Focusing Tip

Started Oct 5, 2005 | Discussions thread
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nickrego Regular Member • Posts: 490
Focusing Tip

Don’t trust your EAR’s !

Just because you hear the “OK, I’m focused” beep, don’t believe it. Always concentrate on visually checking how focused the shot is before you take the picture.

Many of you may say, Dahl, your supposed to do that. To that I respond, not necessarily…I am not talking about grossly out of focus shots, I am talking about the difference between an OK, can be fixed in Post Processing shot, and a great strait out of the camera shot.

For users who have just moved up from a Point and Shoot where you don’t have Through The Lens viewing, you’re used to seeing a focused picture all the time, and only concentrate on composure. Worrying about subtle focus problems is new.

For someone like me, who graduated up from a 300D that does an outstanding job of focusing on whatever I put the focus point on, I also got in the habit of concentrating on composure and not worrying about focus. Yes, I got lazy, but a well functioning / trustworthy piece of equipment will do that to you.

With my 20D, even if the feature I want to focus on is larger than the focus point, that is no guarantee that the camera is going to choose that spot to focus on. At first, I thought the camera just couldn’t focus. After learning that the focus sensors are much larger than the focus points we see, I have learned to once again look for how well the shot is focused. The camera can focus, it just doesn’t always know what you want it to focus on (sheesh).

If you look close, you can see subtle “Out of Focus” conditions. I simply reacquire focus until the shot is “In Focus”. This little adjustment has increased my usable shots to about 98%. Although it’s a little frustrating to have to attempt focus several times (sometimes), it’s better than not getting a sharp picture.

This works for all types of pictures, including sports in AI Servo. In AI Servo, I set the camera to Center Point, acquire / reacquire focus until sharp, then let the camera take over until I’m ready to take the shot.

I hope this helps. After reading hundreds of posts where the user was being BLASTED for not knowing how to focus, and the poster not saying how you should focus, I though I would share what I have learned.

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Nick Rego
Manteca, CA USA
(equipment listed in profile)

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