Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Stevenage
    Posts
    9
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Hi

    I have been asked to take pictures at our deputy headteacher's leaving party. Generally I tend to use manual focus as my favourite lens is rather old. For this though, I thought autofocus would be easier so will be using different lenses.

    As I don't use it that often, I am a little confused about which mode would be best for this sort of thing, especially as I am trying to get some candid shots. I was thinking of using AF-S and maybe changing the focus spot rather than focusing and recomposing. I really want to make sure I get some good shots in good focus. Does this seem like a good idea or am I completely barking up the wrong tree?

    Any advice on any aspect of this "shoot" is greatly appreciate

    Carolyn

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    4,443
    Real Name
    wm c boyer

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    I might suggest that in the scenario that you describe...you should use the lens with which you
    are the most comfortable. It's never a good idea to "practice" when you really want the best images.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Stevenage
    Posts
    9
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Quote Originally Posted by chauncey View Post
    I might suggest that in the scenario that you describe...you should use the lens with which you
    are the most comfortable. It's never a good idea to "practice" when you really want the best images.
    I didn't think about that I will take that with me too so I know I will definitely get some good shots (I hope!) I was thinking it might be quicker to use autofocus but maybe not. I'll be quicker with a lens I know.

    However, in the future I could do with getting used to autofocus so I will practise when it's not so crucial.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,364
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    I tend to use centre focus mode for this type of shooting. I will focus on the nearest eye of the subject, depress my shutter 1/2 way to lock focus / exposure and then recompose before taking the picture. I get the highest in-focus success rate this way, but you need a bit of practice to shoot this way.

  5. #5
    dubaiphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Northampton
    Posts
    1,850
    Real Name
    Phil Page

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    When you say 'candid' I presume you're not going in with flash firing. Therefore it all depends on the light levels, focal length and distance to the subjects.

    Lower light and you'll be needing a larger aperture and higher ISO - you'll have to focus more critically and you'll need to use a cross point for focusing if you're selecting it yourself.

    Better light and you won't necessarily need such a large aperture, your depth of field will be larger and you won't have to focus so critically.

    Watch your shutter speeds though - as the subjects won't be posing for you, you'll have to ensure that your shutter speed is fast enough to stop any subject movement.

    So - what light levels are you talking about, and which autofocus lenses are you talking about?

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Stevenage
    Posts
    9
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    When you say 'candid' I presume you're not going in with flash firing. Therefore it all depends on the light levels, focal length and distance to the subjects.

    Lower light and you'll be needing a larger aperture and higher ISO - you'll have to focus more critically and you'll need to use a cross point for focusing if you're selecting it yourself.

    Better light and you won't necessarily need such a large aperture, your depth of field will be larger and you won't have to focus so critically.

    Watch your shutter speeds though - as the subjects won't be posing for you, you'll have to ensure that your shutter speed is fast enough to stop any subject movement.

    So - what light levels are you talking about, and which autofocus lenses are you talking about?
    Thanks

    It won't be too dark. It will still be light outside for some of the time and some of us might be outside for a while, so that shouldn't be a problem. Later on and indoors, It's going to be typical indoor lighting so not too dark. I am taking a flash in case it is needed for group shots. I will probably bounce it as I don't have a small soft-box.

    I was going to use either my Pentax A 50mm f/1.7 which is manual focus, or my dad's FA 50mm f/1.4 on about f/2 (a bit soft wide open) which has autofocus. I'm unlikely to be doing too many head shots so this should be long enough, but not so long that it is a problem. I am also borrowing his 24mm f/2 in case I need something a bit wider for groups (not sure on the size of the room - awaiting details). I'm not expecting to need anything longer but if I need to I have a 55-300mm zoom which is f/4 up to 100mm.

    If lights are dimmed later for dancing (I hope not - not really a dancer ) I will have to see what I can do, but any advice here is greatly appreciated.

    My camera is a Pentax K5 and it seems to cope reasonably well with higher ISO values provided exposure is correct.

    The cake shot shouldn't be a problem.

    Thanks for your help.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    17,930

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinypanda View Post
    My camera is a Pentax K5 and it seems to cope reasonably well with higher ISO values
    How high? That information could affect the responses you receive from people who are used to shooting indoor candids.

  8. #8
    dubaiphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Northampton
    Posts
    1,850
    Real Name
    Phil Page

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Unless it's great at 12800 or 25600, you'll be pushing it with an f4 lens, big time!

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Stevenage
    Posts
    9
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    How high? That information could affect the responses you receive from people who are used to shooting indoor candids.
    I have got good results at 1600 (grain only noticeable if greatly enlarged and only on dark areas), providing exposure was correct. I haven't had chance to try anything higher. I will experiment with that this evening.
    Last edited by Shinypanda; 13th July 2013 at 04:14 PM.

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Stevenage
    Posts
    9
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Unless it's great at 12800 or 25600, you'll be pushing it with an f4 lens, big time!
    Ok. Will have to check it out at those ISO levels. I don't think I'm going to want to use the zoom. You may have helped me with my decision about that

  11. #11
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Stevenage
    Posts
    9
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Unless it's great at 12800 or 25600, you'll be pushing it with an f4 lens, big time!
    It's not "great" at 12800. Passable but not great. Hopefully I won't need to use more than 6400 at f2, otherwise it will be the flash.

    Thanks for the great advice

  12. #12
    Stagecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suva, Fiji
    Posts
    5,588
    Real Name
    Grahame

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    I would go along with what Manfred has said, single spot, focus/meter, re-compose as necessary, shoot.

    For candids you often need to be quick and I find this faster than changing focus points when the chance is that by the time you have done that the subject has moved.

  13. #13
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Stevenage
    Posts
    9
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I tend to use centre focus mode for this type of shooting. I will focus on the nearest eye of the subject, depress my shutter 1/2 way to lock focus / exposure and then recompose before taking the picture. I get the highest in-focus success rate this way, but you need a bit of practice to shoot this way.
    I shall give this a try. I used to do this before I started using manual focus.

  14. #14
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Stevenage
    Posts
    9
    Real Name
    Carolyn

    Re: Autofocus mode for candid portraits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    I would go along with what Manfred has said, single spot, focus/meter, re-compose as necessary, shoot.

    For candids you often need to be quick and I find this faster than changing focus points when the chance is that by the time you have done that the subject has moved.
    That's a very good point. Thanks

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •