Bokeh Issues :(

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mikedadude, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. mikedadude

    mikedadude TPF Noob!

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    Right.. I'm still really new to all of this. I managed to do a Bokeh'esque shot the other day but that was when the focal point was about 0.5m away and the background of trees were around 15m away.

    I'm using a canon 450d with the 18-55m kit lense.

    First, I know that to get bokeh I need to use a wide aperture.

    Few questions though:

    1. Can I only shoot bokeh in auto-focus and not manual-focus?
    2. I have set manual AF points but everything is still in focus.. what am I doing wrong?
    3. I know there's a depth of field calculator but this means little to me, and I have skimmed over the mathematical side to it all but this still doesn't compel me to calculate depths of fields everytime I want to take a picture. Is there an easier way?
    4. Is it possible to shoot macro bokeh shots with a kit lense?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Doesn't matter.
    If everything is in focus, it means that your DOF (Depth of Field) is deep enough cover the scene. In order to have some things show up OOF (out of focus), you need to use a DOF that is shallower than your scene.
    The actual AF point you use, doesn't matter...as long as you know where the lens is focusing.
    With a little practice, it gets to be like 2nd nature.
    Sure (well not true macro)...but you can still get shots with some nice out of focus areas. To be fair, the kit lens is a little bit limiting, because it's maximum aperture isn't very big. This would be a lot easier if you had a 'faster' lens (larger max aperture).
    You can still do it though. You just need to minimize your DOF.
    First thing is to use the max aperture (F3.5 to F5.6). Then use the long end of the zoom, if you can. The next thing is to place your subject so that it's far away from the parts you want to be OOF. For example, get as close to your subject as possible...and have the background be as far away as possible.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Everything that Mike said.

    I think the 450 is on par with the Nikon D80, so I grabbed the kit lens (18-55mm) and snapped a couple of examples. I was ~3ft (1m) from the subject and the clump of pampass grass in the background was ~20ft (6m). At 55mm the shutter speed needed to be 1/30s at f/5.6.

    [​IMG]




    So then I slapped on the 50mm f/1.8 and stopped it down to f/2. Similar shooting distances, but with the faster lens, I could shoot at 1/250s. You'll also notice the bokeh is much more effective.

    [​IMG]



    Hope this helps a bit.​
     
  4. Atlas77

    Atlas77 TPF Noob!

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    Since your questions have been answered, buy a 50mm and get the great bokeh you want. :lol:
     
  5. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The closer you have your subject to the minimum focus distance, the shallower the depth of field will be. since you're using the kit lens, and it has a variable aperture, I don't think that you need to use the zoom end of the lens. Just remember that the farther away from you your subject is, more of your entire scene will be in focus. The closer it is to you, less will be in focus. Here is an example:

    I took this with the 18-55 canon kit lens
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, even with the kit lens, a shallow DOF is achievable.
     
  6. mikedadude

    mikedadude TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys! I managed to do some bokeh shots today.
     
  7. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    post them up!
     
  8. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    by the way, if you like bokeh, you should definitely invest in the 50mm f1.8. I got mine for $80 and look what you get:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Have you wandered over to Photo Themes forum? Have a look at Load of Bokeh. That should get your juices flowing. :biggrin:
     
  10. mikedadude

    mikedadude TPF Noob!

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    robertwsimpson: prepared for the most boring photos ever? :p It was rainy and miserable outside so I just stayed indoors and had a crack at it... Will be taking proper pictures this weekend if all goes to plan :wink:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just to clarify.. yes I know these are horribly boring pictures ;)
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Mike,
    Whatever do you mean boring photos? I think you're really onto something here with this fine shot of the aerosol can and window!:lol: In one photo you manage to demonstrate out of focus foreground bokeh, and background bokeh!
     
  12. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Just because you are inside doesn't mean you can't find interesting things to shoot.
     

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