Out of focus images - which one to blame?lens or body?


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Jul 14, 2008
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I had out of focus photos shot indoor recently. But some of my photos are badly OOF and there's nothing I can do to rescue it.

I'm using 450D + 50mm f1.8. Is that the issue with lens or body? If it's lens issue, should I take it to CSC?

Thanks
 

rgy1993

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#3
blame the lens/body or blame the photographer? lol

were you shooting wide open at f1.8? assuming you are since your indoors... theres a good chance if you were shooting moving things, people in particular, that they become out of focus pretty much straight away since your depth of field is really thin at that aperture, its happened to me before with my 50 1.4
try again with some still subjects and see if its still out of focus at a couple of different apertures, should the problem persist go give CSC a visit and they can calibrate it for you.
 

Rashkae

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#4
Why blame the equipment? Maybe it's your fault?

Post a sample pic and we can see.
 

Octarine

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#5
Please bear in mind that the AF sensors are not just tiny dots as indicated in the viewfinder. The area covered is larger. AF sensors look for contrast patterns to determine whether the object is in focus. Depending on type (cross-type vs. single type AF sensors) they will lock on the patterns. It's up to you to check whether the AF has locked on the right target. Also, for moving targets there are two different AF modes (AI Focus / AI Servo) to make sure the focus is tracking the moving object.
Indoors the AF assist of any external flash is a great help, depending on your camera features you can prevent the flash from firing but only use the assist beam.
 

Jul 14, 2008
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#6
Thanks for the replies.

I'll try the chart 1st before any conclusion on the lens. I'm quite sure that I focused on the person's eyes. I might have captured it while the lens was focusing.
 

Octarine

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#7
I'm quite sure that I focused on the person's eyes. I might have captured it while the lens was focusing.
That would only be possible in Manual Focus mode. In AF mode the camera will not fire unless there is a focus confirmation. Chances are that the person was moving. A sample picture could help here.
 

RezzShaz

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#8
The problem is either or both.....But could also be the man behind the viewfinder;)

I'm sure u'll get to root problem with all the expert advise coming....cheers...
 

doodah

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Dec 23, 2007
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#9
I had out of focus photos shot indoor recently. But some of my photos are badly OOF and there's nothing I can do to rescue it.

I'm using 450D + 50mm f1.8. Is that the issue with lens or body? If it's lens issue, should I take it to CSC?
Thanks
I will first assume you know what you are doing. :bsmilie:

The lens and camera must be perfectly calibrated for each other. You can read more here.

That said, the 50 f/1.8 is rather notorious for AF issues due to its old micro-motors design.

Since you only own one camera body, I suggest you bring all your lenses + camera to CSC for calibration. If the camera body is under warranty, it's free.

The following methods are commonly used to determine front/back focus issues:

a) Angled AF chart (free). See here.

b) Moire patterns on computer monitor (free). See here.

c) Distant block of apartments:


d) Books or 9V batteries


e) LensAlign Pro (costs S$300 incl shipping). Read this.

Method (a) and (b) can be dismissed immediately. (a) requires strict 45 deg angle alignment which is rejected by Chuck Westfall (Read more here). (b) is hardly sensitive.

Method (e) is expensive but does NOT yield more reliable results than (d). Firstly, the targets used in both methods are relatively small and are therefore suitable only for checking near focus accuracy. Secondly, achieving perfect parallelism between the focal and target planes is not essential; near parallelism is good enough. I know 'cos I own (e).

Method (f) is suitable for checking far focus accuracy.

The best technique combines method (c) and (d).

Please first make sure YOU are not the one causing the problems. :bsmilie:
 

Last edited:
May 1, 2008
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#10
erm...what exposure mode did you use? shutter speed? flash?
It could be you not holding the camera firmly and steadily since you're shooting indoor.
 

Xtol19

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Dec 13, 2008
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#11
I had out of focus photos shot indoor recently. But some of my photos are badly OOF and there's nothing I can do to rescue it.

I'm using 450D + 50mm f1.8. Is that the issue with lens or body? If it's lens issue, should I take it to CSC?

Thanks
Logically, it's usually the body. But for badly OOF, it's usually operator error.

That is, a body may be off by 5% so instead of focusing at 1m it focuses at 1.05m. You can then see the eyes aren't sharp, for instance.

But if you're off by 100%, focusing at 2m, then most likely you locked onto a target at 2m instead of your subject at 1m.
 

whitewolf

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Oct 3, 2008
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#13
I will first assume you know what you are doing. :bsmilie:

The lens and camera must be perfectly calibrated for each other. You can read more here.

That said, the 50 f/1.8 is rather notorious for AF issues due to its old micro-motors design.

Since you only own one camera body, I suggest you bring all your lenses + camera to CSC for calibration. If the camera body is under warranty, it's free.

The following methods are commonly used to determine front/back focus issues:

a) Angled AF chart (free). See here.

b) Moire patterns on computer monitor (free). See here.

c) Distant block of apartments:


d) Books or 9V batteries


e) LensAlign Pro (costs S$300 incl shipping). Read this.

Method (a) and (b) can be dismissed immediately. (a) requires strict 45 deg angle alignment which is rejected by Chuck Westfall (Read more here). (b) is hardly sensitive.

Method (e) is expensive but does NOT yield more reliable results than (d). Firstly, the targets used in both methods are relatively small and are therefore suitable only for checking near focus accuracy. Secondly, achieving perfect parallelism between the focal and target planes is not essential; near parallelism is good enough. I know 'cos I own (e).

Method (f) is suitable for checking far focus accuracy.

The best technique combines method (c) and (d).

Please first make sure YOU are not the one causing the problems. :bsmilie:
[/QUOTE

Hi bro...

Hmmm...What's method ( f ) ???
 

Jed

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#14
Yes, let's see some sample pics before we jump to conclusions, I don't know how anyone is able to give good advice on sparse and essentially non-existent information.

Or at the very least, provide us with more information. What AF mode were you using. How many AF points or what AF type were you using. How dark was it? Did it look sharp through the viewfinder?

Really, you need to provide us both pics AND information.
 

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Crappinni

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Aug 31, 2007
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#15
That would only be possible in Manual Focus mode. In AF mode the camera will not fire unless there is a focus confirmation. Chances are that the person was moving. A sample picture could help here.
Not really on topic but my camera does fire if I'm using AI Servo. Lock is only required if focusing using One Shot. I'm a 1D3 user not sure about other bodies..
 

Octarine

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#16
Not really on topic but my camera does fire if I'm using AI Servo. Lock is only required if focusing using One Shot. I'm a 1D3 user not sure about other bodies..
AFAIK, AI Servo (Predictive AF) does not give a focus confirmation (according my manual it's neither audible nor in viewfinder). So it could appear to you as if the camera is shooting without it. But the AF points used will be highlighted upon locking on the subject.
What would be the point of shooting in any AF mode without the AF having locked on the subject?
 

Crappinni

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Aug 31, 2007
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#17
AFAIK, AI Servo (Predictive AF) does not give a focus confirmation (according my manual it's neither audible nor in viewfinder). So it could appear to you as if the camera is shooting without it. But the AF points used will be highlighted upon locking on the subject.
What would be the point of shooting in any AF mode without the AF having locked on the subject?
AI Servo doesn't eventually "lock" on the subject. If you're looking for perfectly focused images, of course it's pointless to shoot before the AF is complete but I was just mentioning this so we wouldn't forget about the possibility that the shot was taken before AF was completed resulting in the subject being OOF instead of a lens/camera body issue.

Sometimes when the photographer is aware of an imminent change (say the subject's about to move off), he/she might just shoot and hope that it's not too OOF as compared to missing the shot altogether.
 

Crappinni

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Aug 31, 2007
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#18
Oh actually if AI Servo is unable to focus on anything after hunting, it does have an indication in the viewfinder.. Again this might differ on other bodies.
 

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