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Old Dec 5, 2005, 11:54 PM   #11
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Yes, it's my only lens. What are you thinking?
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 12:31 AM   #12
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No way that first shot should be out of focus – it is framed with the subjects in the middle and nothing else is in focus that I can see.

Is it possible you are pushing the shutter all the way and not allowing the lens to focus? Try holding the shutter release halfway until you get a focus indication or until the image looks sharp in the viewfinder.

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Old Dec 6, 2005, 1:15 AM   #13
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I would first try some photos using MANUAL FOCUS, and see what you get. Lets see if the lens is part of the problem.

No way you should have this type of problem unless you really have unsteady hands, and even then I doubt that would be the problem.

You could also try the same camera settings as used on these two images and mount the camera on a tripod and use the self timer to release the shutter. Then see if the focus is locked and the photo is clear.

Try those first. If that does not work, you might want to consider having the camera checked by a Canon service rep.
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 1:27 AM   #14
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He said he used a tripod. At 1/200 there shouldn't have been a motion problem with pushing the shutter with that focal length. And the fill flash should have frozen things a little as well. It isn't in focus.
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 2:25 AM   #15
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Can you describe what you're seeing in the viewfinder with respect to the red focus squares?

Are you depressing the shutter halfway and getting a focus lock - as indicated by some or all of the red focus squares lighting up?

Also - what focus mode is the camera in? If you don't have it in One Shot then you're probably in AI Focus - try changing to One Shot focus mode.

The next thing to try of course is to change lens and see whether your results are any different.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 1:34 AM   #16
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Thank you for all of your input. If pressing the shutter too fast will cause it to be out of focus, it is possible that this is the cause, as I assumed the shutter release only after autofocus kicked in. Perhaps I need to wait a second or two before pressing it all the way. I'll do a few test shots both ways and see what I get.

I did use a tripod, had docile subjects, and had it in One Shot mode.

I'll also try some manual focus test shots and see what I get.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 10:35 PM   #17
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Well, I did shoot a lot of different senarios, all using a tripod. Pressing down the shutter release all at once and trying to manually focus yielded my two blurriest photos. My best photo was when I focused the center autofocus light on the subjects eye at the following settings:

Image description
Artist
Copyright
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 20D
Orientation upper left
X resolution 72
Y resolution 72
Datetime 2005:12:07 15:13:47
YCbCr positioning co-sited
Exposure time 1/400 s
F-number 5.6
Exposure program Aperture priority
ISO speed ratings 200
Date/time original 2005:12:07 15:13:47
Date/time digitized 2005:12:07 15:13:47
Component config YCbCr
Shutter speed value 0.002500 s
Aperture value 4.97086
Exposure bias value 0
Metering mode Pattern
Flash
Focal length 62 mm
User comment
Colorspace sRGB
Pixel X dimension 3504
Pixel Y dimension 2336
Focal plane X res. Unknown
Focal plane Y res. Unknown
Focal plane res. unit inch



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Old Dec 7, 2005, 10:37 PM   #18
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Here's a cutout of the eye that I focused on. Is this the best I can expect or is it possible to get sharper?


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Old Dec 7, 2005, 10:55 PM   #19
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You shouldn't need a tripod shooting at 1/400 and that focal length. It shouldn't take very long to get a focus lock before pressing the shutter the rest of the way. Manual focus is a great approach with a DSLR, but I don't think you want to always have to use it.

That looks pretty sharp to me. You could crank up the in-camera sharpening, but I personally shoot with minimum sharpening to avoid sharpening artifacts. Many shots at the default setting benefit from a little sharpening in an image editor, and most of mine do.

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Old Dec 8, 2005, 5:53 AM   #20
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Here´s my two cents worth. When shooting portraits with the 20D or most other cameras, I never use all the focus points, it is far too easy for the sensors to "very quickly" shift to another part of the shot, resulting in unsharp eyes or face.

Try using just the central point, focus on the eyes and whilst keeping the shutter partly depressed, re-frame and shoot. This way you are locking in the focus on the eyes and not allowing the cameras autofocus to stray!

Also, take 2 or 3 shots in succession to ensure one is spot on! Never fails.

These were taken a few years ago using the 10D and 50mmat F1.4 using this technique.







All the best,

Nick
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