The Phone Call

The Phone CallDon’t worry, the phone call was not about something serious;) I was just testing my 35 mm f/1.8 G lens and the auto-focus of my D5100. I was not convinced. Sometimes my shots are out of focus, not much but still not the perfect focus I wanted. I did some research about the auto-focus system. The center spot is in fact a little box, and that box must have some contrasting stuff to be able to auto-focus. I did a lot of shooting. I’m still not convinced. At f/1.8 I want to have the eye lashes to be in focus. Well it seems for this I simply need a bit of luck. Perhaps with a longer focus e.g. 50 mm or longer, you will have less of a problem, but with the DX 35 mm (a.k.a. 52 mm on a 35 mm scale) I simply need some luck. In this current shot the focus is there. Great. Shot with Nikon D5100 + AF-S DX NIKKOR 35 mm f/1.8G, 35 mm, 1/80 sec, f/1.8, ISO 160, -0.67 eV, RAW, Lightroom 4, Silver Efex Pro 2 (2013)

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5 Responses to The Phone Call

  1. Kenneth says:

    Great capture! Why not correct with some manual focusing to attain truly critical focus?

    • Max Qubit says:

      Thanks Kenneth.

      True, I could try manual focusing but there are some problems. Through the viewfinder it is quite hard (or even impossible) with a no-zoom lens to see if you are really in focus. This is perhaps not a problem with a static subject, but in this case the subject is moving, and with the f/1.8 which has a very limited DOF (which is the effect I’m after) I have to re-focus everytime. I have noticed that, in principle, the ‘Live view’ focusing can be more precise (because you can zoom). Unfortunately the ‘Live view’ works quite slow. As a last option I could work with a telezoom. Zoom in, manual focus, zoom out, take shot. But atm I only have the kit 18-55 and besides that, the kit lens doesn’t give a nice bokeh. So … I’m stuck, and for the moment I’m not considering a new (expensive) lens. The 35 mm f/1.8 produces great shots, if (big if with f/1.8) the focus is there. Luckily we live in the digital era and there is no loss in binning 80% of the shots;)

      – Max

      • Kenneth says:

        Most cameras give you the option to automatically magnify the focus point area quite a bit in live view mode, when manual focusing. I’m not entirely sure if Nikon has a S-AF+MF mode, but I find it really, really helpful when it comes to quickly attaining focus. Of course, that’s useless if you find the live view too slow. Maybe you can raise the refresh rate? In case you use the focus and recompose technique – I noticed that it can easily shift the plane enough to destroy focus at apertures of 2.0 and higher.

  2. Max Qubit says:

    Thanks again Kenneth. I did a recheck of the ‘Live view’ options on my D5100. I seldom use the LV, and appearently only in AF=wide. But I did see that there is also a more narrow, spot AF in LV … and first results are promising;) Thanks for the tip. I’ll certainly will dig in to it.

    – Max

  3. The Editor says:

    Interesting. I have a D600 and a 50mm f/1.4 D with the same problem which I thought it was a matter of old technology.

    My lens has no internal motor and is driven by the internal motor of the camera through a shaft, which I believe is not the best solution to deliver pinpoint focus at f/2 or wider when you shoot relatively close subjects. The D600 has a focus adjustment in the menu, which I tried without noticing a significant improvement. I haven’t tried the LV yet, perhaps I shall give it a try.

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