Canon Community Canon Community
 


Reply
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-28-2020

Me or my camera?

New to portrait photography and having trouble getting crisp images in low light.  Shooting on a Rebel T5i with the 18-55mm kit lens.  AF and stabilier on.  Is there something I'm missing or is it time for an upgrade to something with a better sensor or ISO?

 

f/5, 1/100, ISO-3200

IMG_8637-1.jpg

 

VIP
Posts: 11,944
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Me or my camera?

The T5i is not a bad camera, but the kit lenses included in the Rebel camera kits are not Canon's best efforts.  Shooting in low light is the bane of all photographers.  Your images will never be better than the glass you put in front of the camera.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-50mm-speedlite-el-100-creative-photography-kit 

 

That is a link to a 50mm prime lens kit, which is basically has a "portrait focal length" on you camera.  There is also a genuine Canon Speedlite..  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-28-2020

Re: Me or my camera?

Thanks Waddizzle!! Quick follow up: I've thought about upgrading AND going mirrorless (I shoot residential real estate as my part time day job so an upgrade would actually be mainly for that). Would that move render any lens I buy now useless?? I'd like to buy for the long haul but it would be great to be able to make my Rebel last another year or so while I save for a beast.
VIP
Posts: 8,420
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Me or my camera?

You're image is being affected by the limited depth of field at an f/5 aperture.

 

Screenshot 2020-12-28 145125.jpg

 

The front of the sweater and your face are sharp. You can see how your ear and the shoulder area of the sweater is not sharp.

 

Screenshot 2020-12-28 145754.jpg

 

A lens is only correctly focused at one distance. Everything in the same plane of that distance will be correctly focused.

 

The eye-brain connection has the ability to determine sharpness over a limited distance in front of and behind the plane of accurate focus. That region is called depth of field. A smaller aperture creates a larger depth of field. A shorter focal length creates a larger depth of field. A farther subject distance creates a larger depth of field. All the opposites create a smaller depth of field.

 

All you would need to get a better shot with everything the same is more light. That would allow you to stop down to f/8 or f/11. Yiou would have a depth of field of over 2 1/2 feet at that point. (I was assuming you were about 5 feet from the camera for that shot.)

 

 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic
VIP
Posts: 8,420
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Me or my camera?


@ambaranowski wrote:
Thanks Waddizzle!! Quick follow up: I've thought about upgrading AND going mirrorless (I shoot residential real estate as my part time day job so an upgrade would actually be mainly for that). Would that move render any lens I buy now useless?? I'd like to buy for the long haul but it would be great to be able to make my Rebel last another year or so while I save for a beast.

The Canon mirrorless cameras have an adapter that will allow you to use EF-S and EF lenses, so you wouldn't be obsoleting your gear. There are some penalties regarding image stabilization capability, but there may be additional "R" bodies in the next year. Maybe the newer bodies wouldn't have those penalties. And if you are doing indoor real estate shoots you should be using a tripod anyway.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 737
Registered: ‎02-23-2020

Re: Me or my camera?

Definitely second the usage of a tripod.  After all, for indoor real-estate images, nothing is moving*.  So you could pick the aperture you want (e.g. f/8), then set the shutter to 1-second or whatever makes sense to drop the ISO to 100 or as close to that as possible.

 

* Well, a running ceiling fan perhaps, or if windows are open, some blowing curtains/drapes.  But I think for the vast majority of images, nothing would be moving.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-28-2020

Re: Me or my camera?

Yes! I definitely use a tripod for listing photos--just got home from one where I shot the basement with a six second exposure. Ugh. I'm used to things that don't move, but I'm lost when it comes off the tripod!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-28-2020

Re: Me or my camera?

As for aperture, from what I've been reading, portraits need a wide aperture. I've been setting my camera at it's widest (f4) and then focusing on the eye closest. Am I learning wrong? Do I need a smaller aperture for two people like the shot above or smaller in general??
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 988
Registered: ‎12-24-2013

Re: Me or my camera?

Here is my opinion.....

Professional photographers don't usually use wide open apertures for portrait photography. This is because wide apertures cause very narrow depth of field, and the customers might not like their portraits being mostly soft with only very narrow areas in focus. 

Pros often use apertures like f/5.6 or f/8 and lots of studio lights to get nice sharp photos with acceptable depth of field. 
 
There is a time for using wide apertures, like f/1.2 or f/1.4, but they are usually used for more artistic portraits. 

Mike Sowsun
80D, 5D Mk III
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-28-2020

Re: Me or my camera?

Good to know, Mike! Do you have any recommendations for where to learn more?? Seems like I've been looking at the wrong info!
powered by Lithium

LIKE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Twitter WATCH US on YouTube CONNECT WITH US on Linkedin WATCH US on Vimeo FOLLOW US on Instagram SHOP CANON at the Canon Online Store
© Canon U.S.A., Inc.   |    Terms of Use   |    Privacy Statement