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Thread: reflection in mirror - focus problem

  1. #1
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    reflection in mirror - focus problem

    I am new to forum and new to photography. Recently I was trying to make of photo using the reflection in a mirror. I used autofocus but could get focus right. Then I tried manual, but these tried old eyes did not help, so autofocus is my best option. It was fairly low light so I was using a wide aperture f/4 which only made focus more critical. Any advise welcome.

    Frustrated in Miami.

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: reflection in mirror - focus problem

    Hello Elleon, welcome to CiC Forums.

    Using Autofocus on any sort of reflective surface is never a good option for the camera and it will almost always struggle and start to "hunt".

    So manual focus would be your only option I'm afraid. For photography in low light I would also suggest the use of a tripod.

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    Re: reflection in mirror - focus problem

    Yes I totally agree with Mark.

    Any reflection photo is tricky so using manual focus on a tripod will definitely help.

  4. #4

    Re: reflection in mirror - focus problem

    Mark and Geoff are bob on. I do not know what camera you have but if it has live view it will help enormously with manual focusing. Try to get square on to the mirror. One thing that Dave Humphries pointed out to me a while ago is that the camera will focus on the backing of the mirror not the glass. If you are at an angle to the mirror it can cause ghosting especially if close up. Also CPL may help if there are incidental light sources.

    Good luck

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    Re: reflection in mirror - focus problem

    thanks all will give it another try.. manual focus this time... i am using Nikon D60 with tripod. Less frustrated in Miami

  6. #6
    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    Re: reflection in mirror - focus problem

    How about a sample image of what you are trying to do? Take the shot as best you can and post it so we can see what it is you are trying to accomplish. That way we can get a better idea of what direction to point you in.

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    Re: reflection in mirror - focus problem

    What is the correct distance to manually focus at when photographing a reflection? I want to do self portraits in a mirror from a tripod so I have to preset the distance with no subject to view. I can figure it out by trial and error, but I'd like to know the theoretically correct distance anyway.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: reflection in mirror - focus problem

    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
    What is the correct distance to manually focus at when photographing a reflection? I want to do self portraits in a mirror from a tripod so I have to preset the distance with no subject to view. I can figure it out by trial and error, but I'd like to know the theoretically correct distance anyway.
    Hi Tom and welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    It has to be the total distance: so camera to mirror plus mirror to subject.

    If using a DSLR, depth of field (DoF) may well be a problem for what you are trying to do.
    It'll be less so if a bridge camera or point and shoot (with a smaller sensor).
    If DSLR, you'll want a decent aperture say, f8, which unless you use flash (which I don't recommend reflecting), you may need to keep still for while the shutter is open.

    Cheers,

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