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Thread: Focus Point

  1. #1

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    Focus Point

    I'm having a really difficult time with focus points. It doesn't seem like it should be that hard since the D60 (Nikon) only has 3. I'm using the AF-S 50mm 1.4. The eyes should be the focus, right? And that was where I thought I was focusing but I can't tell if that's what it turned out to be or not. Maybe it's my eyes since I am getting old.

    On these two images, where does it look like the focus was? What am I not getting?

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    dsc_0007resize.jpg
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  2. #2
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Focus Point

    Hi Mary,

    I am sorry to say it but – you are getting old.

    On the other hand you camera’s focus mode comes preset to ‘closet to the camera subject priority’ which means it focuses on the closest point – in this case Lucy’s nose.

    You have two adjustments you can make. The first is to select Single or Continuous Servo. Single is best for static objects and will refocus if the subject moves but Continuous is used for subjects that move more randomly – maybe like Lucy when she is playing. Personally I tend to use Single Servo.

    The next important option is the focus area. Many cameras come with a number of Multi Point focus area options. I find the easiest is to choose Single Point and place it in the middle of the viewing screen. Point the indicator at the area you want to be sharp – i.e. the eyes, holds the shutter release button down half way to autofocus, re-compose and shoot.

  3. #3

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    Re: Focus Point

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Hi Mary,

    I am sorry to say it but – you are getting old.

    On the other hand you camera’s focus mode comes preset to ‘closet to the camera subject priority’ which means it focuses on the closest point – in this case Lucy’s nose.

    You have two adjustments you can make. The first is to select Single or Continuous Servo. Single is best for static objects and will refocus if the subject moves but Continuous is used for subjects that move more randomly – maybe like Lucy when she is playing. Personally I tend to use Single Servo.

    The next important option is the focus area. Many cameras come with a number of Multi Point focus area options. I find the easiest is to choose Single Point and place it in the middle of the viewing screen. Point the indicator at the area you want to be sharp – i.e. the eyes, holds the shutter release button down half way to autofocus, re-compose and shoot.
    Yes I am old. Just ask Katy... she sat less than 2 ft directly across from me for over 3 hours. She's probably been traumatized by the whole affair.

    I keep it set (usually) to Single Servo, and Single Point focus. I don't often focus then recompose.

    The D60 has 3 focus pts that run horizontally in the middle of the frame. So, in the above images, I would frame the image with a focus point on her eyes or between her eyes? Then press the shutter release 1/2 way down then recompose to get the composition I want and shoot?

    I think what I probably am doing is composing, then moving the focus point to the closest one to her eye, but it probably isn't close enough so the camera is actually focusing on the hair betwen her eyes or the bridge of her snout?

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Focus Point

    With such long fluffy hair the camera might be picking up on that. Try focusing bewteen here eye (at the base of he forehead). DOF start one third in front and extends two thirds behind the focal plan so you can use the one third in front to get clarity in her eyes.

  5. #5

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    Re: Focus Point

    Thank you, Peter. I will work on it some more. It shouldn't be so difficult...

  6. #6
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    Re: Focus Point

    Hi Mary first off what cute dog and great pics.
    If you use View NX2 you can check where the focas point is, if you have ViewNX2 then when you open it at the very top under the word window it says focus point click it and it will show focus point on all pics.
    If you do not have ViewNX2 you can download it for free from Nikon website.
    Hope this helps.
    Keith..

  7. #7

    Re: Focus Point

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    Yes I am old. Just ask Katy... she sat less than 2 ft directly across from me for over 3 hours. She's probably been traumatized by the whole affair.
    Mary! You ol' codger, you! I'm still trying to work out how you could be 25 and have a son in college AND be the same age as I am. 'fraid I don't ever care two pips about ages but eye sight IS helpful around here.

    I hope that you get your question figured out. I'm interested to see what happens!

  8. #8

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    Re: Focus Point

    I don't use ViewNX2. I'll take a peek at it, though. Thank you.

  9. #9

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    Re: Focus Point

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Mary! You ol' codger, you! I'm still trying to work out how you could be 25 and have a son in college AND be the same age as I am. 'fraid I don't ever care two pips about ages but eye sight IS helpful around here.

    I hope that you get your question figured out. I'm interested to see what happens!
    You're so funny, Katy.

  10. #10
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    Re: Focus Point

    Lucy is very very cute - I love getting these shots.

    I'm soo glad you brought this subject up, the input has been good so far, looking forward to some more. Sometimes I feel like I'm focusing on my focus points tooo much at the expense of the whole compostion.

  11. #11
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    Re: Focus Point

    If you have an authorized Nikon Dealer nearby, ask them to check if your D60 has some back-focusing issues. I tested one before I bought my D70 and true enough the D60 I tested has some back focusing problem associated with the body. Another cheap alternative is to use a little smaller aperture (like f2.8 or f3.2) to get sharper images. You can always use some layering mask to blur out unnecessary parts later in photoshop if all are too sharp to your taste.

    On my setup, I lock my D70 on the center focus point. Press the shutter button half-way to set the focus and then recompose. If you aim the central focus area directly in the area of the eye (the black portion) it would make it hard for the camera to focus since it can't see any distinct line or changes in tone. This is in relation to your distance to the subject. The closer you are to the eyes, the bigger the black areas are. The camera does not have a problem focusing if you're farther since there are more edges that the camera can see and set the focus on. Aim at the hairs beside the iris. That can help the focus sensor to focus on. It's the same as aiming the camera on a dark leather jacket. My D70 will hunt the focus area and can't get nothing. But if I aim the focus area at the edge of the jacket and then recompose I get a tack sharp image. Oh, btw, to help you further, set your D60 to activate the pre-focus assist beam to ON so it can project a beam of light to your subject to aide in the focusing. Try this method first before you send your camera for the back-focusing test. Good luck, Mary.

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    Re: Focus Point

    This is what I love about cic, even when I dont know the right question to ask I can still get the good tips .

  13. #13

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    Re: Focus Point

    Thanks, Jiro. I will try your suggestions.

  14. #14

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    Re: Focus Point

    I opened the images in Nikon's ViewNX and it shows that the focus point was on the fur between her eyes. Wouldn't that indicate that her eyes should have been sharper?

  15. #15
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    Re: Focus Point

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    I opened the images in Nikon's ViewNX and it shows that the focus point was on the fur between her eyes. Wouldn't that indicate that her eyes should have been sharper?
    Were you shooting at f1.4? I can't seem to get any EXIF data from your jpeg file. Anyway, the furs between the eyes seems to be closer to the camera than the eyes. Not to worry, I believe you can have many more opportunities to shoot your lovely lucy in the future. You could probably do the DOF test to find out if your lens and camera combination do have the back-focusing issue. Here is the link on the discussion and the attached back-focus test chart: http://focustestchart.com/chart.html

    I can't say anyting more until you try this test out. You might also learn something about focusing on this material, Mary. Good luck.

  16. #16

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    Re: Focus Point

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Were you shooting at f1.4? I can't seem to get any EXIF data from your jpeg file. Anyway, the furs between the eyes seems to be closer to the camera than the eyes. Not to worry, I believe you can have many more opportunities to shoot your lovely lucy in the future. You could probably do the DOF test to find out if your lens and camera combination do have the back-focusing issue. Here is the link on the discussion and the attached back-focus test chart: http://focustestchart.com/chart.html

    I can't say anyting more until you try this test out. You might also learn something about focusing on this material, Mary. Good luck.
    Thanks for the link. The settings were: AF single point, Aperture 3.2, and shutter 1/40s. I

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