I have shot the photography below. I can see that the lamp on the right is in focus, while the building that I actually wanted to show in this photography is out of focus. I am investigating why this happened here. I guess either have choosen wrong AF point or aperture.

Assuming I focused on the lamp with f/2.2, and given that distance to the lamp was like 20m, the depth of field was ending about 10m behind the lamp, so much before the building. But that's just a guess and I would like to get some more confidence.

  1. How can I find what was the distance between me and the object I focus? That would give me some suggestion whether I have focused on the building or on the lamp. I looked into EXIF information with both Lightroom and Canon Digital PhotoP rofessional 4 and couldn't fine that information. Is this information recorded in EXIF by Canon EOS 80D? If so, how can I read it?

  2. Assuming I haven't moved my camera after focusing, AF points info would give me similar hint: the building or the lamp was in focus. The only information I found in EXIF is that is has been shot with Zone AF. Can I get from EXIF information which AF or AF zone was used for this photo?

EDIT: I included AF points used (in red) from DPP.


2 Answers 2


I think all you need to know is where the camera focused. The DPP software should show this information in edit mode. If it shows focus on that building, you may need to consider some more testing to see if the front focus is consistent, in which case the lens or the camera should be adjusted.

  • Right, in DDP 4 in edit mode I clicked Ctrl+J (on Windows). AF points were on the building so it looks like front focused is not consistent.
    – dzieciou
    Nov 5, 2016 at 16:42
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    If the points are on the building, the image is front focused. I would check more images. if the problem appears on others, the camera or lens need adjustment.
    – MirekE
    Nov 5, 2016 at 16:58

Canon's Zone AF is fairly well known to be inconsistent when it comes to focusing on what the photographer normally intends to be in focus. And that's putting it very nicely. The camera will almost always focus on the nearest object on the frame that has any degree of contrast. This appears to be what happened in your photo.

From page 124 of the EOS 80D Instruction Manual:
Notice this sentence repeated in both sections:

"However, since it is inclined to focus on the nearest subject, focusing on a specific target may be more difficult."

Some of Canon's top tier cameras have alleviated this somewhat by allowing the user to designate a single initial starting AF point when using Zone AF or even when using Automatic AF Point Selection. The camera only uses a different AF point if the initial point can't be brought into focus or when using a tracking mode that follows the initial subject around in the frame. The 80D allows this only in AI Servo AF mode. To set the initial AF point when using either of the Zone AF modes or 45-point Automatic AF selection please see "C.Fn II -11" on page 422 of your EOS 80D Instruction Manual.

As for reviewing the camera state at the time the photo was taken:

From anywhere within Canon's DPP you can press "Alt+J" to toggle the selected AF point on or off in the preview image displayed on your screen.

If you are using DPP 4 there is a "shooting distance information" scale near the top of the "Lens correction" sub-window. Although a precise distance is not given in feet or meters, there is a scale that goes from MFD on the left to infinity on the right. Do note that the slider can be moved by the user to adjust the effect some of the other adjustments, such as distortion or CA, in the "Lens correction" sub-window. If you have moved the slider but haven't yet saved your changes to the "recipe" for an image then pressing the return to default arrow just to the right of the infinity symbol will restore the position of the slider to the "as shot" information contained in the EXIF "maker notes" section. Once you've saved the changes you've made, though, the return button to the right of the infinity symbol will return the slider to the position it was at when you saved the "recipe".

  • I have updated my question, showing which AF points were used for focusing. Those points do not focus on any subject that would be closer than the building. Does it mean ZONE AF issue you were explaining here is not the cause of my problem?
    – dzieciou
    Nov 7, 2016 at 7:47
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    Zone AF has a reputation for doing exactly what your question demonstrates - it focuses on the nearest thing, even if it is not within the designated zone.
    – Michael C
    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:04
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    So it seems like for architectural photography, or simply still objects, single AF points would be the best mode.
    – dzieciou
    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:17
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    Either single points or very careful manual focus using the 10X magnification in Live View.
    – Michael C
    Nov 7, 2016 at 23:18
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    I use a 5D3, 5D2, and 7D2 most often and the slider only shows infinity when I am focused at or very near infinity. It does vary with focal length as shorter lenses show infinity at shorter focus distances than longer lenses. With my 70-200mm at 200mm anything shorter than about 150-200 feet shows less than infinity. With my 24-105mm at 24mm it's more like 50 feet or more that shows infinity.
    – Michael C
    Nov 9, 2016 at 3:45

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