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chicken focus issues

 
master steward & author
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Can anyone make some suggestions on how to improve the focus on this kind of image?



45mm
1/60
f8
200ISO

The biggest problem is the focus (the camera was supposedly focusing on the left face).  If I change the settings too much, the image is even more underexposed.

Not sure what to try next.  I was thinking a faster shutter speed but f8 is the quickest I can do at that focal length.
 
steward
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Have you tried manual focusing to get what you're looking for?
 
pollinator
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I never learned the intricacies of camera calibration for that kind of trouble shooting.  I turn to photoshop to help with exposure and light balance

That said.  ISO 200?  Maybe you need stronger lighting if it's as low as possible and still too dark?
 
r ranson
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Upping the ISO a bit
45mm
1/125
f6.3
ISO400
(click on photo to see full size)

I'm still not happy with the clarity of this, but it's slightly better
poop.JPG
[Thumbnail for poop.JPG]
 
r ranson
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James Freyr wrote:Have you tried manual focusing to get what you're looking for?



I've been thinking of trying this, but they move a lot and focusing manually is slow.  
 
r ranson
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another try.

I upped the ISO again and stuck with autofocus.  I also added in a small light for 'catchlight' to make the eyes look more real.  Still having a lot of trouble with motion blur from the chicks moving, but I also think it's misfocusing so maybe manual will be the way to go.

45mm
1/400
f8
ISO800
slight-improvement.JPG
[Thumbnail for slight-improvement.JPG]
 
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R, try the following,

Get the aperture as small as possible.  That means you will need a lot of light.

Try taking the picture from further away but use zoom to enlarge.

I get this same issue when I take pictures of my wine caps growing in mulch.  Too many surfaces to focus and can only get one focus when up close.  The smaller aperture will reduce but not eliminate focus issues.

Eric
 
r ranson
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The chickens are now moving too fast and curious about the camera.  I tried again with a longer focal length and a higher ISO.  Again, not edited except for making jpg.  
100mm
1/1000
f8
ISO3200

I have a month until the next batch, so I think I'll leave a note for myself: go with a shutter speed of over 1000

chick.JPG
[Thumbnail for chick.JPG]
 
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I was going to say what Eric said.  The smaller aperture will allow for more depth of focus.  That's a made up phrase but basically if the eye is in focus, the rest of the bird will be decently focused as well.  With a big aperture the eye would be in focus and the rest of the bird would be blurry.  You probably know this already but I figured I'd mention it.
 
r ranson
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Here's the last one edited
edited-chick.jpg
edited chick
edited chick
undedited-big-file-to-play-with.jpg
undedited big file to play with
undedited big file to play with
 
Mike Haasl
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I think the focus looks pretty good.  I think I can see your hand holding the camera in the reflection in the chick's eye.  Plus a light with a bunch of LEDs or a weird window.
 
r ranson
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Mike Haasl wrote:I think the focus looks pretty good.  I think I can see your hand holding the camera in the reflection in the chick's eye.  Plus a light with a bunch of LEDs or a weird window.



I had the shutter cable thingy on the camera, so my hand would have been pretty far away from the camera.  The LED thingy didn't work out as well as I had hoped, but it did provide some catchlight to make them look a little more alive.  Something to work on for next time.
 
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