A&P Do you use autofocus?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Alt+F4, May 5, 2006.

  1. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    As I said in my other thread, I took a million pics with my D70 at my neice's first birthday party last weekend. I'm a noob so my thought process was this...it was indoors, somewhat low light, so high ISO + a wider aperture should allow me some faster shutter speeds. This kid is just learning how to walk and whatnot so you kinda need decent speeds to catch some shots. My worry was that with such a shallow DoF (because of lower f-number), that if I used autofocus it wouldn't focus on the right parts and I'd miss some shots. Well, what ended up happening was I used manual focus and found out I really really suck ass at it, and missed some shots anyways. Some great shots I had (when she had the cake all over her face, pretty funny shots), I have maybe two or three keepers out of 25 shots.

    Is it common to use autofocus all the time?
     
  2. N-Word-Jim

    N-Word-Jim Cure for boredom

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    It's quite common to use autofocus all the time, especially with entry/pro-sumer DSLRs. The viewfinder is just not good enough to focus with manually for 99% of the population.

    Don't focus and recompose, select your focus points and use them.
     
  3. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    I realize it may differ between Nikon and Canon, but what autofocus settings would be more useful in a low-light, candid "people" shots? I have Thom Hogan's guide to the D70, and it looks like single-servo is preferable to continuous-servo, using the keypad to select which sensor to focus onto. I've never actually changed the AF sensor mid-shooting so I don't know how long it takes, but I think that may have led to me missing less shots.

    Also, while I'm here...I don't have any great glass yet (f-4.5 i think), so is there another way to keep the shutter speed fast (fast enough to catch a running one-year old), but have a larger DoF? Is f-stop the only way to control DoF? I guess I'd like to be able to make for a deeper DoF in some shots, but doing that in this situation would have meant I'd be shooting one-second exposures just to get enough light. Some of the shots I have of her her face is in focus, but anything beyond her ears was blurry.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2006
  4. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    i really like manually selecting my focus points
     
  5. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    I thought I did too...until I just couldn't grasp it through the viewfinder and cocked up a bunch of potentially good pictures. How'd you get better at focusing, just shooting more?
     
  6. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    if you are manually selecting your AF point you can see it through the view finder. the box will be black vs. transparent.
     
  7. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    Oh, I see what you mean. Using Autofocus, but manually choosing where to focus it. Being new to this, I didn't realize that was available until reading about it today...think I'll give it a shot. Thanks.
     
  8. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    yeah sounds like you got what im saying.
     
  9. N-Word-Jim

    N-Word-Jim Cure for boredom

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    I'd recommend reading your entire manual when you get the chance :)

    As far as increasing DOF, you could increase distance from the subject or decrease focal length :\
     
  10. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    I hardly have time to get out and shoot...now you want me to rtfm? :big grin:

    Actually, I'm about two-thirds of the way through the Thom Hogan book on the D70...
     
  11. N-Word-Jim

    N-Word-Jim Cure for boredom

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    tell me about it, 70hr weeks + lifting (that comes first), leaves me no time to shoot except during sweet light which isn't actually that bad. But I'm tired hahaha
     
  12. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    Yeah man, gym is now about 8th on my list. For the past four years, it's been 2 or 3. My current schedule...48 hour work week taking into account travel, full-time student (two night courses per semester), trying to sell my condo myself, going through the process of buying a home sans realtor, and I play hockey once a week. Oh, and my wife is five months pregnant :big grin:

    I feel your pain...my entire goal here was to get good enough with this cam to take some good shots of the new baby...so I still have a few months yet.
     
  13. I never trust autofocus, I usually end up getting shots with a pole, tree or something stupid in focus and my main subject = blurry :hs:
     
  14. N-Word-Jim

    N-Word-Jim Cure for boredom

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    Why not just select the focus point you want? I guess how accurate of focus you need depends on the type of shooting you're doing, but autofocus (on nice lenses anyhow) is butter :).
     
  15. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    I always put my AF focus point in the center and focus and recompose. I haven't had any misses yet. Any advantages to using focus points instead of focusing and recomposing?
     
  16. NauticaX

    NauticaX OT Supporter

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    I've always used autofocus. I don't think there is a time I use manual focus to take a shot unless I was setting the WB or something.
     
  17. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    because with focus zones you dont have to compose, focus, recompose.

    you can just compose your shot and shoot.
     
  18. mobbarley

    mobbarley Active Member

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    I use af, but im often using MF for very dark work with flash or long exposure, macro, or something arty.
     
  19. Derrict

    Derrict No, I am not Amish OT Supporter

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    I'm using AF 99% of the time now. With low end lenses, I was using MF when the subjects were static.
     
  20. N-Word-Jim

    N-Word-Jim Cure for boredom

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  21. NauticaX

    NauticaX OT Supporter

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    thats the reason why i do NOT focus and recompose.. always use the correct focus points for better focus accuracy
     
  22. I like having the most control possible. i don't even know how to use w/b on my camera and my shots aren't that bad.
     
  23. ( * )( * )

    ( * )( * ) OT Supporter

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    Learn how to use AF, then you can trust it.
     
  24. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    Interesting, I'll try to use non center AF points see if I get better results.
     
  25. kendan

    kendan New Member

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    sometimes I like to use manual focus, and sometimes I don't it all depends. Autofocusing all the time isn't fun though.
     

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