Focus help

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
kohinoor Senior Member • Posts: 1,056
Re: Focus help

MelRuh wrote:

You really nailed it with this answer. All of the other talk about focus modes and areas is irrelevant.

Briefly focusing on my feet has become a necessary part of my routine.

Good to get some confirmation from an experienced wildlifer!

Happy to hear from you again!! Allready feared you might have jumped the sinking ship like so many others. Hope all is good up north! You arent shovelling snow yet, are you? We here might receive first frost if the coming night stays clear. Can't wait seeing the first shots of Snowies with your new gear!

All the best!
K.

Jon_T
Jon_T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,518
Re: Focus help

kohinoor wrote:

Jon_T wrote:

MelRuh wrote:

... All of the other talk about focus modes and areas is irrelevant....

Highly dependent upon shot conditions.

Yes of course! I'm only talking of situations ...

My post was reply to MelRuh's post, which I quoted in my reply.

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Cpljacko Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: Focus help - try manual assist.
1

I shoot a lot of dragonflies/butterflies/insects with FZ1000 (which I believe has the same functionality as the 300/330) and your focus problem is familiar. The answer as far as I am concerned is to use AF+MF and MF assist (look it up in the advanced manual). As long as you are not too close, this retains the AF mode but allows you to manually focus and pull the subject in even if the AF won't grab it. To get the best out of it, have peaking enabled so that the subject "sparkles" when it is in focus. To use it, half press the shutter release and rotate the focus ring. Most shots won't need this but it is great to have it instantly available. The attached (cropped) shot is one in which I typically used the above method.

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stanacko 35 Regular Member • Posts: 218
Re: Focus help - try manual assist.

Cpljacko wrote:

I shoot a lot of dragonflies/butterflies/insects with FZ1000 (which I believe has the same functionality as the 300/330) and your focus problem is familiar. The answer as far as I am concerned is to use AF+MF and MF assist (look it up in the advanced manual). As long as you are not too close, this retains the AF mode but allows you to manually focus and pull the subject in even if the AF won't grab it. To get the best out of it, have peaking enabled so that the subject "sparkles" when it is in focus. To use it, half press the shutter release and rotate the focus ring. Most shots won't need this but it is great to have it instantly available. The attached (cropped) shot is one in which I typically used the above method.

Hi

Thats exactly how I focus my shots never fails

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MelRuh Regular Member • Posts: 435
Re: Focus help
1

OK, I'll qualify my answer by saying I personally would never attempt to use the multi-frame focus array in a situation like this and you may very well be correct that it would work better.  I'm always shooting birds and I always use a small central single focus point,  although I have experimented with custom and pinpoint.  Honestly, things happen so fast with small wild birds that changing focus modes on the fly is not an option.  Multi-frame is also not an option.

That said, in the situation described by the OP (in my case it's almost always with a small close bird) the camera will simply refuse to focus on the near object and insists on focusing on the background.  The ONLY resolution is to focus on a solid plane of some kind at the same or closer distance and force the camera focus to that point.   Then, when pointing back at the subject, focus can be achieved.

This happens to me very regularly and I wasn't kidding when I said it has just become a reflex action to perform this extra focusing step.  Annoying but effective.

Did i mention how much I love my Panasonic cameras?  Everything has quirks.

regards

MelRuh Regular Member • Posts: 435
Re: Focus help

I still come by quite frequently looking for tidbits to enhance my skills!  I've learned a lot here.  I also keep an eye on y the m43 forum but it's got a different feel to it.

No snow yet :P.  Actually its 17°C here at 5:30AM this morning.

We had a very exciting event a couple of weeks ago when the eye of Hurricane Dorian made landfall a few km from my home.  It had briefly touched North Carolina on the way north and many birds became trapped in the eye.  As soon as the eye touched land these birds dropped to the ground making for a week of amazing birding. (13 new species for me, probably 20 rarities among local birders)  After a few days of rest these birds began making their way south and, as of now, only a few remain.

I too look forward to the Snowy Owls.

spike29 Senior Member • Posts: 1,904
Re: Focus help - try manual assist.

That's how it's called, mf and manual assist. 🙂

Fz200 has the same function and works well when you got the red characters in AF or wrong focal plane.

With my G80 i use focuspeaking,blueisch lines/dots of focus plane in a softer edge then just the focusplane. Because the tides setup is hard to get right. The softer one is more DoF releated which i noramlly need. And in combination of frame in frame you can fairly quick enough get result.

Other way to get a different focuspoint is zoom in or out a small step (by camera or feet) and refocus.

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kohinoor Senior Member • Posts: 1,056
Re: Focus help

MelRuh wrote:

OK, I'll qualify my answer by saying I personally would never attempt to use the multi-frame focus array in a situation like this and you may very well be correct that it would work better. I'm always shooting birds and I always use a small central single focus point, although I have experimented with custom and pinpoint. Honestly, things happen so fast with small wild birds that changing focus modes on the fly is not an option. Multi-frame is also not an option.

That said, in the situation described by the OP (in my case it's almost always with a small close bird) the camera will simply refuse to focus on the near object and insists on focusing on the background. The ONLY resolution is to focus on a solid plane of some kind at the same or closer distance and force the camera focus to that point. Then, when pointing back at the subject, focus can be achieved.

This happens to me very regularly and I wasn't kidding when I said it has just become a reflex action to perform this extra focusing step. Annoying but effective.

Did i mention how much I love my Panasonic cameras?

Does what you say apply to both your FZ80 and your G80? I would have hoped the latest iterations of DFD implementation to behave somewhat better, not so? -Ore are the latest DFD implementations only to be found in G9, G90?

kkardster
kkardster Veteran Member • Posts: 9,440
Re: Focus help

I suspect you're doing everything right: AF-macro enabled, smallest 1-area focus box, AFS, no Scene modes, etc. It appears to me that your subject may simply be too close to focus on for the rather long focal length being used. And you'd either have to step back or zoom out a bit to get your subject back within the camera's focus limits.

If the subject truly is within focal range, with contrast-detect AF all you can do is give the camera a strong hint at where you'd like it to focus. When it gets it wrong, it's likely because there's something else in the designated focus area with more contrast that the camera finds to focus on. Panasonic cameras tend to front-focus, rightly assuming the your subject is likely in a closer focal plane. But the camera doesn't really know what your subject is so when it misses the mark you may have no choice but to switch over to MF to ensure your subject is in focus.

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Jon_T
Jon_T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,518
Re: Focus help

MelRuh wrote:

OK, I'll qualify my answer by saying I personally would never attempt to use the multi-frame focus array in a situation like this and you may very well be correct that it would work better. I'm always shooting birds and I always use a small central single focus point, although I have experimented with custom and pinpoint. Honestly, things happen so fast with small wild birds that changing focus modes on the fly is not an option. Multi-frame is also not an option.

That said, in the situation described by the OP (in my case it's almost always with a small close bird) the camera will simply refuse to focus on the near object and insists on focusing on the background. The ONLY resolution is to focus on a solid plane of some kind at the same or closer distance and force the camera focus to that point. Then, when pointing back at the subject, focus can be achieved.

This happens to me very regularly and I wasn't kidding when I said it has just become a reflex action to perform this extra focusing step. Annoying but effective.

As previous posted I was replying to your wording (that I quoted in my reply) which read being more of a general statement than being specific to the FZ300.

I looked at your Profile's "Gear" and "Galleries" and no indication that you have the FZ300/ FZ330.

Issue 'could' be for the FZ300 the subject too small and/ or not enough detail to established focus.

Have you tried using the Macro focus mode?

As noted I do not have the FZ300 so unable to do any troubleshooting as to possible cause(s).

As I posted my FZ1000 and ZS100 have the DFD, and have not experienced the issue the FZ300 seems to have.

Image below taken with FZ1000 used small single center AF to focus on small rose in center of image; with foreground and background items.

At the time sunlight on the back wall was much brighter than in the image, and the wall's stucco patterning in the background was much more pronounced than in the image. I used spot metering to get the rose with proper exposure.

Maybe if all the FZ300/ FZ330 users contacted Panasonic on this, and if lucky, Panasonic may investigate to see if a firmware update would help.

Cheers,
Jon

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MelRuh Regular Member • Posts: 435
Re: Focus help

Both cameras do it.

MelRuh Regular Member • Posts: 435
Re: Focus help

I think its just an idiosyncrasy in the focusing algorithm in Panasonic cameras.  I can certainly live with it because the workaround is simple.

This does not happen every time I try to shoot a bee or flower.  But when the camera decides its not going to focus on a close subject, the workaround is necessary.

regards

Jon_T
Jon_T Veteran Member • Posts: 4,518
Re: Focus help

MelRuh wrote:

I think its just an idiosyncrasy in the focusing algorithm in Panasonic cameras. ...

Again, I have not experienced the issue with the Panasonic cameras I've used over the years since my FZ150.

Cheers,
Jon

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kkardster
kkardster Veteran Member • Posts: 9,440
Re: Focus help

Jon_T wrote:

MelRuh wrote:

I think its just an idiosyncrasy in the focusing algorithm in Panasonic cameras. ...

Again, I have not experienced the issue with the Panasonic cameras I've used over the years since my FZ150.

Cheers,
Jon

I've seen it on my non-DFD FZ200. It can be irritating to see it seemingly focus on the subject, only to have it keep searching beyond and eventually locking focus on the background. With DFD you likely get more instant disappointment.

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