When using manual focus lenses what are the better techniques, while using flash, for ensuring focus of people who are at a social function? I am using Fujicolor NPS160. Should I simply pre-focus at a certain distance and only shoot from that distance? I would like to have some leeway in terms of distance and so I am thinking of an aperture of f/5.6 so as to give myself a fairly decent DOF.
I don't want to be fiddling around with the focus ring because by the time I am in focus the people may have moved away. I want to be able to able to take the pictures with some spontaneity and thus avoid that posed look.
I am using a 500 c/m with Acute Matte screen, a PME finder with a 2.5X magnifier. I also have a WLF with the 5X (or is it 4.5X) magnifier, and I have just ordered a used chimney finder, with 2.5X magnifier, from B&H. The lenses I would be using are the 50mm and 80mm.
I think there is no way round focussing each and every shot.
You could get by using guesstimate focussing and smaller apertures, but you will get a high percentage of unusable shots.
A bigger problem though could be flash.
Flash in a crowded room tends to burn out the people in the foreground, leaving black holes in the middle and far distances, and hardly ever will you get a nice result.
Myself, i wouldn't bother using a Hasselblad for that type of photography.
A smaller (format) autofocus SLR with auto-everything would allow you to do the job with greater ease, and not produce worse results.
When I was shooting wedding receptions we used a 200 watt sec. norman.the head was mounted high above the camera with a bracket that had a handle so one could hold flash and camera letting me use my right hand to focus and trip shutter.A little heavy but it worked good.In rooms that had ceilings lower than 10 ft or 12ft we would tape a 5x7 index card to the head of the strobe so it sticks out in front of the head about 3 or 4 inches,then tilt the head up towards the ceiling.The light it produces is quite soft and there is very little light loss in the back ground and people in fore ground are not washed out. The pentaprisson finder is the best to use as it helps steady the camera agianst your face.Perfocus or not what ever works.Seems like was using f.5.6 or f/8 a lot. Hope this helps.
Graham,be where of light fall off on the corners using the 50mm lens,most strobes are set up for using normal lens coverage.