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New here / question about shooting wide open with X-T 10 & Kit Lens

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Hi all, I am newbie from Sheffield, England with a brand new X-T 10 - and I would like to get out of Auto mode... ;)


I've always been a big fan of shots with a shallow depth-of-field and a nice blurry / creamy background.  I have tried to emulate some of these myself with my X-T 10 and XC 16-50mm kit lens, but have largely failed.


Here's a shot of my back garden shot at f18.  Ignore the terrible composition and the slight under-exposure.  Sorry it's more of a thumbnail than an image, but there appears to be a new guy limit on image files sizes.


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And here's a shot of my back garden at f3.5.




Now there is a bit of background blur when I am shooting wide-open (f3.5 is as wide as the XC kit lens will go).  But not a whole lot - and a lot less than the blurry / creamy backgrounds that you see in the magazines, manuals and "how to" guides at even higher f numbers.  Am I doing something wrong?  Or do I just need a faster lens to get the effect I am after?  Right now, the only way that I can blur the background the way I want to is to use the "miniature' filter.  That's a cool look, but also rather stylised.  And it feels like cheating...  :o


Thanks in advance.  Be kind, remember I am newbie!




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this lens that you are using is not only incapable of providing what you are looking for but you are using it improperly to that  end.


You do not only need to focus close by ( the closer you are to your subject the more you will have shallow depth of field)  and have the aperture open to the maximum value, but you also have the focal length of a zoom set to a value as long as possible and still keep the subject foreground and background that you need.


These three elements combined give you the maximum degree of separation between subject and background.




I am using the lens simulator of the Fuji site to make my point.




This is a picture taken with your lens at 3,5 at 16mm ( almost everything is sharp)  and the second picture is shot at 3,5 but at 50mm. If you would have shot a subject even close than the life savior the degree of separation with the background would be much higher. But fuji provides this image and we have to work with this.


By clicking on each picture you will look at them at 100% enlargement which shows even better my point.






Edited by milandro
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It is not impossible to get a nice out of focus background with that lens, but it aint as easy as with a longer faster lens.


Focal length, Aperture, and distance of background effect the quality of out of focus area


Shoot wide open @50mm at F/5.6 (I think that is the XC wide open at 50mm), position your subject as close as possible to the camera and as far away from the background as possible


Lenses with more reach, and  fast aperture are the easiest ways to get a shallow DOF.

You can get loads of old lenses if you don't have the money to pay for Fuji glass.


If money is no object the XF56 F/1.2 has probably the best Bokeh in the XF lens line up (but this is subjective)  


have a look at this calculator http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm


I did a test with 3 lenses the XF35 F/1.4, the XF60 F/2.4, and a Petri K mount 50mm F/2 (lens was next to free and adapter was £10). the downside of adapted lenses is manual focus only, I do like the petri lenses as they feature an aperture ring so you are not stuck always shooting wide open (if the adapter does not have any way of changing aperture)



Edited by Tikcus
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Fuji spent a fortune on those auto programmes for the scenes, you bought them as part of the gear & that is no cheat to  use! in- fact - recommended! As is copying, nothing wrong with bookmarking Rico flickr, thats what he put it there for, I bet his how to books are an easier read than the infernal pdf manual! Did u get the xc 50 - 230 bundled as well? Milandro is not wrong, I have used it on safari!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidthompson444/23893105884/in/datetaken/  this hawk has what you want!

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As others have said - getting the effect you want with the XC kit lens can take some planning.


With a longer lens and/or one with a wider aperture it's easier - but you can get the effect with any lens, and even with a camera-phone, if you set the shot up right.


First - set shutter speed to Auto A


Set the aperture to manual - and use the wheel on the back to get the widest aperture (lowest f number). 


Then set it up so that your subject (flowers in your test shot - but this effect is normally used for portraits) is fairly close to the camera AND the background is as far away as possible.  Extend the zoom to get the composition you need - try moving back and zooming in as needed - so that the subject looks close and the background is in the distance.


With your kit zoom used for a portrait shot - you'll need to have a person at head and shoulders distance away (or head only).  You need a longer lens and wider aperture to get a whole body shot with a blurred background.


That should do it.


Background blur is a result of using a narrow depth of field (the range that is in focus) - and the wider the aperture, the longer the lens and the bigger the sensor - the narrower the depth of field.  Your sensor size is fixed - so play with zooming the lens and always use the widest available aperture (lowest number).


A head and shoulders portrait at mid to max zoom/widest aperture with a background waaaaay back (like a line of trees in the distance) will do what you want with the kit zoom.


As another example - a mobile phone has a tiny lens and short focal length - so the subject needs to be right up close and the background way back and lighting bright to get the effect - but any camera can achieve the effect you're after ..... it's just much easier with a long/wide lens.

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