thedcmule2 wrote in post #16643375
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...
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?