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where do u focus for full lengths

NaftoliNaftoli Member
edited January 2012 in news & discussions
when taking regular full length portraits do u focus on the eye? i find that b/c the face is much smaller in the frame when taking full lengths, the face is often times smaller then the actual focus point so if there is an area of contrast in the background behind the subjects head the camera may focus on the background, in theory i think if i were to just keep my focus point in the center and focus on the persons waist or any where thats level with the focus point than the camera will not focus on the background and then we wouldn't have any focus and recompose back focus issue,


  • sounds reasonable. I tend to focus on the body for the following reason: when shooting a full-length from waist height, i would generally have to recompose after focusing on the face, because my focus points might not reach the person's face when shooting from waist height (certainly when I'm shooting tightly zoomed). You might not have this issue with your camera, but my d5000 has a pretty small area where the focus point can go.

  • shulim ur cameras af points r probably not any smaller than any other camera, what nikon doesnt tell u is that the actual focusing area is much larger than indicated by brackets or small box
  • whoops i think i may have misinterpreted ur post, u meant the amount of places u can place the focus point
  • Yes, that is what I meant
  • I focus on the eye as best I can, even with full body shots.

    Do you have an example of the type of full body shots you are taking?

    For example, this is my idea of a full body shot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tangst/6309075816/

    I focus on one eye using an AF point in the viewfinder.

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited January 2012
    Remember, it also depends on movement, if bride walking down church aisle [or moving towards me on any location], since the center focus point is generally the sharpest, [set to one side over since if there are 2 of them you want both in center of photo] as I will have already pre-determined what part of her is on the same plane as the face, and stick to that spot, makes it quicker, easier and sharper in the end.

    That's if I am wanting full lengths shots, if I am zoomed in closer I will place my focus point [in portrait mode] to the topmost point, off center, on one side or other, depends which side the bride is on, left or right, as the majority of the focus point covers 90% of face anyway and so that the other person is not 'cut off' outside of the photo more than the bride, both are pretty much in center of photo.

    In static mode, it's easier of course, focus, recompose, but judging the amount of zoom, closeness to subject and aperture, since a focus/recompose with a wide aperture, can cause a tilt/shift in the plane from top to bottom on full length. There I use topmost point moved to one side or other for bride, in either portrait or landscape mode.


  • Thanx trev thats what ive been doing till now just wondering if anyone's doing differently
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