When dealing with zoom lenses, where auto-focus is not active, I zoom in to the max, open the aperture for the most shallow DOF, foucs there, and then set my level of zoom to suit, then stop down to the necessary aperture.
Being able to see the critical focus is more difficult with an LCD finder, and most video cameras do not allow for easy aperture adjustment, so things might be very different on your camera.
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Thanks for your reply.
Sorry, I should have said, "Autofocus" is on. Each time the zoom is changed the camcorder quickly searches and finds focus, except for this range in the middle...and naturally, the range where it won't focus is where I need to be most of the time.
You're right, the little lcd screen doesn't make it for quality control. I have the camcorder connected to a 23" flat screen, high resolution monitor via HDMI cable in order to be able to see that what I'm doing is working.
This camcorder is supposed to have manual focusing. Perhaps that could be adjusted using the remote control as well, although time used moving the camera from painting to palette, changing zoom levels and focusing is a distraction both for me while painting and for viewers. I'll check it out though. That might make it possible to use this particular camera.
Thanks! You fixed it!!!!
It took going through your instructions in manual mode (several times) as well as selecting "Tele Macro" mode to get it to work, and frankly, I've forgotten the order, but things are good now.
I began with an f/stop of 1.2 but found closing the f/stop to f/3.5 gives good focus though the range. The second 5 is still ever so slightly soft, but not significantly enough now for me to return the camcorder.
Thanks again, I never would have dreamed of going through these steps as a solution.
Great news, and glad that things are working for you.
Good luck, and happy shooting,
PS - If all is functioning correctly, perhaps see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1058744?tstart=0