Fix FOCUS Problems with This TROUBLESHOOTING Guide (VIDEO)

It’s impossible to capture great images if your photos are consistently unsharp. There are several fixable issues that can result in soft photos, from faulty technique, incorrect camera settings, gear malfunction and more.

But fear not, because today’s very helpful troubleshooting guide will not only help you diagnose the problem, but resolve it as well. The tutorial below comes from our friends at Pangolin Wildlife Photography, a passionate group of photographers in Northern Botswana who spend their days guiding safaris and making great images of animals in the wilds of Africa.

As instructor Danielle Carstens says, “Having an autofocus problem in the field can make or break a trip.” And in this image-saving episode she explains everything you need to know for solving whatever autofocus issues you confront.

In barely nine minutes Carstens explores the most common AF problems as well as a few less-frequent concerns. She divides her tips into two main categories; 1) when your camera’s autofocus system isn’t operational at all, and 2) AF is operational but not focusing on the subject.

In the first category the problem may be as simple as flipping a switch. In other words, if your lens features an AF/MF switch, make sure it didn’t get moved to the Manual position when you pulled the camera out of the bag. In fact, Carstens says this is one of the most common issues she sees.

Other causes could include a lens/camera incompatibility, and dirty contacts or sensors. In the latter case, a simple cleaning should get you back on track. You may also want to be certain that your eyepiece diopter is adjusted correctly.

Carstens also discusses how to use the Focus Limiter switch on a lens, the proper way to select focus points for the specific task at hand, and (dread the thought) gear malfunction issues that may need to be repaired.

You can find more great outdoor photography tips on the Pangolin Wildlife Photography YouTube channel, as well as an assortment of awe-inspiring images.

And for another helpful primer check our earlier post, with a beginners guide to shooting in Manual mode.