Focus target - when auto fails

Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in ResidenceRegistered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
edited January 14, 2004 in Technique
Auto focus is great, it saves time and is for the most part very accurate. But at times, it can get confused and just plain refuse to work right. What's a photographer to do?!?!

How about giving the camera some help, something it can focus on.

Enter the focus target! (image link at the bottom of the post)

How it works:
Place the target where you need to focus. Point the camera at the target and try to autofocus. This is usually enough to make the autofocus work.

If you are using a camera with a live LCD or EVF (electonic view finder) then you will also see a rainbow of color when the camera is at the sharpest focus on the target.

There are three sections of the target, large, medium, and small. This is so you can focus from macro to many feet away.

http://www.shaystephens.com/graphics/FocusTarget.png

You can download and print this out as a 300dpi 8x10 and use it whole or cut it up into the three sizes to use separately.
Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
"Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie

Comments

  • fishfish Site Megalodon Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited January 14, 2004
    Shay, would it not be easier and faster to just focus manually? One of the nice features of USM lenses is that you can just override AF and tweak to your heart's content. Unless you have bad eyesight, of course. :ah:
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Registered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
    edited January 14, 2004
    fish wrote:
    Shay, would it not be easier and faster to just focus manually? One of the nice features of USM lenses is that you can just override AF and tweak to your heart's content. Unless you have bad eyesight, of course. :ah:
    Manually focusing with a digicam (not an SLR) that uses EVF or LCD can be hard to tell with some subjects and lighting if the focus has been achieved. With those cameras, the moire effect seen on the LCD will show a rainbow of color on the focus target when focus has been acheived, making manually focusing with the target quick and easy.
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited January 14, 2004
    Vert interesting, Shay. Sorta reminds me of the charts they use to balance studio cameras.

    Couple of questions: you use this in the field? And once you're focused and remove the paper, won't the camera want to go hunting again? Or do you switch it to manual at that point, to lock in the focus?
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • Shay StephensShay Stephens Artist in Residence Registered Users Posts: 3,165 Major grins
    edited January 14, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Vert interesting, Shay. Sorta reminds me of the charts they use to balance studio cameras.

    Couple of questions: you use this in the field? And once you're focused and remove the paper, won't the camera want to go hunting again? Or do you switch it to manual at that point, to lock in the focus?
    I use it in the field and studio when conditions warrant. And yes, switching to manual after acheiving the focus lock is what I do. I typically use a tripod for all my work, it wouldn't be very practical in a situation where the subject and/or camera are in constant motion.
    Creator of Dgrin's "Last Photographer Standing" contest
    "Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions." - fortune cookie
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