Thursday, June 30, 2011

Setting Camera Focus on Yourself



Knoptop chimes in this week on Quick FX with a simple trick that can be very useful. If you do a lot of one-man-banding with your camera, you might be in a quandary on how to get proper focus. If you are near the camera (like me in my webisodes), focusing is easy. If your camera is out of reach, however, how do you check focus? Dave's come up with a nifty trick that allows us to do just that.

The rule is that you always focus on the talent's eyes. Dave has made a set of portable eyes that he's clamped onto a mic stand and parked in the same spot he's going to be standing. Not only is this good for framing, but now he can check focus on his "eyes". If you have a zoom lens, zoom in and focus, then zoom out. Dave is obviously using a prime lens, which doesn't zoom. An external monitor can help you immensely when you have to check critical focus like this.

2 comments:

Deejay said...

Might want to consider just using a remote to pull focus while you're away from the camera. There $3 on amazon. ;)

DIYFilmSchool.net said...

There is still the problem of trial and error with both methods, though the likelihood of being out of focused is diminished with Knoptop's method.

While the remote focus is a good (and cheap) solution, if the camera is too far away, you wouldn't know what result you have until after the fact.

To combat that, it might be a better idea to combine an external monitor, even the SD one mentioned on this site. With the camera's magnification capability, you should be able to find sharp focus doing that.

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