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Author Topic: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background  (Read 2675 times)

roumin

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HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« on: October 30, 2012, 01:48:38 PM »
I have plans to shoot individual portraits against a blown-out white paper background. My strobes will be flagged and lens will have the hood on to reduce flare, but I will still have good amount of light reflected from the background coming into my lens.  My Question: which of my lenses will produce the least amount of flare/haze.  My Canon Lenses are 24-70 f/2.8 I, 70-200 f/2.8 IS II or 85L f/1.2 II.  I am aware that haze can be reduced/fixed in post.  I'll light the white background paper with two reflective umbrellas and one big softbox for keylight. I am hoping someone has been there and done that so I don't have to test and compare them myself.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 04:35:24 PM by roumin »

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HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« on: October 30, 2012, 01:48:38 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 01:56:59 PM »
Of course you want light reflected off of the background coming into your lens, that's the whole point in order to get a seamless white background. Setup your subject lighting, and then throw a strobe or two in the background, usually at higher power than your subject, and make sure it gives you the white seamless you are looking for.

Lens flare is usually light entering from the edge of the lens and bouncing around inside and causing the haze and/or flare. If you have a hood on, and you aren't pointing the lens with a light source near the edge of the field of view (which is what the lens hood is supposed to help avoid), then with most lenses you should have little to no flare or haze.

So, if you are adding a rimlight or some lighting directly behind/to the side of the subject, you may encounter a situation where you might flare or haze. This is why you always check your setup, and if you shift position/angles double check after the first shot or two to make sure you're good.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 02:03:42 PM »
Wider aperture lenses are more prone to flare.  This usually happens because the lens accepts light from the sides.  I'd expect the 70-200 f/2.8 MK II to be the best.  The older versions do not have the best anti-reflective coatings. 
 
Since you did not specify the version for the lenses, I assume they are all the oldest version lenses without anti-reflective coatings designed for digital use, so try them all and see.
 

In any event, lighting is going to be the determining factor.  As long as you use soft lighting and the background does not reflect light at weird angles, it should be OK. I use flat black paint on surrounding surfaces to make sure that reflections from the sides are not a issue.

I use white velvet cloth as a background.  It is very good and is not reflective.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 02:06:46 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

RuneL

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 02:16:05 PM »
Or just outsource and have someone mask it in vietnam.

roumin

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 03:01:28 PM »
Mt Spokane, I modified my original post with more details about my lenses and setup.

se_photo

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 03:07:00 PM »
I don't know your lenses, but between my 85 f 1.8 and 70-200 2.8 II, the 85 is better at controlling flare and maintaining contrast when bright backgrounds are present. When I shoot on white, I snap on the 85. I'd be more inclined to prevent flare and get dingy white backgrounds that can be dropped out in post than to get flare and then try to retrieve levels in post.

I bet testing the three lenses with one shot each and chimping the screen will tell you enough about which one to start with. Very smart of you to recognize some lenses are better than others.

kbmelb

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 03:09:02 PM »
I use my 85 1.2II when I have the room, 24-70 or 50 1.2 if I don't. Really the lens and flare are irrelevant if you set it up properly.

I hit the background with two 60" softlighters or PLMs angled in toward the center and down slightly. Then I use whatever for key and fill. The secret is to keep the background only about 2/3 or so hotter than the subject. So if your subject is metering at f/8 the background should be around f/10.

I'm not a light meter guy so I set the back drop and lights up, pop a couple shots with the highlight alerts on. Set the light til there is little to no blow out. Then I just set my key and fill like I need them. Then I know the light fall of from them will have my back drop slightly hot. This will hold stray hair detail and will look really well executed.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 03:13:35 PM by kbmelb »

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 03:09:02 PM »

bbasiaga

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 03:10:27 PM »
You can also help yourself by shooting a longer lens and having your subject farther from the background.  Less spillage on to the subject from the background goes a long way to reducing the effect of any 'haze' on the image. 

-Brian

japhoto

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 03:14:31 PM »
http://zackarias.com/for-photographers/photo-resources/white-seamless-tutorial-part-1-gear-space/

There ya go, pretty much no need to worry about the lens choice with this technique.

leGreve

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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 03:44:48 PM »
Just use any... the difference will be negligible.
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Re: HELP - Which lens is best for blown-out white background
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 03:44:48 PM »