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Focus issues


I made a change from my AT-1 and AE-1 several years ago to go with a digital point and shoot camera. After trying many versions of these cameras I had enough of the soft focus I was getting. I figured I could get back to nice sharp photos if I moved up to a DSLR.


I bought a T1i and a 60D. Both have the basic ef-s lenses w/ AF and IS.


Problem is I can't seem to get a sharp picture using AF on either camera regardless of what lens I use.


I've tried to focus manually but find that bumping up the image size in the screen I can't get as good a look at the shot I want nor can I get it to focus to a sharpness that I expect that I should be able to achieve with equipment that is better than the P&S cameras.


I'm thinking about buying an L Series lens with hopes that it will have better optics, and better AF capabilities to help me get the sharpness in my photos that I bought the DSLR's for.


But I just read a review where a guy stated that no matter what lens series, or make of camera he used, he found that manually focusing constistantly gave him the sharpest photos.


As one may expect, I'm lost right now trying to figure out which way to go or what to do next?


Any ideas would be appreciated.





Firstly there are a lot of reasons for soft images & the most common are too slow a shutter speed, camera shake & too wide of an apeture resulting in a shallow depth of field. You need to tell us what lenses you currently have and what style of photos you're shooting etc so we can better understand the problem. Obviously you know there are consumer grade lenses & the higher end L series lenses,

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."


If you are seeing the same results using several different cameras and/or lenses, the problem might be your technique.

All but the lowest pricest P&S and certianly the T1i and 50D are quite capable of very sharp pictures.

Of course not going to extremes in enlargement, that is.

From what info you have stated so far, an "L" lens will not help.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


If manual focusing gives sharp photos on a tripod and auto focusing doesn't, it's an autofocus issue.  Some camera bodies (like the 5D mark III) allow for adjustments for each lens on a lens-by-lens basis.  It's a really powerful feature, but I've found I've only ever needed to use it for one of my lenses.

If your camera body consistently looks worse in autofocus than in manual focus, it probably needs to be serviced.

I'm a cinematographer in Chicago using mostly Canon gear. I also founded MKE Production Rental in Milwaukee.
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