Manual Focus techniques?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by from earthy, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. Im very slow in manual focusing do i really need to focus precisely when Im at f8 or f11? I mean shud my subject 100% focus or is it ok my subject is only 80%focus at f8-f11 i ask this question because when i push the depth of field preview at f8-f11 my subject becomes sharp when i release the depth of field preview button my subject are not 100% sharp. So i can still get sharp pix when im at f8-f11 when my subject is not 100% focus shown on my viewfinder my lens is 50mm 1.4
     
  2. Personally I think it's ok at 76% focus.
     
  3. Don't you usually ramble in the Canon forum? If it's in focus when you press the DoF preview button, it'll be in focus. What's your question.
     
  4. i suggest you get focus as much as you can as there is only one plane of precise focus. also it depends on the subject as well. if you are doing street with a 28mm, it is easier to let go than say a portrait shoot with a tele lens focus on the eye
     
  5. It might not be very noticible on 4x6 prints, but once you start enlarging it usually becomes clear that poor focus has been used. I would try and get 90%+ if I were you. Best wishes, --Dominic
     
  6. Not to sound glib, but try focussing faster. "Creeping" to the best focus can be frustrating, as you have difficulty telling when it's "good enough" or "best". I have more success by rapidly sawing the focus ring to "past good", then "back".
     
  7. I guess it's an approach if the difference meant losing an opportunity for the shot. What do you feel contributes to your slow focusing? I would try to identify those issues and see what can be addressed. A few things that come to mind:
    - Focusing screens, are they interchangebable on your particular body...if so, try a different screen
    - Diopters, if your an eyeglass wearer
    - Switching to faster lenses (2.8 or faster) to give you a brighter focusing image to work with
     
  8. I suggest you learn some photography basics. You can preset your focus once you understand how aperture effects it. Read this: http://www.dpreview.com/learn/Glossary/Optical/Depth_of_field_01.htm
     
  9. When is everyone going to learn that that "From Earth" is not serious about learning about anything?
     
  10. Learn the basics... there are plenty of references out there. With a 50mm/1.4 lens and a subject at 10 ft...., at 1.4 your DOF is <1 ft; at f11, you've got about 7.5 ft of total DOF to work with. At least that's how it works with Nikons -- Canon might have its own voodoo so you REALLY SHOULD double check with your buddies at the Canon forum -- yes, I really mean that!!!
     
  11. "When is everyone going to learn that that "From Earth" is not serious about learning about anything?" --Shawn Rahman

    I think Shawn is on to something here, have a look...

    Forum Postings by From Earth

    Cheers,

    Dave.
     
  12. He (she) can't go to the Canon forum because all his (her) Canon lenses have fungus in them. I suggested Leica to him (her) a long time ago.
    To be fair to "from earth", I am also having problems focusing my 50mm f/1.4. The problem is very shallow depth of field. The problem seems less with the 35mm f/1.4, possibly because of the greater DOF available at that focal length. In trying to get the subject's eyes focused, I end up getting the shirt focused instead. I'm using the 6x finder for now until I get the hang of it.
    Albert Smith seems to have the best ability to get these lenses in focus wide open, as evidenced by pictures of his mother. Perhaps he can give some advice.
     
  13. Are you using an E screen, Robert? As opposed to something with a central focus aid? With fast glass/narrow DOF, you can get a focus error from 're-composing'. I'm getting my share of 'misses' with an 85/1.4 wide open at portrait ranges. I attribute some of that to slight subject motion (candids). I have yet to try the 'move with them' technique, but I fear that won't work with the narrow DOF at this range.
     
  14. This may not offer much help here, but this is an area where AF really helps.
     
  15. Mabey s/he has fungus in her brain. (Just Kidding)
     
  16. Depends on how far away you are from the subject. F8 will not give as much depth of field close up as it will with a lens focused on infinity. Focul length also plays a part. If you intend to spend the rest of your life on head and shoulders portarits from 10 feet away...it'll be ok. Otherwise, learn to focus or go autofocus...just in case you need to open up a stop or two one day.
     
  17. "Slow Focusing", that's a new one!
     

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