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neo_lam Dec 2, 2005 3:14 PM

Yesterday i found out a tips in Hong Kong forum and they said if we want to take people photo,we should use f2.8 or smaller number. But they also said that if we use this number to take photo the photo will become blur.And they said using the f5.6 o higher will get more sharpen photo. Why should we use the f2.8 but not f5.6 to take people photo?? I use a Sony W1 and i use the Program AE mode. I decrease the contrast and increase the sharpness.......are there any diferrence with the Auto mode??I saw the diferrence is if i decrease the contrast,the people become more lighter and lose the tone of skin.But sometimes in outdoor the contrast did a well job,why?? to use a best setting in taking indoor people picture and outdoor picture........i really confused and dont know what to do???Thanks

Dec 4, 2005 11:34 PM

You didn't mention if you were shooting indoors (under controlled lighting, or outdoors), so I'll provide examples of both.

f2.8 (or smaller) will result in setting that will gather much light (good for low lighting situations) but it will have a shallow "Depth of Field" (DOF). I've attached an image to show the results of this....I shot it at f1.8, outdoors in heavy shade. I focused on her closest eye & most everything else in front of, or behind it is out of focus (a very "shallow" Depth Of Field").

Widowmaker Dec 4, 2005 11:46 PM

I will add that depending on the quality of the lens, shooting wide open (smallest f number), the image may be soft, even at the point of focus.

Kalypso it looks like you missed the front eye. The hair nearest seems to be what caught the focus.

Dec 5, 2005 12:13 AM your own example

Frank Doorhof Dec 5, 2005 4:15 AM

Full open will be a bit softer than 2 stops less.
It all depends on what you want and your distance to the model and the lens.

If you want to blur the background a long lens with f5.6 will do wonderful effects.
If you want to blur the background with a 24mm you will have to shoot wide open and this will result in soft pictures.

Glamour on location is shot (by me) with long lenses anything between 100-300mm with f5.6 sometimes even f8.00
This will result in a razor sharp model and a totally blurred background.

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