focal plane issues

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by little_earthquakes, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. little_earthquakes

    little_earthquakes TPF Noob!

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    Besides the fact that this photo is a blatant rule of thirds violation (oops!) what's the problem here? Why is it that one eye is in focus and the other isn't? I guess they are on different focal planes?

    Why are they not BOTH in focus? Is the problem with this photo that it's underexposed? (though I do NOT see how it could be, it was shot in partial shade, iso 400 speed film, around 5pm, at f 2.8 and 1/250...seems like that's a nice wide aperture with plenty of light).

    This has been happening a lot, one part of a photo in focus and another part not. It's very strange, especially when I look in the photo and the whole thing LOOKS in focus in my viewfinder. What gives?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    To me, it looks like both eye are sharp enough, although maybe one is sharper than the other.

    You have a very shallow DOF (Depth of Field) here. DOF is mainly a result of the lens aperture, focal length and distance to subject. What was the focal length here? Being shot at F2.8, it's guess it was fairly long?

    A wider aperture will make for a more shallow DOF, so if you are finding that your DOF is too shallow, then you need to close down your aperture (higher F number). The problem with this, is that you will have to sacrifice shutter speed (or use a higher ISO film).
     
  3. little_earthquakes

    little_earthquakes TPF Noob!

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    I wanted a shallow depth of field, I did that on purpose. The eyelash on the right side looks blurred to me, or maybe I am being too picky? The focal length of the lens is 50mm.

    I probably could have lowered the shutter speed one stop to 1/125 but upping the iso of the film would increase the grain way too much. Maybe it's time I make friends with my flash...
     
  4. bellacat

    bellacat TPF Noob!

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    it doesn't look blurry to me but rather the shadow might be giving the illusion. Over all i think it looks fine.
     
  5. dangergoinoff

    dangergoinoff TPF Noob!

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    It does look like shadow caused by the shape of the kids face rather than anything else.
     
  6. alrey

    alrey TPF Noob!

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    It does seem like his left eye is slightly less sharp than the right. It's barely noticeable, though.
    You have to find a depth of field that will include everything you want to be in focus. If one eye is sharp and the other eye is soft, then your depth of field is probably a little too narrow.

    Close your aperture a stop and you'll still be plenty open to throw the background out of focus, but you wont have to worry about whether or not the entire face or head will be sharp. The image quality overall will increase at f/3.5 as well, since it's pretty accepted that lenses are a bit less sharp wide open.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Looks fine to me... the DOF is pretty shallow as the boy's ears show.

    BTW... rules are meant to be broken (rules of thirds == rule of thumb). In your photo, the centered portrait works for me.
     
  8. bellacat

    bellacat TPF Noob!

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    oddly i never noticed that until you mentioned it. I'm curious, was that your intention lindsay?
     

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