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Old Oct 26, 2007, 9:38 PM   #1
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Last weekend I took some photos at a local Dressage show that my wife was competing in. This was not a nationally recognized show, so some of the rules don't apply. For instance, at recognized shows, the horses' manes must be braided, but not at local shows.

Another rule for recognized shows is that the riders must wear formal riding attire. That is, they must wear black helmets, white shirts or blouses, black riding jackets, white breeches, and black boots. At local shows, they can wear formal riding attire, and even braid their horse's mane, but they don't have to.

I took thousands of photos with my KM5D/Beercan, and they all turned out well, except for the photos of one competitor, the only one wearing proper riding attire. Every single photo of her was out of focus. Every photo of every other competitor was perfectly focused.

I expect that I'll be taking photos at recognized shows at sometimein the future, and I'd like to find out what caused this, and fix it, before that time rolls around. Is it possible that the combination of the proper riding attire and the black saddle and white saddle pad under the bright sunlight created too much contrast for the autofocus system?
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 9:47 PM   #2
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A100% crop from the approximate center of the frame.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 11:20 PM   #3
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Weird...looks like the lens is focusing in front of the horse & on the foliage. I almost always recenter my focus point to the center one (before any image) & then move it from there. Although (on a cold start-up) I've seen my focus point moved from what I wanted, I've never had my Beercan focus off my chosen focus point. I can't imagine any reason for it other you nose may have hit the controller pad....These were taken with a Beercan on a 7D:








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Old Oct 27, 2007, 12:47 PM   #4
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TCav,

What focus settings were you using?
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 2:33 PM   #5
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use the center focus setting
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Old Oct 28, 2007, 11:06 AM   #6
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FrankD wrote:
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What focus settings were you using?
Continuous AF / Spot AF Area / Continuous Advance.

Again, of the over 2,000 shots of about a dozen competitors (including my wife), only this competitor was out of focus (and not my wife, thank goodness.)

Might aNeutral Densityor Circular Polarizing Filter reduce the glare and improve the accuracy of the AF System?
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Old Oct 28, 2007, 1:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your responses. I've posted this again in General Q&Ato maybe get a broader audience.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 12:37 AM   #8
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get a split screen and go manual:-)
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 8:08 AM   #9
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MINOLTANUT wrote:
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get a split screen and go manual:-)
Hmmmmm...

The subject is constantly moving, sometimes toward me, sometimes away from me, and I'm taking about 200 shots during an 8 minute test.

Focus manually?

Naaaaaa...

But thanks for your input. :-)
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 11:07 AM   #10
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TCAV -

I believe the glare off the white is causing some problems. Changing your settings wouldn't likely yield better results (i.e. if there's a glare there's a glare). I'm not even sure any type of filter would help - the glare is on the rider's leg after all.

Not familiar with the focus point layout of your camera. But you would want to choose a different place to focus in the image where you don't have the glare. The ideal spot, of course, is the face of the rider. But only if you can select an appropriate focus point - you wouldn't want to use center focus and track the rider's face. At closed-down apertures like 5.6 you would normally be OK with focusing center-point (there's enough DOF at 5.6 for the rider's face to be in focus) - but if you're going to have that glare it's going to mess with your focus system.


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