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Mitigating focus shift

There are multiple possible approaches to dealing with focus shift. One solution is to avoid f/1.2 and f/1.4 lenses entirely; shoot an f/1.8 or f/2 lens instead! But beware, even f/2 lenses can have focus shift (eg the Leica 90/2 APO), and some f/1.2 and f/1.2 lenses do not!

Here are some options, none of which are entirely satisfactory.

Stop down — unfortunately, the entire zone of focus is shifted, and most of these lenses require f/8 or f/11 to regain “lost ground”. If your zone of sharpness needs are precise, stopping down isn’t much of a solution. Given the random variability of focus error, stopping down “kills two birds with one stone”, improving the odds. But didn’t you get that “fast” lens to shoot at wider apertures?

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Since 2006, Diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and reference for DSLRs and their lenses: Canon and Nikon primarily, but also Pentax and some medium format. Reviews of key DSLRs are included, but the primary focus is on lens performance. Also included is a wealth of technique and workflow approaches.

DAP includes thousands of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, behavioral and practical usage.

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