Wide aperture - Pictures out of focus

Started Aug 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
Doss Senior Member • Posts: 2,080
Re: No one is saying that it can't be done.....

tedolf wrote:

just that you have to be very careful.

Absolutely true.

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?


Dude! I think you over-think things too much!
Honestly, I just take the shots using the settings which get the shot . And, yes, as an experienced photographer I do think I can use f1.8 occasionally - Not so much for a desired effect, but because - in every one of these shots - the light was limited and I had to shoot fast (they are all candids - And yes, I do find (for me) FF works best in such environments.  I respect your choice to prefer smaller sensors. Each to their own my friend

OK - I know that fact sets these apart from the OP's photo - but I don't think they were trying to get a desired effect,. I think they were just testing out a new lens and wanted to be sure they could get away with using it at f1.8 - which is the point of having a lens with that setting!

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