Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

  1. #1
    Member Natsu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodlands
    Posts
    563

    Default How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    I posted this question in another forum and received a number of interesting techniques, so I'll post it here for seniors and pros to share their techniques and a good read for newbies as well, here it goes.

    Hey guys question. How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture. I'm talking f/2 and larger here. Does focus recompose works, selective af or do you just manually focus?

    Any tips will be greatly appreciated, tnx!
    Last edited by Natsu; 23rd March 2011 at 03:30 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    Not a pro here,
    but here's what I do.

    - Choose the closest focus point, and if needed recompose after that, the way you recompose is very important (no angular movements, hold your breadth)
    - MF is great if you have the a bright viewfinder or split focusing screen, I enjoyed MF-ing on some manual Nikkors for portraits as well

  3. #3
    Member Natsu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodlands
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by wdEvA View Post
    Not a pro here,
    but here's what I do.

    - Choose the closest focus point, and if needed recompose after that, the way you recompose is very important (no angular movements, hold your breadth)
    - MF is great if you have the a bright viewfinder or split focusing screen, I enjoyed MF-ing on some manual Nikkors for portraits as well
    Great, tnx for dropping by!

    Excellent tip on the angular movements, will definitely watch out for that!

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Woodlands
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by Natsu View Post
    I posted this question in another forum and received a number of interesting techniques, ...
    how about sharing the techniques what others had taught u, here?
    ~PeaceNoWar~

  5. #5
    Member Natsu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodlands
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by intrance View Post
    how about sharing the techniques what others had taught u, here?
    Sure!

    The general consensus is that using the center af only to focus and recompose will not work given the razor thin dof when shooting at wide apertures like f2 and beyond. Most will select the focus point nearest the eye then shoot, others manually focus on the eyes then shoot. Lastly something I have not tried, but those that do it swears this method is the MOST accurate. Basically they manually focus using liveview 10x magnification and shoot.

    For me I'm one that selects the af point nearest the eye for normal shooting conditions, and manual focus when all else fails. I'm tempted to try the third method, but just by reading how's it done makes me cringe at the number of shots I'll be wasting!

  6. #6

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    now... how about combating "softness" of the image at the edges when shooting wide open? below f2 of course. using AF points at the edges? manual focus? usually doesn't really help

    question for the pros. i ain't one either

  7. #7

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    Well, you don't usually put the subject's eyes at the edge...

  8. #8

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by cutecdo View Post
    Well, you don't usually put the subject's eyes at the edge...
    well... not all portraits are just the face right

    and it depends on composition too

  9. #9

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    now... how about combating "softness" of the image at the edges when shooting wide open? below f2 of course. using AF points at the edges? manual focus? usually doesn't really help

    question for the pros. i ain't one either
    that will be a lens limitation, instead of technique.
    to comboat that, spend more $$ on better glasses that performs better at the corners wide open

  10. #10

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    According to candleghost, AF on the eye with nearest AF point, shoot. Crop later during PP to attain correct composition. And if you're shooting longer FL like 200mm and the two eyes are not on the same focal plane, forget about f/2 and below, unless you want that one eye sharp one eye soft effect, which I feel is more to show off the big aperture lens used to take the picture than to bring out the best in the subject.

  11. #11

    Default

    Take about 60 shots and stitch

  12. #12

    Default Re: How do you shoot portraits with wide open aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by Natsu View Post
    Sure!

    The general consensus is that using the center af only to focus and recompose will not work given the razor thin dof when shooting at wide apertures like f2 and beyond. Most will select the focus point nearest the eye then shoot, others manually focus on the eyes then shoot. Lastly something I have not tried, but those that do it swears this method is the MOST accurate. Basically they manually focus using liveview 10x magnification and shoot.

    For me I'm one that selects the af point nearest the eye for normal shooting conditions, and manual focus when all else fails. I'm tempted to try the third method, but just by reading how's it done makes me cringe at the number of shots I'll be wasting!
    Actually that about all the methods I know of as well.

    The select focus point method is the surer and faster method imo, though its actually subject to tolerance of the AF system and swaying of both photographer and subject at such thin DOF. Usually will need a few shots to be very sure to have nailed it.

    2nd method is good up to a point. Depends on how fast the lens is. I find f2 is not much of an issue with its greater DOF. f1.4 and f1.2 can be a bit harder to nail focus. I tend to look out for the detail and contrast on MF (Eg. eye lash can be seen on viewfinder)
    Some things can help, like a well setup focusing screen and a magnifying eyepiece.

    3rd method works very well. Almost 100% accuracy since its what the sensor sees. Only things are holding steady in liveview position, hassle for human/non-waiting subjects and a bit slower response between focusing and liveview screen refresh.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Natsu

    Great, tnx for dropping by!

    Excellent tip on the angular movements, will definitely watch out for that!
    sorry guys.. but what do u mean by "closest point"?? thanks

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JMagination

    sorry guys.. but what do u mean by "closest point"?? thanks
    If u have 11 focus point capability in your cam, you should see 11 focus point available for selection through viewfinder.

    Eg your subject's eye is towards extreme right of frame after composition, u use the nearest/closest AF-select points to focus the eye. In this case it is the extreme right AF point.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Astroben

    If u have 11 focus point capability in your cam, you should see 11 focus point available for selection through viewfinder.

    Eg your subject's eye is towards extreme right of frame after composition, u use the nearest/closest AF-select points to focus the eye. In this case it is the extreme right AF point.
    thanks Astroben  and sorry for me being a dummy.. hehehe 

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Astroben

    If u have 11 focus point capability in your cam, you should see 11 focus point available for selection through viewfinder.

    Eg your subject's eye is towards extreme right of frame after composition, u use the nearest/closest AF-select points to focus the eye. In this case it is the extreme right AF point.
    thanks Astroben  and sorry for me being a dummy.. hehehe

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •