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Author Topic: What did I do wrong?  (Read 3290 times)

TC1006

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What did I do wrong?
« on: July 17, 2012, 08:58:33 AM »
I was taking shots of some friends and seem to mess up a few like this. The focus on the guy is completely missed.

I was using 5D3 - 50mm 1.4
Av - 1.4
AF Point Expansion with Center point selected.

I took about 4-5 shots and they were all same with the focus missed on the guy. Is it because my DOF was to shallow? Or Do I need to use a different AF selection mode?

Please advise.

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What did I do wrong?
« on: July 17, 2012, 08:58:33 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 10:22:19 AM »
Too shallow DOF. I'd probably Use F/2.8.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 11:34:52 AM »
If you were close, and it looks like it, the depth of field is very short at f/1.4.  Even at f/1.8, its not all that deep.
Thats the only issue.
For example, at 5 ft you will have a 3 inch depth of field.
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SandyP

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 05:19:09 PM »
Stop using f/1.4 to shoot group photos, or even photos of 2 people in many cases. Sometimes it can work if you're going for certain looks, but in many cases, especially a group shot like this, you need to consider the depth of field. f/1.4 from this distance is just clearly not enough depth. I generally stop down to about f/2.8 or f/4 for stuff like this, but sometimes you need more.

wickidwombat

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 06:51:39 PM »
Stop using f/1.4 to shoot group photos, or even photos of 2 people in many cases. Sometimes it can work if you're going for certain looks, but in many cases, especially a group shot like this, you need to consider the depth of field. f/1.4 from this distance is just clearly not enough depth. I generally stop down to about f/2.8 or f/4 for stuff like this, but sometimes you need more.

exactly

even f2 can be dicey for a couple unless you ensure their eyes are in the same focal plane
and a group try stick to f4 or more a rule of thumb i use is f stop = number of people in the shot
up to f8 which will usually get any size group unless you have them really spread out creating the need for a huge depth of field
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 06:53:56 PM by wickidwombat »
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TC1006

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 11:22:56 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions.

I was trying to get a really nice bokeh, thats i had the lens wide open. Will stopping down to 2.8 or f4 still give me a nice bokeh?

Thanks

papa-razzi

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 12:23:47 AM »
DOF is impacted by focal length (longer focal length = shallower DOF), by f-stop (bigger aperture = smaller DOF), and by distance from the subject (the closer you are, the shallower DOF).  You can experiment with these variables and see how they impact the bokeh of your shots.

You will be limited by f-stop and how close you stand to the group in order to get everyone in focus and in frame.  So, the other variable you might try is how close to any background objects your subjects are.  For example, if they are standing close to things, they will be more in focus and less blurry.  If you have a good amount of distance between them and any background items that will be in the frame of the shot, the background will be more blurry, giving you more of the look you want.
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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 12:23:47 AM »

papa-razzi

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 12:26:41 AM »
For example, if they are standing close to things, they will be more in focus and less blurry.  If you have a good amount of distance between them and any background items that will be in the frame of the shot, the background will be more blurry, giving you more of the look you want.

In your photo, I would have your subjects move away from the BBQ grill and the tables in the background, and frame them with the trees most distant as the background.  See if you like how that looks.  At least with the other stuff out of the picture your subjects will stand out and not have to compete with the visual noise you have in there.
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RC

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 12:58:23 AM »
...i use is f stop = number of people in the shot

Never thought of it that way, Great tip, thanks!

wickidwombat

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 02:21:30 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions.

I was trying to get a really nice bokeh, thats i had the lens wide open. Will stopping down to 2.8 or f4 still give me a nice bokeh?

Thanks

well its not as simple as that unfortunately.

a 200mm @ f2.8 for the same framed shot would probably smash the background more than the 50mm would at f2.8

even at f2.8 with that shot i would suggest posing everyone so their eyes are pretty close to the same plane relative to the camera f4 would be quite safe but with less blur

however always remember bokeh is great as long as its not all over your subject's face! :D

also dont worry i think every photographer in history has been through this learning curve with regard to depth of field. do some reading about it and if you have an iphone there are quite a few free depth of field calculators that let you put in your camera, lens distance to subject and aperture and it will tell you the amount of in focus depth of field you will have
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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 03:29:39 AM »
the DoF here is around 12cm (5 in) http://www.similaar.com/foto/dof/dof2.php?f_x=1&f_r=1.5&f_f=1.4&f_ph=1

but also: have you set the microadjustment settings for this lens? you definitely have to do that if you intend to shoot f/1.4...
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koolman

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 03:48:02 AM »
For group shots, where people are standing at varying distances, I would use F/2.8 - F/4 only.

F/1.4 is for a carefully focused isolation shot of one person.
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RAKAMRAK

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 03:54:05 AM »
At f/1.4 it is even difficult to keep the distant eye in focus in a single person's face if the face is just slightly turned.

I always use f/5.6 for group (4-6 people) photos. If it is a wide angle group shot (more than 8 people) then I always use f/8.

For bokeh, just recompose the photo or reposition your subjects in such a way that the background is relatively far away and you get amazing bokeh.
Need to learn a lot more.
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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 03:54:05 AM »

SandyP

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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 05:03:41 AM »
I posted this before, but this is actually a good example. This is f/4 on my 50L, roughly the same distance. You still get "good bokeh" from this far, or further away at f/4, f/5.6 or even f/8 sometimes. It can be subtle, which is all well and good. Besides, you'd rather have everyone in focus with a subtle blur, as opposed to only 1 persons face in focus with lots of background bokeh.


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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 08:17:51 AM »
I agree with SandyP. Focus on getting the shot (pun intended), and let the bokeh be secondary.
Also subject distance to background can help background blur at smaller apertures.

Here is a shot @ f/2 (on a 7D):

Lex & Violet, Thanksgiving '10 by Philip DiResta, on Flickr

And a shot @ f/3.2 (on a 5dii):

Ben Swing by Philip DiResta, on Flickr
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Re: What did I do wrong?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 08:17:51 AM »