Focus - Enough already

Started Mar 19, 2009 | Discussions
The_cheshirecat Senior Member • Posts: 1,169
Focus - Enough already

I usually prefer to lurk silently, benefitting from many of the informative posts, but finally had to come out of the shadows. Posts related to focus have invaded the discussions and we are being overrun!

For many years part of my livelihood was dependent on my ability to do precision photography, capturing sharp crisp images on film with a tolerance of 1/1000th of an inch. In all the posts I have seen NOBODY is attempting precision photography.

The ultimate goals expressed have consistently been to achieve a high level of artistry and to generate a product which is aesthetically pleasing. This requires overcoming many obstacles, including how to achieve a desired point and depth of field (does not include extreme focus issues). This is (IMHO) an integral part of photographic artistry.

There are always excuses available, no matter what the situation. I have seen many excellent suggestions for overcoming the many minor focus problems voiced. But the question begs to be asked - are you a mechanic or an artist?

I know this will perpetuate what I am grousing about, but I had to express how I feel about these many threads that go on and on forever. And, there are some with legitimate complaints, but the vast majority is questionable at best.

Now, have at it (or me)

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jpmalohesr Forum Pro • Posts: 10,904
Focus - Enough already - Amen ....
n/t
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WilbaW
WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,389
Re: Focus - Enough already

The_cheshirecat wrote:

But the question begs to be asked - are you a mechanic or an artist?

It's harder to be an artist when your tools don't function the way they are supposed to.

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BeRadd New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Focus - Enough already

From one silent observer to another...

Yes the focus issue is beat to death and the discussion around it is disgusting; on both sides. The pollution that focus issues bring to these forums prevent me from wanting to get involved in discussion around here. There seem to be some people that only post to complain about focus problems or defend those that do. When offered a solution to the problem, or asked for examples, the response shows little, to no effort.

Some of these people would complain that the handling on a Veyron is garbage even if they were given the chance to drive one for free for a week. Some people just can't be pleased.

A mechanic can blame is tools because precision is key and part of the job. But who here is actually printing out prints 8 feet by 10 feet? If focus is that bad, just SELL IT, buy a Nikon, and go complain to them about your focus issues that WILL ensue.
--
I am not an expert at anything. Rather, a man with an opinion.

Kitacanon Senior Member • Posts: 2,802
sell it, or....

keep practicing...

When I get a new lens (esp. MF lenses) I spend hours just practice focusing...on leaves and flowers and such to see how it works with MY EYE and MY JUDGEMENT...and then learn how to adapt to how the machine works.

...some people don't feel they should have to adapt...that the machine should work as they expect it to....me?

...maybe because I buy used and cheaper gear (than many here who spend serious money on new gear) I don't have any expectations, and just keep practicing...

I'm not knocking those who spend a lot of money...though I may be knocking the notion of auto this and auto that....auto modes give the impression I guess that machines would perfectly meet precise specifications rather than meet some degree of tolerance within them...some acceptable degree of tolerance...
oh well, just thought I'd add my 2¢

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thw Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
They won't go away...

'cos many of the whiners are trolls disguised as first time posters.

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Ron1871 Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: Focus - Enough already

Agreed,

the dull, circular, repetitive nature of the posting on this forum is the best reason i've ever seen to buy a nikon

the forum's got a search function, so please let's not have another new thread on this dead topic, anything to be said has been said already. Many many times.

tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 11,898
Re: Focus - Enough already

This forum should be renamed to "whine about your 450D here"

I am a member of an all Canon forum that has more members than the Canon forums on dpreview, and I have seen 1 post about AF problems in 4 months. The biggest problem is that the AF issues have been so overhyped on dpreview, that every new owner who is a member here, goes looking for them. If you try hard enough, you can get any lens/camera combo to misfocus a few times. I don't doubt there are a few faulty cameras/lenses, but not 90% of them as this forum seems to suggest.

I check this forum every so often, but it is annoying and uproductive to spend much time here when most of the posting is about whining, not asking for help or discussing ways to use our cameras better.

Ryfter Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: Focus - Enough already

Is there a REALLY reliable way to tell if focus is good, or not? I know I spent 2 weeks photographing a festival for work, and I lost a lot of good pictures to bad focus... If I use manual focus, it works GREAT... if I use auto-focus, it seems to always throw the focus off, just a bit.

I have had a hard time really seeing this, because it seems to be really bad from about 5-20 feet. I love to shoot landscapes, and macro. Both tend to be Manual focused, and if I DO you AF, it is outside of that close range that seems to have given me the most headaches.

I have shot over 10,000 shots through my XSi. I feel like I have a VERY good handle what it is doing... the problem, is that I can't tell if it is the lens, or the camera that is to blame. (using the 18-55). I am really leaning tword the lens, since the vast majority of my shots were shot using a nifty-fifty - 1.8, and they turned out, for the most part, very well...

Manehead Contributing Member • Posts: 526
Re: Focus - Enough already

Ryfter wrote:

Is there a REALLY reliable way to tell if focus is good, or not? I
know I spent 2 weeks photographing a festival for work, and I lost a
lot of good pictures to bad focus... If I use manual focus, it works
GREAT... if I use auto-focus, it seems to always throw the focus off,
just a bit.

I have had a hard time really seeing this, because it seems to be
really bad from about 5-20 feet. I love to shoot landscapes, and
macro. Both tend to be Manual focused, and if I DO you AF, it is
outside of that close range that seems to have given me the most
headaches.

I have shot over 10,000 shots through my XSi. I feel like I have a
VERY good handle what it is doing... the problem, is that I can't
tell if it is the lens, or the camera that is to blame. (using the
18-55). I am really leaning tword the lens, since the vast majority
of my shots were shot using a nifty-fifty - 1.8, and they turned out,
for the most part, very well...

Try using the focus test chart found here http://www.focustestchart.com/chart.html

Bear in mind though that this test only tests for very close distance focusing, although I don't see why focusing on far subjects will be any different.

WilbaW
WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,389
Re: Focus - Enough already

Ryfter wrote:

Is there a REALLY reliable way to tell if focus is good, or not?

YES.

Get yourself set up for remote shooting using the EOS Utility. Use a target perpendicular to the lens axis. Compare the focus achieved by phase detection (Quick mode) with that achieved by contrast detection (Live mode).

Ues the "" buttons (in the EOS Utility) to judge how deep the DOF is, and whether the phase detect focus puts the subject within the DOF.

If you have any questions about any of that, just ask.

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mazdamx594 Regular Member • Posts: 326
Re: Focus - Enough already

Wow you aren't kidding about the lurking thing... 6 posts in 2.5 years, I think that might be a record. Good to hear from you though, I must agree. Perfect focus does not make the photo, nor does obsessing over it.

Chris

WilbaW
WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,389
Re: Focus - Enough already

WilbaW wrote:

Ues the "" buttons (in the EOS Utility) ...

Stupid software! Use the angle bracket buttons.

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