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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 1:09 pm 
I'm thinking about buying a EOS 60D but I'm not decided on what lens. My current camera is a Panasonic DMC-FZ100, which is an excellent consumer camera and takes far better pictures than a $200 P&S, but one of the reasons I want a DSLR is to be able to do bokeh without zooming in all the way like I have to do with the Panasonic, or with my video cameras. Whenever I see photos or video from a DSRL, one thing that I notice right away is that there's a blurred background but without the camera being zoomed in all the way, actually barely zoomed in at all. My knowledge of lenses is basic, but I know that the bigger the aperture, the easier it is to do bokeh.

The choices for the EOS 60D are body only, 18-135mm or 18-200mm lens. My first choice would be the 18-200, but I was wondering if achieving a blurred background with a short focal length would be more difficult with either of these zoom lens than the 18-55mm, in which case I would buy it body only with the 18-55mm. I know that it would be easier to do bokeh with a lens that has a bigger aperture than 3.5, but the cheapest Canon lenses with a 2.8 ap. start at $1100, which is more than I can spend.

However, between the choices of the standard 18-55mm, 18-135mm or 18-200mm, is it easier to do bokeh at a short focal length with one of these in particular, or will the three of them give me the same results?

Thanks,

Sebastian


Last edited by sebazvideo on Sat May 12, 2012 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Yes, you're right in saying that the larger the aperture, the easier it is to blur your background.

If by bokeh you only mean blurring the background, in theory the three lenses you mentioned would blur the background and foreground pretty much equally as the wide angle and aperture are the same. However, some consider bokeh to be about the smoothness of what you blur as well so I'd put money of saying the 18-200mm being less than ideal for what you're trying to achieve - it's a lens where flexibility is your priority and you're happy to sacrifice IQ, bokeh, etc to a degree. With that said, none of the three are that good, even and the maximum aperture.

Have you not considered fixed lenses or are they not suitable for what you shoot? The 50mm f/1.8 II can be picked up for comfortably less than $200, possibly even less than $100 if you look hard. It's one of the best inexpensive lenses you can buy for a Canon body.

Is there a particular reason why you have only mentioned Canon lenses? Tamron and Sigma have competitively priced 17-50mm f/2.8 lenses that may be worth looking at.

For the body, do you mean the 60D? :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 3:03 pm 
Rorschach wrote:
Have you not considered fixed lenses or are they not suitable for what you shoot? The 50mm f/1.8 II can be picked up for comfortably less than $200, possibly even less than $100 if you look hard. It's one of the best inexpensive lenses you can buy for a Canon body.

For the body, do you mean the 60D? :wink:


Right, the 60D. I corrected that.

I thought the 60D only worked with EF-S lenses. So will this EF fixed lens work with the 60D?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1 ... f_1_8.html


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 6:17 pm 
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EF lenses work fine with EF-S system cameras, such as your 60D. The reverse is not true, in that EF-S lenses will not work on EF-only cameras such as the 5D-series and 1D-series.

Bokeh performance can be a matter of personal taste! For example, some people may like the outlining effect on the rounded out-of-focus highlights, whereas others may not. Some lenses show a harshness of the bokeh effect in the transition zones. The website Photozone.de posts images that show bokeh in a consistent and repeatable manner, with each lens tested.

Some of my favorite lenses for the way I like bokeh: Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS, Canon 135mm 2L, and Tokina 100mm 2.8 Macro. Each has a different character in its out-of-focus highlights. Of the three, the Tokina is the least expensive.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 6:21 pm 
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sebazvideo wrote:
I thought the 60D only worked with EF-S lenses.

Not quite. The EF-S lenses are only compatible with APS-C sensor Canon bodies such as the 60D, 7D, 600D, etc.

EF lenses are compatible with full-frame, APS-H and APS-C sensor bodies i.e. any Canon DSLR body made since 2004 will work with an EF lens.

sebazvideo wrote:
So will this EF fixed lens work with the 60D?

Yup. I use the same lens on my 550D.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 4:18 am 
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The 50 f/1.8 was the first lens I bought after I purchased my XSi back in 2008. I have no doubts that it improved my photography, both from the fixed focal length and also from the ability to actually control depth of field. It's cheap but wonderful and no matter which zoom you go with having the 50/1.8 will always be an asset! I still use mine infrequently since getting my 35/1.4 but that is just the nature of the stuff I've been shooting lately. If I had to pick only a single lens on a small budget, I'd go for the 50/1.8 every time :)

Talking about the mounts though, (EF/EF-S) the best part of owning EF lenses is their ability to be used with Canon SLRs from the entire EOS line... even the film cameras from 1987 can and will work with a brand-new EF 70-200 f/2.8 II lens. It's pretty awesome :)

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 6:33 pm 
Thank you all for your replies. I guess I will get the 60D with the 18-200mm kit and also the fixed 50mm/1.8 lens to complement it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:20 pm 
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I would suggest not buing 18-200, it is money thrown away. 60D has 18mpx and needs quality glass to feed it.
Rather buy 50mm first and save for better lens if blurred background is the main requirement.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:04 pm 
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If the great zoom is needed and quality is less of a problem, I'd go for the Tamron 18-270mm, which has a higher zoom range than the Canon 18-200mm - and it comes with a lens hood while the Canon version doesn't. The new PZD version is faster and smaller than the old version but the old version had a better image quality at the long end. My brother is using that lens and the results are pretty impressive sometimes.

The 50mm 1.8 is OK, can't complain about it ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:23 am 
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Its nice to have a big zoom, but you get better image quality with something shorter, there is more compromises involved.
But really depends on budget, have a look at the 15-85, the wide angle will make this more versatile than you would expect at first and then something like a 70-300 zoom.

You will get reasonable bokeh with the longer zooms at f5.6 , but Prime lenses is the best way to get bokeh.
But I wouldn`t recommend the 1.8 50. Its cheap, slow and inaccurate to focus and build quality is poor.
I think you would get more joy out of the 50 1.4 or Sigma 30 1.4 or canon 85 1.8 or the 100macro 2.8

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:25 pm 
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If you are strict about the translation, Bokeh refers to the quality of the blur, and not so much to the quantity.

If you're interested in the quantity, the two main factors that will affect it are the focal length and the aperture. The longer your focal length, the shorter your depth of field will become, and the wider your aperture, the shorter your depth of field will become again. Other things that will affect is the distance to the subject.

For those reasons, those 18mm lenses that are in the f/3.5 range will not provide a lot of blur to your images. A 300mm at f/8 will probably blur out more than an 18mm at 3.5.

The 50mm f/1.8s is a great Bokeh generator both in quantity and quality, and the image quality it provides is wonderful. A great buy for the money.

Other lenses that are recommended are usually the 85mm f/1.2, the 100mm f/2, the 135mm f/2, and the 200mm f/2. Those will all provide amazing Bokeh that stands out, and are all good as portrait lenses.

If you have a different subject matter in mind, though, there could be other options, such as a macro lens for smaller subjects, enabling you to get really close to them which will create a very shallow DoF.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:50 pm 
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Jean-Pierre wrote:
Other lenses that are recommended are usually the 85mm f/1.2, the 100mm f/2, the 135mm f/2, and the 200mm f/2. Those will all provide amazing Bokeh that stands out, and are all good as portrait lenses.

But apart from the 100mm f/2 those are pretty damn expensive and usually the 85mm f/1.8 is more often recommended than the 85 f/1.2 and it's very similar to the 100mm f/2.

Personally I really like the 50mm 1.8. It is...

maxjj wrote:
Its cheap,

Yes ;)

Quote:
slow

Well - it's OK. It no lens for sports so it's alright. As long as it doesn't take ages to focus I can live with it. It's probably faster than it feels like when you hear it. :mrgreen:

Quote:
and inaccurate to focus

Erm... not really. At least with my 50mm 1.8 I never had a problem with accuracy.

Quote:
and build quality is poor.

Yes. But as long as the image quality is not, I don't really care.

But I have to admit I'm mainly using it for product / still life photography like...


Image
Canon EOS 500D
Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II
Canon Speedlite 580EX II (Master)
Nissin Speedlite Di466 (Slave)
F13
ISO 100
1/200 sec



Image
Canon EOS 300D
Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II
Canon Speedlite 580EX II
F5.6
ISO 100
1/25 sec


But one thing really could be annoying: The lens only has five unrounded aperture blades so when you stop it down the "bokeh balls" are not round any more. One example at F2.8:

Image
Canon EOS 500D
Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II
F2.8
ISO 200
1/30 sec


One last shot to demonstrate the small depth of field you can get with that lens:

Image
Canon EOS 500D
Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II
F2.5
ISO 400
1/50 sec

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:11 am 
Thank you all for your replies. I had a Canon 60D for a couple of weeks, but I ended up returning it because as much as I loved the overall picture quality, I couldn't put up with the moire, especially when it came to wide shots of a lake I was at yesterday, which means that it will be the same with the ocean and many other things. I struggled with the decision for several days because I really liked the stills and that tiny 50mm/f1.8 lens, while it had a horrible focus ring, gave me really beautiful photos. But the video was mediocre except for the colors (minus of course the moire colors, I didn't like those one bit).

So I'm sending it back and getting a Panasonic GH2, because I downloaded lots of raw videos and while the colors are not perfect like the 60D's, it doesn't have moire (not noticeable at least) and the overall resolution is much better. The main problem with this camera is the lack of lenses compared to Canon, and how expensive most of them are. Sure there are adapters to use Canon lenses, but losing AF, and I would prefer to stay in the native format of the camera. So are there any GH2 owners here that can recommend me a few very inexpensive lenses to start with, including a fixed aperture and focal length one like that little Canon that is 50mm/f1.8? Even if it's not 50mm, at least something similar and not too pricey.


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