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Thread: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

  1. #1

    Default Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Hi, i tried to shoot a full body portrait with my canon EF 50mm f1.8 lens but could not achieve a shallow DOF. I hope to isolate the person fr the background. Can anyone advise me how to do it? Do i need a long lens (eg. 70-300mm)?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneheart View Post
    Hi, i tried to shoot a full body portrait with my canon EF 50mm f1.8 lens but could not achieve a shallow DOF. I hope to isolate the person fr the background. Can anyone advise me how to do it? Do i need a long lens (eg. 70-300mm)?
    Just stand further from the model lor.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZDragon View Post
    Just stand further from the model lor.
    The further you stand away from the subject, all other things such as aperture and focal length etc. equal, the wider the DOF ........ meaning that you can't get the shallow DOF you want with human portraits.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneheart View Post
    Hi, i tried to shoot a full body portrait with my canon EF 50mm f1.8 lens but could not achieve a shallow DOF. I hope to isolate the person fr the background. Can anyone advise me how to do it? Do i need a long lens (eg. 70-300mm)?
    what aperture u used?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    The further you stand away from the subject, all other things such as aperture and focal length etc. equal, the wider the DOF ........ meaning that you can't get the shallow DOF you want with human portraits.
    True. Cos 50MM cannot actually do zooming like any other lens

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Use f1.8 and make sure the background is not too near the subject.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    The further you stand away from the subject, all other things such as aperture and focal length etc. equal, the wider the DOF ........ meaning that you can't get the shallow DOF you want with human portraits.
    yes i agree.. i was abt 2 meters away from my subject n i set my aperture to f/1.8 but cant get the bokeh i want

  8. #8

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Maybe try a different background such that the background is "infinitely far" from the subject?
    I am NOT a PROfessional photographer and photography is NOT my hobby

  9. #9

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Youhong View Post
    Maybe try a different background such that the background is "infinitely far" from the subject?
    Will setting to Center Metering and setting the focus point to center help?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZDragon View Post
    Will setting to Center Metering and setting the focus point to center help?
    Hi,
    Metering and focus point on subject will not help.

    As others have suggested, choose a further (than subject) background. Personally, I would use a 85mm or above lens, 70-200mm lens, to throw the background away.

    If you take closeups with F1.8, you will get the bokeh too.

    Cheers!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneheart View Post
    yes i agree.. i was abt 2 meters away from my subject n i set my aperture to f/1.8 but cant get the bokeh i want
    I do not have any experience using a DSLR taking portraits. I just know that around 85mm on 35mm format equivalent is ideal for taking full body portraits standing abut 5m away. If F/1.8 is used, then the DOF is about 0.36m (0.18m infront and 0.18m behind) and you get a very shallow DOF to have a blur background and the subject appears almost completely isolated.

    Apparently, if you are using an APS-sized DSLR and want to maintain a similar shallow DOF, you would need to use a longer focal length and/or go closer and/or use a bigger aperture according to DOF. But then in order to maintain the same composition, you need to go further away instead of nearer. However, the longer focal length used to get a shallower DOF is negated by the further distance. (Use a DOF calculator to see what I mean).

    For e.g. APS sized DSLR with a crop factor of 1.6x.
    Focal length = 50mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition as 85mm on full frame= about 5m (about same as full frame because 50mm x 1.6 = 80mm on 35mm equivalent format)
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.67m (0.31m infront, 0.36 behind)

    Focal length = 85mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition= 8m
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.59m (0.29m infront, 0.30 behind)

    Focal length = 120mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition= 11m
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.56m (0.27m infront, 0.29 behind)

    The decrease in DOF is very marginal because the shallower DOF of using a long focal length is offset by a need to move further away from the subject to maintain composition. So unless you can use a much bigger aperture, you won't be able to get a DOF as shallow as can be achieved on a full frame.

    But then, I don't think you can find any very long telephoto lens with aperture bigger than F/2.8. Moreover, even a F/2.8 for long telephoto lens is very very heavy and expensive. That is why some serious portrait photographers still prefer full frame in order to get the shallow DOF which they can get with a relatively short focal length lens and a very large aperture.

    So in the end, the practical way out for APS-sized sensor DSLRs is to have the subject stand further away from the background nad have a cleaner (i.e. not too cluttered background.
    Last edited by Clockunder; 22nd November 2006 at 05:00 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Now, this is unbelievable. First of all, all these years shooting portrait, I have absolutely no idea that the DOF of my favourite focal length (85mm) at 8m at f/1.8 is 0.59m (0.29m infront, 0.30 behind) WOW. Wonder how you figured it out, since you have absolutely no expereience in taking portrait?


    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    I do not have any experience using a DSLR taking portraits. I just know that around 85mm on 35mm format equivalent is ideal for taking full body portraits standing abut 5m away. If F/1.8 is used, then the DOF is about 0.36m (0.18m infront and 0.18m behind) and you get a very shallow DOF to have a blur background and the subject appears almost completely isolated.

    Apparently, if you are using an APS-sized DSLR and want to maintain a similar shallow DOF, you would need to use a longer focal length and/or go closer and/or use a bigger aperture according to DOF. But then in order to maintain the same composition, you need to go further away instead of nearer. However, the longer focal length used to get a shallower DOF is negated by the further distance. (Use a DOF calculator to see what I mean).

    For e.g. APS sized DSLR with a crop factor of 1.6x.
    Focal length = 50mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition as 85mm on full frame= 5m
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.67m (0.31m infront, 0.36 behind)

    Focal length = 85mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition= 8m
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.59m (0.29m infront, 0.30 behind)

    Focal length = 120mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition= 11m
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.56m (0.27m infront, 0.29 behind)

    So unless you can use a bigger aperture, you won't be able to get any shallower DOF.

    But then, I don't think you can find any very long telephoto lens with aperture bigger than F/2.8. Moreover, even a F/2.8 for long telephoto lens is very very heavy and expensive. That is why some serious portrait photographers still prefer full frame in order to get the shallow DOF which they can get with a relatively short focal length lens and a very large aperture.

    So in the end, the practical way out for APS-sized sensor DSLRs is to have the subject stand further away from the background nad have a cleaner (i.e. not too cluttered background.
    deadpoet
    my portfolio

  13. #13

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadpoet View Post
    Now, this is unbelievable. First of all, all these years shooting portrait, I have absolutely no idea that the DOF of my favourite focal length (85mm) at 8m at f/1.8 is 0.59m (0.29m infront, 0.30 behind) WOW. Wonder how you figured it out, since you have absolutely no expereience in taking portrait?
    Clockunder do have experience in using DSLR maybe because he uses SLR camera ?
    Anyway, check HERE,this will help you figure out more easily.
    no need experience also can get it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Think the word to use for a noob like me is... "CHIM"

  15. #15

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by D70sshooter View Post
    Clockunder do have experience in using DSLR maybe because he uses SLR camera ?
    Anyway, check HERE,this will help you figure out more easily.
    no need experience also can get it.
    No. I have no experience at all. In fact, I don't like shooting portraits.

    I used a DOF calculator.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    No. I have no experience at all. In fact, I don't like shooting portraits.

    I used a DOF calculator.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by D70sshooter View Post
    Clockunder do have experience in using DSLR maybe because he uses SLR camera ?
    Anyway, check HERE,this will help you figure out more easily.
    no need experience also can get it.
    Thanks for the link!
    I am NOT a PROfessional photographer and photography is NOT my hobby

  18. #18

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Tks for the link, didnt know all this till now

  19. #19

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by D70sshooter View Post
    Clockunder do have experience in using DSLR maybe because he uses SLR camera ?
    Anyway, check HERE,this will help you figure out more easily.
    no need experience also can get it.
    All I can base my comments on was what Clockunder said. He said he does not have experience, then he does not have experience.

    Btw, if you use the DOF calculator please take it with a huge grain of salt. It at best work some of the time, and not that accurate. Beside, I wonder, how does this improve one's photogrpahic skill, and in particular, the ability to shoot good or better portraits?

    I found too many photographers paid too much attention to technical aspects of photography, while important it is not everything, but all too often, do not pay attention to how lights interact with the subject, posing and details. Oh well, to each their own, they can conitnue to take horrible pictures. This is a free world.
    deadpoet
    my portfolio

  20. #20

    Default Re: Full body portrait with shallow DOF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    I do not have any experience using a DSLR taking portraits. I just know that around 85mm on 35mm format equivalent is ideal for taking full body portraits standing abut 5m away. If F/1.8 is used, then the DOF is about 0.36m (0.18m infront and 0.18m behind) and you get a very shallow DOF to have a blur background and the subject appears almost completely isolated.

    Apparently, if you are using an APS-sized DSLR and want to maintain a similar shallow DOF, you would need to use a longer focal length and/or go closer and/or use a bigger aperture according to DOF. But then in order to maintain the same composition, you need to go further away instead of nearer. However, the longer focal length used to get a shallower DOF is negated by the further distance. (Use a DOF calculator to see what I mean).

    For e.g. APS sized DSLR with a crop factor of 1.6x.
    Focal length = 50mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition as 85mm on full frame= about 5m (about same as full frame because 50mm x 1.6 = 80mm on 35mm equivalent format)
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.67m (0.31m infront, 0.36 behind)

    Focal length = 85mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition= 8m
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.59m (0.29m infront, 0.30 behind)

    Focal length = 120mm
    Distance necessary to mainain composition= 11m
    Aperture = F/1.8
    DOF = 0.56m (0.27m infront, 0.29 behind)

    The decrease in DOF is very marginal because the shallower DOF of using a long focal length is offset by a need to move further away from the subject to maintain composition. So unless you can use a much bigger aperture, you won't be able to get a DOF as shallow as can be achieved on a full frame.

    But then, I don't think you can find any very long telephoto lens with aperture bigger than F/2.8. Moreover, even a F/2.8 for long telephoto lens is very very heavy and expensive. That is why some serious portrait photographers still prefer full frame in order to get the shallow DOF which they can get with a relatively short focal length lens and a very large aperture.

    So in the end, the practical way out for APS-sized sensor DSLRs is to have the subject stand further away from the background nad have a cleaner (i.e. not too cluttered background.
    Thanks so much! think it is really an eye opener.. by the way, may i know how you derive the distance infront and behind? Eg. DOF = 0.56m (0.27m infront, 0.29 behind)

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