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Thread started 27 Jan 2008 (Sunday) 20:37
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Best Way To Focus Canon XTi

 
Ken ­ Nielsen
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Jan 27, 2008 20:37 |  #1

I have only had my new XTi for a few weeks but I love it and it has become my close companion almost everywhere I go.

The one area that I struggle with is getting it to focus on what I want. I have read other threads here and tried custom function for the * key to do a quick focus using the center AF point which then locks in the focus at that point. The thing with that is it seems to change its focus between shots. Say I want to do a group shot and get in the picture myself so I do a focus and hit the button with timer shot selected and in 10 seconds it takes the shot. Then I had someone else who came along 'please push the shutter button to take another shot' and on those subsequent shots, it seemed to re-focus on another distance so the group is out of focus. Does it have to be re-focused for every shot? Then, on another shot, I didn't know about the general AF using all points, and even though the most of the shot was a mountain 60 miles away and infinity would have captured it best at f8 but the AF decided that the foreground shrubbery and trees were more important and the resulting shots show everything within 100 yards sharp and the mountain blurred and out of focus.

I'm so frustrated at coming back from shooting and having details and subjects not in focus that I am thinking of just setting the lens to Manual Focus and forgetting about AF all together.

What do you think? Any voice of experience to help me with this dilemma?

TIA, This is a great forum,


Ken




  
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Hermeto
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Jan 27, 2008 20:48 |  #2
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Do not use all (auto) focusing points.
Manually select focusing point closest to the subject of interest.
To be able to use * button for focusing, you have to set specific Custom Function on your camera.

I suggest (re)reading the Instruction Manual as well as visiting these two sites:

http://web.canon.jp/im​aging/enjoydslr/ (external link)
http://www.usa.canon.c​om …torial/rebelxtl​essons.htm (external link)


What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

  
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dave ­ kadolph
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Jan 27, 2008 21:32 as a reply to  @ Hermeto's post |  #3

And invest in one of these for your group shots:

http://www.normancamer​a.com …CANON_RC_5_REMO​TE_CONTROL (external link)

It will make it much more enjoyable--makes it much easier to take multiple shots.


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Mark_Cohran
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Jan 27, 2008 22:36 |  #4

Hermeto wrote in post #4796277 (external link)
Do not use all (auto) focusing points.
Manually select focusing point closest to the subject of interest.
To be able to use * button for focusing, you have to set specific Custom Function on your camera.

I suggest (re)reading the Instruction Manual as well as visiting these two sites:

http://web.canon.jp/im​aging/enjoydslr/ (external link)
http://www.usa.canon.c​om …torial/rebelxtl​essons.htm (external link)

Good advice. Taking control of your camera means you have better control of your results.


Mark
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Ken ­ Nielsen
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Jan 28, 2008 11:30 |  #5

Thanks for your input.

I will invest in the remote RC-5 to take care of group shots fired remotely.

For my other questions, and with the references and suggestions given above, I can see that manual focus is the best for many of the situations I have been having trouble with.

A combination of using * with Cfn 4, manual, and AF using the center point and holding the shutter button half-way down to lock focus then re-compose - seem to be the top three choices for maintaining control of focus on the subject of choice.




  
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emomophantom
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Jan 28, 2008 14:41 |  #6

I might be wrong, so research it before taking my word. I used an RC-1 with my XTi and LOVED it. It was my favorite accessory. I liked the RC-1 because it attached to the camera strap and it had an option for taking an immediate shot or for a two-second delay. Both really handy. I think I might have picked the RC-1 over the RC-5 because of additional features, so you may want to look at the differences.


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Ken ­ Nielsen
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Jan 28, 2008 15:12 |  #7

I just went down to the local Ritz and bought the RC-5. I'll give it a go and see how it works. They are both different for features but from what I've read I'm still not sure. The RC-5 goes through autofocus and then shoots the pic which causes a 2 second delay. The RC one you have a choice of immediate shot, or 2 second delay. I will only be sure by trying it out with mirror lockup. All of this should equal minimum camera movement for long exposures on a tripod.

We will see...


For group shots, I think I would only trust manual focus for that as autofocus has already gone wild on me in my last group shot. Does the RC-1 go through autofocus also?




  
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Vinni
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Jan 28, 2008 15:29 |  #8

This thread has influenced me to try and focus with the * button. I like it, I like it very much.


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emomophantom
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Jan 28, 2008 16:37 |  #9

Use the * to set your AF point and consider DoF. If you do that, even if it shoots automatically, you'd be ok. When you hit the RC-1 instant shot button, you hear it ping and shoot at almost the same time. When I would hit the button, if it did not detect an AF point, it would not shoot (all of this is in M Mode, btw). If I stepped away and hit the instant shoot button, it would move first, then shoot. But I could always set the lens to MF.

I actually used the instant shot more in situations where I was not in the picture. If I had it on a tripod, etc, I would stand to the side and use it to keep from jarring the camera.


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S-Man
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Jan 28, 2008 18:06 as a reply to  @ emomophantom's post |  #10

If you use the center AF point and want to focus on something in the left side of the frame, is it advisable to move the center over to the subject, press the shutter button half-way, then recompose and shoot?
I've tried this on several shots, and it seems to not work as well as selecting an AF point on the desired focus subject. What are your thoughts?




  
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emomophantom
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Jan 30, 2008 17:48 |  #11

S-Man wrote in post #4802938 (external link)
it seems to not work as well as selecting an AF point on the desired focus subject. What are your thoughts?

That's correct. There are others that might have more technical reasons, but I find that there's just too much movement involved. Metering is one thing, focusing is another. The * button (if you learn how to use it on the fly) is the best way to place the primary focusing point where you want it. Especially if you are using a small f-stop, you'll want to be as precise in focusing as possible.


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Mark_Cohran
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Jan 30, 2008 18:04 |  #12

S-Man wrote in post #4802938 (external link)
If you use the center AF point and want to focus on something in the left side of the frame, is it advisable to move the center over to the subject, press the shutter button half-way, then recompose and shoot?
I've tried this on several shots, and it seems to not work as well as selecting an AF point on the desired focus subject. What are your thoughts?

It works well enough when you have sufficient depth of field that the subsequent recomposition doesn't move the plane of focus too far from the point you want to be sharp, however, with a shallow depth of field, center AF and recompose can be problematic as the desired point of focus (what you initially focused on) can be moved outside of the depth of field by the recomposition.


Mark
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Forty years of shooting and still learning.
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Best Way To Focus Canon XTi
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