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Thread: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

  1. #1

    Default For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    Can anyone advise. I just want to see if I have been doing it right as I aim centre of eye, but most time, the image looks out of focused around eye area. Not sure if this is correct or if its due to some back focus issue.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    the observer is always first drawn to the eyes of a portrait.
    eyes should generally be in focus.

    you have to be really careful coz the dof is very small.
    if you are consistently getting it oof, might be because the cam is not accurate enough (eg 1 series canon vs other canon dslr) or your lens has back/front focusing issues...
    Regards, Mark Pang
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    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    well the "rule" is that u should focus on the eyes... after that u can break it if you want.. just like any other rules in photography...

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    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    The EYES have it!!!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    did u focus and shifted/recompose after locking on the eye?
    if yes that a common mistake as the depth is very shallow..chances are it out of focus every time u shifted..try to choose yr focusing point manually
    Last edited by eow; 28th April 2006 at 07:41 AM.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    eyes...

  7. #7

    Smile Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    focus between the eye white and eye ball. happy shooting.

  8. #8

    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    Focus on the eyes, they must be in focus. However, make sure you have sufficient DOF to cover the nose and the rest of the face.
    deadpoet
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  9. #9

    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadpoet
    Focus on the eyes, they must be in focus. However, make sure you have sufficient DOF to cover the nose and the rest of the face.
    Will one has enough DOF to cover if using a 85mm lens shooting at f1.4? Usually if one is using a 85mm lens, what aperture do you usually set for portraits to get nice OOF background and in focus face. When I had my 50mm f1.4, I found it hard to use at f1.4 or even f2.0 as the face is sometimes slightly OOF.

  10. #10

    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    Will one has enough DOF to cover if using a 85mm lens shooting at f1.4? Usually if one is using a 85mm lens, what aperture do you usually set for portraits to get nice OOF background and in focus face. When I had my 50mm f1.4, I found it hard to use at f1.4 or even f2.0 as the face is sometimes slightly OOF.
    I can only talk about the EF50 1.4 and EF85 1.2L.

    Head shot, the DOF for the 85 (wont use the 50) at 1.2/1.4 is about 1.5-2 cm, very difficult to use for a traditional/classical headshot. If you are shooting an European, figure from the tip of the nose to the back of the ear to be approx 10-12cm. I have to open it up to 4-5.6, sometime even to 8. Still can get a decent bokeh, if needed.

    For a full body shot, you can go all out to 1.2/1.4 for both lens, but becareful with your focusing technique. If you focus with the middle focusing point and then reframe the picture, the slight pivot may throw the focus off if you are shoot at 1.2/1.4.

    I rarely go below 2.8 for either lens. But, that bokeh thrown out by the 85 at 1.2 is like an impressionist painting. If done right, it's amazing. And I am tempted every time.
    Last edited by Deadpoet; 28th April 2006 at 10:40 AM.
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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    Will one has enough DOF to cover if using a 85mm lens shooting at f1.4? Usually if one is using a 85mm lens, what aperture do you usually set for portraits to get nice OOF background and in focus face. When I had my 50mm f1.4, I found it hard to use at f1.4 or even f2.0 as the face is sometimes slightly OOF.
    I personally prefer it stopped to f4 or so... less chance of oof
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    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    Will one has enough DOF to cover if using a 85mm lens shooting at f1.4? Usually if one is using a 85mm lens, what aperture do you usually set for portraits to get nice OOF background and in focus face. When I had my 50mm f1.4, I found it hard to use at f1.4 or even f2.0 as the face is sometimes slightly OOF.
    The DOF chart for the 2 lenses (85 1.2 + 50 1.4). To find the DOF, take the (far distance - near distance), and that's the amount of DOF you have.
    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/c...l_usm_dof.html
    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/c...4_usm_dof.html
    To get the OOF background, you have to understand how it's formed, and place the subject accordingly..

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    Senior Member yyD70S's Avatar
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    Default Re: For portrait, where should focusing pt be when using big aperture eg f1.4, f1.8?

    Thanks for the enlightenment!


    Quote Originally Posted by Deadpoet
    I can only talk about the EF50 1.4 and EF85 1.2L.

    Head shot, the DOF for the 85 (wont use the 50) at 1.2/1.4 is about 1.5-2 cm, very difficult to use for a traditional/classical headshot. If you are shooting an European, figure from the tip of the nose to the back of the ear to be approx 10-12cm. I have to open it up to 4-5.6, sometime even to 8. Still can get a decent bokeh, if needed.

    For a full body shot, you can go all out to 1.2/1.4 for both lens, but becareful with your focusing technique. If you focus with the middle focusing point and then reframe the picture, the slight pivot may throw the focus off if you are shoot at 1.2/1.4.

    I rarely go below 2.8 for either lens. But, that bokeh thrown out by the 85 at 1.2 is like an impressionist painting. If done right, it's amazing. And I am tempted every time.

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