Some Casual Backyard Portraits

Discussion in 'Portrait' started by csnite, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. csnite

    csnite New to TalkEmount

    Sep 18, 2015
    Hey all, I took these with my newly acquired Rokinon 85 f1.4. I took them on my A7. As expected, nailing focus on moving kids wide open is tricky, but doable. These were all hand held and shot on the fly. I've been thinking I want to get the Batis 85, but after looking at these, it's hard to imagine it's going to be that much better. I am sure it is, and the AF would be nice, but I will probably wait to see what Sony comes up with later this job. If they could produce a smaller, lighter 85 2.8 or something, I think I would be happy. Until then, I will keep on practicing my manual focus technique.
    21861844635_597436d38a_k. DSC00467.jpg by csnite, on Flickr
    21673988318_a2187387a0_k. DSC00488.jpg by csnite, on Flickr
    21835683846_0b280c5201_k. DSC00518.jpg by csnite, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Good stuff there. I love that lens and use it quite often. Can't see spending that much for auto focus. I love manual and I have two Zeiss autofocus lenses basically sitting in my lens cabinet. I know the IQ on them is better than the 40 year old lenses I normally use but manual is so much more fun.
  3. Lucille

    Lucille TalkEmount Veteran

    May 22, 2013
    I like these images, but they don't really pop in my eyes. You did extremely well with this lens and nailed focus nicely. I do think the Zeiss Batis will have more pop, and more subject to background isolation/seperation creating that 3d pop Zeiss is known for. From the samples I have seen I also think the Batis is sharper. I am holding out for the Batis, and if I find I don't like the Batis I will say it on these forums. The Rokinon is a nice alternative that is atleast available unlike the damn Batis.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Pitter

    Pitter TalkEmount Veteran

    Interesting close in portraits. I like the idea.
  5. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    They are a bit soft. Don't know if it is the lens or camera settings. Some settings purposfully soften facial shots.

    Still, pretty nice shots to share with the family.
  6. pbizarro

    pbizarro Guest

    The most important to me is that you caught some good expressions. As for the often referred to "pop", well, you can get to it with some post-processing, up to a certain level.

    In these shots, they are lacking a bit of "life" and acuity/micro contrast. Try to add a bit of clarity selectively to their faces, this will give a bit more of contrast to the mid tones, which are a bit dull.

    As for sharpness, often with portraits I prefer a softer rendering, it suits human faces better. In this regard, I like your images. Over sharpness and over contrast can ruin a portrait.

    Finally, if you are experienced at MF, and it seems you are, you don't need the Batis 85. I would love it if Sony came out with a 85 f2 or f2.8, to round up the 28 f2 and 35 f2.8 trio. They are introducing lenses for several "tiers", but have not yet concluded any particular "tier":

    1. Cheaper and/or smaller: 28 f2, 35 f2.8, missing 85, and why not a 24 f2.8?
    2. Faster and/or expensive: 35 f1.4, a lot missing... sure there are the 55 f1.8, and the Zeiss Batis. But the Batis 25 is f2, not f1.4, and the Batis 85 is f1.8, not f1.4. Consistency in these lines is simply missing...
  7. csnite

    csnite New to TalkEmount

    Sep 18, 2015
    Thanks for the comments and constructive criticism. I agree that the images are a little soft. I was experimenting with hand holding an 85mm at f1.4. If I were doing critical shots, I would tripod the camera and slow down. Also, it was probably about 45 minutes too late for the sun to be where I would really want it to create contrast. It was pretty dull in the shadows. I think the lens is definitely a little soft at 1.4, as I would expect for a $300 lens. The first picture below is just a random grab from the back yard to show it's rendering and depth of field, but it's stopped down to 2.8 and I think the in focus parts are sharp enough. The second shows much more of a 3D pop to me, almost diorama like. It's not the best expression, but I think it shows some of the capability of the lens to separate background and isolate the subject.
    21859135086_adff251738_k. DSC00516.jpg by csnite, on Flickr
    21264239903_7774847380_k. DSC00535.jpg by csnite, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  8. christilou

    christilou TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Nov 26, 2012
    Surrey, UK
    To get these at 1.4 is very well done! I like the skin tones and I don't think you need to have overly sharp faces in portraiture. Perhaps the first ones look a tiny bit soft as they appear here so large whereas your second pics look more contrasty at a small size. I like the bubbly bokeh too, I think a bit of pp would make them come alive :) 
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    I admire people that can manually focus an 85mm lens at or near wide-open for portraits. I tried several times myself with a Minolta MD 85mm 1:2 shot wide-open and failed miserably. My attempts with autofocus and the FE 70-200mm came out a lot better and actually got me some nice portrait-like pictures of my father-in-law; yes, not as much background blur as with a faster lens but enough for me and the subject in focus is worth something too :) .
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