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Many of the creative options available to a photographer hinge on an in-depth understanding of lenses. In Foundations of Photography: Lenses, Ben Long shows how to choose lenses and take full advantage of their creative options. The course covers fundamental concepts that apply to any camera, such as focal length and camera position, and shows how to evaluate and shop for DSLR lenses. The second half of the course focuses on shooting techniques: controlling autofocus, working with different focal lengths, and managing distortion and flare. The course also examines various filters and contains tips on cleaning and maintaining lenses.
Some SLRs have an option for something called Micro Focus Adjustment. This allows you to tell the camera that when it's using a specific lens, it should alter its autofocus mechanism to compensate for the focused peculiarities of that particular lens. Micro focus adjustment is only significant if you're talking about shooting with the aperture full open on a very fast lens. When shooting with this lens at full wide, you might find that focus is a little off. Now, sometimes this is because some of the internal lens elements are out of alignment and the micro focus adjustment feature will let you compensate for that.
The camera will remember the adjustment settings for that particular lens. So that next time you use it, your camera will know to compensate when focusing. Now, the thing is when you're shooting really wide, your depth of field is so shallow that just a slight movement in and out with your camera can throw your image out of focus. So, before you go worrying about whether your autofocus is working with a particular lens, you want to be sure that your focus problems aren't simply because of depth of field. However, if you're a studio shooter or if your lens is just plainly out of focus and you can't get it working, then it's well worth considering tweaking the micro focus adjustment settings.
If you find that you want to perform this type of adjustment, then you should look into the Lens Align from rawworkflow.com. It makes performing micro focus adjustment very simple. We're not going to go into the specifics of micro focus adjustment features here, because they vary from camera to camera. And right now they're mostly only available on higher-end cameras. So, if you are interested in this, check your manual for details.
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