Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Focus

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    14
    Real Name
    Kartik Kaushik

    Focus

    Hello,
    as I have always trusted this forum for good advise. Here is my next question.
    How to get that crisp Focus with every shot. I have tried and I am not sure I get it every time.
    I would like to pls not tell me the details of shutter speed, apperture, and tripods. What I am looking for is a little more prof tip.... specially for objects at infinity. and for potraits, wat should I be focussing on..
    I use a D90 Focus is almost always auto, AP-C mode...
    Pls help...

    thanx

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,915

    Re: Focus

    When depth of field is limited, which is often true when shooting candids and portraits of people, I always configure the shutter release to continually shoot and I capture at least three frames. That's because one of them, often the first one for whatever reason, is sometimes a little soft due to camera shake. I get the added benefit of having more than one capture in case the subject's eyes suddenly close.

    When making portraits, I always focus on the near eye if the eyes aren't on the plane that is parallel to the camera sensor. If they are on the same plane, I focus on the bridge of the nose unless the depth of field is so small as to keep only one eye in focus. In that situation, I focus on that eye.

    I almost always use auto focus in the situation that you describe. However, there are certain situations that I should get in the habit of prefocus using auto focus and then switching to manual focus once the focus point has been determined.

    Regarding focusing on objects at infinity, I believe you need to describe whether or not you want the foreground to be in focus, as you'll probably get different responses.

  3. #3
    Black Pearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Whitburn, Sunderland
    Posts
    2,323
    Real Name
    Robin

    Re: Focus

    Perfect focus with every shot...ah...the Holy Grail of Photography.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,175
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Focus

    If I want the maximum Depth Of Field (area in focus) for a landscape; I will use a small f/stop (larger f/number) and pick a point to focus on about 1/3 of the way into the image. The Depth Of Field (distance between the nearest point of acceptable focus and the farthest point of acceptable focus) is usually 1/3 in front and 2/3 to the rear of the point focused on.

    Usually, using autofocus on most cameras I have shot with and using a relatively small aperture (like f/11 or smaller) I have had no problems with the entire landscape being in focus. There can be problems using very small aprtures such as f/16 or f/22 due to diiffraction.

    The time that I really concentrate on focus is when using a ultra wide lens because I like to have a significant foreground object ib the frame and want that to be in focus...

    Amother time I am very careful of focus is when I am framing an image (such as using foliage or a doorway) I really like my foreground to be in focus.

    I can accept backgrounds out of focus more readily than foregrounds out of focus.

    I am a Canon user, not a Nikon user so I am not familiar with the D90 but, this might help you...

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d90...-custom-af.htm

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...0AUTOFOCUS.HTM

    Good luck and keep shooting...

  5. #5
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,927
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by kaushikkartik View Post
    . . . How to get that crisp Focus with every shot. I have tried and I am not sure I get it every time. . . What I am looking for is a little more prof tip.... specially for objects at infinity. and for potraits, wat should I be focussing on…

    I mainly make photographs of people in available light, so I will limit my comments to that broad genre, but I don't deviate very much from this list, when I am using Flash.

    I:

    • Have the Auto Focus and the Auto Exposure as separate functions - i.e. set to two separate buttons (Back Button Focus)
    • Use centre point Auto Focus
    • Use Focus and Recompose
    • Know the DoF for the three Typical Shots – Head; Half and Full Length for both shooting Orientations at three Apertures: F/2.8; F/5.6 and F/11
    • Make focus on a sharp contrast edge – for example the collar of a white shirt against the black suit coat; the dark eyebrow against the light skin of the forehead; the V of a dark blouse against the light skin of the bust
    • Watch and be aware of my Tv (Shutter Speed) – when a Subject is “still”, he is moving: inadequate (too slow) a shutter speed, is often mistaken for “not in really sharp focus”
    • Practice; and then more practice of my hand holding and shutter release techniques (reason same as above) – Camera Movement is often mistaken for “not in really sharp focus”
    • When at the limit of Shutter Speed and/or aperture, I will set continuous shooting and pull three frames (as described by Mike) and for the same reasons he outlined
    • Occasionally use Zone Focussing; knowing the technique and rationale is no burden
    • More often, but still occasionally, I use a pre focus point; again knowing the techniques and rationale is no burden to carry
    • Practice, everything, a lot

    WW

  6. #6
    New Member RBird987's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Westbay, Dorset
    Posts
    2
    Real Name
    Robert

    Re: Focus

    Hi Richard, i found you post very interesting and wondered if you would be able to comment on the attached picture. I am finding my shots are blurry even when using a tripod, they do not have the crispness i or everyone desires!!!
    Shot on a Canon 60D, 18-55mm lens, F18, 1/50 shutter speed, ISO 100, Evaluative metering, tripod
    [IMG]Focus[/IMG]

    Any help or comments would be most appreciated.

    Robert

  7. #7
    dubaiphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Northampton
    Posts
    1,851
    Real Name
    Phil Page

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I mainly make photographs of people in available light, so I will limit my comments to that broad genre, but I don't deviate very much from this list, when I am using Flash.

    I:

    • Have the Auto Focus and the Auto Exposure as separate functions - i.e. set to two separate buttons (Back Button Focus)
    • Use centre point Auto Focus
    • Use Focus and Recompose
    • Know the DoF for the three Typical Shots – Head; Half and Full Length for both shooting Orientations at three Apertures: F/2.8; F/5.6 and F/11
    • Make focus on a sharp contrast edge – for example the collar of a white shirt against the black suit coat; the dark eyebrow against the light skin of the forehead; the V of a dark blouse against the light skin of the bust
    • Watch and be aware of my Tv (Shutter Speed) – when a Subject is “still”, he is moving: inadequate (too slow) a shutter speed, is often mistaken for “not in really sharp focus”
    • Practice; and then more practice of my hand holding and shutter release techniques (reason same as above) – Camera Movement is often mistaken for “not in really sharp focus”
    • When at the limit of Shutter Speed and/or aperture, I will set continuous shooting and pull three frames (as described by Mike) and for the same reasons he outlined
    • Occasionally use Zone Focussing; knowing the technique and rationale is no burden
    • More often, but still occasionally, I use a pre focus point; again knowing the techniques and rationale is no burden to carry
    • Practice, everything, a lot

    WW
    Exactly

    If you want sharpness and accurate focus in many genres, then you're best to control it yourself rather than let the camera select what it thinks you want in focus.

    I have 51 point focus, 21 points, 9 points, auto tracking, 3D tracking, all sorts - I hardly ever used them though, for what I'm mainly shooting. For me, I'm using centre point, focus, recompose, shoot

    The only thing to look out for is very shallow DoF shots - recomposing can change your distance to your focus point - even ever so slightly this will result in a misfocused image. In examples like this, I'll use an off centre focus point, then shoot

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    18,915

    Re: Focus

    Great list by Bill and follow-up by Phil. I think the only thing to add is that when not using the center focusing point, use one that has cross hairs rather than only a horizontal or only a vertical mark. You may need to study your manual to know which focusing points are cross hairs.

    As for the photo that was provided as an example, I wonder if Kartik has software that indicates the focus point and if it is accurate. (The software doesn't know when we recompose after focusing.) Aside from that, there could be three explanations:a tripod that is too light, shooting in a wind that is too strong, and/or not adding enough sharpening during post-processing. I added a touch of sharpening and it was fine without creating any halos.

  9. #9
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    1,009
    Real Name
    Lex

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley
    Aside from that, there could be three explanations:a tripod that is too light, shooting in a wind that is too strong, and/or not adding enough sharpening during post-processing.
    In addition, f18 is over the 60D's diffraction limit (about f14). While I'd bet there's more at work, diffraction is likely a factor.

  10. #10
    dubaiphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Northampton
    Posts
    1,851
    Real Name
    Phil Page

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    In addition, f18 is over the 60D's diffraction limit (about f14). While I'd bet there's more at work, diffraction is likely a factor.

    Probably bad taste but......

    Even Stevie Wonder could focus at f18

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Focus

    Robert ... Is this better to your eyes?
    Focus
    All I did was use the 'sharpen more' tool in my editor.
    I used Paint Shop Pro but also tried it with free download Paint.Net which didn't give me quite so nice a result but it was sharper.
    Unfortunately your editor has stripped off the EXIF from the file so I don't know what camera you are using, it IS a help to others to comment on your photo if we can access the EXIF. I assume you are using a DSLR but most cameras other than P&S normally give a soft result on the basis that we know what we are doing and will add that little bit of sharpness in editing.

    To the theme of this thread I would suggest that the eternal problem for the photographer is detirmining what the viewer will wish to be sharp

    There is with regard to this photo that if the background is slightly soft becuase you used a faster shutter with corresponding larger aperture I doubt anybody would notice it as they looked at the stone and camera shake would be less possible. OK I see you used a tripod, but the crunch is 'how did you' take the photo and how steady is the tripod. I normally use the ten second delay exposure for all tripod shots and following pressing of the trigger leave the whole rig untouched for it to settle down from the disturbance of my hand pressing the trigger.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 11th June 2013 at 10:05 PM.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Focus

    A further comment ... it is really a vertical shot rather than horizontal and this can be done either in-camera or later as I have done here. I got rid of the stone intrusions on the left and placed the front stones on the right third of the photo instead of centre as you had it. People can sling off at thirds but research has proved its worth to both visually skilled and unskilled viewers.
    Focus

  13. #13
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,927
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by RBird987 View Post
    . . . I am finding my shots are blurry even when using a tripod, they do not have the crispness i or everyone desires!!! Shot on a Canon 60D, 18-55mm lens, F18, 1/50 shutter speed, ISO 100, Evaluative metering, tripod
    . . . Any help or comments would be most appreciated.
    1. ALL of your shots or just some?
    2. If not all: then which ones, specifically?



    COMMENTS relate ONLY to the sample posted:

    In addition to the tripod being too light or there being wind moving the tripod: a tripod is only part of the answer to making best practice stability, when shooting.

    Another three elements are:

    • Mirror Up Technique
    • Remote Release for Shutter
    • Suitably Damped Camera (Centre Weight from tripod shaft or a weighted camera cover etc.)


    Considering you made the shot at 1/50s it is VERY likely you have Camera movement if you released the shutter by hand. If you don't have a remote shutter release then using the delay shutter release is an option.

    Mirror Flap Shudder is certainly a real consideration especially at Shutter Speeds 1/125s to 1second, though more likely with longer lenses.

    Damping the camera/tripod is usually only necessary in adverse or unusual conditions.

    It is not possible to ascertain what softness issue there is, with the sample image you provided, the resolution is too small: a small area from the centre enlarged would be a far better example to provide for analysis.

    It could indeed be that better/more suitable post production (sharpening) is all which is required.

    IF there is an issue with any BLUR caused by MOVEMENT– then it is MOST very likely that issue resides (initially) in the choice of SHUTTER SPEED and NOT having all necessary aspects of the shooting technique in place to accommodate such a slow shutter speed.

    Also, Image Stabilization might be a factor which created a small blur if Image Stabilization were turned ON whilst the rig was securely mounted on a Tripod and Auto Focus Function was set the SHUTTER RELEASE button set .

    WW

  14. #14
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,927
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Unfortunately your editor has stripped off the EXIF from the file so I don't know what camera you are using, it IS a help to others to comment on your photo if we can access the EXIF.
    *

    Quote Originally Posted by RBird987 View Post
    I am finding my shots are blurry even when using a tripod, they do not have the crispness i or everyone desires!!!
    Shot on a Canon 60D, 18-55mm lens, F18, 1/50 shutter speed, ISO 100, Evaluative metering, tripod

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Focus

    LOL
    That is supposed to be a red face not an angry one

    There is a place in NZ where people have piled stones on stones Beside the road to the Lindis Pass from the north.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 12th June 2013 at 10:02 PM.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    14
    Real Name
    Kartik Kaushik

    Re: Focus

    Hello,
    Now that the above mentioned pic has been discussed, I must say for a pic taken with a tripod it is blur. and i am not too convinced with the post processing. That is why I had asked this question, The fact remains that a picture with a perfect focus out of the camera can not be replicated by editing( thats what I feel), no doubt it can be improved.
    Now I have read a lot of photographers talk about the sweet spot, but to my misfortune I am yet to find one. and to my surprise my 18-105 kit lens is focussing far better than my 35 mm prime ( I bought it for its sharpness) and I know that I am doing something wrong.
    One more question - What is more imp in a good focus the lens or the Camera....( I know the photographer is the most important)..
    And Thank you Bill for ur wonderful insight.
    Thanks

  17. #17
    xpatUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,135
    Real Name
    Ted

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    In addition, f18 is over the 60D's diffraction limit (about f14). While I'd bet there's more at work, diffraction is likely a factor.
    That was my thought too. I've been playing with deconvolution sharpening in RawTherapee and it does seem to work a little better than un-sharp masking for restoring some sharpness from a diffusion blur. I've read too that, in ACR, the detail slider changes to deconvolution as the slider is set towards 100. They've a lot to say about deconvolution over on LL - Bart van der Wolf is worth reading on any sharpening subject.

    As to focus itself, I always find that manual focusing is best when sharpness is important.
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 14th June 2013 at 03:36 PM. Reason: added focus comment

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    As to focus itself, I always find that manual focusing is best when sharpness is important.
    I believe that the truth of that statement depends on the target area of the AF system. AF properly used with the right set-up is as good as manual focusing but easilly can not be with a large target area.

  19. #19
    xpatUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,135
    Real Name
    Ted

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I believe that the truth of that statement depends on the target area of the AF system. AF properly used with the right set-up is as good as manual focusing but easilly can not be with a large target area.
    Yes, I should have made that personal statement more clear - it refers to close-up shots with my Sigma SD9/SD10's neither of which has outstanding AF for such work.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Yes, I should have made that personal statement more clear - it refers to close-up shots with my Sigma SD9/SD10's neither of which has outstanding AF for such work.
    That is how I felt about manual focusing with my earlier Panasonic FZs .... mush from mush as I tried to see-saw the way I did with my SLR The G3 was a delight and have yet to find the control over target area with my GH2 ... perhaps I stepped back

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •