FOCUS damnit.... FOCUS !!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Guest, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm having trouble focusing.
    It happens mostly in Macro Mode.
    I've been trying to copy some old Kodachrome slides.
    ( photographys answer to alchemy )

    I hear the whirrr, and watch the viewfinder
    go past the focus point... to "blur"
    ending with the ( red ) "Canot Focus" icon.

    There seems to be no way to stop the focus
    when it's "close" to sharp....

    Does anyone know
    what the focusing mechanism needs to see
    in order to "lock on" ?

    <rj>
     
    Guest, Aug 31, 2006
    #1
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  2. Guest

    Paul Allen Guest

    On Thu, 31 Aug 2006 07:09:57 -0700
    "<RJ>" <> wrote:

    > I'm having trouble focusing.
    > It happens mostly in Macro Mode.
    > I've been trying to copy some old Kodachrome slides.
    > ( photographys answer to alchemy )
    >
    > I hear the whirrr, and watch the viewfinder
    > go past the focus point... to "blur"
    > ending with the ( red ) "Canot Focus" icon.
    >
    > There seems to be no way to stop the focus
    > when it's "close" to sharp....
    >
    > Does anyone know
    > what the focusing mechanism needs to see
    > in order to "lock on" ?


    First it needs to know what camera you're using. :)

    I've seen my FZ30's autofocus do that if I try to focus on
    something the firmware thinks is too close. Flipping to
    manual focus sometimes helps.

    Paul Allen
     
    Paul Allen, Aug 31, 2006
    #2
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  3. Guest

    Jim Guest

    "<RJ>" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm having trouble focusing.
    > It happens mostly in Macro Mode.
    > I've been trying to copy some old Kodachrome slides.
    > ( photographys answer to alchemy )
    >
    > I hear the whirrr, and watch the viewfinder
    > go past the focus point... to "blur"
    > ending with the ( red ) "Canot Focus" icon.
    >
    > There seems to be no way to stop the focus
    > when it's "close" to sharp....
    >
    > Does anyone know
    > what the focusing mechanism needs to see
    > in order to "lock on" ?
    >
    > <rj>

    The focusing scheme works by maximizing contrast. It has been a long time
    since I read much about the method; therefore, I am more than a little hazy
    about the exact details. However, the wonder is that it works at all.

    You have run into one of the instances where autofocus is more a hindrance
    than a help. I can't tell you about your model of camera, but I usually
    turn off autofocus when in the macro mode. It is rather easy to do that on
    any of my 35mm cameras and equally easy to do it on my D70.
    Jim
     
    Jim, Aug 31, 2006
    #3
  4. Guest

    tomm42 Guest

    Re: FOCUS damnit.... FOCUS !!

    <RJ> wrote:
    > I'm having trouble focusing.
    > It happens mostly in Macro Mode.
    > I've been trying to copy some old Kodachrome slides.
    > ( photographys answer to alchemy )
    >
    > I hear the whirrr, and watch the viewfinder
    > go past the focus point... to "blur"
    > ending with the ( red ) "Canot Focus" icon.
    >
    > There seems to be no way to stop the focus
    > when it's "close" to sharp....
    >
    > Does anyone know
    > what the focusing mechanism needs to see
    > in order to "lock on" ?
    >
    > <rj>


    Try turning off the autofocus. Macro focusing is best done in a manual
    mode. I use the autofocus to get near then turn off auto and fine focus
    in manual often by just adjusting distance, not touching the focus ring
    at all. If you are photographing slides set your lens to the mag you
    need, on most DSLRs that is 1:2 and adjust your distance until you are
    in focus. It is best to have a solid setup if you are doing a lot of
    these.
    I just did several hundred on an old slide duplicator I have. Set it
    up with a Nikon D200, locked the positions, was done in a couple of
    hours. Kept checking to refocus but it wasn't really necessary. What a
    simple setup would be is a light source, a cheap copy stand, a macro
    lens, and a remote release for the camera.

    Tom
     
    tomm42, Aug 31, 2006
    #4
  5. "<RJ>" <> wrote:

    : Does anyone know
    : what the focusing mechanism needs to see
    : in order to "lock on" ?

    You have had lots of good suggestions. One more to come. Most cameras I
    have used like to have an edge or line near the center of the frame to
    focus on. So if you don't have such an edge near the center, there is
    nothing for the camera to focus on. This happens even when not in macro
    mode. You may have to reposition the slide to put a line across the
    center of the frame and once the focus is set, then lock it down by
    changing to manual. Then you can reposition the slide and take the image.
    If the camera is good at holding the focus over time, you may be able to
    continue to use this focus setting for a whole series of images. But be
    aware that non-DSLR cameras tend to lose the focus every time the camera
    times out and shuts off (or you shut it off), so you may need to redo the
    focusing every time the camera goes to sleep or powers down. Also I have
    noticed that some cameras don't hold the manual focus too well and so if
    you are using a copy stand, the weight of the lens itself may slowly
    cause the focus to slip as the lens is pulled down by gravity.

    Most of the time I have found that on both my P&S and my DSLR focusing in
    macro is difficult if not impossible. So I tend to use manual, set the
    focus to some set position, and then move the camera to fine tune the
    focus visually.

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
     
    Randy Berbaum, Sep 1, 2006
    #5
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