Steph, this one is for you and me...
I read this article today and this paragraph stuck out to me:
[INDENT]"Don't expect eyelashes to be as clear on a group shot as on a close-up portrait. There just aren't enough pixels to go around. On a close-up portrait, there can easily be 100 pixels per eyelash. On a person in a group shot, there might only be 100 pixels available to render the whole eye! Lots of photographers, when just starting out, lament their "missed focus" in a group shot; whereas their focus has been perfect. You just need to have different expectations, is all."
I still think I may have some focusing issues, BUT in examining the shots from last Sunday's family shoot, I realized that the further away the group was, the more it seemed like the focus was soft when I viewed the image at 100%. Independent of this article, I started to think about it logically and realized exact what the about paragraph is saying: that there ARE only so many pixels to go around, and maybe that's my problem. So I felt pretty reassured to read this and realize that perhaps it is just inappropriate expectations, after all. Viewing on a large screen at 100% is never how images will be viewed by anyone -- except the photographer!
I'd be interested in anyone else's take on this, because clearly it's something both Steph and I are grappling with, and I'm sure we're not alone!