Saturday, August 10, 2013

Family Portrait with the Sony Nex 3n + Sony E Mount 50mm 1.8

nice pic, off camera flash would have made it better

A friend asked if I was free Saturday just to pop off some portraits, nothing too crazy, just a few shots of his family. They decided to shoot at some hills close by and after scouting the location it was a no go. The background wasn't great and it was super windy.

I then suggested to shoot at a small park nearby that had a gazebo. That place ended up working a lot better for us. Even though I brought my Panasonic GF2, Panny 20mm 1.7  SLR Magic 35mm 1.4, my friend's Sony NEX 3 with his 50mm 1.8 worked out best for this particular situation.

My 20mm 1.7 shot wide open can give you very good shallow depth of field but not ideal for portraits. It will distort and even if you shoot a small group wide open it will not give you the shallow depth of field needed, for my satisfaction at least.  Maybe if I had an ND filter for the 20mm and used some light modifiers I could have made things work but alas it wasn't a hardcore photo shoot...which I don't mind doing now since it will up my technique. I also rationalize things by saying I'm mostly a video shooter or I don't have so n so equipment..

My 2nd option was my 35mm 1.4 which is a 70mm 35mm equivalent with the x2 crop factor for micro four thirds. This will get me the shallow DOF I need but since there were time constraints and a child that won't sit still, it would be very difficult for me to get the focus correct with the manual SLR Magic lens on my GF2(This would be no problem if I had the new Panasonic G6's focus peaking).

It was a good thing I told my friend to bring his camera or it would have been real rough just to get a handful of usable shots. I wasn't as efficient navigating through the Sony interface but I managed. Since the 50mm(75mm equivalent) is a long enough focal length for good portraits, I was able to get the shallow DOF I wanted and I didn't need to be fully wide open which allowed me to get sharper image in the center as well.

Overall, I was impressed with the old NEX 3n with the 50mm 1.8. I liked the sharp LCD and the quick enough auto focus. For a 300 dollar lens, I think it's a must have lens for portraits for any Sony NEX shooters if you are going to stick to native E mount lenses.

After I get the Lumix G6, that cheap but awesome Sigma 60mm 2.8 and a flash I can shoot off camera are next on my list. By then, I'd have the tools that would suit most situations.

white board used as a reflector here

couple shots back at the parent's place

back light from sun a little too strong, maybe flag that off a bit next time and use a larger aperture

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