Question on manual settings

Rgollar

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I just want to let it be known I am a complete newbie so my questions might be a bit elementry. But I am really enjoying photography so far. My question is When I take a still shot of a group of people I run into some people being clear and some not in focus. I have been shooting in manual mode. Should I be shooting in manual mode and what is the best way to get a clear picture with no bokeh at all, perfectally clear crisp picture. I am shooting with a EOS Rebel T2i with a speedlite 430EXII flash and a ED50mm f/1.4USM lense. I am shooting the pictures on a tripod with a trigger release to eliminate any camera shake. I have been shooting with an ISO 100 and a f-stop of 11.0. My understanding is I want a fairly high f-stop to shoot a picture in a landscape clairity with no blur at all. Hopefully I gave enough info to properly educate me in what I am doing wrong. Thank you in advance for you time to help me.
 

Rephargotohp

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How far is it from the person closest to you and the person farthest away, where are you focusing? How far are you from the group?
 

cgipson1

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You might find this useful! You need to use an aperture with DOF (depth of field) that is adequate to cover the range you need, at the distances you will be shooting at... with the particular lens you are using. Distance to subject, aperture and the type of lens / focal length all affect this.

Online Depth of Field Calculator
 

MLeeK

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You would have to be near to on top of the subjects at f/11 to have a very shallow depth of field which leads me to believe it's your shutter speed that is the culprit. At f/11, 50mm on your camera and being just 10 feet away from the subjects you have over 5 feet of sharp focus.
With live subjects you have to have a shutter speed above about 1/125(with adults, 1/250 with children) in order to prevent THEM from moving. You are using a tripod to prevent the camera from shaking, but your subjects can move in the time that the shutter is open. The blurry subjects are the ones who moved a slight bit.
 
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Rgollar

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How far is it from the person closest to you and the person farthest away, where are you focusing? How far are you from the group?
Wow I am so green you know I never even considered the distance I am away from them. The lens I am using is a foot focus from what I was told. So I just step back just enough to get everyone in the field of view. I generally focus on the middle persons Eyes.
 

cgipson1

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You would have to be near to on top of the subjects at f/11 to have a very shallow depth of field which leads me to believe it's your shutter speed that is the culprit. At f/11, 50mm on your camera and being just 10 feet away from the subjects you have over 5 feet of sharp focus.
With live subjects you have to have a shutter speed above about 1/125(with adults, 1/250 with children) in order to prevent THEM from moving. You are using a tripod to prevent the camera from shaking, but your subjects can move in the time that the shutter is open. The blurry subjects are the ones who moved a slight bit.

Good call... that didn't occur to me... and it should have! :)

OP.. post all of your shot data (Exif).. and some of the shots too!
 
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Rgollar

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On the depth of field calculator does the near limit mean that they have to be atleast that far away and the far limit mean that is the max away they can be?
 

cgipson1

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On the depth of field calculator does the near limit mean that they have to be atleast that far away and the far limit mean that is the max away they can be?

The absolute sharpest point will be the actual point of focus.. but everything within the shown DOF field will be sharp. Sometimes a good idea to leave a little leeways by stopping down an extra stop or two until you get some experience with it.

Also.. changes distances on the calculator and watch what happens :)
 
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Rgollar

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cgipson1 wrote
OP.. post all of your shot data (Exif).. and some of the shots too!

I deleted all my photos I took because I did not like them. So sorry I have none to post. But I will try some more and post them. I really apprecaite every ones help as I am learing some real key points everyone is bringing up.
 

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.....what is the best way to get a clear picture with no bokeh at all, perfectally clear crisp picture.....
You're not actually refering to bokeh you're referring to depth-of-field (DoF).

The technical reference (bokeh) is Circle of Confusion, a property of a lens that is not adjustable. To be clear - bokeh is not adjustable.

Most digital cameras have a set of filters placed in front of the image sensor.
Notable among them is the anti-aliasing filter. Because pixels are square, any edges in an image that are not perfectly vertical or perfectly horizontal have a jagged, or aliased edge. The anti-aliasing filter adds some blur to make those edges look less jagged. So no digital image will come straight out of the camera perfectly clear and crisp.

Consequently, all digital photographs have to be sharpened post process by some amount.
 
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Rgollar

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Thank you all for the help. The depth of field calculator helped alot. I practiced with using 4 pop cans with different depths and took pictures along with the depth of field calculator and got good results. I took shots close then back farthur to get a feel on what f stops to use and got a good feel and the calculator help alot. I found I was to close to the subjects with to low of a f stop is what was causeing the problems. It really showed when I tried a shot of the pop cans at a f stop of 1.4 stand 2 feet away aiming at the front can. The 2,3,4 can got blurry. Now with the same f stop and standing back 10 feet the cans behind the first one arent blurry any more. learned a great lesson tonight on the depth of field and the importants of it. Thank you all for the help.
 

cgipson1

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Thank you all for the help. The depth of field calculator helped alot. I practiced with using 4 pop cans with different depths and took pictures along with the depth of field calculator and got good results. I took shots close then back farthur to get a feel on what f stops to use and got a good feel and the calculator help alot. I found I was to close to the subjects with to low of a f stop is what was causeing the problems. It really showed when I tried a shot of the pop cans at a f stop of 1.4 stand 2 feet away aiming at the front can. The 2,3,4 can got blurry. Now with the same f stop and standing back 10 feet the cans behind the first one arent blurry any more. learned a great lesson tonight on the depth of field and the importants of it. Thank you all for the help.

Great.. glad we could assist! :) Nice to have someone say thanks also.. that doesn't always happen! lol!
 

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