Is there a trick to manual focusing?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by schumionbike, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    I try manual focusing a few time and I never seem to get a very sharp shot. I put the lens on manual focus and turn the focusing ring to make the subject in the picture reasonably clear and then take the picture but I ended up focusing on something else beside the subjects. So is there a trick to it or do I just need a lot more practices.
     
  2. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Generally speaking, DSLRs, particularly entry level to mid-range, are just very very difficult to manual focus successfully. There's no reason that you should worry about manually focusing the camera unless you are in a situation where you just can't get the AF to work right. In that case it's just a matter of practice.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    also check that your diopter is set right (look up in your manual for this) its a common problem that people don't set this right and then try manual focusing and get repeatedly soft shots.
     
  4. Ls3D

    Ls3D TPF Noob!

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    You can also rock your body to pull final focus by moving the camera... got enough light? Tripod?

    -Shea
     
  5. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would set your auto focus to the center point only. In manual focus the point will still blink when correct focus is reached.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah the trick to manual focusing is to use it when you can't autofocus anymore like in low light or when you're setting up a shot waiting for a subject to move into a focus point. Unless the autofocus doesn't work, autofocus will be faster and dead accurate every time when used properly.

    Modern SLRs are not at all designed for manual focusing and without a focusing aid like a split prism which were available in every SLR back in the day, autofocusing using the small viewfinder and a little focusing dot is like pulling teeth and works only about half of the time.
     
  7. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses guys, I have upgrade to a Nikon D40 with the kit len and the 55-200 VR. I was messing around with the manual focus with the kit lens. I figure I learn how to manual focus just in case I need to know how to use it but the results from my picture is all over the place.
     
  8. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Yeah auto focus sucks in low light, which really sucks, because it's hard as balls to manual focus in low light.
     
  9. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    I agree.

    That is why they invented AF. Manual is hard.
     
  10. LiveWave

    LiveWave TPF Noob!

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    Practice
     
  11. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    Depth of field can help of course - if your focusing at F1.4 it'll be a whole lot harder than F22.
     
  12. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    If you're using a camera from about the early 80's onwards, this isn't the case because all focusing/viewing is done with the aperture open to its widest to allow a bright image, with the iris diaphram only stopping down to what the user has selected when the shutter is released.
     

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