Advice for using a Canon 50mm 1.2 lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by juddpainter, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. juddpainter

    juddpainter TPF Noob!

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    I'm getting the opportunity to play with a Canon 30D, fitted with a Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens over the weekend and I wondered if people had any tips?

    I'm really new to both the Canon 30D and the lens and wanted to know what settings people were getting good results with. I've managed to talk a couple I know well into posing for me - I'm aiming for nice narrow depth of field shots. I'll be shooting mid to late afternoon outside in Southern California

    Would love to hear if any one has a golden formula for a shoot like this in terms of camera settings - any examples of the images you have taken using a lens like this would also be really helpful... I need inspiration!
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Like most situations I doubt there is a golden forumla because the light at the time will determin what you can and can't get away with. I will say remember that just because its an f1.2 lens does not mean that you have to shoot at f1.2. Sure you will get the creamy background but your focus will have to be spot on as you will have very little depth of field for the shot.
    That means check that your got the eyes in focus after shooting and do consider stopping down a bit just for safty's sake.

    Seek out the canon 30D user manual online (should not be too hard to find - canon website might have it for viewing). So that you know where the controls are for different features of the camera.

    Also it helps if you have an idea of the types of images you would like to be able to capture - weather and lighting determins what you can/can't do, but things go much smoother if you turn up with an idea of the kind of images that you want to create rather than trying to fully plan on the day (which can lead to a lot of time spent experimenting - no bad thing - but can mean that you don't walk away with many satifying (keeper) shots.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    One little hint when shooting a very narrow DOF portrait. DO NOT Focus and recompose. Compose and then select the proper AF point for the area you want tack sharp. Download a 30D manual online and read how to select AF points on the fly. It becomes second nature with a little practice.

    http://visual-vacations.com/Photography/focus-recompose_sucks.htm
     
  4. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hum ... from browsing your website and gallery, it doesn't seem you will ask this kind of questions .. Are you trying to test us or somethings? :)
     
  5. juddpainter

    juddpainter TPF Noob!

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    Hey Dao - thanks for taking a look at my website :) All the photography you see on my website is by all the amazing photographers who I help to promote. In doing so I have become hooked on photography.... especially portrait photography, and am beginning to venture out and explore photography for myself... and yes, I am an utter beginner! I especially love the work of Julie Harris Photography, who really favors the 50mm 1.4 lens - and has done some really lovely stuff with this piece of glass, so I thought I'd concentrate my first year of exploring photography on this lens.

    So fear not - no testing is intended - if you have any tips I'd love to hear them! Thank you so much Overread and Gryphonslair99 for the advice. I went on an iphone camera scout of my shooting area this afternoon to get inspired and to start planning my shots.
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Every report i have read th F1.4 comes out better than the F1.2 and F1
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That explains why ;) hahaha. I was like ... how can you take some of the wonderful images without knowing what to do?

    Anyway, sorry I do not own such lens but I agree with other that the you may need to pay attention to the focus if you are planning to shot with aperture set at F/1.2.

    It really do not have a set formula or settings. It depends on the situation and what you like the result looks like. If some shots are going to be taken in mid afternoon, bring a flash. And if you have a reflector or reflectors, bring it as well.
     

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