Are you focusing and recomposing each time for portraits?

2 years 3 months ago #563863 by Amy Porter
What a long day.  Hope you can give me a little food for thought.  What I was curious about is what focus technique you are using for portraits? Are you focusing and recomposing your shots or will you move your focus point?


Would you say you explore both depending on what your aperture is set at? 

:thx2:


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2 years 3 months ago #563867 by Kristy Blake
Yep, sure do!  To many things can go wrong, and it only takes split second to do so.  


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2 years 3 months ago - 2 years 3 months ago #563908 by G Vernon

Amy Porter wrote: What a long day.  Hope you can give me a little food for thought.  What I was curious about is what focus technique you are using for portraits? Are you focusing and recomposing your shots or will you move your focus point?


Would you say you explore both depending on what your aperture is set at? 

:thx2:


I never focus recompose with portraits.  Shallow depth of field portrait photography has been in vogue for quite a while and focus is critical usually on the eyes. If you focus recompose the angle of view / distance also changes and at a wide aperture that´s enough to throw the eyes out of the focus plane.


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2 years 3 months ago #563916 by effron
Nobody is focusing then, say standing up to recompose. Its a slight movement and won't move the point of focus enough to make a difference, even wide open. Again, there is more than one way to get it done, best is what works best for you....

Why so serious?
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2 years 3 months ago #563942 by G Vernon

effron wrote: Nobody is focusing then, say standing up to recompose. Its a slight movement and won't move the point of focus enough to make a difference, even wide open. Again, there is more than one way to get it done, best is what works best for you....


We seem to be at odds on this subject?
Yep there are other ways to get accurate focus, even with manual lenses it´s called using focus peaking, but not many camera´s incorporate this - the D850 and the Sony camera´s both excel in this department.
If you are fortunate enough to have a Sony then Face detection or the more accurate Eye AF will nail the shot 9 times out of 10 :-)
Below is a diagram of how easy it is to miss the focal plane on a simple portrait using the focus recompose methods: The lens is a 50mm @ F:1.4 aperture which is not unusual for a portrait. The camera sensor is 4 feet (or 121.92 centimeters) from the subject focusing on the eye. If you recompose for the frame then your focus point lays around the chest which is a full 6 inches (or 15.24 centimeters) behind the eye which was the original focus point.
The focus plane is only 0.16 of a foot (or 4.8768 centimeters) which means you have missed the intended focus point by a mile in terms of accuracy in a portrait.
If you shoot at F:5.6 or longer then you´ll get the eyes in focus with the recompose method as the focal plane will now be 0.64 feet (or 19.5072 centimeters) giving more latitude to cover the back focus. Hope this explains things for people struggling getting sharp focus with the recompose method. BTW it´s very easy to test with a spyderlenscal whats happening in the diagram and the math is even easier to understand.



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2 years 3 months ago #563943 by Bryston3bsst
I always focus and recompose.

As Kristy said, it takes no time.


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2 years 3 months ago #563959 by Tony Imaging
Same here, you have to.  Any slight movement from either you or subject will throw off tight focus


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2 years 3 months ago #564000 by G Vernon
There are many videos on YouTube that cover the mistakes people make with focus and recomposing, Ken Wheeler i believe sums it up perfectly!



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2 years 3 months ago #564054 by effron
You were talking portraits and presenting macro as an example...I'll say it again, and we are NOT at odds. Do it your way, I'll do it mine...

Why so serious?
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2 years 3 months ago #564058 by icepics
I'm not sure why there would be a need to focus and reframe shots all the time. Seems like it should be done when there's a reason or a need for it.

People seem to be posting often enough about struggling with getting proper focus and using focus points. If the autofocus points aren't working precisely enough for you, probably knowing how to focus manually would work better. I focus manually because I learned how and know how to do it; I don't find I have problems getting an accurate focus the way many people seem to have using focus points.

Sharon
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2 years 3 months ago - 2 years 3 months ago #564065 by G Vernon
I don´t know where you get the macro from, Ken in the video was only talking portraits if you are referring to my uploads then i have a selection of portraits in the people section and close ups in the nature section + a landscape or two, we have a passion for all fields of photography..
Suffice it to say i think the author had the answer in her last sentence, "both are explored depending on aperture" :-)


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2 years 3 months ago #564083 by G Vernon
I agree with you, we mostly use live view for manual - in the next couple of months we´ll be getting the D850 so able to take advantage of focus peaking and buying a couple more manual lenses :-)


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2 years 3 months ago #564178 by Peter Nunez
I know so many people that don't and they haven't had issues.  For me, I always focus and recompose if needed.  Which is done mostly with the camera each time I half way process the shutter and take the photo.  I rarely use focus lock, so this process always happens.  


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2 years 3 months ago #564259 by effron
I shot many portraits back in the manual focus days, NEVER had an issue with focusing on the eyes, then recomposing the shot. My point was fractions of an inch are important in macro, shooting a portrait with a 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, take your choice, even WIDE open, if you can't get sharp eyes with F & R, you're doing something else wrong. Maybe its your math?....

Why so serious?
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2 years 3 months ago #564288 by Sawyer
Well that get's tricky when the model is moving and your capturing impromptu motion and expressions. 

Canon 5D Mark II | Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Canon 35L | Sigma 85 1.4 | Helios 44M-6 58mm(M42) | Zeiss 50mm 1.4 (C/Y) | Canon 135L | (2) 430EX II
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