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Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-08-2006, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm wondering if someone uses any special 'techniques' to get better focused images using canon DSLs.

I've noticed, that I get sharper results, when I focus on something different (closer or farther than model), and then on model's eye.
If I refucus on the 'still' model without that 'trick', some images are slightly out of focus.

I'm also using '*' button for focusing, so the trick is:
1. Defocus model, by focusing on something at different distance (my own hand finger, if nothing is better [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] )
2. Press * and focus on model.
3. Shoot shoot shoot (while model is at the same distance) this is why I need AF not to be activated by halfpbess.
4. Distance changed. Go to step 1.


Do you find this crazy? Any comments/suggestions?
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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-08-2006, 03:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The special technique I use, for any camera, is called "manual focus". Don't let the machine think for you. Unless you're using a very wide aperture there's no reason to refocus before each and every shot, it just wastes time and ensures that you miss an opportunity that disappears in an instant.

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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-08-2006, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you! )

I'm using MF when I have time and need the shot to be perfect.

But it takes long to get focused with my cropped small viewfinder camera (cheap XT). However it is possible and works for me when I put enough efforts.
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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-08-2006, 03:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was forced to AF due to failing (aging eysight and now a cataract), but I find with some studio shots/models that monotone subjects and flatter lighting may make AF difficult..be sure that you have enough subject contrast at the point you are trying to AF, manual is better if you can, but don't avoid AF, just learn to use it when appropriate
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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-08-2006, 09:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Since I have problems focusing due to "old" eyes, I use the AF exclusively on my Canon 20D and before that on the Canon 10D. I have found the focus to be right on and virtually instant in most cases. I generally focus on the eyes. Normally in the studio you'll be shooting 10-15 feet from the model and at f8. So you'll usually have adequate DOF for a sharp photo if you put the focus point on any part of the subject's body that is in the same plane as the eyes.

But it is always possible for you to actually lock the focus on a point other than the plane you are going to find the eyes in and sometimes that will mean the eyes are not in the sweet spot of the zone of focus. This is especially true for those that lock focus on one point, and then recompose and shoot. The re-composition stage map change the distance between the original locked focal point and where the focus sensor is pointing at the time the shot is made and thus you can experience less accurate focus due to this problem.

I find that 90% or more of my shots are in sharp focus (that is to say the eyes are sharply focused), so I'm quite confident that the AF works very well. I use only the center point, by the way, as it is more sensitive that the other points. I've not ever found the need to focus on something else and then re-focus on the subject.



Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-09-2006, 11:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you! This really helps me continuing shooting with AF.

btw. What lenses do you use with your 20D?
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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-09-2006, 12:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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For much of my studio work I use a Sigma 70-200 2.8 and a Sigma 18-125 3.5-5.6. Also use a Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro.
Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-16-2006, 09:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I often have the same problem when shooting as well and I've found that it's generally not a focus issue as much as a lens sharpness or a chip sharpness image. Since all of the dslr's use a dye-on chip they interpolate from pixel to pixel to get each rgb value. As a result you will sometimes get a soft image off of the chip even though it's perfectly focused through the lens. This is a shortcoming of single area array sensors. Confused? Good, the long and short of it is shoot a lot, understand that sometimes dslr images will be a bit soft no matter how well focused through the lens.

Hope this helps

Steve

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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-16-2006, 09:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you think thats tough try being the photographer and model. If you shoot straight to your PC and set up time lapse picture cature can you set a RebelXT to refocus for each picture. Or would it be better to measure off your mark and manual focus to that distance and leave it there. I try and take as many pictures as I have patience for and then review them for the one. Many usually seem to miss the sharpness in the eyes as mentioned.
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Re: Canon AutoFocus in studio. How do you use it?
Old 01-17-2006, 08:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I'm wondering if someone uses any special 'techniques' to get better focused images using canon DSLs.

I've noticed, that I get sharper results, when I focus on something different (closer or farther than model), and then on model's eye.
If I refucus on the 'still' model without that 'trick', some images are slightly out of focus.

I'm also using '*' button for focusing, so the trick is:
1. Defocus model, by focusing on something at different distance (my own hand finger, if nothing is better [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] )
2. Press * and focus on model.
3. Shoot shoot shoot (while model is at the same distance) this is why I need AF not to be activated by halfpbess.
4. Distance changed. Go to step 1.


Do you find this crazy? Any comments/suggestions?

[/ QUOTE ]

Hmm... I try not to use your technique, because "depth of field" isn't the same as "depth of focus"..

I have all my cameras set to be able to auto focus independent of the shutter release button.. I use a button on the back that looks like * ..that..

That way, I can independently focus on something that the sensor doesn't have to be on top of.. and recompose within that focus plane..

I focus on the eyes usually..

I focus after every different pose, or movement on my part..

I may manual focus in some situations too....like back lighting,...or in the shade, because that's where the AF fails most..

& when I'm shooting outdoors, I'm almost always shooting wide open too..

My slowest lenses are f2.8 & I seem to be doing pretty well for the most part.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

See the exif file here:
www.pbase.com/john_paul/image/20298414

JP
 
 
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