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Thread: Depth of field in portrait photography

  1. #1

    Default Depth of field in portrait photography

    i have played around with a d70 + kit lens (which is i believe after googling is the AF-S Nikkor DX 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G IF-ED Zoom).

    to achieve shallow depth of field with model sharp and background blur with the d70, i could only shoot half body shots (about waist up). when i tried full-length, i couldn't achieve the same depth of field... am i doing anything wrong? is it possible to shoot full-length + clear model + background blur with the kit lens? or will i have to get a lens with bigger aperture or longer lens?

    i have pretty much decided on 400d + 17-85mm (but it only has maximum aperture of 4 though longer focal length..) would like to know what i'm in for (i.e. would i be able to take full-length shots with shallow depth of field or only half body?)

    thanks!
    Last edited by noelle; 4th October 2007 at 08:43 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    Quote Originally Posted by noelle View Post
    i have played around with a d70 + kit lens (which is i believe after googling is the AF-S Nikkor DX 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G IF-ED Zoom).

    to achieve shallow depth of field with model sharp and background blur with the d70, i could only shoot half body shots (about waist up). when i tried full-length, i couldn't achieve the same depth of field... am i doing anything wrong? is it possible to shoot full-length + clear model + background blur with the kit lens? or will i have to get a lens with bigger aperture? would having longer lens help?

    i have pretty much decided on 400d + 17-85mm (but it only has maximum aperture of 4...) would like to know what i'm in for.

    thanks!
    If I'm not wrong, for full body shot + background blur you'd probably need to get a 50mm f1.8 lens. Such a lens goes for only $100+ so you can give it a shot. Otherwise that's about the best your kit lens can do.

    By why get a 400D when you already have a d70?

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    if you want shallow DOF effect on full body shots, you need a longer focal length lens, something like 100mm and above, the longer the better.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    position your model far far away from the background...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    thanks all, thought i was doing something wrong. i would be able to achieve at least half body shots + shallow depth of field on the 400d + 17-85mm right since it's possible with the d70?


    i'm gravitating towards 17-85mm (since it's canon, has IS, better resale value, supposedly better quality since not a superzoom) but want to be sure that i'm not making a mistake not getting the 18-200mm tamron (not considering sigma unfortunately realised it's too ex for me).


    p7m13, d70 isn't mine, borrowed it.

    ExplorerZ, so position model closer to camera and far far away from background?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    the further away the background, the more blur it will be, quite logical actually.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    Quote Originally Posted by noelle View Post
    thanks all, thought i was doing something wrong. i would be able to achieve at least half body shots + shallow depth of field on the 400d + 17-85mm right since it's possible with the d70?


    i'm gravitating towards 17-85mm (since it's canon, has IS, better resale value, supposedly better quality since not a superzoom) but want to be sure that i'm not making a mistake not getting the 18-200mm tamron (not considering sigma unfortunately realised it's too ex for me).


    p7m13, d70 isn't mine, borrowed it.

    ExplorerZ, so position model closer to camera and far far away from background?
    theres a limit you can position your camera away from the model with the specific focal length if you want to do full body, so the only way is find a background that is really far.
    longer focal length does help as well, but you will have to move further back...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    Use longer focal length. If you are using the 18-70, shoot at 70mm f/4.5. You may be standing further from the subject for full body shot, you should more or less get what you wanted.

    I use 85mm for full body shot sometimes. The results is lovely.


    BC
    Last edited by Scaglietti; 5th October 2007 at 09:15 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    DOF depends on 3 things

    1) Fstop
    2) Focal length of lens
    3) Distance to subject

    so using a bigger aperture, a longer lens and positioning the model further from the background will help.

    :)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    use a 50 1.8
    Problem solved.
    or else a 85 1.8 also can.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Depth of field in portrait photography

    hm, i still like to 35mm, or 50mm sometimes. well it really does not matter actually, just move closer with a 35mm, haha. cheers.

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