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12-17-2009, 07:16 AM   #16
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Thanks to all for your comments and advice. The picture of my son was taken just before we took a family picture (me, wife, son & daughter) so I was trying to get a feel for the framing that I wanted. I definitely see how the camera could choose to focus on the red berries behind him since he didn't fill up the center point area. I need to get some more practice with the camera. What is the best setup for shooting small group portraits as I described above? Should I use center point focus for something like this and stop down the lens for a larger portion of the image in focus?

12-17-2009, 07:33 AM   #17

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you should focus on his nose then re compose.

I turn off auto focus on half press shutter.

set Camera menu option c..2 number 10. to 2>

then use AF button to focus, on face and recompose and shoot. You'll probably also want to lock the exposure or use manual exposure and the green button so its exposing based on the face.

Simpler way but not the way i work...would be to choose a focus point other than the center that is better suited.
12-17-2009, 07:45 AM   #18

QuoteOriginally posted by inferno10 Quote
Try the focus charts on this page: Jeffrey Friedl’s Blog Jeffrey’s Autofocus Test Chart

The gradations are very fine so you can clearly see how the focus is doing. The page also has great info on how to setup the camera and interpret the results.

- Jason


great link. I thank you for that. Very cool.
12-17-2009, 09:59 AM   #19
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I'm working through my Kx autofocus learning curve too. With lots of help from the folks here.

One helpful tool is PhotoMe which reads all the Exif data. I took the liberty of downloading the picture of your son, and the EXIF says that the camera used the center focus point. PhotoMe shows a bracket around the focus point (see screenshot below).

On your photo, the bracket is on the left side of your son's head and centered on the hat/face border which has plenty of contrast. Based on Marc's comments, I doubt that the bracket size is accurate, but it does show where the camera is centered. I'm guessing the bush to the left is within the center focus area.

In this case, I think the camera should focus on the closer subject with a high contrast edge that the camera is pointing at instead of the berries behind and away from the center, but I do not know how the phase detect system works.

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12-17-2009, 10:19 AM   #20
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FIW, I like to focus on people's mid-sections rather than faces in situations like that. Both are at more or less the same distance, so focusing on one is as good as focusing on the other, and of course, most people's midsections present a far larger focus target that greatly reduces the likelihood the camera will focus on the background instead. Of course, if I'm shooting a portrait from closer so the face fills more of the frame, I'll focus there.
12-17-2009, 10:38 AM   #21
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Great tip Marc. I'll try to remember that and make it a habit.

>FIW, I like to focus on people's mid-sections rather than faces in situations like that ...
12-17-2009, 11:27 AM   #22
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Thanks for the info on PhotoMe, bnorikane. I do generally choose the center point and focus on faces for portraits, but I like Marc's idea of using the mid-section for focus to decrease the risk of missing said focus. Very helpful!

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