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Thread: New lens needed to do portraits with Canon 70 D with kit lens

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    Member juskat's Avatar
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    New lens needed to do portraits with Canon 70 D with kit lens

    Hi
    I am a beginner with a Canon 70D (18-55 kit lens) wanting buy a new lens for taking portraits in natural light both indoors and outside. Budget - less than $500.

    This is my first post, thanks for your help.

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    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    G'day justcat. A canon 85mm f1.8, maybe?.... There around your budget price. Cheers.

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    Thanks feathers ikeep hearing about the "Nifty- Fifty" for portraits and thought that meant I needed to get at 50mm. what will be the differance to my shooting and photos between the 50mm and 85mm?

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    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    The 50 will give you a wider view, which would be helpful in tight spaces indoors, as well as generally a good all round prime lens. It just means you have to walk backwards or forwards to get the right composition in frame. I thought the 85mm would be a better choice though, as it will give you better bokeh, or blur around your subject isolating them with less distraction, something a lot of portrait photographers go for. The 85 is also a prime lens. meaning you would have to walk back and forth till you got the right composition. These are not zoom lenses like your kit lens. They are generally a good sharp lens. and at f1.8 would work better in natural lighting.
    If you google both lenses separately on the flkr site. You would see samples of what these two lenses can do As far as other zooms are concerned, l will leave it to others for recommendations. Cheers.

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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    I don't normally photograph people, but animals. With a 50 mm lens, to make the head fill plenty of the frame, I have to stand so close that I invade the personal space of the animal, so they back away. Most people are no different. With an 85 mm you can stand further back but still get the person to fill the frame of your photo. Most humans would probably prefer you to stand a bit back from them. For animals, I go even further away, and often photograph them at 200 mm plus, then I'm not interfering with their natural behaviour.

    You already 55mm with your kit lens, so you know roughly what that looks like. Do you sometimes feel you'd like to zoom in closer to the action without physically walking up to the person? If so, definitely consider a longer lens.

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    Member Morgo's Avatar
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    You could pick up both a Canon 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 used for around $500.

    With what you have do you have a preferred focal length you have been using now? Do you want wider? Longer?

    If you wanted to save up more this lens is meant to be excellent for crop sensor bodies like the 70D

    http://www.eglobaldigitalcameras.com...for-canon.html

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    I have a crop camera. Love my nifty 50 and want to do more portraiture photography. I like the fastness of it especially in low light.
    Here is a candid shot I took when I first got it. Second photo is with the aperture wide open in a semi-low light situation.

    Howie with 50mm prime lense.jpg



    Attached Images Attached Images
    Cheers, Ann

    60D, Canon 18-200mm, Canon Fisheye, Canon Macro, Canon 50mm prime, Tripod. Photoshop Elements, Picasa.

    www.travellerspoint.com/users/aussirose www.flickr.com/aussirose


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    Thank you for all of the recommendations. I picked up my new Canon 85mm 1.8 today. So far I have just tried taking some pics of my dog Twistie in the park but he wouldn't stand still so they aren't great photos and he wouldn't go in amongst the plants so I could try to get some good blur.

    What I didn't understand is the "barrel"? of the lens has a distance scale long retrangular "window" and in the instructions call that the "Distance Scale" I think ranging from .85m to 5 then infinity. Not sure what that is about. My 18-55 kit lens did't have that. When I moved the zoom ring it looked like it zoomed a tiny bit but I know it is a fixed non- zoom lens.

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    It is the focus ring, so you can use manual focus. For now leave it on auto-focus and work at your skills.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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    Quote Originally Posted by juskat View Post
    . . . I picked up my new Canon 85mm 1.8 today. . . What I didn't understand is the "barrel"? of the lens has a distance scale long retrangular "window" and in the instructions call that the "Distance Scale" I think ranging from .85m to 5 then infinity. Not sure what that is about. My 18-55 kit lens did't have that. When I moved the zoom ring it looked like it zoomed a tiny bit but I know it is a fixed non- zoom lens.


    The rectangular window and the distance markers (White for Metric, Green for Imperial) provide a reasonable, but not accurate, indication of the Focus Distance. (i.e. the distance from the Film Plane/Sensor Plane to the Plane of Sharp Focus. The Film Plane/Sensor Plane is marked on the camera with a symbol Greek Letter Phi ϕ) The alignments to read the distance are the Centre (straight) White Bar and the middle of the numeral. For example if the Green “7” were smack in the middle of the White Bar then the Focus Distance is very close to 7ft. In the sample image the Focus Distance is roundabout sort of close to approximately 9ft. On the EF 85 F/1.8 lens, I think that most Photographers would the Distance Indicator is of some, but limited use.

    The two (bent) White Bars with “22” marked, are the Depth of Field Indicator. You read the distance on the scale from the Bent White Bars. In the example image, the DoF Scale is telling us:
    “with the Focus Distance of the lens set at 9ft and the Lens set F/22, then the DoF will extend from about 7ft to around somewhere near 10ft."

    You should understand how 'rough' these scales are and on the EF 85 F/1.8, I think these indications are not very useful to many Photographers.

    Also note that any DoF Scales on a Canon EF Lens will indicate the DoF for a 135 Format Camera (i.e a "Full Frame" Camera) and NOT and APS-C Format Camera such as your 70D or APS-H Format Cameras.

    The Focus Distance Markings on EF Lenses ARE appropriate for ALL three of the Canon EOS Format Cameras - (APS-C; APS-H and 135 Format).

    *

    Historically, these Focus Distance and DoF markings were of more use: older lenses (and a limited number of modern lenses) were typically made with a Focus Ring Travel of 180° to 270°. The Focus Ring Travel on the EF 85 F/1.8 is only about 90°. (Focus Ring Travel is the angle that the Focus Ring will turn when moved from the Minimum Focus Distance to Infinity Focus). Obviously the larger the Focus Ring Travel, the more distance markings can be used and each will be more accurate and more useful.

    *

    As mentioned by Rick, the moveable ring is the (Manual) Focussing Ring.

    This is used to manually focus the lens.

    The EF 85 F/1.8 has “Full Time Manual Focus”, which means that you may turn the Focus Ring when Auto Focus is engaged. This function can be useful in some situations. Also Manual Focussing, by itself, can be useful in some situations - the most common if AF will not lock onto the subject because of low or soft light - in these cases the AF will often "hunt". But, I concur with Rick - for the most times use Auto Focus, for the time being - but on the other hand it is good to know all the functions of the lens.

    There is a switch (see right hand side of the picture), and the lens in the picture is set to Manual Focus (“MF”). If I am using a Canon Lens in Manual Focus, I tend to select MF, even if that lens has Full Time Manual Focus. That’s more a programmed function to remind me that I am manually focussing rather a consideration to remove any danger of damage to the lens – however it is probably a good habit because when I do ever use a Canon Lens which does NOT have Full Time Manual Focussing, then that’s having a safe procedure to avoid damage.

    *

    IMPORTANT - FYI - your 18 to 55 “Kit Lens” does NOT have Full Time Manual Focussing – therefore you should NEVER attempt to Manually Focus that lens, unless you have first selected “MF” on it.

    *

    Any appearance of “zooming” that you noticed in the viewfinder when you turned the Manual Focus Ring was real.

    This phenomenon is often termed “Focus Breathing”.

    Without writing a technical treatise, this is quite common and nothing to concern yourself about. In simple terms, your 85mm lens is not really an 85 mm lens at all Focus Distances: and it probably is not exactly an 85mm lens when focussed at infinity, either: but it is very close to an 85mm when it is focussed at infinity.

    What happens is, the Actual Focal Length of the Lens changes (minutely) as the lens is focussed at different distances, so as you moved the Manual Focus Ring and you were looking through the viewfinder, you noticed that very small Focal Length change, which appears as a change in the Field of View – hence it appeared that the lens ‘zoomed’ just a little bit.

    *

    The EF 85 F/1.8 is a marvellous, yet relatively inexpensive lens. I’ve use mine for Sports, Portraiture, macro (with tubes) and for Travel Pictures: both on APS-C and 135 Format Cameras.

    It can most certainly be used at F/1.8 and that is wonderful for Available Light Portraiture.

    Here is an example of the lens used at F/1.8 (on a 5D Series Camera):



    You should enjoy this lens for a very long time

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 04-01-2017 at 5:57pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    It is the focus ring, so you can use manual focus. For now leave it on auto-focus and work at your skills.
    Thanks Rick. Yes i will stick to auto-focus. I have so much to practise.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    http://gallery.photo.net/photo/18329306-lg.jpg

    The rectangular window and the distance markers (White for Metric, Green for Imperial) provide a reasonable, but not accurate, indication of the Focus Distance. (i.e. the distance from the Film Plane/Sensor Plane to the Plane of Sharp Focus. The Film Plane/Sensor Plane is marked on the camera with a symbol Greek Letter Phi ϕ) The alignments to read the distance are the Centre (straight) White Bar and the middle of the numeral. For example if the Green “7” were smack in the middle of the White Bar then the Focus Distance is very close to 7ft. In the sample image the Focus Distance is roundabout sort of close to approximately 9ft. On the EF 85 F/1.8 lens, I think that most Photographers would the Distance Indicator is of some, but limited use.

    The two (bent) White Bars with “22” marked, are the Depth of Field Indicator. You read the distance on the scale from the Bent White Bars. In the example image, the DoF Scale is telling us:
    “with the Focus Distance of the lens set at 9ft and the Lens set F/22, then the DoF will extend from about 7ft to around somewhere near 10ft."

    You should understand how 'rough' these scales are and on the EF 85 F/1.8, I think these indications are not very useful to many Photographers.

    Also note that any DoF Scales on a Canon EF Lens will indicate the DoF for a 135 Format Camera (i.e a "Full Frame" Camera) and NOT and APS-C Format Camera such as your 70D or APS-H Format Cameras.

    The Focus Distance Markings on EF Lenses ARE appropriate for ALL three of the Canon EOS Format Cameras - (APS-C; APS-H and 135 Format).

    *

    Historically, these Focus Distance and DoF markings were of more use: older lenses (and a limited number of modern lenses) were typically made with a Focus Ring Travel of 180° to 270°. The Focus Ring Travel on the EF 85 F/1.8 is only about 90°. (Focus Ring Travel is the angle that the Focus Ring will turn when moved from the Minimum Focus Distance to Infinity Focus). Obviously the larger the Focus Ring Travel, the more distance markings can be used and each will be more accurate and more useful.

    *

    As mentioned by Rick, the moveable ring is the (Manual) Focussing Ring.

    This is used to manually focus the lens.

    The EF 85 F/1.8 has “Full Time Manual Focus”, which means that you may turn the Focus Ring when Auto Focus is engaged. This function can be useful in some situations. Also Manual Focussing, by itself, can be useful in some situations - the most common if AF will not lock onto the subject because of low or soft light - in these cases the AF will often "hunt". But, I concur with Rick - for the most times use Auto Focus, for the time being - but on the other hand it is good to know all the functions of the lens.

    There is a switch (see right hand side of the picture), and the lens in the picture is set to Manual Focus (“MF”). If I am using a Canon Lens in Manual Focus, I tend to select MF, even if that lens has Full Time Manual Focus. That’s more a programmed function to remind me that I am manually focussing rather a consideration to remove any danger of damage to the lens – however it is probably a good habit because when I do ever use a Canon Lens which does NOT have Full Time Manual Focussing, then that’s having a safe procedure to avoid damage.

    *

    IMPORTANT - FYI - your 18 to 55 “Kit Lens” does NOT have Full Time Manual Focussing – therefore you should NEVER attempt to Manually Focus that lens, unless you have first selected “MF” on it.

    *

    Any appearance of “zooming” that you noticed in the viewfinder when you turned the Manual Focus Ring was real.

    This phenomenon is often termed “Focus Breathing”.

    Without writing a technical treatise, this is quite common and nothing to concern yourself about. In simple terms, your 85mm lens is not really an 85 mm lens at all Focus Distances: and it probably is not exactly an 85mm lens when focussed at infinity, either: but it is very close to an 85mm when it is focussed at infinity.

    What happens is, the Actual Focal Length of the Lens changes (minutely) as the lens is focussed at different distances, so as you moved the Manual Focus Ring and you were looking through the viewfinder, you noticed that very small Focal Length change, which appears as a change in the Field of View – hence it appeared that the lens ‘zoomed’ just a little bit.

    *

    The EF 85 F/1.8 is a marvellous, yet relatively inexpensive lens. I’ve use mine for Sports, Portraiture, macro (with tubes) and for Travel Pictures: both on APS-C and 135 Format Cameras.

    It can most certainly be used at F/1.8 and that is wonderful for Available Light Portraiture.

    Here is an example of the lens used at F/1.8 (on a 5D Series Camera):

    http://gallery.photo.net/photo/18031428-lg.jpg

    You should enjoy this lens for a very long time

    WW

    Thank you so much William for such a detailed explanation. It make sense to me now. There are so many menus and buttons on the camera that I tend to go into a bit of overwhelm and feel intimidated by it all. Feeling like I will never understand enough. But I went out early last night with my dog and tonight with my 12 year old son (playing soccer) and had a lot of practice. Tomorrow I will post some of the pics.

    BTW I loved the portrait you posted with lovely light. If I have got this right, because my Canon 70D has a crop sensor the 85mm is actually "really longer" and i will have to be further away from the model than you were, which isn't a problem for me.

    Thanks again.

    Katrina

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    Quote Originally Posted by juskat View Post
    . . . If I have got this right, because my Canon 70D has a crop sensor the 85mm is actually "really longer" and i will have to be further away from the model than you were, which isn't a problem for me. . .
    Technically and literally the lens is NOT "longer" on your camera.

    But - (I assume) because you used inverted commas, your meaning is descriptive and neither literal nor technical: Yes you are absolutely correct.

    If I have an 85mm lens on my 5D and you have your 85mm lens on your 70D and we want to FRAME a scene exactly the same, then you will need to be farther away from the Subject, than I.

    Specifically, you would need to be 1.6 times the distance I am, away from the Subject - so for that Tight Head Shot of the Woman near the Shuttered Window - I was about 6ft (2mtrs) from her when I made that photo - you would need to be about 9ft 8in (3.2 mtrs) to get the same FRAMING.

    What you will cannot get is the same extremely shallow Depth of Field that I can attain using the lens . This point is often discussed - I suggest you do not worry about it - at F/1.8 you can make very shallow DoF Portraits with your 70D the difference is insignificant for 99.9% of shooting scenarios that you will encounter.


    WW

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    Thanks William, that has clarified it for me now. I did notice that when I tried to take some indoor shots that it was difficult to be far enough away from my subject without a wall being in the way. but I took some nice shots in the park that I would like to post on the forum but now i have forgotten how to attach an image. Mary Anne suggested I post them on Flikr and do it that way so I'll just figure that one out and see if I can post some pics.

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    I just posted 3 dog pics I took with the new lens in the CC section. I am happy with the one of the Whippet but not really the 2 of my poodle x but I put them up to get some feedback on what I could do differently next time.

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