe slightly slower. General sharpness, I want to say that it may be slightly less sharp than the kit, but I've nowhere near done any tests on sharpness; I don't know the len's good spots. As an overall beginner's lens, it does much better for indoor light and stuff (though not as much as you'd expect) with keeping the ISO down, and again, it makes outstanding, heavenly looking macro shots, as the kit is honestly slightly more boring with the depth of field :P. I'd recommend it, but just for my own reasons, I'm thinking about switching it for the $400 Sigma 35mm 1.4. I just find myself needing a slightly different set up there, mainly the focal length and one more stop of aperture.

P.S. The one thing about low apetures is that they don't effect much unless you are very close to the subject. Once you are fairly distant from the subject, the whole photo will be kinda clear no matter what. So if you're afraid that you wouldn't be able to take clear, open shots as well, there's no worry + you can always open up the aperture too.