Any tips on practicing focus pulling? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD

Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 12th, 2010, 02:33 PM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Seattle WA USA
Posts: 3
Any tips on practicing focus pulling?

Hey Guys!

I have a Canon 60D I am using for everything, including video.

I also have a 60mm 2.8 EFS, which is proving to be a really nice lens to start with.

One important thing for me to master, is focusing at all times.

What are some good exercises to do in order to get your hand and eyes tuned to it?

Right now, I am placing object like soup bottles and cans in my home at varying distances and to the sides. I am holding the camera mounted to a tripod for a little stability. The camera alone is hard enough to keep stable, without focusing.

My first test is to hold the camera steady and focus on various objects as fast as possible with only one shot at each, not hunting back and forth. If I miss it from a long focus pull, then I try over again. I want to be able to see the distance from my camera to the object and know exactly how much to pull for sharp and quick focus.

My second test is to move the camera around a lot and try to keep objects in focus. This is proving to be the most difficult one to master, but damn does it look good when everything is moving in the frame but the one spot that is perfectly in focus and stable. This doubles as a stability test in keeping objects in frame and with good composition.

My third test is to move the camera around while snapping to different objects. One cool type of shot I have learned, but not mastered, is to snap focus to things off screen (HARD!!!) and then pan into them right as the focus hits tack sharp.

My fourth test is to get smooth focus pulls from 1:1 macro to infinity. With a 170 deg focus ring, this is tough! I have only one shot that I consider even slightly close to smooth from stop to stop.



Focus pulling is some of the most difficult hand-eye coordination I have ever done. I play a lot of twitchy video games and was pretty good at baseball. I like challenges, especially when I get a chance to prove I am better at focusing than the best AF systems.

Any thoughts on what else I should be practicing? I want to be a focusing pulling bad-ass. :)


I will post up some samples once I get better subjects to focus on, and hopefully you guys (with far more experience) will be able to help me get better. Then you can hire me! LoL.
Johan Eickmeyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 689
Hi Johan,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Eickmeyer View Post
Hey Guys!
I have a Canon 60D I am using for everything, including video.
I also have a 60mm 2.8 EFS, which is proving to be a really nice lens to start with.
One important thing for me to master, is focusing at all times.
What are some good exercises to do in order to get your hand and eyes tuned to it?
I'd go out on the driveway when my kids were skateboarding, biking, scootering, roller blading etc. and practice keeping them in focus as they'd come toward me and go away from me - I used a Canon 70-200. You learn relatively quickly how much to turn the focus barrel based on the subjects speed.
__________________
WeddingFilms.com>>
Joel Peregrine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2010, 04:10 PM   #3
Tourist
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Seattle WA USA
Posts: 3
Is renting kids cheaper than buying them in the long run?

Just kidding. :)

I agree, focusing on objects that are moving, other than my camera, sounds like a good practice.

I am going to go out into a busy public place and try to do some focusing on moving subjects. At least until I get beat up for focusing on a chick's butt while the BF is looking.


Is a rotating dial ideal for focusing? Would a long lever or a linear rail hooked up to the lens work better? The focus ring now has good modulation, but hard to get quick pulls.
Johan Eickmeyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Eickmeyer View Post
Hey Guys!

I have a Canon 60D I am using for everything, including video.

I also have a 60mm 2.8 EFS, which is proving to be a really nice lens to start with.

One important thing for me to master, is focusing at all times.

What are some good exercises to do in order to get your hand and eyes tuned to it?

Right now, I am placing object like soup bottles and cans in my home at varying distances and to the sides. I am holding the camera mounted to a tripod for a little stability. The camera alone is hard enough to keep stable, without focusing.

My first test is to hold the camera steady and focus on various objects as fast as possible with only one shot at each, not hunting back and forth. If I miss it from a long focus pull, then I try over again. I want to be able to see the distance from my camera to the object and know exactly how much to pull for sharp and quick focus.

My second test is to move the camera around a lot and try to keep objects in focus. This is proving to be the most difficult one to master, but damn does it look good when everything is moving in the frame but the one spot that is perfectly in focus and stable. This doubles as a stability test in keeping objects in frame and with good composition.

My third test is to move the camera around while snapping to different objects. One cool type of shot I have learned, but not mastered, is to snap focus to things off screen (HARD!!!) and then pan into them right as the focus hits tack sharp.

My fourth test is to get smooth focus pulls from 1:1 macro to infinity. With a 170 deg focus ring, this is tough! I have only one shot that I consider even slightly close to smooth from stop to stop.



Focus pulling is some of the most difficult hand-eye coordination I have ever done. I play a lot of twitchy video games and was pretty good at baseball. I like challenges, especially when I get a chance to prove I am better at focusing than the best AF systems.

Any thoughts on what else I should be practicing? I want to be a focusing pulling bad-ass. :)


I will post up some samples once I get better subjects to focus on, and hopefully you guys (with far more experience) will be able to help me get better. Then you can hire me! LoL.
Are you using separate focus puller or lens? Are you using loupe or monitor, or camera's LCD?
Sam Kanter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #5
Tourist
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Seattle WA USA
Posts: 3
Lens and the swivel LCD. LCD is plenty big to see my fine focus points and is a dream.

I will be building my own focus pulling adapter if I need to change my gearing ratios for certain shots.

The focus ring on this lens is one of the nicest ones I have used on a USM lens. I will take precision over speed any day.


Two things that help me a lot. Beer and more beer. Seems beer smooths out my motor skills a lot and I get smoother pulls. I will have to get better at a non-beer method, as that will not always be an option.
Johan Eickmeyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 14th, 2010, 12:10 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Sequim, WA
Posts: 127
L-Finder

This helps.

If you have a 60D, you have a new option. The L-Finder. It consists of a Hoodman Hoodloupe 3.0 with a Hoodman LCD neoprene strap. Cost $75 for the Hoodloupe from Neal Photo in Montana and $10 for the Strap from Amazon. Total cost $85.

This works well. Other loupes would be too heavy for the 60D LCD in that it would swivel on its own.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...p-img_9976.jpg

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...p-img_9980.jpg
Alan Halfhill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2010, 01:25 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 205
>>If you have a 60D, you have a new option. The L-Finder. It consists of a Hoodman Hoodloupe 3.0 with a Hoodman LCD neoprene strap. Cost $75 for the Hoodloupe from Neal Photo in Montana and $10 for the Strap from Amazon.

I don't see this for $10 anywhere - more like $25. Can you point to a link?

Thanks...
Sam Kanter is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:03 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network