focusing on multiple subjects


Nov 15, 2009
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#1
Hi! all. I'm helping my friends to take some photos during an upcoming outing. I'm using a Nikon D5000 with Sigma 18-250mm lens. Was wondering how i can lock focus on multiple subjects without some of my friends being out of focus. Cause from the type of focus i can see on my camera, there's the single point focus & also another type that automatically choses the focus points. How should i set my focus in order for all my friends to appear sharp & not out of focus?
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
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#2
Some ways to go about it:

-shoot at wider angles
-shoot at smaller aperture
-line your friends on the focal plane

You can combine the few ways to good effect. If your friends line up in a few rows, set your focus to the middle row and stop down the aperture. If the event is at night or under low light situation, you will either need a flash unit and or push the ISO to accommodate the slower aperture. At the same focusing distance, DoF at wider angle is deeper than tighter angle. But you need to be careful when framing your subjects as wide angle shots will exhibit some sort of distortion, be it perspective or barrel.

If you need to shoot at bigger aperture and or tighter angle, be sure to line your friends up on the focal plane. Avoid stacking your friends in different rows as the DoF of the bigger aperture may not be sufficient to ensure everyone is in focus.
 

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Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#3
Shoot with a compact camera. Small sensor plus very wide angle lens = deep DOF. ;)

Right tools for the job...
 

Unagidon

New Member
Mar 11, 2009
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#4
Focus them at your lens hyper focal distance. Anything focus beyond the hyper focal distance should focus everything.
 

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Sep 17, 2008
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#5
Focus them at your lens maximum focus distance. Anything beyond infinety should be in focus.
uh... this sounds oddly suspicious. let me arrow someone to answer this for you...

rashkae you taking this?
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#6
allenleonhart said:
uh... this sounds oddly suspicious. let me arrow someone to answer this for you...

rashkae you taking this?
Nooooo I was too busy laughing when I read that. :)
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#7
Unagidon said:
Focus them at your lens maximum focus distance. Anything beyond infinety should be in focus.
OK, just to be clear, focusing at a lens' maximum focus distance is not how you achieve deep depth of field for a group shot.

Also, a lens is not buzz lightyear. How do you shoot at things beyond infinity? Albert Einstein would like some words with you.

If you are referring to hyperfocal distance, then I suggest you read up a bit first before trying to dispense "advice". :)
 

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kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#8
OK, just to be clear, focusing at a lens' maximum focus distance is not how you achieve deep depth of field for a group shot.

Also, a lens is not buzz lightyear. How do you shoot at things beyond infinity? Albert Einstein would like some words with you.

If you are referring to hyperfocal distance, then I suggest you read up a bit first before trying to dispense "advice". :)
i was thinking about Buzz Lightyear too :bsmilie:

 

Unagidon

New Member
Mar 11, 2009
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#10
Haha sorry guys, I should have proofread what I post let me go and amend it. Thanks allenleonhart for spotting it.
 

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Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#11
Haha sorry guys, I should have proofread what I post let me go and amend it. Thanks allenleonhart for spotting it.
Focus them at your lens hyper focal distance. Anything beyond infinity marking on your lens should be in focus.
Ah boss, you're still wrong lah. Buzz Lightyear izzit?
 

Unagidon

New Member
Mar 11, 2009
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#13
Rashkae said:
OK, just to be clear, focusing at a lens' maximum focus distance is not how you achieve deep depth of field for a group shot.

Also, a lens is not buzz lightyear. How do you shoot at things beyond infinity? Albert Einstein would like some words with you.

If you are referring to hyperfocal distance, then I suggest you read up a bit first before trying to dispense "advice". :)
I admit it is my mistake for typing infinity and maximum focus distance but why shooting at hyperfocal distance does not achieve the deep depth of view for group photo.
 

Sep 17, 2008
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#14
I admit it is my mistake for typing infinity and maximum focus distance but why shooting at hyperfocal distance does not achieve the deep depth of view for group photo.
hyperfocal distance = acceptable sharpness from X 1/2 distance to infinity.

if your hyperfocal is 3 meters (aka your lens focus at 3 meters), at certain fstop, certain sensor, then from 1.5 meters to infinity will be acceptably sharp. or something liddat.

The hyperfocal distance is the closest distance at which a lens can be focused while keeping objects at infinity acceptably sharp. When the lens is focused at this distance, all objects at distances from half of the hyperfocal distance out to infinity will be acceptably sharp.
from wiki

its just terminology lah. infinity is infinity. can't go more than that. and its not maximum focus distance.

i'll leave the rest to do the fine tuning and chow the real numbers/actual science behind it.
 

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daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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#15
I admit it is my mistake for typing infinity and maximum focus distance but why shooting at hyperfocal distance does not achieve the deep depth of view for group photo.
It does. but why do that, when you can easily stop down a little bit and get everyone in focus instead of using hyperfocal distance?
 

Unagidon

New Member
Mar 11, 2009
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#16
allenleonhart said:
hyperfocal distance = acceptable sharpness from X 1/2 distance to infinity.

if your hyperfocal is 3 meters (aka your lens focus at 3 meters), at certain fstop, certain sensor, then from 1.5 meters to infinity will be acceptably sharp. or something liddat.

from wiki

its just terminology lah. infinity is infinity. can't go more than that. and its not maximum focus distance.

i'll leave the rest to do the fine tuning and chow the real numbers/actual science behind it.
Yes thanks i do understand the terminology of hyperfocal length and this is the reason i brought up infinity in the first place right. And i also know the symbol on my camera is infinity.
 

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Unagidon

New Member
Mar 11, 2009
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#17
daredevil123 said:
It does. but why do that, when you can easily stop down a little bit and get everyone in focus instead of using hyperfocal distance?
It was just a suggestion and it is also one of the method if u wish to capture both the background and the group.
 

bruggink

New Member
Jul 2, 2008
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#18
If you can, try to minimize the distance between your nearest subject and the subject farthest away from the camera and use a larger f-stop number. I guess this may be the simplest way to achieve the sharpness you want.
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#19
use a tripod, have everyone stand still, perform focus bracketing :) . merge all the pics :)
 

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