How to focus face in portrait with Nikon D5100 and 35mm 1.8 in viewfinder?

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If your lens is autofocus, use the focus points in the viewfinder. If you lens is manual focus then move the focus ring until it looks sharp or you can rely on the focus point light in the viewfinder.  Since 35mm gives you very good depth of field, you can set the aperture of the lens to f/8 and focus on the part of the face that is closest to the camera, for example the tip of the nose. Or you can focus on the eye. 

  • garry
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    get the book for a nikon 5100 and read it .. a place called a library should have it , thats if you can read ...not telling turn the camera 90 degrees , he probably doesnt know what a portrait from a land scape.

  • Sumi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I would first choose the focusing point that is closest to the eye.

    If you can compose the image with one of the focusing points on the eye keep the camera in continuous AF so that as you move the lens is constantly readjusted.

    I would next determine the amount of depth of field that I need for the look that I'm going after.  This means that I could be at a very large aperture like f/1.8, or maybe f/8.  Being at f/8 with a 35mm lens will not likely blur out the background unless the lens pretty close to the subject.  But doing this will cause some lens distortion if you're too close.

    Another way is to simply use one focusing point, focus on the eye and recompose and take the shot.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Set to f/5.6 then focus on the nearest eye.

    If you want just one eye sharp, set to f/1.8. If you want everything sharp, try f/8.

    If you stay close, you'll see noticeable distortion (yes, even if 35mm is standard in APS-C). Experiment on distances. You can always crop in the computer later.

    Mind the light!

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  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    DON'T !

    A 35mm is far too short to produce a flattering portrait.   The nose will seem to loom out of the picture, and the ears will recede.

    A 50mm (on cropped-sensor) is the Minimum you need, and and the longer the lens you use, the better.  Obviously, you should focus on the eyes, but the further back you are while filling the frame, the more flattering your portrait will be (don't be afraid to place a piece cut from a nylon stocking over the front element  to cut out minor blemishes either).

  • 2 months ago

    Select spot focus mode, focus on the person's eyes. Provide sympathetic lighting. 35mm is not perfect for portraits as it can make noses look too big. 55mm would be better. That, on your crop sensor, would be more like the ideal 80mm on a 35mm film camera.

  • 2 months ago

    Preferably use a tripod to hold the camera steady.

    Set up about 6ft / 2m away from the person/people; use appropriate zoom to get the overall view framing area you require.

    And focus - or use autofocus; if the persons face is filling a reasonable part of the image, it should autofocus easily.

    If using manual focus and you are not sure, adjust slightly either way until you get just noticeable blurring then set in the centre of that range.

    You can also take extra shots with the focus adjusted fractionally either side of that position and see which come out best.

    (Mine is a D5300, but I've never had a problem with focus on anything like that).

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