Ninja Hacks for Focusing Your Photography [IP43]

All photographers know that focus is crucial in photography. In this episode, Jim answers a lot of listener questions about what to do to improve your focus.

What's in this episode

  • Continuous Focus (AF-C or AI-Servo mode), especially in sports photography
  • Single Shot Focus vs. Continuous Focus – which is good for which situation?
  • How Focus Works – article linked below in the resources section
  • AF Micro Adjustment (AF Fine-Tune) – how to do it, and who should do it
  • Full-Frame vs Crop Sensor – benefits and drawbacks
  • Canon vs Nikon – should you switch?
  • Colored filters – what are they good for?
  • and more!

Resources mentioned in this episode

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10 thoughts on “Ninja Hacks for Focusing Your Photography [IP43]”

  1. Hi,
    Wondering if you have some of those presets as a sample in your site. I am asking because I am not sure if they compatible with my lightroom version or if I’m able to run the presets.
    Thank you

    1. @Al – The presets WORK in any version of Lightroom, but the raw processing engine changed in LR 4, so if you use a version of Lightroom older than LR4 then you’ll notice a few things looking weird.

  2. You do a good job of explaining some of the intricacies of focus. But you mis-spoke when you said to microadjust in contrast detect mode. Phase detect is the mode that can be microadjusted. Contrast detect doesn’t care about misalignment. It just goes back and forth until it achieves focus.

    Also, you said this is pure geekery and that is absolutely correct. I have several friends who obsess over microadjustment, when they are usually shooting landscapes at f8! If you never shoot wide open, unless it is way off, it doesn’t matter. Some of them routinely return lenses when they require over 10 to get perfect.

    Also, your listener mentioned he was testing at 3-4 ft, which is too close, IMHO.

    I always adjust my lens/bodies, get them as close as I can, then forget about it unless I am consistently missing focus. And even then, it is usually operator error.

    However, every so often, I set my LensAlign up and set my laptop to tether, and invite my Canon friends to come and have a lens align party. The geekery is overflowing.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Hi- I “think” I used to get this site on my email, not Facebook. I would prefer my email. Is this possible???

  4. hi your cyber monday lr preset are they able to work on new lr5 and you talk about your workflow from start to finish from 10-300 pics i have i need a quick easy way to go through and automate different best preset to make all the chosen photo pop out and be the best and have consistency.

  5. Hi there, I bought that 39$ bundle and was wondering if you guys are sending out receipt for this purchase?

    Thank you


  6. I listen to your Podcast driving to work and love it. I just listened to the issue the guy was having with the 70d. If he really feel that there is an issue with the 70d he has to buy if from some where else. When I bought an extra battery for my 60d from Best Buy it was no good fresh out of the pack. I took it back and got another one from a different Best Buy and it was no good. I finally called Canon and was told that if the stores near me got a bad batch than most likely any store in the shipment area will have a defect one because when they ship items the stores get the same lots. The items off the production line come from the same batch. I drove to a Best Buy near my job and got a battery there. It worked fine. My point is that if that store owner sold a really off spec 70d his entire inventory most likely will be off spec. That is why the guy got two bodies and both had issues. Items that come off a production line are shipped in batches. He will need to go some where far enough away to get items off a different production line.

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