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Photography - focus help





fionab
Hello fello photographer's I am new in the world of SLR photography and have recently purchased a Canon 350D or as it is known in the USA Rebel. I find that even though I hold and allow the camera to auto fosuc 1st I still do not get a well focused pic. I amd also trying to ensure the focus points are a the correct place. What tips and tricks do you have for me. All ideas and links welcome.
Liu
Zoom in all the way with your lense and focus first, then unzoom to a point where you want the shot to be and take the picture. Make sure you have appropriate lighting so that your shutter speed can be high enough such that you can hand hold the camera. If it's not, use a tripod.

If this doesn't work, there may be a faulty in the lens.
hunterm
Are you taking pics in low light conditions?

If so it could be due to a slow shutter speed resulting in camera shake.

Make sure there is plenty of light.
That the aperture is set correctly (depending on what you want to achieve)
Then make sure the shutter speed is fast enough. (if being held in your hand 1/60th second min - or slower if using a tripod and trigger/timer)

Loads of guides on the internet.

Oh yeah make sure the image is in focus Smile

P.S Ive heard that ff you wear glasses it could affect your focusing of the camera.
HoboPelican
I'm not familar with the rebel, but two things are gonna give you a fuzzy shot. Bad focus and, as Hunterm said, too long of a shutter speed. Remember, of course, that 200 is really 1/200th, so as the number gets bigger, the exposure gets shorter. So, 30, 15, etc will give you a blurry shot unless you are using a support of some type.

Auto focus can cause lots of trouble for newbies (and the more experienced when we are in a hurry). I tend not to use it, in general. If you use it, remember to trigger the autofocus (usually by pressing the shutter halfway) and wait for it to settle down. If you just snap away, the camera wont have time to do it's thing. Also, check your manual, but typically the camera will focus on the center of the image. If your subject is off to the side, the camera might be focusing on something in the distance.

Windows and screens also can cause the autofocus to mess up.

Best thing to do is read a few tips off of some photo web sites and play around a bit. Hope this (and the tips above) help.

(and if you ever decide to try developing your own photos, I've got a darkroom setup I'm looking to part with. Wink )

Have fun!
Liu
hunterm wrote:
(if being held in your hand 1/60th second min - or slower if using a tripod and trigger/timer)

This depends on the zoom also. Most people can hand held at 1/30 at 90mm and still achieve decently sharp images.
HoboPelican
Liu wrote:
hunterm wrote:
(if being held in your hand 1/60th second min - or slower if using a tripod and trigger/timer)

This depends on the zoom also. Most people can hand held at 1/30 at 90mm and still achieve decently sharp images.


Wow, not sure about "most people". I've gotten decent shots at 1/30 with a 50mm, but that was with a good brace on a solid object. I don't think I'd recomend that to a beginner. Especially someone who is having trouble to start with.
fionab
Thanks guys this is a great help. I photograph mostly people - esp my son. so lots of close up work. I just find the clarity is not there like other pics I have seen with the same camera. I will post a few examples.
fionab
Sorry pics no longer avalible!
HoboPelican
Nice! Look pretty good! I like the fly on the dogs nose. My first suggestion though, is to knock them down in size a bit. A little big for the forums:-)
Liu
There are some points that I noticed are focused where it isn't supposed to be. For example: your son's jacket instead of his eyes, your dogs side/top hairs instead of its face. Judging from the brokeh (strong blur in the background) i'm assuming you're using a decently strong zoom lens. Having a large zoom lens will make it more obvious in what things are focused and what aren't. I think the 350d has 6 point zoom spots? Try to set the zoom spot directly in the middle; i'm not sure if you have the spot zoom to auto which arbritrarily picks a zoom spot at times.

Also set the aperture to 8.0+ also if you're zooming that close, or zoom out to get a less DOF. It doesn't look like you're comfortable with how you want to place your DOF yet. Then when you're comfortable you can start dramatically increasing DOF.

It'd probably be a good idea to find a few online tutorials, or books on the basics of manual photography.
fionab
Thanks for those great tips. Sorry I had the big size to enable you to get a good look.
these were all shot with a 18 - 55mm lens.
Where would you say is a good place to look for the tuts?
HoboPelican
Just google "photography tutorials" and you'll find a number of sites. I can't recommend any offhand, but
http://www.photoxels.com/digital-photography-tutorials.html and
http://www.geofflawrence.com/
look like they might be good.

Actually, though, I think I would recommend hitting the library and checking out a few basic books. That way you can browse any time you like. Look through the selections there and find one that seems to have good basic info presented in a way you like.

BTW - The DOF that was mentioned above, refers to Depth of Field. A very useful thing to play with once you feel comfortable.

Photography can be just "point and shoot" or you can make it as technical as you want. However deep you decide to go, just make sure you have fun with it! Smile
Liu
Yeah, I agree with hobopelican, I think it's better to just go buy a few photography books. They wont just cover how to use the camera, but they'll also give good advice on how to compose a shot. They're also really well written and some contain helpful pictures as examples.

It's also a good idea to browse a ton of other photographer's websites or work that you enjoy. It's what I did when I first began (and still do), it helped me develop my own style and exposed me a lot to the art.
fionab
Once again thanks for the help. Our libraries are not that great but I have after your posts looked for some books on Amazon and am looking at buying one from there.
I have googled for tutorials and have found some thanks.
I also thing I am trying to often shoot too close to the subject because of my lens. I have ordered a new zoom a sigma 55-200 from the USA should get it in a few weeks. That should work much better. I played with a 70 - 300 but found it too heavy, so have opted for the size I choose, I really wanted the 18 - 200 but when converted into our currency it is way too pricey.
I will be removing the pics as I do not like to have my son splashed across the net. I will post a pic I took with the zoom which does show better focus.
Once again thanks for all the help.
Fiona
fionab
Here is one I took with the 70 - 300 lens. It seems to loose clarity when posted must look at my photo host. I use Flickr, I have a gallery on my site but I cannot link back not sure why. It is a coppermine gallery.

songsalways
Hi,
I m not much of a professional photographer, but just interested and curious person. I think its much of the combinations rather than only the focus thing. For this, first try to adjust the shutter speed, exposure, and film type in proper position. Focussing comes at the end. If you are confused with the exposure and shutter speed, keep it in the medium way.
Now for focussing, try to move the focus in and out for few times before taking a shot. there you see a transition between
more blurred... blurred .. sharp.. blurred... more blurred
and when u come back i.e, zoom out, you see the same sequence in reverse order.
Try doing this for couple of times. Then once you get sharp image click it.
Or just for a trial, try to find a vertical object in your subject. you see the vertical line being deviated until the shot is out of focus. only when it is perfectly focussed, you see a straight vertical object.

Try this, may be it can help
paul_indo
This is not the first time I have heard of focus problems with the Digital Rebel.

If you are having focus problems only with certain types of shot it is a good idea to try manual focus for a few shots and check the results. I personally prefer to use manual focus as it gives more gauranteed results in most situations.
Motoracer380
i do everything in manual focus might take a long time to get the shot you want...but manual focus gives you so many more options on how you want the photo to look
Liu
I believe you can achieve the same affects over manual focus with auto-focus points that the Canon 350d has. It's crucial to action/sports photography.
HoboPelican
Liu wrote:
I believe you can achieve the same affects over manual focus with auto-focus points that the Canon 350d has. It's crucial to action/sports photography.



Is the auto focus on the Rebel fast enough to use in action shots? I never had a camera that could focus fast enough for quick shots. That would be sweet to not have to depress 1/2 way and wait.

One other thing that is great about manual focus in motion shots is that you can predict a focus point and wait for the subject to "break" the focus plane.
Liu
HoboPelican wrote:

Is the auto focus on the Rebel fast enough to use in action shots? I never had a camera that could focus fast enough for quick shots. That would be sweet to not have to depress 1/2 way and wait.

I believe the rebel (atleast the 20d has it) has an option of when you press it 1/2 down on the subject, and if you hold it, it will continuously and automatically adjust the focus. How fast it initially focuses also depends on the lens if i'm not mistaken.
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