Behind the Scene: Granddaughter pictures

Until the last year or two I didn't take much interest in "people" shots, other than to use a point-n-shoot to document events like birthdays.  But when I added a 50 year old nikkor lens to a Panasonic GH2 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera some 18 months ago I was amazed at the control of depth of field that a bigger sensor can provide.  And now, with the Sony NEX6 with a sensor that is bigger still, it is really easy to blur the background.

50 year old Nikkor 58mm F1.4 attached to the Sony NEX-6 body via cheap lens adapter

I have much to learn about people photography.  Regardless, I am having fun.

All of these were all taken last November with available light only, in a room with red wallpaper, but I am now finding fun and challenge in using bounce techniques with a single flash (the Metz 50 AF-1).  And of course, when it comes to practice, what can be more fun than photographing your granddaughter.  How can you go wrong with the subject material!

On the NEX6, with its APS-C sized sensor, the old Nikkor 58mm provides an equivalent field of view of 87mm.  Just about perfect for this kind of thing.


Since the f-stop is set on the aperature ring of the old Nikkor lens and there is no electrical connection between Nikon lens and the Sony body, I have no exif information to provide me with the aperature used.  Likely it was F2.8.  I'm not sure that was the right choice.  It blurs the background, and I like the way it isolates our granddaughter from her grandmother in the picture of the two of them reading a bit of Curious George

But I also see in the bottom image that only one eye is in focus.  Fortunately it is the nearest eye. This may not be a depth of field issue so much as a focusing issue.  Though the NEX system is blessed with "focus peaking" to help in manual focusing, it is still easy to miss focus when shooting at F2.8.  F4 might have been a better choice, but I would have had to bump the ISO to maintain my shutter speed of 1/100th second.  As it was, AutoISO in these images ranged from 640 to 2000 as the shutter speed and f-stop were fixed.

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