Question about aperature vs # of people

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Beau82's picture
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Question about aperature vs # of people

I'm just wondering if there's a rule of thumb when it comes to setting your aperature according to how many people are in the shot?
My parents have 5 grandchildren and my IL's have 4. This summer I'd like to try to get a nice photo of all the kids (not 9 together, one with 5 and one with 4). One kid is 11 yo but the rest are 4 and under (youngest turning 1 in July).
Anyway, as you can imagine, it's difficult to get them all sitting at once let alone getting them to look at the camera. So when I do have the opportunity I want to make sure I have the right settings and not have only one child's face in focus or something.
What's the absolute lowest aperature I can have when shooting 4-5 kids?

fudd8963's picture
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Good question! I wish I could help, but I am interested to see what others have to say. I have some really cute pictures of the girls, but I used too low of an aperature so they both aren't in focus. I was SOOOO dissapointed when I got them on the computer and saw that.

Ladybugsteph's picture
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I think that with the photos I had DH take on Mother's day, I set the AP to 7.1, and the 3 of us were all in focus. I think that if you'd set it to 11, you'd be pretty safe. I could be way off though!

ButtonsMama's picture
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To be safe, I'd close it up A LOT. I'd probably start at f/8 and go from there.

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I hate to say it, but really ... it all depends.

I know, not a lot of help.

But it DOES depend ... on how close you are to your subjects, how close they are to one another, how far you are from your background, etc.

In general, for a group of 5 or more, I would start fairly closed up, say f/8 and then step my way down and see where I got the best results.

There is a pretty neat website:

http://www.dofmaster.com/

That has some aps or an on-line calculator to help you figure things out. I just used the on-line calculator (not any of the aps), but I was pretty impressed with the info it gave back to me.

Best of luck to you!!!

GiGi

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You really don't need to close up that much. It really depends on how close or far from them you are and what glass you are using.

Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 24 mm
ISO Speed 800

Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 34 mm
ISO Speed 1000

Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 24 mm
ISO Speed 1000

I rarely close up very far unless trying to create sun burst or flare. I like a bit of a distorted background pulling the subjects in as main focus from opening up my ap.

Another grouping and open even more:

Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture f/5.0
Focal Length 70 mm
ISO Speed 1250

Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture f/5.0
Focal Length 70 mm
ISO Speed 1250

Now it may be different if you have an enormous group like this:

But even then I was at 5.6

Camera Nikon D80
Exposure 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 60 mm
ISO Speed 160

Now if it was a very very large group like for this wedding:

Beau82's picture
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Thanks so much for the help ladies! I definitely see what you mean Cindy about the distance between subject and camera. I'll probably be fairly close to them where they're all pretty little. I'm thinking I'll start at 5.6 maybe and just go from there.

CJWilkes's picture
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What lens are you using?

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Great examples, Cindy!!!!

Best,
GiGi

Beau82's picture
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"CJWilkes" wrote:

What lens are you using?

I have the 50mm 1.8 (Nikkor) and my kit lens (18-105mm) Blum 3

CJWilkes's picture
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Your 50mm has better glass, but you will have to back up with it. OR close up some. Maybe f/6. I would stand back some though.

You can use your kit lens, but as I said - the quality of glass is not as good.

Beau82's picture
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Oh ok, thanks!
Yea I rarely pull out my kit lens anymore now that I have the 50mm.