89 votes
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How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

Through-the-lens focusing cameras had focusing screens — usually ground glass or fresnel lens (related: What is a focusing screen?). View cameras (the old-style large cameras with bellows) projected ...
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  • 31k
63 votes
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Why are some big telephoto lenses so expensive compared to telescopes?

Rarity. There were only approximately 20 of these now out of production lenses ever made. When they were in production they sold for about $90,000 (US). Due to the time needed to grow the large ...
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  • 168k
51 votes

Why aren't faces sharp in my f/1.8 portraits even though I'm carefully using center-point autofocus?

You're not doing anything wrong. You're just finding the limits of the camera/lens combination you are using. The EF 50mm f/1.8 (in various versions) has been known as the "plastic fantastic" for a ...
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  • 168k
33 votes
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Why do higher end lenses use USM instead of STM?

Like many things when it comes to designing hardware for photography, there are always tradeoffs to be considered and made. STM lenses sacrifice a little speed in order to be quieter and smoother (no ...
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  • 168k
29 votes
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Do all Canon DSLRs have in-body AF motors?

No Canon EOS body needs AF motors because every single Canon EF lens released since the EOS system was introduced since 1987 has a focus motor in the lens. Thus no Canon EOS camera has ever had a need ...
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  • 168k
28 votes
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Why do even high-end cameras often still include normal (non-cross-type) AF sensors?

In actuality, a cross type AF sensor is just two "normal" AF sensors, one with the lines oriented in a vertical direction and the other with the lines oriented in a horizontal direction, that are ...
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25 votes

Why are photos taken with my old lenses all out of focus on my new Nikon D5300 body?

Your old D80 had a focus motor built into the body that connects to a mechanical coupling on Nikkor AF lenses to move the focus elements in the lens. Your D5300 does not have a focus motor in the body....
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  • 168k
25 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented? Pretty well for those willing to learn how to do it with the tools we had at at the time. The same is true now. The only difference is that ...
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  • 168k
21 votes
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Do I need to turn off camera before switching auto-focus on/off?

According to it, we should first turn off the camera before turning auto-focus on/off. That's quite cumbersome obviously. That seems pretty ridiculous. Perhaps the authors are serious about their ...
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  • 31.2k
20 votes
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Shooting full manual during an event or function

Do whatever gives you the best results, don't worry about what may or may not be acceptable to others. I'd say shooting events fully manual is rare these days, though you might want to explore the ...
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  • 117k
20 votes

What happened? Sold my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and buyer says images are not in focus

I can not imagine damage that would impact focusing without visible damage to the packaging or the camera. These things are pretty sturdy. you would have to damage the mirror or shutter box to really ...
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19 votes
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Focus point causing unsharp images?

I don't think you're lacking in sharpness: at full size, the image you post shows sharp eyelashes and teeth. If you are using a large aperture (<F2), that explains the unsharp ears. When you ...
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  • 3,113
17 votes
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Are there entry-level DSLRs with built in autofocus motors?

There are three parts to the answer to this, which is appropriate, because with Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm, and Sigma focusing on mirrorless designs, there are really only three companies ...
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16 votes

Why do higher end lenses use USM instead of STM?

USM is fast, STM is smooth. For still images (particularly with sports and wildlife) it is important that focus tracks quickly whereas in video the quick movements of a USM lens make the video feel ...
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  • 4,240
15 votes
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How much does the Camera Model/Age matter when purchasing?

It really depends on what you want to do with the camera. After all, there are many great photos that have been taken with older cameras, both when they were the hot new model and when they were no ...
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  • 168k
15 votes
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Simply bad focus or too big aperture?

Your question seems to reflect the idea that a lower aperture number is for closer objects and a higher aperture number is for distant objects. This is not the case. Either aperture may be used to ...
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  • 168k
15 votes

Do all Canon DSLRs have in-body AF motors?

No Canon EOS camera has an in-body focus motor. Canon's lens mount is 100% electric, there is no mechanical linkage. (Some mounts e.g. Pentax have a mechanical link for the aperture too, for some ...
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  • 986
15 votes
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How to take sharper photos

The first image was shot wide open with what is essentially the lowest cost Canon lens (50mm f/1.8), in demanding low light conditions, and at ISO 1600. I'd say your results are exactly what I would ...
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15 votes
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How sharp are RAW photos before processing?

Are RAW images by nature slightly blurry prior to processing? If I open them up in Lightroom and zoom into the photo, my photos are not tack sharp but a bit blurry. Once I process, it comes out ...
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  • 140k
14 votes
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Which Nikon DSLRs have an autofocus motor in camera body?

Nikons with autofocus motor in body: D50, D70, D80, D90, D100, D200, D300, D7xxx, D6xx, D7xx, D8xx, all pro models (D1, D2, D2, D3, D4, Df). Models derived from those (e.g. D300/D300s, D3/D3x, etc.) ...
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  • 508
14 votes
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How do I diagnose the source of focus problem in a camera?

The question is extremely broad. There are a lot of questions and answers here that address particular aspects of blurry pictures. Putting all of that in one answer would be excessively long as well ...
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  • 168k
13 votes

Do I need to turn off camera before switching auto-focus on/off?

The warning you read applies to Live View shooting. If you look at the T5I manual it states on page 156 under the Continuous AF section , "...During Continuous AF, turn off the power before you set ...
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  • 1,371
12 votes
Accepted

What does the AE/AF lock button do that half-pressing the shutter doesn't?

Most advanced cameras allow you to separate exposure and/or focus lock from a half press of the shutter button to allow each photographer to choose how and when focus and exposure are locked for a ...
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  • 168k
12 votes

Pictures of surfers start in focus then go out of focus?

Addendum: After seeing the example photos that were not available when this answer was originally written, there are a few qualifications that should be made regarding the original answer that appears ...
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  • 168k
12 votes

Focus point causing unsharp images?

Looking at the example image at full magnification, it seems that the sharpest part of the boy's face is the tip of his nose. If you look at his left hand (camera right), you see that the area from ...
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  • 168k
12 votes

Why aren't faces sharp in my f/1.8 portraits even though I'm carefully using center-point autofocus?

It might be best if you post an example image, but in any case, there are a few things to bear in mind. First, shooting at such wide aperture provides very little leeway between the near and far ...
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  • 14.3k
12 votes

Why won't a Tamron AF LD 200-400mm f5.6 model 75DN autofocus on Nikon D3300?

The D7100 body that this lens works with has a focus motor built into the body that connects to a mechanical coupling on Nikkor AF lenses and third party equivalents to move the focus elements in the ...
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  • 168k
11 votes

What apertures are required to enable autofocus, including cross-type or high-precision focusing, on Canon DSLR cameras?

Full frame and APS-H cameras For general information and APS-C cameras, see the answer above. Canon EOS 6D All points function to f/5.6. The center point is cross-type, and all other points are ...
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  • 5,746
11 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

There are diferent topics here. 1) A toy camera, and some new cameras, for example survilance cameras, some phone cameras do not need to focus because its focus range is very extense. Normally this ...
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  • 20.7k
10 votes

Shooting full manual during an event or function

Here's a secret: nobody actually cares what mode you were shooting in so long as the quality is good. (Equally, nobody cares what gear you're using either). Therefore if you get good quality shots in ...
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