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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss focus problems...Hi everyone, As everyone remembers, I had gotten a branch new lens, which was Canon 28-200 UMS. Lens is good ...
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Old 02-03-2007, 19:06   #1 (permalink)
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Question focus problems

Hi everyone,

As everyone remembers, I had gotten a branch new lens, which was Canon 28-200 UMS. Lens is good and all... you know... I like the zoom on it and the range is fantastic too but one thing that bothers me is that if I take picture of someone against a landscape or a group of people, then not everything I see is in focus.

Do I have to use some other mode other than the program mode? Or focus in a different way to get everything in focus?

I don't have the same problem with the kit lens... Can anyone help me out how to get "more focus"? or maybe thats the difference between the kit lens the other better lenses?

Thanks
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Old 02-03-2007, 19:14   #2 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

Hmm, what is/isn't in focus at what apertures? It may well be that the lens is not focussing properly - seem to recall that Sarah (Whipspeed) had this problem on her new lens (which is now sorted after sending away)
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Old 02-03-2007, 20:39   #3 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

Depth of field will vary with both apature and focal length. Wide angle lenses will have a greater DoF at a given apature than a telphoto. That's how the landscape shots you see are sharp from front to back - short focal length and small apatures.

If you give us some settings - apature, focal length and the distance of people from the camera - it might be easier to see what is going wrong.
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Old 02-03-2007, 21:42   #4 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

Mine was a problem with nothing being in focus, neither the background or subject. Maybe the camera is not focusing on the people in the frame because the focus point is set on the background and not the people and with a wide apeture, you would get that problem. If that makes any sense.
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Old 03-03-2007, 18:41   #5 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

Ok guys, here is an example of what I mean...



I don't think its a problem with the lens, but more so with the user
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Old 03-03-2007, 21:36   #6 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

do you have any exif data???
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Old 04-03-2007, 00:19   #7 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

What is it in that picture that you are not happy about?
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Old 04-03-2007, 14:36   #8 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

mouldy101: how do I get the exif data? I can see it on my computer screen, but really don't want to type everything out...

Liam: the grass on the backgroud is blur... the kiddo is in good focus but not the grass
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Old 04-03-2007, 19:25   #9 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

The reason the grass is out of focus is because it is outside the pictures "depth of field". The DoF is a zone some distance from the camera where things are in focus, the further outside that zone something is, the blurrier it will be.

One of the main factors in how much big the DoF zone is is the aperture One of the other factors in how big the DoF zone is is the size of the sensor in the camera (in mm, not megapixels) The smaller the sensor, the more DoF it will have. One of the consequences of the small sensors in most P&S camera is that almost everything in almost every picture they take is actually in the DoF zone, and in focus.setting used to take the picture (the F-number). The smaller that number is (f2.8 being 'smaller' than f4, despite the fact the actual hole it is measuring is physically bigger) the smaller your DoF will be. Here I'm guessing you used a setting of f2.8 or less?
The camera has (rightly) focused on the child, but the DoF is small enough that the grass in the background is a good way outside it, and thus looks blurry. Take the same shot at, say, F16 or f22, anf the DoF zone would be far larger, most likely large enough to mean the grass would be in focus too.

But this effect, having the person in focus, and the background blurry, is actually desired and liked in portrait photography. One of the main reasons people buy expensive lenses with small F-numbers (f1.8 and lower, for example) is to achieved this exact effect. Do you not think the child now stands out as the subject of the picture, that he is more clearly what the photograph is of? An in-focus background would distract the viewer from the child. As it is in the picture, you have a quick glance to see that it's blurry, then ignore it in favour of looking at the child instead, which is a good thing.

Last edited by Liam O'Neill; 04-03-2007 at 19:40.
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Old 04-03-2007, 20:48   #10 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam O'Neill View Post
One of the main factors in how much big the DoF zone is is the aperture One of the other factors in how big the DoF zone is is the size of the sensor in the camera (in mm, not megapixels) The smaller the sensor, the more DoF it will have.
It's not the sensor size that is one of the major factors in DOF, it's the focal length of the lens (actual length, not "35mm equivalent"). However, cameras with small sensors also tend to have short focal length lenses.
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Old 04-03-2007, 22:39   #11 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

Basically if you want more sharpness over a deeper area you need to take it out of program mode which will usually use a safe, fastish speed and large-ish aperture. Smaller apertures equal more depth of field (sharpness) so set mode to aperture priority and select a smaller aperture (large number) but check that your shutter speed is adequate for hand-holding. i.e. 1+1/2 times the reciprocal of the lens length. At longest zoom on your lens this is 1/300 sec - at shortest 1/40th. Actually for portraits a shallow DOF is better to purposely leave the background out of focus. The opposite usually applies for landscapes. I suspect here that your shutter speed was a little slow or you moved the camera just slightly when pressing the shutter. To begin (for portraits) with maybe you should set the mode to shutter priority and select a speed to suit the longest length of your zoom to be on the safe side or even higher (1/300th - 1/500th sec). The camera will sort out the shutter speed for you.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:19   #12 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

When trouble shooting anything, always start with the easy fix, sorry have to ask. is your lens in AF or manual. I leave things out of adjustment do to a point of forgetting and just shooting away. Then there are focus settings on your menu. Try looking at those.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:48   #13 (permalink)
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Re: focus problems

If you're shooting in portrait mode on your camera this is the effect you will get. If you want to get the grass in focus as well, you will have to set the apeture yourself, to a higher number. Although if everything is in focus, there will be less emphasis on the subject.
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