Faces in focus?

Lightsped

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
173
Reaction score
12
Location
Acworth, Georgia
I don't shoot people much at all. Recently did a group photo of six or seven people lined up in a line facing the camera. Everyone was pretty much the same distance from the camera (six feet or so) and the people on the ends were less in focus than those in middle.

What settings (Nikon) should be used to help insure all the faces are in focus? I use the view finder, not the screen when shooting incase that matters.

Thanks
David
 

RVT1K

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
1,218
Reaction score
697
Location
Near Albany, NY
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You didn't give any clues as to how things were set up, i.e. focal length of the lens being used and the f-stop it was set to.

Both the focal length of the lens and the aperture setting will impact the depth of (acceptable) focus. In extreme cases, a subject's eyes can be in focus and the nose is not.

Also, is it possible that those subjects moved and what you saw was motion blur and not a focus issue?

But...as a general rule of thumb, smaller aperture settings (higher f-stop numbers) will provide more depth of focus.
 

Space Face

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
6,044
Reaction score
2,375
Location
UK
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I suppose a lot will depend on the lens used. Many will lose quality on the outer edges and act slightly differently depending on the aperture too.
 

Rickbb

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
328
Reaction score
179
Location
Central North Carolina USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Remember that lens elements are round, (spherical actually), and they don't focus in straight lines, but in curves, (more like bubbles).

Study up on depth of field, DOF. I suspect you were concentrating on the center of your viewfinder, everything looked fine there. But you had a wide open aperture and had a shallow DOF causing the center to be in focus and the edges of the straight line of people to be out of the curve of the DOF.
 

dunfly

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
280
Reaction score
97
Rickbb is right. Your explanation of the setting holds the clue to the problem. You said they were in a straight line and all equal distance from the camera, but this was not correct. The persons on the end were further away from the camera than the persons in the middle. You can correct this by either increasing your f-stop or moving further away and increasing your focal length.
 

Designer

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
18,491
Reaction score
4,846
Location
Iowa
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I don't shoot people much at all. Recently did a group photo of six or seven people lined up in a line facing the camera. Everyone was pretty much the same distance from the camera (six feet or so) and the people on the ends were less in focus than those in middle.

What settings (Nikon) should be used to help insure all the faces are in focus? I use the view finder, not the screen when shooting incase that matters.

Thanks
David
A couple of things:

With six or seven people, arrange them in a very shallow curve, with the ends just a tad closer to the camera. (EDIT) Actually the SAME DISTANCE from the camera. The curve will not be obvious in the photograph. If your camera is on a tripod, get a string long enough to reach the subjects, and sweep the end of the string across your group of subjects to show everyone where to stand.

Make sure your DOF is adequate to keep everything in reasonable focus. I have a DOF calculator on my phone to have it handy.

At six feet distance, that is way too close for anything but a wide angle lens. If you want to use a longer lens, back up quite a bit. (and redo the string measurement)

Settings-wise, as was explained above, use a smaller aperture. You might need to mount the camera on a tripod, but then you would want to do that anyway. If you use off-camera flash, (as you should also do) the shutter speed will probably not make any difference.
 
Last edited:
OP
Lightsped

Lightsped

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
173
Reaction score
12
Location
Acworth, Georgia
Thanks for the replies. The body is a D800 Nikon, with a 24-70 F2.8 lens. I was at F3.5. The line of people were roughly 10 feet away from the camera. We were indoors in a conference room setting. Cloudy day, window blinds were shut, with lights on in the room.
 

greybeard

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
4,083
Reaction score
1,170
Location
WV
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Just stop down to around f/5.6 or f/8 and you will be fine.
 

Soocom1

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,022
Reaction score
1,317
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I would have opted for f8 and higher in fact especially with distance and lighting a factor.

the 3.5 is the key ingredient here.
it was way too wide for a line of people to stay in focus.
 

greybeard

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
4,083
Reaction score
1,170
Location
WV
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I would have opted for f8 and higher in fact especially with distance and lighting a factor.

the 3.5 is the key ingredient here.
it was way too wide for a line of people to stay in focus.
Yes, that lens does have some curvature of field that wide open and that probably contributed to the oof ends.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top