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08-03-2010, 07:15 PM   #1
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Hello everyone, I'm trying to get some auto focus shot head on to come out correctly but they are coming out just a tad soft. I am attaching two to show you. These were taken with the K20D and DA*300 with continuous shooting. These were taken with the K20D and DA*300, ISO 800 and at f/4.0 and ss of 1/4000.
I'm just trying to figure out how I can get these types of shots. I can get the panning shots without any problems. It's just these head on shots that are confusing me. Maybe if I shot it at f8 or higher the camera would be a little more forgiving on the focus? And please no I'm not interested in getting a different brand of equipement. I might be ok with looking into getting a k7 if that would help.





Thank you
Jim


Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-03-2010 at 10:05 PM.
08-03-2010, 07:23 PM   #2
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You seem to have plenty of headroom for sharpening in that image(not problems there as far as I can see). A little PP and your right back on target
08-03-2010, 07:39 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
You seem to have plenty of headroom for sharpening in that image(not problems there as far as I can see). A little PP and your right back on target
Hello John and thanks for the reply. I have added some unsharp mask to it in PP. And I'm using Photoshop CS4. Maybe there is something I can use in PP that would help me get it back sharp?

Also I'm not a pixel peeper but if I print this out in a 11x14 print you can tell real easy that it is a tad soft.

Do you think this catch in focus might help? I am open to suggestions of how to make shots like this work. Because I get a lot like this, probably 1/2 to 3/4 of my head on shots are like this.

Thank you
Jim
08-03-2010, 07:59 PM   #4
hcc
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Could you provide more details on your setup?

Do you use:
- AF (Correct ?),
- AF.S or AF.C,
- center-focus or multiple-point focus,
- dial mode (P, M, ...)

Have you tried Hi continuous shooting and AF.C ?

Another option if to use MF with Hi continuous shooting. You can usually get a couple of good shots per sequence.

Cheers


Last edited by hcc; 08-03-2010 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Typos
08-03-2010, 08:12 PM   #5
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Your best bet is to go to manual focus and prefocus on a spot where you know a rider will be. then it's just a matter of pushing the button at the right moment.
08-03-2010, 08:22 PM   #6
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Hello here is the info you are asking for.

Yes to Auto Focus
AF.C and this is following the rider into the corner then into me so it has already started focusing on him.
Focus is set to Select. I wonder if I put that on center if that would fix part of my problem. Dang I didn't notice that.
Dial mode is on M.
And I just checked and I am using Hi continuous shooting and AF.C.

I try to stay away from my manual focusing because I have eye problems. That is why I rely on the camera to focus for me.

Thank you
Jim Browning

QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Could you provide more details on your setup?

Do you use:
- AF (Correct ?),
- AF.S or AF.C,
- center-focus or multiple-point focus,
- dial mode (P, M, ...)

Have you tried Hi continuous shooting and AF.C ?

Another option if to use MF with Hi continuous shooting. You can usually get a couple of good shots per sequence.

Cheers
08-03-2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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Hi Jim, I am not sure of your settings or technique but i have found with the K20 that the AFC setting works well if you also use the AF button for focusing. The trick is to leave the shutter button half pressed ( SR hexagon lit and active as well as the metering) and when your taget is in range, track it (the front screen) with "Centre Focus" selected, apply AF with your thumb and squeeze shutter on continuous HI setting. Much easier than it sounds, i use this to shoot aussie football with fast action in all directions and don't miss that many to missed focus. I use a DA 200 hand held (low light & rain) and a 400 on a monopod. I would suggest a monopod for the 300 if it also allows you to track the object, shots are sharpest that way i find. I hope that is of some help and goodluck! Dré.
08-03-2010, 08:48 PM   #8
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Thanks for the pointers DreTax. I think part of my problem is that I have the camera set to Select focus for the focus point. I do hold the shutter down half way through the corner following the rider through the corner. I haven't use the AF button in the back because I thought that hold the shutter down half way was keeping things in focus. I do use a monopod with the 300.

Thanks
Jim

QuoteOriginally posted by DreTAX Quote
Hi Jim, I am not sure of your settings or technique but i have found with the K20 that the AFC setting works well if you also use the AF button for focusing. The trick is to leave the shutter button half pressed ( SR hexagon lit and active as well as the metering) and when your taget is in range, track it (the front screen) with "Centre Focus" selected, apply AF with your thumb and squeeze shutter on continuous HI setting. Much easier than it sounds, i use this to shoot aussie football with fast action in all directions and don't miss that many to missed focus. I use a DA 200 hand held (low light & rain) and a 400 on a monopod. I would suggest a monopod for the 300 if it also allows you to track the object, shots are sharpest that way i find. I hope that is of some help and goodluck! Dré.


08-03-2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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I shoot live theatre dress rehearsals. Used to have problems getting a tight focus in low light. Bumped ISO up as high as 4000 ISO which allowed smaller apertures to F5.6 or F6.7 , from f2.8. Helped pictures immediately. Focus no longer had to be right on. Theatre staff loved the pics.

So yeah, your idea of going to F8 ought to help, even if you need to bump ISO up. With all that sunlight, you needn't go as high as i do, but smaller apertures should help the softness a lot. If i get noise with my K20, i take it out with LR3 or Topaz.

best wishes,
08-03-2010, 10:06 PM   #10
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I think your right Jim, the AF button may make no difference with this type of front back directional movement, but when movement occurs with no real change in distance or stops and starts, the AFC on shutter release becomes useless. Still I find the camera more responsive when i do the thinking or maybe i am more responsive because i am thinking more. Too much thinking!
08-04-2010, 07:39 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I shoot live theatre dress rehearsals. Used to have problems getting a tight focus in low light. Bumped ISO up as high as 4000 ISO which allowed smaller apertures to F5.6 or F6.7 , from f2.8. Helped pictures immediately. Focus no longer had to be right on. Theatre staff loved the pics.

So yeah, your idea of going to F8 ought to help, even if you need to bump ISO up. With all that sunlight, you needn't go as high as i do, but smaller apertures should help the softness a lot. If i get noise with my K20, i take it out with LR3 or Topaz.

best wishes,
Thanks Phil for the response. I have shot one time with the ISO at 1600 or 3200 (because of wet, rainy, cloudy weather). But as soon as I could reduce that back to 800 I did. But I will try that again and see where that gets me. I use Photoshop CS4 with Noiseware Standard to get rid of the noise. And my PP isn't as good as it needs to be.

Thanks
Jim
08-04-2010, 07:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DreTAX Quote
I think your right Jim, the AF button may make no difference with this type of front back directional movement, but when movement occurs with no real change in distance or stops and starts, the AFC on shutter release becomes useless. Still I find the camera more responsive when i do the thinking or maybe i am more responsive because i am thinking more. Too much thinking!
And don't think I'm disagreeing with you DreTax. I don't think I have even touched that button on the back of the camera that says AF. I just always thought it would do the same thing I was doing with holding the shutter button down half way and being in continuous mode. Now when you are using the AF button are you holding it down continuously or are you pushing the button when you are wanting to make sure the subject is in focus?

Thank you
Jim
08-04-2010, 04:48 PM   #13
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Yes Jim, I am choosing when i want it to focus, this way my choices are, "single" press & release, "continuous" hold or "fixed" press & leave, without restriction or changing any buttons and whilst maintaining active SR & metering "half press shutter". With AFC on shutter relase if you miss or can't stay on the target the focus will go on a long hunt or you react by releasing the shutter button therefore losing SR and metering. This can waste fractions of time or possible SR blur pics because your next shutter press (in haste) is full or too fast for it to kick in. Cheers, Dré
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