Fun with Focusing

I love the focusing freedom that the DSLR lenses give me!

The first photo is using autofocus.

I shot this next photo manually in order to override the camera’s focus on the foreground.

I would have liked to have the cat be a little less blurry, but I’m not sure how I could have maintained this angle and apparent distance *and* gotten them both in focus. Perhaps a wider lens? This was my 55-200mm lens and I was physically about 1-2 feet from the cat.  Maybe if I was further back and zoomed in with my 18-55mm lens?

Photog Complaint/Frustration: I’m having a hard time telling when my lens is focused when I’m in manual mode. When I’m wearing glasses it’s a balancing act to not push the glasses closer to my eyes when I have the camera up to my face. I haven’t been able to make the diopter work for me because at the farthest end of the dial, it’s STILL not strong enough for my poor eyesight (I did read the manual about optimizing the diopter and it sounds like I may be out of luck). If I’m wearing contacts focusing is better, but I don’t often wear my contacts unless I know I’m going to be out taking photos.  Any thoughts or suggestions about adjusting the diopter or focusing in general are appreciated.

Fun with Focusing
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9 thoughts on “Fun with Focusing

  1. 1

    Love both photos and the models, especially that cat, what pretty eyes. Sounds like you’re having tons of fun with the camera. A long time ago, far away, in another galaxy, I took photography and used to know about focus and all that stuff, wish I could remember but it’s been years and now, I’ve gotten lazy with a digital camera and I let it do everything…sigh

    1. 2.1

      Thanks for the link! And I second the rotten SOB sentiment for Jeremy, although it would probably carry more weight if I hadn’t just gotten back from Cozumel last week 😉

  2. 5

    You read manuals? It’s a good thing. I’m the kind that just keeps hitting buttons. The other day I somehow deleted all my digital photos from my beat up PowerShot. Good thing everything was already downloaded into my photo files. My most favorite shot is on my site. You’d have to go back a few blogs to “My Mona Lisa”. Taken with a cell phone!

  3. 6

    I feel honored for getting the mention above. Mexico was great, but I ended up working much more than I had hoped.

    I saw this posted while in Mexico, but decided to make a note to return when I got back.

    Great work on the depth of field study, biodork. I think they are great shots individually.

    To get more depth of field (and less blur effect between two subjects), you need more light and/or a more open aperture. The zoom lens is also a factor. A higher f stop will get longer DOP, but you (typically) need more light to achieve it.

    The wider the lens, the better the chance of better DOF. Zoom lenses tend to need more light when zoomed to say 200mm. This doesn’t pertain to all zoom lenses, but it can be a factor. Zoom lenses are best for creating great focus drop off after a subject. It tends to be unknowingly pleasing to many people (depending on the subject of course).

    My recommendation for learning about DOF is to watch Citizen Kane. There are a few scenes to check out. One of them is the party scene at the newspaper office in which some 30 men are sitting at a table and ALL of the guys are in focus. It’s an incredible feat in depth of field that took an amazing amount of light. Citizen Kane is a photographers dream, and I can watch it a thousand times and still learn something new.

    There are also lenses available in film that are split focused. That’s to say you could focus the kitty and the dog in the same frame with a hairline defocus area splitting the two animals. For a reference, see Jaws when the main guys “Harry” is looking over his buddy’s shoulder on the beach at the little boy in the distance. Both the buddy and boy are in focus.

    Sorry so long. I had to get all photography uppity.

    You guys should all come over and watch movies all day.

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