So, I decided to use my wife as a model. I’ve been watching videos of professional photographers isolating their subjects with fast primes and using flash or other lighting to fill in.
Probably my sharpest lens is my Canon nifty fifty EF 1.8 50mm IS STM. So I decided to use this and the Yongnuo Speedlite TTL flash I bought for use with my Canon 7D. The only thing diffusing it is the built in diffuser screen and the white card you can pull out. to help deflect and diffuse further.
So that was the kit: A7 II, Canon EF 50mm 1,8 STM, Speedlite (and I also brought my Tamron 70-300)
But I have to adapt this Canon lens for my Sony A7 II using my Fotodiox Canon adapter. And when I do that, Eye AF doesn’t work with that combination.
So off we toddle and everything is looking good in the camera. I am using f1.8, but I crucially forget about the very narrow depth of field. When I look at my shots back home, there’s not one that is really sharp on the eyes. Very disappointing, as some of these shots are really good – well, really good for me! I am disappointed, and convince my wife – a reluctant model until she sees how good she looks – to try again next week.
But I need a plan to ensure sharp eyes. the problem, of course, is that both I and the subject move. With a 50mm 1.8 lens you have such a narrow depth of field that focusing on the head is not good enough.
So this is my plan:
1) take a lot more shots – same principle as wildlife photography – one will be sharp
2) use a flexible spot focussing area so I can glue it to that near eye
3) Try using a slower aperture, say F2.8 or F4; I’ll lose a lot of that delicious bokeh but at least I’ll have a wider depth of field
4) Maybe go for the 70-300 Tamron – I did use this on the shoot but not much. That can compensate for its much slower speed by the effect of forshortening to still provide nice background blur (fall off)
If this does not provide the results I want, I can try
5) revert to my 28-70mm Sony kit lens – less sharp but at least I’ll have Eye AF
And then there is:
6) At some point in the future, if I want to do portraiture, buy a native lens like an 85mm so I can have high quality glass and Eye AF
Here are the best shots – not tack sharp but just about sharp enough.