Photography Quiz: Focus on Focusing

By Geoff Harris

How Focused Are You? A fun Photo Focusing Quiz

Portrait of a young nerd with old fashioned camera

Mastering focussing is one of the core skills in photography, and you can't really say you have got on top of your camera if you are totally reliant on it to make all the focussing decisions, and just forget about it. While many things contribute to a sharp, well-focussed picture, how you focus is critical, and a bit of time spent practicing autofocus options or manual focussing will be hugely beneficial to your photography. To help, here's a fun quiz – there are no prizes, but you can see how you much you know about focussing already, and identify any gaps in your knowledge!

1) What is an autofocus (AF) point?

a) The illuminated point(s) you see through the viewfinder when you half press the shutter button

b) A special flashing point that appears when you've got the correct depth of field

c) A button or menu option you need to select on the camera to turn autofocus on and off

2) What do you normally see through the viewfinder in Auto Select or Auto AF?

a) Just one central autofocus point lit up

b) Every available AF point lit up

3) Just half of the AF points lit up

3) What is Single Point AF?
a) When you select AF by pressing the button just once
b) When you have only one AF point lit up, which you move around as needed
c) Canon's special name for automatic autofocus

4) Why would you use Single Point AF instead of all the AF points?

a) You can specify EXACTLY where the camera needs to focus, e.g. the eyes
b) It doesn't drain the batteries as fast as using all the AF points
c) It helps to give more depth of field in landscape images

5) When would you use continuous or tracking AF?

a) When you want to ensure AF is continuously on

b) When you are shooting a static subject

c) When you need to keep a moving subject in focus

6) What is continuous AF called on Canon cameras?

a) Dynamic Zone AF

b) AI Servo AF
c) Magical Moving AF

7) What is focus and recompose?

a) When you lock focus where you want it, and move the camera for a better composition
b) When you only select the central AF point for every shot you take during a shoot
c) When you activate all the AF points so you can compose from just about any angle

8) What is back-button focussing?

a) When you decouple AF activation from the shutter button and assign it to a back button for speed

b) Where you focus by pressing one of the back pointing navigation arrows on your camera
c) A menu feature that lets you sharpen up focus on images after you have taken them

9) What is focus peaking?

a) A warning that tells you when your AF has 'peaked' and can't focus on something
b) A feature in Live View or electronic viewfinders that highlights edges so you can see they are in focus – helpful when focussing manually
c) That weird 'backwards and forwards' effect you get when your lens can't lock on to anything

correct answers//

1) a 2) b 3) b 4) a 5) c 6) b 7) a 8) a 9) b

Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) - the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

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