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1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm and 24mm?
  
 
WayneTk
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · 1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm and 24mm?


gdanmitchell wrote:
It can be a very fine tool for environmental portraiture in certain circumstances and for certain approaches to a shot... but "the best environmental portrait lens?" There are many ways to produce an environmental portrait, and using 35mm the way you describe is among them - but quite a few other lenses (even, heaven forbid, zooms!) can be used effectively for this genre.

Dan


Certainly I did not say the 35/1.4 was the only option for environmental portraits. I have used everything from a fisheye to a 400/2.8 for portraits as every subject has its own accompanying environment. But the 35, with its field of view slightly greater than the 'normal' view of the human eye, is a focal length highly suited for that type of portraiture. This is why most smartphone cams (and disposable film cameras before them) which are designed for 'candid portraits' have focal lengths in the 28-40mm equivalent range. Combined with the large aperture to help isolate the subject the 35/1.4, IMO, creates the best option for most professional environmental portriats.




Oct 09, 2013 at 07:56 PM
cgarcia
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · 1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm and 24mm?


gdanmitchell wrote:
I think there is a flaw in your understanding of the effect of aperture on background blur at different focal lengths. This is a bit tricky to explain in text, but I'll give it a try.

f/1.4 is, indeed, f/1.4. But the effect of f/1.4 is not the same when the focal length varies.

Imagine that you are shooting some subject and you want this primary subject to fill half the width of the frame, leaving the rest of the frame for out of focus back ground elements. Obviously, using a wide lens (let's say 24mm) you'll have to move much closer
...Show more

I agree with your assessment about the huge difference of the background (in fact I wrote "perspective" in bold to underline such fact). I personally perceive long focal lengths as more "blur capable" in the background, but at the price of having "less background" or a "narrower" background, which may be or may be not the intended effect (PZ photos compare known focal lengths).

The DOF is a term always subject to controversy, maybe because we sometimes talk about DOF and blur as if they were the same thing, but they aren't. Despite DOF has a math representation (once agreed the "circle of confusion" for aceptable sharpness) some articles explaining it with photos are still negated on the internet by many people, even despite being also mathematically proved as true (except for very close focusing distances) with any DOF calculator.

In summary, we agree that the focal length changes a lot the OOF blur, but I tried to mean that a big aperture is what makes narrower the DOF, in turn causing additional blur to the background. For a given subject size in the frame and "background width" combination, there is only one thing which blurs even more: a larger aperture (ok, with the reduced DOF, at the risk of blurring also noses and ears :-). In a wide angle lens, not very "blur-prone", I think that a big aperture rocks, despite the title of this post stating the opposite ("1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm...").



Oct 09, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Access
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · 1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm and 24mm?


Reading the above post, among others, I feel like everyone else is starting to get 'lost in the semantics'.

To us, as photographers, there are many different sources of background blur, and that's cool and all, we can classify, categorize, etc. all these types or sources (real or virtual) and spend days or more on this. As trained photographers, we can utilize these methods ourselves, and looking at another photographer's photograph, we can probably recognize some or all of them being used for effect. But when the rest-of-world looks at a photo like this, they generally only perceive two things, the level or amount of blur, and the quality thereof. They don't really know (or care) where it came from or how it got there, only that it is there.

I often feel there is a disconnect on boards like this, but that is natural as these boards are full of photographers. Ultimately, the challenge for us becomes to see things not through the eyes of a photographer but through the eyes of a non-photographer, though even exactly who that non-photographer is can vary among us.



Oct 10, 2013 at 12:41 AM
Mirek Elsner
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · 1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm and 24mm?


popinvasion wrote:
We all want a nice sharp lens. I think the 24 and 35 primes are great lenses to have, but the added stop or so of light seems to be the main benefit. The bokeh is generally average at best on wider lenses, and most wider lens need stopped down for sharpness, so.. What's the point? I think the Sigma 35 1.4 had great potential but I recently got a super sharp copy and it often would hunt for focus=missed shots. I wish it also had weather sealing but that's just nit pickin. Anyway the 35/2 IS looks on paper
...Show more

For my type of photography, I really do not see much use for IS in wide angle lenses. If I shoot people in low light, I need 1/30 or 1/50 to avoid motion blur. And with 35mm lens this is short enough exposure to prevent camera blur as well. One extra stop, on the other hand, will allow shooting, to quote another photographer, "when others already gave up" and give more subject isolation when needed. So at 35mm, I would always choose faster before image stabilized. On the other hand, for someone who shoots mostly landscape and does not care about low light event photography, the 35/2 IS might be more interesting option - and lighter, too.

As far as sharpness, it is not the only property of lens that is important. There are sharp lenses that lack contrast and color, lenses that suffer from chromatic aberrations or weird field curvature, lenses that have busy background blur, bad flare resistance etc. These are areas where the L lenses are sometimes better.

My favorite 35 for DSLR is the Zeiss 35/1.4. It is very crisp when stopped down and has very nice background blur wide open. I never used the Sigma, but the pictures in reviews, in specialized forums and on Flickr look impressive.




Oct 10, 2013 at 04:43 AM
 

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gdanmitchell
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · 1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm and 24mm?


cgarcia wrote:
The DOF is a term always subject to controversy, maybe because we sometimes talk about DOF and blur as if they were the same thing, but they aren't. Despite DOF has a math representation (once agreed the "circle of confusion" for aceptable sharpness) some articles explaining it with photos are still negated on the internet by many people, even despite being also mathematically proved as true (except for very close focusing distances) with any DOF calculator.


Blur has a "mathematical representation" (several, actually) but DOF is not an objective, factual thing. It is a highly subjective and variable concept, in particular regarding your notion of "acceptable sharpness." Acceptable to whom, for what, and in which circumstances?

It is actually quite impossible to come up with a definitive description of "how much DOF" you have in a photograph - though it is quite possible to know by looking at it if you have enough for your purposes.

Take care,

Dan



Oct 10, 2013 at 04:48 AM
chez
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · 1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm and 24mm?


Access wrote:
Reading the above post, among others, I feel like everyone else is starting to get 'lost in the semantics'.

To us, as photographers, there are many different sources of background blur, and that's cool and all, we can classify, categorize, etc. all these types or sources (real or virtual) and spend days or more on this. As trained photographers, we can utilize these methods ourselves, and looking at another photographer's photograph, we can probably recognize some or all of them being used for effect. But when the rest-of-world looks at a photo like this, they generally only perceive two things, the
...Show more

Access, ain't that the truth. Many photogs, some quite active on this board, really get anal about the semantics of photography, getting into minute detailed discussions of really irrelevant concepts such as trying to accurately define bokeh. To the general public, either the photo moves them or not, irrelevant of the details of bokeh, DOF, sharpness, drawing style etc..., these are just photo bithead interests.



Oct 10, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Robin Smith
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · 1.2 and 1.4 wasted on 35mm and 24mm?


Yes, I tend to agree that an f1.4 on a 24mm is rather pointless - it will work sometimes obviously - but subject isolation from my perspective is not what wide angle photography is about most of the time and that is what you will get with an f1.4 24 at f1.4. A 35mm I am prepared to be convinced (I have the 35L) but a 35mm f2 would be fine for me. I suppose there is a reason for an ultra fast 24mm if you are in really low light, but given the penalty in size and weight I would take the f2.8 lens every time and just bump up the ISO for the few times I needed it.

By the way I notice that "render" seems to be current photo geek word of the minute - it might be taking over from "dynamic range" as the "criterion most important for good photography".



Oct 10, 2013 at 04:26 PM
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