September 10th 2012 by Andrew S Gibson
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Here is another set of portraits taken with my new 40mm pancake lens (you can see a previous set here). The idea was to play around with the lens on my EOS 5D Mark II, experimenting with point-of-view and aperture to see how they affect the background. I was curious to see how the photos would look at f2.8, the widest aperture, and how they would compare to using my 85mm lens – all part of the process of getting to know the lens.
The following photos (and the one above) were taken at f2.8. Note the difference in quality of bokeh in the photos taken closest to my model (depth-of-field gets narrower the closer you get to the subject). 40mm is a moderate wide-angle focal length on a full-frame camera, and distortion is minimal compared to shorter focal lengths. You have to get quite close to your sitter to take photos and this can give a more intimate feel to the portraits than you get with a longer focal length:
These photos are taken at f3.5:
These two photos were taken at f4:
This one at f4.5:
This one at f5.6:
And these at f6.7:
Here are a couple of portraits taken with my 85mm lens, as comparisons. They let you see the difference in perspective (the amount of distortion on the face) and bokeh (background blur). Both taken at f2:
If you’d like to learn more about Canon lenses, then take a look at my new eBook Understanding Lenses: Part I (part II is coming soon).