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Canon EF-S 18-55mm Kit Lens: How To Focus Stars

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Focusing stars can be quite the chore with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm, especially if you don’t know what a focused star looks like! Do you know what a focused star looks like? Come on! Let’s take a gander!

 

Focus On The Stellar Spheres

 

When I first started aiming my camera at the night sky, I didn’t exactly know what a focused star looked like. I mean, I thought I knew, but nope. Wrong. The camera’s viewfinder is not the best tool to use, when it comes to focusing stars. Why? Because it’s too dim. Most stars will not shine through the viewfinder, but I previously explored this topic, so read about it—here.

If you have been straining your eyes, chances are, you’re not achieving a katana sharp focus.

First things first: let’s take a quick look at a properly focused star image.

dipper1

Do you recognize this asterisk? I’ll just tell you, okay? I’m running out of time and I just rolled out of bed. Yeah. What was I saying? Right—it’s the Big Dipper. A finely focused masterpiece. Look at those stellar points of light! I’m amazed at myself. Just kidding. Kind of.

Now…let’s take a look at a slightly unfocused image, shall we?

Dipper2

Whoa…what happened? You notice the difference, right? This is what happens when you try to eyeball the focus.

Feel free to read more about the technicalities of focusing—here.

But, you know what? I bet we could do better…or…worse. I’ll let you decide.

Dipper-3

Ummm, well, obviously something went wrong. Horribly wrong. Did Helen Keller focus this image? I bet she did, didn’t she? Don’t hate me. Please.

Big Dipper-6

I can’t think of anything clever to write.

See? Now you have no excuses! You know exactly what a focused image looks like. Don’t try to eyeball the viewfinder! Truth be told—it’s not always necessary to achieve a pin-point focus. Bloated stars show more color, so, in a strange way, a slightly unfocused image might be visually viable, depending on the context of the situation.

 

How To Achieve Proper Focus

 

Don’t try to eyeball the focus, okay? Here’s what you should do:

 

  1. Locate a bright star (or planet)

  2. Turn on camera’s live-view

  3. Center bright star (or planet) within the LCD screen

  4. Focus.

  5. Magnify image 5x—focus

  6. Magnify image 10x—focus.

 

 

(If you want to read more about this particular lens, feel free to do so: here…and…here.)

 

** Canon EF-S 18-55mm Lens Specs **

  • Focal Length: 18-55mm

  • Aperture: Maximum f/3.5-f/5.6

  • Angle of View: 74° 20′ – 27° 50′

  • Filter Thread: 58mm

  • Price: $199.99 (new)

  • More Stats Can Be Found—Here

  • Purchase This Lens—Here

 

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About FlyTrapMan (189 Articles)
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