Back Modifications (2)
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Group Shot

Why are my Group shots, never sharp?!!!
Can you please help me...

F-Stop F4.5
Exposure Time 1/40 sec
ISO 2000
Focal Length 24mm
Metering Mode: Patten
Flash 580 ex II

Tags: Fashion Wedding and social Portraits and people Group shots

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


LynneJoyce Plus
9 20 99 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2010 3:59PM
Don't know the answer to your question, but I've had a tinker with the image anyway. It is a nicely composed wedding shot.

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lesgoodey 12 5 1 England
25 Aug 2010 5:02PM
Using that lens at f4.5 on a slow shutter speed and only using a single flash for such a large group is asking for trouble.
If you shoot lots of indoor groups like this I would invest in a couple of Bowens studio flash heads or similar.
That way you will be able to use a much lower ISO setting and stop the lens down a bit more, f8 or f11 should be ok.
At 24mm right at the end of the zoom your bound to be getting falloff at the edges.
clicknimagine 8 221 88
25 Aug 2010 5:06PM
i like the mod provided by Joyce, you have asked for the sharpness which is not looking bad at all in your image, make sure when you resize your image, you should increase the sharpness to compensate for the resizing loss,

what looks apparent to me in your image is overexposure, the ambient light exposure as well as flash exposure is not looking right, iso 2000 may not be needed in this occasion and you should keep it as lower as possible, first, meter the ambient light at the background and then adjust flash to subject distance to keep the exposure right,

wish you best of luck for your future works...
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
25 Aug 2010 6:52PM
OK, - detective work, as youve raised this issue before.

First question, - is it ONLY your group shots that you believe appear blurry, or do closer, portrait shots have the same problem?

Are the group shots with the problem ALL done using flash?

Did you use a tripod with this, using your new remote release?

What camera mode are you using for this?

Does the full size original look blurry, or just the re sized version.?

Are you leaving the flash in Auto, (ETTL) or are you making changes to exposure, power, etc?

Was the ISO for this one ACTUALLY 2,000 or is this a typo?

Approximately how far from the group were you, - I would guess about 25 feet?

Are you shooting RAW or JPEG

Can you email me your full size original,

If you answer all the above I will check back and we can get to the bottom of the problem.


paulbroad 10 123 1244 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2010 9:13PM
First, for this type of shot,. include the candles and stands totally or get rid of them.

Now, why ISO 2000and flash - rather pointless. The idea of such high ISO is to not use flash at all and I can see no flash effect?

1/40 is far too slow shutter speed for hand holding even with a wide angle lens - you will get movement blur of both subject and camera.

The 580 is a very powerful flash. I would have had the camera on atripod for wedding work - ALWAYS - with a second camera over my shoulder for snapshots. Flash at full power, about 1/60 @ f5.6 and ISO 400 MAX. Even at this distance the 580 should handle that.

Then focus very carefully on manual - not auto.

I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2010 2:29PM

Quote: you should increase the sharpness to compensate for the resizing loss,
d wedding shot.

What do you mean? Increase the sharpness? In PS?
I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2010 2:47PM

Ok My other shots seem to be fine, "sharp" Unless
I move while taking the shots of course.

Yes I alway use my flash. With every pic.

Yes I use a tripod for "group shots", AND I use the wireless trigger (But with this shot I didnt use the trigger)

My camera mode is "M" (but fucus is Auto and not manual)

BOTH my full size and re-sized look blurr, but more so on the re-sized

Flash is mainly auto ETTL, but I have become aware I could have increased the F stops / power on the flash....?

Yes, ISO was 2000 (Aperently this is half the problem, and with the f4.5 should be higher apparently F9 ish ?)

I was approx 5/6 meters from the group (As I was using the 24-70 and not a wide angle, although I do need a wide angle I guess)

I am shooting in RAW with a Medium JPEG.

Also, Willie, the RAW is 25mb? I cant email this using Hotmail?

PS Thanks EVERYONE for the help..

PPS> JOYCE nice mod, thanks for the idea..
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
26 Aug 2010 4:21PM
Send the jpeg

I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2010 4:50PM
Email sent..
paulbroad 10 123 1244 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2010 5:27PM
Flash - there will be a light loss due to a lack of reflecting surfaces in a large room. You either need to use flash exposure lock on the camera to fire a test flash and thus set the aperture, or dial in some extra flash exposure - one to two stops. You may thus need a wider aperture than f9 or the flash will not reach - as you know, 6 metres with a 580 at full power gives about f10.

If you are using a tripod, your image really should not be unsharp, which either means loss of detail at ISO2000 - possible but ynlikely with a 5D Mk11, or you are not focusing correctly. I would use manual focus with a group like this - pull the zoom to maximum, focus on a central face, then zoom back to the desired composition.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
26 Aug 2010 11:35PM
Loaded a mod of your original jpeg and sent you an email.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
27 Aug 2010 10:16PM
Theres one thing that just comes to mind that we havent talked about.

Your camera have a lens focus micro adjust feature that allows you to exactly match lenses to your camera.

Its possible that you may have to use this adjustment to precisely get the sharpest possible focus.

I am sure theres a section in the manual that addresses it, but heres how I would check to see if it needs adjustment:

Get yourself a target, - or make one with black lines on a white background; mount the camera with this lens on a tripod, manual focus, good light, and focus, using the centre focus point only until its really, really sharp; then being very careful NOT to move the camera, set the lens to autofocus; then carefully half press the shutter button while observing the focus ring. If it moves even the slightest amount, you meed to use the micro adjustment until you can repeat this with no movement on autofocus.

I would love to know if this makes a difference.


I_SPY 8 173 United Kingdom
28 Aug 2010 2:23PM
Ok, Let me test out the about advice and I will update you all very soon.

Thanks again people!!

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