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02-07-2010, 01:25 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Are some of you being intentionally unhelpful or are you just plain lazy?

It's pretty clear that problem number one is focus, most posted by the OPer are out fo focus, what is your focussing method?

Secondly, the backlighting and exposure are a problem.

I agre with those that say needing a fast lens is a myth, DOF is a concern at f/1.4 so an external flash is always a good idea.
What he said.
The member asking for help is a beginner. He needs help with the basics at the moment.
All of you suggesting a fast lens ought to take a look at your own skills, the same goes to anyone suggesting PP fixes.
As for the external flash, I'm in agreement that it is far superior to the onboard flash but talking about it is muddying the waters somewhat in this case.

02-07-2010, 02:28 PM   #32
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What is so good and interesting with digital SLR photography is that there are so many different ways and methods to achieve a certain result you are looking for - at least to those who have the time, are willing to learn and, in some cases, have the cash.

What is so bad and confusing with digital SLR photography is that there are so many different ways and methods to achieve the results you are looking for.........at least to the beginners...

That's the reason I brought up PP - just to illustrate the above points - not necessary to encourage the OP to do so in the beginning of the learning process.

I think most beginners' issues are more likely due to the photographer's skill and understanding (or lack of) rather than with the camera/lens itself.

As some have suggested, for beginners who want to get more serious with their DSLR photography, reading some introduction books on DSLR photography, which you can borrow from the library, and practicing are the keys to improving image quality and it also happens to be the most economical and fun way of doing so...
02-08-2010, 06:00 PM   #33
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I don't own a 50/1.4 now, but in the film era I owned an SMCT 50/1.4. I don't understand all the implications that such wide apertures are useful for portraits. You can barely get an entire face in focus at much wider than f4. Certainly the brighter viewfinder is nice and the shallow depth of field helps with focus if you're doing it manually, but for actually taking the picture I don't see it.

Paul
02-08-2010, 06:22 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I don't own a 50/1.4 now, but in the film era I owned an SMCT 50/1.4. I don't understand all the implications that such wide apertures are useful for portraits. You can barely get an entire face in focus at much wider than f4. Certainly the brighter viewfinder is nice and the shallow depth of field helps with focus if you're doing it manually, but for actually taking the picture I don't see it.

Paul
The DOF increases with increasing subject distance. With a 50/1.4 @f1.4 on a aps-c camera and subject distance of 10 feet, the DOF is about 8 inches. So at 10 feet, there is actually enough DOF for a portrait head shot.

At 6 feet subject distance with 50mm/1.4 at f1.4, you only have about 3 inches of DOF. That is probably not enough for a good head shot.

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02-08-2010, 08:08 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
What he said.
The member asking for help is a beginner. He needs help with the basics at the moment.
All of you suggesting a fast lens ought to take a look at your own skills, the same goes to anyone suggesting PP fixes.
As for the external flash, I'm in agreement that it is far superior to the onboard flash but talking about it is muddying the waters somewhat in this case.
I just find that I can shoot with more depth of field with an external flash. As I said in my first post, practice. Set your camera to center point focus and take photos of things. If your photos are not in focus then try again. Don't use auto focus point select, or anything else. Don't even move the camera from the center point. Just shoot. After you have done this for a little while and feel comfortable with knowing when your camera has achieved the focus lock you want, then you can try recomposing. Finally, if you feel good about that, you can select whatever focus point you want. These are the steps I went through learning to auto focus. It is tougher than you might think, because cameras are lousy at reading your mind and look for areas of contrast over anything else.
02-09-2010, 01:23 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by pakuchn Quote
I think the issue with "me" the end user, not the camera? Would you agree?

I agree.

I would buy a flash before a fast lens. A flash opens up so many photographic opportunities. I'd rather shoot at f/5.6, ISO100, and a flash, then f/1.4, ISO1600 and 1/60s.
02-09-2010, 01:46 PM   #37
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This is, though, a matter of personal preference, as well as situation dependent. Sure, there are *some* situations where I too would prefer the flash, but overall, my *personal* preference would be for the fast lens / high ISO approach whenever possible, using flash only when I just can't get what I want without it. I say that, though, knowing full well what advantages flash has and what I am giving up in order to get the advantges I feel I have shooting without it. Others would make that same tradeoff differently - they'd lean toward using flash, resorting to fast lens / high ISO only when they can't get what they want the other way. There's probably no way to know which you are without trying it both ways, though. Which is to say, until you own both a fast lens and a flash and gain at least some experience with both, you won't know which way you lean. Frankly, though, I envy the photographers who have no biases in the matter but are equally comfortable shooting both ways.
02-09-2010, 11:37 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Frankly, though, I envy the photographers who have no biases in the matter but are equally comfortable shooting both ways.
I'm the same Marc but OTOH, having the willpower not to take the path of least resistance and learn a new skill is very rewarding. I'm still working on my willpower.

02-10-2010, 05:21 AM   #39
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"What am I doing wrong"

"Wrong" -
Isn't that something only you can answer? What do you think is "wrong" with them?

Tell us what you are trying to accomplish and then, perhaps, technical advice can be given to help you get there.

Pic 1. Looks fine to me.
Pic 2. WB off and soft.
Pic 3. Looks fine to me. If you don't like the effect of back lighting why did you take it that way in the first place?
One thought on this one: When taking back light don't include the light source in the frame - in this case the windows.
Use the light source but don't show it.

Lovely child BTW.

Last edited by wildman; 02-10-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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