Nikon 50mm f1.8 focusing problems

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Cristy, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Cristy

    Cristy TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I am very new to DSLR photography and shoot using a Nikon D50. I have recently purchased my first lens (other than the kit lens), a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF, as it was recommended by a friend as a good quality and value lens. Indeed, I have seen plenty of glowing reviews for it, and some amazing photos taken with it!

    So this makes it even more embarassing that I am having such a hard time focusing this lens :blushing: The AF appears to work correctly, inasmuch as it 'locks' as it should, but when I take the photo it almost always has some degree of blurriness ( I do realise that at large apertures there will be a small area of focus and the rest is soft. This is mostly out of focus/motion blur!). I don't think it is a problem with the lens, as I have managed to take a few sharp shots with it, but with my technique.

    Most of the problems seem to happen in low lighting and with large apertures. Yet, I've even had problems outdoors at f4+... I can't understand this, my kit lens focuses very easily and I get sharp pictures from it every time.

    If it helps, I can post some pictures to illustrate the problem.

    Any help greatly appreciated, please be kind, I am a real n00b!
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    put it on a tripod and do tests at every aperture shooting the exact same thing without moving the camera AT ALL. analize the resuts.
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If you are shooting in low light, your shutter speeds are probably pretty low. The general rule is, 1/Focal Length to maintain a sharp, shake free image. So when using your 50mm, don't shoot slower than 1/60 handheld. I know for myself, that this still won't gurantee a sharp picture. I don't really like to shoot less than 1/125 if I can, without a tripod.
     
  4. Cristy

    Cristy TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both for your responses. I have been playing with it a bit more today (I have only had it for two days!) and noticed a definite improvement by increasing shutter speeds. Even then, it seems to me that the AF is a lot less forgiving than the kit lens, especially for a fast moving subject (just back from a day photographing tumbling toddlers!).

    Thank you again for your help.
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If anything, the AF should work better with the 50mm f/1.8. You need to learn the most effective way to use it. When you compose your shot, and auto focus, no matter what settings you have for the shot, the lens is wide open for focusing. The 50mm opens much wider than your kit lens, letting in lots more light. This can only make focusing easier.
     
  6. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    also, dont be fooled by a "little soft spot" from the aperture. at 1.8 there is going to be a LOT of soft spot. Focus against something flat, such as a wall painting, or words on a page. if you want to see the DOF, find something like a railing and focus on one of the bars. the DOF is crazy
     

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