BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Sharon M. Kamholz

Camera settings

  Family portrait
Family portrait
Aperature 2.8
Shutter 1/125
iso 200
focal lenght 135mm
Lens, Tamron SP AF 70-200 mm f/2.8 Di LD

© Sharon M. Kamholz
Nikon D80 Digital ...
Fundamental question. I have pretty good success with one-subject portraits. What I am really trying to fine-tune is family portraits - my subjects are not equally sharp. I have an awesome lens, Nikon 85mm1:1.4D, I also have a Tamron70-200mm 1:2.8, Sigma 18-200mm 1:3.5-6.3, and Nikon 35mm1:1.8G, all for a Nikon D80 body. I dream of once crossing over to semi pro, but I have a lot to learn. What lens do you recommend for available-light photography, more specifically beach? Then what focus settings? Thank you for your help!! Thank you for your time.

To love this question, log in above
8/13/2010 3:51:22 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
  SCI - Hornings Hideout
SCI - Hornings Hideout
f/7.1, 1/400, ISO500, 70mm

© Carlton Ward
Canon EOS 5D Mark ...
Hello Sharon,
Learning proper exposure is the basis of all that is photography, and BetterPhoto has lots of great courses that will take the mystery out of it all and make you confident with your camera.
Your photo needs more DOF (Depth of Field). With a group photo like the one, you posted, a shallower DOF like f/2.8 has a limited plane that will be in focus so unless everyone is equally the same distance from the lens, some will be less sharp. The easy fix is to increase your DOF to maybe f/8 or f/11, and I would even go f/16 if you have enough light to keep your shutter speed fast enough.
Jim Zuckerman teaches a great exposure class and also has a book on the subject. Take his class, you won't regret it :)
I shot a photo of a small group on the fly at a festival (a snapshot really) but at f/7.1, I was able to get the five friends in focus as they were close to the same plane :)
Love in Light,

To love this comment, log in above
8/13/2010 5:23:45 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.