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6d Focusing Problems

perklax
Occasional Contributor

Hello,

 

I've recently purchased a 6d. It's a great camera and I love the look it has, but I'm having all sorts of troubles focusing. I mainly do portraits, and that requires me to consitently hit sharp focus on the eyes. For the life of me I can't do that. I'll focus on the eye using the middle autofocus point and then will recompose and take the picture, but it still won't work. It works half the time, but that's not good enough at all. It's been driving me crazy and I can't confidently go into a shoot. I'm getting paid for shoots also, so this isn't acceptable. 

61 REPLIES 61

TTMartin
Respected Contributor

@perklax wrote:

Hello,

 

I've recently purchased a 6d. It's a great camera and I love the look it has, but I'm having all sorts of troubles focusing. I mainly do portraits, and that requires me to consitently hit sharp focus on the eyes. For the life of me I can't do that. I'll focus on the eye using the middle autofocus point and then will recompose and take the picture, but it still won't work. It works half the time, but that's not good enough at all. It's been driving me crazy and I can't confidently go into a shoot. I'm getting paid for shoots also, so this isn't acceptable. 


You can never get precise focus, using focus and recompose. 

 

The plane of focus shifts as you turn the camera.

 

You could keep the center focus point on the eye and then crop the photo for composition.

 

You could use one of the other 10 AF points and put that on the eye of your subject.

 

If you keep the center AF point on the eye and focus is still off, your camera and lens combination may need Micro Focus Adjustment (MFA). I like the DotTune method of MFA (Google it), but, there are a number of MFA methods out there, including ones that cost $. DotTune is free, and it works. 

RobertTheFat
Honored Contributor

@perklax wrote:

Hello,

 

I've recently purchased a 6d. It's a great camera and I love the look it has, but I'm having all sorts of troubles focusing. I mainly do portraits, and that requires me to consitently hit sharp focus on the eyes. For the life of me I can't do that. I'll focus on the eye using the middle autofocus point and then will recompose and take the picture, but it still won't work. It works half the time, but that's not good enough at all. It's been driving me crazy and I can't confidently go into a shoot. I'm getting paid for shoots also, so this isn't acceptable. 


If you're shooting in a studio with a tripod, you might find that you get better results using live view and manual focus.

 

What lens are you using? You're always potentially constrained by the sharpness of your lens.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

perklax
Occasional Contributor

Thanks for your response! I'm using canon's 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8. I do work in the studio, but also exterior. I also do work with musicians, usually with them performing, so a tripod isn't always my best bet. I was even taking pictures at a wedding at f/6.3 and I couldn't nail it. I just switched to back button AF today, so I'll experiment with that. 

TTMartin
Respected Contributor

@perklax wrote:

Thanks for your response! I'm using canon's 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8. I do work in the studio, but also exterior. I also do work with musicians, usually with them performing, so a tripod isn't always my best bet. I was even taking pictures at a wedding at f/6.3 and I couldn't nail it. I just switched to back button AF today, so I'll experiment with that. 


If you are using the EF 50mm f/1.8 II, please replace it today with the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM ($125) and save yourself a lot of headache.

perklax
Occasional Contributor

Yes, I'm already using the $125 one. My main concern is shooting weddings. I want to be able to ensure that I'm not going to miss big moments because of lack of focus

TTMartin
Respected Contributor

@perklax wrote:

Yes, I'm already using the $125 one.


Are you using the STM one?


@TTMartin wrote:

@perklax wrote:

Yes, I'm already using the $125 one.


Are you using the STM one?


I think so.  I forgot to specifically ask about what aperture setting was being used for the "out of focus" shots.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

perklax
Occasional Contributor

It's been soft or just plain out of focus up to f/6.3 or 7.1. But it's weird because I can sometimes nail focus at f/2.8. It's just so hit or miss that it's confusing me. I'm assuming it's something I'm doing but I've never had this problem until now. 

RobertTheFat
Honored Contributor

@perklax wrote:

It's been soft or just plain out of focus up to f/6.3 or 7.1. But it's weird because I can sometimes nail focus at f/2.8. It's just so hit or miss that it's confusing me. I'm assuming it's something I'm doing but I've never had this problem until now. 


By "until now", I assume you mean "until I started using the 6D with these lenses".

 

Find a scene that has considerable depth, and take a series of pictures, focusing on ogjects at different distances from the camera. Then examine each picture with a photo editor that will tell you which AF points thought they had their part of the image in focus. Is the actual focus consistently nearer, or consistently farther away, than the AF points indicated? If so, get out your 6D manual and read about "Autofocus Microadjustment". Fortunately, that condition, though rather rare, is easily corrected. (Well, it's easily corrected on a camera that supports AFMA, and the 6D does.)

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA