Quieksteps using manual focus

1. Set the focus switch on the lens to M or MF.

2. While looking through the viewfinder, focus by turning the focus ring on the lens.

Manual focus is useful when the main subject doesn't fall on one of the seven focus points, or when you want to focus on a very specific spot such as the eye of a moth.

Manual focus is useful when the main subject doesn't fall on one of the seven focus points, or when you want to focus on a very specific spot such as the eye of a moth.

Controlling Depth of Field

Sharpness—or the lack of it—is immediately noticeable when you look at a photograph. If you are making a portrait, you may want only the person to be sharply focused, but not a distracting background. In a landscape, on the other hand, often you may want everything sharp from close-up flower to distant mountain. Once you understand how to control depth of field, you will feel much more confident when you want to make sure something is—or isn't—sharp.

Here the greatest possible depth of field was used to keep everything sharp from the fighter's needle nose to the background.

Here the camera's depth of field was just deep enough to keep the legs in focus. Parts of the image closer to the camera and further away become increasingly less sharp.

Depth of field preview button.

Here the greatest possible depth of field was used to keep everything sharp from the fighter's needle nose to the background.

Depth of field preview button.

To control how deep or shallow depth of field is, you have three factors to work with.

■ Aperture size. The smaller the size of the lens aperture (the larger the f-number), the greater the depth of field. The larger the aperture, the shallower the depth of field.

■ Camera-to-subject distance. As you move father from the subject you are focused on, you increase depth of field. As you move closer, you decrease it.

■ Lens focal length. Shorter focal length lenses increase depth of field and longer focal length lenses decrease it.

Each of these three factors affects depth of field by itself, but even more so in combination. You can get the shallowest depth of field with a long focal length lens focused on a nearby subject using a large aperture. You get the deepest depth of field when you are far from a subject, with a short focal length wide angle lens, and using a small aperture.

To check depth-of-field in the viewfinder in a Creative Zone mode, press the depth-of-field preview button on the lower left side of the lens mount. (In A-DEP mode you have to first hold the shutter button halfway down.) This button locks exposure and closes the lens aperture down to the f/stop you've selected so you can get an idea in the viewfinder of what's sharp and what isn't. The problem is that when using small apertures, the viewfinder image is very dark. When the maximum aperture is selected, as it often is in dim light, you'll see no change at all.

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