How to get your camera to focus on the eyes of your dog when shooting at a shallow depth of field?

Sony A7iii with Sony 1.8 85mm Dog Eyes out of focus on Autofocus

I’ve been shooting my handsome boxer dog Reagan for many years, and one problem I’ve sonsistently had was that when I push into the super low apertures of under 4 or 3, particularly at 2.8 or 1.8 with either my Zeiss 85 mm 1.8 or the 24-70 Gmaster or my new 70-200 mm 2.8, it focuses on her dried out old nose and lips rather than the eyes.

The result is that my pet photography has out of focus eyes.

Every picture, the eyes are blurry, and the ugly nose is Crystal tact sharp.

I know, I know, the answer is that I need to lower the aperture, but why the heck else do I spring for fast glass if I can’t shoot wide open?

Here are shots

Pet Photography with Sony A7iii and Zeiss 1.8 85mm

The autofocus on almost all these was set at the wide area or the zone. I try to hit my AEL button that’s assigned to eyeball tracking, but it doesn’t ever track pets.

So I did some playing, and came to the realization that to get my animals eye in focus, I’d have to move out of the zone or wide area focus, and go to the spot.

When I moved the setting out of the zone and wide, I had better results

Sony A7iii 70-200 2.8

Thos second one was shot on the A7iii but the 1.8 85mm.

It seems to have helped a ton.

Does anyone else know some great tips for getting your animals eye in focus on an autofocus system? I think it’ll just take some practice now and getting used to it.

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