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AF System problems


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6 replies to this topic

#1
Attoyac

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I'm trying to take pictures of merchandise, in our little antique shop. We make displays inside these 2x2 feet square cubes. All my images are taken within a distance of 2' to 6.' The items displayed might be as many as 3 to 7 items within one cube, all having a slightly different depth of field, sitting on the shelf. I've had my D7000 set to the S, single sensor. With this setting, it seems to be leaving some of the images slightly blurred, with the selected area, being the only thing in good focus. My question is: Should I set to AUTO focus? And, which area mode should I use, so that everything in the composition comes out in focus?

 

I also need an understanding of how to take pictures of jewelry, and keep it all in focus. Which Mode setting.

 

Thanks for your help.



#2
ScottinPollock

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Google "DOF calculator" and experiment with some values.

The bottom line is that only one plane is actually in focus at any given time. If you have multiple items that are different distances from the camera, shorter focal lengths and higher aperture numbers will increase the relative depth of focus, but this can still be an issue, especially with close-ups.

I do a lot of parts/product shots and many times I have to do focus stacking (Google it too) to keep everything acceptably sharp.

#3
Attoyac

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Thanks for your help Scott. For starters though, I'd just like to know if my AF settings are close to where they should be. Sounds like photo stacking might be a little over my head. I'm sure it's interesting though. Thanks.



#4
ScottinPollock

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If you're gonna try getting a reasonable DOF via a small aperture, ideally you will want to focus on a plane that is in the middle of your nearest and furthest objects. If you have an object that is in the middle, use a single focus point on it.

Though it may be better to focus manually using magnified live view.

BTW, if you're on a tripod, focus stacking is pretty simple so long as you have software that will stack the images. It is simply a matter of taking multiple images with different focus points and combining them in software.

#5
dcbear78

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What aperture are you shooting at? This is the biggest contributor to how much of your scene will be in focus. You might need to be shooting at something like f22 to get all of what you want in focus (and even that may not be enough). But to do this you will need to increase your shutter speed and/or increase ISO (or add artificial light).

 

As you are shooting merchandise that isn't moving anywhere you don't really have a shutter speed limitation. As long as you have a half decent tripod to put the camera on. So you can shoot f22, ISO 100 and a whatever shutter speed you need (up to 30 seconds) to get your exposure right. 


Also, put your focus point 1/3rd of the way into the scene. The range that is in focus is 1/3rd in front of your focus point and 2/3rds behind it. If you set your focus point on the very front object you are wasting a good portion of the region that is in focus.



#6
Attoyac

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If I can figure out what focus point mode to use, I'll try the third in deal,...makes sense. Thanks very much.



#7
Merco_61

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You want as much control as possible as soon as you go close. As you are shooting static, use Single-point AF. You can either use Single-servo AF with focusing on half-press or Continuous-servo AF with focusing on the rear button. For absolute control, focus manually in Live-view using the magnification to make sure you nail the focus.

 

When shooting jewellery, you will probably need to focus-stack for good results as the depth of field is so small at large magnification. Helicon Focus Pro will automate the stacking for you and isn't that expensive. The Pro package includes Helicon Remote, so you can shoot tethered to a computer at an optimal aperture for sharpness rather than closing down so much that you lose contrast because of diffraction. https://www.heliconsoft.com/

 

To get an idea of what the DOF will be at different distances, DOFMaster is easy to use. Hyperfocal Distance and Depth of Field Calculator - DOFMaster