Getting sharper focus on the face?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by SquarePeg, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    6E205147-6793-488C-8317-6F61374F1433.jpeg
    f/4.5, 1/500, ISO 5000

    Couldn’t figure out why the face looked soft on this shot and the others I took today. I know I had the focus point squarely on the near eye. The Fuji 18-55 is usually very sharp even at full zoom. Went through all my settings when I got home. The AF was set to All instead of single point in one of the menu settings. The shirt seems much sharper to me than the rest. Not sure how that setting got changed but hopefully that was the problem? Still learning the Xt2 settings. It has face and eye detection that I’ve currently got turned off. Thoughts on using that technology for portraits? I’ve always thought of that as a feature for candids or group shots. Any other thoughts on why this looks soft? I think it’s also a bit underexposed?


     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  2. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would say from your settings that if you dropped the shutter speed to 1/500 the iso would drop to 500 also. Though cameras are capable at elevated iso, 5000 is high for any camera, robbing details and sharpness, maybe
     
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  3. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    oops shutter speed was 1/5oo. That was a typo. Sorry! I had it on Auto ISO. It was very late in the day starting to get dark so available light was not great.
     
  4. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Definitely just softening from the high iso setting and any subsequent noise reduction processing (either in camera or in post)

    I would agree that a shutter speed of 1/500 or so would have made more sense here.. no need to be up at 1/5000 for a portrait unless it’s very bright and you want to shoot wide open.

    Edit: just saw your shutter speed correction. I maintain that high iso is causing the softness. But the solution would be to consider adding flash somehow at this point to get lower iso levels.
     
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  5. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Re the high ISO, not great I know but compared to the shirt I feel like the face is a lot softer.
     
  6. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    @jaomul @Destin

    See my update re shutter speed. Thanks for your responses. Sorry for the confusion
     
  7. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Did you focus/recompose? Possibly you focussed on short rather than on face, or if you recomposed maybe focus initially on a different plane than the face. Also if it's quite dark it's possible to misfocus slightly
     
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  8. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    More than likely, it was because of the all setting. Double check noise reduction setting too. I always use the face / eye detection for portraits unless I'm going for a creative DOF look to it, then I manual focus and select my focus point. The face / eye detection works extremely well and keeper rate is fantastic. You will be impressed with it. It always seems to get it right, even with multiple people. I use it 99% of the time. I found the "all" rather useless with how I shoot and just adds a potential failure to the mix, as you have discovered, just like I did.
     
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  9. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper The camera takes the Pic. I just point the way. Supporting Member

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    Agree that the shirt does appear to be where the focus is.

    With a 55mm lens you should have no need to go above 1/80 unless you have a medical condition or it's really windy. 1/500 is a really quick shutter for a portrait.
     
  10. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I didn’t focus/recompose -at least not intentionally lol. I never got the hang of that technique. I always move my focus point in camera. I may have shifted back unintentionally.

    Good to know. Going to turn those face/eye detection features on and see how it goes. I changed my shooting settings to sharp +1 and noise reduction I left at 0.

    No medical condition but I’m not the steadiest either. I rarely shoot below 1/500 or 1/250 unless I can lean on something. I need to practice my hand holding technique and stance. I had a decent technique with the Nikon but the Xt2 is so much smaller and lighter that it’s almost harder to hold steady.
     
  11. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would say unless your subject is moving try go for 1/250 instead of 1/500 for portraits unless you have a long lens. Obviously if 1/250 isn't getting you the results you need you'd need to up the speed
     
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  12. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Sure you hear this a lot but she is a beautiful young lady. Maybe a combination of missed focus and DOF. On my tablet the NFL tag and some of the sleeve appears really sharp. At somewhere around 6' away from her you would have only had 3" give or take in front of the label still in focus so the eyes were likely close to the transition.

    I prefer Manuel focus using the screen at 10x to determine my focus point. When I do use AF I rarely use anything but single point. My Pentax has face recognition that when combined with continuous focus will do a decent job of tracking a moving subject.

    I'm not up on Fuji but I suspect there is a difference in technology used for focus on screen vs viewfinder. Again using my camera as an example it uses contrast difference to AF on screen view and Phase Detection on viewfinder. The Phase Detection is much more accurate, especially in low light.
     
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