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Old Nov 12, 2007, 6:50 AM   #1
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I have a family reunion that I will be taking photos for and i have a Canon 20 D and a 17-50mm lens. With 40 people what would be the best settings to set it on to get everyone in focus. I would like to use the manual setting. Any help would be great.

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Old Nov 12, 2007, 7:53 AM   #2
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You asked: "I have a family reunion that I will be taking photos for and i have a Canon 20 D and a 17-50mm lens. With 40 people what would be the best settings to set it on to get everyone in focus. I would like to use the manual setting. Any help would be great."



You need to provide much more information. For example, when and where will it be shot? In a dark rec center? In a brightly lit public venue? Outside in bright sunlight? Will you have theroom to allow you to frame the whole group? Will you be using a flash (the built in one will be useless). How about a diffuser with the flash?

There are simply so many variables that no one can provide an answer with the information you provided.

So, with no further information provided, my suggestion is to frame the shot, leave the camera in full auto, push the shutter release, and hope for the best. Or if you plan to be in the shot, put it on a tripod, frame, set the camera to timer, use auto mode, press the shutter release, and get in the photo. You might also set the camera to auto-bracket one EV + and -.
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Old Nov 12, 2007, 12:53 PM   #3
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It will be in like a ball room. I can bring my two umbrella lights. I also have a hair light I could bring. I have an external flash that I will have diffused that I plan on using.
My issue is I have taken 15 people before and the outside people were not as clear as the center ones. I would like to knwo how to make the clarity in all the faces.

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Old Nov 12, 2007, 2:06 PM   #4
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cinbika wrote:
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My issue is I have taken 15 people before and the outside people were not as clear as the center ones. I would like to knwo how to make the clarity in all the faces.
Sounds like lens corner softness to me. Lenses are usually sharper in their middle apertures. Try stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8. I hope your lights are powerful.

But... the only 17-50 Canon-mount lens I know of is the Tamron f/2.8, and that is a very sharp lens across the board.
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Old Nov 12, 2007, 3:19 PM   #5
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David French wrote:
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cinbika wrote:
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My issue is I have taken 15 people before and the outside people were not as clear as the center ones. I would like to knwo how to make the clarity in all the faces.
Sounds like lens corner softness to me. Lenses are usually sharper in their middle apertures. Try stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8. I hope your lights are powerful.

But... the only 17-50 Canon-mount lens I know of is the Tamron f/2.8, and that is a very sharp lens across the board.
It is a Tamron lens. If my lighting is strong enough and I have the fstop about a 6-8 It should handle that many of people? Instead of the umbrellas I am thinking of just diffusing the side lights. That way they will give me better light accross the board.

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Old Nov 13, 2007, 10:28 AM   #6
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Ballroom, huh?

Day or night, and are there a lot of Windows? How about overhead lighting?

The last two family gatherings I went to, I didn't even need to use a flash (or bump up ISO speeds much) the lighting was so good.

Both were in church banquet halls during the daytime with flourescent lighting overhead, and quite a bit of ambient light coming in through windows (two different church banquet halls for the last two family gatherings I attended, and both had great lighting).

I'd try to visit the location at the same time of day you'll be taking photos to see what kind of shutter speeds you're getting at various apertures and ISO speeds.

DOF may not be a big problem at all with a wider lens, even if you need to keep the aperture set wider.

I didn't take any "group" type images at either one though. I mingled with the crowd and took loads of candids, mostly of smaller groups of people. Going through the images and posting some online is on my list of things to do. lol I took several hundred a couple of weekends ago at a family reunion.

I used a 28mm f/2 exclusively for the last one, and never bothered to use a flash (super lighting from the overhead flourescents with ambient light coming in through windows to help). Even with a 28mm f/2 wide open at f/2, I had plenty of depth of field for most shots for the print/viewing sizes I'd need.

The one I went to prior to that I used a mixture of flash and ambient only I used a Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5, Minolta 28mm f/2 and Tamron 35-105mm f/2.8, taking a wide variety of shots with and without flash at that one.

To be frank, I think most of the non-flash images turned out best (fewer hot spots, etc., even though I was bouncing the flash). Those white napkins on tables tend to get a bit hot too fast, even bouncing a flash and dragging your shutter. Of course, some of that was my fault. lol

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