You’re Kidding – Tips and Tricks of the Canon DSLR 5D – #5 Focusing

DSLR Focusing TipsIn the rush to adopt the DSLR many videographers and filmmakers bring assumptions that might not be true in the DSLR universe.  For example: focusing.  Since I began shooting film and then when video came in, I would always zoom in to get focus and then zoom back out to frame up the shot. (This assumes you’d set your back focus correctly.)

This procedure doesn’t work on the DSLR zoom lenses.  It used to, but not since the last eight years.

Still lenses are built for still cameras.  Still lenses only need to be in focus the instant before exposure.  The zooming is already done. They don’t track focus when you zoom in and zoom back out again.  They set focus just as you press the button.

And everyone knows this except me! They tell me that the lenses used to track focus “back in the day” but not any more.

Just thought you should know.  So use that magnify button to check your focus.  Or better yet, press the AF button when shooting video to check focus.  It’s faster that pressing “magnify” and rolling focus around.  I set my camera to “AF Quick.”  I set the selection point to one point Auto Focus. Now I know wherever I put that dot is where it’ll get my focus.   We’ll have a shoot-out on these two methods next time.

Until then, remember to send in any Homer Simpson moments you’ve had with your DSLR so we can pass it along to the teeming masses out there.

(I’ll stop filming when they pry my cold, dead fingers off my 70-200mm f 2.8.)

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