Out of control with aperture 1.8 !

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by GMan_nz, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. GMan_nz

    GMan_nz TPF Noob!

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    Hi people – first time writer, short time reader…

    I’ve been learning to use my D50 for about 6 months, starting with the 18-55mm kit lens, then 70-300mm zoom, and now I’ve recently been given (thanks Santa!) the next lens I wanted, a 50mm f1.8 prime.

    I’ve always had a good understanding of effects of various types of motion with various shutter speeds from using a point & shoot (seems a pretty simple and intuitive concept to most people), and I think I have a pretty good handle on how aperture settings affect the final image in terms of decreased depth of field at low f-numbers, and slower shutter speeds required by higher f-numbers (when using aperture priority).

    The problem is that I’m fascinated by this creative control that aperture priority allows. I can’t seem to help myself keeping the aperture as wide as possible to achieve the shortest depth of field I can – partly because I enjoy highlighting to people the effect it has in order to help them understand the benefits of a dSLR. I should mention that one of the key reasons I asked Santa for this new prime was actually more about keeping shutter speeds fast and blur limited in low-light – not so much to do with DOF.

    I see plenty of perfectly good photos where a lot of the image is in focus. I’ve read that a good way to learn about composition in the field is to go walkabout with a 50mm or 85mm lens, but I can’t seem to get past this idea that I should have a particular subject pin sharp and everything else blurry.

    My question is really – how do I wean myself off this shallow depth of field buzz that I’m on. And related to this, what is a useful range of aperture settings with a 50mm lens that will help me get interesting images out in the real world?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Hate to break your bubble - but it is all in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps your 'style' is a very very shallow depth of field. The sharpest aperture on the 50mm 1.8 is probably around 2 - 3ish. Happy shooting with your new lens :)
     
  3. Peacemaker636

    Peacemaker636 TPF Noob!

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    Take some landscape shots?
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    with a dslr you can afford to just experiment.. shoot one hundred pictures at every fstop on the camera and see what it does then you should have an idea what fstop gives you what effect./
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I'm no help there. I prefer short DOF myself and have been exploring it for a while now.
    Is there a reason you feel that you need to? As Brittany said, maybe that's just part of your current style.
     
  6. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You'll branch out, don't worry.

    Shoot some macro stuff. You'll find that at such close range, you can't even keep your whole subject in focus at f/1.4.
     
  7. theRossatron

    theRossatron TPF Noob!

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    I second the landscapes idea f1.8 won't go very far there :)

    I think I have your shallow depth of field disease though I love that lens and always shoot with it wide open!
     
  8. bryanwhite

    bryanwhite TPF Noob!

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    Yep, Santa just sent me the 50mm f/1.8, and I can't help but love what short dof does. I like the way it directs the viewer's eye to where you want it, and it makes for very interesting shots to me.

    Guess that's not much help in getting you to stop shooting wide open... :lmao:
     
  9. GMan_nz

    GMan_nz TPF Noob!

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    Hmmm . . .would still be keen to hear advice about useful aperture settings if was to, say go walkabout in a park or at the Wellington waterfront where there are interesting sculptures, children playing, people doing their weekend thing etc etc.

    At least I know I'm not alone in my shallow-DOF problem . .:lol:
     
  10. bryanwhite

    bryanwhite TPF Noob!

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    When taking pictures of people, I would guess the slowest you want to go is about f/11 or so, and then I say that with some reservation. However, since you have the D50, you might as well experiment some.

    My first shoot with my camera was awful, since I hadn't picked up a SLR in years, but it was one of the best learning experiences I've had yet. I went out, took a bunch of crappy shots, threw most of them away (great reason for digital!)...in fact, I seem to remember about 3 good shots out of 200.

    So get out, enjoy your camera, and get a feel for it. I literally sat with my camera, and took pictures of my wife, turning the F-Stop up one stop at a time, just keeping it the same aperture. Very good thing to try.

    I'd love to see your results!
     
  11. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I assure you it is far from a problem :) Well, I hope not or else I need to go into rehab.

    If you see my last post (Fine at 50 I think it was called) I had f/1.2 and f/1.6 on a few! Now that being said, it is probably 'safer' going around f/8 or so to assure that both eyes are in focus. If the eyes are not on the some 'plane' in relevance to the sensor, one eye will be tack sharp and the other will be a blur (in some cases this works but.. the majority of the time no).

    For walking around, try working with the sunny 16 rule.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Be thankful you didn't get an f1.2!
     

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