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Nikon DK-17M (t0p)
Nikon DK-21M (bottom)

Focusing Aids

Without accurate focus, no camera or lens is sharp. A very small focus error means blur on a high-resolution digital camera, cutting resolution in half, or more.

Your best focusing aid is a Live View feature. Used properly, nothing is more accurate than Live View. But you’ll want some kind of focusing loupe to use it accurately, and to compensate for presbyopia (age 40 or older, on up).

1. Electronic rangefinder

An “electronic rangefinder” or “focus assist” is found on some cameras. See Focusing Tips — Focus Assist.

2. Supplementary light

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Hoodman HoodLoupe (left)

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