wider lens for 500d - which to chose to achieve shallow dof

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by felicitas_k|1, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I have a lens question.
    I have Canon EOS 500d body, the kit lens (17-55mm f3.5-5.6) and the 50 mm f2.8.
    I am now planing on getting a new lens under 600 EUR. I am really happy with my 50mm f2.8 lens but I need something else. I am not very happy with my kit lens, except for the fact that I like the 17mm. But I really use it as I can hardly get any good pictures with it unless it is really really light. Even then It's hard to get things clear.
    Perhaps I need something wide?
    I do alot of portraiture and fashion type of picture. Almost always involving people. I don't mind lens-flares (quite the contrary) and sometime I take nature pictures (often flowers). I would like to have a lens where I can have more of the sorrounding of the subject visible. But I really want a lens where I can have a really shallow DoF (so lots of bokeh). I was thinking of a wide angle or wider lens (I do like the distorions of a wide angle lens).
    But really it is just important to me, for now at least, to be able to achieve these type of pictures:
    http://www.photo.net/photo/12325932
    http://www.lens-flare.de/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/DSC4959.jpg
    I realize that the top photographer uses a 50 mm but with a larger chip/body(?). So what would be the equivalent lens for my 500d?
    So far I have found out, that the lens which is clostest to what I think I need, is the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens.
    What do you think? Any advice?
    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. I am a bit unsure where you are headed with this, particularly in your reference to 'wide'. I think you mean you want a wider (larger) aperture such as 2.8 or 1.8 to give shallow depth of field (commonly called 'fast' lenses). Generally when a lens is described as 'wide' it means it is wide angle and the problem with wide angle is that it is harder to get shallow depth of field.
    I think the best option for you would be the Tamron 17-50 (non-stabilised) which is a constant f2.8 throughought its range and has receieves excellent comment from reviewers and users (professional as well as amateur). If you can stretch a little further then there is the VC (stabilised version as well). Or try the newer Sigma 17-70 which unlike its earlier version has received very good reviews, though this lens has variable aperture from 2f.8 to f4 which is still one stop faster than your current lens.
    The euqivalent of 50mm on 'FF' is about 28mm on your camera. And just to add a bit more information, when shooting portraits, someone with a FF sensor would classically use a lens of 80 to 135mm. On your camera, your 50mm lens is equivalent to 80mm on FF so you already have a decent (prime) portrait lens. Though even on the APS-C cameras, some swear by the excellent 85mm f1.8 (this is equivalent to about 135mm on FF).
    The Tokina you mention is an ultrawide and I think may be too wide for your purposes, though this may be as a result of the apparent misunderstanding described in my opening comment.
     
  3. Tokina 11-16mm is a great lens but, as Mike already pointed out, it's not clear if you just need a "faster" lens, a "wider" one, or both. Tokina 11-16 is both.
    My feeling is that you mostly need something faster, I second Mike's suggestion to investigate Tamron and Sigma offerings, Tokina 16-50 f/2.8 should fit your budget too and it's worth a look. Canon 17-55 f/2.8 would be great, but it's more expensive.
     
  4. Felicitas: The first of the images you used as an example was taken with a 50mm f1.8 lens on an EOS 50D. Your 500D will use a 50mm lens in the same way - the sensor on the 50D and the 500D is the same size so uses the lenses in the same way. (By the way, do you already have that lens? - I'm not familiar with a 50mm f2.8, which you say you have.)
    For fast wide-angles, have a look for second-hand lenses. There are quite a few Canon lenses with maximum apertures of f2.8 - 24mm, 28mm - that are available second-hand. They might be rather old, but they won't be too expensive. There's also the 35mm f2, which is even wider. There are also some very fast lenses (35mm f1.4, 24mm f1.4) but these are very expensive (unfortunately). But if you want to try a wide-angle lens to see what you can do with it without spending too much money, the 28mm f2.8 or the 24mm f2.8 would be good choices, I think, if you can find second-hand examples.
     
  5. I realize that the top photographer uses a 50 mm but with a larger chip/body(?). So what would be the equivalent lens for my 500d?​
    The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens in equivalent to a full-frame 50mm.
    So far I have found out, that the lens which is clostest to what I think I need, is the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens.​
    This is probably your best choice if you want fast and and wide. However, by design superwide lenses do not really produce strong bokeh, and pretty much only with close subjects.
    A completely different approach for selective focus and weird bokeh would be using a shift/tilt lens like the Canon TS-E 17mm (if you want wide) or any of the other TS-E lenses (24mm, 45mm, 90mm). Or you could spend the money and upgrade your kit to full-frame where you will get less depth-of-field at equivalent angles-of-view/apertures.
     
  6. Thank you all. That was very helpful.
    Mike: I did in fact mean fast and wider, thought I didn't realize faster meant larger aperture. If my camera isn't fullframe, what is it called?
    I will check out the other lenses you've mentioned.
    Massimo: Good tipps.
    Tom: You are right, I do have the 50mm f1.8, not 2.8.
    the sensor on the 50D and the 500D is the same size so uses the lenses in the same way
    -> I didn't realize that. Then how com, when I step away enough from my subject to include cars like the photographer did, I only get a similarly shallow field of depth when the camera is tilted upright? The photo does not look digitally altered, though of course we won't without asking. Do you have an idea?
    Also, you are the first to advise me to look second hand. I am not sure I have enough expertise to know whether such a lens is fully functioning. I mean testp hotos seem logical, but maybe not enough? I will scan the discussions for more info on second-hand lenses.
    Bueh: Good idea. Maybe not what I need but I'll keep it in mind.
    full-frame where you will get less depth-of-field at equivalent angles-of-view/apertures.
    -> I have noticed that but wasn't sure. Good to know. Thank you.
     
  7. If my camera isn't fullframe, what is it called?​
    APS-C or crop-factor.
    The photo does not look digitally altered, though of course we won't without asking. Do you have an idea?​
    I shoot with 50mm a lot, and the picture is very obviously altered. No way the depth-of-field and blur look like this. It reminded me of the tilt aesthetic (that's why I mentioned the TS-E gear).
     
  8. hahaha. You're right. I looked closer and the kid's hat is blurry though it should be in focus accourding to the alignment/location within the frame.
     
  9. Well, if you want both faster and wider, Tokina 11-16mm is an excellent choice. But I suggest you try one first in a local store if you can. Don't get me wrong, I own one and I love it, it's sharp, very solid build and a pleasure to use, but I am afraid you may find it somewhat limited by its range.
     
  10. If my camera isn't fullframe, what is it called?​
    I hate the terms 'crop' and 'full frame'. They are a simple, one-word reference but they do have undertones of quality (even snobbery). It has led to the misconception that you start with a 'crop' camera and to advance your photogrpahy, you need to 'upgrade' to the 'superior' 35mm sensor.
    Yes, there are situations where cameras like 1D series and 5D (35mm or 'full frame') do produce better results than the 7D, 50D and T2i (APS-C or 'crop'). But over the last few years the gap between 35mm adn APS-C has closed so much that in reality we now have an option on different tools for different situations and only a relatively small minority will ever actually need for their purposes the better picture quality of the 35mm sensor cameras.
     
  11. Oh no, here we go again!
    Isn't 277 posts in the recent crop vs full frame thread (link) enough to satisfy the debaters for awhile?
     
  12. First photo: this is may be taken with a 50 1.8 lens, but the photographer says nothing else. I think it is highly manipulated. Take a look at the sled. It is in perfect focus, yet the snow in front of it is blurred. It could be blurred from motion, but I am guessing it was blurred in Photoshop.

    Second photo: if there is lens fare here, I am overlooking it. Simply looks like an overexposed sky, maybe glare on the street and a shallow depth of field. Excellent photo and I also like it.

    I doubt the ultrawides will give enough blurring. I would consider going the other way...an 85 1.8 or 100 2.0. Better yet although expensive, a body with a 24x36 sensor to refrain from the apparently politically incorrect term 'full frame'.
     
  13. Kerry: Lens-flare is just the name of the blog. But do you have an idea what type of lens the second picture was taken with? There is quite a bit of surrounding visible yet only the area infront of the model is in focus (hardly the model herself) and everything else is out of focus, nicely blurred.
    Possible a wider of the tele lenses and quite a fast one. Yes? Or is it photoshop too?
    Maybe I just have to work on my photoshop skills :(
     
  14. I didn't get the memo... "full-frame" is now politically incorrect...?
    Well, haters gonna hate...
     
  15. Not to get off track here, but most portrait photographers use telephoto (85mm+) or longer zoom (70-200) lenses with a large aperture (1.8-2.8) and by standing back from their subject AND having the background far away, achieve better bokeh. Check out the Canon 85mm 1.8 (excellent and reasonable) or a Canon 70-200 2.8 or f4 if you can find one used.
    00Y42z-323097584.jpg
     
  16. But do you have an idea what type of lens the second picture was taken with?​
    A short-to-medium telephoto... say, 70-135mm -- I guess less than 100mm... possibly a 85mm lens stopped down a little. The depth-of-field is rather large, but the background is far away, so it is still blurred enough.
    Possible a wider of the tele lenses and quite a fast one. Yes?​
    Uh... wide and tele are mutually exclusive. Wide lens = large field-of-view (wide angle). Tele lens = small field-of-view (telephoto). You, uh, cannot take a picture that is both wide and tele.
     
  17. I think the OP is confusing telephoto with ZOOM. You can have a wide-angle zoom (17-55), or a telephoto (again over 85/135/200+) fixed or zoom (70-200, 70-300) but they are mutually exclusive.
    The zoom just gives you a wider range of focal lengths to use, its a WIDE angle zoom if the starting FL is 8-28 (depending on 35mm/full frame or APC sensor) and a telephoto zoom if over say 100mm.
    Hope that helps. Decide what type of photography you want to do first and choose from there before buying a specific lens to get a certain effect.
     
  18. Felicitas, be sure to check out the lensbabies
    http://www.lensbaby.com/#0
     
  19. When I used the word wider tele-lens, I was trying to refer to one part of the range and not zoom. But it is beside the point.
    Like I said, I would like to have a fast lens, that enables me to take a picture of my subject, full body, yet have her/him in focus and the surrounding more (or less) out of focus.
    But I think my questions have been answered.
    Thanks
     
  20. Feliciatas,
    One thing to keep in mind is that DOF is completely dependent on focal length, focus distance, and aperture size. For instance, the larger the aperture, the shallower the DOF. The wider the lens, the greater the DOF. The closer the focus distance, the shallow the DOF. It is very much possible to get more bokeh from a slower longer lens than a fast wide lens.
    What you really need to check out is a DOF calculator and determine what is possible.
    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
     
  21. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    “Like I said, I would like to have a fast lens, that enables me to take a picture of my subject, full body, yet have her/him in focus and the surrounding more (or less) out of focus.”​
    However, to satisfy this request specifically, the Focal Length of the lens is irrelevant for practical purposes of DoF.

    For a full body portrait, (“Full Length Shot”) the DoF will be the same, whatever Focal Length is chosen, provide the Aperture and the Camera Format is consistent.

    In the situation where the Framing of the Subject is consistent: the Focal Length of the Lens will change the Perspective, as the longer the FL of the lens, the greater the SD (Shooting Distance).
    WW
     
  22. Try and shoot a person (whole body) using your 50mm 1.8 @ f/2 in an open field (far background) with your 500D and i'm sure you'll like the effect .
    I don't think you have to buy another lens unless you'd wanna try the 85mm 1.8 which is a fantastic lens , and affordable too. And you can also use that to shoot Hockey or Basketball even w/o flash .. anyways , enjoy what you have at the moment and keep shootin and experimenting coz you get to check the results right away w/o having to take your film to the lab . (not like years ago). PC
     

Share This Page