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Mowgli
22-05-2010, 16:55
I have just got back from a little fishing trip. Had two. Nothing major, but a bend in the rod.

I have a Canon EOS 350D and a Mark 1 50mm f1.8 Canon fixed lens attached to it. Recently I have been getting pictures back that are not in focus. I understand that the fish will be in focus but I won't - and I like that as it's all about the fish not me! But I am getting it where I am in focus and the fish isn't. Is this because of the focusing point, and is there a way that I can idiot proof this when handing the camera over to someone?

Any help would be awesome :cool: :cool:

Mr_Bump
22-05-2010, 19:07
You can change it so it will automatically focus on the centre point, ie the fish.

How you do it on your model I couldnt guess though, will be in the options somehwere probably under AF points :)

Mowgli
22-05-2010, 19:40
So what setting would you suggest I use it on. Would it be best to have it on P. And then set it via that?

Mr_Bump
22-05-2010, 19:47
If your handing it to randoms then P is probably the best option.

The AF Point should be a set and forget kind of thing, just check when you switch it on. Then drop the F to 1.8 or as open as you want and give it to your camera man :)

Mowgli
23-05-2010, 16:26
Thanks.

Can you select more than one focal point? So for example like the horizontal line of 5?

Surrey Sam
23-05-2010, 18:49
Only on the top of the line 1D bodies I believe.



To achieve the effect you want using the lens wide open at F1.8 would need a competent DSLR user at the helm.

The setting I use when handing over my DSLR to a stranger is always use the centre focus point and then stop the lens down to F7.1. I then tell the user to focus the red square on either the fish or me and let them have a practice until they are comfortable. 9/10 it works well and I have always managed to get good quality results which is also down to shooting in RAW format and all the associated advantages that brings.

Mowgli
23-05-2010, 18:58
So by stopping down to F7.1 are you still getting a healthy background blur?

TimKelly
23-05-2010, 21:24
What on earth is this insane desire for a blurred background? Unless someone competent has the camera a shallow depth of field is going to cause no end of heartache. If you want a picture of the fish, surely it's more important to have a good picture of the fish? There's no point in having an out of focus background if the foreground's soft too.

richpearson
23-05-2010, 21:31
What on earth is this insane desire for a blurred background? Unless someone competent has the camera a shallow depth of field is going to cause no end of heartache. If you want a picture of the fish, surely it's more important to have a good picture of the fish? There's no point in having an out of focus background if the foreground's soft too.

Totally agree. I've taken some great shots of other peoples kippers with my camera with a wide aperture but rarely get a good one when someone else is taking the shot of me, using my camera. Best to have larger depth of field unless you are sure the user is competent. DSLR's are not point and shoot cameras.

Mowgli, you need to set the focus point to the middle, advise the user to focus on the fish, hold the focus with the button pushed half way down and then recompose the shot.

Mowgli
24-05-2010, 08:50
What on earth is this insane desire for a blurred background? Unless someone competent has the camera a shallow depth of field is going to cause no end of heartache. If you want a picture of the fish, surely it's more important to have a good picture of the fish? There's no point in having an out of focus background if the foreground's soft too.

Horses for courses. You may like Mirrors, I may like Commons.

I like a nice blur on the background, so the fish is the focal point. As that for me is the most important thing - the fish. Not me, the background or whatever. And whenever I take the pictures the fish is always pin sharp, and the background nice and hazy.

I was just looking for advice.

Joephus
24-05-2010, 15:22
I tend to go for very shallow depth of field and just leave camera on center focus point and always seems to work out. Get them to take 10-15 shots sharpish and a few always seem to be ok.
If they seems particularly confused by cameras then stick it to a higher F as Sam said. Can always bang photo in photoshop and blur the background to your hearts content.

Mowgli
24-05-2010, 15:45
Thanks Joephus. Lot's of help. :)

winkler
25-05-2010, 15:39
Centre weighted focus, or spot focus. See shooting mode button on the second link below, this will be what is set wrong for your shots..

Try reading here on the 350D:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos350d/
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos350d/page7.asp

It looks like the Canon has a setting called A-DEP, which is auto depth of field, which controls the depth of field according to the focus points. Try playing around with this..

Re f.

A competent user will be able to control the focal point while composing the image, so reducing the DOF will give the soft background you desire, but not everyone that picks up a dslr for the first time will be able to do this. Your eye is naturally drawn immediately to to sharpest part of an image when you first study it, so almost always the eyeball of the fish, person cat or whatever the subject is should be the sharpest, then the rest of the fish should follow.

Try it out on the portrait setting to begin with, and see what results you get, then try aperture priority, (AV), and set the aperture at between f6.3 to f8. Gradually reduce the f. until you get the balance of focus/blur that you are happy with, and keep the shutter speed up if possible, 60th sec or faster. I prefer 200th's or faster these days, which i control with iso. Keep away from an immediate background too, and try to keep the background dark, ie not the water, to help metering.

Good luck and have fun..

W/