Help with head and shoulders portrait 4x5

Camerashy

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Hello all, I wish to use my 4x5 camera and a Fuji W 250mm f6.3 lens to take a head and shoulders portrait using window light. What aperture/shutter speed would I need with 400asa film to keep the sitters nose to ears in focus. Sould I be focusing on the tip of the nose, half way on the bridge of the nose or on the eyes? Also what would be the approx. distance between the camera and sitter when using a 250mm lens, would I be better using a 150mm lens instead?
 

David M

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As the eyes are the Windows of the Soul and we look people in the eye, it seems reasonable to get the eyes sharp. There's not much significant detail in the end of the nose.
Might it be a useful thing to do a trial run, next to the window, with a mop or some other substitute fo a person?
 

Ian Grant

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As David says always focus on the eyes, assuming it's an f5.6 lens I'd stop down to around f11 to let the background stay out of focus and probably use the 250mm Fujinon. You're going to be quite close maybe 6ft. I'd use HP5, that's my fast film of choice.

Have a look at the Kodachrome shot of FDR on 10ASA sheet film :D It's focused on the eye closest to the camera and has very shallow DOF, probably a 10x8 shot.

Ian
 

Joanna Carter

Active Member
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You might like to take a look at this post. When it comes to focusing, go for the eyes. I used f/8 to limit the sharpest depth of field to the front of the face, putting the rest of the head and shoulders out of focus.
 

Camerashy

New Member
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I would be very happy if I could achieve portraits like yours Joanna. So f8-f11 and focus on the eyes it will be, thank you for the advice everyone.
 

Monsta

Member
Registered User
I find a head brace is very useful for close in headshots as the subject only has to move a little to lose that tight focus. I do shoot plates too so have a contraption made of a used cymbal stand to just rest the back of the head against. It just ensures they stay in position between shutting that lens and loading the back and taking the shot.



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