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Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-13-2009, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello, Since I am still getting used to the digital world, I was wondering what most of you do regarding focusing??? Do you trust Auto focus or rely on manual.

So far, I seem to do better with manual as opposed to auto. I probably just do not know how to set my auto focus points properly yet. By the way I have Canon 40d.

Also I have learned a great deal by visiting here and the images are inspiring!! You are all so talented. I will post as soon as I have something I am proud enough of to put up here.

Thanks for the advice. Earl
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-13-2009, 04:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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AF, Earl. AF.

When shooting people (models, etc) try setting the AF to center-point focus, put the center dot where ya want it, probly the eyes, focus, recompose, shoot. If you're shooting wide open, you might have to adjust a bit to compensate for varying focal distance when you recompose. If you're f/5.6 or f/8 or stopped down even more, you should be okay w/out adjusting.
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-13-2009, 07:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyd View Post
AF, Earl. AF.

When shooting people (models, etc) try setting the AF to center-point focus, put the center dot where ya want it, probly the eyes, focus, recompose, shoot. If you're shooting wide open, you might have to adjust a bit to compensate for varying focal distance when you recompose. If you're f/5.6 or f/8 or stopped down even more, you should be okay w/out adjusting.
Doh, my camera only focuses in manual.
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-15-2009, 01:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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both...

manual focus gives you control, the ability to not re-compose, shoot as you want without the "shooting loose" rule... (i hate shooting loose)

shoot af when it works... shoot manual to make sure..

I use the diop correction on my canon all the time, shoot manual focus..

anyhow.. thats just me...
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-15-2009, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadboutinphotographie View Post
both...

manual focus gives you control, the ability to not re-compose, shoot as you want without the "shooting loose" rule... (i hate shooting loose)

shoot af when it works... shoot manual to make sure..

I use the diop correction on my canon all the time, shoot manual focus..

anyhow.. thats just me...
You should continue doing what's right for you. But the diopter correction does nothing for the actual focusing of the images other than making sure the viewfinder is calibrated to your eye. Are you guys using, i.e., do you have focusing screens, in your dSLRs? Cuz, I don't know about any of you but, diopter calibrated to my eye or not, I don't trust my own eye to focus without a focusing screen.
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-15-2009, 03:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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true statement jimmy.. but getting those glasses off your face.. looking through the veiw and critically focusing in my eyes... (tee hee) is the only way to hit focus... recomposing ads a few variables that will change your principle plane of focus...
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-16-2009, 07:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Jimmy and Chad, thanks for your comments and advice. I will try out your advice Jimmy and I do have a focusing screen in the slr ,but it is not like my old film slr with a split microprism, so sometimes it is a little tough focusing.

I always try to focus on the eyes to make sure they are sharp. That was easy to do with my old film cam. I know Canon makes other focusing screens, but I have not seen a split microprism for my camera.

So for now I will try your method. By the way I really enjoy your blog and love your work. Thanks Earl
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-17-2009, 08:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I thought the diopter was only there to make slight adjustments for a person's eye sight. As for focusing in manual but not recomposing at some point what would you be focusing on? Because if it's the eyes, then you would still be recomposing to shoot.
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-17-2009, 09:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, I generally use AF, but I always verify what the camera does with what I actually see.
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Re: Auto focus or manual focus???
Old 09-18-2009, 11:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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At my age, I have little choice that to use auto focus. I use the center dot and if I;m photographing a person, I usually put it on the eye. Otherwise I place it about 1/3 of the way into the area I want o have in sharp focus. That maximizes the available depth of field.
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