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Focus is the mechanism of converging light from a point light source onto an imaging plane by a lens.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

16
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5answers
2k views

How to improve focus accuracy?

I've noticed that quite a few of my photos aren't terribly well-focused. This particularly happens at long focal lengths. I'm using a Canon 500D and (mostly) a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. I find ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

What tips and advice do you have for photographing the Aurora Borealis?

A friend has been kind enough to lend me a DSLR for a few months. It's my first foray into DSLR photography, or indeed any kind of photography beyond simply aiming my Canon IXUS at something and ...
6
votes
4answers
903 views

How can I get sharp images using optical zoom function on a point-and-shoot?

We’ve got a point-and-shoot (Canon A590 IS), and it seems that the zoom function is completely useless because it is always blurry, even in broad daylight. For example, I tried to take a picture of a ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

How can a 18-55mm lens focus on objects beyond 55mm?

I guess this is a total noob question, but doesn't 18-55mm mean that it can focus only up to 55mm?
15
votes
1answer
3k views

What is focus throw?

This answer to an earlier question of mine about manual focus lenses uses the term "focus throw". Exactly what does that mean? Why do manual focus lenses have more of it than auto focus lenses?
92
votes
7answers
7k views

What is bokeh, exactly?

I understand that "bokeh" refers to out-of-focus areas of an image — but there is obviously more to it than that. What does the term mean exactly? How well is bokeh really understood? Is it purely ...
9
votes
1answer
255 views

How can I achieve an effect in still photography that's analogous to a cinematographic effect?

I don't know how it's achieved or what it's called, but occasionally in a movie I see an effect in which the perspective of the scene is modified in such a way that the objects that are further away ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Why am I allowed to turn my focusing ring beyond infinity?

Is there a good reason why I can turn the focusing ring on my lenses beyond infinity mark on focusing scale? Following recent questions here and here, it sounds like a real usability issue. ...
13
votes
7answers
664 views

How do I get proper focus when photographing lightning strikes?

I've been lucky to have the opportunity to photograph several large thunderstorms in Colorado recently, however I ran into a couple issues. The first issue I've run into is getting proper focus. As a ...
26
votes
13answers
7k views

How does one get manual focus right with a fast-aperture lens?

I have got an old lens (f1.4) that I have to use only with manual focus on a DSLR. Well, it is difficult for me to get the subject on focus. Although on focus according to the viewfinder, the actual ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you manually focus accurately without a focusing screen?

I have a Canon 1000D and it doesn't come with a focusing screen. Sometimes my camera cannot focus in low-light. I'd like to manually focus, but without a focusing screen I haven't been able to do it ...
9
votes
7answers
433 views

Focusing an entry-level DSLR

I like really really sharp photos. Even with a prime lens, I seem to be able to do noticeably better with my 450D by manually focusing using live view at maximum zoom than by using auto focus (even ...
57
votes
15answers
8k views

How does one focus for landscape photos in very dark conditions?

Tonight I tried my best to take some night landscapes in the darkest of dark conditions. Hoping for an epic composition of the Milky Way and a landmark. Of course, none of my glass could auto focus ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does my Nikon D90 autofocus not work in rapid succession?

When photographing candid shots of my children at play with a Nikon D90, I have trouble with the autofocus system. I focus and shoot one shot, great. But a second later another shot opportunity ...
28
votes
4answers
41k views

What is back-focusing?

What is back-focusing? Is it something I need to be worried about, or can I just live with it? How can I tell if my camera/lens is sufferring from it?
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is my Nikon 18-200 lens not focusing at higher focal lengths?

My Nikon 18-200 lens on a D300 camera will not focus when it is zoomed between 135mm and 200mm. Is there any tips on how to solve this besides handing it in to a photo store?
16
votes
1answer
626 views

What is a focusing rail?

In What are the best practices for DOF stacking? I noticed a mention of a "focusing rail". I've never heard of such device. What is it, and in what circumstances is it useful?
23
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the best practices for DOF stacking?

What are the best practices for DOF stacking? How do you get the frames with focus just right amount apart? How do you stack them in post processing?
25
votes
6answers
4k views

Can I damage the focus system by turning the focus ring when the lens isn't mounted?

I have a couple lenses that don't have an internal focusing system, and whenever I want to put them back in my bag, I turn the focus ring to make the lens shorter. I noticed that when the lens is set ...
23
votes
18answers
2k views

What are some techniques for hand-held image stabilization?

My zoom lens (75-300mm) is fairly slow: 5.6 at its farthest point. (I think it's 3.5-5.6, and it's not image stabilizing. I'm on a budget, sadly!) Unfortunately, my primary use for it is hand-held ...
32
votes
7answers
1k views

What is “Hyperfocal Distance”?

I'd like a clear & easy-to-understand (especially for non-physics-types) explanation of what Hyperfocal Distance is, how it affects photographs, and what determines its value.
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How does changing focal length affect depth of field?

I'm curious about how my "area of acceptable focus" changes when the focal length of the lens I'm using changes as I zoom (or switch lenses). In particular, I'd like to know how the front & back ...