I have a tendency to shoot at very wide apertures (in the vicinity of 1.8 often). It creates nice soft backgrounds but the cost can be sharpness of the subject. When taking pictures of people, I find that most of the time, we will put up with blur as long as the eyes are sharp. So, when shooting, I make sure to focus there and then re-frame before firing away.

Here, you can see Kie’s left eye is sharp…and the right is mostly sharp (I should have been stopped down a touch). The middle would have led to a sharp nose and blurred eyes…which would not have been usable.

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. I also like to shoot in 1.8. And the eyes are always sharp:
    See my last 1.8

  2. One thing to watch out for – when you shoot at such wide apertures and close-in, such as the portrait that Alex provided, focus-and-recompose is often not the best technique to use (sorry Alex :) ) – it will often move the plane of focus behind the subject, and you will end up with out-of-focus eyes. In such situations, you’re better-off to use one of the off-centre AF points to focus. Myself, I also prefer focus-and-recompose, but try and avoid it situations like above, so as to guarantee proper focus. Of course, the only way to guarantee that is to confirm that you are focused on the right spot by looking through the viewfinder – this can be challenging with some of the crop bodies with their dim viewfinders.

    If you want to purchase one lens that will teach you proper shallow DOF techniques, get the 85mm f/1.2 L. That thing will punish you severely for sloppy technique! :)

  3. Great shot!

    Specificly, it depends on the angle…if you are more straight on…everything will be in focus…at an angle, the Depth of Field falls off parallel to the film plane.

  4. I wonder if Canon has the same lens compatibility that Nikon has with the F-mount lenses. Canon has a really nice 50mm f/0.95 for the Canon 7 body. Yes, that is correct, an f/0.95!! Pretty amazing lens and extremely rare…

  5. I found out that the Canon 50mm f/0.95 lens can be converted to fit “M” mount rangefinder cameras. Fits any “M” mount cameras like “Leica” and “Epson R-D1″… Time to search for one on eBay…

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About scottbourne

Founder of Retired professional photographer. Now I just play with my camera.