Blurry faces

zkatan 4
4 Nov 2015 4:45PM
My question is why am I getting sometimes blurry faces? I am using Canon 5d M3 with 50 mm (1,4), 100 mm (2,0) and 135 (2.0) lenses and I encounter this problem, from trial and error, when I am not auto-focusing the area of the face. I mean even if I use shutter speed a bit higher than the focal length I am still getting blurry faces, only when I am trying to take picture of the hole body - of the model. And sometimes is really hard to focus her face - when I can't move further away. I am not taking pictures in a sunny environment. But I did not use a lens-hood.

However, in a studio with professional lighting - I did not encounter any problems. Even if I don't focus exactly on her face.
I have tried also in outdoors this ''test'' and I also got some bad results. 1 of 5 or pictures was blurry. This time I was using my 135 L lens and I forgot that my shutter speed was 125. I have some steady hands, and my lens is quite fast and I got ''blurry face'' maybe when I was not focusing on the facial area. Maybe because the face is complex and the structure creates shadows (or something), who knows. Which have draw me to this conclusion. Thank you.

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ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
4 Nov 2015 4:56PM
What apertures are you using? That's some fast glass with moderately long focal lengths, so if shooting wide open you are going to have an extremely shallow depth of field - which means you have to be ultra-careful in pinpointing your focus point. If you are using your 135mm lens @f2, depending on subject distance, you are only going to get an in-focus area of a few millimetres deep - which could mean [for example] the nose of your subject was sharp whilst the eyes were starting to blur. It doesn't sound like a rear focusing issue [that's where focus is ot slightly due to misalignment of the lens with the PDAF sensor, which is adjustable], or shutter speed issue. Are you choosing a pin-point focus point and locking it? Are you choosing an appropriate aperture?

I may be completely off, but these are the immediate things which spring to mind - you need to be very careful with fast lenses wide open.
colin beeley Plus
17 1.2k 10 England
4 Nov 2015 6:29PM
try a set up in manual 250/sec f/5.6 auto ISO . also have you got safety shift on ? i had that lens you can't really shoot faces at f/2.0 very little DOF. let us know how you get on .
duratorque 17 427 United Kingdom
4 Nov 2015 10:19PM
Can you put some example up?
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
5 Nov 2015 9:39AM

Quote:even if I use shutter speed a bit higher than the focal length

Your hands aren't steady enough. Try doubling that, then the faster shutter speed will kill the motion blur, just as the flash from the studio lights does.
Philh04 Plus
14 2.2k United Kingdom
5 Nov 2015 10:24AM
I think we need to see examples as the OP is not making it clear whether it is motion blur, camera shake or simply out of focus.... Examples with EXIF please.


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