View Full Version : I really need help. [focusing]
18th of May 2007 (Fri), 15:36
I'm going crazy here. First off I have a Canon DSLR 30D and I was using the 24-70 Canon L lens. A lot of my pictures seem to not be focused right. I always focus on the person's eyes and yet it seems like a lot of times the person isn't in focused. I.E.http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y85/Miller00/Blur.jpg Exposure time: 0.0100 s (1/100) Aperture: f/7.1 ISO equiv.: 100 Flash used. It's just weird because I Know I focused on her eyes yet it seems like the block below her is more in focus. Also my pictures seem So gross at 100% crop I want to show you an example http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y85/Miller00/100.jpg but other times they are okay like this one,This picuture is a lot closer up, does that make a difference? http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y85/Miller00/100crop.jpgExposure time: 0.0080 s (1/125)Aperture: f/3.5 ISO equiv.: 100 Flash used. Any help would be amazing! Thank you.
19th of May 2007 (Sat), 00:49
Well, no matter what lens you use, assuming the focus is correct, closer means sharper, i.e. more detail. It's real hard to tell what's going on with your first shot. The uploaded image is so small that its almost impossible to judge the focus, and it pixelates at once if I zoom in on it. As it is, nothing really looks to be in critical focus, and I know that's wrong. Something in the image is bound to be in focus! Could you post a bigger image somewhere and give us a link to it?
19th of May 2007 (Sat), 02:53
If you haven't done this already... Turn off the 9 or 11 point autofocus and only use the center focus spot. Aim at what you want in focus, focus (half press of button), frame the shot, then shoot.
19th of May 2007 (Sat), 04:41
Here are bigger versions of pictures http://millert.multiply.com/photos/album/14
19th of May 2007 (Sat), 05:03
Miller, I've been looking at your photos and also found your old thread here http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=228995 with similar problems but with a different body and lens so I'm really struggling to see how you are getting such disappointing results even with a complete equipment change.
Even with the larger pictures in your post above I still can't figure out where the problem lays. To be honest it might help to see the original photographs, complete with Exif data intact. One thought does spring to mind - are you shooting raw and then converting to jpeg without sharpening? Or are you shooting your photos in small jpeg mode in the first place or something like that? What is your workflow for getting the photos onto the web from the originals?
19th of May 2007 (Sat), 05:32
Another approach, if it's hard to conclude much about your technique, is to check out your equipment to see how good the focusing is. Here are three images shot with my 30D and 17-85 at 85mm and F5.6 with different focus points selected. They are presented as a single screen print within Zoombrowser, showing all three pictures at once with the respective focus points highlighted...
The shots were taken simply by lying on a carpeted floor and firing off the three shots at a very low angle (camera body roughly supported about 4-5" off the floor) to illustrate the depth of field and where the focus ended up in relation to the focus point indicators in the viewfinder. I think I have a pretty strong correlation between the intended point of focus and where focus actually occurred. If you were to repeat a similar exercise you may find your camera/lens is not focusing where it should.
19th of May 2007 (Sat), 09:25
This may sound dumb, but after you press the shutter button and it locks the focus on her eyes, are you SURE you are continuing to hold the shutter button down 1/2 way while you recompose the shot? If you release it, it will refocus on whatever is inside the little red square when you again press the shutter button and the shot may be OOF.
19th of May 2007 (Sat), 09:36
not to mention the shots look a tad under exposed too boot. I did a lens focus test when i first started out with a dslr and thought all my len.ses sucked...turns out, i did...lol the next time i used my flash and had some better lighting and exposure and it made all the difference in the world
19th of May 2007 (Sat), 10:07
I never could consistently get a really sharp shot by focusing then recomposing.
I learned from RAitch to shoot once I get focus.
I usually half press several times and then shoot.
Sniper stile, take a breath and exhale half way.
My 2 cents :)
21st of May 2007 (Mon), 01:13
Tdodd- I shoot Large Jpeg..I just uploaded this particular picture to my computer..resized it I think 700x..1000 or so...and saved it. I put the originals on my multiply site so you can look there. I am just getting really frustrated as I can't seem to get sharp pictures at all. To the person who was asking about Exif date, what else do you need besides shutter speed apeture and Iso?
21st of May 2007 (Mon), 02:55
Miller, I'm not sure if I can help you. The pictures you have uploaded to the Multiply site are not the originals - you have resized them! I don't know whether you have performed any other edits like tweaking levels/curves or cropping/straightening or whether you've tried to add any sharpening. I also have no idea what sharpening parameters were set in the camera when you tookk the picture in the first place.
If all you've done is to resize the pictures with no other edits then at least we have a fair idea of what we are dealing with but I still don't know exactly what the original picture looked like. Are you aware that each time you save a jpeg you lose a little image quality? So if you opened the original and played around with it a bit and then saved it the quality will reduce a little (unless you're using Picasa or Lightroom for your editing). If you then open it again, fiddle a bit more and save it again you will lose a little bit more quality. If you are editing your original file (rather than a copy) you will be slowly destroying the original quality in your photo. When you save the photo you have an option for a quality or compression setting for your jpeg. The lower this is set the more quality you lose. I have no idea what quality setting you used when you saved the downsized image, or if you performed any edit/save operations before downsizing. So basically, without the original photograph it is impossible (for me) to judge just how good/bad the picture was out of the camera.
Even if you have not damaged the quality by multiple edit/save operations the final file size on your web images shows that a fair amount of compression has been used so that is certainly lowering the final image quality. The original Large/Fine jpeg from a 30D should be 3MB-4MB roughly, depending upon what the subject matter is in the image, but the photos on your website range from just 153KB-206KB. So you are asking us to judge the images based on about 7% of the data in the ORIGINAL photo.
I also don't know how you are downsizing - what software are you using? Are you sharpening in concert with the downsizing, because conventional wisdom is that you need to apply sharpening when downsizing, but you don't mention that.
So with all the above in mind I have no idea, from your little 150-200KB files why you might be suffering poor image quality. Having said all that, one of the pictures actually does look pretty sharp - the second one, image_0525. But in this photo the face, teeth and motiff on her top all look brighter and it seems as though you may have used flash for that photo but not the others. Also the white patches on the wall look brighter in that photo and seem sharper too. Did you use flash for all the photos or just the one?
How are you focusing? Which focus point are you using? Are you using focus/recompose? Are you using One Shot, AI Focus, AI Servo focus or manual? How steady are you when focusing - do you sway back and forth a little? How carefully are you squeezing the shutter - do you stab at it or squeeze carefully and slowly?
Anyway, I'm afraid I don't have the skills to conclude where your problem lies based on these downsized, shrunken photos with all exif data missing (including focus point data). If you could place the UNEDITED originals somewhere and tell us a bit more about your technique then I will happily take another look. If you've already edited them then is it too late to copy the originals from your card?
By the way, I'm no expert on all this, just learning myself, but in trying to help others I hope I am improving my own knowledge. Maybe the originals won't tell me any more than your web copies but I'd rather eliminate as many reasons for doubt/confusion as possible.
21st of May 2007 (Mon), 04:49
tess, i went to your site...in the pics, i can clearly see the stry hairs on the models head... the pics arent that bad off.... next time, try it with a tripod and if you have a hotshoe flash... use it.. put in hispeed mode and your shutter speed should go to 1/250 and use AV mode and start off at f8 and do a test pic and using your histogram on the back... adjust just the Aperture either up or down to get it perfect...do not adjust the shutterspeed unless you cant get the bg exposed.
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