new dSLR, shooting too wide?

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    I just got my first DSLR, a rebel XT, along with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. Coming from UZ hell, I’ve really enjoyed the control offered over exposure settings. I understand exposure well theoretically, but, I’ve come to realize, not very well practically. I recently went to my brother’s soon-to-be-closed-on house, and took a variety of pictures in a variety of settings. Indoors, I stayed pretty much at f2.8 because I was worried about blur / underexposing. After d/ling the pics, I found that outdoors, I pretty much stayed at 2.8, and lots of pictures were OOF. Now I’ve started worried about my lens front-focusing, even though I realize the most probable reason for all of this is my inexperience. Am I nuts to be shooting outdoors at 2.8 (non macro)? what kind of DOF should I be expecting at 17mm * 1.6 crop = 27mm?


    Focus is a lot more sensitive at f/2.8, but there’s no reason you can’t get away with using it even outdoors (as long as you can get a fast enough shutter speed! Sunny 16 rule puts your shutter at 1/4000 at f/2.8!) Since your indoor shots came out good I see no reason your outdoor shots shouldn’t be able to be the same.

    Honestly the first thing I’d look at would be operator error, especially if you only just got the camera. It’s possible that either the subject moved between the time you focused and the time the shutter opened, or the camera picked the wrong focus points and didn’t focus on your subject. Using AI Servo mode when shooting moving subjects will help with the first problem, and manually selecting focus points will help with your second.

    Honestly, unless you want the small depth of field f/2.8 gives you, I’d recommend shooting at a smaller aperture. Along with giving yourself more wiggle room for focus, lenses tend to look their best when they’re stopped down a bit. Stuff like color fringes and vignetting show up less, and the image gets a little sharper (even aside from the increased depth of field).


    i always shoot at f2.8 – you DO have to be picky about your focus though, which can be tricky if people are moving around a lot.

    another option for indoor shooting is crank your ISO – that’ll give you a couple of stops of aperture if you run into focusing problems inside as well.

    i ALWAYS forget about ISO until halfway through the party/concert/bonfire/other darkish atmosphere.


    i always shoot at f2.8

    mind if i ask why?


    i just like the way it looks.

    and there’s a bit of dust on my sensor and it disappears when i’m wide open, which i like.

    obviously i’ll stop down if occasion merits, but for the most part i’m at 2.8.


    i ALWAYS forget about ISO until halfway through the party/concert/bonfire/other darkish atmosphere.

    Remember WIFE:

    White Balance
    Exposure Compensation

    That’s my mental checklist to try and avoid oopsies.


    Were you using a lens hood or any filters?

    Canon seems to really hate 3rd party autofocus, and lens flare in particular always seems mess it up just enough so it looks in focus on the itsy bitsy lil lcd.

    Do you have examples of it being in focus and looking nice at similar settings?

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