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Help with focus
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Feb 2, 2019 10:38:52   #
GiGiMac103 (a regular here)
 
How would I get both squirrels clear and focused in this picture. Taken with Nikon D3000, 55-200mm on auto. Thanks in advance for your help!



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Feb 2, 2019 10:58:22   #
Dave327
 
Next time you submit a picture check “store original” so we can check the EXIF data for what your actual camera settings were. That said, it appears to be depth of field. I bet you aperature was open as wide as possible for your lens. For that picture I would have shot at F 8 with a shutter at 1/200. Animals jink and move. For focus - getting both I may have aimed at the edge of the tree using single point focus.
On auto you are letting the camera make the decisions. You had pretty poor light so the ISO would be high. You could have shot aperture priority, but the camera would probably set the shutter speed to low for subjects that move. I would have shot in manual with the ISO on auto.

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Feb 2, 2019 10:58:26   #
R.G. (a regular here)
 
It needs a smaller aperture. If that means lowering your shutter speed, a tripod or some other type of support may be needed.

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Feb 2, 2019 11:14:06   #
Dave327
 
A simple test - There are two feeders, take test shots til you get both in focus. Aperture priority would fine for this, but again, freezing the action usually takes higher a shutter speed than the camera chooses. You could also try “sports” mode, but even then the camera may not set a high enough F stop to get the DOF you desire. Look at your EXIF data, it can be a good learning tool if you understand the exposure triangle.

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Feb 2, 2019 11:40:41   #
BurghByrd
 
There are DOF calculators available on the web to help solve this kind of problem. Assuming the subject is 50 ft away and you were set at 200 mm the DOF at f2 would be 2.3 ft but at f9 it would be ~10 ft, probably enough to capture the second squirrel in acceptable focus. Alternately you could reduce the focal length. The DOF for a 50mm lens at f2 at that distance is ~42 ft; DOF is infinite at f5.6. As you can see the focal length is also significant factor easily adjusted with your zoom lens. Thanks for sharing this problem with us.

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Feb 2, 2019 11:49:58   #
Vietnam Vet
 
put the focus dot on the squirrel and probably a 5.6 will do it, but f16 will for sure work

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Feb 2, 2019 12:27:16   #
jpwa
 
For both to be in focus they would have to be both in the same plane. With a smaller aperture, more would appear to be in focus but there is only one focal point in a picture.

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Feb 2, 2019 13:28:33   #
GiGiMac103 (a regular here)
 
Thank you all! Looks like I have a lot of reading and shooting to do! Those squirrels are both there a lot so hopefully I’ll get another chance!

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Feb 3, 2019 06:10:03   #
John N
 
I'd focus between the two, about a ⅓ back from the front one.

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Feb 3, 2019 11:11:17   #
Philip Brindle
 
Lots of good advice, and yes, it takes a lot of practice and experimenting to get the results you want from your camera, but that's what makes photography so much fun and interesting...

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Feb 3, 2019 14:46:31   #
jeep_daddy (a regular here)
 
GiGiMac103 wrote:
How would I get both squirrels clear and focused in this picture. Taken with Nikon D3000, 55-200mm on auto. Thanks in advance for your help!


https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm

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Feb 3, 2019 16:05:46   #
GiGiMac103 (a regular here)
 
Thank you! Since the tree and the feeder are always there I decided to practice shooting and managed to get a few with both in focus!
John N wrote:
I'd focus between the two, about a ⅓ back from the front one.

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Feb 3, 2019 16:06:47   #
GiGiMac103 (a regular here)
 
Thanks so much! I'll will check this out for sure!
jeep_daddy wrote:
https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm

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Feb 3, 2019 16:07:47   #
GiGiMac103 (a regular here)
 
I agree!
Philip Brindle wrote:
Lots of good advice, and yes, it takes a lot of practice and experimenting to get the results you want from your camera, but that's what makes photography so much fun and interesting...



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Feb 5, 2019 10:13:18   #
boberic (a regular here)
 
Something else which has not, as yet, mentioned. Distance. How close to the tree, when the shot was made. If you looked at that DOF calculator you would notice that when you get vevry close to the subject the DOF gets very slim. So that it may be impossible to get both squirrels in focus regardless of setting.

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