View Full Version : Focusing with a canon 50mm f/1.4

01-02-2008, 06:37 PM
I just got the canon 50 mm f/1.4 lens and i love it. it's great in low light conditions.

i have one question though. the shallow DOF at f/1.4 is beautiful but the autofocus gets it wrong sometimes and ruins the picture. I ended up having to use manual focusing but I usually had a hard time figuring out what exactly was in focus with such a tiny viewfinder. I know there is a meter on the lens but how do i read it? (are the numbers telling me the distance between me and the subject or the DOF i have.. wherever that is..) or are there any other tips on getting the manual focusing right with such a tiny view finder?


01-04-2008, 04:16 AM
f1.4 is razor thin dof. i'd be more inclined to think that misfocussing is user error, not AF error.

01-04-2008, 04:21 AM
What camera do you have? XT? Or XTi?

And that "meter" you are talking about is not meant for getting something in focus. It is just to give you a very rouch idea of the distance to the subject/focus.

The camera will tell you when it thinks something is in focus at its active focus point, even when using MF.

Just practise to understand how your camera and lens react, and try to rule out user error in focussing (something that will show up much easier with very shallow depth of field).

Also, if you persist in MF-ing without relying on the camera focus indication, and with a camera that is not a 40D or even better, a full frame, you can try out some slipt focus screen that helps with focusing. You can get those for the 40D from Canon, for the XT/XTi/30D one has to look for 3rd party alternatives (like katzeye).