newbie with questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ashleigh3584, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. ashleigh3584

    ashleigh3584 TPF Noob!

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    i am about to purchase the canon40d (as soon as available!) i'm not sure what lens to start with. portrait photography is my passion so i need a good lens for that. i don't know the technical term but i also really like the lenses that blur/fade the background. i was thinking of starting with the 50mm 1.8. any advice? thanks!!
     
  2. Kaye68

    Kaye68 TPF Noob!

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    Congrats on the new camera!!

    You can not go wrong with the 50mm or 85mm for portrait as long as you have the space to work with. I have the 50mm and love it.

    I have also heard that the Tamron 24-75mm (?) I think that is the correct range also works well for portrait photography. But I have not tried that lens so that is just what I have heard. I have also heard that some really like the 30mm for this too.

    I can only confirm that the 50mm or 85mm would be great and do produce nice bokeh (blurred background).
     
  3. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    I think that the 50mm lense you are talking about is great for this. The large apperture (f/1.8) will give you all you need when it comes to being able to create a blurry background.

    I've tried a similar lense for my camera, and loved it. I'm saving up for one right now... =)
     
  4. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I have the 50mm 1.8 as well and love it. I'd still recommend getting the kit lens though so you don't end up with the body and 1 prime.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What's your budget?

    To blur the background, there are several things you can do. The easiest (or cheapest) would be to have your subject stand far away from the background while you are fairly close to them. Then, it great helps if you shoot with a large aperture...here is where a prime lens (non zoom) with an aperture of F1.8 (or bigger, like F1.4) will be helpful. This effect can also be enhanced/created with a longer lens...so 100mm, 200mm, 300mm etc....the longer you go, the more shallow you can get your DOF (depth of field).

    The 50mm F1.8 gets a lot of recommendations because it's very cheap. Less than $100. It's also quite good in terms of image quality. Unfortunately, it's also very cheaply made...with lots of plastic rather than metal. If you can afford it, you might consider the 50mm F1.4...but it's three to four times more expensive. The 85mm F1.8 is also a good lens for portraits, if you have the space to shoot. Even the 50mm might be a little too long in some situations. You might consider a shorter lens...although shooting people with something shorter than 50mm might not be a good idea as it can tend to distort their features.

    There are plenty of options...you might consider a zoom lens, which might be more convenient as an all around lens. You can still blur the background with a zoom lens, but you may be limited by the maximum aperture (usually F2.8 is the best you will find on a zoom...and F2.8 zooms are not cheap.

    The options are many and varied. So what's your budget?

    By the way, Welcome to the forum.
     
  6. ashleigh3584

    ashleigh3584 TPF Noob!

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    thanks so much for all the GREAT advice!!! i love this forum!!

    mike, my budget is around $500.

    i'd have to say i want to mostly take outdoor pics..so which of those lenses would be best for what i want to achieve and still give me the effect i want?

    thanks again for all the responses and great advice from everyone!
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I might suggest something like the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8, or the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8. Canon makes similar lenses but at a much higher price. Both are pretty good zoom lenses and using an aperture of F2.8 should give you a fairly shallow DOF. However, a prime lens like a 35mm, 50mm, an 85mm would give you great image quality and probably a wider aperture which would give the ability to get a shallow DOF.

    There are so many options, it might be best to start with the 'kit' lens that comes with the camera and may be add the 50mm F1.8 because it's a nice cheap option. Once you have used them for a while, you will have a better idea of what you want.
     
  8. acaldwell

    acaldwell TPF Noob!

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    i love the canon 50mm 1.8. i have been working on mostly portraits as well and it has worked excellently (blurred background included :)) i am saving up for a canon 70-200mm 2.8 (being a poor student doesn't help the saving part!!)
     

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