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Subject: "Focusing on objects behind main subject" Previous topic | Next topic
dgrover1122 Registered since 03rd Dec 2010Fri 23-Dec-11 12:56 PM
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"Focusing on objects behind main subject"


Alexandria, US
          

I saw the post by 'cruch' and was hoping to dummy this down for myself so I can improve my photographic skills. I absolutely love my Nikon, but want to know what I am doing wrong so I can improve. I recently visited NYC and had great opportunities for some interesting photographs. My daughter accompanied me so she was the main subject (that was my intent at least) in many of my photographs. However,upon downloading and reviewing, she would be slightly out of focus while the backgraound would be in focus. I know it is something I am doing wrong because many times when I set focus the matrix will flash around but not on the main subject. As I said, I am not and will not be an expert in photography, but would like suggestions on what I can do to resolve this problem. It occurs with both my kit lenses. Just a note, i'VE BEEN TRYING TO DOWNLOAD EXAMPLES, BUT IT WON;T LET ME SO i APOLOGIZE.

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject
MEMcD Moderator
23rd Dec 2011
1
Reply message RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject
Len Shepherd Gold Member
24th Dec 2011
2
Reply message RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject
Leonard62 Gold Member
25th Dec 2011
3
     Reply message RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject
coolmom42 Silver Member
25th Dec 2011
4
          Reply message RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject
Leonard62 Gold Member
25th Dec 2011
5
               Reply message RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject
Len Shepherd Gold Member
25th Dec 2011
6
               Reply message RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject
Leonard62 Gold Member
26th Dec 2011
8
               Reply message RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject
coolmom42 Silver Member
25th Dec 2011
7

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Fri 23-Dec-11 04:42 PM
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#1. "RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi David,

What exposure mode are you using?

What AF mode (AF-S or AF-C) are you using?

What AF Area mode ( Single Point, Dynamic, or Auto Area AF)?

It sounds like the camera may be in Auto Area AF mode and is locking on a target with more contrast than your subject. If you use P, S, A, or M exposure modes, with Simgle Servo AF-S mode and a Single AF point you can control what the camera focuses on.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Sat 24-Dec-11 01:59 PM
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#2. "RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject"
In response to Reply # 0


Yorkshire, GB
          

>I know it is something I am doing wrong because many times when I set focus the matrix
>will flash around but not on the main subject.
The chances of this happening are lower if you select what Nikon call single-servo AF.
As you have discovered AF is not infallible. When the AF confirmation light is not constant and steady it usually means the camera cannot accurately focus on what you are aiming at.
There is guidance on what can sometimes cause this in your camera instruction book or at https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4585
Posting an image illustrating a issue can often help solve a problem, A common reason for not being able to post an image is Nikonians upload software prevents images not reduced in size to the Nikonian limit being sent. Maybe your picture file sizes are too big.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Sun 25-Dec-11 01:33 PM
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#3. "RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject"
In response to Reply # 2


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

>>I know it is something I am doing wrong because many
>times when I set focus the matrix
>>will flash around but not on the main subject.

>The chances of this happening are lower if you select what
>Nikon call single-servo AF.
>

This is only partially true and exposes what I consider the most important shortcoming in the focus system. When using AF-S and single point autofocus you can center the point using the OK button like on the D7000. However that doesn't mean it will stay there. Unlike the D7000 and just about every other mid-priced and higher body there is no Focus Selector Lock lever. I frequently find the single point where I don't want it and am constantly re-centering using the OK button. This might be what David is experiencing.

Len

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coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 30th Nov 2011Sun 25-Dec-11 02:40 PM
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#4. "RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject"
In response to Reply # 3
Sun 25-Dec-11 02:44 PM by coolmom42

McEwen, US
          

Select M, A, S, or P mode. I would suggest A for aperture priority. Use the lowest f-stop possible to get good focus on the subject and more blur in the background. Select a higher f-stop for better depth of field in focus.

Set your metering to "spot".

Set your AUTO-FOCUS MODE to AF-S (single servo). This keeps the camera focused on the point you choose in the step below.

Set your AUTO-FOCUS AREA MODE to "single point." When you look in the viewfinder and press the button, the single focus point will be blinking red. You can select the single focus point you want by using the directional arrows on the dial around the OK button. The camera will lock in focus on this point when you depress the shutter button half-way.

Since your metering is set to "spot" the exposure will be metered on the single focus point you select.

These mode selections let you put the focus point where you want it, and get correct exposure metering on that point.

working on it in Middle TN
Nikon D3100

35 mm 1.8 Nikkor
18-55 mm Nikkor VR
55-200 mm Nikkor VR
55-300 mm Nikkor VR
150-500 mm Sigma OS
Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Sun 25-Dec-11 02:57 PM
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#5. "RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject"
In response to Reply # 4


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

Diane,

While everything you're saying is true, that's not my point. In Nikon's cameras other than the D3100 and D5100 the focus point can't be locked for more than one exposure because there is no PERMANENT locking levers. I always use center point focusing on all my digital bodies. The center point is locked forever unless I unlock it and move it to another position. In the 3100 and 5100 it's too easy to touch the wheel and move the focus point between shots without realizing it. This can lead to missed focus if you're not paying close attention.

Setting your metering to spot all the time may get you correct metering to the spot you chose but not necessarily to the overall scene. Just be careful.

Len

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Sun 25-Dec-11 10:41 PM
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#6. "RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject"
In response to Reply # 5


Yorkshire, GB
          

>In Nikon's cameras other than the D3100 and D5100 the focus point can't be locked for more than one exposure because there
>is no PERMANENT locking levers.
There is a button on the back of most Nikon AF bodies to the right of the viewfinder which can be set to lock focus, or exposure, or both with a single press - until you press the button again or switch the camera off.
Another option having once got good focus is just about every AF-s lens can be instantly changed to manual focus, preventing AF operating for subsequent shots.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Mon 26-Dec-11 12:13 AM
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#8. "RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject"
In response to Reply # 6
Mon 26-Dec-11 12:35 AM by Leonard62

Hatboro, Pa, US
          

>There is a button on the back of most Nikon AF bodies to the
>right of the viewfinder which can be set to lock focus, or
>exposure, or both with a single press - until you press the
>button again or switch the camera off.
>
Len,

Get a D5100 and you'll know what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about locking focus. I'm talking about locking a single focus point in the center or any other point you want it to be for every shot.

This is the lock that's missing on the D3100 and D5100.



In the past 11 years I have owned the D70, D100, D1H, D1X, D2H, D2x, D300, D700 and D3X. And now the D5100. With the exception of the D5100 every one of them has a Focus Area Lock. I still own and use all but 3 of these bodies.

Len


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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 30th Nov 2011Sun 25-Dec-11 11:29 PM
3046 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: Focusing on objects behind main subject"
In response to Reply # 5


McEwen, US
          

>Diane,
>
>While everything you're saying is true, that's not my point.
>In Nikon's cameras other than the D3100 and D5100 the focus
>point can't be locked for more than one exposure because there
>is no PERMANENT locking levers. I always use center point
>focusing on all my digital bodies. The center point is locked
>forever unless I unlock it and move it to another position. In
>the 3100 and 5100 it's too easy to touch the wheel and move
>the focus point between shots without realizing it. This can
>lead to missed focus if you're not paying close attention.
>
>Setting your metering to spot all the time may get you correct
>metering to the spot you chose but not necessarily to the
>overall scene. Just be careful.
>
>Len
>
>
I've noticed that mine is often shifted to the upper middle point. It is easy to change it accidentally, but fast to change it back as well.

working on it in Middle TN
Nikon D3100

35 mm 1.8 Nikkor
18-55 mm Nikkor VR
55-200 mm Nikkor VR
55-300 mm Nikkor VR
150-500 mm Sigma OS
Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #4966 Previous topic | Next topic


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