Good Bokeh with the Canon 70-200 Lens

Can you get good bokeh with the Canon 70-200 f/4.0 compared to the f/2.8? It's easy to get confused with the amount of softness of the background and the quality of the out-of-focus. 

Getting good bokeh with either of the Canon 70-200 Lens is easy for you to accomplish if you use the right camera settings.

Getting good bokeh will make your portraits so much better, but how can you get that beautiful out of focus blurriness with the Canon EF 270200mm lens?.

It's all about zoom setting, f/stop, and distances.

If the distance between the subject and the background is sufficient, you get adequate bokeh at f/5.0.

With the 70-200 zoomed to 95mm, the bokeh is a little better than you'd get if you were shooting at a 70mm zoom setting.

How to Get Good Bokeh with the Canon 70-200 Lens

Here are the three ways to get more bokeh in your photos using the Canon EF 70-200mm lens - and any other lens for that matter.

  1. APERTURE. Using the widest aperture (lowest f/stop number)
  2. FOCAL LENGTH. Zoom in as much as you can. Use the strongest telephoto setting-200mm if possible.
  3. SUBJECT-BACKGROUND DISTANCES. Decrease the physical distance between the camera and the subject and increase the distance between subject and background.

Use the Widest Aperture for the Most Bokeh

One of the biggest reasons Canon shooters love the 70-200 is for its maximum aperture of f/2.8. This gives you the ability to shoot in low-light situations as well as get faster shutter speeds for action photos.

Portrait photographers love the beautiful bokeh you can get shooting wide open at f/2.8.  It's great for photographs of individuals, but with group shots you need more depth of field to make sure everyone is in focus.   

Longer Zoom Means More Bokeh

You'll achieve more dramatic bokeh at 200mm than you will at 70mm.  I've used my 24-105mm lens at 105mm at f/4.0 and that combination has given me decent bokeh.

Shooting with a 200mm lens setting gives you much more than just a decent bokeh effect.

Adjust Your Distances to Get the Maximum Bokeh

Subject and background distances affect the bokeh with the Canon 70-200 lens. When you bring the focusing point closer to the camera it gets farther away from the background.  

The diagram below shows you how to get the best bokeh by adjusting the camera-to-subject and subject-to-background distances.

Diagram on how to maximize bokeh

One more thing that affects the type of bokeh you get is the number of blades in the camera lens diaphragm.  The more blades there are, the smoother the circular pattern in the background highlights.

Many camera lenses have 6 blades. Fans of bokeh like 9 or more blades. I hope this post on controlling bokeh with Canon lenses was helpful. was helpful. Use the search box below  for other posts on this site or use one of the related links below my signature

Have a blast. Shoot a Canon!

Search for articles on this Site:

Author Bruce Lovelace
Bruce Lovelace Signature

Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram  and Flickr  Join the tribe of followers on YouTube. Bruce also runs photo workshops and provides 1 on 1 digital photography coaching.

You might like these

You might also like

Please consider using one of the Canon Geek's preferred vendors below for you Canon cameras and accessories as well as any of your household items.  It costs you nothing and it helps me keep this web site going.

Search for articles on this Site:

Recent Articles

  1. What Is The Canon RF-S 18-150mm Lens Good For. Is It Worth The Money ?

    May 28, 23 08:51 AM

    RF-S 18-150mm lens close-up
    Should you get a Canon RF-S 18-150mm lens? I take a deep look at what photography the 18-150mm lens is good for shooting. Surprising conclusion.

    Read More

  2. Canon 90D Auto Sensor Cleaning Noise

    May 28, 23 08:10 AM

    Canon 90D Sensor Cleaning Options
    Hello Bruce, I am a bit worried: my 90d all the sudden started to make noise when auto sensor cleaning while switching on/off. Sounds like rattling/machine

    Read More

  3. Essential Canon RF-S 18-150mm Filters You Need To Know About

    May 27, 23 08:15 AM

    UV filter for Canon RF-S 18-150 lens
    You've got his versatile lens. Now how to step up your photography game with these 6 Canon RF-S 18-150mm filters

    Read More

BOKEH: The pleasing out-of-focus quality of the background that you get from a particular lens.

Sign up for a monthly update

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Canon Geek Newsletter.

Canon 70-200 lenses. The f/2.8 vs f/4.0 size comparisonEF 70-200 Lenses

Accessories for the Canon 70-200

Alternative Choice

The Canon 70-200 f/4.0

Spider web close-up. Close focus means great bokehMacro Means Bokeh