Got a question for the studio photographers..

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Enem178, May 16, 2010.

  1. Enem178

    Enem178 TPF Noob!

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    I know it depends on which lens your using but I wanted to get an idea of what aperture you guys use in your studios to get the sharpest images? The reason I ask is because I find that f-8 or somewhere in that area gives me the sharpest images on all of my lenses but another photographer told me that once he gets better strobes he could produce better images because he would be able to use f-22.

    In my experiences Ive found that image quality drops off after say f-15 or so. Can anyone tell me if I'm missing something and why you would want to use such a small aperture?? Also when you doing glamour or head shots in front of a paper background wouldn't you want everything sharp? I mean why would you want a shallow or deep DOF in front of paper? A few questions I know but thanks in advance!!
     
  2. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Your thinking is correct. You'll find that most people here shoot f/8 to f/11 in the studio, as that is where most lenses are the sharpest... unless great DOF is required.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yep, I concur most studio photography is done in the f/8 to f/11 range.

    Explore what diffraction is, and how at a small aperture opening of f/22, diffraction will likely hurt sharp focus.

    The DOF at f/22 will be very deep too.

    Diffraction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. Enem178

    Enem178 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info!!
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Like Phranquey said you are correct, sharpness tends to start to degrade at around f10 and continues to do so as you make the aperture smaller. Generally though you can go down to around f13 and still get usable results on a crop sensor (1.6) camera body whilst on fullframe you can often push to f16.
    The specific point at which you you stop depends upon:

    1) camera body used (sensor and size)
    2) lens used on the camera
    3) main output use of the image and your own personal standards.

    The latter point is important - you can go down to f22 and if your main output is pics on the internet then you can easily claw back that lose sharpness by resizing in stages and sharpening to restore it.

    The effect overall is called diffraction and if you search around that name you should be able to find far more info than I can give. The key (as you have already found) is to understand your lens and to have your standards and then see where you limits with each lens are.
     
  6. Enem178

    Enem178 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah maybe the photographer I was talking to had a full frame? Anyways thanks for confirming my thoughts.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    Maybe they had need of a very deep DOF, in which case they might need to use F22, and thus would need a lot of lighting power.

    But yes, I usually shoot at F8 to F11 to get in the sweet spot of image quality.
     
  8. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    I know that alot of product photographers spend a lot of time between f/11 and f/22 strictly for DOF purposes. I shoot product for a magazine from time to time, and it's usually smaller items like boots and hats and so forth. And when shooting stuff like that from close enough to fill the frame, even f/11 won't give you front to back sharpness. So in those cases, especially since the output is going to be for print, it's beter to shoot at f/18 and take a hit on the sharpness to render total DOF coverage. It's better do have slightly less sharpness that is uniform, than to have one part tack sharp, but have a noticeable focus fall off. But man does it gobble up light!

    But everyone is right. 'Most' studio photography is in the f/8 to f/11 range. Pretty much the only reason a knowledgeable photographer would go smaller than that is for DOF purposes.
     

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