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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 28 Jan 2014 (Tuesday) 04:19
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5D3 + 50mm 1.4: best aperture for manual focusing on eyes?

 
thedcmule2
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Jan 28, 2014 04:19 |  #1

Now I know the 5d3 is a autofocus king in its own but there are times when im shooting portraits that force me to slow down, choose an AF point, choose another AF point because I recomposed a little, hit the back-button AF and then push the shutter...which by then the magic moment is gone, but the eyes are tack sharp. I generally shoot at f/2.0-2.8, and when I manually focus I feel like photography is so much easier, faster and more fun...but the downside is my focus rarely nails the eyes when doing so (though in the viewfinder it appears otherwise).

I feel somewhat more connected and fluid when manual focusing, I can talk to the subject without having to think too hard on whether or not im choosing the right AF point and lining it up properly which causes awkward silences...does this sound like crazy talk? Anyone experience this anxiety before and have any tips? I am thinking maybe I should stop down to f/4 for manual focusing but I don't know if thats the best move...




  
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titi_67207
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Jan 28, 2014 04:49 |  #2

Use live-view maybe ?


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gasrocks
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Jan 28, 2014 07:42 |  #3

Make sure your eyepiece (diopter) is adjusted correctly. MF will be off if it is't. Also, check it often as it can easily be bumped/changed. In A/V mode you are focusing using f/1.4 - which is the most precise.


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vengence
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Jan 28, 2014 09:43 |  #4

Look into focus screens. If you want to nail manual focus, they're what you need.




  
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msowsun
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Jan 28, 2014 11:59 |  #5

The 5D3 comes equipped with the best focus screen possible..... 10X Liveview ;)


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MalVeauX
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Jan 28, 2014 12:30 |  #6

thedcmule2 wrote in post #16643375 (external link)
Now I know the 5d3 is a autofocus king in its own but there are times when im shooting portraits that force me to slow down, choose an AF point, choose another AF point because I recomposed a little, hit the back-button AF and then push the shutter...which by then the magic moment is gone, but the eyes are tack sharp. I generally shoot at f/2.0-2.8, and when I manually focus I feel like photography is so much easier, faster and more fun...but the downside is my focus rarely nails the eyes when doing so (though in the viewfinder it appears otherwise).

I feel somewhat more connected and fluid when manual focusing, I can talk to the subject without having to think too hard on whether or not im choosing the right AF point and lining it up properly which causes awkward silences...does this sound like crazy talk? Anyone experience this anxiety before and have any tips? I am thinking maybe I should stop down to f/4 for manual focusing but I don't know if thats the best move...

Heya,

When focusing, it's going to use the widest aperture, up to F2.8 during the focusing. Then once you press the shutter release, and expose, it will change aperture to whatever you set it to, be it up or down. So you're already using F2.8 in your case, during focusing.

For capturing eyes, it's hard to do it at F1.4. They have to be in the same plane. The only way to do it, easily, at F1.4 is going to be from a distance, like doing an upper body bust/portrait, or full body with environment. If you try to do a full face portrait and focus on eyes then recompose, you may find only one eye getting into focus unless they are literally flat, eyes wise, towards your lens. The closer you are to them, the thinner the depth of field, the more difficult to get both eyes in focus. The more you stop down the aperture, the more depth of field, so if you front focus on eyelashes or nose, the eyes will be in focus regardless, when stopped down. F4 is a "safe" aperture, so to speak, because you will most likely get everything in focus while still having a blurry background (if there's even a background to see).

The 50mm F1.4 (Canon) is softish at F1.4. So stopping down to F2.0 or F2.8 is good. Granted, that's 1 and 2 full stops of depth of field loss/gain, depending on how you look at it, and kind of raises the question of why even bother having the 50 F1.4 anyways.

If you're looking to do manual stuff, there are sharper lenses that have F1.4 if you're interested.

Have you thought about going to an 85mm?

Very best,


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vengence
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Jan 28, 2014 13:49 |  #7

msowsun wrote in post #16644352 (external link)
The 5D3 comes equipped with the best focus screen possible..... 10X Liveview ;)

I live view focus all the time, from a tripod. It's a pain in the ass otherwise.




  
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smorter
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Jan 28, 2014 18:25 |  #8

msowsun wrote in post #16644352 (external link)
The 5D3 comes equipped with the best focus screen possible..... 10X Liveview ;)

+1

My 24LII is unreliable AF wise and I always use liveview for portraits


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KirkS518
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Jan 28, 2014 18:29 as a reply to  @ smorter's post |  #9

Maybe I'm confused, but isn't the lens wide open during focusing, so you're focusing at f/1.4? Unless you're trying to focus while using DOF preview, there is no 'best aperture for manual focus'.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong (I have faith that if I am wrong, I will quickly be corrected!). :)


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MalVeauX
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Jan 28, 2014 18:36 |  #10

KirkS518 wrote in post #16645407 (external link)
Maybe I'm confused, but isn't the lens wide open during focusing, so you're focusing at f/1.4? Unless you're trying to focus while using DOF preview, there is no 'best aperture for manual focus'.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong (I have faith that if I am wrong, I will quickly be corrected!). :)

Heya,

I think it stops at F2.8 for autofocus?

Very best,


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KirkS518
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Jan 28, 2014 18:46 |  #11

Are you saying it is stopped down to f/2-2.8 when it's mounted, and if f/1.4 is selected to take the shot, it opens up? I didn't have the lens long enough to notice if that's what it did. It's also the first time I've heard of a lens that operates that way. ???


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Digital - 50D, 20D IR Conv, 9 Lenses from 8mm to 300mm
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msowsun
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Jan 28, 2014 19:02 |  #12

MalVeauX wrote in post #16645424 (external link)
Heya,

I think it stops at F2.8 for autofocus?

Very best,

No, Auto Focus and Metering are always done wide open.


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jmikolich
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Jan 28, 2014 19:02 |  #13

I believe it to be done at Wide Open for all focusing


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Aronis
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Jan 28, 2014 19:57 |  #14

Using live view at 10x to focus makes it hard to quickly focus AND compose, does it not??


1Dx, 10D 28-70 L 2.8, 50 1.4, 28 2.8

  
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InfiniteDivide
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Jan 28, 2014 22:16 |  #15

I have the 6D and find that AI Servio with the 50 1.4 works well.
While on a tripod, even a slight movement is corrected.
While manual focusing is great, and 10x live view is the best.
For human portraits it can be a pain to refocus from a little change at 10x
I don't find 10x useful unless I am doing product shots on inanimate objects.
For me, a fast shutter and AI Servio work well for the slight changes at 1.4
Perhaps my friends need less caffeine and more patients in their lives.
I am not trying to create a photo studio either. Just some nice portraits at 1.4-2.0 for them.


James Patrus
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5D3 + 50mm 1.4: best aperture for manual focusing on eyes?
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