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Old Oct 24, 2010, 6:01 PM   #71
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If you'll be using a large aperture lens at short focusing distances, perhaps you'd be better off with a large aperture macro lens like the Tamron 60mm f/2.0. It won't have the focus shift problem, and it will focus even closer than the lenses you're considering, but it's a full stop slower.
. . . .
With the Tamron 60/2.0, those DoFs are 0.15, 0.65, 1.50, and 2.69 inches, respectively. The slightly longer focal length gives you a slightly smaller DoF with the slightly smaller aperture, but it lets you avoid the focus shift problem, and it's a macro lens, so you can focus as close as 9 inches if you want to.
I will be using the lens primarily for portraits, indoors and outdoors, in low light, and expect to be far enough from the subject so as not to be offensive. Do you still think the Tamron is the best bet?

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Old Oct 24, 2010, 6:07 PM   #72
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If you are going to be shooting indoors a lot, isn't even 50mm too much?

How about the Canon 28mm f1.8 or Sigma 30mm f1.4? (Plus possibly a 50 or the 85mm f1.8?)

Or yes, simply the 17-55 f2.8 IS would seem to be the most sensible all-round option.
Hmm. Good questions. I like to take portraits primarily of face only, both indoors and outdoors. Will the 30mm have enough reach?

The main issue here is that I've been frustrated shooting in low light. I am not sure the 17-55 f/2.8 IS would be wide enough aperture, especially because I understand there to be some vignetting and other issues at f/2.8. Another reason I did not want to get the 17-55 is that I may get the 5D3, and I'd rather get lenses I can use on that camera as well.

Thanks again.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 6:25 PM   #73
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The 60mm will be slightly better than a 50mm and a lot better than a 30mm lens for head shots, but the large aperture will be a problem in low light. You may get the eyes in focus, but the ears will be outside the DoF. To get a decent portrait, you'll need to stop down anyway.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 7:35 PM   #74
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The 60mm will be slightly better than a 50mm and a lot better than a 30mm lens for head shots, but the large aperture will be a problem in low light. You may get the eyes in focus, but the ears will be outside the DoF. To get a decent portrait, you'll need to stop down anyway.
Thanks. Sorry my questions have been so naive. I did not realize that the DOF was so significantly shallow. It's strange, because people say the 1.2/1.4 is a "low light" lens, but it sounds like just about the only thing you can do with that aperture in low light is take pictures of paintings or other shallow objects -- or if you want the mysterious effect of a part of someone's face coming out of the darkness.

I guess what really matters is the ISO, and I should really change to the 60D when all's said and done. I may also switch to the 17-55 IS. On top of that, I may get the Tamron for macro and nice portraits in the light. Wow. I feel like I need to go back to the drawing board.

Thanks so much for the helpful explanations.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 7:39 PM   #75
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head shots, I would look at the canon ef 85 1.8, better isolation without being as close.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 7:49 PM   #76
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head shots, I would look at the canon ef 85 1.8, better isolation without being as close.
True, and another nice thing about the 85mm is it has 58mm threads, so I can convert it to a macro lens using the same 500D close-up lens I'm getting for the 70-300.... something I didn't even know about when I dismissed the 85 earlier.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 7:54 PM   #77
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the canon 50 1.4 and the 85 1.8 are both 58mm thread like the 70-300. Also the canon 28 1.8 creg mention. I know I have all of them.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 7:57 PM   #78
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the canon 50 1.4 and the 85 1.8 are both 58mm thread like the 70-300. Also the canon 28 1.8 creg mention. I know I have all of them.
Thanks -- true -- unfortunately, I would have to get the 250D for those shorter focal lengths.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 7:58 PM   #79
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yeah, and it really cut the working distance. But it help that you can use all the same cpl and ND filters.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 8:23 PM   #80
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yeah, and it really cut the working distance. But it help that you can use all the same cpl and ND filters.
Very true -- the same synergy exists with the 17-70 and 50mm 1.2 (72mm), as well as with the 17-55 and Sigma 50mm 1.4 (77mm). Decisions decisions.

I don't want to lug too many lenses with me, but maybe I'll get the 85 1.8 and throw in the 50 1.8 just so I can play with using the different primes. The 50 1.8 is so light, small, and affordable it might be worth carrying just in case...
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