I've been using my Canon T2i to do portraits for the last year now, and usually have really good luck with it. Most of my shots are up close, and turn out beautiful. However, it seems like when I back up and take a full body image (especially horizontal layout) that the image is no longer as crisp. It almost seems like the camera isn't focusing quite right. I do understand that there aren't going to be as many pixels to represent the person, but it still seems like they're a tad out of focus. Has anyone else experienced this? Am I doing something wrong? I've tried different f-stop values (f/1.8-f/10) to increase my depth of field, but no luck. The two lenses I've been using are the Canon 50mm 1.8 and the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8. One other note is that I've tried attaching my flash as well to use the IR focus assist, but that doesn't help either.

The main factor seems to be how far away my subject is from the camera.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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    Can you post some examples please? Aug 21, 2012 at 19:58
  • Yes, I'll try to post a couple this evening, don't have access to them at the moment.
    – jrsprang
    Aug 21, 2012 at 19:59
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    Try testing the focus with a chart. Jeffrey Friedl has a chart with a detailed explanation: regex.info/blog/photo-tech/focus-chart
    – Phil
    Aug 21, 2012 at 20:02
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    Since you are seeing the problem on more than one lens, I would use the 50mm 1.8 to avoid trouble with the zoom creeping between shots.
    – Phil
    Aug 21, 2012 at 21:03
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    What picture styles are you using? Sometimes these can greatly effect the outcome as well. Of course, it may the lens as well.
    – Miura-shi
    Aug 23, 2012 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


Sometimes lens do need some micro adjustments to get the exact focus. If you are shooting at f1.8, of course the Depth of Field is very shallow, and you have to be even more careful to focus on the right place. Usually Wide Open, any lens is a bit soft, this may feel as if its out of focus, but actually it is not. I would suggest manual focusing a well lit day light object using a tripod. Use live view and zoom in to perfectly focus the object. Take shot, and pixel peep on the PC. If that shot is having the same issue, then there is more than just AF issue.

Another radical solution is to change your Focusing Screen to a Split Prism one. Such as KATZEYE. You will lose visibility of AF points on the viewfinder but you will gain insight when the focus is wrong(by a hair), and you can match the finder to get the best focus.

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