Beginner One shot focus

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29
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Philip McShane
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HI, I am new , old really but new to spending money on a better camera. I have always had a point and shoot and shots come out well. My phone takes a great in focus picture all the time.

My new Camera does not.

I have a sony a6300 and it is superb. So many options.

I have money so bought a few cheapish lenses.

I bought it a year ago and I am still learning.

I like a previous poster get some kind of blurring.

I have been experimenting and found that the more light, the less blurring and sharper the photos are.

My question is when I am using one shot focus which I use a back button for, whilst looking through the lens, it looks like it is still kind of auto focussing . I see blips.

I have it set to AFS-S , focus and keep looking and I get blips in the frame and it goes out and back into focus quickly. Is this my blurring issue, I press as its blipping?

And has anybody actually seen this before? It it a lense issue, camera issue, me not knowing what I am doing? is it the Anti shake system in the lense, can I turn it off?

I am still googling answers etc, so not just posting for fun.

Thanks in advance.

The lense BTW is a Sony 18-105 G PZ OSS.
 

Sky

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871
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Trevor
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It may just because you are using BBF - remember that you have to keep the back button pressed once you have the focus, then press the shutter release to take the shot.

Other causes could be too slow a shutter speed for the focal length - always use a faster speed than the lens i.e. 50mm lens, at least 60th sec and 200mm 250th etc. I hope that makes sense.
 
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5,983
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Rob
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That doesn’t sound right. Can I ask what you take photos of and are we talking about photographying in poor light as a camera/lens will hunt for focus if there isn’t enough light to provide s contrast subject.

I always thought AF-S will try to focus every time you press the button you have set to activate focus.once it’s achieved focus it stays locked until you reactivate focus again.

If you’re trying to use back button focus then the camera needs to be in AF-C focus mode rather than AF-S.

I’m an A7Riii user and I use AF-C most of the time for anything that’s moving. If I’m doing landscapes I’ve changed to using back button focus with AF-C because it allows me to control focus and shutter activation separately.

I’d post the issue in the A7/A9 thread as there are many knowledgeable Sony users in there. Don’t worry about having an A6300 as they are often talked about (along with lot more obscure random stuff that’s not A7/A9 related).
 
OP
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29
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Philip McShane
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Yes I believe that AFC-S is still subject focus and shoot.
Its the blipping that is annoying , maybe something to do with the Matrix :)
 
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10
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Julian
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This could be one of several things. The first thing I would check is that I'm doing everything right.
  • Focus technique.
As Sky mentioned, when using BBF you need to keep your finger on the button. When you take it off and press again the camera will refocus. In AFS-S mode the camera needs something to focus on within the focus point or it will keep looking for focus. Only once the camera has found focus will it beep. If it isn't beeping to say you have focus then try focusing again or focus on another point. If it does beep but your images are still not sharp then it could be one of the below.
  • Low quality lenses or focus fine tuning required
  • To slower shutter for the focal distance or movement
  • High ISO will soften an image
  • Low apature, especially when shooting close up.
Does this error happen on all shots in all situations or only when doing certain shots?
 
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5,983
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Rob
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Why?
I use BBF for everything.
Af-c if subject is moving
Af-s if subject is not moving.
Works perfectly.
If using BBF the camera needs to be in AF-C for BBF to function correctly. Pressing and holding holding the focus button means the camera with focus continuous like AF-C, releasing the focus button means the camera should have achieved focus and its now locked focus like AF-S would.

If you still manually changing the focus mode between between AF-C and AF-S then you’re separated the focus action from the shutter button rather than true BBF as the main benefit is ‘quickly swapping between AF-C and AF-S’.

This article explains BBF and how to set it up on various cameras (Sections ‘no more having to choose between single and continuous focus’ and ‘the setup’ detail the need to use AF-C constant with BBF):
https://fstoppers.com/originals/back-button-focus-what-it-and-why-you-should-be-using-it-203806

To be honest I dont see the hype around BBF. I find separating the focus action from the shutter button is useful when using ND filters for landscape but other than that I don’t use it. With Sony I’ve set the AF-ON to activate eye AF as that’s far more useful to me. I guess it’s using what’s right for you.
 
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OP
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29
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Philip McShane
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Thanks all.

I think I must have misunderstood something.
I thought one shot meant press until it beeps and then you can release and press shutter.
If I release the BBF button it then tries to focus again, i.e the subject goes out of focus and then back in.
I just tried and kept my finger on the BBF and it stops hunting .

I was hoping it was a one press then in focus, then for example I could use a timer to take a snap. I guess manual is the only way for a timed photo?
 
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13,610
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Bob
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If using BBF the camera needs to be in AF-C for BBF to function correctly. Pressing and holding holding the focus button means the camera with focus continuous like AF-C, releasing the focus button means the camera should have achieved focus and its now locked focus like AF-S would.
That's not correct.
If I press and hold the focus button in af-s it locks the focus and it doesn't change unless I release the button and press again.
Edit: I get what you're saying having read your post again.
Keeping it in af-c means it works like af-s in that it locks focus when the button is released.
 
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Julian
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Glad you found the problem. It's an easy mistake to make when learning.
I must say that using BBF may be over complicating it for what you are trying to do. Personally I only use it if shooting fast moving subjects like sport, otherwise it's all on the shutter button.
Have fun shooting.
 
OP
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29
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Philip McShane
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Would you guys suggest using AFC-A then? Just in case the subject does move?
 
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5,983
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Rob
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Yes I believe that AFC-S is still subject focus and shoot.
Its the blipping that is annoying , maybe something to do with the Matrix :)
Does the ‘blipping’ occur in good light (sunny day outside) and a static subject?

In AF-S (Autofocus Single mode) the camera will achieve focus and then lock the focus to that point. You would have to activate focus for it to try to focus on a new point.

In AF-C (Autofocus Continuous) the camera will continuously try to focus. That could look like it’s ‘blipping’ back and forth slightly.
That's not correct.
If I press and hold the focus button in af-s it locks the focus and it doesn't change unless I release the button and press again.

That's not correct.
If I press and hold the focus button in af-s it locks the focus and it doesn't change unless I release the button and press again.
That’s very true in AF-S it would do that.

Please read the fstoppers article (the two sections I’ve pointed out) it explains true Back Button Focus in more depth than I can on here.
 
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13,610
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Bob
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That’s very true in AF-S it would do that.

Please read the fstoppers article (the two sections I’ve pointed out) it explains true Back Button Focus in more depth than I can on here.
I've edited my post after reading again what you said.
I've slightly misread what you were saying...
 
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5,983
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Rob
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Would you guys suggest using AFC-A then? Just in case the subject does move?
Personally I’d forget about using Back Button Focus and just keep to AF-S for static subjects and AF-C if they are moving.


What are you photographing?
That’s a very important question and along with the light conditions. If you have some example images that would be very helpful as we’ve gone down the rabbit warren that is BBF and it may not be the root cause of the issue.
 
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Julian
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Would you guys suggest using AFC-A then? Just in case the subject does move?
All the different focus modes are there for different scenarios so it depends what your shooting.

Keep things simple to start with. Been shooting professionally for 12 years now and 95% of the time I just two settings AFS-S for stationary subjects or AFS-C for moving subjects.
 
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29
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Philip McShane
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I was just photographing anything to just practice. I was doing kids outdoors a few days ago which started this whole, why is it blipping (hunting)

Still learning and I think I have found a place where I can learn more :)

Thanks all
 
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13,610
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Bob
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I was just photographing anything to just practice. I was doing kids outdoors a few days ago which started this whole, why is it blipping (hunting)

Still learning and I think I have found a place where I can learn more :)

Thanks all
So its blipping because the focus is constantly changing.
That's normal.
What you may need to consider is how many focus points you use in that scenario.
It's more difficult trying to use a single af point.
Using multiple will be easier but can result in the main subject not being In focus
 
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5,983
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Rob
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Thanks all.

I think I must have misunderstood something.
I thought one shot meant press until it beeps and then you can release and press shutter.
If I release the BBF button it then tries to focus again, i.e the subject goes out of focus and then back in.
I just tried and kept my finger on the BBF and it stops hunting .

I was hoping it was a one press then in focus, then for example I could use a timer to take a snap. I guess manual is the only way for a timed photo?
Have you turned off the shutter buttons focus action? Sounds like it’s trying to focus when you pressing the shutter button.
 
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5,983
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Rob
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I’ve just tried BBF on my A7r3. When I released the AF-ON button the camera wouldn’t alter the focus until I pressed the AF-ON button again. I was able to take a photo using the timer without the focus point changing (to use the 2 second timer I had to be in AF-S).

You should be able to focus with a rear button then press the shutter to activate the timer without the focus changing. If you need to hold the focus button whilst in AF-S to stop it trying to refocus there is something wrong in the settings (Sony menus are a little crazy and it could be easy to have something set that shouldn’t be).
 
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13,610
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Bob
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I’ve just tried BBF on my A7r3. When I released the AF-ON button the camera wouldn’t alter the focus until I pressed the AF-ON button again. I was able to take a photo using the timer without the focus point changing (to use the 2 second timer I had to be in AF-S).

You should be able to focus with a rear button then press the shutter to activate the timer without the focus changing. If you need to hold the focus button whilst in AF-S to stop it trying to refocus there is something wrong in the settings (Sony menus are a little crazy and it could be easy to have something set that shouldn’t be).
My A7ii is the same as your camera.
 
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John 'Jack'
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@BowtomePhil

Sorry I don't know anything about the Sony Alpha series, but what I am about to say can applies to so many cameras in general, Sony, Nikon, Canon, etc, etc.,

The reason that a point-and-shoot or a camera phone gets the photos sharp is because they're mainly designed to try to get as much of the subject plus foreground and background in focus as possible. It's because those are designed to be quicker for memorable snapshots, better get subject plus foreground and background sharp so you have a memorable photo.

But that's no good for those in the industry like adverts, magazines, graphic design, etc., They want people to look at what they're aiming for. They want the model who is wearing a brand new outfit, to be in focus, so would-be customers would look at the outfit. They don't want that tree in the background to be in focus, they want it so blurry that viewers would ignore it and look at the model.

That's why DSLRs allows the photographers some flexibility when it comes to focusing, and the DSLRs allows the photographers a wider choice of controls.

It is often if the photographer gets the choice of controls and settings wrong, that would be why sometimes the photos are not in the right sort of focus, like blurry, or whatever (That's in addition to getting wrong shuttle speed and taking photos while moving). Even if you were to spend so much money on a top of the range Sony Alpha, thinking the more expensive it is, and the more expensive the lens is, the sharper the image, you would still find the odd blurry images, all because you did not pick the right settings.

My suggestion is to read, re-read, and re-re-read the manual on the subject of your camera's focusing system, settings, and all that, keep reading until you become more familiar with it, rather than thinking of it being a camera issue and try to buy a new one.

And like pilots who have to remember than an aircraft and a helicopter works differently, or that a propeller and a jet engine works differently, you've got to get used to remembering that a DSLR and a point-and-shoot (or camera phone) works differently. If you assumed a DSLR would work the same way as a point-and-shoot camera does, it's possible to easily make mistakes that result in some blurry images.

Those buttons you spoke of, you see, sometimes photographers would get the right settings for the subject, but there would be the odd moment when they wanted a different control. If there's no time or it's too much work to change the settings, that's why it's a lot easier to use some other buttons, like a back button, that kinds of acts like an override control, but it depends on what it was programmed to do.

Those buttons can sometimes be customised to do differently from the default setting. This BBF button others spoke of, like I said, sorry I don't know the Sony Alpha well as I use a Nikon, but I would assume that like with Nikon's AE/AF Lock button, the Sony's BBF button can be customised to do differently, by changing the settings via the menu, then your best option is to study your camera's manual. Because photographers customise their cameras differently, then mention about it online, thus you could be reading about how their cameras work, unaware that despite they having the same camera as you do, theirs is set up to do differently from what yours does.

Forget online, forget Google, use your manual. If you don't have one, try to find the official manual in PDF and download it. If you struggle with the manual, it helps if you could go and meet another photographer face-to-face, point at the manual and ask "Please explain to me what it mean?" rather than asking online.

Buying new camera is not going to help, unless it really is a camera issue like if your camera is faulty, I would have to say it is better to study the manual in depth, and train yourself with your camera, until you mastered the understanding of your camera's controls, and ignore how point-and-shoot or camera phones works, then maybe it gives you a better chance of more shaper images.

And here's a bonus: I know my Nikon camera does let me silent any beeps, while I still don't know if the Sony does, I assume it should be able to, you could check your manual and see if you could change the settings in the menu to turn off the beeps if it annoys you so much.
 
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5,983
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Rob
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I’ve been thinking about this today as it’s confusing what the cause of the issue is.

I’ve been reading through the A6300 online manual and I’ve come across one thing I didn’t even know was a setting! It would be worth checking if Pre AF is off as that could potentially cause focus to activate when you aren’t expecting it to.

144B68A3-DE67-4909-9E8E-EBD9B2002586.jpeg
 
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1,075
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John 'Jack'
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Thanks Major for the advice. Not sure where I mentioned noises annoying me though
Sorry, my bad, my goof. I was very tried when I was surfing the forums and helping out, I just mistakenly thought the "blip" you spoke of is a sound (like a "beep"). Sorry, my bad. I really need more Rockstar's Mango Orange Passion Fruit favour energy drink, and get my damn brain active.
 
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5,983
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Rob
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Sorry only changed setting late last night. YES !!
Excellent. I’d never heard of that setting until I read it in the A6300 manual. I feel it’s a really bizarre setting. I’ve done a bit of read, it sounds like with that setting on the camera will continuously try to focus on something and not stop. I’m not sure if it overrides the focus point that was achieved by when using AF-S. it sounds as if the camera is in constant AF-C mode and continuously trying to focus on wherever the AF point is.

No wonder you were getting blurred images if it wasn’t you in control of the cameras focus. Hopefully that sorts everything and you now get nicely focused images. It will probably feel like a whole new camera now it hopefully behaves like a normal camera.
 
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TCR4x4

Wishes he had a couple more Inches
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8,334
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Tom
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Fuji have pre af function too. Bloody annoying. It will continually focus no matter what mode you are in, and whether a button is pressed or not.
 
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5,983
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Rob
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Fuji have pre af function too. Bloody annoying. It will continually focus no matter what mode you are in, and whether a button is pressed or not.
I can kind of see the point in pre AF in AF-C mode but for AF-S mode it’s completely bizarre why you would ever want it to work like that especially when using BBF.
 
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