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Would f/5.6 - 8 - 11 Been A Beter Choice?
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Jan 11, 2019 08:37:18   #
foxfirerodandgun
 
I was out yesterday shooting old dilapidated farm buildings and the farm house on an abandoned farm with my D7200. It was a cold (35ยบ with a stiff & steady breeze); sunny "Blue Bird" day; clear with no clouds. Using Aperture Priority, I shot one set of each building @f/22 and then f/16 for comparison and a good depth of field. When I downloaded the images I wasn't pleased with the results and surmised that a wider aperture would have given me much better results since most of the images seemed to be underexposed. My question is what aperture in these conditions would have most likely produced properly exposed images, f/5.6, 8, 11? I'm sort of leaning towards f/8. The examples below are straight from the camera. The time was roughly 12:00 - 12:30 PM and I am facing West. The time & date are incorrect in the EXIF. Comments welcomed.
f/22
f/22...
(Download)
f/16
f/16...
(Download)
f/22
f/22...
(Download)
f/16
f/16...
(Download)
f/22
f/22...
(Download)
f/16
f/16...
(Download)

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Jan 11, 2019 08:49:38   #
Largobob
 
<duplicate entry>

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Jan 11, 2019 08:51:58   #
Largobob
 
If you are wanting a shallower depth of field (less in focus in front and behind your focus point), then use a larger aperture (smaller number f-stop). Some say that very small aperture (above f/16) can contribute to diffraction.

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Jan 11, 2019 08:57:48   #
autofocus
 
any one of those apertures theoretically could be fine, although the smaller ones could cause some diffraction, but that is not your question. My answer is simple, learn to shoot in manual mode, and learn how to read the light on your subject, and adjust accordingly. When you are shooting in aperture priority the camera is making some of the decisions for you, and it probably will not make much of difference in the end result in which aperture you choose. Based on how your metering is setup in your camera (I'll assume matrix) the camera will read all the light in the scene and adjust either your shutter and or your ISO. In manual mode, you will still use the meter as your guide, but there will be times when you will have to under, or overexpose the shot manually in order to get the proper end result.

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Jan 11, 2019 09:16:11   #
AzPicLady (a regular here)
 
What is it that displeases you about these pictures? What do you think would improve using a shallower depth of field?

I'm not an export by any means, but from what I see changing your f-stop might not change things very much. I took the picture of the house into my old LR program and did a few adjustments. I don't know what type of post processing you normally do, but I did some toning (the images look pretty blue to me, so I warmed it up a bit), Took the highlights down a tad, increased clarity and vibrancy and straightened it a few points. None of those had anything to do with depth of field.

In the house picture nearly everything is on an even line, so changing your depth of field will not change much - except to bring the treeline more or less into focus. Is that what you wanted? Do you want the treeline more out of focus?

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Jan 11, 2019 09:20:10   #
olemikey (a regular here)
 
Foxfire, I seem to find a sweet spot for most of my zoom lenses to be in the range you mentioned, wide open up to F11 or so. My Nikon DX zooms AF-S are 18-55, 55-200, 55-300 and AF 70-300, and Sigma/Tamron zooms give much the same sweet spot, for sharpness and exposure. I worked this out shooting lots of bracket shots of same subject. Also did test shot sequences with shots going from wide open to smallest aperture, at same shutter speed, done in progression so the light and scene was about as close as I could keep them. I also did same effort with aperture locked and varying shutter speed over a large range from slow to fastest. To keep it from becoming a spread sheet science project and limit variables I kept most other setting same throughout each run. I then spent a bit of time reviewing each shot in the sequence on a 24" monitor, really looking them over, and paying attention to exif data. I also did the same with each lens (right after the previous steps) in full auto, to see what the camera thought was best, and compared those sequences.

In most cases I found that I was happiest with the bulk of my lenses using my sweet spot range, usually, of course, there will always be instances where you need to go outside the sweet range. I've done this with my D90 and D7100 and the results were pretty much the same....yes the 7100 is more sophisticated and has better overall performance, but the results for each lens were very close.

Most of this was performed over the course of several hours during a bright & sunny mid-day (11:00 to approx. 3:00) to try keep the overall lighting close. Same target for each lens and shot group. It resulted in looking over several hundred photos, but I think it helped me. I also pay a lot of attention to the full histograms.

You might try something like my process to see what happens as you run through each range with each lens. Some others may have a better test plan, but it worked for me. Good luck and have fun!

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Jan 11, 2019 09:26:11   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
In aperture priority, every time you changed the aperture, the camera changed the shutter speed so that you ended up with the same exposure. You would have to use the exposure compensation feature or go to all manual settings as user autofocus suggests.

Like your dappled-light abandoned car in the woods, some of these photos have bright sun and deep shadows in the same image, so if shooting in jpg with little to no editing, you're faced with decisions on what part of the scene should get the most light.

Your metering mode says "Multi-segment" in an exif reader I used. I'm not familiar, but perhaps you should try some controlled tests using spot metering. Olemikey mentions doing extensive testing for additional technical considerations. Much to think about!

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Jan 11, 2019 09:28:11   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
AzPicLady wrote:
What is it that displeases you about these pictures? ?
OP says, "most of the images seemed to be underexposed."

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Jan 11, 2019 09:29:34   #
Picture Taker (a regular here)
 
Just as a general statement I would go to f11 as the center box the scale on your lens gives you the best quality of any lens. I would have HDR'ed them to balance out the dark barn and the brighter surroundings.

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Jan 11, 2019 09:33:37   #
foxfirerodandgun
 
AzPicLady wrote:
What is it that displeases you about these pictures? What do you think would improve using a shallower depth of field?

I'm not an export by any means, but from what I see changing your f-stop might not change things very much. I took the picture of the house into my old LR program and did a few adjustments. I don't know what type of post processing you normally do, but I did some toning (the images look pretty blue to me, so I warmed it up a bit), Took the highlights down a tad, increased clarity and vibrancy and straightened it a few points. None of those had anything to do with depth of field.

In the house picture nearly everything is on an even line, so changing your depth of field will not change much - except to bring the treeline more or less into focus. Is that what you wanted? Do you want the treeline more out of focus?
What is it that displeases you about these picture... (show quote)


Thank you for your input. Depth of field was not what I was really looking for in that particular picture. Overall proper exposure was the main interest in all of them without having to do a lot of PP.

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Jan 11, 2019 09:36:26   #
camerapapi (a regular here)
 
I am afraid that you do not understand exposure. The aperture you selected be it f22, 16, 11 or f8 actually makes no difference except for more or less depth of field. What is important is metering using ANY of those apertures.
If you were using matrix understand that for better control you need to look at the histogram after the exposure. Matrix is a computerized meter that affects the exposure with compensation but neither you nor I know when it does it and by how much. More reliable metering is done with center weighted and spot but it is important that the photographer understand how those modalities work. Spot is the most accurate meter but experience is necessary to use it. Center weighted measures about 75% of the central area but still 25% is read from the corners so a good understanding of what the meter does with different subjects is important for the correct exposure.
The images you posted seemed to be pretty well exposed and if anything the shadows can be opened up a bit with software.

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Jan 11, 2019 09:38:08   #
autofocus
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
In aperture priority, every time you changed the aperture, the camera changed the shutter speed so that you ended up with the same exposure. You would have to use the exposure compensation feature or go to all manual settings as user autofocus suggests.

Like your dappled-light abandoned car in the woods, some of these photos have bright sun and deep shadows in the same image, so if shooting in jpg with little to no editing, you're faced with decisions on what part of the scene should get the most light.

Your metering mode says "Multi-segment" in an exif reader I used. I'm not familiar, but perhaps you should try some controlled tests using spot metering. Olemikey mentions doing extensive testing for additional technical considerations. Much to think about!
In aperture priority, every time you changed the a... (show quote)


your answer is spot on, although I'm not a fan of guessing what EV to use when it's a simple adjustment by just shooting in manual mode...but, I'm old school! :)

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Jan 11, 2019 09:41:00   #
ChrisRL
 
foxfire, and gents, hello!

I have a question. Why is it that when shooting digital we're still set on conventions that were instigated by color transparency film stock, and analog color separation technology?

We now have the most incredible darkroom and lightbox tools ever. Why not use them?

I guess you know about dodging and burning areas of your image? In Photoshop, or in a darkroom, under and enlarger?

You are aware that most of the photo giants of the past used darkroom post-processing on a daily basis?

It's only when we came to slide shows or the color separation of color transparencies for print purposes (print as in magazine, newspapers etc) that we had to be exact about exposures, since the transparency / slide films were shot, then went to processing, then came back mounted and ready to project or go into color separation - no post processing color or image manipulation was readily available at that time.

Nowadays, that's still the case - if you were showing analog negatives or color slides to other people.
But we're not. The computer is at least two stages away from the original JPG or RAW file that came from your camera.

So what is wrong with tweaking your images to suit your exact needs, if they are exact for a particular shot?

I don't get it. Yes, finding the sweet spot of a lens is obviously great - most of mine are a stop and a half, or two stops in from wide open. But not always. My old PC-Nikkors, that have tilt and shift, settle in at 11-16 where as most of the others are blurry due to diffraction by then, for instance. One of my macro lenses ditto.

Yes, testing is best, to find the best lens / zoom / aperture combo for any given common focal length.
For example, at 85mm, I have a 70-210, a 24-85, a 24-120, and a very old 85/1.8 prime lens that will cover 85mm. The best by far is the prime lens at f/8. How did I get to that? By setting every lens at that focal length and shooting the exact same subject at all available apertures (off a big tripod, obviously, and time release/mirror lock-up)

But photography always had a shoot phase, and a lab/develop/post phase.

Why is it, that even after all these decades, and all this accumulated body of knowledge, that we're still concentrating on point-and-shoot?

I mean, nobody will contest that nowadays we can totally miss the optimum aperture by a stop or two and still be able to recover most of not all the image data from the camera original, without missing a beat, just by moving a slider or three.

So why get so concerned about 1/3 stops any more? With all this latitude we now have at our fingertips?

Sorry, I don't get it.

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Jan 11, 2019 09:48:45   #
foxfirerodandgun
 
Picture Taker wrote:
Just as a general statement I would go to f11 as the center box the scale on your lens gives you the best quality of any lens. I would have HDR'ed them to balance out the dark barn and the brighter surroundings.


Thank you for your comments. I've seen the term HDR, (High Dynamic Range), but really do not understand how to accomplish this. Is this done in PP?

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Jan 11, 2019 10:10:27   #
foxfirerodandgun
 
camerapapi wrote:
I am afraid that you do not understand exposure. The aperture you selected be it f22, 16, 11 or f8 actually makes no difference except for more or less depth of field. What is important is metering using ANY of those apertures.
If you were using matrix understand that for better control you need to look at the histogram after the exposure. Matrix is a computerized meter that affects the exposure with compensation but neither you nor I know when it does it and by how much. More reliable metering is done with center weighted and spot but it is important that the photographer understand how those modalities work. Spot is the most accurate meter but experience is necessary to use it. Center weighted measures about 75% of the central area but still 25% is read from the corners so a good understanding of what the meter does with different subjects is important for the correct exposure.
The images you posted seemed to be pretty well exposed and if anything the shadows can be opened up a bit with software.
I am afraid that you do not understand exposure. T... (show quote)


Thank you for your detailed explanation. Yes, I struggle to fully understand the exposure triangle and its interactions. Along with aperture= +/-DOF, I was also thinking narrower aperture=less light / wider aperture=more light thus under/over exposure not realizing that the camera is making shutter speed adjustments to compensate for my aperture adjustments. And, if I understand this correctly, in Shutter mode the camera compensates shutter speed changes with aperture changes. With the help and comments of fellow UHH'ers, such as yourself, Linda of Maine, and others, I'm determined to learn & properly apply this knowledge. As said before, "Back to the drawing board". Manual mode seems to be what I should begin to learn as well. Hopefully someone else will benefit from these posts.

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