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Thread: Blurry Focus on 4x5 Portraits

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Sheridan, Colorado

    Re: Blurry Focus on 4x5 Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by nebd View Post
    I keep coming up against a problem where the focus on my portraits is not quite right , despite using a loop and double checking.
    It might help if you tell us what camera you are using.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Camano Island, Washington

    Re: Blurry Focus on 4x5 Portraits

    where are you focusing when you set up your images? I was taught on an 8x10 studio camera with a 4x5 back in a studio with defused studio bulb lights. The focus fell off quickly. We were taught to focus the lens on the highlights in the eyes. The first two images seem to be focused a bit forward of where they should be focused. The third image seems like it may have camera or subject movement - and appears a bit flat - there is also an area on the left that looks like a lighting or development issue. In the forth image the eyes highlights are in focus but not the nose. I would think that the lens should have been stopped down further so that the nose was in focus. The depth of field at f/5/6 is razor thin - maybe f/8 or f/11 would gain the needed depth of field. It does seem that we are always chasing shutter speed vs f stop on these sort of outdoor portrait images - also subject movement is a big issue with large format vs quicker medium format cameras. I have been able to use flash fill to help the shutter speed / depth of field issue on this type of outdoor portraits.
    Last edited by Robert Opheim; 26-Feb-2023 at 17:31. Reason: more info

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Aug 2000

    Re: Blurry Focus on 4x5 Portraits

    You don't need a test chart. A sheet of newspaper is a wonderful test target.

  4. #14

    Re: Blurry Focus on 4x5 Portraits

    I use the newspaper page that has the stock market listing, and used a sharpie marker to draw a crosshair on it. Mine is now very yellowed from age but still works good
    Flikr Photos Here:

    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

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