focus on the eyes

This is a discussion on focus on the eyes within the Composition forums, part of the Photography Tips category; I have a 17-55mm. I have the focus points on and I can move around where I want the focus to be centered on. I ...


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  1. #1
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    focus on the eyes

    I have a 17-55mm. I have the focus points on and I can move around where I want the focus to be centered on. I can only choose one point or all. I want to know how to choose two points so that I can put one on each eye. So that both eyes will be in perfect focus on a head shot. I am shooting with a cannon 60D. Any advice?


  • #2
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    Use a gold reflector to improve the lighting. You can buy a reflector kit at a photo store or create your own with foil or bristol board. Then set your f stop at 4 with the appropriate shutterspeed and focus just a little past the first eye to get both in focus due to the depth of field.

    Cameron

  • #3
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    If you're picking focus points, then the camera will only let YOU pick one of them. If you let the camera auto-select, it will allows pick the focus point which is NEAREST to you and for which the camera can get a good focus lock -- that means if a focus point is on say, the nose, and another is on the eyes, then the Canon auto-focus algorithm will _always_ take the nose over the eyes, because the nose is closer (Canon did a talk on how the autofocus system works and it was recorded and posted at the B&H Photo website (they have a section on videos that you can watch online / free.)

    I'm not sure about the 60D controls, but some of the bodies have an A-DEP setting on the mode dial. That setting causes the camera to try to get as many focus points locked as possible (and it'll try to adjust the aperture to set a depth of field that will cover them.) My 5D, for example, does NOT have that mode. But I have an older T1i body (500D) which does.

    Apart from that, it's as Cameron says... lock focus on the NEARER of the two eyes and bump up your f-stop to increase the aperture to make sure both eyes are focused. The reason for picking the 'nearer' eye is because the area that falls within the DoF will be about 1/3 in "front" of your focused distance and 2/3rds of the DoF will be "behind" your focused distance. So if you pick the nearer eye, the slightly farther eye should be safely within the DoF if you bump up the focal ratio a bit (and f/4 will probably do very well.)

    Just below the button that releases the lens is a smaller button which, when you are not using flash, is the "depth of field preview". It causes the aperture blades to close down the f-stop you plan to use when taking the shot so you can check the depth of field before you actually take the shot.
    Tim Campbell

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    You can't put the red dot on both eyes. You'll need to set the F stop higher so everything is in focus.

    Ken Tan | Vancouver and Destination Wedding Photographer

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    Increase the depth of field to have both eyes in focus.


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