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Old Mar 30, 2005, 1:09 PM   #1
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Bought the Canon 20d for a while, but not really happy with the stock lens. I like taking portraits, landscape and close up (marcos?) Just wondering if these3 lens are good to start with.

1. Canon EFS 17- 85MMf4-5.6 IS USM

2. Canon EF 70-300mm f4.5-5.6

3. Canon EF 50mm f1.8 USM

Are they able todo thequality like this pictures?When taking portraits, the background is very blurry. I did take lots of pics using the stock lens but seems like the aperture is not deep enough. The background is not too blurry as this photo. And when i use the marco setting, the pictures quality is not as good as i expected. did I do something wrong?

This picture is one sample i found on site, it is using the 50mm f1.8 USM, my question is , is this picuture taken by adjust the knob to "MARCO"?

The following pictures has very good aperture.

Is this done by using a wide angle lens? or just the adapter put on the lens?

Any help will be great !

Thanks guys!

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Old Mar 30, 2005, 2:11 PM   #2
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My guess would be the picture of the cathedral was done with some sort of fisheye lens, like the 15mm f2.8, or one of the cheap Russian knock-offs. That image you posted looks to be pretty darn sharp from center to corner, something you won't get with any type of lens attachment. That takes a good lens.

The butterfly looks like maybe a macro tele lens likethe 100/2.8 or possibly even the 180.

See the backgrounds on those portraits- how softthey have gone. It's possible a lens like the 50/1.8 could have done that, but I'd be more willing to bet something like an 85/1.8 or even the 85mm f1.2or maybe a 70-200 f2.8, shot wide open, are what created those portraits. It's doubtful you'd get as sharp an image with the 70-300 you mention, especiallywhen used wide open. You have to be able to shoot with a lens at f2.8 or faster to get images that look like those, which is kinda hard to do when your lens is only an f5.6 at it's widest, and f2.8 zooms and faster primes other than the 50/1.8 can get pricey.

The 18-55kit lensdoes not have a macro setting, you just move in and focus at the closest focus distanceso I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say "macro setting", but in general you need to stop down to at least f11 or f16to get decent depth of focus when shooting in close where depth of field is non-existant or most of your image will be out of focus. Stopping down like that affects your shutter speed, which is why lots of macro type shooting requires a tripod for steady holding.
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 6:22 PM   #3
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The 50mm 1.4 is also a good candidate.The 50mm 1.8 doesn't have as good a bokeh, because it's a 5-blade design, instead of 8 like the 1.4. See http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/ef50/
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 2:49 PM   #4
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Greg Chappell wrote:

The butterfly looks like maybe a macro tele lens like the 100/2.8 or possibly even the 180.
Um, no that butterfly was taken using the 50mm f1.8 (wide open) and it doesn't have a Macro button or anything. The camera was maybe 6 inches from the butterfly.

When you say the 70-300 do you mean the DO? You can get that kind of background blur with it, even though it's only f5.6 but you'll need a bit of separation of the model from the background. The DOF is quite shallow on telephoto lenses when you're close-ish to the subject.

Check out www.dofmaster.com to get an idea.

Greg is right though, it's not the best portrait (or wildlife) lens because it's relatively slow, though if you understand its limitations it can be used for both. It's much better as a landscape lens though, and the IS on it is fantastic. It does need a bit of extra sharpening in post, I think the DO makes it a bit softer before processing, but it sharpens up very nicely indeed if you want it to.

Anyway - I happen to have those 3 lenses - check out some samples at http://vanderwooks.blogspot.com

All the pictures say which lens they were taken with.
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 1:56 AM   #5
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Actually though, looking at the samples, I'd suggest a different selection.

1. Ultra-wide digital zoom: either the EF-S 10-22 or wait to see the reports on the new sigma and tamron ultra-wides. For shots like the cathedral.
2. For macro and portrait: something like the Sigma 24-70 f2.8 EX DG Macro. The constant f2.8 aperture will give you good background blur and it covers a nice selection of portrait lengths as well as being a pretty decent macro lens too.

You didn't post any long-lens pictures, with the possible exception of one of the portraits, but the 70-300 DO is an expensive lens if you're not going to be using that focal length very much. You might consider a cheaper one if budget is an issue. Or if you anticipate using it for portraits or wildlife.
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