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Thread: Aperture

  1. #1

    Aperture

    Hi! I bought Nikon D5000 few weeks ago and I'm kinda frustrated because I can't get the aperture effect that I want.

    The background of the focused object should be blurred, right? I already set my dslr to f5.6 but the background is still clear as the focused object.

    Please help.

    thanks! Rose

  2. #2

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    Re: Aperture

    Open your lens to the largest aperture (smallest number}possible.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by roseong View Post
    Hi! I bought Nikon D5000 few weeks ago and I'm kinda frustrated because I can't get the aperture effect that I want.

    The background of the focused object should be blurred, right? I already set my dslr to f5.6 but the background is still clear as the focused object.

    Please help.

    thanks! Rose
    Hi Rose,

    In addition to Johan's advice, if you're attempting this with a wide angle of view (zoomed out), that may explain it. You also need a sensible separation distance between the subject and the background, compared to the camera to subject distance.

    Can you post an example photo?
    Which lens are you using?

    Another possible 'gotcha' is the AF focusing modes and options; the camera may think you want both subject and background in focus and it is deliberately trying to achieve that.

    An evening meal 'beckons' to me, I'll try and 'walk through' the focus options in a second post a little later, with a test to try.

    Where ARE my manners?
    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Aperture

    Hi again Rose,

    I hope this isn't too basic, but as I have no idea what you've been upto if I 'take control' and you do what I suggest, it should give a predictable result.

    Ok, let's try a test shot, you'll need to organise some 'props' for this.

    Get an ornament, or a tea cup, mug, tumbler, whatever, and set it on a table which is in reasonably good light (to allow AF to work).
    There should be 3 feet/1m between you and the object and also between the object and the wall behind it.

    Zoom all the way in, probably 55mm on a kit lens (but I don't have one).
    Let's set the camera on Aperture priority and wide open as Johan suggests, which on my lens is f4.8 at this focal length.
    Let's use the pop up flash.
    Set the AF-area mode to single (looks like large and small nested square brackets), set the single point to be the central point using cursor pad.
    Set the Focus mode to AF-A.
    Check the lens itself is set to "AF"/"Auto" or "AF/M", not just "M" and while there, make sure IS is on.
    OK, take aim and by half depressing shutter button, focus on the ornament only - don't let the focus point 'see' any of the wall behind.
    Take the shot.

    The result should be something like this:
    Aperture
    Pop up flash, Nikon D5000, 1/60s at f4.8, iso400, 18-200mm at 55mm (same as zoomed in on kit lens)

    Note the ornament is in focus and the wall behind is not.
    That's really all you can expect with a kit lens.
    If you want/need more focus separation, you'll need to buy a fast prime, by which I mean a fixed focal length lens that opens up to f1.8 or numerically less (e.g. f1.4)

    Hope that helps,

  5. #5

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    Re: Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by roseong View Post
    Hi! I bought Nikon D5000 few weeks ago and I'm kinda frustrated because I can't get the aperture effect that I want.

    The background of the focused object should be blurred, right? I already set my dslr to f5.6 but the background is still clear as the focused object.

    Please help.

    thanks! Rose
    Hi Rose,

    Another thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that if you have a kit lens - your aperture most likely changes across the zoom range. I have an 18-55 (f/3.5-5.6) kit lens; which is f/3.5 @ 18mm and f/5.6 @ 55mm -- thus giving me less of a blur (or bokeh) at the zoomed in focal length. You can increase the blur by moving the object further away from the background; but the lower the f-number, the less distance is necessary to create a blur. In saying this, I think that alot can still be achieved at higher f-numbers dependant on how the scene is set up.

    Aperture
    1/40s at f/4.5, ISO-1600 - 18-55mm on Canon EOS 450d at 30mm
    taken with 18-55mm kit lens

    As you can see, I can still achieve the blur effect I'm after by using my kit lens, however between the car in the foreground and the subject, I have about a 20cm separation. Between the subject and the shovel in the background, there's about a 50cm separation; both objects are blurred.

    Aperture
    1/80s at f/1.8, ISO-200 - 50mm f/1.8 on Canon EOS 450d
    taken with 50mm prime

    In this example, the two candles have about 10cm of separation between them but the darker candle is slightly blurred due to its position being on the edge of the depth of field.

    Dave's method of testing will be a surefire method to grasp this concept. Whilst you are doing this, take a few shots and with each; move closer and closer to the subject (and zooming out whilst changing the f-number to a lower number). You will notice the blur increasing as you move closer to the subject and lower the f-number.

    Hope this makes sense, oh and welcome to the forums!

    PS: I'd highly recommend purchasing a 50mm f/1.8 prime (I just did recently and I love it!) as most manufacturers make them for dirt cheap (AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D in your case - $165AUD). The bokeh (aka blur) you can achieve on these lenses are great and they provide excellent 'bang for buck'. They also teach you alot about rethinking your photos as the only zoom you have is your feet - moving closer or farther away from the subject.
    Last edited by dan88; 24th December 2009 at 04:09 AM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Aperture

    Thanks Dan,

    An excellent follow up which said all the stuff I missed

    Cheers,

  7. #7

    Re: Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    PS: I'd highly recommend purchasing a 50mm f/1.8 prime (I just did recently and I love it!) as most manufacturers make them for dirt cheap (AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D in your case - $165AUD). The bokeh (aka blur) you can achieve on these lenses are great and they provide excellent 'bang for buck'. They also teach you alot about rethinking your photos as the only zoom you have is your feet - moving closer or farther away from the subject.
    Hi Rose,

    Welcome to the Forums!

    I am a new D5000 owner myself! Dan and Dave are dead-on with managing depth of field. I just wanted to chime in to let you know the 50mm prime Dan mentioned won't autofocus on the D5000! I bought one myself and with no complaints. However, there are two other lenses that I think fall in the same ballpark, both will autofocus on this camera.

    The first is a 50mm 1.4 that will autofocus, but that will run about $300+

    As an alternative, depending on what you plan to photograph there is a 35mm 1.8 that will autofocus and keeps the cost in the middle of the road, about $200.

    Just passing you the benefits of hindsight! Hope it helps.

    Mike

  8. #8

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    Re: Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by Captn Mike View Post
    Hi Rose,

    Welcome to the Forums!

    I am a new D5000 owner myself! Dan and Dave are dead-on with managing depth of field. I just wanted to chime in to let you know the 50mm prime Dan mentioned won't autofocus on the D5000! I bought one myself and with no complaints. However, there are two other lenses that I think fall in the same ballpark, both will autofocus on this camera.

    The first is a 50mm 1.4 that will autofocus, but that will run about $300+

    As an alternative, depending on what you plan to photograph there is a 35mm 1.8 that will autofocus and keeps the cost in the middle of the road, about $200.

    Just passing you the benefits of hindsight! Hope it helps.

    Mike
    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for clearing that up -- you can tell I'm clearly a Canon shooter as I don't know much when it comes to Nikon's!

    Dan

  9. #9

    Re: Aperture

    Wow! Thank you for replying. I'm sorry I haven't checked my account since I've posted my question. Your posts were helpful but to tell you honestly, I've done it!

    I just have to master how it's done. But your posts were great! And I'll follow them the next time I'll try taking photos!

    Happy New Year to all!

    thanks,
    Rose

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