trying to build a lens "quiver" ....need help in choosing..
Hello again all. I'm having a tremendously hard time deciding which lens is best for both value (price) and what I'm trying to accomplish. Right now I use a Tamron 28-200 XR, which I use with my N80 as a good "all around, roaming through NYC" setup. however the other day I was trying to take a really neat shot in Penn Station vertically, where the background, which is basically an 8 story glass structure, is in focus but the clock, hanging from the ceiling, only about 12 feet in the air, is out of focus. The problem I encountered, is that at F3.8 (the largest the XR goes to) I couldn't get the appropriate depth of field I needed to blur the clock (even though with me standing the clock was only 5 or 6 feet away and the "tunnel" ceiling is like 80 feet!! So I realized at exactly that moment that I needed a lens with a much larger aperture so I could get that great "feel" in shots where you want to blur everything except the subject. So anyhow, the choices are plentiful and EXPENSIVE. Basically I want a 50mm but can't decided if I should get a 1.4 or a 1.8. Second, Instead of paying for an 85 1.8, could I get something in the same price range in 28-70 or 35-70 that is still fast - like an F2 or something. I would love your feedback. Additionally, If you happen to be selling a lens which would suit my purposes please let me know, feel free to email
thanks again guys.
#1. "RE: trying to build a lens "quiver" ....need help in choosing.." | In response to Reply # 0Merlin Basic MemberTue 21-Aug-01 03:17 PM
It sounds like a fast fifty might indeed be the answer. An important factor is the thickness of your wallet (!) because there's a heck of a price difference between the f-1.8 and the not-that-much-faster f-1.4. The much-maligned fifty millimeter is actually one of the most useful lenses you can own - otherwise known as the shoe leather zoom. Need a tele? Walk forwards...
Of course for really throwing backgrounds out of focus, an ultra-fast 85mm is a nifty optic, particularly for people portraits. Expensive.
My favourite? My 135mm f-2.8 AI-Nikkor. Light, handy, long enough to eliminate backgrounds easily, inexpensive to buy used because they're out of fashion these days, but a VERY fine performer wide open. Some folks consider it too long as a portrait lens and too short to count as a proper tele, but I love it!
Zooms, unless you're rolling in folding money, tend to be too restrictive with their feeble f-3.5 maximum aperture.
#2. "RE: trying to build a lens "quiver" ....need help in choosing.." | In response to Reply # 1jnscbl Basic MemberTue 21-Aug-01 04:31 PM
If the subject is 5 feet away and the background 80 feet away (if that's what you are saying) are both in focus, you must have had the zoom set to 28mm. Try moving back and using a longer focal length.---scott
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
#3. "RE: trying to build a lens "quiver" ....need help in choosing.." | In response to Reply # 2rhythmz13 Basic MemberTue 21-Aug-01 06:07 PM
THe subject (the clock) was about 5-6 feet away (this is standing and shooting vertically) the background was the ceiling of the glass structure....Here is exactly the situation:
Imagine standing at the bottom of an elevator shaft built of glass with a metal subframe on the walls. The shaft goes 8 stories high, you are on the bottom looking straight up with your back against any one wall, in the center of the wall
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|0 | | |
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the "o" is me shooting almost vertically. the box in the center is the clock - it has 4 seperate faces - obviously i want to get just one. The idea is the get the ceiling and most of the sub-frame with the glass walls in focus, but get the clock to blur. I was shooting with a range from 28 - 80 mm zoom and no zoom gave me the blur (i tried every possible aperture, obviously the largest first, trying to destroy the depth of field and get the clock of out of focus. anyhow, if you think this is possible with the tamron lens, please let me know. In the meantime If you are selling any of the below lenses
17-35 2.8 please let me know, im a buyer
#4. "RE: trying to build a lens "quiver" ....need help in choosing.." | In response to Reply # 3linuxizer Basic MemberTue 21-Aug-01 10:30 PM
Depth of field is greater inherently with wide angle lenses because it is actually the true aperture that matters. Thus a 24/2.8 has a clear aperture of 8.5mm even wide open, which will not provide you with shallow dof at all. You'll be better off with the 50/1.8 or 85/1.8 or 135/2.8 mentioned in previous posts.
Also, with a zoom lens, the most shallow DoF is always zoomed all the way out. So on your lens, try zooming all the way out to 200 at the maximum f-ratio allowable there, and take the picture that way. You should obtain better results than at the wide angle end of things.
28mm/3.8=7.6mm clear aperture
200mm/5.6=35.7mm clear aperture...clearly shallower DoF.
That said, you still might need to get the 85/1.8.