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12-06-2008, 04:59 PM   #1
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Quality question

So I was taking a couple of pictures of my kids today. I was using my 50mm lens. I was taking the shots at f2. Tripod mounted. Problem is the the pictures didn't come out nearly as sharp as I was hoping for. Is this lens just not that sharp wide open? What should I be using for better results? Shutter speed as 1/60. I know that's a little slow, so I would expect some shots to maybe be blurry from them moving, but I didn't get one that was really sharp. The picture below is one of the better shots.



12-06-2008, 05:11 PM   #2
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I don't about the M50/2, but both my M and FA 50/1.4 are pretty soft until f/2.8 or so. Are you sure the shot is absolutely in focus? The stitching around the sweatshirt's neck line looks relatively crisp, but your son's face, handsome devil though he is, makes me want to squint. Note, however, I've got 62-year-old eyes, so my "sensors" aren't the best.

Jer
12-06-2008, 05:14 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
I don't about the M50/2, but both my M and FA 50/1.4 are pretty soft until f/2.8 or so. Are you sure the shot is absolutely in focus? The stitching around the sweatshirt's neck line looks relatively crisp, but your son's face, handsome devil though he is, makes me want to squint. Note, however, I've got 62-year-old eyes, so my "sensors" aren't the best.

Jer
I know when I was focusing (manually), the camera told me it was focused, and the light in their eyes were very sharp. I'm thinking that the lens may be soft at f2, and having such a shallow DOF may exaggerate the softness. I'm hoping to try again tomorrow, but was hoping someone with same lens would confirm my suspicion.
12-06-2008, 05:34 PM   #4
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I like this shot.
Eyes are sharp and the skin is smooth with soft shadowing defining the shape of the face.
This is what a portrait is all about and why we all like the 50mm lens for this type of picture.
If you add more light and close the aperture down to say f8, you will see pimples, freckles etc which a pro will work hard to avoid.
Good work.

12-06-2008, 05:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by garth1948 Quote
I like this shot.
Eyes are sharp and the skin is smooth with soft shadowing defining the shape of the face.
This is what a portrait is all about and why we all like the 50mm lens for this type of picture.
If you add more light and close the aperture down to say f8, you will see pimples, freckles etc which a pro will work hard to avoid.
Good work.
Thanks for the compliment. I didn't think it was as sharp as you say it is. Perhaps I'm just to critical of my own work. I think I'll try the f8 as you suggested though.
12-07-2008, 12:40 AM   #6
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I think the handsome lad looks good... maybe it was the lighting that makes it look soft and for me I find the tinsel and decoration reflections a bit distracting.

I wonder how this would look with a different background.



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12-07-2008, 01:34 AM   #7
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If it is the FA 50mm f1.4 lens you are using mine shows a big improvement in sharpness when stopped down to f2.8 and beyond for centre, and f4.0 for corner sharpness.

f1.4 is very soft and f2.0 while usable is still quite soft.

Jason
12-07-2008, 01:37 AM   #8
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I don't think stopping down to f8 is what garth1948 was suggesting to do.

I think he was saying that too much sharpness on a portrait photo isn't always a good thing.

Jason

12-07-2008, 03:21 AM   #9
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My M50/1.7 is quite sharp in the center wide open and your /2.0 should be similar.

It is however quite hard to focus it manually wide open despite the focus indicator. Make some static test shots with a tripod and focus bracketting and you'll see that some are a lot sharper than others...

Nice image nonetheless!
12-07-2008, 05:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nulla Quote
I think the handsome lad looks good... maybe it was the lighting that makes it look soft and for me I find the tinsel and decoration reflections a bit distracting.

I wonder how this would look with a different background.



Neil
I wasn't sure about the background also, but was looking for a holiday type shot, so I used the tree, but I didn't want the tree to take away, hence the F2. I wonder if going to F8 will bring the tree more into focus. Guess I'll have to test to see.
12-07-2008, 05:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murphy2004 Quote
If it is the FA 50mm f1.4 lens you are using mine shows a big improvement in sharpness when stopped down to f2.8 and beyond for centre, and f4.0 for corner sharpness.

f1.4 is very soft and f2.0 while usable is still quite soft.

Jason
Nope, it's a 50mm F2 lens. F4 may be a good idea also to try out.
12-07-2008, 10:16 AM   #12
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Re-shoot. Here is the original one, and the new one today taken at f8. He was not in as good of a mood today as I'm sure you can tell. Eye's are still not as sharp as I would have liked, but it is better. Maybe I'll try my Takumar 100mm for kicks.

Original posted picture



New one from today.

12-07-2008, 10:32 AM   #13
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Here's a test from the Takumar 100mm. I think it wins. Opinions?

12-07-2008, 01:37 PM   #14
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You liked the Takumar shot for the lighting.

Your 50mm f2 is excellent at f4 or 5.6. MF lens will give you a center focus point only. May be thats the problem. When its focusing on t-shirt ribbing (center of frame), the camera is showing focus confirmation. The eyes are not focused because of small DOF at f2 (the first shot).

Try focusing on eyes, take the pic and crop and see how it turns out.

I believe you will be happy.

BTW - those are very good shots.
12-07-2008, 02:20 PM   #15
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I agree that the first shot is sharp on the tshirt. You missed the focus on the eyes. Also, the light is pretty low contrast which doesn't help. Try focusing on the eyes using the focus screen instead of the indicator. The indicator sometimes does not give exactly accurate focus indication. Focusing on the eyes using the focusing screen should be pretty easy in that light.

A larger aperture lens will give you more precise focus because it has shallower depth of field, things seem to just snap into focus on the focusing screen. A 50/1.4 would have helped your focusing accuracy in this instance because you would be stopping down to F2.0 from F1.4. This would help alleviate any slight focusing error.
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