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Old 07-30-2010, 04:45 PM
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ShaolinTiger ShaolinTiger is offline
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Originally Posted by izso View Post
Question : If I want really super blur bokeh background (F1.8), how then would I take a portrait shot that's sharp enough?
It's a fine balance between lens performance, subject distance and technique.

If the lens is 50mm f/1.8 for example, it's not going to be particularly sharp at f/1.8 - you'd have to stop down to f/2.2 for example and preferably f/3.2 to get reasonable sharpness.

What you can do is place your subject close to your camera and place the background further away.

You can also use a longer lens eg 85mm f/1.8 to get more telephoto compression and better bokeh with a similar composition.

There's also other factors to take into consideration of course (shutter speed, lighting levels, optimum ISO, lighting angle, lens quality, focal accuracy and so on).
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:56 PM
DrRex DrRex is offline
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Firstly I notice that your samples lack contrast more than it lacks sharpness. Usually the lower the ISO the better. Only increase the ISO when you don't have any other option (eg, limited shutter speed and lens F-stop options). I've always taken my portrait shot at ISO 100. Would have gone lower is my camera allowed it. Indoor, I compensate with strobes or flash gun (bounced to reduce hard cast shadows behind the subject and over exposing the skin texture).

You might want to switch to a prime lens of 35mm, 50mm or 90mm. prime lens deliver better results than zoom lens. Portrait shot are planned, meaning you have the option to choose where you'll be standing to take the shot. Zoom lens on plays its role when your movement is limited, eg event shoots, sports, etc.

As for F setting (aperture), I personally won't recommend increasing it as a high depth of field will make the background clear as well. In portraits, you'll want the subjects to be clear but background to be quite out of focus. This is why it's common for portrait lens to have F1.4 to F2.8.

Your lens might also be causing the contrast issue. I'm using a Sony Alpha setup and while the kit lens performs superbly, a Carl-Zeiss lens shows much better contrast in the shot taken with all other settings same.

Jst my 2-cents' worth. Check out photography books and websites to get in-depth explanations to your camera setting and how you can use them to get the best shot.

Keep on keeping on! Cheers!
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:23 AM
DrRex DrRex is offline
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My observation is your photos are out mainly in color contrast. Both photos do not have crisp defined colors, resulting in what seems like an out of focus shot. This happens when your camera is set to be too sensitive to light.

I usually would want to set the ISO to the lowest possible in all situations. ISO 100 for outdoors daytime is quite enough, unless you're freezing quick actions like sports or car racing.

However, if your location is exceptionally bright, you might want to consider using ND filters to reduce the brilliance without needing to adjust the other settings on your cameras. It'll also reduce glare from brightly colored attire of backgrounds. A CPL filter will help by cutting out certain amount of light. It may or may not be able to balance out the light getting captured by your camera.

Just my 2 cents worth
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