Portrait Photographer Surprised to Discover His Lens Has Apertures Other Than f/1.4

Portrait Photographer Surprised to Discover His Lens Has Apertures Other Than f/1.4

New York, New York: A natural light portrait photographer had a scary moment when he accidentally bumped a dial on his camera, changing his lens’ aperture to f/5.6. 

Ross Watkins, who dubs himself a natural light Instagram photographer, says the incident happened when he was out shooting portraits with an Instagram model:

We were out shooting some sick stuff for my Instagram — you know, natural light, golden hour, bokehlicious stuff. I think I might have bumped a dial or something, because all of a sudden, all my bokeh disappeared!

Watkins notes his first reaction was to call tech support:

I called support and told them my lens was completely broken. All my beautiful bokeh? Gone. Why was other stuff in focus besides my model? Why did my camera automatically slow the shutter speed way down? What kind of cheap lens is this? My followers don’t come to my page to see the buildings behind my models too!

Tech support specialist Jenny Potterweight picks up the story:

Some guy called saying his lens was broken, so we asked him what the symptoms were. He said that ‘the bokeh function’ was broken, which was a little confusing. We asked him to clarify, and he started ranting about how the images weren’t ‘hashtag worthy’ or ‘bokehlicious,’ which really didn’t clear things up. We finally asked him to email a sample image. After opening the file, which he not so subtly named ‘WHEREISTHEBOKEH!!!!?.JPEG,’ it looked like a completely normal shot — your typical Instagram model, golden hour in the city in some sort of ironic pose type of thing. Checking the EXIF data showed it was shot at f/5.6, so it wasn’t surprising to see a larger depth of field.

Watkins picks the story back up:

Tech support got back on the phone and asked me to switch the lens back to F slash 1.4 and see if the images looked as expected. I had no idea what they were talking about, but apparently, my camera has some sort of built-in bokeh control with weird numbers on it? Why would it have that? What’s with the numbers? They kept telling me about the ‘death of Field.’ I think they were drunk. Who is this Field guy? Why do I care about him dying? What does that have to do with my bokeh? Anyway, I changed the weird numbers and my bokeh came back.

Said Watkins of his experience with f/5.6:

I don’t like it. What’s the point? I taped down the dial so that won’t happen again. Sorry to hear about that Field guy.

Log in or register to post comments

83 Comments

Previous comments

Everyone at the mall is looking to see why I’m laughing so hard. The last part was brilliant. My condolences to the Field Fanily.

Mmmmm... April 1st came early?

The bokeh was brokeh!

Jeremy Martignago's picture

HaHaHaHa thats so funny I wonder if it is real

I've encountered people like this before actually. At least he was a beginner using the kit lens18-55mm 3.5-5.6. I told him to try f8 to f11, and the reply i got was hilarious. "But on the lens it's stated only f3.5 to 5.6! It doesn't have f8!"

Mark Sawyer's picture

This is exactly why I shoot everything at f/22 and use focus de-stacking...

Mihir Shah's picture

I would def get behind this new initiative of putting in humorous articles rather than meaningless filler news which have nothing to do with photography skills. Also, just discovered that my lens does not have bokeh setting at all. Where are the GAS articles when you need them.

Simon Patterson's picture

Alex Cooke, I hope you're going to release a book with all your satire pieces one day. This is one of the best! 👍

idiocracy at its best :)

Randonly laughing on my own in a lobby and people are staring.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

"death of Field" 🤣🤣

Rui Bandeira's picture

this is real?
This is so close to reality that it could be real
:-O

Timothy Turner's picture

If he were to try using an analog camera, where you actually have to think about what you are doing, his head would explode

Well written story, you had me going there. Too bad Yahoo news doesn't post stories from clever writers like you.

imagecolorado's picture

Comedy is not pretty.

John Adams's picture

Hey that's a great opportunity to ask you guys for some advice, I have Sigma 50mm e-mount for my A7M3. Standard aperture steps were: f1,4 - f1,8 - f2 - f2,4 - f2,8 and so on. Without doing any updates to my camera or lens the aperture steps have changed like that f1,4 - f1,6 - f2 - f2,6 f3 and so on. Would anybody have any idea why the aperture dial steps would change like that? It's really annoying as if my lens broke or something.

Very good and spot on :-)

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

I thought we first has to see Santa Claus before making april jokes...
But in the influencers ages, this storry is far from being too much stretched when we look at some selfclaimed PRO using that mighty latest thing released...

Jim Bolen's picture

Beautiful! Sadly, it almost could be true.

Slawek G's picture

Instagram heroes be like...

It's not the camera, man. It's the cameraman.

I'd rather read this every week than bag reviews. Great suff!

spg's picture

Same thing happened to me a couple of years ago. I still wake up screaming in the middle of the night. No joke. Heavy shit.

Richard Sumilang's picture

Best article I've read on this site

Stefan Gonzalevski's picture

Seems you found out the kryptonite of portrait instagrammer !

Great one !!

"Great depth of field!" is quite often supposed to be a positive comment on a photo. Then I contradict them and say, "No, it's a very shallow depth of field." And they look confused.

Gary Pageau's picture

You know what would be cool? If camera makers added an "I" for Instagram mode on their DSLRs. They'd sell 'em by the thousands.

More comments