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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-08-2017

Blurry group pics

I just bought the Canon Rebel T6i after my Xsi died. I'm having a hard time taking groups of people and them  being blurry...I am and amateur and am using a Tamron lens 18-200. The depth of field is an issue when taking group shots like this or of a youth soccer team for an example or even a straight line of people. Please keep the language simple I am just learning. I did not have this issue at all with my old camera. I shot most everything on program and sometimes adjusted the ISO but never had this blurry issue. The lens is set to Af and the VC is on

group photo

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,665
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Blurry group pics

For some reason all the people look at least a little blurry on my iPad here.  I assume that some are in focus though. 

 

Google for a depth of field calculator; there are several good free ones. Enter your camera sensor (1.6x crop) and the aperture and distance to subject and you will find it is rather shallow even at f/4. 

 

More light would help by letting you use a smaller aperture for more DOF.  

 

In poor indoor light arrange the group in a clump thinner than 4 deep.  Don't make a hard thing harder.

 

Try selecting a single AF point (the center one) rather than letting the camera decide, and position that AF point 1/3 of the depth into your subject clump. That would maximize the DOF, hopefully placing the boundaries of the plane of acceptably focused things around all your people.   Approximately 1/3 of your in focus zone will be in front of the AF point and 2/3 behind the point.  See "hyperfocal distance" and then the rule of thumb about 1/3 2/3. 

Scott

Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,696
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Blurry group pics

[ Edited ]

gln622 wrote:

I just bought the Canon Rebel T6i after my Xsi died. I'm having a hard time taking groups of people and them  being blurry...I am and amateur and am using a Tamron lens 18-200. The depth of field is an issue when taking group shots like this or of a youth soccer team for an example or even a straight line of people. Please keep the language simple I am just learning. I did not have this issue at all with my old camera. I shot most everything on program and sometimes adjusted the ISO but never had this blurry issue. The lens is set to Af and the VC is on

group photo


Judging from the exposure data along the left side of the screen shot, I would say that the room was fairly dim.  Everything seems to be equally out of focus, but it is really hard to tell for sure.  But, it appears you had a near perfect storm of difficult circumstances to result in a disappointing shot.  It also looks as if a flash fired.  I assume that was the built-in flash.

 

Your shutter speed wound up being a little on the slow side.  It is not fast enough to freeze any and all motion by the people in the picture, and just barely fast enough to freeze any camera motion when you took the picture.  Image stabilzation can only take you so far when your working with slow shutter speeds.  A tripod would have been most beneficial, especially when working with slower shutter speeds, like less than 1/200 second.

 

The built-in flash in your camera isn't very strong, and has a reach of just a little past 10 feet.  An external flash would have brightened up the shot, and allowed for a much faster shutter speed.  You can see the drop off in light by how bright the faces are in the front, compared to the faces as you move toward the rear line of faces.

 

Judging from the ISO 3200 setting, this room was simply to dim, and the built-in flash wasn't up to the task.

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Reputable Contributor
Posts: 763
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Blurry group pics

For group pictures with more than 1 row, I think f/4 is too little.  You'd need f/5.6 or larger value to improve the depth of field.

Also some of the blurriness might stem from your shutter speed being a bit low...Even with VC (I find Tamron VC inadequate), and FL of 24mm, your lens max FL is 200mm,  it's longer and heavier than a 24mm so ideally I'd increase the shutter speed a bit to 1/100 or 1/200 while hand-holding.

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,665
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Blurry group pics


diverhank wrote:

For group pictures with more than 1 row, I think f/4 is too little.  You'd need f/5.6 or larger value to improve the depth of field.

Also some of the blurriness might stem from your shutter speed being a bit low...Even with VC (I find Tamron VC inadequate), and FL of 24mm, your lens max FL is 200mm,  it's longer and heavier than a 24mm so ideally I'd increase the shutter speed a bit to 1/100 or 1/200 while hand-holding.


Yes. Shutter speed was marginal at 1/60.

 

Camera shake blur May not be a problem, between IS and the wide 24mm focal length you were using, but maybe. 

 

Perhaps more likely is subject motion blur. 1/60th isn't going to freeze a person sitting still unless they are sitting very still.  My kids for example need about 1/100th to reliably freeze their image because they sometimes manage to be squirmy even when still. 

 

Scott

Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,675
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Blurry group pics

I don't think anything was wrong.  You just blew the shot.  1/60 at f4 on a 24mm lens should be fine.  I do it all the time.

To help you, you need to select a single focus point.  Never use multi focus points.  One shot and use P mode.   Focus on a person in the second row.  Make sure you hold the camera still.

 

Also not a focus issue but make sure you tell the people to look down the lens.  It is distracting for folks to be looking elsewhere.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,321
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Blurry group pics


ebiggs1 wrote:

I don't think anything was wrong.  You just blew the shot.  1/60 at f4 on a 24mm lens should be fine.  I do it all the time.

To help you, you need to select a single focus point.  Never use multi focus points.  One shot and use P mode.   Focus on a person in the second row.  Make sure you hold the camera still.

 

Also not a focus issue but make sure you tell the people to look down the lens.  It is distracting for folks to be looking elsewhere.


A problem with which almost any event photographer has to contend is others taking pictures from different angles. Their relatives in the group picture will tend to look at them instead of at you. Sometimes you have to bellow at your subjects to face in the right direction.

 

And be sure to warn them that if they can't see your lens, you can't see them.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
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