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camera will not fix focus

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Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #1820
    zincprincess
    Participant

    I have a Nikon D5000 that I bought six months ago. I’m still playing with it and figuring out how to make great pictures with it. Lately, I have been trying to take macro shots with a 35 mm lens and having problems with the camera fixing focus (on auto focus, obviously). When this happens the shutter will lock and will not take the picture. I have not had a similar problem when I’m far enough away from the subject. Ideas on what the problem may be and how to resolve?

    #27845
    linguine
    Participant

    Are you getting really close to your subjects when this happens? I have a d50 and occasionally I’ll have this problem when its having trouble picking a good focus, you can try shifting the camera a little to let it try to focus on something else. However if youre really close up you may be pushing the limit for how close the camera your lens can focus.

    #27846
    zincprincess
    Participant

    I am getting close and perhaps that’s the problem. I guess I need a macro lens to do what I’m doing?

    #27847
    olavf
    Participant

    Even with a macro lens you’re likely to find that problem on autofocus. When you’re up that close, the tiniest movement, either from you or your subject is likely to send the AF hunting. A macro lens may be better adapted for that, but I’d suggest trying it on manual.

    edit: if you plan on doing a lot of macro photography, I’d highly recommend getting a macro. You’ll get much better results, and can get much closer to the subject.

    #27848
    caradoc
    Participant

    Ideas on what the problem may be and how to resolve?

    You are probably closer than the minimum focus distance for that lens.

    Get a real 1:1 macro lens, and you’ll be able to get much closer. Or a reversing ring. Or any number of options.

    #27849
    sleeping
    Participant

    If you want to get as close as you can to a subject, with any lens, it’s often easiest to set it to manual focus, set the focus ring to the closest distance, and move the camera until the subject is in focus. You can use the little green confirmation dots in the viewfinder to help with this (on a Nikon, I assume other brands have something similar)

    But yes, a real macro lens will make a big difference. I assume you have the 35mm F1.8 DX Nikkor? That will get you about this close (I’m pretty sure I had it set to the minimum focus distance):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/awrose/4552782444/

    A real macro lens, on the other hand, will get you this close:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/awrose/4552782400/

    (incidentally, by “close” I’m talking about magnification, the minimum focus distance of both lenses is actually pretty similar 12″ for the 35mm, 11″ for the Tamron 90mm Macro)

    #27850
    zincprincess
    Participant

    Thanks for the helpful information (and examples). I probably need to invest in a true macro lens but that may be a project for a later date. At least now I’ve figured out what I can and cannot do with the equipment I’ve got now.

    #27851
    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    Another potentially cheaper option is to get a set of extension tubes. They’ll turn any of your lenses into a macro lens. You’ll lose the ability to focus to infinity while they’re attached, but there are no extra optics in them to alter your image quality.

    #27852
    bucky_bacon
    Participant

    Not to threadjack…. but I’ve been looking into either extension tubes or reversing rings for macro purposes. Any suggestions/recommendations on the matter?

    #27853
    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    I just got a set of Kenko extension tubes for Mother’s Day, and so far, so good. Millera9 had once recommended them. Just remember your depth of field is very shallow at macro level..it can be a bit of a challenge.

    #27854
    nobigdeal
    Participant

    I have a set of Opteka tubes, short $$ like 79 bucks. They work just fine. Hunt’s wanted to sell me a set of Kenkos for $165.00 I laughed walked out and bought these from Amazon.

    #27855
    ravnostic
    Participant

    I have a set of Opteka tubes, short $$ like 79 bucks. They work just fine. Hunt’s wanted to sell me a set of Kenkos for $165.00 I laughed walked out and bought these from Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Focus-Extension-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0038ZORB2/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1274059799&sr=8-11

    Dear lord, now I have to add another toy to my list!!

    #27856
    aprillove20
    Participant

    I agree that it’s often easiest to set it to manual focus.

    #27857
    Curious
    Participant

    I have a set of Opteka tubes, short $$ like 79 bucks. They work just fine. Hunt’s wanted to sell me a set of Kenkos for $165.00 I laughed walked out and bought these from Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Focus-Extension-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0038ZORB2/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1274059799&sr=8-11

    i paid $167 for my Kenkos and love them. this is the second set i’ve had. one for the minolta 7D and now a nikon set for the D3000.

    auto focus with all three can be iffy but with any two or just one it works great. that said manual can get even sharper shots.

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