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Old Nov 30, 2012, 08:29 PM   #1
VideoNewbie
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Help. I Failed! What kind of Canon Lens Can Achieve This Kind of Look?

i could really use some photographer/videographer help.

Im really young so pardon how ignorant i am to things that must be so second nature to u all...i just recently bought my first dslr canon t4i to film self videos and youtube vlogs after working my butt off and saving money for months and well im hitting a lot of bumps in the road

i have two main questions...

Question#1
i want to recreate a video with the same quality as this:


i was told that i should buy a lens with a low aperture to create a blurred background effect. i ended up buying the 50mm f1.8 lens (someone suggested it to me)



but i soon found out that this lens is NOT for taking self portraits or self videos it is way too close on the face

i set up the camera on a joby tripod on my desk about a feet and a half away....this resulted in my face taking up the entire screen ....in order for proper framing i had to sit about 6 feet away from the camera.

the lens that came with the camera is a 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens



and while that one has better framing for self videos, the result is not like what i want because it just looks boring and flat. it doesnt have that same depth as the video above.

is my solution as simple as buying a lens with a smaller focal length ?

(on a side note why is this video of such poorer quality? does this seem like the same lens as above?)



---


Question#2 one of the new features on the t4i is the auto focus during video and pictures. however the constant clicking and focusing of the lens makes for a lot of distracting noise. surely this is not optimal for video shooting?

also how is the auto focus on the t4i any different than if i were to just toggle the "AF/MF" tab on the actual lens itself?


---

i just recently started learning about cameras and i have Other random wonderings:

-why would anyone want a slower shutter speed? high shutter speed = less chance ur photos will be blurry correct? but i notice everytime i adjust my shutter speed higher the preview image becomes much darker. why is that?

-even when my camera is in "auto" mode i find that all the photos i take are blurry. on my old camera (powershot) i could simply have the camera in auto mode and if i pressed the shutter button halfway everything would focus, but doing the same action on my new dslr camera results in blurry pics every time.

-i understand the camera powers off after 30 sconds of inactivity but why does the lens constantly "shutter off" in the middle of me adjusting things? its highly annoying. what purpose does shuttering off on its own serve?
any way to modify this?

-the canon 50mm f1.8 lens has a set aperture....so what then would be the purpose of being able to adjust the aperture in the camera's settings?

thanks i am trying to learn as much as i can and any replies would be appreciated

Last edited by VideoNewbie; Nov 30, 2012 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Added YouTube tags
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 10:26 PM   #2
diamond3
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A small overview you need to understand...
f-stop (this is your f1.8-f22etc) The smaller the number (f1.8), the larger opening of your iris. This results in more light coming in and a more shallow depth of field (area in focus).
Shutter speed: higher shutter speed=less light reaching sensor (darker picture) For video the rule of thumb is your shutter speed should be 2x your video frame rate (ie. 30fps or 60fps).

So how those two relate? Set your shutter speed to 1/60. Go outside on a bright day with your 50mm lens and adjust your camera to f1.8, your view will be white from a blown out image. You can do two things, increase your f-stop number which will increase your depth of field and lower the amount of light in or you can increase your shutter speed (1/2000 or something) and still retain your shallow depth of field but have the image exposed properly.
Another thing to consider: focal length. Your depth of field is more compact the longer the lens. So 50mm lens at f1.8 will have a smaller area in focus than a wide angle 14mm lens at f1.8.


Hopefully this makes sense as it should answer several of your questions below. I'll answer anything else below in bold that this may not touch on.


i have two main questions...

Question#1
i want to recreate a video with the same quality as this:
YouTube: video

i was told that i should buy a lens with a low aperture to create a blurred background effect. i ended up buying the 50mm f1.8 lens (someone suggested it to me)

Image

but i soon found out that this lens is NOT for taking self portraits or self videos it is way too close on the face

i set up the camera on a joby tripod on my desk about a feet and a half away....this resulted in my face taking up the entire screen ....in order for proper framing i had to sit about 6 feet away from the camera.

the lens that came with the camera is a 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens

Image

and while that one has better framing for self videos, the result is not like what i want because it just looks boring and flat. it doesnt have that same depth as the video above.

is my solution as simple as buying a lens with a smaller focal length ?

I think it is a wide angle, fast lens (f2.8 or less) with it set really close to them.


(on a side note why is this video of such poorer quality? does this seem like the same lens as above?)

YouTube: video

---


Question#2 one of the new features on the t4i is the auto focus during video and pictures. however the constant clicking and focusing of the lens makes for a lot of distracting noise. surely this is not optimal for video shooting?

also how is the auto focus on the t4i any different than if i were to just toggle the "AF/MF" tab on the actual lens itself?

If you are standing still, turn off auto focus so there is no hunting around during the video. Audio is ideally done through a mic instead of the built in camera.


---

i just recently started learning about cameras and i have Other random wonderings:

-why would anyone want a slower shutter speed? high shutter speed = less chance ur photos will be blurry correct? but i notice everytime i adjust my shutter speed higher the preview image becomes much darker. why is that?
explained above. If you take pictures, you can have the shutter open for seconds at a time for still portrait night shots. This allows more light to hit the sensor.


-even when my camera is in "auto" mode i find that all the photos i take are blurry. on my old camera (powershot) i could simply have the camera in auto mode and if i pressed the shutter button halfway everything would focus, but doing the same action on my new dslr camera results in blurry pics every time.
I'm not sure what is going on. Are you using the lcd or viewfinder? If you press the button half way down, it should lock on and be in focus. You should no before you even take the picture. Make sure you are on AF on your lens and not MF.

-i understand the camera powers off after 30 sconds of inactivity but why does the lens constantly "shutter off" in the middle of me adjusting things? its highly annoying. what purpose does shuttering off on its own serve?
any way to modify this? I'm not sure I get what your saying.

-the canon 50mm f1.8 lens has a set aperture....so what then would be the purpose of being able to adjust the aperture in the camera's settings?
as mentioned above, to change the amount of light or change the amount of depth of field.

Last edited by diamond3; Nov 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond3 View Post
f-stop (this is your f1.8-f22etc) The smaller the number (f1.8), the larger opening of your iris. This results in more light coming in and a more shallow depth of field (area in focus).
Shutter speed: higher shutter speed=less light reaching sensor (darker picture)
So how those two relate? Set your shutter speed to 1/60. Go outside on a bright day with your 50mm lens and adjust your camera to f1.8, your view will be white from a blown out image. You can do two things, increase your f-stop number which will increase your depth of field and lower the amount of light in or you can increase your shutter speed (1/2000 or something) and still retain your shallow depth of field but have the image exposed properly.
hi and thank ur really helping me a lot

ok so the benefit of aperture (f stop) is that you can create depth of field. lower aperture = good for portraits. higher aperture= good for when u want to capture scenic backgrounds.

lower shutter speed is better for low light/high aperture, and higher shutter speed is better for lots of light/low aperture

do i understand all this right?

Quote:
I think it is a wide angle, fast lens (f2.8 or less) with it set really close to them.
by wide angle do you mean a lens with a smaller focus length? if so why is it that my 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens cannot reproduce a video like the one i posted? is it because the f stop is too high?...

do you think a sigma 30mm lens with a f1.4 would be good for the video i posted above? i will only be about 1.5-2 feet away from the camera and i want my framing to be about the same as the boys in that video so im not sure if a 30mm lens will be wide enough?


Quote:
If you are standing still, turn off auto focus so there is no hunting around during the video. Audio is ideally done through a mic instead of the built in camera.
if i use an external mic wont it still pick up the constant clicking? let me clarify my question....one of the heavily marketed aspects of the T4I advantage is how it can shoot better video than the t3i due to its autofocus for video....so the question remains, how is the t4i autofocus function any different than a t3i using the AF tab on the lens itself.

---

Quote:
I'm not sure what is going on. Are you using the lcd or viewfinder? If you press the button half way down, it should lock on and be in focus. You should no before you even take the picture. Make sure you are on AF on your lens and not MF.
Okay yes. my lens was in manual focus even though i had set the actual camera to be in AF mode. i do have a new question though, how do i turn off the flash while in portrait mode with the lens set on AF? and how is T4I's "new" auto focus any different than the auto focus on previous versions?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:23 PM   #4
lot of apples
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Before you spend the money on a new lens, why don't you try the 18-55mm lens at different zoom lengths (from 18 to 55) and see which you like. It should take good video in a well-lit room. The 18 mm setting should give you the widest picture.

Regarding the video performance, here is a detailed review that might give you an idea of what's possible with this camera:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/cano...d-rebel-t4i/23
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:29 PM   #5
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Tokina 11-17 F2.8 on the crop body is what you will want to be looking at. It is not very expensive. Another option is the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 non VC which is pretty damn sharp and even cheaper. You can look at primes. 24mm or 28mm or even 35mm. The 50mm lens is a good lens on a FF camera, but on the crop body it tends to be a bit too short.


To find the focal length of a prime, take your 18-55 and frame the photo that you want and see where you are at.

The T4i has more focus points to work with so the focus is faster. The problem is that many of the EF-S lenses are very very loud with AF. Both of those lenses I mentioned are pretty loud so you wouldnt want to be doing AF with them and video unless you use an external Mic. I would have to even be off shoe to get as far from the camera as you can.


another thing that you can do to make better videos that are planned is to set focus points. Mark the lens somehow or use a focus arm. This way you can find 2 focus points very fast and amke the transitions smooth without much hunting.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:44 PM   #6
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here is an example of focal lengths. I just did this without regard to setting up the scene or even caring about any other settings than the focal length. The monster is 5 feet from the camera on a tri-pod and the monster is 18 inches tall.

From furthest to closest. 17mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm all taken at f2.8
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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and here is an example on here about the noise during autofocus. That noise will be there when used on camera no matter what the focus is like. This is the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 which is a loud lens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwyCW...ature=youtu.be


What you may try with your 18-55 to get more depth of field look without spending a bunch of money is to have the subject further away from the background and closer to the camera.

What you really want for the silent AF during video is an STM lens. Unfortunately there are only 2 at the moment in an EF or EF-S mount. The 18-135 and the 40mm pancake. The 40mm is a great because it will also give you the f2.8 so a good shallow depth of field and at $200 you cant beat it. Take back the 50mm 1.8 if you can and get the 40mm. You will be very pleased.

Last edited by peeaanuut; Dec 1, 2012 at 12:01 AM.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 11:54 AM   #8
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A lot goes into making a video look pretty, and without an example of yours it's difficult to narrow it down to what this video has that yours lacks. But here are some general tips:
  • Make sure you get the exposure just right
  • Set the white balance correctly
  • Use lighting, even if it's just bounce boards to even out the light coming in through a window

Shutter Speed 101

Shutter speed affects two things:

One, how much light will hit the sensor. The shorter the duration the shutter is open for, the less light will come in. Think of it like opening a door and letting the cold in, or filling a cup from the tap.

Two, communicating the motion in the scene. In video the shutter speed is usually either the same as or half the frame rate. For instance, shooting sports at 60 frames per second, the convention is to set the shutter at 1/60 to match the frame rate. This gives full motion detail, but because of the high frame rate, it won't look too blurry.

Shooting a movie at 24 frames per second, the convention is to set the shutter at 1/48 (half the frame rate). This 1/48 movie shutter is close to the 1/60 sports shutter, meaning a similar amount of motion blur, but because the movie shutter is half the frame rate there's only half the motion detail. (You might have to sit and let that marinate for a moment.)

Capturing the full motion detail is why sports (and news, games shows, talk shows) feels like real life, and movies (and tv dramas) have a more detached, otherworldly feel.

Shutter speeds other than full and half the frame rate are sometimes used (often in fight scenes) but they look a little weird in most scenarios.

In stills photography, you're not constrained by any relationship to frame rate, so you can pick your frame rate according to what you want to communicate.

Here's a photo of a Formula 1 car taken with a reasonably slow shutter speed. You look at this and think, "Wow, look how fast he's going."



This one has been taken with a very high shutter speed. You look and think, "Wow, look how beautifully polished the car is."

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Old Dec 1, 2012, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoNewbie View Post
i could really use some photographer/videographer help.

Im really young so pardon how ignorant i am to things that must be so second nature to u all...i just recently bought my first dslr canon t4i to film self videos and youtube vlogs after working my butt off and saving money for months and well im hitting a lot of bumps in the road

i have two main questions...

Question#1
i want to recreate a video with the same quality as this:

thanks i am trying to learn as much as i can and any replies would be appreciated
Why not ask those guys what their setup was and just go with that?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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It has been mentioned a couple times but I want to reemphasize the impact of good lighting. Here's a quick video on some lighting techniques. Shoot, learn, shoot more, learn more..... You aren't always going to shoot perfect video but as long as you understand why things didn't work, you will continue to grow.

http://vimeo.com/34004547
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 03:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by peeaanuut View Post
and here is an example on here about the noise during autofocus. That noise will be there when used on camera no matter what the focus is like. This is the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 which is a loud lens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwyCW...ature=youtu.be
@Peanut i really appreciate u not only taking the time to reply but to take pics and videos specific to this thread . ur awesome for doing that

is ur camera a t4i? one of things im confused about is how the t4i is marketed as being better for video than the t3i due to the autofocus...but how is the t4i's new and improved auto focus any different than using the autofocus tab on the actual lens itself on say a t3i?

Quote:

What you may try with your 18-55 to get more depth of field look without spending a bunch of money is to have the subject further away from the background and closer to the camera.
i am filming the videos in my dorm room so i dont have that much space to move around.

i have to set the camera at about 1.5-2 feet away and i am finding that with the focal length set at 18mm it seems to have a nice framing. problem is i think the f stop on my 18-55mm lens is too high....

i cant get that nice blurred background and sharp foreground effect like how those guys have it in the video i posted...

Quote:

What you really want for the silent AF during video is an STM lens. Unfortunately there are only 2 at the moment in an EF or EF-S mount. The 18-135 and the 40mm pancake. The 40mm is a great because it will also give you the f2.8 so a good shallow depth of field and at $200 you cant beat it. Take back the 50mm 1.8 if you can and get the 40mm. You will be very pleased.
wouldnt the framing on a 40mm still be too tight considering i can only place the camera about 1.5-2 feet away? with the 50mm i have to be 6 feet away in order to get proper framing on my face and upper chest, etc.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithPratt View Post
Shutter Speed 101

keith thank u for that, so high shutter speed/high frame rate = true to life...and if u want to create a more cinematic feel then lower ur frame rate by half.... what do u think the frame rate/ shutter speed is of this video?



----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCroissant View Post
Why not ask those guys what their setup was and just go with that?
because theyre too popular. however someone on twitter asked them what lens they used and they said "sigma 30mm" although im not sure if they meant for one particular video or for all their videos or ....the sigma lens is $400-$500.

what is the advantage of a sigma 30mm f1.4 lens over a canon 50mm f1.8 lens other than being able to sit closer to the camera?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigbat View Post
It has been mentioned a couple times but I want to reemphasize the impact of good lighting. Here's a quick video on some lighting techniques. Shoot, learn, shoot more, learn more..... You aren't always going to shoot perfect video but as long as you understand why things didn't work, you will continue to grow.

http://vimeo.com/34004547

thanks im definitely going to try and get myself a ringlight or softbox
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 01:01 PM   #12
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ahhh, you are in tight confinements. You would want to get the 18-135 stm lens if you want to use quiet autofocus. Is there any way you can film in a larger venue?

But since you need the shallow depth of field, you would need a 17-50 f2.8 or an 11-17mm f2.8 or something along those lines. but remember those would be louder during any auto focus times.

As far as t3i vs t4i, the t4i has a better sensor as well as more focus points to work with. Since this is the case, it can move through the focus range and locate the proper focus faster and smoother.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 04:18 PM   #13
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A few more notes, yes the T4i is better than the T3i at autofocusing. But that is only the case if you have a STM lens. For your use though, you shouldn't use autofocusing. If you are sitting in a chair, set your focus and leave it.

As far as there lens that they use in the video, if its a 30mm lens, then I'm guessing they use a full frame camera like a 5d Mark II or III. Your camera is a crop sensor which has an impact on you video. If you put a 50mm lens on a full frame camera, your overall zoom is 50mm. If you move it to your camera, it will be like an 80mm lens (1.6 x 50mm).

So the question is, are you able to achieve the look you want (framing of the shot) with your 18-55 lens? Is your only problem the inability to achieve a certain depth of field look? If so, look for another lens in that same focal range with a faster lens. So if you feel like setting your 18-55 lens at 20mm to achieve the look your going for, consider a canon 20mm f2.8 or lower.

Also, lighting can help you separate yourself from the background even more.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 06:14 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=VideoNewbie;16403622]hi and thank ur really helping me a lot

ok so the benefit of aperture (f stop) is that you can create depth of field. lower aperture = good for portraits. higher aperture= good for when u want to capture scenic backgrounds.

not always the case, but yes, you are understanding the concept.

lower shutter speed is better for low light/high aperture, and higher shutter speed is better for lots of light/low aperture

daylight:
want depth of field? low f#, higher shutter speed to compensate for increased light = shot that the exposure is balanced.
little depth of field? higher f#, slower shutter speed (no less than 2x you frame rate)
Night time?
short depth of field:low f# for more light, with a shutter speed to balance shot.
Little depth of field: higher f#, shutter speed at 2x you frame rate, and likely compensate a little with iso.

Remember the longer your focal length (lens) is, the easier to obtain a good depth of field. Wide angle lenses give less depth of field. An example is trying to film a dance party in a dark area. A 50 f1.8 is terrible for shooting the crowd because at f1.8-f2.4 is a really shallow depth of field. So what you get most of the time is an out of focus shot because they are moving in and out of the focused area and you can't adjust the focus quickly enough.

Here is an excellent website to play around with: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...calculator.htm
Plug in different lenses, f-stops, and focal distance (between camera and object) and notice your depth of field.



do i understand all this right? - I think you do for the most part.

Go to a camera store and look at some lenses. Not your typical bestbuy or whatever but someone that specializes in photo equipment. It's worth your time to try it out if possible before assuming and buying something
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:32 AM   #15
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Honestly, I'm not sure you're going to be able to achieve exactly what you're looking for. Your biggest obstacle is that you only have 2 feet max. to work with. That's just way too close to have any sort of flexibility with the depth of field. An ultra wide lens might help but I don't think by much.

I wouldn't worry too much about the depth of field. You can get really great results if you just make sure you have good lighting and sound.

And as others have said, don't use auto-focus.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:19 AM   #16
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@diamond3 thank u so much again for ur super helpful replies

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond3 View Post
consider a canon 20mm f2.8 or lower.
I think that this might be a solution but i just checked the price though its almost $500

Quote:
As far as there lens that they use in the video, if its a 30mm lens, then I'm guessing they use a full frame camera like a 5d Mark II or III.
does this look like a 5d mark?



any way you can telll what kind of lens he might have from this pic?


btw, this video actually illustrates the blurred background/sharp foreground that i want better than the cinnamon video i posted earlier....so it seems like this kind of look is only doable with a $400 lens? how depressing -_-



Quote:
And as others have said, don't use auto-focus.
if i dont use autofocus wont it go out of focus if i move around during the vlog?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 09:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by VideoNewbie View Post

does this look like a 5d mark?

any way you can telll what kind of lens he might have from this pic?
Hard to tell since the model ID is blurred out, but it looks like it could be.

I think you're getting way too caught up in this depth of field thing. You're using a crop frame camera with an extremely small shooting area. It's going to be very difficult to achieve the exact effect you're looking for. It certainly doesn't warrant spending money on a "better" lens for marginal gains.

Concentrate your efforts on lighting, audio, and most importantly content.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoNewbie View Post
if i dont use autofocus wont it go out of focus if i move around during the vlog?
Are you moving much forward or backward, or just side to side? You should be able to set your focus point and be good to go. However, in your quest to get shallow depth of field you're limiting your focus range.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:36 AM   #18
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As you can see, they are not sitting at their desk. Their desk is behind them. Camera is further away than normal desk sitting distance.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:49 AM   #19
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This look is definitely achievable with the t4i in the right conditions. I'm afraid your space limitations may preclude you from getting exactly what you want. You should certainly be able to achieve a very nice picture with a small amount of bokeh in the background. Do you have any friends at college with lenses you can borrow to try? In this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzKWggYXzFk) at the 1:27 mark we were using a Canon 60D (same sensor) and a used Canon 28mm 1.8 that was $325.

Also, you can set manual focus and stay within that plane of focus during your videos. I watched a couple of these samples you provided and they are definitely using a set focus. You can see them get blurry as they move in and out of the focus plane.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 12:46 PM   #20
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As if things werenít confusing enough, don't forget perspective distortion. The closer the subject is to the camera, the more distorted it will become -regardless of lens or camera used. This is why fashion photographers stand far back from models rather than use wide lenses. You rarely see a fashion photographer using anything shorter than 50mm. If you donít want your nose to look overly large, keep the 50mm f1.8, find a new venue and increase the distance between you and the camera.

Also, I agree with the previous poster about keeping the shutter speed to 1/60 for 30 or 60 fps video. If you want to keep the f-stop low to maintain shallow depth of field you may overexpose. The solution is a variable neutral density filter.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 11:32 AM   #21
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lens

Helios 44
M42 mount (know as the Pentax mount)

ebay $40 or so

http://vimeo.com/42140944

http://vimeo.com/28550676

http://vimeo.com/18215736

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Old Dec 5, 2012, 02:34 PM   #22
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Don't forget the crop factor for most DSLR cameras. The T4i has a 1.6x crop factor so even if you have a 50mm lens, your focal length is actually 80mm with the crop factor.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 07:10 AM   #23
salacious
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you posted this on indietalk, the general census is that you dont want to do any work and wish for a camera and lens to do this for you.

not gonna happen.

if you first learn how to use the camera properly, then you would not need to ask how to achieve this look.

multiple tips have been outlayed to you and yet you keep banging on about what lens will achieve this effect.

start reading, learning, practising.

all you want is the bokeh effect isnt it?
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 11:57 AM   #24
matteusclement
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if you're this obsessed about what the background looks like... green screen it.
then edit it in Photoshop with some blur.
Jeez.
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try this:
take an empty pop can, place it on the floor, smash it flat, now try to pull it back to how it was.
see how it looks like crap? that's called compression
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 03:43 PM   #25
sigamy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteusclement View Post
if you're this obsessed about what the background looks like... green screen it.
then edit it in Photoshop with some blur.
Jeez.
Thi is an option. The first background in the "University Good or Bad" clip looks like it may have been green screen....maybe.
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