Wide aperture - Pictures out of focus

Started Aug 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 27,069
No one is saying that it can't be done.....

Doss wrote:

Jizzy wrote:

tedolf wrote:

So, stop down to about f/8 and you will get a DOF of about 8-10 inches.

Now, you have to ask yourself why did you spend so much money for a f/1.8 lens when you really can't use it wide open for the types of photo's you want to shoot!


Yeah, thats what I am asking myself now

Grrrr! I too often hear 'photographers' claiming - "That lens is soft wide open, but it's fine to use stopped down"

Duh!!!! Are you consumers really happy spending excess $$$$ AND lugging around excess weight & bulk just for the status of owning a fast aperture lens?


Jizzy - Your 85mm f/1.8 should be good wide open. If it's really not your technique (and it sounds as if it's not) and you've tried micro-adjustments and the lens is still this soft wide open then don't listen to the rather dubious advice of naysayers here (who talk complete BS advising not to do portraits @ 85mm @1.8 on a fullframe camera) - Get it returned and replaced.

Best of luck

Just to put my money where my mouth is....Here are a few examples of shots I've taken wide open with a 85mm 1.8




just that you have to be very careful.  In your fist shot, the subject is small and you were probably about 15 feet away?  DOF is exactly 12"; just enough to get the child's head in focus if your focus is spot on.

In the second example (no EXIF data), you are not doing a head and shoulder's shot, you are doing a full body environmental portrait, probably from 25 feet away.  DOF is about 3 feet.  Here, focus is not as critical.

In the third shot, again here you are not doing a tight head and shoulders shot as in the OP's example.  You are backed away and you have just enough DOF.  It is an excellent photo BTW, although use of shallow DOF really wasn't necessary here because the background is dark.  I can't tell what settings you used because the EXIF data is missing.

My point to the OP was, and I think that many here agreed that for a tight head and shoulders shot, you can't use f/1.8 on an 85mm lens and expect the subject to be in focus. DOF is simply too narrow with a large sensor camera.   My further point is that if you want to use that FOV for perspective purposes, and you have some need to shoot wide open (dark environment, subject movement) you are better off with a smaller sensor.

Is that so radical?


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