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My digital camera is out of focus.  It can only focus when I zoom in close to the subject.  What's wrong?  Please help!

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It appears your camera is in "macro" or "close-up" mode. The obvious solution is to take it out of that and back into normal mode. Since you didn't specify the make and model of your camera, I can't give you detailed instructions on how to do that.

Posted on Jan 24, 2010

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My Nikon Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S for Digital SLR lens does not seem to auto focus well. Sometimes the lens will focus and unfocus and refocus constinely. Is this normal??

You did not say which camera body you are using, but you probably have three different auto-focus modes on you camera. You might be using the wrong one.

The modes are as follows:
AF-A Mode: Camera automatically selects single-servo autofocus when AF-A subject is stationary, continuous-servo autofocus when subject is moving. Shutter can only be released if camera is able to focus. AF-S Mode: For stationary subjects. Focus locks when shutter-release button AF-S is pressed halfway. Shutter can only be released when in-focus indicator is displayed.
AF-C Mode: For moving subjects. Camera focuses continuously while AF-C shutter-release button is pressed halfway. Photographs can be taken even when in-focus indicator is not displayed.

Dec 19, 2012 | Nikon Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF...

1 Answer

My lensmakes a sound when i video

The sound may be the result of the auto focus motor operating to keep the subject in focus. You may be able to shut off the auto focus by switch on the lens (if provided) or camera body menu and focus manually instead.

Apr 30, 2012 | Canon 55-250mm F/4-5.6 Ef-s Is Telephoto...

1 Answer

New out of the box Cannon 550 with a 18-55mm 3.5 - 5.6 lens and I can only focus in the wide angle shot. The zoom to 55mm is out of focus even when set to AF and an automatic setting. Am I doing...

In automatic mode and automatic focus - The camera should focus onto the subject given that there's enough contrast between your subject and the background. If it not focusing at all even in broad day light conditions - You lens is faulty.
Also - Do you or your friend have another lens to test if the camera is faulty?

Feb 28, 2011 | Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USN Lens

1 Answer

Cannot figure out how to take good macro shot with new Tamron len

With an SLR you only get true macro focussing on a lens that has proper macro focussing abilities. Unfortunately in the photogaraphy world, there are a huge number of lenses which claim to have macro ability but are stretching the term far too much.

Strictly speaking, macro means that the lens is capable of producing images on the sensor which are the same size as the actual subject or even bigger, at life size this is described as 1:1 macro. Your Tamron lens is only capable of a maximum 1:3.7 "macro", and that's only at the 200mm zoom setting with the subject no closer than 45cm from the lens. By SLR zoom lens standards, that's actually pretty good, but if you want to go closer and get greater magnification you need to either use a supplementary close-up filter lens or for better optical quality use a set of extension rings. The trade off with close up filter lenses is poor image quality and usually plenty of colour fringing and with extension rings is that if you're using a 2x magnification at 200mm, your f5-ish maximum aperture at 200mm becomes a very dark f10.

The only way to get good macro results is to either use a proper (=expensive) macro lens and excellent lighting, or use extension rings plus a good ring flash unit. However you can improve your macro by investing in a more capable zoom lens with a closer minimum focus distance and a better aperture at the telephoto end of the range. This can be expensive, or you can pick up some very cheap 35mm film SLR lenses. Using an adapter will never allow you to achieve infinity focus on a Canon digital SLR but you can get a close focussing 200mm f3.8 very cheaply. The crop factor of your smaller sensor means it will have the same angle of view as a 310mm lens but the aperture will remain at f3.8. As Canon digital SLR's have the deepest body register (lens to sensor distance) of the current systems then you'll also have the effect of using it on an extension ring. The downside is that you'll have to use the lens in a totally manual mode as no information will be communicated to your camera body. By mounting the lens back to front using a reversing ring you can achieve some really stunning macro magnifications but then you need a tripod, powerful flash and absolutely no wind... There was also a Makinon 80-200mm zoom which sells for next to nothing on auction websites, but it had a macro collar which allowed it to achieve around half size macro (1:2).

Alternatively, if the Fuji still works and does the job just keep it in your camera bag ready for those types of shots. overall, that seems the easiest and best solution unless you really want to get heavily into macro shooting.

I hope that I've helped you, please ask more if there's anything unclear. I've tried to keep a very complicated subject as simple as possible. Please also take a moment to rate my answer.

Mar 05, 2010 | Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DI XR for Canon

1 Answer

Auto focus at full zoom not responding Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR

Hi - I own this lens and it manually focuses at all focal lengths (hard to see at 18mm unless your subject is extremly close). You may need to get the lens checked. BTW - Mine was set as follows when I checked for you:
  • D80 was "on"
  • M/A
  • VR = Off
  • Normal (not Active)
Hope this helps!

Apr 09, 2009 | Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR...

1 Answer

Distance scale does not move on canon efs 17-85mm lens

Yes, this is normal. Some zoom-lenses adjust the focus when zooming, to always keep the subject in focus. Those tends to be the more expensive lenses.
So you don't have to worry, nothing is wrong with your lens.

Jan 10, 2009 | Canon EF-S 17-85MM F/4-5.6 IS USM Lens

1 Answer

Lens for Nikon D60

I will try to help you, but please understand that my experience is with Nikon film cameras. Assuming that the D60 works in a manner similar to a Nikon 35 mm body and that Sigma macro lens work like Nikon macro lens, you should be able to determine the usable subject to lens distance by experimentation. First, make sure the lens is in the macro mode. To do this you must set the auto-focus mode control to the manual focus mode (see your manual). On Nikon lenses, you must first set the focus ring to infinity, then move slider switch, which has two positions marked; "normal" and "macro., to the macro position. You should now be able to rotate the focus ring to the macro range. Use the zoom ring to zoom in and out and focus with the focus ring. The the range over which the lens to subject to lens distance will yield an in focus image will be rather limited and in the range of an inch or so to 6 or 8 inches.

Dec 09, 2008 | Camera Lenses

1 Answer

How do you go from zoom to macro?

From my experience, many zoom lenses that have a macro feature simply kicks into macro mode when the lens is in fully zoomed position. Remember, macro is used to take pictures of something (usually like a flower, insect, etc.) and to magnify it several or many times larger than it really it is. And as a result the subject is huge and sharply focused with a very blurry background. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is usually a focusing limit for the lens in terms of how close one can focus a subject in MACRO zoom mode. In other words, you (the lens) may have to be at least a foot or more away from the subject in order to automatically focus sharply. On this note, if you have manual focusing capability, you should be able to take pictures in macro zoom mode from even shorter distance from the subject, resulting in more larger than life pictures!

Good luck!

I Can Fix it

Sep 03, 2008 | Tamron 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD Lens for...

1 Answer

Problem with lens

if you cant afford it read this,
The reason for this is that I find it easiest to track a moving subject if it's in the middle of the viewfinder. Cameras cannot know what you want to focus on, and if you start using multiple AF points, how is the camera supposed to know that you want to focus on the bird and not the tree - cameras are lacking in human thought processes! What is quite handy though is using the AI SERVO FOCUS or AI FOCUS settings so that the lens will alter it's focus on the subject over which the centre AF point is aligned as it moves towards you or further away from you. Without this, the focus will fix at the point you half depress shutter and if the subject comes closer or goes further away then it will be out of focus. you can call any expert of lences also for it if you can afford.

May 22, 2008 | Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di Zoom Lens for...

2 Answers

Trouble focusing with sigma 70-300 DL macro super lens

It will not focus on anything closer than 5 feet.

(From Sigma lens literature)
Capable of macro photography, this lens has a 1:2 maximum close-up magnification at the 300 mm focal length. It's the ideal high performance lens for portraits, sports photography, nature photography, and other types of photography that frequently use the telephoto range. It also has a switch for changeover to macro photography at focal lengths between 200mm and 300mm with a maximum close-up magnification from 1:2.9 to 1:2. The minimum focusing distance is 1.5m / 59 in. at all zoom settings.

Dec 25, 2007 | Sigma AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 DL Macro Super...

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