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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-31-2017

Can't Use Backgorund Blur Setting - Creative Auto

I am in creative auto and when I try to select the "background blur" option it only will let me select the 3 closest to sharper. Anyone know why the 2 closest to blur won't work? 


I'm using the Canon T7i with the EFS 18-55mm lense. This is my first camera so I'm doing a lot of learning.



Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,974
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Can't Use Backgorund Blur Setting - Creative Auto

Page 86 of your manual.


Depending on the lens maximum aperture not all setttings will be possible

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,627
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Can't Use Backgorund Blur Setting - Creative Auto

The amount of background blur is based on three things...


1.  Close subject distance... but distant background.


2.  Low focal ratio ... lenses that can provide f/2.8.... or f/2 ... or f/1.4, etc.  The lower the focal ratio, the stronger the background blur.


3.  Long focal length lenses.   Wide angle lenses naturally produce a very broad “depth of field”.  Depth of field is the range of distances at which things will appear to be acceptably focused.  The opposite... long focal lengths, naturally produce a narrower depth of field.


If you combine long focal lengths with low focal ratios and then shoot your subject at a close distance to the camera with a very distant background... you’ll get extreme background blur.


Canon makes a few 50mm lenses... the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a bargain at about $125.  If you were to use that lens with a close subject and distant background, you would get a pretty decent background blur.


If you used even longer lenses... such as the 85mm f/1.8... or the 135mm f/2... you’d get much stronger blur.


The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II is a very popular lens for portraits because the 200mm focal length with f/2.8 focal ratio creates quite a beautiful background blur.  I often back mine off to about f/4 and it still has quite a pleasant background blur.



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,736
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Can't Use Backgorund Blur Setting - Creative Auto

Because you are new to DSLR cameras, it is hard to know where to begin.  Canon has a Digital Learning Center.


The above link is to the first in a series of videos that teach you about the three legs of the "exposure triangle": shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.  Canon also offers tutorials and onlne courses.


I would also suggest that you do web searches for " exposure triangle " and " depth of field ".


"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Product Expert
Product Expert
Posts: 693
Registered: ‎10-17-2012

Re: Can't Use Backgorund Blur Setting - Creative Auto

Hello eejohnson622, 

Depending on the lens you have in use not all of the settings will be available.  It comes down to a lenses maximum aperture. This is why the two are not selectable as you would need a lens with a larger relative aperture to get the full effect of this function.

The aperture number is expressed as the f/number on your lens.  A larger f/number, such as f/2.8 or f/1.8 will allow more pronounced out of focus areas due to depth of field.    

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