What kind of lens needed for blurred background?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by tinkerbell50404, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. tinkerbell50404

    tinkerbell50404 TPF Noob!

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    I have the Nikon Digital SLR D70s, having a hard time choosing a lens for portrait/fashion/editorial photography. I want to achieve a crisp sharp image of the person, but blurred background.

    i am a little confused, i keep reading that the longer the lens the better DOP you get for portraits. BUT it seems that all the longer lenses have higher aperature rates.

    Would it be better for me to get a shorter lens (the 50mm) with a lower aperature than the longer with the higher aperature, or vice versa??
     
  2. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

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    A Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 (75mm given the Nikon crop factor, if my gonkulation is correct) should suit your purpose nicely. And yes, a smaller aperture number provides a shallower depth of field and generally a ‘blurred’ background.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    There are a few things that can help you to blur your background. One is a wide aperture. Another is a long lens. Another is the distance from camera to subject and especially subject to background.

    A longer lens (around 100mm) is often recommended for portraits/fashion because that focal length (on this format) tends to compress a person's features. Wide angle lenses are not recommended because the tend to expand or accentuate features.
     
  4. tinkerbell50404

    tinkerbell50404 TPF Noob!

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    Ok one more question:

    I ordered the Nikon-55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S

    Does that make the lens a 200mm??
    What is the significance of the 55??

    I mean hear everyone saying the 70-200mm is great. Unfortunately, for me those are all sold out everywhere and my 55-200 is already on its way to be shipped to me.

    So what makes the 70-200 better than the 55-200??
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If I were you, I would learn a bit more about photography, especially lenses, before I went around spending tons of money. This is a good link: http://www.photo.net/learn/making-photographs/lens

    Both lenses you are comparing are zoom lenses, and cover a range of focal lengths. 55mm is the widest focal length, and you can zoom all the way to 200mm and everywhere in between. Generally, the longer the zoom range, the lower the quality of the image, because of the way the lens has to be constructed.
     
  6. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    Im not sure about the quality of that lense, since I only have a kit lense, and its a pentax camera... butttt

    Since you bought that lense you might as well use it. I'd try the different focal lengths to see which you like, and when you figure out what you need, sell that lense and get something else. For blurred backgrounds you want something with a low f/# which results in large apertures, often called fast lenses. They are called fast because with such a large aperture you can use faster shutter speeds and still get great exposures, which is perfect for indoor or lowlight handheld shooting. I'm still a noob myself so pro's correct me if Im wrong, and if I'm right, well add to it because I certainly didnt cover everything

    EDIT: and along with what Matt said about zoom lenses producing less quality, thats why prime lenses pwn, which is why people were telling you to get the 50mm 1.8 (only 1 focal length "50mm" means it doesn't zoom, and f/1.8 means its fast)
     
  7. JodieO

    JodieO TPF Noob!

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    I totally agree. While the 50mm is fine, you will like results better from a longer lens (if you want to stay prime, 85mm/1.8 or 1.4 is really nice, I like the results quite a bit :) Personally, I'm digging the results from the 70-200/2.8 for blurring background the best :)
     

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