ebayologist- I had a question for you. I have a cannon rebel XTi with stock lens. I was wondering for close ups what the best settings were for having the subject really clear and the backround blurred. Like what you were talking about but without a lense tube or anything. Thanks in advance.
^Macro shot (The Flower Icon), or the Portrait icon (The Face). the portrait will focus mainly on the subject and blur out the background. the macro will also do the same.
Thats probably a decent automatic setting, but doing it in reality makes more sense. because it actually the lense really seeing it like that >>>> than the computer in the camera simulating it.
Ideally what you need is a lense tube I've posted a number various lense tubes for canons that are all easily searchable on B&H or you can look back in this post and find them.
A lense tube essential moves the focus on the camera, i.e. if i have 32mm tube it will close the focus signficantly both in the focal range and in depth of focus. i.e. you'll be able to focus on stuff closer into the camera but won't be able to get focus at infitinity or really any significant distance based of the orginal lense and the length of the tube.
Let me put it like this: For macro shot...
average joe with a stock 35mm film camera opens the lense up to like f2.8 or whatever and blurs the background by focusing on the foreground/subject. Or with digital might use macro setting which I would assume you can get anyways but just turning the camera fully manual...
serious photographer(other than buying a macro lense w/ tubes are usefully with even a macro lense) puts on whatever length tube suits the subject (usually longer tube for smaller subject). and can close down the focus to f22 or greater and can focus on the subject super sharp (and with non-moving or animate objects long exposure doesnt matter if you need it to get the lense closed down) and blur the background because its out of the lense focusing range.
If that doesnt make sense to you let me know and I can try and explain it another way...