Depth of Focus

In the last article I wrote about depth in focus. And the limitation was the Canon 5000’s auto exposure. And Yes! There is a way of setting the shutter speed to adjust or fix the aperture on the Canon however, the series of articles about the Canon is centered on using it as a novice’s photo instrument. Remember the idea is to see if less than £100-00’s worth of kit can reward the photographer.

In this article the intention is to explain that by using a wide aperture, the photographer keeps the background out of focus. This isolates the subject in the image. All of the images were taken with a Nikkormat FTn and Nikkor 50mm f1.4. The film is FomaPan 100 – developed in Rodinal 1+50 at 20° for 12 minutes and 30 seconds. The lens is well used and would benefit from a service. It has plenty of dust and some fungus.

More important is the camera settings: most are at f1.4 and the bike images are f2.0. The portraits are mostly 1/30th the Alice images are 1/15th and of course all hand-held. I would invite all photographers to take a chance with slow shutter speeds and wide apertures.  All images are straight scans with no sharpening or tweaking.

Click on The Images to Enlarge

Alice f1.4 – 1/15th Second

Market Images f1.4 – 1/30th Second

Sailor f1.4 – 1/30th Second

Bike Images f2.0 – 1/500th Second

Wide apertures and slow shutter speeds do work although, you have to be brave. The techniques is to make sure the camera is tight onto your face. Gently press the shutter button and DO NOT take your eye away from the eyepiece until the mirror has returned and you can see the image again.

Practice with care and you’ll be amazed at the results. I never use artificial light or flash and would use a one second exposure even if it resulted in some blurring. Incidentally the percieved resolution of a lens has much to do with contrast and light. The Nikkor lens used for these images has a repuation of not being sharp wide open. Truth to tell is the reviewers probably do not work hard enough to focus the lens. The technique is to move the focus ring ‘in and out’ of focus while looking at the subject. After a few seconds the eye becomes accustomed to the area of sharpness. If you are new to manual focus cameras try this method as well. Technique is what makes the photographer: Composition is what makes the photograph.

See You Soon

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