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Old Mar 15, 2003, 11:07 AM   #11
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I understand that you had problem... I love Cardinals is RED but you took this must be FEMALE.

Anyway, I see that you tried setup shutter 500 but aperature f/5.6 possible problem or not?

I see your photo sample. there is branches middle of bird. AF thought point to branches instead of Bird with f/5.6 so confuse. IF you want 500 w/ f/5.6 then you should use SPOT AF point to bird with black square viewfinder ingore all branches.

OR if you try setup f/8 to f/16 with iso 600 or 800 depend Cardinal is active (of course), it fastest active and cant stop them stay! ha

Like I tried challenge with STELLAR JAY in Alaska, I am stubborn my own shutter or ISO or whatever til I am success. S.Jay is pretty fast his/her head than body! sigh.

You can try play with AF spot or aperature with ISO etc. OR you go outside and cut little all branches out of it and clear you can shoot it. ha ha ha silly me.

good luck
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Old Apr 15, 2003, 2:15 PM   #12
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By just looking at these pictures, I do not think the pictures are out of focus completely. There are evidences in the picture that show the subject is in focus. I think this slight blur effect due to the handheld effect of the photographer. I do not think you have the problem with the camera or the lens on autofocus. I think to improve the sharpness of these pictures, you may want to consider the following:

Use tripod instead of handheld shooting when using long lens, if it's impossible, hold the camera steady using your chest to support your arm, hold your breath and take the picture, make sure the selected shutter speed of the lens is greater than the selected focal length of the lens.

Zoom in to the subject, in this case is the bird, you can see the subject almost get lost in to the high contrast of the background, and it distract any viewer of these photograph, use the rule of third to compose your picture, pay attention of how to position the eye position of the bird.

Use selective focus point, in this case use the center focus point, focus on the subject, lock on (by press the shutter halfway or the AF lock button), reframe and take the picture, don't let the camera choose the focus point for you, most of the times, the camera doesn't have the same thinking like you and it does not see the subject the way you see it. In this particular case, you have a very small subject and a highly attractive/contrast background (it attract the automatic AF points of your camera more), and it's not an average scene, spot metering will help to correct the exposure on the subject but it doesn't help the AF of the camera. Cheers...
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Old Apr 15, 2003, 3:43 PM   #13
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Hey, focus lock is what I was going to suggest!

I agree with tuanokc. If you weren't using a tripod, then all bets are off. With enough camera shake, you can make almost shutter speed blurry. I had assumed a tripod, but since you didn't say either way, he/she is right to suggest it.

polarbear's idea of the focus locking on the wrong thing is a good idea. I didn't think of it. That could cause the problem as well. If you use focus lock using the tighest focusing setting you can, and do it on a location where it is clear there is nothing to confuse it... then it "should" work.

If you want to test for front/back focusing this is easy. (This is from my memory, I believe I read this on dpreview's forums, but maybe another. I go to so many... It's a great way to learn about lenses.) The way I've heard which seems the most logical is to focus on a ruler laying at an angle away from you. Focus on the middle of it using the smallest DOF you can get with the given light (and I'd also use the lowest ISO to make sure that doesn't effect anything.) Then look at the picture. If it focuses correctly at a variet of zoom distances (and apetures?) then you're camera is right and or polarbear's or tuanokc's are closer to the problem than my guess.

I've also heard using the bar codes on cerial boxes set in a stair pattern 1 inch apart.... also using the bar codes on rolls of film. You want something with some contrast to make the focusing easy.
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Old Apr 15, 2003, 4:48 PM   #14
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That's not a handshake problem (from the exif data 1/500s @ 105mm)... the AF didn't pick the bird, but the branches are in focus instead! :P :P :P

Either that or the CCD is out of alignment with the AF phase array detectors... Try a flat wall chart to make sure (ie no depht) otherwise the camera needs to be serviced
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Old Apr 16, 2003, 8:22 AM   #15
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I suggest a few things in here try to help to correct the problem that contributed to the picture. My point is don't let the camera make a decision for you, if AF is the problem, take control over it. Nikon gave you at least 5 points of focus to work with, choose one of them, lock the subject in focus, then shoot. Using tripod, steady handheld technique, selection of shutter speed and F/stop will help you get a better picture. But I can honestly say this, in this case, there is nothing wrong with your camera or lens the way I see it.
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Old Jul 13, 2003, 1:25 AM   #16
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Default Out of focus

Many of the comments are right and need to be verified before you can decide you have a problem. But consider this. I bought the D100 with a 24-85 3.5-4.5 G lens. I immediately found all photo's out of critcal focus. I chenged all setting and methods but could not achieve critical focus. After one month of going crazy I checked the camera at the shop by changing to a very expensive lens in the same category ($1500 similar zoom range). The pictures were still crappy. Switch the cheap lens I bought ($369) to a new D100 body and the problem dissappeared. The camera was one month old and frustrated the hell out of me. Once I switched bodies the problem went away and I no longer freak out over out of focus shots as they rarely are out of focus now. Don't waste to much time on the camera. I assume the camera is fairly new. If your as smart as I think you are your eyes can tell if something is wrong on all your pictures and not just this bird shot. Go change the body and save yourself a lot of time if you believe the images are not up to spec. Regards, Mark Buonanno
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Old Aug 25, 2003, 8:28 PM   #17
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I have had my D100 for about 8 months now and had a similar problem until I changed the focus area to "closest subject priority" dynamic mode focus (see page 67 of owners manual. The focus area can be set to single area focus or dynamic area focus. In the dynamic area focus, I think the camera takes an average of the distances of the focus points and thus some of my pictures were blurred (actually the camera just focused on the wrong subject). You can also set the focus area to single area focus and prefocus on your subject and then reframe the shot before taking it. Hopes this helps.
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