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Thread: Aperture setting for group photo

  1. #1
    Member bullseyez's Avatar
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    Default Aperture setting for group photo

    Hi all, i have a noob question to ask. I'm confuse by too many different answer from my friends and i just wanted to clear my doubt.

    When taking group photo for example family photo, wedding group photo, friends gathering photo where more than 8 person in ur viewfinder, what is the suitable aperture setting need to use?

    My friend told me f5.6 is sufficient, and from the other friend f8 n above is better so all the faces will be sharp.

    Please help me with this question which kinda bother me for quite awhile. Thx all
    What goes around comes around

  2. #2

    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    Depends on whether or not they are all in one neat line or in a clustered group, and the focal length of your lens and their distance from you. You can use any number of online DOF calculators to help you.

    If you have a flash, then using f/8 or f/11 is a safer option.
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  3. #3
    Member bullseyez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae
    Depends on whether or not they are all in one neat line or in a clustered group, and the focal length of your lens and their distance from you. You can use any number of online DOF calculators to help you.

    If you have a flash, then using f/8 or f/11 is a safer option.
    Most of time when takibg group photo most ppl are not in a neat line. N yes i hav an external flash. But any reason behind tt my friend say f5.6 will b sufficient? *scratching head*
    What goes around comes around

  4. #4

    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    It depends on the lens used. I personally like using f8 coz it gives consistent results

  5. #5
    Member bullseyez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by photoart
    It depends on the lens used. I personally like using f8 coz it gives consistent results
    Lens i last used on my fren wedding was a 16-35 f2.8 (canon)
    What goes around comes around

  6. #6

    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    Like rashkae say, stick to f8-f11 to be safe. Furthermore many lenses' sweet spot is around f8-11

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    If u understand how aperture controls DOF in a photo, you will understand why F/5.6 is ok and why F/8 to be safe. These two values are just estimation that gives u thicker DOF (more depth in focused). To be even more safe, if you have good light, you can even go down to F/11 to be double confirm.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member bonrya's Avatar
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    I'll go with f8 if you have enough light.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonrya
    I'll go with f8 if you have enough light.
    TS has to be reminded that these are just good guide figures to try out, ultimately it depends on e situation you are in to determine what aperture value u need.

    Just a tip: if its rly a big grp, like 30++( my gf family is that big with a whopping 45 ppl!) u may want to stand elevated to ensure ur DOF is enough, coz its nt really a flat plane but an arc...
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  10. #10
    Member papajanggo33's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    i'd go somewhere between f9-f14
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    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    Quote Originally Posted by bullseyez View Post
    Most of time when takibg group photo most ppl are not in a neat line. N yes i hav an external flash. But any reason behind tt my friend say f5.6 will b sufficient? *scratching head*
    people have different perceptions of what is sufficiently sharp. Or it's possible they don't really know what they're talking about. Either way, if in doubt, bracket!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    mount an accessory flash, f8-11. do take note, focal length affects the DOF. so if you're shooting a group shot from afar with a long focal length, the DOF might not be enough.

    that being said, i would use f4, hit the prettiest girl with the AF and forget about the rest

  13. #13
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    WA lenses have more DoF when you are some distance away; want to blur unattractive background ; do not want to use flash to retain ambience, are some of the things I can think of.
    Last edited by ManWearPants; 23rd June 2011 at 12:23 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    It really depends, since u said group photo, I assume u're using wide angle lens. WA and UWA already have high DoF and when I stand quite a distant away from the group, I can safely use apertures like 3.5 or 4 and still get everyone appears sharp.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    Quote Originally Posted by stunna88 View Post
    It really depends, since u said group photo, I assume u're using wide angle lens. WA and UWA already have high DoF and when I stand quite a distant away from the group, I can safely use apertures like 3.5 or 4 and still get everyone appears sharp.
    then you have to be careful of distortion. also, WA and UWA lenses render closer objects large and distant objects small/tiny. so if you have 3 rows of people or more, the ones behind will appear to be smaller than those in front.

  16. #16
    Member fmeeran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    that being said, i would use f4, hit the prettiest girl with the AF and forget about the rest

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  17. #17

    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    What lens do you plan on using?
    Samsung NX10+30mm, Fuji S6500FD

  18. #18

    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    since you are using the 500D, you can use the A-DEP (automatic depth of field mode). at half-press, i often get a setting between f/4 and maybe f/11. the actual value depends on focal length, camera-to-subject distance(s). if you want the background to be sharp, make sure some of your 9 auto-focus points are pointed to both your subjects AND the background. Otherwise, aim your 9 autofocus points only on your subjects during the half-press.

    one alternative to A-DEP mode is learning your camera's hyperfocal distance as a function of aperture and focal length.

  19. #19
    Deregistered shaoken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture setting for group photo

    It also depend on the size of the group and the lighting available.
    In most cases, I'll use f/8-f/11.

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