How do zoom shooters actually calculate their shots?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP deednets Forum Pro • Posts: 11,916
Re: How do zoom shooters actually calculate their shots?

iancbradley wrote:

I'm nowhere near the level of competence of most of you here, and, in amongst the 'popcorn' moments and people taking offence at each other, I did learn a few things, so thank you for that.

I'm slightly surprised that no-one has mentioned focus peaking as an option here. I use it a lot for MF lenses, but here is how I imagine I'd use to to (partially) solve Deed's problem, using a native Fuji AF-capable zoom. I offer this cautiously, aware that I might get my knees taken out for not answering the question precisely as originally posed ...

Firstly I'd switch to 'MF' and get confident using back button autofocus - so that the MF assistance aids are all available and I can always call on AF by hitting the back button.

I'd enable focus peaking, frame my shot - ah, the pesky bridesmaid is 2ft behind the bride's mother! So I hit the back button and see whether I have 'peaks' on the features of both the bridesmaid and the mother. If I'm not sure, I 'punch in' and look at the mother's hairdo in detail.

If the peaks don't appear to my liking, I either dial in a narrower/wider aperture, or adjust my point of focus accordingly. Or ask the bridesmaid (NOT the mother, I'm not a total idiot) to step back a little.

I think I'd be happy with that, but only because I'm not skeptical of the calculations applied by the Fuji system to determine how much contrast will generate a 'peak'. YMMV, as they say.

Deed, I think you're looking for a solution that allows you to set the aperture for 'correct' DoF, then raise your camera to your eye, and shoot. I'm not offering that. But if you're willing to look at the shot, examine DoF with the help of the peaking tools, and then adjust, I think this could help you.

Thanks for your balanced post!

What my point was, but conveyed possibly a bit off-side was the framing issue: do people who use a zoom for framing monitor how it affects the DOF?

My example given to one post above (michalelawson??) was about how the DOF between 16 and 23mm changes from 455cms to 139cms. Now that is a lot of loss for 7 mm of that rather slow lens (example was taken at F4!!). So if you do a group shot and you stand 2 meters away, then framing by zoom might get a few people out of the "in focus" zone.

Your suggestion to use focus peaking is a valid one, I have my RX1RII configured in a way that the centre button of the 4-way controller is set to MF. Whenever I take a photo of something I want to keep, I quickly press that button to check focus peaking ... so: yes I personally do that.

Here is a shot I believe I used F4 as F2 would have been way too shallow:

In short: I DO use your strategy extensively!


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Sony RX1R II Fujifilm X-Pro3 Sony a7C Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R +9 more
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