Help With Bokeh

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Buszaj, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,

    I need some help on creating a blurry background when shooting sports. I shoot in full manual, and usually have the aperture between 2.8 and 3.7. I hear that a low aperture number is needed for this effect. Yet, I still can't get the background to be blurred. (I'm zoomed in to the max most of the time).

    Thanks
     
  2. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For any given aperture, the DOF increases as the distance to your focus point increases. So the farther away your subject is the deeper the DOF. If you can try and have your subject at the far end of your DOF with most of the area of aceptable focus in frnt of the subject. This is easier said than done with fast moving subjects. Try to anticipate the action and shoot to it.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The problem is that sensor size is also a variable. f/2.8 on film and even on APS sensors would give a VERY narrow depth of field. On a smaller sensor camera like the Lumix DMC-FZ3 I am not sure if you can do this well.
     
  4. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here's a good read on exposure that explains aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Understanding Exposure. One thing I remember from the book is to have you subject 5-10 feet (1.5-3M) away from the background for a good bokeh.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    You need to consider, what's the real focal length of your lens, not the equivalent? Depth of field shortens with a longer focal length. If your lens' at it's longest setting is 35mm, than you're not going to have the DOF that a 400mm has, even though it may seem to be framed the same.
     
  6. ThePup

    ThePup TPF Noob!

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    As has been mentioned, your problem is that you're using a Point n shoot camera, with a very small sensor (1/3.2" - 4.5 x 3.2mm). The smaller sensor and lenses means a smaller equivelant aperture. 2.8 on your camera is much smaller than 2.8 on a DSLR.

    The only way to get a shallow DOF with the sort of shots you're after is with a decent size sensor from a DSLR I'm afraid. My old Canon A95 has a larger sensor than the panasonic, and it's not capable of blurring the background either. Very frustrating when trying to get nice portraits of the kids.

    Choices - Buy a DSLR or Learn to use photoshop / GIMP. (It's not actually too hard to blur the background in post processing, do some googling and practice...)
     
  7. Greatwhite

    Greatwhite TPF Noob!

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    What is Bokeh?
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is the term used to describe the wonderful smooth out of focus backgrounds
     
  9. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

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    Ya, you may have some problems with bokeh if the subject isn't like right next to the camera even at the largest aperture.
     
  10. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the answers. The SLR will have to wait till July, I'm planning on getting one then before my trip to Kenya.
     
  11. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, the behavior of a lens relative to depth of field is the focal length. That is printed on the lens. "Equivalent" has no meaning in this sense. Depth of field varies with subject distance, focal length and aperture. Nothing else.
     
  12. XJBaylor

    XJBaylor TPF Noob!

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    Make sure you give yourself a few months to get used to the camera. That way you can get the most out of it on your trip.

    Keith
     

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