My father shared a focusing technique that he uses that I found very useful in many situations, so I thought I would share it here. This technique uses the Live View feature on the DSLR camera. This is a newer feature and is not available on many older DSLR cameras, but my latest Canon 5d Mark II has the live view and many other newer DSLR’s have this feature too. Live View allows you to view the “live” scene displayed on the camera LCD screen instead of using the viewfinder. This LCD image comes directly from the sensor which means the mirror is flipped up and the sensor is turned on to capture, essentially the LCD becomes an electronic view finder. With the Live View I’m able to zoom in anywhere within the frame. This zooming feature within the live view frame is really what makes this such a useful manual focusing technique.
You start by switching to Live View mode (set for stills not video) on your camera (see user manual). Then using the standard zoom (+) button you enlarge an area of the frame. On the Canon I have 5 times (x5) and 10 times (x10) magnification options. (more…)
I was invited to a charity event this past weekend that had me going to a professional Football game here in Calgary. My father happened to be in town and suggested I take his Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM lens. I took him up on the offer as I wanted to try it out and see how well it would perform. This was an evening game starting at 7:30pm and at this time of year the sun sets by 7pm, so I didn’t know what to expect for lighting. As this was just a fun outing I wasn’t worried about taking an unfamiliar lens and giving it a whirl. The lens turned out to be a lot of fun at the game, more from a useful tool to see the action up close than to really get any decent shots like you see in Sport Illustrated. The seats were almost as far back as you can get from the action. I ended up having to crank up the ISO in order to capture any of the game and I’m not a football fan by any means thus soon I was distracted by things other than the game. And then the moon appeared from behind the stadium stands across the field. I had not taken tripod or monopod (don’t have a monopod anyway), so I was hand holding all my shots, but figured I should be able to get a few not too bad frames of the moon. (more…)