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Archive 2012 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2
  
 
ravisrajan
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p.1 #1 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


Could you please share your experience when you take outdoor portrait, mainly during golden hours, what is your success rate in terms of sharpness which you can present to clients? So far I am having only 60% of the shorts are sharp, mainly in their eyes. Mostly I use either outer focus points for one to three persons or center FP based on number of person in the group. I am using either 24-105 f/4L or 70-200 f/2.8 IS MK 2. Then I will short out which one to be presented to client.
Advance thanks for sharing your experience.



Jul 26, 2012 at 01:06 AM
timbop
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p.1 #2 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


Well, if you are using a 200mm lens for head shots yeah some parts will be out of the plane of focus - but that is physics not a defective camera. If you want ears and everything in focus then shoot wider at narrower apertures.

Edited on Jul 26, 2012 at 01:30 AM · View previous versions



Jul 26, 2012 at 01:27 AM
timbop
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p.1 #3 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


the first 12 of these are all with the 70-200, and during the "golden hour" with fill flash. The "love" shots were at f/8; the rest were f/5.6 or wider:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.362496847155537.81385.189425577795999&type=1



Jul 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM
tived
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p.1 #4 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


Practice Practice.... if you are in doubt, about your equipment, go have it tested by Canon. Have the body and lens's paired up with the camera - i think its the micro focus adjustment.

but if its not that, it most likely is technique and physics.

I can't expect to get both eyes sharp at f/1.2 when I shoot the person on an angle.

Charge yourself $2's per shutter click and donate it to some charity, they will be so happy ;-) and if you do not improve your skills, you will be broke ;-)

...all jokes aside, think about what settings you are using, look at your shooting technique. Ensure that you are shooting at shutter speeds appropriate for the focal length. Perhaps add flash if you do not have enough light, as the flash also aids the focus.

Good luck

Henrik



Jul 26, 2012 at 01:41 AM
artsupreme
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p.1 #5 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


ravisrajan wrote:
Mostly I use either outer focus points for one to three persons


There's your problem, don't expect good results with anything but center point on the 5D2. Also, are you shooting AI servo or One Shot? Should be obvious but have to ask.



Jul 26, 2012 at 02:02 AM
ravisrajan
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p.1 #6 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


All,
Thanks for your input. I checked the settings and even at ISO 400 with f8.0 and a shutter speed of 1/250sec I was still getting out of focus shots.
I am mostly using AI servo mode.



Jul 26, 2012 at 07:24 PM
PhilDrinkwater
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p.1 #7 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


artsupreme wrote:
There's your problem, don't expect good results with anything but center point on the 5D2. Also, are you shooting AI servo or One Shot? Should be obvious but have to ask.



This is the right answer



Jul 26, 2012 at 07:31 PM
timbop
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p.1 #8 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


I only ever use oneshot on my 5d2, unless I am trying to shoot sports with it. For portraits regardless of camera I only use oneshot. I only use the 5d2's center point - EVER.


Jul 26, 2012 at 09:31 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #9 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


When I had my 5DM2 my outdoor portrait keeper rate with the 70-200 II IS was close to 90% in single-shot mode using the center AF point.


Jul 26, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Fast6
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p.1 #10 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


ravisrajan wrote:
I am mostly using AI servo mode.


Use one-shot. AI Servo hunts as it's expecting a moving object.



Jul 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM
 

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Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #11 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


I use my 5D Mk II for birds..... AI Servo is evil. Only center point works well. Decouple focusing from the shutter by setting the rear button for focus using custom function. I use One Shot, Continuous.Shooting.

So, focus on an eye with the center point and back button, recompose and shoot. Did I say AI Servo is evil and rarely works well?

Good luck,

Bruce

www.TravelThroughPictures.com



Jul 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #12 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


If I'm remembering correctly from watching a three-part B&H / Rudy Winston video tutorial on Canon AF ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAx86nblZ2g&feature=youtube_gdata_player )
the AI Servo mode is best suited for tracking an isolated moving subject, like a runner on a track heading straight at you.

One shot would be the better choice for portraits. Moving AF lock from the default half-press of shutter to the back AF button will allow locking focus once then taking multiple shots at the same AF distance, which should work well if you or subject isn't moving around between shots.

The three-part Winston tutorial is lenghty but I learned things I wasn't aware of.



Jul 26, 2012 at 10:21 PM
ronno
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p.1 #13 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


Don't use servo, and don't use the outer AF points and you should be fine.


Jul 26, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Mike Mahoney
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p.1 #14 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


ravisrajan wrote:
Could you please share your experience when you take outdoor portrait, mainly during golden hours, what is your success rate in terms of sharpness which you can present to clients? So far I am having only 60% of the shorts are sharp, mainly in their eyes. Mostly I use either outer focus points for one to three persons or center FP based on number of person in the group. I am using either 24-105 f/4L or 70-200 f/2.8 IS MK 2. Then I will short out which one to be presented to client.
Advance thanks for sharing your experience.



By golden hour do you mean shooting for that flared & sunwashed backlit look by shooting into the sun?
If so expect your keeper rate to drop because of the much lower contrast getting to the AF.

If you're not shooting into the sun you can expect your keeper rate to be good, but it's a bit darker than normal daylight so expect some misses.

I've grown tired of explaining the proper use of the 5D2 outer points, but once understood they are actually quite accurate & reliable .. search my posts to see any of my previous dissertations on the matter



Jul 27, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #15 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


Mike Mahoney wrote:
I've grown tired of explaining the proper use of the 5D2 outer points, but once understood they are actually quite accurate & reliable .. search my posts to see any of my previous dissertations on the matter


Actually, to be more clear, I find that using the center point simply gives me more control. For me, given my amateur shooting style, I like consistency and simplicity. I like to fire up my camera, spin my dial to preset C3 and have the camera always in the same starting configuration (center point focus only). When I have too many variables, like different focus points lighting up, my brain swims, freezes up, then can explode on occasion. It is just too much techie stuff for me to address. I know, I am a Luddite as the world is moving to more complex systems. But I like always putting my center point on what I want to be the center of DOF, hitting that back button to nail the focus, releasing the button, then switch to composition mode in my head and not have to worry that the camera will refocus.

Bruce, the Luddite

www.TravelThroughPictures.com
My standard camera settings for amateurs here.



Jul 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Cphoto1954
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p.1 #16 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


You may check out my Fred Miranda post here on the 5D2 with my solution for this:
5D2 Focus



Jul 27, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #17 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


C, I like your methods, however I differ in opinion on using AI Servo and here is why: It really pertains to differences in my/your style as I tried AI for static subjects and it will work as you say. Oh, and I do hit the focus button more than once which improves keepers.

AI Servo, in my experience, does not always work well in poor light and contrast. So I have C3 preset for static subjects where I use One Shot and back button focus, and C2 preset for moving action where I reinstate the shutter focus. Always center point only.

A quick caveat: AI Server only really works for me, when shooting moving targets, when the subject is BIG in the frame and there is good light and contrast. Oh, and turn of IS as that really robs AI performance. For birds that can blend in with backgrounds and that tend to be small in the frame, AI Server is a joke and the good photographers I meet in the field all deride the 5D Mk II as a bird camera.

Lastly, I believe, that using center point only has the biggest impact on keeper rates.



Jul 27, 2012 at 03:20 PM
sritri
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p.1 #18 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


I never ever shoot AI Servo for people including those when I cover Indian Classical dance/drama.

Bruce - I am not sure about the AI Servo being so bad on the 5D Mark II. What I have really noticed is if the "AF Area Expansion" is turned on, my keeper rate tanks heavily in Center Point AI Servo. Otherwise it works wonderfully.

The below were all in AI Servo Center Point and they are huge crops, difficult subjects and busy/awkward BG...






*





*







Jul 27, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Bullseye5d2
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p.1 #19 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


Mike Mahoney wrote:
By golden hour do you mean shooting for that flared & sunwashed backlit look by shooting into the sun?
If so expect your keeper rate to drop because of the much lower contrast getting to the AF.

If you're not shooting into the sun you can expect your keeper rate to be good, but it's a bit darker than normal daylight so expect some misses.

I've grown tired of explaining the proper use of the 5D2 outer points, but once understood they are actually quite accurate & reliable .. search my posts to see any of my previous dissertations on the
...Show more


I've looked at your recent posts lists but can't find anything on that. Could you possible link to one? Ty



Jul 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #20 · Outdoor portrait sharpness in 5D2


sritri: Great shots!

Ok, since you opened it up, I agree totally with you that "AF Area Expansion" does have a really big impact on keeper rate. So much so, that I have it in my custom menu. Mostly, I have it turned off because as you show in your great photos, those branches and leaves throw off the focus. There are times, however, that having these ON is actually a good thing and that is when the background is relatively homogeneous. For example, shooting a bird against a blue sky. This is tough to keep your center point on these guys and the AF Area points help old on. Another is shooting Black Skimmers, again, against the homogeneous background of water surface.

But mostly, I keep these points turned off.

Now I am embarrassed to say, that popping off like I am doing here, I actually am pretty lousy as shooting birds in flight. I find it terribly difficult to track these buggers and keep their little bodies in the center of the frame. I even have a gimbal head and still can't do it well.

Read about my lame attempts to shoot Black Skimmers where I use AI Servo at my blog here:

http://travelthroughpictures.com/photo-items/black-skimmers-shooting-birds-flight/

Cheers,
Bruce

Going totally off topic: I have these points turned off in One Shot mode also even though the manual says they only support AI Servo. I did some experiments last year where I shot a bird deep in a leafy bush with these points turned on and off and focus was way improved with them off (always center point only). I even sent an email to Canon support about this and they responded with a cut 'n paste from the manual that they only support AI Servo. I thing there is a software bug or something in that they do influence focus at other times. I think I am the only one in the world who believes this (the other voices in my head disagree too). But you can do an experiment and simply shoot a bird deep in a tree with alot of leaves and sticks around him that are nearer to you and not in the bird's focus plane. Watch how the focus gets thrown off with them on vs off. I think I may have totally discredited myself here, but that is my experience.



Jul 27, 2012 at 04:51 PM
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