Is it just me? (sharpness issue)

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
OP PointsMD Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Is it just me? (sharpness issue)

SeanTXK wrote:

PointsMD wrote:

Thank you all for the comments! I do have another question now. I've been having difficulty getting in focus images of my daughter when she's moving towards me. I assume this is more difficult than tracking a subject across a plane of focus because with the approaching subject the focus is constantly changing. Any tips for getting this to work better aside from MF? Is it normal to be running into these issues with the A6500? (tried on 85mm, 50mm OSS, 30/1.4 Sigma, 55-210 Sony all with similar results)

Yes, kids are hard to get sharp!

Most of the best portraits you’ve seen (especially of kids) required a lot of planning and set up. This might include setting up the camera in an area with amazing light, (back to a sunny window or shooting through a doorway, using strobes, etc.) stopping down the aperture a bit to get a deeper DOF, using faster shutter speed (than with adults), using burst mode (keeping only the best few), using tripods, etc.

Their wonderful portrait images make it look natural and easy, but it isn’t.

As for your experiences, I’d say give the things above a try. AF-C and Eye-AF are great, but are just tools in the tool chest.

Try stopping down a bit as kids do move front to back (the hardest thing for AF to solve for) and you will be slightly moving as well. Razor thin DOF at wide open apertures when shooting up close for portraits is hard enough with adults that will be still, god help you trying that with kids or infants. Keep in mind that DOF is proportional to distance. While 85mm @1.8 may provide a deep enough DOF for a sharp photo of a soccer player at 50ft, the same 85mm @ 1.8 used at portrait distances (say, 5ft) will have a DOF less than the thickness of your thumb.* That’s not much to work with considering kids and photographers are living beings that move.

Pick up the shutter speed or try a strobe to freeze motion. You can always bounce a flash or use modifiers, too. I personally use the sunny window/doorway trick as often as possible with kids, grabbing the shot as they cone towards me into the light. A strobe with its short flash duration can also freeze motion for indoor shots. Using one bounced or with a soft box can produce great results, and also let you shoot at super low ISO (turn setting effect OFF) for clean images.

Burst mode is also great whether using AF-C or not. Nobody has to know you trashed 10 shots to get the one perfect one you kept. Just let everyone think you’re just THAT good. What other photos? This is the one that rocks.

*According to the DOF calculator in the PhotoPills app, 85mm on APS-C @1.8 has a DOF of 7.5ft at 50ft distance. The same lens and f/stop at 5ft. has a DOF of less than 7/8ths of an inch, or about 21mm for metric users.

This is very helpful. Thank you! On the topic of lighting, I have a Godox 350tt and have been looking for a way to use it to "freeze motion." I'm ttl and manual mode I find that by the time it actually fires my child has moved to the next thing. Are there any ways to get this to work faster?

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