Good lense for shooting people?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by snaremop, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. snaremop

    snaremop TPF Noob!

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    I am very much in the same position as cherrymoose (his thread is a few down from this one). I just got a 'real' 'serious' camera for Christmas. Unfortunately, though I did a lot of research, I didn't ask myself the most important question of all: What do you want to shoot? I bought a Yashica that was definitely geared towards landscape and nature photography (or any subject that doesn't move a lot). But I live in Los Angeles, and anything I'm going to be taking pictures of isn't going to wait for me to take a light reading!

    So, I have decided that I want a DSLR, most likely a Canon Digital Rebel XT (the one closest to my budget). I've also considered what I am going to be taking pictures of, and decided that the answer is people. Los Angeles has a very diverse variety of people, all of whom I'm sure would gladly let me take photograph them.

    My question is, what lense should I get to (hopefully) go with my Canon Rebel XT? I will be shooting people, in the day time, and I want the background to be all blurry (hehe, that didnt sound very professional...).

    thanks-
    snare
     
  2. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, then you already know you want a lens with a large maximum aperture (to get shallo depth of field -> blurred background).
    This also helps in low light, or to freeze motion.

    Some cheaper zooms go down to f/3.5, which might or might not be a large enough aperture to blur the background the way you want it.

    Better would be f/2.8. You get this larger aperture with more expensive zooms, like in the L-series of Canon for example.

    Even better would be f/1.8 or f/1.4, but those are often primes. It depends on you, if a prime lens is the right thing for you. To get a really wide aperture for little money, primes are the only way to go though.

    A 50mm prime is a good thing for shooting (or better photographing ;) ) people. the 50 f/1.8 comes for around 100 USD, the 50 f/1.4 is three times the price at least.
     
  3. snaremop

    snaremop TPF Noob!

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    Wow thanks a lot.
    What do you mean by "50 f/1.8"??
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    50mm focal length

    1.8 is the minimum f-stop of the lens (which means f/1.8 is the maximum aperture)
     
  5. snaremop

    snaremop TPF Noob!

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    Thanks -
    I woulda known if you had said 50mm
     
  6. snaremop

    snaremop TPF Noob!

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    What exactly is a prime lens?
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    a lens where you have only one fixed focal length (like say 50 mm) .. as opposed to a zoom, where you can zoom over a range (like say 24mm-70mm).

    Primes are less complicated to build, contain less glass usually, therefore image quality is usually superior for less money. However, they are less versatile since you cannot change the focal length (zoom in and zoom out).
     
  8. jiconlin

    jiconlin TPF Noob!

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    A great portrait lense that many pros who are using Canon DSLR's is the 85mm 1.8 or even the 85mm 1.0. This lense is extremely crisp for portraits and the low depth of field given by opening up the lense will throw the background out of focus, plus it will have a favorable circular blur.

    Good luck, and work with what you have, and experiment!
     
  9. William

    William TPF Noob!

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    If you want the background to be "all blurry" get a lensbaby!

    Good luck!
    -Will
     

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