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Old Oct 12, 2006, 8:26 AM   #11
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thanks for all the responses. I do understand that 1.8 is very touchy, obviously I didn't understand how much. At any rate, I don't typically shoot portraits wider than 2.8 for that reason.

Here's another example...how should i have overcome OOF eyes? used AF lock and recomposed? Or stopped down further than 4.0?

50mm, 1/60th, f4.0, flash fired. Red dot indicates where Center focus point was used.
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 9:52 AM   #12
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urbanaries

Most indoor studio portraits are shot stopped-down (with flashes/strobes) and rarely wide open for increase sharpness...
-> Since you'll be controlling the background :idea:
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 9:58 AM   #13
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Who does potraits in indoor studio at f1.8? Most folks use strobes with lens stopped down to f8 or lower.

I think your problem could be focussing as 50mm f1.8 is slow to focus particularly in low light.
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 2:52 PM   #14
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um, i've said several times now I don't shoot people at 1.8. The first picture was an example of what happens at 1.8

and that seems to be all anyone is focusing on (pun intended) here.

the 2nd picture posted is at f4.0. I often shoot children in their natural environment or outdoors so I don't controlbackgrounds. Not everyone uses stiff poses and strobes.
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 6:25 PM   #15
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If the baby's head is tilted back, the mouth won't be on the same plane as the eyes. My advice if shooting wider than 4.0 and you're really close, make sure the focal point is on the eyes. Even so, if the head is slightly twisted only one eye might be in focus. They way the pros do it is to shoot F5.6 to F11 with a big soft box or umbrella this will allow the child to move and you can move around as well and get some good candids. The children are literally playing on the rather large back grounds. The 1/125 shutterspeed allows the use of higher F stops. Natural light shooting involves a lot of shooting to get the perfect photo when children are involved.
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 10:27 PM   #16
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I find the EF 50 1.8 only shines when stopped down to 5.6. I did a couple tests a while back (http://www.nutty.ca/blog/lens/EF50 vs EFS1785/test.htm is one of them) and only at 5.6 did I notice the quality was worthwhile to keep. At F/8 I noticed maximum sharpness, but at that point I just stick with my 17-85 since the quality is near the same and the zoom allows for more options.

In my opinion, you already have the equipment for portrait shooting. Just stop down the closer you get to your subject. If you don't need that much bukeh, shoot at F/8 and you'll be impressed with the photos.

On the whole auto focus issue, am I the only one that uses only the center point for focusing? I like having the control of pointing my camera at something and saying "focus on that" and recomposing. My bro had his XT setup with all focus points active and half the time the camera focused on things my bro didn't intend. Just a heads up I guess.
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 3:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
I like having the control of pointing my camera at something and saying "focus on that" and recomposing.
Well, if you ever find a camera that works that way please let us know.

If you read the articles above what you will discover is that when you focus on a particular point you are setting your cameras focal distance at a particular setting. When you recompose that focal distance may or may not be appropriate for the shot.

In any occasion where you have a very narrow depth of field you may run into problems using this technique. In particular when using a wide aperture with a subject that is fairly close to the camera you will often end up with something that looks like "back focus". Most people then blame the camera or lens, complaining about lack of sharpness.

With objects that are further away it is much less of a problem, and of course with wider apertures it is less of a problem too. So it may never be a problem for you, depending on your photographic style.
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 10:23 AM   #18
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You can also try using a different focus point than your center sensor. Use one whichis closer to your subject eyes
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 7:43 PM   #19
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wasn't there a canon elan 7N"E" or something that detected where your eye was going and focused there? Did it work well? Its odd that the feature hasn't been duplicated in digital?

If the 85mm 1.8 isn't great until stopped down to 5.6, then I will continue to hone my skills on the 50mm and turn to the 17-85mm IS USM more often, when I don't need background blur. That lens focuses like a champ...at least in my experience

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Old Oct 16, 2006, 10:50 AM   #20
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urbanaries wrote:
Quote:
If the 85mm 1.8 isn't great until stopped down to 5.6,
he said 50mm not 85mm. Could be something wrong with this poster's lens. 85mm f1.8 focus much faster than 50mm f1.8.
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