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Is there any lens for a Canon 5D Mark II that can give the effect of a webcam?

For webcam effect I mean:

  • the subject can stay relatively close to the lens without barrel distorsion
  • deep field

I wonder how it's possible to achieve this sort of effect:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoL-MnXvK80

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm not sure I'd really give those attributes to webcams, which aren't usually particularly well-controlled for distortion. High depth of field is basically the result of small sensor size.

Basically, a moderate wide angle lens will do — 28mm or so should match the FoV of a typical webcam, although you might go a little wider. Then, stop down as far as possible — f/22 or f/32. This will probably cause you to increase the ISO, and will introduce diffraction softness, but if you are going do a webcam look neither of those will be a problem.

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There are a bunch of lens that gives you something like that.

I'm gonna list some of them: - Samyang/Bower/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (these three brands are very similar, manual focus and very cheap lens, around U$350). - Canon 14mm f/2.8L (auto focus, L lens, very expensive)

These lenses gives the effect bellow, you can stay close to the camera, but everything fit on the frame (if you use a full frame camera) and it's hard to have a shallow dept of field because of the 14mm:

enter image description here Coffee addict - Raphaël Farhi / 500px

Is that the effect that you're looking for?

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This is almost two separate questions:

1) a lens with a small minimum focus distance (MFD) and low barrel distortion. I'm assuming you probably also want a wide-angle lens here to get the "webcam" effect. The Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM would seem to nicely meet all those criteria (MFD = 0.2m), although it's not cheap.

2) Large depth of field. Relatively easy: just stop down whatever lens you're using until you get the depth of field that you want. Having a quick play with one of the online DoF calculators, it looks like you can get everything from 0.23m to infinity in focus at f/16 with a 14mm lens.

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