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Getting the Best Focus

Lesson 18 from: SLR Lounge Live Q and A and Image Critique

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

18. Getting the Best Focus

Lesson Info

Getting the Best Focus

uh, you do everything manual. Does that include focus, or do you use auto focus? Okay. Don't do everything I do. Use autofocus. I like manual focus. I have I didn't bring him with me. I have to Zeiss Otis lenses there like that. They're like the standard and prime lenses. Their amazing little $5000 pieces of glass, their manual focus only. So when I shoot on those, I'll do manual focus and stuff like that, and I will do it. But it's a pain, and they're certain cameras that just make it easier. If you're on a Sony A seven s that has a or any of the mere list systems, they allow you to see the sensor directly from the viewfinder. Right? With those, they give you things like focus tracking and focuses this type stuff where, when you're manually focusing, it will give you zebra stripes. It'll give you focus speaking something to help you manually focus on these guys. We don't have it, so it makes it cumbersome. And that wasn't really a question to trap you. That was toe do the follow up qu...

estion. What do you use for your for your focus point in camera. What do you used you center and then recompose? Or do you move the focus point around what? You're what I would generally recommend. So it's a really good question, actually, because let's say that you're shooting in a low light situation a lot of times your F points that are not your Centrepoint like if you're using the outside F points there, naturally, weaker focus points than your center. Your center is always the strongest. So if you've got somebody coming down ill and you're shooting in a low life situation and people like I can't get the right focus, there's a few things that you can do to help yourself out teetered. I'm actually pushing this back running. All right, step number one, disable non cross Type A F. This is a feature in your menu. Okay, I'll show you guys on a cannon if I can find it. I only do it once every time I get my camera. So right here. If you go into the f menu under selectable 1/2 point notice that I have on Lee cross type F points. Why? Because your camera maker will tell you we give you Ah, f points that you can choose from 60 of them work. That's basically what they're saying is like Like they're If they're not across type of point, they're going to be far less accurate. So what I do is I disable them. So in my view finder, I don't even see. So if you choose 61 point in the view, finally have all 61 points available. If we choose Onley cross type, it eliminates them from the viewfinder. So this makes it one really quick when you need to switch to a different points to more consistent. So you, the ones that you are selecting are gonna work more often. Okay, to center is always strongest, and then three find areas of contrast. Okay, so number two is. And when you get into a low life situation on and generally like, this is not a low life situation like we have are facing in the window. What I'm gonna do is if I'm composing the frame like this. So here's our frame, and here's the of points and we have a few up here. We have, you know, always down here all that stuff Let's just say we have that half and let's say her faces here. Daniel, you are so much more pretty than this. I'm very sorry. I'm gonna choose the of point That's closest to the I where I'm going focusing. And I'm not gonna recompose also like this or this and I'll keep it there. So that way, because focus re composing is the first way of getting an out of focus image, especially for shooting at very shallow that the field. Because this little movement of going like this and going from this to this, that little movement actually changes the distances of objects quite a bit when they're standing close to you. Because what just happened was, if you focus on their eye and then you move down a little bit the distance from there I to now where the lenses is actually a tiny bit further, right, so you're going to get a miss focused image. So if you can stay closest to where you want the composition, you're gonna get more accurate images. That being said in a little less situation, you might not have that option. So center weighted is gonna be your strongest or sorry, Center focal point is gonna your strongest. You had focused, recomposed, or if they're coming down the aisle, here's the cool part. You have a bride and a groom who look identical. No, she has a dress and he has a suit with a tie. Can you guys guess what? The best point of contrast is in the frame? Yeah, Zana. You want to do that like yeah, the tie in this suit to the man where this time a lot of people go the dress because it's white. But the dress isn't a place of contrast. It's a place it might contrast between the background, but the dress itself is generally a solid color. It's a solid white color, so if you put the focus over that, it just sees white. But right here, where there's that suit where it's a black tie, white shirt, dark area, that's a great place of contrast. So if you have real big issues, go to center photo center AM point and place it right over his suit and you'll know the focus is down those dark exits and so forth every single time. Cool, Awesome! Was that an actual question was that is rambling. No came from a question way ended up somewhere. That was useful. Question. You question that to move around the points I use. That button on the camera is near your thumb. I don't know. I feel like that's very for me. Inefficient. Is there another wakes I've heard of back button focusing. Is that completely different? That's a little bit different to move around the eight points you are doing it right. You pushed the button and then you move around your joystick and that kind of stuff where you can flip the dials back button folks saying they're referring to locking the focus. So basically, the only time, like I prefer shooting with. So basically, the back button focused as well. You know, when you push down your shuttered halfway, you can hear the focus motor going right. That's by default. How the cameras set up to be, You can change that. You can change it to when you push down, nothing happens. And then when you fire by pressing all the way down, that's when the shutter actually opens and takes a shot. What back button focuses? A lot of people will choose that little half press that function, they'll switch it to this back button right here. Okay, so they only gained focus when they push this little button so they'll push it and then fire, push it and then fire. Now there situations where That's great. Let's say you're shooting portrait's. You can gain focus, fire, wait for a thing, fire away for a thing fire and not have to keep focusing every single time, cause sometimes you know you fire and then you take another shot and it refocuses. And sometimes that Mrs Right, so that's kind of nice in those kind of situations, when the object or stationary with difficult is when the objects are not stationary, you now have two buttons to press in conjunction. So, like if they're walking down aisle towards me, I gotta go press, press, press, press, press, press every single time there moving to get the camera. And there's always a delay between when you push this and when you can push this, there's always gonna be a delay there. If they're moving forward and back, it's going to make it really difficult to get focused. If they're moving side to side. That's no problem because the distance didn't change to the lens. Right? So back in focus, OK, but in those situations, that's why I kind of stick to just my lot of Weddington IRAs. Love back on enforcing this is gonna come down to your personal preference. I still prefer just using my shutter, mainly because in those situations, I don't wanna have to go into my menu and switch it back right before that happens.

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Pye is an awesome instructor! He explains everything in a way that you understand it. He is a wealth of information. Love all of his classes!! I love Creativelive and SLR Lounge! Continue doing the great work that you do!!

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Pye is an amazing teacher! I've learned so much from him over the years - both in person and through his tutorials. What's even more amazing is that he is able to do it LIVE! He is able to clearly explain complicated concepts through easy to understand lessons. I highly recommend his courses to learn everything from the basics to advanced topics!


Wow! Pye is an awesome instructor! I've learned SO many things - nuggets of gold!

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