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Old October 10th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #1
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Most DOF'ed lens..?

I'm just off the phone with a friend of mine who argues that the most DOFy lens on the market for the 5D is the Canon 85mm 1.2/f. I wonder if there might be a Nikkor, Sigma, or something, that would match or even produce more shallow DOF than the 85mm..?

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Old October 10th, 2009, 04:45 PM   #2
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I believe the EF 200mm f/1.8L may just have the 85L beat.

It's largely academic - either lens, fully wide open, results in millimetres of acceptable focus at most.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 06:50 PM   #3
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The Zeiss 50mm f1.2 for EOS mount. Also the Canon 135mm f2.0 is pretty amazing wide open.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 07:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer Landa View Post
I'm just off the phone with a friend of mine who argues that the most DOFy lens on the market for the 5D is the Canon 85mm 1.2/f. I wonder if there might be a Nikkor, Sigma, or something, that would match or even produce more shallow DOF than the 85mm..?
Pfft. The 85mm f/1.2 falls very low on the list of shallow DOF lenses. No lens can beat the Canon MP-E 65mm. The DOF wide open is under one half of one one-hundredth of a millimeter. Lots of people stop this baby down to f/32 just to get the DOF up to one half of a millimeter.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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I imagine a lens like the 85/1.2 might be one of the more useful more available lenses with such shallow DOF, but as other have noted, its not that simple. Daniel #2 mentioned a macro lens, so obviously DOF has a lot to do with object distance. I assume you are asking about shooting normal human-sized subjects (not macro) and would rather compare lenses in terms of shooting the same subject with the same framing. You could get a really long telephoto lens that is reasonably fast to really magnify blurry backgrounds and make things look even shallower like bill or daniel #1 mentioned but it would only work for certain object distances since its a long lens. I'm sure if you look around, you could also find ~50mm f0.95 and f0.7 lenses that are rare but undoubtely would give you even shallower dof than an 85mm f1.2.

I tend to imagine anything with DOF as shallow or shallower than a 85/1.2 might not be very practical for anything where the camera or subject is moving.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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The real objective for shallow DOP is to isolate the subject from the surroundings...
This brings audience focus to your subject... the trick is to get the subject in perfect
focus, front to back while at the same time, blurring everything else of of the focal point...

a 200mm 1.8 lens has the ability to have very a very small focal window, but the true
artist that knows how to shoot that lens will have perfect isolation of the subject at hand while still having the entire subject in focus, its a fine art...

For examples of that lens, it is used primarily by photogs that shoot the balance beam...
look at the photos and you will see how they use the lens for perfect isolation of the performer against the crowd.... Those photogs use that lens because you are not allowed
to use a flash during performance of the balance beam.. and of the isolation characteristics
of the lens...
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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Oh, btw canon isnt the only company that makes 85/1.2's, im sure there are others, im pretty sure zeiss made one for contax mount. Leica has some very fast noctilux lenses like the 50/0.95, and canon made a 50/0.95 many years ago, but i dont think either of these lenses would mount on a 5d with infinity focus since they were for rangefinder cameras with short flange distances.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:15 PM   #8
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Because it's six AM and my shift is almost over (and I don't have anything better to do), here are some numbers. It seems I should have checked this before posting that the 200mm had shallower DOF than the 85.


Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS - minimum focus distance: 300 cm
DOF @ f/2.8 @ MFD: 0.83 cm

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS - minimum focus distance 250 cm
DOF @ f/2.8 @ MFD: 1.04 cm

Canon EF 200mm f/2.0L IS - minimum focus distance: 190 cm
DOF @ f/2.0 @ MFD: 0.97 cm

Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L - minimum focus distance: 250 cm
DOF @ f/1.8 @ MFD: 1.54 cm

Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L - minimum focus distance: 90 cm
DOF @ f/2.0 @ MFD: 0.45 cm

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L - minimum focus distance: 95 cm
DOF @ f/1.2 @ MFD: 0.81 cm

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L - minimum focus distance: 45 cm
DOF @ f/1.2 @ MFD: 0.51 cm

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L - minimum focus distance: 30 cm
DOF @ f/1.4 @ MFD: 0.55 cm

Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L - minimum focus distance: 25 cm
DOF @ f/1.4 @ MFD: 0.83 cm


Data courtesy of Canon; maths courtesy of the DOFMaster Online Depth of Field Calculator. Any errors are solely mine.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Bates View Post
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L - minimum focus distance: 95 cm
DOF @ f/1.2 @ MFD: 0.81 cm

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L - minimum focus distance: 45 cm
DOF @ f/1.2 @ MFD: 0.51 cm
I'm not sure if I get this -- the 50mm has narrower MFD than the 85mm, both with a 1.2/f, while it's the opposite between the 300mm and 400mm both with 2.8..?

Anyways, Daniel, thanks for the chart, and stay safe out there (wouldn't mind spending a few days there, just for the experience).

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Old October 11th, 2009, 03:14 AM   #10
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This has got to rank as one of the most pointless discussions on the board surely!
You've got a camera with a 35mm sensor, and the ability to use f1.2 lenses and you're still wanting LESS depth of field! What are you guys after?
Steve
oh, and Nikon did a 300 f2, Canon a 1200 f5.6, but my vote would go to the Zeiss 1700mm f4 - stick a couple of feet of extension tubes on that and you'll be down to pretty shallow dof
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Old October 11th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #11
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Here's A DOF calucator:

Panavision Depth of Field and Field of View on-line Calculator

Just remember:

Depth of field is the same for all lenses when the image size is constant and the same f-stop is used.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 10:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Peer Landa View Post
I'm not sure if I get this -- the 50mm has narrower MFD than the 85mm, both with a 1.2/f, while it's the opposite between the 300mm and 400mm both with 2.8..?
The 50L's minimum focusing distance is half that of the 85L, whereas the 300 and 400 are (practically) nearly the same. That's probably most of it. I was a bit surprised by the results myself, though.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #13
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"This has got to rank as one of the most pointless discussions on the board surely!
You've got a camera with a 35mm sensor, and the ability to use f1.2 lenses and you're still wanting LESS depth of field! What are you guys after?"

Amen, Steve.
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Old October 12th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
This has got to rank as one of the most pointless discussions on the board surely!
And surely, therefore you had to take part in it ;^)

Quote:
You've got a camera with a 35mm sensor, and the ability to use f1.2 lenses and you're still wanting LESS depth of field! What are you guys after?
Perhaps my initial post wasn't very clear; instead of getting yet another Canon L lens (the 85mm 1.2 that I've been drooling over for quite some time) I wanted to know what other useable lens(es) would produce as shallow DOF. Hence, I got into this discussion with a friend who has this lens, him claiming it to be the most DOFy thing out there (amongst useable lenses, that is). Yes, Steve, the "most pointless discussion" there is -- I apologize.

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Old October 12th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #15
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This is a weird discussion, but the winner is probably the no longer made Canon 50 1.0L - available used. Movie camera lenses have been made faster than f1.0
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