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Author Topic: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?  (Read 6382 times)

J.R.

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Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« on: September 30, 2013, 01:55:36 PM »
I just read a comment by PBD as to how the 50mm f/1.4 was extremely sharp at f/8. I checked out my photos and found (to my dismay) that I couldn't confirm this because over 90% of my shots were at wide open or at f/1.8 or f/2.

Then I proceeded to check my other lenses. I was surprised to find that most of my shots (again approximately 80-90%) were at wide open.

How do you guys shoot? Do you tend to shoot at max aperture most of the times?

Cheers ... J.R.
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Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« on: September 30, 2013, 01:55:36 PM »

AmbientLight

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 03:07:11 PM »
I must admit that I am somewhat of a bokeh addict and in addition I have that perhaps stupid idea that what sets digital photography with DLSRs apart from just pointing an iphone in the direction and clicking away is the ability to control both shutter speed and depth-of-field.

So, yes, I tend to shoot wide open pretty often, except of course when shooting landscapes or macro, where shooting wide open isn't always such a good idea.

duydaniel

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 03:11:47 PM »
Yes, or else why not get the legendary 18-55 f3.5-5.6  ::)

Random Orbits

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 03:15:36 PM »
That does seem high, but I wouldn't be surprised if half of mine were taken wide open or at f/2.8 or larger (not at my computer to check it though).  I tend to use f/2.8 or larger for sports (more pictures per event due to capturing action sequences) and for single subject portraits especially under indoor available light (dim) situations.  When there are multiple subjects (f/4-f/8) or when doing a landscape or architecture shot (f/8-f/16) or macro, then the lens gets stopped down, but I tend to do these types of shots less often.

What this really means is that you have good glass.  Lower quality lenses tend to require stopping down more.

rs

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 03:28:21 PM »
With crop I tended to shoot mostly wide open, but since moving to FF I've had to readjust due to the narrower DoF at the same aperture - now I often stop down, sometimes by quite a bit when the situation calls for it. The great thing with the mk II zooms is I get quite a narrow DoF with no noticeable loss of sharpness when shooting wide open. It's nice to have that performance in reserve for when the time is right, without overdoing it on every shot.

However, most people don't buy a fast prime such an 85L to use it at f8. A lens like that really is predominantly for those special moments where a razor thin DoF is desired. The Canon 50/1.4 is borderline due to its low cost, weight and size - so I could see some people buying it for its compactness rather than big aperture. I rarely shoot my somewhat large and otherwise redundant (with a 24-70 II in my kit bag) Sigma 50/1.4 at anything but 1.4.
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ablearcher

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 03:57:12 PM »
It really depends on what you are shooting usually. I love primes, but I use f8-f11 on my zoom for studio shooting. Groups of people at events are also tough to shoot wide open (unless you want to isolate one particular person in the group). But for individual portraits outdoors or indoors without lights - yeah, I'll be mostly shooting wide open.
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drmikeinpdx

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 03:58:02 PM »
I shoot mostly people, not sports and I use the Sigma 50 1.4 and a Canon 85 1.8 a lot.  They are both soft wide open, the 50 much more so than the 85.  I make use of that to soften the faces a bit in feminine portrait work.  The shallow DOF and nice bokeh look pretty too!

They both sharpen up dramatically at F/2.8, but you can still get some bokeh and subject isolation.

I don't think I ever use them at apertures smaller than 2.8 unless I'm in the studio and have to stop down because the strobes are already at minimum power.

My canon 24-105 is a different animal altogether.  It is plenty sharp wide open at F/4, so I pretty much just leave it there.  If I want serious bokeh, I'll grab a prime lens.

Each lens has its own personality, so you can't really generalize.  Oh, that reminds me, I should say that I'm shooting with a 5D3.  That makes a difference too. :)
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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 03:58:02 PM »

Pinchers of Peril

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 04:01:51 PM »
I could probably take my aperature blades out of my 70-200 II and not miss them at all. That thing is so sharp wide open that I always shoot at 2.8 and even on a sunny day I can put my iso down to 100 and shoot wide open without a problem with exposure.   I will stop down my 85mm 1.2  sometimes, but honestly the reason I bought it was because it was 1.2 so I use it wide open a lot.  I almost never shoot my 50mm 1.4 totally open (because it's a little soft at 1.4) but I still rarely stopped it down more than F4.  I am also a sucker for bokeh and usually only stop down if I am doing landscape or group shots.  If I'm shooting isolated subjects then I blow that backgroud out as much as I can.
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Viggo

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 04:26:55 PM »
Yes
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Emil

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 04:32:52 PM »
I use my 50mm f1.4 a lot, but I find that the DoF @ f1.4 is just a bit too shallow most of the time. So unless I'm doing portraits or creative stuff I mostly keep it at f 2.0 or higher.

 Same applies to the 28mm f1.8 I own. It's just not sharp enough wide open for most stuff.

The 100mm f2.0 however, I keep wide open almost exclusively!
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gmrza

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 05:44:39 PM »
It really depends on what you are shooting usually. I love primes, but I use f8-f11 on my zoom for studio shooting. Groups of people at events are also tough to shoot wide open (unless you want to isolate one particular person in the group). But for individual portraits outdoors or indoors without lights - yeah, I'll be mostly shooting wide open.
+1

I am not really a big fan of the "one eye in focus, one eye out of focus" look that is created when shooting with a f/1.2 lens wide open, but ultimately it all depends on when you are shooting, and what lens you are using.
With a lens like the 24-105, you are not left much alternative but to open up the aperture, because it is a slow lens.  With a macro lens on the other hand, when shooting macros, you generally need to stop down because your DoF is so desperately thin.  Landscapes you will usually shoot at whatever aperture your lens is sharpest.
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ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 05:57:53 PM »
It seems unbelievable, but Canon 18-55 IS is sharp open. :o Canon 28-135 IS, I avoid F3.5 because is bad in the corners of the image. :( Canon 55-250 IS is sharp open. :) Sigma 10-20 is much better closing diaphragm 1 point. :) Tokina 16-50 is sharp open, but chromatic aberration bothers 16mm F2.8. :) Canon 50 F1.4 I just use F1.8 or more closed, unless I'm desperate and go to print paper size up to 10x15 cm. ;)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 06:00:18 PM by ajfotofilmagem »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 06:15:59 PM »
I shoot at the aperture I need for the DoF I want, with concessions sometimes made to get a high enough shutter speed/low enough ISO.  Good lenses mean I'm not afraid to shoot wide open when I need to, and with the exception of my fast holy trinity of primes, I do shoot wide open a fair bit of time.
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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 06:15:59 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 06:18:23 PM »
For me it depends on the situation and the lens.  I assume we are mostly discussing shooting people?  Most of the time it's important to make use of the bokeh of a fast lens, and to isolate the person from the background and foreground.  But I personally am not a professional people photographer at this time.  Also, some fast medium focal length lenses do have "focus shift", when the aperture is closed a bit...so beware of that.  It's difficult to compensate for. 

I do kind of agree with the above about having one eye out of focus, or a whole person out of focus.  It's heavily dependent on the photographer's artistic vision, and how well he/she can sell that vision to the client...as well as just how "good" the final result actually looks...which honestly could vary from one shot to the next.

For landscape, it depends on how deep I want the sharp focus to be, and sometimes on the available light...and on the shutter speed I want.  Also it can depend on the characteristics of the lens, how sharp it is to the borders and corners, etc.

Your hands are a bit more tied when using a crop camera, due to the noise, when shooting at small apertures, etc.  It can be dealt with to a degree.

Most every lens evens out its resolution across the frame when closed to f/8, but that is not how any 50mm f/1.4 is meant to be used "most of the time."  For my infinity focus aerial photography, I usually close my 70-200 f/4...to f/9, and set shutter speed to 1/2500 (in a small airplane it's difficult to hold the camera, and yourself...extremely still!).  The image noise and dynamic range are more than tolerable via the 6D, and the resolution extends to the extreme corners at all zoom settings, with almost no CA, and excellent color.

I just ordered a 24-105 off ebay today, and have rented one before.  For its zoom range, IS, IQ, and price, it's hard to beat.  Has quite a bit more CA than my 70-200 f/4 (non-IS), but that's easily fixed in post or in camera.

With my Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton, since it's a fully manual lens...it becomes more difficult for the camera's light meter to provide accurate results, as aperture gets closed down.  The lens is sharp at all settings, though.  If I had to have an autofocus 50mm, I would certainly buy the Canon f/1.4...but for my purposes the Voigtlander delivers higher IQ along with its fussy user interface, for only slightly higher cost.  As for the Canon 50mm f/1.8, I used to own one, I liked it...but I like the 40mm f/2.8 pancake a bit better.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 07:05:55 PM »
I just read a comment by PBD as to how the 50mm f/1.4 was extremely sharp at f/8. I checked out my photos and found (to my dismay) that I couldn't confirm this because over 90% of my shots were at wide open or at f/1.8 or f/2.

Then I proceeded to check my other lenses. I was surprised to find that most of my shots (again approximately 80-90%) were at wide open.

How do you guys shoot? Do you tend to shoot at max aperture most of the times?

Cheers ... J.R.

No, but I do a lot of landscape and nature so tons of stopped down shooting.
I do shoot at or near wide open too though, especially for soccer/football and birds if they are not too close or too big.
Often getting enough DOF can be tricky. Even for people, if you want it to hold up at more than 3x5" prints it can be very tough to get enough in focus wide open.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 07:07:34 PM by LetTheRightLensIn »

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Re: Do you usually shoot your lenses wide open?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 07:05:55 PM »