how could I have gotten better focus?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JbleezyJ, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. JbleezyJ

    JbleezyJ TPF Noob!

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    I took a lot of shots I really liked when I visited Yosemite. However I really liked this moon rise over Yosemite valley. It was really dark so I just set to manual focus and focused on the moon. The moon was sharp on my viewfinder. I was at ISO 250 and f/11 set up on the tripod as the moon was rising. I snapped this shot but everything looks out of focus to me and I'm sad I missed out on this shot. Should I have been at a much narrower aperture or was my problem that I should have focused on the mountain or tree? I really feel that I could've done better with this shot what did I do wrong?
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  2. Stosh

    Stosh TPF Noob!

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    DSLR viewfinders don't do well with manual focusing. The screens are very clear to maximize brightness, not help with focusing. Without a proper split screen focusing screen, a scene can look OK to your eye without really being in focus. In the dark it's much, much worse. I find that with my Canon, even with a 50mm lens, the auto focus can successfully work on a tiny, bright object like a distant street light or the moon. Also, if you have live view or whatever Nikon calls it, you can zoom the image to the max and play with focus until you get something acceptable. Switch back to manual focus and shoot away.

    As for aperture, you should stick with something a stop or 2 slower than max. If your lens' max aperture is f/4, then shoot at f/5.6 or f/8. You will lose some sharpness at f/11 because of diffraction.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I focus just fine with my camera. I NEVER use auto focus.

    I too would have chosen f11... maybe f8 for this shot. You're right about focusing on the tree. Nearly all of the depth of field falls BEHIND where you focus. So yeah... focus on the part of the subject that is closest to the camera.

    Isn't Yosemite a fantastic place? I'm glad you had the chance to experience it.

    -Pete
     

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