Wide aperture - Pictures out of focus

Started Aug 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 27,073

Doss wrote:

tedolf wrote:

Doss wrote:

tedolf wrote:

Good God, do you have the capacity to follow an argument?

I don't understand either (As I alluded to in my previous post). I'll try asking you again...

we will never come to an agreement.

Aye, but there's nowt wrong with trying to express our views!

Also, I apologize for getting snippy.

Well - seems more like 'passion' to me! (although I'm not taking it personally as it wasn't directed at me! I just jumped in on your argument)

DOF is part of image quality.

DOF is indeed part of image quality aesthetic appeal, but in it's shallowness as much as it's depth

This is where we have a fundamental disagreement that leads to everything else. If you are OK with the OP's photo then you are right and I am wrong.

I still assume OP took this as a test shot rather than an attempt to take a 'good' photo.

However, clearly the OP was not happy with it and neither would be most clients.

Did you see the OP's original picture. You can not get the full head, front to back in focus on a tight head and shoulders shot using a FF camera at ten feet with an 85mm lens at f/1.8.

No, you can't. But who on earth wrote in your rule book that it's necessary

Custom in the art, custom in the industry, client expectations, common understanding, etc.

Hold on - Personal opinions aside - Now you're saying it's 'customary', suggesting commonplace, to take portraits with all of subject in focus?

Quick google search (beautiful portrait photos): x3 shots selected randomly from first 10 hits =

(c) Hannes-Caspar-Henriette

(c) Charles Hildreth

Source: Shre Design

I'm sure I could randomly repeat any similar image searches, I could just flip open any magazine, or peep on pinterest, or a fashion or portraiture website, and see that shallow-DOF portraits are very much the accepted standard. It's not what YOU have to do. But you're really missing an opportunity if you do think you must adhere to the idea that front-to-back must be within focus. I'm frankly quite dismayed that you have not frequently noticed pictures like the three above before?

I don't like the first two precisely because the DOF is too shallow.  In the first shot the leading shoulder is OOF and the trailing eyebrow and rear of rear eye socket.  As I said in a previous post, this was at one time a "desired look" in advertising, but is not generally acceptable for conventional portraiture.  The second shot is a good example of why this is problematic.  The girl's eye's and mouth are the only things in focus, the back of her head is OOF.  This creates the impression that her face is bigger than it really is causing a perceived distortion as if a wide angle lens was used.  Again, for Madison Avenue this might be OK but if you ran a portrait studio like that you would go broke.

Now the third one I really do like (quite a lady) but I suspect that the DOF is deeper in this shot than you think it is.  I bet it was not shot wide open.

(let alone desirable) to have the full head, front to back, in focus?

The DOF is only 3 inches.

Yep - 3 inches of glorious crisp focus surrounded to the front and rear by beautiful soft bokeh? Having that option is one reason I use FF.

Good luck with your photography business (not intended to be snippy, just making a point that your view about super shallow DOF is not generally shared by most).

What about that are you incapable of understanding?

this was uncalled for-sorry. I suspect that you actually do understand.

Tedolf - I frequently see you making good and valid points, and giving great advice on so many other posts. But your DOF chart obsession on this thread is doing you no favours! I recommend you stop worrying about having everything in focus and concentrate on getting the important bits in focus

Take care,




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