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08-05-2009, 02:31 PM   #1
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A lot of out of focus photographs

Hey i wanted to know what might be the cause of having out of focus pictures?

08-05-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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Well we'd need some information and a sample photo or 2. What camera? What lens? What shutter speed(s)? Subject? Etc.
08-05-2009, 02:55 PM   #3
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Assuming you are talking about AF:

#1 most common problem: not having told the camera where to focus, so camera chose to focus somewhere else

#2: not realizing you can only be so precise in telling the camera where to focus, since the AF sensors are much larger than the little red squares used to tell the camera where to focus

#3: not realizing that at large aperture (small f-numbers), close focus distances, or long focal lengths, depth of field (DOF) is very shallow, menaing only a small portion of your picture can ever be in focus

#4: mistaking blurriness from camera shake or subject motion for being out of focus

Somewhere much farther down the list is the possibility that your camera or lens has a defect of some kind, but you'd have to rule out all of the above by posting appaorpriate pictures here before one should even consider the possibility that the problem is one of the things I listed above.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-05-2009 at 08:34 PM.
08-05-2009, 02:57 PM   #4
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Camera k-2000 lense FA 50-200
unfortunately i have deleted a bunch recently i will try to post.
usually i try not to go down beyond 1/90. Have noticed that when there is more than one subject like let's say my wife and her friend at 100mm zoom. Also i have noticed that it takes a while for autofocus to find the right spot!

08-05-2009, 03:12 PM   #5
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Marc thank you i got all you points, but the first one. What do you mean by not telling the camera where to focus? My subject is always within the focusing point

So i only use manual mode (with autofocus) can it actually be the case that because i adjust apertures and shutter speeds manually, autofocus works slower than when i use shutter priority or aperture priority? Is manual focusing better?
What do you guys use in say taking photographs of people ?
08-05-2009, 04:00 PM   #6
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I just realized that i'm using AF-A ((( That also might be the problem
08-05-2009, 06:51 PM   #7
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The camera has red little squares in the viewfinder that light up when it auto-focuses.
These red squares are scattered on the viewfinder.
If you didn't choose the center as the AF point then the red squares might have missed your intended target and auto-focused somewhere else.
I use center-weighted metering and use the center focus too so that I know that where I point the camera center is where it would focus.
You can push the AF-lock button after that when you want to re-compose the shot.
08-05-2009, 07:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by acarpov Quote
Hey i wanted to know what might be the cause of having out of focus pictures?
1, whiskey
2. gin
3. vodka
4. tequila
5. brandy
6. rum
7. schnapps
...

08-05-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by acarpov Quote
Marc thank you i got all you points, but the first one. What do you mean by not telling the camera where to focus?
I mean, the camera has a certain number (depends on the model) of focus points - places in the viewfinder where it can focus. The default mode of the camera is for it to choose which of them to use, meaning it might choose something on the left side of the picture where you wanted it to focus on something on the right side. You should be using one of the modes where choose which focus point the camera uses.

QuoteQuote:
So i only use manual mode (with autofocus) can it actually be the case that because i adjust apertures and shutter speeds manually, autofocus works slower than when i use shutter priority or aperture priority?
No.

QuoteQuote:
Is manual focusing better?
Well, then you *definitely* only have yourself to blame if focus is not where you want it.

QuoteQuote:
What do you guys use in say taking photographs of people ?
Sometimes I use AF - telling the camera to use the center focus point - but since the actual sensor is much larger than the red square, there is no guarantee the camera will actually focus on the person and not something else that happens to be "near" the person as it appears in the viewfinder. So if there is something else in range of the sensor and I can see in the viewfinder that the camera keeps choosing it, I'll just take over (via quick shift) and focus manually. Of course, most of my lenses are manual focus only anyhow, so with them I'm definitely using manual focus.
08-06-2009, 05:15 AM   #10
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K-m does not display any red squares/focus point confirmations whatsoever. By default it picks one of the 5 focus points, but doesn't tell you which one. This can sometimes mean the camera focuses on something you don't want to.

What you need to do is set the camera to use single central focus point (press Menu, press right once, scroll down to the AF point selection and pick the single dot).*

Then the camera will always focus on the object that is in the circle in the middle of the viewfinder.

After that you have two choices.

You can either change the focusing mode from AF-A to AF-S (single). Then you have to point your camera at your subject, half-press the shutter button, wait for the autofocus lock confirmation, reframe the shot and fully depress the shutter button.

The other option is to keep the AF-A focusing mode, but change the function of the AF button and the shutter button. A bit deeper in the menu is an option called AF button function. Default is 1, you can change this to 2. If you do, your shutter button will no longer engage autofocus. You will have to do all your focusing by pressing the AF button.

You have to point your camera at the object that should be in focus, press the AF button and wait for the focus confirmation. Then release the AF button, recompose and take the shot.

If you keep the AF button pressed down and the object is moving, the camera will continually adjust focus.

It takes a bit of practice, but I think it's worth it.

Experiment with it. And read the manual, it also explains another interesting concept, locking exposure and focus point. That can be very handy when using center-weighted or spot metering and recomposing a shot.

*As with anything, there are situations when the wide focusing area is better, ie. shooting flying subjects like birds against blue sky, it's a lot easier to get a focus lock when all the 5 AF points are active.
08-06-2009, 06:14 AM   #11
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Just to second the good advice there from Impact. AF-S plus central focus point gives you full control over auto-focus.

Or, dare I suggest it, try manual focusing. With some practice it's not that bad at all. In fact, it's the superior solution since you can point the camera anywhere and focus on anything you want within the frame, with no second-guessing.
08-06-2009, 07:21 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
1, whiskey
2. gin
3. vodka
4. tequila
5. brandy
6. rum
7. schnapps
...
Hey i never thought of it actually )))))))
08-09-2009, 09:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
1, whiskey
2. gin
3. vodka
4. tequila
5. brandy
6. rum
7. schnapps
...
HA!
08-10-2009, 04:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
1, whiskey
2. gin
3. vodka
4. tequila
5. brandy
6. rum
7. schnapps
...
yeah, but those in the correct combination can actually make your shots look sharper...it is corallary to the "A 2 at 10 is a 10 at 2" theorem.

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