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Why so much emphasis on Auto-Focus?

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Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:04:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.

I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
demand better?

Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
focus?


********************************************************

"To sum up, one does not hunt in order to kill;
on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted."

"The Ethics of Hunting" from
"Meditations on Hunting"
by José Ortega y Gasset

More about : emphasis auto focus

January 16, 2005 5:04:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

For sport shots thats why. In shooting sports or any moving object you
might not have time to focus manually and AF can really save the day there.

"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:mhsku09r3jvffo20m3gfs12eu2ejt89uo4@4ax.com...
> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>
> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
> demand better?
>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?
>
>
> ********************************************************
>
> "To sum up, one does not hunt in order to kill;
> on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted."
>
> "The Ethics of Hunting" from
> "Meditations on Hunting"
> by José Ortega y Gasset
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:04:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:
> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>
> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
> demand better?
>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?
>
>
> ********************************************************
>
> "To sum up, one does not hunt in order to kill;
> on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted."
>
> "The Ethics of Hunting" from
> "Meditations on Hunting"
> by José Ortega y Gasset

Myopia.

Manual focus may server your purposes well, but it isn't always what is
needed. For those of us who photograph things that move, and change,
and the desired composition may last only a couple of seconds,
auto-focus is highly desirable. If you are shooting still-life, or
doing work with models, you can do well with manual focus. Not everyone
uses a camera the way you do, so alternatives are highly desirable to
reach, and serve a broad market share.
Related resources
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:04:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John,

I agree with what you are saying here, but I certainly believe there is a
place for AF, but one that is probably being overlooked. Many of the
photographers posting here are beginners without indepth understanding of
the controls available to them and awareness of the elemental nuances of
their subjects. Autofocus gets them into the action and they are taking
pictures. Good pictures? Many some and many their lack of eye makes the
situation a trial and error technique learning experience.

After awhile, I assume that a certain number of these photographers are
going to get bored with AF, or be curious about the other settings on their
camera or just want a better picture. Maybe in reviewing some of their
previous auto work they spy a shot or two they know could have been improved
if only they controlled the focus or DOP or sync flash or TV. Over time a
few of these people cross over and begin tooling with and accepting your
perspective.

But John, are there not times when you just put your camera on AF and shoot
away for the hell of it?

Jimmy

"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:mhsku09r3jvffo20m3gfs12eu2ejt89uo4@4ax.com...
> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>
> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
> demand better?
>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?
>
>
> ********************************************************
>
> "To sum up, one does not hunt in order to kill;
> on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted."
>
> "The Ethics of Hunting" from
> "Meditations on Hunting"
> by José Ortega y Gasset
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:04:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:mhsku09r3jvffo20m3gfs12eu2ejt89uo4@4ax.com...
> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?

Well, for me anyway, I just don't see as well as I used to. :-(
January 16, 2005 5:04:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:

> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
>

Lazyness?

>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?
>

Exactly. Many have never used a manual camera and would be LOST trying to
actually pick setting or find a focus point. Someone pointed out that some
of the newer canon AF lenses used in manual focus have a focus shift when
you take your hand off the lens so obviously it isn't made to even be
actually used?
--

Stacey
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:04:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> writes:

> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>
> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
> demand better?
>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?

It's because auto-focus has gotten good enough that in the truly
difficult cases, the auto-focus in the best cameras is *much* better
than any human can do. Talk to people shooting flying birds,
race-cars, and sports, and see what they say about their top-end
pro-grade auto-focus vs. manual focus.

For lots of subjects, it's not that big a win, or not a win at all.

Back in 1994, I rented an N90 for a day and went and test auto-focus
for my own work. I found I was getting a lot of pictures I wouldn't
have gotten working manually the way I had for the previous 25 years.
So I bought an AF camera that year.

Your mileage *will* vary; everybody is different.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:04:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"C J Campbell" <christophercampbellNOSPAM@hotmail.com> writes:

> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:mhsku09r3jvffo20m3gfs12eu2ejt89uo4@4ax.com...
>> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
>> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
>
> Well, for me anyway, I just don't see as well as I used to. :-(

That too (I turned 50 last fall). And I knew a photographer younger
than me who had eyes bad enough that autofocus kept her going 15 years
ago, when she might have had to quit. That kind of issue has
certainly driven many individual choices (and remember that autofocus
came along at just about the right time for us "baby boomers" to be
needing our first bifocals).
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:D d-b@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/&gt;
RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/&gt;
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/&gt; <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/&gt;
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/&gt;
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:04:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

C J Campbell wrote:
> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:mhsku09r3jvffo20m3gfs12eu2ejt89uo4@4ax.com...
>> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What
>> ever happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his
>> lenses?
>
> Well, for me anyway, I just don't see as well as I used to. :-(

Sloth. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Time for a nap, now.


--
Frank ess

"The discussions of the relative merits of
analog versus digital provided new insight
into the rich and complex world of
mindless polemic."
—Reviewer of the film "Vinyl"
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:04:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Jimmy Smith wrote:
> John,
>
> I agree with what you are saying here, but I certainly believe there is a
> place for AF, but one that is probably being overlooked. Many of the
> photographers posting here are beginners without indepth understanding of
> the controls available to them and awareness of the elemental nuances of
> their subjects. Autofocus gets them into the action and they are taking
> pictures. Good pictures? Many some and many their lack of eye makes the
> situation a trial and error technique learning experience.
>
> After awhile, I assume that a certain number of these photographers are
> going to get bored with AF, or be curious about the other settings on their
> camera or just want a better picture. Maybe in reviewing some of their
> previous auto work they spy a shot or two they know could have been improved
> if only they controlled the focus or DOP or sync flash or TV. Over time a
> few of these people cross over and begin tooling with and accepting your
> perspective.
>
> But John, are there not times when you just put your camera on AF and shoot
> away for the hell of it?
>
> Jimmy


Probably not. Some people are compulsive about such things. I could
never understand why anyone would want to use manual focus unless in a
studio setting, or some other controlled environment. The kind of
pictures I take usually don't allow for so much time to set up a
photograph. Besides, I can't focus nearly as well as the camera can,
and I know how to use autofocus to best advantage.
January 16, 2005 5:49:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"YoYo" <_> wrote in message news:10uktjc9v2gsc32@corp.supernews.com
> For sport shots thats why. In shooting sports or any moving object
> you might not have time to focus manually and AF can really save
> the day there.

Or anything that is moving/changing.
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:52:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 09:11:48 -0500, "YoYo" <_> wrote:

>For sport shots thats why. In shooting sports or any moving object you
>might not have time to focus manually and AF can really save the day there.

That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
and never found manual focus costing shots.


*****************************************************

"Vietnam is what we had instead of happy childhoods."

Tim Page in
"Dispatches"
by Michael Herr
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:52:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:
> On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 09:11:48 -0500, "YoYo" <_> wrote:
>
>
>>For sport shots thats why. In shooting sports or any moving object you
>>might not have time to focus manually and AF can really save the day there.
>
>
> That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
> and never found manual focus costing shots.
>
>
> *****************************************************
>
> "Vietnam is what we had instead of happy childhoods."
>
> Tim Page in
> "Dispatches"
> by Michael Herr
And the cars ran on a track, right? Try that technique for candid shots
of children. Great patience, and forethought may get you the shot,
but you will miss 10 for every one you get.
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 5:57:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:
> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>
> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
> demand better?
>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?
>
>
> ********************************************************
>
> "To sum up, one does not hunt in order to kill;
> on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted."
>
> "The Ethics of Hunting" from
> "Meditations on Hunting"
> by José Ortega y Gasset


Perhaps because it is getting better than it once was.

Perhaps because that is what the consumer wants.

I might add that I don't see any reason you can not still manually
focus. On occasion I still do.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 6:14:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in news:BhvGd.8849
$re1.4139@fe2.columbus.rr.com:

> I might add that I don't see any reason you can not still manually
> focus. On occasion I still do.

The main problem is that auto focus cameras not are optimised
for manual focus. The finder lacks efficient means (e.g. split
image) and the lenses does not have the high precision manual
focus rings they once had. Most DSLR have smaller views in the
finder than the old SLRs, so even with a split image it might
be hard.


/Roland
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 6:21:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

scott wrote:
> "YoYo" <_> wrote in message news:10uktjc9v2gsc32@corp.supernews.com
>> For sport shots thats why. In shooting sports or any moving object
>> you might not have time to focus manually and AF can really save
>> the day there.
>
> Or anything that is moving/changing.

Or optically-challenged-as-a-bat folks like me... X^}
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 6:52:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 14:52:49 GMT, John A. Stovall
<johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote:

>On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 09:11:48 -0500, "YoYo" <_> wrote:
>
>>For sport shots thats why. In shooting sports or any moving object you
>>might not have time to focus manually and AF can really save the day there.
>
>That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
>and never found manual focus costing shots.
>
When I use my 100-400mm lens to shoot baseball, using an aperture and
shutter speed necessary to get good photos, my DOF is about 4 feet.
(Most of the games are late afternoon into the evening, under cheap
tax-payer funded lighting.) Considering I might be pointed at home
plate 70 feet away and then have to quickly pan to second base which
might be 130 feet away, there is no time to manual focus and DOF
doesn't do me any good. Likewise trying to shoot an outfielder
running in on a fly ball, DOF wouldn't begin to cover the range
necessary to shoot a sequence of photos necessary to catch the right
moment when he catches the ball.

I suppose with motor sports during the day from a fixed position you
can pick a point on a curve to focus on, but in many sports, you can't
pick a spot to focus on.

TNW
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 7:59:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 14:04:29 GMT, John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net>
wrote:

>I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd.

It avoids the need to keep changing the correction lens on the view finder
ever time the prescription for my glasses change. An expensive and sometimes
impossible task as the correct lens is not made.

With auto focus I can use my normal eye glasses and it doesn't matter if the
image in the viewfinder doesn't appear spot on. Modern auto focus is as good
as my eyesight I find.

-
Lansbury
www.uk-air.net
FAQs for the alt.travel.uk.air newsgroup
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 8:30:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:
> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>
> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
> demand better?
>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?

Try shooting a concert where your subject is twenty or thirty feet away
and constantly moving and you are shooting with a 70-200MM lens at f2.8,
which gives you a DOF of inches. You will soon learn to appreciate a
fast AF lens. I have shot with MF and AF both, and I'll take the AF anyday.
January 16, 2005 8:42:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:jqvku0t59b5s24du2t6mif2v1b9nolef0l@4ax.com
> On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 09:11:48 -0500, "YoYo" <_> wrote:
>
>> For sport shots thats why. In shooting sports or any moving
>> object you might not have time to focus manually and AF can really
>> save the day there.
>
> That's what depth of field is for.

Ermm, yeh, but with a long lens you're going to struggle to get a very big
DoF, especially if you want a fast shutter speed (eg for sporting events).

> I shoot sports car races for
> years and never found manual focus costing shots.

Yeh, if you're always going to shoot at the same spot on the track it's ok
to focus manually and then just leave it there. But what about when someone
spins off in a different position? YOu will be fiddling about trying to set
the focus while I've taken 10 shots already.
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 9:41:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:
> On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 09:11:48 -0500, "YoYo" <_> wrote:
>
>> For sport shots thats why. In shooting sports or any moving object
>> you might not have time to focus manually and AF can really save the
>> day there.
>
> That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
> and never found manual focus costing shots.
>
>
> *****************************************************
>
> "Vietnam is what we had instead of happy childhoods."
>
> Tim Page in
> "Dispatches"
> by Michael Herr

I have to agree with John. The old pros (I am old and I was a pro many
years ago) learned when they started out that there are a number of tricks
to getting the picture. If you know the tricks and have practiced the
skills, you will miss very few.

I have not be professional for many years, and while I know the tricks,
I would need a lot of practice to get the skill level back. So I like auto
focus most of the time. I may still slip back to manual from time to time
however. The auto focus on most of today's cameras is really very good.


--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 9:53:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 1/16/05 8:11 AM, in article 10uktjc9v2gsc32@corp.supernews.com, "YoYo"
<_> wrote:

> For sport shots thats why.
You mean as in that riveting and upcoming "sport", Poker?

> "John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:mhsku09r3jvffo20m3gfs12eu2ejt89uo4@4ax.com...
>> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
>> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
>> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
>> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
>> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
>> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
>> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
>> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>>
>> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
>> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
>> demand better?
>>
>> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
>> focus?
>>
>>
>> ********************************************************
>>
>> "To sum up, one does not hunt in order to kill;
>> on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted."
>>
>> "The Ethics of Hunting" from
>> "Meditations on Hunting"
>> by José Ortega y Gasset
>
>




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Anonymous
January 16, 2005 10:17:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 11:20:04 -0500, "Jimmy Smith"
<nospam@pleaseno.more> wrote:

>John,
>
>I agree with what you are saying here, but I certainly believe there is a
>place for AF, but one that is probably being overlooked. Many of the
>photographers posting here are beginners without indepth understanding of
>the controls available to them and awareness of the elemental nuances of
>their subjects. Autofocus gets them into the action and they are taking
>pictures. Good pictures? Many some and many their lack of eye makes the
>situation a trial and error technique learning experience.
>
>After awhile, I assume that a certain number of these photographers are
>going to get bored with AF, or be curious about the other settings on their
>camera or just want a better picture. Maybe in reviewing some of their
>previous auto work they spy a shot or two they know could have been improved
>if only they controlled the focus or DOP or sync flash or TV. Over time a
>few of these people cross over and begin tooling with and accepting your
>perspective.
>
>But John, are there not times when you just put your camera on AF and shoot
>away for the hell of it?

Only when I was doing a bunch of pictures and not creating a
photograph. But when doing B&W film printing, I would only print
about 5% or less of any contact sheet.

Yep, I've turned on the Motor drive, auto every thing and blazed way
but that didn't produce any great pictures, just what I would call
documentation shots.

To me the great picture comes from a brain trained to look for the
"decisive moment" and the technical skill to get the image at just
that moment, not just blazing away or hoping the firmware is going to
do it right.

Dorothea Lange only did six shots for "Migrant Mother" and the only
one we remember is #6.
*****************************************************

"He that we last as Thurn and Taxis knew
Now recks no lord but the stiletto's Thorn,
And Tacit lies the gold once-knotted horn.
No hallowed skein of stars can ward, I trow,
Who's once been set his tryst with Trystero."

"The Crying of Lot 49"
Thomas Pynchon
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 10:17:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Auto focus works most of the time and it takes one more variable out of the
shot. If you don't like to use it, that's great, but why do you look down
your nose at those that do. That doesn't make you a better photographer or
me a worse one. It just makes you a photographer that doesn't like auto
focus.

Don Dunlap

"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:eadlu09afj0utf71l4cb8mmgt37ok997ie@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 11:20:04 -0500, "Jimmy Smith"
> <nospam@pleaseno.more> wrote:
>
>>John,
>>
>>I agree with what you are saying here, but I certainly believe there is a
>>place for AF, but one that is probably being overlooked. Many of the
>>photographers posting here are beginners without indepth understanding of
>>the controls available to them and awareness of the elemental nuances of
>>their subjects. Autofocus gets them into the action and they are taking
>>pictures. Good pictures? Many some and many their lack of eye makes the
>>situation a trial and error technique learning experience.
>>
>>After awhile, I assume that a certain number of these photographers are
>>going to get bored with AF, or be curious about the other settings on
>>their
>>camera or just want a better picture. Maybe in reviewing some of their
>>previous auto work they spy a shot or two they know could have been
>>improved
>>if only they controlled the focus or DOP or sync flash or TV. Over time a
>>few of these people cross over and begin tooling with and accepting your
>>perspective.
>>
>>But John, are there not times when you just put your camera on AF and
>>shoot
>>away for the hell of it?
>
> Only when I was doing a bunch of pictures and not creating a
> photograph. But when doing B&W film printing, I would only print
> about 5% or less of any contact sheet.
>
> Yep, I've turned on the Motor drive, auto every thing and blazed way
> but that didn't produce any great pictures, just what I would call
> documentation shots.
>
> To me the great picture comes from a brain trained to look for the
> "decisive moment" and the technical skill to get the image at just
> that moment, not just blazing away or hoping the firmware is going to
> do it right.
>
> Dorothea Lange only did six shots for "Migrant Mother" and the only
> one we remember is #6.
> *****************************************************
>
> "He that we last as Thurn and Taxis knew
> Now recks no lord but the stiletto's Thorn,
> And Tacit lies the gold once-knotted horn.
> No hallowed skein of stars can ward, I trow,
> Who's once been set his tryst with Trystero."
>
> "The Crying of Lot 49"
> Thomas Pynchon
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 10:43:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Ron Hunter <rphunter@charter.net> wrote in news:QJyGd.7066$9c3.829
@fe07.lga:

> Probably not. Some people are compulsive about such things. I could
> never understand why anyone would want to use manual focus unless in a
> studio setting, or some other controlled environment. The kind of
> pictures I take usually don't allow for so much time to set up a
> photograph. Besides, I can't focus nearly as well as the camera can,
> and I know how to use autofocus to best advantage.

You say that your kind of photography would
not benefit from manual focus. Fine. That is
probably so.

But you also say you don't understand why others
want to use manual focus. That - I think - is a lack
of imagination.

Just to give you some hints I can give you some few
examples.

1. Macro work. You have a very shallow DOF. The focus
must be on the eye of that insect or it will be useless.
The auto focus is not intelligent enough to know that.

2. A portrait with shallow DOF. The eye of the girl must
be razor sharp. The same here.

3. Out in the dark and taking photos of stars. Auto focus?
Nope - out of the question.

4. Clouds? Do your camera focus on hazy clouds.
Mine don't. I have to use manual focus.

5. You are waiting for the car in a curve at a motor
sport event. It is dark. You have a fast long lens
with almost no DOF at all. So - you put the camera on
a tripod. Set it to the shortest time possible when
the lens is at maximum aperture. And then you wait
and push the trigger when the car is at exactly the
correct place. Auto focus might catch this correct -
but you might miss the oportunity. Much safer with
manual focus.

6. You are taking a panorama. There are things rather
nearby, so you are careful to rotate around the nodal
point. You are also careful and turns off automatic white
balance and use manual exposure. But, you use auto focus.
When you come home you see that two of the pictures have
focussed on nearby objects. You have to go back and do it
again tomorrow - if it is weather for that. This time
with manual focus. Do I hear some cursing and bad language?

7. You know that all pictures you shall take are at far
away objects. So - you set the camera at the hyper
focal distance optimizing the distances that will
give sharp details.

8. You are photographing a large field of flowers.
You cannot get all flowers sharp due to little FOV.
But - you decide to make the nearest flowers sharp.
So - you set the lens at a hyper focal distance that
contains the nearest flowers.

9. You take two photos. One with focus at infinity and one
with focus at the most nearby object and then you
combine the photos to make a photo were only nearby
and far away objects are sharp - all other unsharp.
Cool!

Is this enough to start your thinking and imagination?
Maybe you can think of some more examples?


/Roland
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 10:43:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roland Karlsson wrote:
>
> Ron Hunter <rphunter@charter.net> wrote in news:QJyGd.7066$9c3.829
> @fe07.lga:
>
> > Probably not. Some people are compulsive about such things. I could
> > never understand why anyone would want to use manual focus unless in a
> > studio setting, or some other controlled environment. The kind of
> > pictures I take usually don't allow for so much time to set up a
> > photograph. Besides, I can't focus nearly as well as the camera can,
> > and I know how to use autofocus to best advantage.
>
> You say that your kind of photography would
> not benefit from manual focus. Fine. That is
> probably so.
>
> But you also say you don't understand why others
> want to use manual focus. That - I think - is a lack
> of imagination.
>
> Just to give you some hints I can give you some few
> examples.
>
> 1. Macro work. You have a very shallow DOF. The focus
> must be on the eye of that insect or it will be useless.
> The auto focus is not intelligent enough to know that.
>
> 2. A portrait with shallow DOF. The eye of the girl must
> be razor sharp. The same here.
>
> 3. Out in the dark and taking photos of stars. Auto focus?
> Nope - out of the question.
>
> 4. Clouds? Do your camera focus on hazy clouds.
> Mine don't. I have to use manual focus.
>
> 5. You are waiting for the car in a curve at a motor
> sport event. It is dark. You have a fast long lens
> with almost no DOF at all. So - you put the camera on
> a tripod. Set it to the shortest time possible when
> the lens is at maximum aperture. And then you wait
> and push the trigger when the car is at exactly the
> correct place. Auto focus might catch this correct -
> but you might miss the oportunity. Much safer with
> manual focus.
>
> 6. You are taking a panorama. There are things rather
> nearby, so you are careful to rotate around the nodal
> point. You are also careful and turns off automatic white
> balance and use manual exposure. But, you use auto focus.
> When you come home you see that two of the pictures have
> focussed on nearby objects. You have to go back and do it
> again tomorrow - if it is weather for that. This time
> with manual focus. Do I hear some cursing and bad language?
>
> 7. You know that all pictures you shall take are at far
> away objects. So - you set the camera at the hyper
> focal distance optimizing the distances that will
> give sharp details.
>
> 8. You are photographing a large field of flowers.
> You cannot get all flowers sharp due to little FOV.
> But - you decide to make the nearest flowers sharp.
> So - you set the lens at a hyper focal distance that
> contains the nearest flowers.
>
> 9. You take two photos. One with focus at infinity and one
> with focus at the most nearby object and then you
> combine the photos to make a photo were only nearby
> and far away objects are sharp - all other unsharp.
> Cool!
>
> Is this enough to start your thinking and imagination?
> Maybe you can think of some more examples?

animals behind a fence. autofocus gets lost.
manually set the distance, and stay that far from the subject.

>
> /Roland
Anonymous
January 16, 2005 10:43:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roland Karlsson wrote:
> Ron Hunter <rphunter@charter.net> wrote in news:QJyGd.7066$9c3.829
> @fe07.lga:
>
>
>>Probably not. Some people are compulsive about such things. I could
>>never understand why anyone would want to use manual focus unless in a
>>studio setting, or some other controlled environment. The kind of
>>pictures I take usually don't allow for so much time to set up a
>>photograph. Besides, I can't focus nearly as well as the camera can,
>>and I know how to use autofocus to best advantage.
>
>
> You say that your kind of photography would
> not benefit from manual focus. Fine. That is
> probably so.
>
> But you also say you don't understand why others
> want to use manual focus. That - I think - is a lack
> of imagination.
>
> Just to give you some hints I can give you some few
> examples.
>
> 1. Macro work. You have a very shallow DOF. The focus
> must be on the eye of that insect or it will be useless.
> The auto focus is not intelligent enough to know that.
>
> 2. A portrait with shallow DOF. The eye of the girl must
> be razor sharp. The same here.
>
> 3. Out in the dark and taking photos of stars. Auto focus?
> Nope - out of the question.
>
> 4. Clouds? Do your camera focus on hazy clouds.
> Mine don't. I have to use manual focus.
>
> 5. You are waiting for the car in a curve at a motor
> sport event. It is dark. You have a fast long lens
> with almost no DOF at all. So - you put the camera on
> a tripod. Set it to the shortest time possible when
> the lens is at maximum aperture. And then you wait
> and push the trigger when the car is at exactly the
> correct place. Auto focus might catch this correct -
> but you might miss the oportunity. Much safer with
> manual focus.
>
> 6. You are taking a panorama. There are things rather
> nearby, so you are careful to rotate around the nodal
> point. You are also careful and turns off automatic white
> balance and use manual exposure. But, you use auto focus.
> When you come home you see that two of the pictures have
> focussed on nearby objects. You have to go back and do it
> again tomorrow - if it is weather for that. This time
> with manual focus. Do I hear some cursing and bad language?
>
> 7. You know that all pictures you shall take are at far
> away objects. So - you set the camera at the hyper
> focal distance optimizing the distances that will
> give sharp details.
>
> 8. You are photographing a large field of flowers.
> You cannot get all flowers sharp due to little FOV.
> But - you decide to make the nearest flowers sharp.
> So - you set the lens at a hyper focal distance that
> contains the nearest flowers.
>
> 9. You take two photos. One with focus at infinity and one
> with focus at the most nearby object and then you
> combine the photos to make a photo were only nearby
> and far away objects are sharp - all other unsharp.
> Cool!
>
> Is this enough to start your thinking and imagination?
> Maybe you can think of some more examples?
>
>
> /Roland

No. All the above can be done with modern autofocus systems, IF you
know how to set the camera, and how to use the autofocus to best
advantage. Also, I don't do ANY of those types of photography, except
panoramas, and I do them of things far enough away that focus isn't a
problem.


--
Ron Hunter rphunter@charter.net
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 12:28:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <jqvku0t59b5s24du2t6mif2v1b9nolef0l@4ax.com>,
John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
>and never found manual focus costing shots.

Here's what I did today:

http://narcissus.dyndns.org/Chris/Bengal.jpg

Taken on an EOS 10D with a 300mm F/4.0 L IS USM with a 1.4x TC, at 800 ISO,
with the lens wide open. The depth of field was measured in centimetres.
That's what autofocus is for.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 12:28:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Chris Brown wrote:

> Here's what I did today:
>
> http://narcissus.dyndns.org/Chris/Bengal.jpg
>
> Taken on an EOS 10D with a 300mm F/4.0 L IS USM with a 1.4x TC, at 800 ISO,
> with the lens wide open. The depth of field was measured in centimetres.
> That's what autofocus is for.

Chris,
Spectacular! If people don't get autofocus with images
like this, they'll never get it.

Roger
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:25:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 21:28:58 GMT, Chris Brown
<cpbrown@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com> wrote:

>In article <jqvku0t59b5s24du2t6mif2v1b9nolef0l@4ax.com>,
>John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>
>>That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
>>and never found manual focus costing shots.
>
>Here's what I did today:
>
>http://narcissus.dyndns.org/Chris/Bengal.jpg
>
>Taken on an EOS 10D with a 300mm F/4.0 L IS USM with a 1.4x TC, at 800 ISO,
>with the lens wide open. The depth of field was measured in centimetres.
>That's what autofocus is for.

That's also what DOP is for.


******************************************************************

"It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name
of the public interest, to be placed under contribution,
drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolised, extorted from,
squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance,
the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined,
vilified, harrassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed,
disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned,
shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to
crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured.
That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."

"General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century"
Pierre Proudhon
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:25:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:

> On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 21:28:58 GMT, Chris Brown
> <cpbrown@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com> wrote:
>
>
>>In article <jqvku0t59b5s24du2t6mif2v1b9nolef0l@4ax.com>,
>>John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>
>>>That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
>>>and never found manual focus costing shots.
>>
>>Here's what I did today:
>>
>>http://narcissus.dyndns.org/Chris/Bengal.jpg
>>
>>Taken on an EOS 10D with a 300mm F/4.0 L IS USM with a 1.4x TC, at 800 ISO,
>>with the lens wide open. The depth of field was measured in centimetres.
>>That's what autofocus is for.
>
>
> That's also what DOP is for.

John,
You don't understand. The bird is moving so fast, if you
stopped down to get a larger depth of field, you would
not have a fast enough exposure time to stop the action.

I do large format view camera landscapes. I often take
20 to 40 minutes setting up and focusing one image
in the field. Images are often 2 seconds at f/45,
even up to a minute.

Then I started doing wildlife photography. I started by
using f/8 and f/11, but quickly learned that shutter speed
is much more critical than depth of field for wildlife action
images. Wildlife action is the extreme opposite of landscapes.

With landscapes, assuming you show up in time, you set up
and wait for the light. You have plenty of time to
compose.

But with wildlife action, you have a fraction of a second to find
the subject, usually with a long focal length lens with a small
field of view, compose and take the shot.

Examples, birds:
http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.bird

bears:
http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.bear

Look at the exposure times, ISO, and f/stops (I give that info
for each image). It sure would be nice to have larger depth of field
in some cases, but often it is simply not possible.
Then often one wants a shallow depth of field to isolate
the subject from the background.

Roger
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 2:34:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

John A. Stovall wrote:
> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What
ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's
and
> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>
> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
> demand better?
>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?

I agree with John. He's isn't denying AF its place but pointing out
that choice is being taken away from people wanting to use MF. As a
consumer, I will always prefer more choice (at a resonably incremental
cost).

When AF works, I have no reason to complain because I can't seem to do
any better with MF. But when I try to use MF, I could definitely use MF
aids. In low-light, AF fails on Canon 300D with the kit lens and I have
to resort to MF. Also, when I am using the Pentax 50mm f/1.4 the DoF is
very shallow and I end up focussing either in front of or behind the
subject. In both, cases the camera has no features to help me focus
manually. Unfortunately, interchangeable screens are a luxury on dSLRs
- to be found only in the Canon 1D/1Ds series (Minolta Maxxum 7D is an
exception) and interchangeable viewfinders are history.

- Siddhartha
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 3:31:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <3cqlu0to9hq3e6ojv2o8ecq60lm2rn33ef@4ax.com>,
John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote:
>On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 21:28:58 GMT, Chris Brown
><cpbrown@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com> wrote:
>
>>In article <jqvku0t59b5s24du2t6mif2v1b9nolef0l@4ax.com>,
>>John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
>>>and never found manual focus costing shots.
>>
>>Here's what I did today:
>>
>>http://narcissus.dyndns.org/Chris/Bengal.jpg
>>
>>Taken on an EOS 10D with a 300mm F/4.0 L IS USM with a 1.4x TC, at 800 ISO,
>>with the lens wide open. The depth of field was measured in centimetres.
>>That's what autofocus is for.
>
>That's also what DOP is for.

Don't be ridiculous. This is an aminal, that's doing what it likes, where it
likes. It's not a car on a track. It was airbourne for a few seconds, and I
didn't know where it was going to fly. Even at 800 ISO, and in good light, I
needed f/5.6 to get a half decent shutter speed, enough to freeze most of
the wing motion. The bird was only a few metres from me when I took that
shot, and the focal length was 420 mm.

At f/5.6, a distance of a few metres, and a focal length of 420mm, the depth
of field is going to be miniscule. Indeed, you can just about see on the
lo-res version I posted (it's obvious on the full size one), the bird's face
is in focus, the feet are not.

You can't rely on depth of field to get good focus in those conditions, it
has to be *exactly* right.

I have taken manually focused action shots, when time was tight, and they
worked, but those were with much shorter focal lengths, and at a subject
distance where the depth of field was at least a few metres. The owl shot
isn't like that - you can't rely on the margin for error helping you when
there is *no* margin for error.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 3:31:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <41EAF508.5070805@qwest.net>,
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) <username@qwest.net> wrote:

>You don't understand. The bird is moving so fast, if you
>stopped down to get a larger depth of field, you would
>not have a fast enough exposure time to stop the action.

Indeed. Details for the bird image in question:

420mm focal length on a 1.6x sensor (field of view equivalent to 670mm in
35mm)
Aperture was f/5.6
Shutter speed was 1/3000 secs (and still the wingtips have motion blur)
ISO was 800.

Getting a good depth of field was not an option. Perhaps a far better
photographer than I could have taken that with a manual focus system, and if
so, I take my hat off to them. I'm not normally an "auto everything" kind of
guy, prefering old clockwork manual gear, but today I was extremely grateful
for Canon's mode-2 IS, auto exposure, and most of all, AI-servo tracking
autofocus, without which the shot would have been impossible.
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 3:31:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <41EAF226.4000705@qwest.net>,
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) <username@qwest.net> wrote:
>Chris Brown wrote:
>
>> Here's what I did today:
>>
>> http://narcissus.dyndns.org/Chris/Bengal.jpg
>>
>> Taken on an EOS 10D with a 300mm F/4.0 L IS USM with a 1.4x TC, at 800 ISO,
>> with the lens wide open. The depth of field was measured in centimetres.
>> That's what autofocus is for.
>
>Chris,
>Spectacular! If people don't get autofocus with images
>like this, they'll never get it.

You're too kind. That was the best of a number of shots, and it took me
about 30 minutes practice to get used to tracking the birds, involving a
good few frustrating shots of talons disappearing off the edge of the frame.
;->
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 3:57:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <ht0rb2-6m2.ln1@narcissus.dyndns.org>,
cpbrown@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com says...
> In article <jqvku0t59b5s24du2t6mif2v1b9nolef0l@4ax.com>,
> John A. Stovall <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote:
> >
> >That's what depth of field is for. I shoot sports car races for years
> >and never found manual focus costing shots.
>
> Here's what I did today:
>
> http://narcissus.dyndns.org/Chris/Bengal.jpg
>
> Taken on an EOS 10D with a 300mm F/4.0 L IS USM with a 1.4x TC, at 800 ISO,
> with the lens wide open. The depth of field was measured in centimetres.
> That's what autofocus is for.

Wow, dude!
--
http://www.pbase.com/bcbaird/
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 8:40:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 00:31:07 GMT, Chris Brown
<cpbrown@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com> wrote:

snipped
>>That's also what DOP is for.
snipped

DOP?
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 10:57:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Chris Brown wrote:

> In article <41EAF226.4000705@qwest.net>,
> Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) <username@qwest.net> wrote:
>
>>Chris Brown wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Here's what I did today:
>>>
>>>http://narcissus.dyndns.org/Chris/Bengal.jpg
>>>
>>>Taken on an EOS 10D with a 300mm F/4.0 L IS USM with a 1.4x TC, at 800 ISO,
>>>with the lens wide open. The depth of field was measured in centimetres.
>>>That's what autofocus is for.
>>
>>Chris,
>>Spectacular! If people don't get autofocus with images
>>like this, they'll never get it.
>
>
> You're too kind. That was the best of a number of shots, and it took me
> about 30 minutes practice to get used to tracking the birds, involving a
> good few frustrating shots of talons disappearing off the edge of the frame.
> ;->

Yes, I know that frustration all too well. I usually am much more
consistent after a day or so of intense imaging.

Roger
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 12:28:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <41eb4fa6.463597538@newsgroups.comcast.net>,
ZONED! <no_email@please_post.net> wrote:
>On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 00:31:07 GMT, Chris Brown
><cpbrown@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com> wrote:
>
>snipped
>>>That's also what DOP is for.
>snipped
>
>DOP?

Your attribution was a bit messed up, as John Stovall wrote that, not I, but
I guess he means Depth of Phield, of Depth of Phocus. ;->
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:51:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Stacey wrote:
>
> > Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> > focus?
> >
>
> Exactly. Many have never used a manual camera and would be LOST trying to
> actually pick setting or find a focus point. Someone pointed out that some
> of the newer canon AF lenses used in manual focus have a focus shift when
> you take your hand off the lens so obviously it isn't made to even be
> actually used?
> --
>
> Stacey

Blithering nonsense. No normally intelligent person would be LOST
trying to focus. That's just plain insulting. *One* Canon lens suffers
from focus shift - sometimes - when you manually focus it. That's the
18 - 55mm kit lens with the 300D or 20D. Focusing is done with the very
front ring on the lens, and it's a bit wobbly. What do you expect from
a $100 lens? A bit more experience and a bit less mouthing off would
help your image.

Colin
January 17, 2005 1:51:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Colin D wrote:

>
>
> A bit more experience and a bit less mouthing off would
> help your image.
>


And your personal insult was so helpful! :-)
--

Stacey
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 1:51:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Stacey" <fotocord@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:350uggF4fu89tU2@individual.net...
> Colin D wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> A bit more experience and a bit less mouthing off would
>> help your image.
>>
>
>
> And your personal insult was so helpful! :-)
> --
>
> Stacey

As if to prove a point...

--
Skip Middleton
http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 2:40:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Stacey wrote:
> So, it's still =useless= for manual focusing was my point. IMHO it's
not
> worth $100 if the build quality is this poor.
Have you used it?

- Siddhartha
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 4:07:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 16 Jan 2005 23:34:41 -0800, "Siddhartha Jain"
<losttoy2000@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

>John A. Stovall wrote:
>> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What
>ever
>> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
>> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's
>and
>> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
>> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
>> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
>> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
>> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>>
>> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
>> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
>> demand better?
>>
>> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
>> focus?
>
>I agree with John. He's isn't denying AF its place but pointing out
>that choice is being taken away from people wanting to use MF. As a
>consumer, I will always prefer more choice (at a resonably incremental
>cost).
>
>When AF works, I have no reason to complain because I can't seem to do
>any better with MF. But when I try to use MF, I could definitely use MF
>aids. In low-light, AF fails on Canon 300D with the kit lens and I have
>to resort to MF. Also, when I am using the Pentax 50mm f/1.4 the DoF is
>very shallow and I end up focussing either in front of or behind the
>subject. In both, cases the camera has no features to help me focus
>manually. Unfortunately, interchangeable screens are a luxury on dSLRs
>- to be found only in the Canon 1D/1Ds series (Minolta Maxxum 7D is an
>exception) and interchangeable viewfinders are history.

Nikon in a question I sent them states, "Our D1X and D2H have
interchangeable focusing screens, however." I was asking this
question about their DSLR line.

I for one would like to have a K type screen.



**********************************************************

"A people that take no pride in the noble accomplishments
of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy
to be remembered with pride by remote descendents."

Thomas Babington Macaulay
_History of England_
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 4:40:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:

[...]

> But with wildlife action, you have a fraction of a second to find
> the subject, usually with a long focal length lens with a small
> field of view, compose and take the shot.
>
> Examples, birds:
> http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.bird
>
> bears:
> http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.bear
>
> Look at the exposure times, ISO, and f/stops (I give that info
> for each image). It sure would be nice to have larger depth of field
> in some cases, but often it is simply not possible.

Roger, have you found any use for A-DEP mode for wildlife?

Particularly birds taking off and landing. I recently spent several
hours trying to capture welcome swallows on the wing and found it a
real exercise in patience. When the perfect shot finally came along
I had far too little DOF dialed in to catch it properly.

Here it is in all its unsharp glory...

http://www.pbase.com/image/38719661

Wondering if A-DEP mode would have helped that shot?

If you sit at (say) ISO 800 and F13 then the static shots you'll want to
take of a bird preening whilst waiting for some action to occur aren't
nearly as nice as they could be. Changing the cameras settings when
you see something about to happen is just as impractical in the time
available as manually focusing would be.

Or do 1-series cameras have a means of rapidly changing to a preset ISO
and F-stop with a single button press and back again with another?

Something like that would be very handy for wildlife I think.


Rob.
--
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 4:40:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Rob Davison wrote:

> Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
>
> [...]
>
>> But with wildlife action, you have a fraction of a second to find
>> the subject, usually with a long focal length lens with a small
>> field of view, compose and take the shot.
>>
>> Examples, birds:
>> http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.bird
>>
>> bears:
>> http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.bear
>>
>> Look at the exposure times, ISO, and f/stops (I give that info
>> for each image). It sure would be nice to have larger depth of field
>> in some cases, but often it is simply not possible.
>
>
> Roger, have you found any use for A-DEP mode for wildlife?

No,
>
> Particularly birds taking off and landing. I recently spent several
> hours trying to capture welcome swallows on the wing and found it a
> real exercise in patience. When the perfect shot finally came along
> I had far too little DOF dialed in to catch it properly.
>
> Here it is in all its unsharp glory...
>
> http://www.pbase.com/image/38719661
>
> Wondering if A-DEP mode would have helped that shot?

I do not think so. Small birds move faster than large
ones, and those velocities are a challenge even for the
top of the line pro equipment. I suggest you open up
to maximum aperture, and set iso to get at least 1/1500
second, and preferable 1/3000 or faster.

Your image
http://www.pbase.com/mapleglen/image/38719661

would work better if you had moved to the left so
the sun was behind you. That way the bird's body would be
in full sun, rather than in shadow. A lower sun angle would
help a lot too. The bird on the left seems in sharper focus.
Did you have all your AF points enabled? I have have gotten
better results by enabling one focus point, moving the focus
point around in order to get the composition I want.

The next image
http://www.pbase.com/mapleglen/image/38719921
is 1/250 second, so you are at a big disadvantage for
stopping motion. The sun angle is too high to light the bird,
and in particular the eyes. The f/9 is hurting your shutter speed.

In general, shutter speed takes priority. Open up to get the
fastest shutter. Increase ISO to get the fastest ISO.
After all, noise is usually preferable to blur.
You need a sharp lens when wide open.

Finally, take-offs and landings are the most difficult, because the
bird is accelerating and the camera's AF servo system assumes
constant velocity. I never found the Canon 10D and D60 AF
tracking to be fast enough for most birds if they appear large
in the frame (like yours). So I used one-shot (learn to lift
your finger off the shutter between frames if you try this).
Perhaps the 300D AF servo is better than the 10D. I find
the 1D Mark II servo system much much better, but still loses
focus on very fast subjects (my dogs, fast birds).

>
> If you sit at (say) ISO 800 and F13 then the static shots you'll want to
> take of a bird preening whilst waiting for some action to occur aren't
> nearly as nice as they could be. Changing the cameras settings when
> you see something about to happen is just as impractical in the time
> available as manually focusing would be.

In my experience, you have very little time to change
settings, like a fraction of a second to get the image.
It is fine to stop down for some depth of field to get
the whole animal in focus, but then after the portrait,
change to optimum action settings and wait and be ready.
I often find I barely have time to react and trip the shutter.
>
> Or do 1-series cameras have a means of rapidly changing to a preset ISO
> and F-stop with a single button press and back again with another?

Not any faster than a 10D.

Roger
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 5:24:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

- Small finder [ 18mm on the D70 , 22 mm on the D1 series Nikon ]
- Advancement in technology that made people like me wear minus 4 glasses .
- Cheap cost to produce high accuracy auto focus module [same like ... why
walk when you can ride a bicycle :)  ]

=bob=


"John A. Stovall" <johnastovall@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:mhsku09r3jvffo20m3gfs12eu2ejt89uo4@4ax.com...
>I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
> I have used both auto-focus and manual focus on one my film SLR's and
> find I do much better work when doing my own focus and aperture
> selection for previewing depth of field allows me to control what I
> want the shot to look like. In the case of action shooting a little
> presetting of shutter and f lets me set up a depth of field for the
> area I'll be shooting in and then I just work at pan and focus.
>
> I can see where the lack of what I consider adequate focus screens
> would deter leaning good focusing techniques. If so why don't buyers
> demand better?
>
> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
> focus?
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 6:28:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <41EBD260.2050609@qwest.net>,
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) <username@qwest.net> wrote:
>Chris Brown wrote:
>>
>> You're too kind. That was the best of a number of shots, and it took me
>> about 30 minutes practice to get used to tracking the birds, involving a
>> good few frustrating shots of talons disappearing off the edge of the frame.
>> ;->
>
>Yes, I know that frustration all too well. I usually am much more
>consistent after a day or so of intense imaging.

Didn't have that much opportunity to practice, sadly. The shot was taken at
the local Raptor Foundation, where they have daily flying demonstrations
with some of the birds. Took a trip out there yesterday, as the weather was
reasonable, and it seemed like an interesting place to visit.

Anyway, the flying demonstration was only on for about 45 minutes, and the
birds weren't being terribly cooperative, just flitting from position to
position and largely ignoring the handlers, so their motion was a bit
unpredictable. I was getting a higher proportion of decent shots towards the
end though, even if I did have to bump the ISO right up to get a decent
shutter speed. Being winter though, and the 300mm f/4 IS L USM being a metal
lens, my hands were pretty numb by the end. :-|

I normally tend to do wide-angle landscape type stuff, so it makes an
interesting change and a nice challenge to try some extreme telephoto action
shots anyway. Also makes me feel a bit more virtuous, using that lens, as
it's the most expensive one I own, and it doesn't get used that often. ;-)
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 7:40:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In message <34vq2iF4eopi9U4@individual.net>,
Stacey <fotocord@yahoo.com> wrote:

>John A. Stovall wrote:
>
>> I find the emphasis on auto-focus in higher end DSLR's odd. What ever
>> happened to a competent photographer being able to focus his lenses?
>>
>
>Lazyness?
>
>>
>> Is this because a new generation of photographers don't know how to
>> focus?
>>
>
>Exactly. Many have never used a manual camera and would be LOST trying to
>actually pick setting or find a focus point. Someone pointed out that some
>of the newer canon AF lenses used in manual focus have a focus shift when
>you take your hand off the lens so obviously it isn't made to even be
>actually used?

That was a $100 kit lens. It is not representative of most lenses.
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <JPS@no.komm>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
January 17, 2005 7:40:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

JPS@no.komm wrote:

>>Exactly. Many have never used a manual camera and would be LOST trying to
>>actually pick setting or find a focus point. Someone pointed out that some
>>of the newer canon AF lenses used in manual focus have a focus shift when
>>you take your hand off the lens so obviously it isn't made to even be
>>actually used?
>
> That was a $100 kit lens. It is not representative of most lenses.

So, it's still =useless= for manual focusing was my point. IMHO it's not
worth $100 if the build quality is this poor.
--

Stacey
!