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Help please figuring out what I'm doing wrong

Samizdat

Bronx, US
201 posts

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Samizdat Registered since 04th Nov 2008
Thu 03-May-12 04:47 AM

Hi,

I'm not happy with the number of "keepers" I get so I am trying to track down flaws in my technique (or less likely, equipment.) The shot below is an example of one problem. It's just a snap I grabbed earlier tonight -- obviously zero points for composition -- but my concern is with the lack of focus on the selected focust point. I was using the top focus point of my D90 with a Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens and an SB-600 flash unit. Shot is f/5.6 at 1/200 sec, ISO 200, at 24 mm, in AF-S focus mode. The top focus point was right over my daughter's nose. You can see her face is nowhere near being in sharp focus. I figure the possible causes are the following:

- Her facial features are too smooth for focus point to acquire focus.
- The top focus point didn't really acquire focus because it is not a cross-type sensor.
- The camera is back-focusing.
- Motion blur due to my handholding and/or lack of VR on lens (though other details like her sweater sleeve seem much more in focus, and I'd figured this isn't a situation requiring VR anyway.)
- Motion blur due to subject movement (though I'd thought the 1/200 shutter speed combined with the flash should have taken care of that.)
- Focusing using the viewfinder instead of using the LCD Live View in "facial recognition" mode.
- Subject movement between the time focus was acquired and the time the shutter was released?

I am not sure what to do to improve things and I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

As an aside, is there a better forum for me to post such questions? I have several regarding basic techniques I'd like to iron out.

Thanks,
Tom


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