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When you focus, start by zooming in to the subject, focussing and then zooming out to compose your shot. As long as the distance from the subject to the lens doesn’t change, you should be able to zoom all you want and not lose focus.
Make sure you’re using an appropriate f-stop. I think of the f-stop number as a denominator in a fraction. Just as 1/4 is larger than 1/16, so f-4 is a larger aperture than f-16. A larger aperture allows in more light, but that means what you see will have a shallower depth of field. If you have more light, shooting at f-16 will be easier from a focus perspective than f-4 or wider.
Finally, zoom affect the focus. A lens zoomed in will have a shallower depth of field than the same lens set wide. So, if you have trouble focussing, try zooming out and moving closer as opposed to zooming in.
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