Attack of the Green-Eyed Monster

Does lens envy ever stop?? I feel compelled to write this post, not out of negativity, but sheer curiosity.

I was so excited to get my 50mm f1.8, and am incredibly happy to own it. My picture’s have an amazing quality that I know at a logical level the kit lens could not provide. [Bokeh!!!]. In addition, it’s uncertain if my skills as a photographer could improve without upgrading from the kit lens and learning to manipulate a prime lens. So for those reasons alone I am very happy and ecstatic to have the 50mm. Yet… there is a teeny little voice in my head that says…”maybe the focus would be better if you had a new portrait lens…yes, you must get a new portrait lens”.

So…it makes me wonder…is my lens envy valid? Does the 50mm f1.8 have shortcomings that I am noticing; or am I lacking in technical skills and looking for an external reason? (FYI that is probably the most likely answer!) At the end of the day, I am definitely having a “focus” problem with the 50mm. 1.8 lens.

THE PROBLEM
I think I am focusing directly on say the person’s eye closest to me, and the red grid focal lights will blink.  But then focus will be to the right say on a shoulder. I’ve tried a couple different techniques: focal lock,  and manual focus.  Unfortunately, my inexperience keeps me from knowing when to use what focal technique. I am going to investigate this a bit further. I realize if I’ve tried all my options, and the focus is still slightly off, only then can I confidently say it may be a lens calibration issue. I do admit, at this point I think it is just me. (No excuse to buy a new lens today…if you look real close you’ll see my little violin).

THE GAME
Can you find the focus?!

In lieu of the subject matter (focus) and to happily critique a bit, I developed a game for you. (Yes, I know, games, technical jargon, this post is just jam-packed with Monday fun!) The rules to this game are simple, review the pics, and try to find the focal point. These images are all from Saturday on a park playdate with my niece.

Here is the Bag Lady: Iz [You can not look at this picture and deny her bag-lady status. My sister-n-law tried to call it “hollywood chique”…but well…bag lady seems so much more descriptive] I tried to focus on her face, honest. is this just a 50mm 1.8 issue with distance, or my lack of skills? Nothing seems clear in this picture…at least I didn’t find the focal point…If you find it, I would love to hear where it is. The ISO was 100, f2.2. I used Focal Points, not focal lock which is probably what I should have done.

Next one on the chopping block:

I LOVE this photo (ISO 100 f/2.2). I do…My Z man looks adorable. With his perfect little parted rosy lips and abundant pink cheeks from the cold he just looks delectable. (Yes that is a baby eating reference). The color is very cohesive, with the blue foreground and orangish background. Composition is great…all around it’s a good-looking photo…BUT THE FOCUS! Can you find the focus??? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not on Z’s eyes. But there is a pair of maniacal looking green-eyes in focus! So sad to me, as this is an all around amazing shot. This picture truly was begging me to use manual focus.

Last one:

There are a lot of things wrong with this picture ISO 100 f2.2(composition namely, and why did I decide to stand where I did?! who knows..) but for the sake of the game, okay the sake of my ego, lets just play; Can you find the focus.

Did you find it?? Yes, yes, it is the chain BEHIND my cute niece’s head. Aggravating. On and on the day went. Pic after pic with focal errors. Cute kid poses, great scenery and focal problems. The focus issues seemed greater when I was in auto focus. So very frustrating. Some decent shots in between, but overall the day left me feeling very discouraged. 

 Lesson learned; I am now dedicated to mastering the manual focus. No more green-eyed monsters taking center stage for me!

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This entry was published on February 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm. It’s filed under Art, Children, Photography, Toddler and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Attack of the Green-Eyed Monster

  1. I love what they’re wearing. Their sunglasses and hats. How adorable!

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