soft focus problem >_<

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by shingfan, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    need help with focusing.....i was doing portraits with a friend yesterday in the living room......i used autofocus at various focus point of my D80 (got 11 focus points)........from time to time....the focus came out a little "soft"......is there any technique that you use to make your focus better.........i'll try to a avoid manual focus because i cant tell whether it is a soft focus or a crisp focus from the small viewfinder......the reason i know some are soft focus is because of the eyelash and the lips........when the image is in crisp focus....the lips would appear very glossy and i can see sharp edges on the eyelashes when viewing at 100%(like 4 out of 10 of my portrait would appear this way while others look kinda soft)......

    PLEASE HELP
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My recommendation would be to ignore the 11 focus points. You only need one. Use that one to focus on an eye, hold down the shutter release button half while you recompose the shot. Then finish depressing the shutter release.
     
  3. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    I agree with fmw. With the 11 focus points, the camera is clearly trying to provide a medium-good solution to all.

    If you use a single point, make that point the crucial part of your image and adjust the f stop so the dof will encompass the areas you want, you will be fine.

    I, and many others I know, use single point and aperture preferred setting almost exclusively.
     
  4. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i'll definitely give that a try to see if i can get more consistent result

    using the 11 focus point.....would you expect less consistent result?....and why.....i''m just curious why the centre point can focus better than the other.....any technical explanation?....or it is easier for the camera to focus at the centre point mathematically? (but it does appear that the centre focus point does a more consistent job
     
  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    In any of the dynamic modes, there is a lot going on that is sort-of out of control of the photgrapher.

    With a single spot, the photographer selects the focus area in the frame that corresponds to the point to be focussed on and needn't worry about the decisions a computer chip, that can't understand the intent, might make.
     
  6. Innocence

    Innocence TPF Noob!

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    big mike taught me to use the middle focus point - and then to recompose. Works a charm. :D
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No they all work the same. You could put any of them on an eye and then recompose as indicated above. My guess is you just used the one closest to the eye rather putting one directly on it. Use whatever suits your fancy but do the recomposition after you have focused critically.
     
  8. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i guess that might be the issue....i usually use the one closest to the subject's face....maybe it works better if i focus on the body instead since the DOF is not that narrow at 50mm f4.0
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    lots or people select their focus points but unless your camera is on a tripod by the time someone goes to select their focus point I will have already focused and recomposed with the centre point.

    That said the centre point on my D200 does not appear to do the job any differently than any other point.
     
  10. Something to check out: the Canons (and I believe the Nikons) allow you to set sharpness. Check that you are set to a sharpness of your liking. This should be less of an issue if you're shooting RAW, but even then the camera writes your sharpness setting into the file, and displays it as you shot it.

    Don't over-sharpen if you're shooting portraits....
     

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