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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎06-01-2016

6d Focusing Problems

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. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 6d Focusing Problems


@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. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,898
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: 6d Focusing Problems


@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
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎06-01-2016

Re: 6d Focusing Problems

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. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 6d Focusing Problems


@RobertTheFat wrote:

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

 


+1

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 6d Focusing Problems


@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.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎06-01-2016

Re: 6d Focusing Problems

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

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,883
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 6d Focusing Problems

What are your camera settings, specifically shutter speed?  You could be seeing motion blur from the camera, the subject, or both.  I assume you're indoors for the portraits, so are you using a flash? 

 

When you recompose your shots, make sure the camera does not re-focus before you take the picture.  I have been on a Back Button AF binge of late, and I have found it really helpful to prevent the camera from refocusing when I depress the shutter.  I'm not very good at holding the shutter halfway and moving the camera at the same time.

 

Always use a tripod for precise focus, especially with portraits, is good advice.  I will chime in and add using the 2 second timer on the shutter release can help reduce camera motion, too. 

 

If you have not invested in a sturdy, robust tripod, then you should consider doing so.  I would advise buying tripods and heads rated at least 30 pounds, or more.  Manufacturer load ratings frequently tend to be over-optimistic.  Most of the tripod load ratings are probably done with the center column fully retracted, but they don't tell you that.  I use tripods without center columns, or at least very short ones.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 6d Focusing Problems


@perklax wrote:

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


Are you using the STM one?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,883
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 6d Focusing Problems


@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.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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