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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Out of focus...Um... I think I've been a bit dim, and I think I understand what I have done but just wanted ...
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Old 05-05-2008, 14:48   #1 (permalink)
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Out of focus

Um... I think I've been a bit dim, and I think I understand what I have done but just wanted to check so asking here. Stuff feeling stupid and about as intelligent as a squished flea - I need to understand so try no to laugh too loudly.

I took a series of 'scenery' shots of the most gorgeous bluebell woods yesterday. Having downloaded the images every one looks out of focus. As I was handholding I was making sure that shutter speed was fast enough for focal length used etc so I'm not sure it's all down to camera shake. I think it could be the following:

I half pressed shutter to focus lock and then reframed. I have just realised that my AF mode is set to "AI Focus" and not "One Shot". So... I guess as I reframed the AF mode thought my subject was moving and it switched to AI Servo?

Now - would that be a reasonable explanation? Or have I missed the point completely / am totally pants and should learn crochet? (delete as appropriate!)
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Old 05-05-2008, 15:26   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Ali, you are NOT stupid! And yes, I think that would be a reasonable explanation In some AF modes, the camera will not shoot if nothing is in focus, but in other modes it will allow you to shoot even if nothing is in focus. Make sure you use single servo, and also double check in your viewfinder that what you want sharp is in fact in focus before pressing the shutter release
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Old 05-05-2008, 16:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

On some cameras (Nikon) you can set to choose between release priority and focus priority in continuous servo...
That could be a reasonable explanation, and it is another reason (sorry Charlotte) not to use the focus and recompose method. If there is something you want to focus on not covered by your focus point, especially with a stantionary subject like this, either manual focus or work around it, but making sure you are focusing on something within the frame of the final shot, not beforehand.
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Old 05-05-2008, 17:17   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

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Originally Posted by JMitchell View Post
... and it is another reason (sorry Charlotte) not to use the focus and recompose method.
Why "sorry" Jack? I use manual focus too, the way you describe
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Old 05-05-2008, 17:42   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

just cos you mentioned using the focus and recompose method in another thread. Ignore me if not
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Old 05-05-2008, 18:14   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Oh ok, yes I remember, but I think it was a noob I was helping, in which case I tend to refer to that method In fact I do use it myself sometimes, if the situation calls for it.
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Old 05-05-2008, 18:16   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

lol Charlotte your l33t-ism showing through there <ggggg>
Fair enough we all have our own methods, plus with 51 focus points, who needs focus and recompose anyway
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Old 05-05-2008, 18:23   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

My what??!!

Well, for example, if I'm using spot metering I might meter off the spot which I want to be in sharp focus, so then I'll simply lock the exposure + focus at the same time + recompose. Doesn't seem daft to me And anyway sometimes it's quicker to recompose than to choose a different focus area thingy

Last edited by Charlotte; 05-05-2008 at 19:13. Reason: Had left a word out
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Old 05-05-2008, 18:45   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Your l33t ism, (leet ism), meaning your prejudice against 'n00bs'. Twas a joke

I see what you mean, and I probably do do it sometimes, but not regularly je crois...
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Old 05-05-2008, 19:10   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Not leetism (sic), just talking a language that noobs are most likely to understand ... it's called being helpful
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Old 05-05-2008, 19:11   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Whenever I notice some muck.
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Old 05-05-2008, 19:17   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Quote:
Originally Posted by stepheno View Post
Whenever I notice some muck.
I think you're in the wrong thread Stepheno ... you'll find "How often do you clean your kit" two doors down
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Old 05-05-2008, 19:39   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Yup....here's betting he opened them both
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Old 05-05-2008, 22:01   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Just a wee word of caution on the 'focus and recompose' method...

The lens is designed to focus in a flat plane, not an arc.

Say you're taking a photo of a straight brick wall and the lens axis is at right-angles to it. If you focus on the middle of the wall, the two ends of the wall should also be in focus.

However, the two ends are further away from the camera than the middle. So if you focus on either end - using the centre focus point - and recompose so you're pointing at the middle, none of the wall will be in perfect focus. The focus point will actually be behind the wall.

This means that, for accurate focusing, it's better to use a focus point that is actually over whatever you want to be in focus, rather than using the centre point and reframing the shot. At smaller apertures it doesn't matter too much because of the depth of field, but it can be important where the Dof is small.
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Old 05-05-2008, 22:11   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

And that is an extremely eloquent way of explaining why I don't use it nice one
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Old 05-05-2008, 22:20   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Out of focus

Good point Silky Jack, it's not a reason not to use it, it's just that you usually have to nudge manual focus a smidgeon when you recompose, which is not hard work (has become second nature to me).
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