Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Focusing Issues

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Focusing Issues

    One of the things I've had trouble with since the very beginning is focusing. Not sure if its the lens (for portraits I use a 55-200 f/4, I think...) or if it's the setting or what. Motion blur? I can never seem to get tack sharp images. Is it just the d3100? I will post a picture later. I use single point focusing, is there something different I should use, like the dynamic or continuous? Focus either makes or breaks a picture and with me most of the time it breaks it. =(


    This is a sooc picture that has no pp done. I took it Raw, but I think this is the JPG file.
    Last edited by soph98; 12-08-2012, 03:36 AM.

  • #2
    Need more info (exif) and a larger picture to really say. But my first guess would be the lens and being at f/4.
    Steve
    the Photographic Academy.com
    SharpShooter Industries
    My 500px, My Flickr, My Blog

    Comment


    • #3
      Sharpness can be a whole lotta different technique issues. Suggest you read this DPS article on how to take sharp pictures.

      You might also need to learn how to hold your camera.
      I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

      Comment


      • #4
        If using aperture bang it closed f16+ hen focus manually. Photos will manually R crisp n clear

        Comment


        • #5
          Focusing manually gives you exact control, but can be a bit slow when human subjects are trying to look pretty. It's even worse when there are *multiple* humans involved.

          I suggest using an aperture of f/8, as most lenses are designed to work their best at this aperture (and possibly others). It will also let in more light than shooting at f/16, allowing a faster shutter speed. Also, trying putting the camera on a tripod. Feel free to still use autofocus and you should see a sharper picture.
          Dave.
          Some pictures... (500px)

          Comment


          • #6
            The advice the others have given is good in general but Aperture does not account for motion blur. In order to get rid of this you have to do one or more of the following:

            1) Shoot with a faster shutter speed
            2) Make the camera more stable
            3) Make your subject more stable

            3 is not really viable with families so your options are simply 1 and 2. If you do not already have a tripod, that is a good start. And for 1, you might have to raise your ISO or open your aperture up to allow for a faster shutter speed. I'd say with kids involved you want at least 1/200th of a second, better would be 1/400th.
            Ryan Cooper Photography
            Vancouver Cosplay

            Comment


            • #7
              First thing you need to do is check your equipment to make sure there isn't some kind of mechanical issue. First thing would be to try another lens if you have access to one, and see if that improves things.

              But it could be an issue with the camera - the mirror or focussing screen could be out of alignment, so images the are sharp in the viewfinder come out soft. Best way to check this is to focussing on a fixed point through the view finder and then put the camera on live view and compare. If the focus is off you have a mechanical issue.

              As a caveat I would say that mechanical issues are rare, but it's best to be methodical and eliminate possible causes one by one.

              If you can't find anything mechanically wrong look closely at your photo. If there is nowhere on the photo that's sharp most likely it is camera shake or motion blur. If you can find a sharp part of the photo but it's in the wrong place you need to work on your focussing. If everything is out of focus but you are using a shutter speed faster than 1/250 chances are you are focussing on a point in front of you subject somehow.
              Last edited by TobiasK; 12-06-2012, 04:07 PM.
              Tobias Key Photography

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks everyone, it's probably just my poor focusing techniques. I think this picture was focused on the brick. I'll check the view finder thingy, and I'll see if it makes a difference in focusing if I do it in live view. I tell you what, these forums are great. =) I think I know how to hold a camera, don't you just put your hand under the lens with your elbows in, like that? I'll try to put it on the faster shutterspeed, and f/stop, and ISO. Thing is, I get a lot of grain with the d3100. Hmmm...
                Thanks for all your help! I appreciate it!

                Comment


                • #9
                  A tripod would definitely help if you have access to one, as well as a remote release cable, so you don't have to touch the camera. I would also recommend looking into setting up back button focussing if your camera supports it and finally, utilising mirror lockup in conjunction with the tripod, remote release and f8.
                  Cheers,
                  Narshada
                  www.narshada.co.uk
                  www.facebook.com/NarshadaPhotography
                  www.twitter.com/NarshadaPhoto

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by soph98 View Post
                    One of the things I've had trouble with since the very beginning is focusing. Not sure if its the lens (for portraits I use a 55-200 f/4, I think...) or if it's the setting or what. Motion blur? I can never seem to get tack sharp images. Is it just the d3100? I will post a picture later. I use single point focusing, is there something different I should use, like the dynamic or continuous? Focus either makes or breaks a picture and with me most of the time it breaks it. =(


                    This is a sooc picture that has no pp done. I took it Raw, but I think this is the JPG file.
                    I used D5100, 16mp DX camera. I have to tell, this entry level camera with higher resolution have focusing problem, unless u focus it very carefully via live view for stationary object. It is extremely hard to get sharp photos even you shoot raw for stationary object.

                    When i switch to D700, i can easily capture very sharp photo even with 1~3MB photo (Jpeg basic small)..

                    I wander Nikon entry level cameras are very hard to capture sharp photos even with small photo size, and shallower DOF for fast moving objects captured to D700 or more professional camera photos. I find many experts never use entry level cameras and they will always thought that the unability to take tark sharp photos are our skillset problem... my opinion is.. the answer is the camera body..

                    In summary, my findings:

                    a) D5100 (entry level camera body) with 50mm f/1.8g, 16mp photos with Raw for stationary object --> very hard to get tark sharp photos. Those 16mp photos are useless..

                    b) D700, with 50mm f/1.8g, 1-3mp photos with JPEG Basic with small photo for moving object --> Always get tark sharp photos..even with more shallow DOF. Those photos with 1-3mp photos are even much sharper than 16mp photos..

                    the environments and subject settings , lighting conditons are the condtion for both systemss.. that's i think differentiate entry level camera body from more professional bodies. D5100 tends to get more miss shots than D700.. and many things that i dislike..

                    soph98, it is not your focusing skill, it is the camera body capability.. i face the same. All focusing problem solved when i use D700 even with more shallow DOF.
                    Last edited by ccting; 12-08-2012, 12:20 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ccting View Post
                      In summary, my findings:

                      a) D5100 (entry level camera body) with 50mm f/1.8g, 16mp photos with Raw for stationary object --> very hard to get tark sharp photos. Those 16mp photos are useless..

                      b) D700, with 50mm f/1.8g, 1-3mp photos with JPEG Basic with small photo for moving object --> Always get tark sharp photos..even with more shallow DOF. Those photos with 1-3mp photos are even much sharper than 16mp photos..

                      the environments and subject settings , lighting conditons are the condtion for both systemss.. that's i think differentiate entry level camera body from more professional bodies. D5100 tends to get more miss shots than D700.. and many things that i dislike..

                      soph98, it is not your focusing skill, it is the camera body capability.. i face the same. All focusing problem solved when i use D700 even with more shallow DOF.
                      There is a very important lesson to be learned from the example of CCTing.

                      He has spent months, even years, usually taking out of focus, bizarrely composed shots because he refused to listen to advice or to learn proper technique. Instead he insisted that there was a mathematical formula for taking good pictures, like an alchemist making lead into gold, and that he could discover it through statistical research, and that anything wrong with his pictures was the fault of his gear.

                      Beyond using him as an example of how NOT to improve as a photographer, ignore his opinion.
                      Last edited by Roshenk; 12-08-2012, 01:06 PM.
                      Prints available through PI Creative Arts. Represented by FIRSTL*GHT, a Division of Design Pics Inc.
                      Canon 6D... EF 135mm f/2L, EF 100mm f/2.8L MACRO, MP-E 65mm MACRO, EF 85mm f/1.8, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Sigmalux, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG, Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, EF 200mm F/2.8L, Lensbaby Composer Pro 50mm/Edge 80/Fisheye
                      ZENFOLIO!....500Px

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roshenk View Post
                        There is a very important lesson to be learned from the example of CCTing.

                        He has spent months, even years, usually taking out of focus, bizarrely composed shots because he refused to listen to advice or to learn proper technique. Instead he insisted that there was a mathematical formula for taking good pictures, like an alchemist making lead into gold, and that he could discover it through statistical research, and that anything wrong with his pictures was the fault of his gear.

                        Beyond using him as an example of how NOT to improve as a photographer, ignore his opinion.
                        Roshenk, why not ask him to try another pro camera, and see whether he still got the same problem. sometimes we just unluckly to get a body that can't focus properly like my D5100.??

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ccting View Post
                          sometimes we just unluckly to get a body that can't focus properly like my D5100.??
                          It's possible.. with ANY camera. Even the pro bodies. There was a bunch of issues about focus point alignment with the D4 when it was released.

                          But, it is not likely with any camera body.
                          Last edited by sk66; 12-08-2012, 03:46 PM.
                          Steve
                          the Photographic Academy.com
                          SharpShooter Industries
                          My 500px, My Flickr, My Blog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by soph98 View Post
                            Thanks everyone, it's probably just my poor focusing techniques. I think this picture was focused on the brick. I'll check the view finder thingy, and I'll see if it makes a difference in focusing if I do it in live view. ...
                            Ok, Soph, if you're sure it's not a matter of too slow a shutter speed to eliminate camera shake blur, or using your max. aperture all the time, or a need for stabilization or your handholding technique, or pixelpeeping too much or not knowing how to post-process , and you're absolutely CERTAIN it's a focusing issue, here's something nobody's mentioned that you can try:

                            Enable only your center AF point. Place the center point over what you want in focus. (If you can, try and find a high-contrast target, where black meets white at a sharp edge, and good light will always help the AF system out more than low light.) Half press the shutter button until you see the AF confirmation light come on. Keep half-pressing the shutter button and reframe the camera. Then, push down for the full press (i.e., don't release the shutter button) and take the shot.

                            Using the full AF matrix is great for tracking moving subjects, but sometimes the AF system will choose the wrong AF point to use. Using only the center AF point and doing a half-press and recompose will direct your camera on exactly where you want to focus.

                            There is also the fact that on most entry-level cameras, like the D3100, the center AF point is the most sensitive and accurate of the points in the matrix.

                            I would also reiterate the advice to stop down, or at least find out where the sweet spot on your most-used lenses are. Take a look at the AF-S 35/1.8's test data on dpreview to see what I mean. As you spin the aperture wheel, you'll note that the 35/1.8's "sweet spot" is around f/4. And in addition, stopping down will give you more DoF, so your focusing doesn't have to be as pin-point accurate. Generally, start with f/4 and then adjust at need. Don't shoot with a 35/1.8 at f/1.8 all the time by default. f/4 can stil give you background blur, particularly if you separate your subject from the background by a large distance.
                            I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ok. I got it. I wont blame my camera. =) I am now going to practice obtaining sharp images with fast shutter, small aperture, camera holding technique, etc. Thanks for all your help. =)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X