hOW to Blur backgrounds or foreground with nikon slrs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 88888888, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    i have the kit lens 18-55mm f3.5-5.6g. am i able to do that?
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #2
    Yes, the blur (also known as bokeh) can be achieved by using a large aperture and being closer to the subject along with using a longer focal length. It is much harder to achieve on slower zoom lenses such as the kit lenses included with my dSLR cameras, but it is still possible to get the extreme bokeh that you seek. Another hint would be to keep the subject as far away from the background as possible, since the further the background the more bokeh you will achieve.
     
  3. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #3
    Interesting I think now I understand why my bokeh sucked. Thanks for the tips.
     
  4. 88888888 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    hmm thanks
    what's a good/relatively inexpensive lens with fast aperture. for nikon d60?
     
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #5
    Use your lens at its longest focal length and widest aperture. Pic a subject that is relatively filling 1/3 to 2/3 your frame. You decide if the background is out of focus enough.

    Bokeh is not "out of focus" parts of the image. It is about the effect of the aperture blades and specular highlights on out of depth of field items beyond the focus range. Thus when you hear about lenses having good or bad bokeh it really refers to how the design of the aperture blades in the lense and other facets of the lense impact those out of depth of field areas and the specular highlights. This really isn't a technical thing for the most part but there is a diff between out of focus backgrounds which you are looking for and calling it bokeh. The latter is about the lenses themselves.

    - Phrehdd
     
  6. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #6
    Unfortunately there aren't many to choose from that the D60 can autofocus. One that I've heard very good things about is the Sigma 30mm ƒ/1.4 HSM, that should be able to focus on the D60. The lens is about $350 if you can afford that, and there is also the Nikon 50mm ƒ/1.4 AF-S which goes for around $440 or so. The cheap Nikon 50mm ƒ/1.8 will not autofocus on the D60 but is around $100 if you can deal with manual focusing.
     
  7. 88888888 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I bought my d60 from costco like yesterday. does anyone know their return policy? I already opened it and used it.. but ive heard u can still return it..? is that true? maybe i should return it and get the d80...:confused:
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #8
    Wait, you want to return your d60 because you can't get good bokeh? :confused: Use a more shallow DOF.
    Something tells me someone needs to understand their camera a bit more before they return it. I think it came with a fairly thick manual.
     
  9. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #9
    Actually, bokeh refers to the quality of the out of focus area. Some lenses do better than others in that department.

    Depth of field has nothing to do with the camera body and everything to do with the lens. If you want to play around with shallow depth of field, bid on this guy. It will get you started.
     
  10. 88888888 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    just found out d60 no auto motor. the 50mm af vs 50 afs is like almost 400 dollar difference.
     
  11. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #11
    So focus manually. Shallow depth of field is best suited for things like portraiture - people or things - and they tend not to move much.
     
  12. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

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    #12
    In my opinion, any photographer worth their salt should be decent at focusing manually. Its kind of like writing letters now-a-days, sure there are easier means, but it feels a little better knowing a great result came from your efforts and not that of an AF servo or email.

    I use a 50mm Manual focus on my Canon Rebel XT with great results. Shooting wide open on still targets with a nice low ISO can produce amazing, detailed and sharp pictures. 28mm lenses will also produce great depth of field results, but usually the reasonably priced 28s only open to about f/2.8

    definitely seek a 50mm if bokeh is your thing!
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    The D80 is the way to go if you want to later buy a non AF-S lens. Most of Nikon's current line up of primes are non AF-S and most all of the older pro-level zooms that you might want to buy used are also non AF-S. So in the end you might even save money with a D80.

    The other way to get an in-body focus motor is to buy a used D50. They go for about $350

    You will have to ask Costco about their return policy but I think if you saved ALL the packing material and put it all back the way it was they will take it.
     
  14. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #14
    Not true.
     
  15. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #15
    Since your reply is a little short on substance, I'll have to respond to what I think you mean. If you mean something else, then do me a favor and don't be quite so terse next time.

    I don't buy into the notion that FX/APS-C versus DX/FF has a significant effect on rendering DOF. I tried to rediscover an article I had read on this topic (IIRC authored by Rorslett) the other day, but I had no success. People talk about it a lot on the forums, but I haven't seen anything more than opinion on the subject offered up in the forums. I don't find the opinions to be very persuasive.

    edit: I clearly didn't look hard enough as I was able to find it - Rorslett's FX versus DX DOF analysis is in his D3 review: http://www.naturfotograf.com/D3/D3_rev06.html#top_page - "The visual differences obviously are small, almost down to the nit-picking level."

    That discussion is completely tangential to this thread - I'm fairly sure the OP's budget doesn't have room in it for a 5D/D700.
     
  16. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    When people say that FF sensors have a shallower DOF, all they're really saying is that whether you use a cropped or FF, they're assuming that in either case, you're going to fill the sensor with the subject. So, given lenses of the same focal length, you're going to have to physically be a lot closer to the subject if you're trying to fill a FF sensor with the subject as compared to the cropped. And of course, all other things being equal, you'll get a shallower DOF if you're physically closer.
     
  17. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #17
    Bokeh literally translated from Japanese means "blur".
     
  18. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #18
    The DOF from my 85 f1.4 when shot wide open is probably a few inches or less no matter what sort of sensor is behind it. I just wouldn't have to back up quite so far with an FX camera...

    Again, for the purposes of this thread, this discussion is irrelevant. The lens is the critical bit of equipment when it comes to using shallow DOF to isolate the subject.
     
  19. Osprey macrumors 6502

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    #19
    In case anyone didn't answer this the answer is yes. You can return cameras up to 90 days after purchase without having to even have a reason. Hope this helps!
     
  20. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #20
    Sorry to be a bother but you mention a lens as an example which is easy to "snap" into focus. Try focusing a lens that starts at f/4 and beyond. This then becomes for some a challenge. Particularly if they have vision problems.

    There are 50mm lenses that are extremely sharp and exhibit undesirable bokeh. You can have a line of 50mm lenses from different makers, different widest apertures and so on and they all exhibit different bokeh. I believe what might be said is that most 50mm exhibit acceptable to good bokeh.

    - Phrehdd
     
  21. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #21
    The price difference is also because the $100~ lens is an f1.8. The $400~ lens is an f1.4. Better build quality, higher aperture, etc.

    As for returning your camera, etc. The photographer, and to a lesser extent the lens used makes the main difference. Not the camera body. I think you should keep the D60 and really get to know it before upgrading because you seem to want better blur.
     
  22. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #22
    The main problem with manual focusing are the useless focusing screens in the current crop of cameras. Of course that can be solved in the aftermarket. There's a focus indicator found in the viewfinder of most or all Nikons, but it's close to being useless.
     

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