finding focus nikon d750 self portraits?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dylan_park, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Hi guys,

    I am trying to find the right settings for taking focused shots in face detection as i shoot self portraits. Does anyone do this or have this down well at all? i was shooting in afs mode matrix metering, and tried with live view off for framing then also turning it off to. I use a remote though i dont think that should be a problem. I also had af on. Would love any help

    Thanks
     
  2. Lined up your focus plane where you intend to be (sit or stand)....make sure the exposure is set correctly and disable the AF. If you are off center within the frame, the AF could be hunting and ruining perfectly good shot.
    Les
     
  3. disable the af. I haven't heard anyone say that, as how is it going to get a good focus on me in face detection without it on. I cant set manual as i am in front of the camera. There are different modes in af
     
  4. Dylan, Leszek is suggesting that you take the AF out of
    the equation because it may get confused. That's
    certainly one approach if the existing system is failing
    you. You might like to put a substitute object where you
    want to stand and focus on that, then make sure you
    stand in the same place (by "substitute object" I mean a
    tripod, garden rake, mop... something you can get to
    head height and move out of the way easily).

    For portraits, if you want to rely on the autofocus
    system, I try to use AF-C, possibly with focus priority. If
    you use single shot the camera will stop trying to focus
    when it finds you, but you might still be moving your
    head a bit. Watch the lens as it focuses - If it's not
    internal focus, the lens will likely extend for a close
    subject (you) and retract for distant ones (the
    background), which should help you tell if it's missing
    completely. This might be a rare case where having the
    focus confirmation beep on does something other than
    annoy bystanders.

    If you want a bit more control and you're indoors (or can
    pick up a portable monitor), how about using the
    camera's HDMI output in live view and connecting it to a
    TV? Positioned appropriately, it should let you see if
    you're hitting focus in the right place - though you'll be
    getting live view autofocus, so don't move around too
    much! (If you just want to make sure you're boringly
    central in the frame so the AF locks on, a less unwieldy
    solution is to check your reflection in the lens...) If HDMI is painful you could also prop a mirror behind the camera so you can see the LCD, but you'll need good eyesight!

    Disclaimer: I almost never do this kind of thing, I'm just
    throwing out ideas. I hope something helps!
     
  5. What lens are you using and what f stop are you shooting at? And how far is the camera from the subject?
     
  6. Thanks Andrew some good advice, i will give it a go in afc focus priority. i think that may disengage face priority but might do better. Elliott i shoot at different f stops low and higher, and are a few feet from the camera. I use a 50mm 1.8
     
  7. I've had excellent results with my D800 and the Yongnuo RF603NII remote, with different lenses, including the 50/1.8.
    By using Live View and putting the focus in the face detect mode I am able to get 8 photos out of 10 (but usually better) with the focus right on the eye(s). And for the record, I'm a focus nazi.

    In the past I was always able to shoot very decent (and in focus) self-portraits on film cameras like the F5, using various techniques for focusing and framing. None of that is relevant anymore. Just use the face detect in the LV (and a self timer). Take extra care not to move your head during and between the focus acquisition and the actual capture.
     
  8. Dylan because you are shooting with a lens that has a very shallow DOF when used at or near wide open, your best bet to get the focus the way you want it is to use a single focus point selecting it manually. Also I suggest you use only the AF that are cross type which are the most accurate, which there are a total of 15 in the center 3 columns. Stopping the lens down obviously increases DOF and helps keep the image area you want in focus sharp but IMHO you still want to the the 'right' focus point selected and that can only be done manually.

    If you must rely solely on face detection, you need to stop down the lens quite a bit to insure everything you want in focus is.
     
  9. If you must rely solely on face detection, you need to stop down the lens quite a bit to insure everything you want in focus is.
    Bad focus is bad focus. Covering it up by stopping down is bad practice. This is especially true for 3-dimensional objects like the the face. In any case, if the focus is not where you want it to be, it also means that it is where you don't want it to be. In portraits it usually means that the tip of the nose or the ears appear sharper than the eyes. If the focus ends up somewhere on the back of the head, stopping down will only make those ears look sharper, relative to the still blurry eyes.
    In LV you don't need to compensate for focus mismatches of the AF system due to bad lens design or any of that. Focus acquisition occurs right there on the image plane. I've had very good results with the D800 and an old 105mm Sigma, shooting extreme closeups of myself as wide as F4 (F2.8 was way too surreal for my taste). The face detect in LV worked wonders. The D750 should be just as good if not better. The shallow DOF only makes it easier for the AF to home in on the eyes as everything else is a blur. The key is to be completely still until the picture is captured.
     
  10. One way would be to use a smartphone to wirelessly control the camera and focus using the live view image. This would
    not require extra hardware as the camera has built in wifi and the Nikon application is free, assuming you have a
    compatible (iOS/Android) device. You can also more precisely control your expression and the outcome by looking at the
    screen.
     

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