Category Archives: b – Focus

Focus at different apertures

Although the exercise instructions said find a similar subject, I instead opted for a macro shoot using a Sony A57 at 400 ISO , a Walimex manual focus 85mm lens at its widest aperture f1.4; at f5.6 and at f22, coupled with a 36mm extension tube. Given the setup, the depth of field at all of these apertures was going to be small but it was however, recognisably different as the following shots illustrate:-

f1.4 @ 1/10 second

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f5.6 @ 1.6 seconds

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f22 @ 10 seconds

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As can be seen the first shot only places a small area of the front and central brown square in focus; the second shot all of the square and the third nearly three squares deep in focus.

I also tried some further shots of the white pieces of the chess set:-

f1.4 @ 1/30 second

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f5.6 @ 1 second

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f22 @ 6 seconds

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The Depth of Field here ranges from a very small area in front of the cross on top of the centre piece to three pieces. So as well as enabling more light (and thus faster shots – useful for indoor shots concerts etc) the use of varying apertures can be used creatively to create an image that the eye would not normally consciously be creating:-

Catkins at f2.8

Harbour Camera Sony DSLR-A900; Exposure 1/8000 sec; Aperture f/2.8; Focal Length 26 mm & ISO Speed 400

Focus with a set aperture

For this exercise, of shooting a scene with depth but focusing on it at dfferent points, I used a manual focus 85mm lens at F1.4 as I thought it would show up the depth of field on the three shots better. The subject I chose was the Pantiles at Tunbridge Wells, a) because it is very photogenic and b) there are a lot of signs and columns which I thought would lend themselves to the exercise:-

All three shots at 1/60th and ISO 400

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Of the three shots above I am torn between the front focus and mid focus shots but on balance I think I prefer the mid focus shot as the central, in focus, area draws you into the shot and the out of focus areas front and back emphasise the sign. The rear focus, to me, does not have anything strong enough in the in focus area to draw your eye.

As it turned out there were a few of sets of three I thought I could use, this being one of the other ones:-

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Of these three, in contrast to the above, I prefer the rear focused shot (right), as the the composition draws you in to see what is happening at the end of the row of columns/shops and has an air of mystery to it – possibly helped by the figures (is she walking away from him?). The other two while having an impact (particularly the front focused shot) dont have anything additional to engage the viewer.

These three shots again with 85mm lens F1.4, 1/80 ISO400.