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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Macro 
Thread started 12 Mar 2006 (Sunday) 02:25
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Manual focusing at highish magnifications

Macro Photo-Lord of the Year 2006
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Mar 12, 2006 02:25 |  #1

One thing I have noticed when taking pics at magnifications around 2:1 or higher with manual focus is that I have a tendency to backfocus the image.
I spent quite a lot of time checking the dioptre settings of the eye piece but the problem remains. Interestingly the problem only exists for 3D shapes and not 2-D flat surfaces such as a printed page.
I tend to correct for this by intentionally front focusing the object when shooting bugs.
I think I have just realised what is happening :).
Obviously at higher magnifications the DOF is extremely narrow (especially with the lens wide open when focusing). I have a feeling that with a 3-D curved surface, when actually in focus at the nearest point, the brain perceives this as not being in focus because there is only a very small part of the object is actually in focus, so you tend to move the lens forward to get more of the image in focus. This results in the image being back focused. So my attempt at front focusing the image is actually giving me the correct focus.
It would be nice to use the DOF preview button but at high magnifications the image is very dull anyway.
Sorry for the ramble but thought it worth mentioning to stop you going mad calibrating the focus as I have been doing recently.
Brian V.​photos/lordv/ (external link)
http://www.lordv.smugm​ (external link)
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Canon 600D, 40D, 5D mk2, 7D, Tamron 90mm macro, Sigma 105mm OS, Canon MPE-65,18-55 kit lens X2, canon 200mm F2.8 L, Tamron 28-70mm xrdi, Other assorted bits

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Joined Feb 2006
Location: Singapore
Mar 12, 2006 03:08 |  #2

Thanks for the infor! Will keep that in mind :)

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Mike ­ Bell
2,977 posts
Joined Jan 2006
Location: Perth, Scotland
Mar 12, 2006 11:49 as a reply to  @ melvynyeo's post |  #3

Thanks for that insight Brian.

I am sure you are right - our brains are always 'trying to help' by over-simplifying our sensory input. It's analogous to those situations when you see what you expect to see, not what is actually there. Magicians use this phenomenon all the time.

Canon EOS 5DS R EOS 5D Mark III | Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM EF 28mm f/1.8 USM EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM EF 85mm f/1.8 USM EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM TS-E 17mm f/4L TS-E 45mm f/2.8 TS-E 24.0mm f/3.5 L II EF 50mm f/1.4 USM | Canon Speedlite 580EX II

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Manual focusing at highish magnifications
FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Macro 
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