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Thread: HELP!! Focussing Issues Sony A33

  1. #1

    Default HELP!! Focussing Issues Sony A33

    Hi All,


    I urgently need some assistance.
    I am an amateur horse event photographer and am very close to sealing a deal with a magazine however I need to improve my focus just a little bit. The editor is saying that while the centre of the horse is in focus the rider and the background is not.
    I use Manual mode so I can select my own shutter speed (usually 3200/4000) and ISO. The focus point is set to local - is it as simple as changing it to wide?
    When I shoot I use AF and get the horse into focus, half press, with the spot and follow the horses movement while changing the zoom as it comes closer towards the jump etc.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

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    Please post some examples, it always helps.

    First if the horse is in focus and the rider isnt then what is most likely happening is you are shooting with a fast aperture (f2.8 or faster) and as you are (it seems on purpose) targeting the side of the horse, the rider is out of the plane of focus.

    Your shooting at 1/3200 to 1/4000th? So we can rule out motion blur of the rider! Thats way too high I think , 1/500th - 1/1000th would freeze the action fine.

    I suggest using a non centre focus point to focus on the rider ( shifting the plane of focus further away which should now include the horse) and also dropping the shutter speeds in favour of more aperture (f5.6 ) for more DOF so everything is in focus. This is a bit of a balancing act if you want the background blurred to isolate the horse and rider.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  3. #3

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    I put the focus point on the horse as this is what I want in the centre of the photo so surely it would make sense for that to be the focus point? But instead of focusing on the majority of the image it is only focusing on a very narrow point in the middle.
    Generally the aperture is 5.6ish (this is left at auto so it depends on the zoom etc as to how high it is - on my old lens it could get as high as 11).
    I would have thought a high shutter speed would have been best as with horses jumping atc their movement is very quick and snappy.
    I will try and post a photo below

  4. #4

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    I've just posted an example to the DPhoto Facebook Page as it wouldn't allow me to put on the page

  5. #5

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    sheesh., OK go host the photo at somewhere like photobucket and use their generated link here.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Christchurch
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    141

    Default

    I think rjd may have figured out the problem. By choosing such a fast shutter speed you are limiting yourself to using a wide aperture (low f number like 3.5), having a wider aperture creates a narrower focus that could be causing your problem. I suggest using your camera set to aperture priority and see if using a narrower aperture helps, it will mean a slower shutter speed but anything over 1/500 should be good at stopping motion blur but remember a bit of blur can be a good thing.
    Canon 550D, 18-55mm kit, Sigma 17-70mm 2.8, Sigma 30mm 1.4, Samyang 8mm 3.5 YN467's, RF602tx's

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
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    Default

    Managed to track down the FB link and I've uploaded a copy to Photobucket:

    Name:  462782_347113875347453_148536181871891_1037239_552396910_o.jpg
Views: 80
Size:  164.1 KB

    You may also need to boost your ISO in order to get a narrower f/stop...unfortunately I can't see any exif from the above photo...would be helpful if you could post it?
    | Canon 5D MKII | Canon 16-35 f/2.8L MKII | Manfrotto 190xprob + 496RC2 Ballhead | Hitech Modular Filter Holder + Hitech Filters | Pixel TW-282 Remote |


  8. #8

    Default

    Hi All - No this is pretty much how it looks on my screen too. The editor has a calibrated screen hence why she can see more than us.
    The horse is in focus (right down to his teeth) but I can see a tiny bit of blur on the riders shirt.
    This was with ISO 1600 if my memory serves me correctly - I find it tricky to get the ISO level correct as I don't want to wash out the background but I need to get the subtly colouring through the horses coat.
    I shoot with a Sony 70-300G Series Lens which is a 4.5-5.6.

  9. #9

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    Hard to tell from that size shot we really need a full sized shot to look properly.

    Remember as you push the ISO up you loose dynamic range so it gets harder to keep a dark horse and a light background in touch.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  10. #10

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    Name:  DSC00305.JPG
Views: 66
Size:  490.4 KB



    This is at the maximum dimensions the forum would allow me to post at

  11. #11

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    Stil not large enough really, email a full size to me I will have a look / post it up : rjd AT zarphag.com
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
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    You can determine if it's focus or something else by looking at 100% crops of the posts at either end of the jump. If they're both in focus, then anything between (ie. the horse) will be too. They don't move so if they're sharp and the horse isn't, then it's motion in the horse. If they are equally unsharp and so is the grass in front and behind, it's most likely camera motion.

  13. #13

    Default

    I have a full sized image now.

    f5.6
    120mm
    1/4000th
    ISO 800

    To me the rider looks within the plane of focus and the shutter speed is high.

    Here is a crop of the rider.



    I am going to say that strong noise reduction coupled with a soft outer e4dge of the lens at f5.6 is the culprit. Perhaps a bit of sharpening here would work.
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default

    In future, shooting at a narrower f/stop and slower shutter speed (you'll be able to lower your ISO) will give you better results. I don't think there's anything 'wrong' with your focus.
    | Canon 5D MKII | Canon 16-35 f/2.8L MKII | Manfrotto 190xprob + 496RC2 Ballhead | Hitech Modular Filter Holder + Hitech Filters | Pixel TW-282 Remote |


  15. #15
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    Now that I've seen the 100% crop I agree there probably isn't anything wrong with the focus, so what I said on the dphoto Facebook page about focus tracking doesn't apply here. Different processing (e.g. less noise reduction, which a lower ISO will allow, and more sharpening) might help.

    Did I read correctly that the editor was complaining about the background being blurry too???!
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  16. #16
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    Aug 2009
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    Default

    Since you can clearly see the stitching in the reins, I think you can be confident about the focus and any motion.

  17. #17

    Default

    Jacq do you have this shot in Raw or just jpg?
    Canon 5DmkII, 400L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 24mmf3.5 TS-E, Canon 70-200f2.8L, Tamron 90mm SP AF Di f2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mmf1.4 EX HSM, Nissin Di866 flash, Manfrotto 190xprob & Markins Q3t head, Lee filters, Lowepro Flipside 400AW, Yong Nuo rf 602 triggers.


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