We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Focus Finder?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A focus finder is a device allowing photographers to check the focus of an image while enlarging it in a darkroom. If an enlarger is not appropriately focused, the resulting image can be muddy and dull. Photographers set up the device when they work with an enlarger to check the focus and tighten it, if necessary, before they move on to test strips and printing of the photograph. Focus finders are widely available and are usually relatively inexpensive.

Photographers enlarging images in a darkroom need to insert film into the holder and position it in an enlarger. Depending on the nature of the image, they can adjust the aperture to determine how much light is allowed through the negative. The enlarger projects a magnified image onto an easel, and the photographer can adjust the degree of magnification to get an image of the desired size. Larger film tends to perform better with big images, as small film can get grainy and blurry as the image size increases.

No matter how the photograph is focused, the enlarger itself needs to be focused with the assistance of a focus finder. The device has a small tube and a mirror that allows the photographer to lean down and see an extreme closeup of what the enlarger is projecting. If the grain of the film is blurred, the enlarger is out of focus, and needs to be adjusted. The photographer can focus the enlarger until the grain pops into sharp focus, and then lock it down to prepare for a test strip to determine the length of exposure necessary to develop the image.

A number of tricks of focus and lighting can be used in the production of images, and a photographer may make a deliberate decision to leave an image out of focus or tweak the focus for a desired aesthetic outcome. If the enlarger is not properly adjusted, however, the resulting photograph can look muddy and blurred. The focus finder allows photographers to focus purely on the grain, not the image itself, to make sure it is tightly, crisply focused.

Digital photographers may also use a focus finder tool in image editing. In this case, the application actually looks for the focal point in the image so the photographer knows where the area of tightest focus should be. A different and also unrelated technology is a focus finder for stage lighting. Such devices communicate with lights in the rigging to allow them to focus on a specific point on stage. They are useful for touring, where lighting designers repeatedly have to rehang, focus, and adjust lights, and automation can help speed the setup process.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a EasyTechJunkie researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.