What lens can give a full body portrait a nice bokeh effect?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by alexxk, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. alexxk, Feb 25, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015

    alexxk macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2010
    #1
    Hello Folks,

    I'm looking into buying a new lens.. This time I want a lens to take good portrait, my budget is limited and I wish I could buy the 70-200 2.8.

    My question is, can the Canon 85mm 1.8 produce nice bokeh effect when taking a full body portrait, if not what would be an appropriate lens for that? I could go maybe just maybe up to 800 dollars!!

    Thanks is advance!!

    I have a Canon T3i and a 6D
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    For full body I'd tell you to go with the nifty fifty 50mm 1.8 for the best bang for the buck.

    Of course 85mm 1.8 would work equally well and maybe even better.

    I usually use the 85mm 1.4 : Amazing bokeh!
     
  3. alexxk thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2010
    #3
    50mm? Don't I need longer local length plus wider aperture to get a nice separation of the subject and the background?

    That's why I was asking about the 85.. not sure 85 and 1.8 is enough!!
     
  4. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #4
    For full body the 50mm isn't bad either. Depends on your taste and skill.
    85mm might be better. Just try it out. I have a 85mm 1.4 and it works very well.
     
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #5
    Bokeh is a bit more than the focal length of a lens. It also includes facets of the lens build itself and most often associated with the aperture opening.
    What might a worthwhile adventure is looking up the reviews on those lenses elsewhere and see how they rate on sharpness, contrast and isolating subjects (including bokeh effect).

    I think you will be happy with either the 50 or the 85mm lenses if you use them properly and in the right environment for the portraits.
     
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    For Canon, the 85 f/1.2 L is amazing for portraits and bokeh. If you have room to work, the 135 f/2 L is up there as well.
     
  7. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

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    #7
    But certainly not within the OP's budget of $800.
     
  8. skaeight macrumors regular

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #8
    On your APS-C t3i the 50 mm will be equivalent to a 80 mm lens on a Full Frame camera (your 6D). So the 50 mm should definitely work well on the t3i, but not sure on your 6D.

    Bokeh is primarily about the aperture though, the lower (wider) the apeture the more bokeh you'll get. I could be wrong, but my understanding is the reason you want longer focal lengths for portraits is that it is more flattering to the subject.
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    Bokeh depends on a variety of factors:
    • aperture
    • focal length
    • distance from the lens to the focal plain
    • distance from the focal plain to the rest of the background
    • lighting
    • structure, color of the background
    • aperture blades
    • lens elements
    • lens design
    • sensor size


    If you don't mind the manual focus the Rokinon/Samyang/Walimex 85mm 1.4 is a secret treasure.
    It's equal and maybe better than most Zeiss lenses for a fraction of the price.
     
  10. skaeight macrumors regular

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #10
    You made me go read more about Bokeh, today. Thank you. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

    I have been using Bokeh as a generic term for shallow depth of field, I realize now there's much more to it.
     
  11. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #11
    (sorry)
     

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  12. Policar macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 21, 2004
    #12
    The 85 f1.8 and this technique (on either camera) will work well:

    http://ryanbrenizer.com/category/brenizer-method/

    The 135mm f2 on the 6D would be your best bet. If you don't mind manual focus something like this might work really well:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1110693-REG/samyang_sy135m_n_135mm_f_2_lens_for.html

    The 135mm f2 on the 6D combined with the Brenizer method will get you some really awesome MF-style shots. Or the Canon 100mm f2 even. Sure it's "special use" and an indulgence to sink all that money into it, but the results can be striking.
     
  13. alexxk thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2010
    #13
    Thanks guys for all the responses..

    I will research on this lenses mentioned here..
     
  14. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #14
    LOL, I missed that. :eek: But let's face it, good bokeh doesn't come cheap :D :p
     
  15. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

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    #15
    Indeed. And a good lens lasts a lifetime if you take good care of it.
     
  16. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #16
    The "Brenizer method"! I went crazy with that a few years ago after I read about it. Takes a lot of work and practice, but very cool end photos.
     
  17. ctyhntr macrumors 6502

    ctyhntr

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    Jul 21, 2010
    #17
    On the smaller APS sensor, the 50mm is like a 80mm, and the 85mm will be like a 135mm zoom. If you're going for a full body portrait, stick with the 50mm f1.8.

     
  18. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Auckland
    #18
    Hmmm -I have an old 500mm mirror lens, wafer-shallow depth of field but awful bokeh. Bokeh is a measure of quality about the out-of-focus area in an image, some lens constructions (eg my mirror), cause problems of their own -my mirror gives bright donuts around lite points for example.

    I'd recommend you go for the 50/1.4 if budget allows, 50/1.8 if not. 85mm will still work but you might have comms issues with the subject if looking for full-body portraits :D
     
  19. TOMIMOT macrumors 6502

    TOMIMOT

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    #19
    I have a 35mm 1.4 Sigma, one of the best lenses I've ever used highly recommend but could be a little out of your budget by a few hundred
     
  20. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #21
    Yes but the DOF will still be like a 50mm on FF just cropped in!

    Best to go for the 85mm!

    Even for groups it can give decent separation and this is stopped down a little!

    [​IMG]
     
  21. aerok macrumors 65816

    aerok

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    Oct 29, 2011
    #22
    Both the 70-200 f4 and 85mm give nice bokeh.

    My favorite go-to portrait lens is the 85mm though.
     
  22. tcphoto macrumors 6502a

    tcphoto

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    Madison, GA
    #23
    I bought my very clean used 135L for under $800. Why buy new when it just takes a little patience to find a deal? I don't shoot many models much these days but I wouldn't hesitate to use the 135L or 50L.
     

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  23. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

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    #24
    Nice shot. Indeed, gently used lenses can be great finds.
     
  24. dwig macrumors 6502

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    Key West FL
    #25
    The number and shape of the iris (aperture) blades is a factor if, and only if, the lens is used at an f/stop other than its maximum. At maximum aperture it is extremely rare that the blades for the actual aperture (read: hole).

    Also, it should be noted that the original definition of "bokeh" (derived from the Japenese "boke" with an intentionally added "h" to make the pronunciation more natural for English speakers) referred to the quality of the blur and not the quantity. It has now evolved to refer to both, though many novices only think about quantity.

    Most of the lens attributes in the list above influence the quality of the blur. Focal length and f/sto, both relative to image format, only affect the quantity.
     

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