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12-20-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
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K-5 AF questions...

Hi, all

I have a stage performance shooting coming up, only camera I got now is a K5 (previously shooting with Canon gear). Unsure of what will work better...

Some Nikon users suggest disable 1/2 way shutter press to lock focus rather use AF bottom, not sure why but has anyone tried this? If so, when take a pic, is AF bottom to be pressed or released?

Also, will you choose single center focus point or 11-point auto selection?

12-20-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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I just shot a performance of my daughters dance group. Very poor light. Ended up shooting with my M135 3.5 so all manual focus. Actually had more keepers than I feared although at iso 12800 they are a bit noisy. Never would have been able to do this with my K10D... My message would be not use use AF in these circumstances...



12-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by schj Quote
Ended up shooting with my M135 3.5 so all manual focus.
Did you use zoomed-in LV to adjust the MF? Or was it too laggy for use in a LL hand-held situation? Or you had a split-prism focussing screen?

I found LV helped greatly with me getting a sharp shot with a Super Takumar 50/F.14 here


Dan.
12-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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I haven't photographed a stage producton before, but I generally use the centre focus point because I like to lock focus and recompose. I find that using the centre point allows me to better predict how the AF will behave. Your preferences may vary, of course, and as others have suggested manual focus may provide better results in poor light.

As for "back-button focusing", as it's known, I only first heard about it this year, at a wedding photography workshop. The instructor was a Canon shooter and raved about it, so I decided to try it out. I believe you press the AF button until focus is achieved, then release it and take the photo.

However, I haven't confirmed this but I really suspect the Canon and Nikon half shutter depress function works differently than it does on the K-5/K-7. With a half shutter depress, my K-7 will acquire focus and lock, and won't attempt to refocus unless I release the shutter button and do another half depress (hence why I can lock focus and recompose). So I honestly haven't encountered the issue that back-button focusing presumably solves (i.e. if the shutter button is depressed halfway the camera will attempt to refocus if someone or something passes between you and your subject). I'm curious to hear what others have to say on the subject though.

12-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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After learning I could switch the auto-focus from the half-press of the shutter to the AF button on my K10D that was one of the first things I did when I got my K20D. I shoot a lot of my kids' high school sports, and I can't imagine having to "fight" with the AF function being on the shutter button any more - especially when focusing manually!
It didn't take very long at all to re-train myself to use my thumb instead of my index finger to auto-focus. Now I can't imagine ever NOT having the AF button for focusing.

I hold down the AF button until focus locks, and then release - and always use center point focus, even if I have to shift the camera after focusing to recompose the way I want it.

Hope that helps,

Tim
12-20-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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Polarchekphotography, the idea is that you configure the shutter release button so it's decoupled from AF setting. So the camera only adjusts AF when you press the back AF button. It supposed to be good for sports, but I've not tried it yet.

Dan
12-20-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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I recently modified my setting to take AF off the shutter button. I have to say it took a little time to get used to it but I do like it better. You simply hit the AF button on the back to set the focus, then you are free to compose your shot and press the shutter button, Just have to remember to refocus (AF button again or manual adjustments). I use spot focus a lot and find the composition of my photos has improved greatly now that I no longer must center my subject, half press shutter and recompose.. Once I got used to it, I found it much faster to use the AF button on the rear only as needed and avoid constant recentering and recomposing. You can also use continuous focus in these cases where if you interested in the focus being on one performer, you can set continuous focus and the camera should refocus as that subject moves.
12-20-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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Decoupling AF and shutter worked for me as well. Especially in low light the AF gets slower and if you know the subject is in focus, you can press the shutter directly. It works especially great with QSF lenses. Shooting macro with DFA 50 or DFA100 is great, you can use it as manual focus camera and use AF anytime you want.

12-20-2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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How do you get the K-5 far L & R focus points to illuminate in the VF? I've just decoupled AF from the shutter button for the USER mode I call "Sports". I'm using 11 point AF. I can only get the L & R points to light if I use AF selection point mode, but not in Auto 11 point mode in either AF.S or AF.C (with AF button held down and panning). Same behaviour with the K20D.

Dan.
12-20-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rsoph Quote
I recently modified my setting to take AF off the shutter button. I have to say it took a little time to get used to it but I do like it better. You simply hit the AF button on the back to set the focus, then you are free to compose your shot and press the shutter button, Just have to remember to refocus (AF button again or manual adjustments). I use spot focus a lot and find the composition of my photos has improved greatly now that I no longer must center my subject, half press shutter and recompose.. Once I got used to it, I found it much faster to use the AF button on the rear only as needed and avoid constant recentering and recomposing. You can also use continuous focus in these cases where if you interested in the focus being on one performer, you can set continuous focus and the camera should refocus as that subject moves.
...this is most helpful, thank you.
12-20-2011, 03:00 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UpNorth Quote
After learning I could switch the auto-focus from the half-press of the shutter to the AF button on my K10D that was one of the first things I did when I got my K20D. I shoot a lot of my kids' high school sports, and I can't imagine having to "fight" with the AF function being on the shutter button any more - especially when focusing manually!
It didn't take very long at all to re-train myself to use my thumb instead of my index finger to auto-focus. Now I can't imagine ever NOT having the AF button for focusing.

I hold down the AF button until focus locks, and then release - and always use center point focus, even if I have to shift the camera after focusing to recompose the way I want it.

Hope that helps,

Tim
Are you saying when recompose a shot, no need to hold down the rear AF bottom as normally would when pressing 1/2 way while holding down the shutter?
12-20-2011, 03:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by schj Quote
I just shot a performance of my daughters dance group. Very poor light. Ended up shooting with my M135 3.5 so all manual focus. Actually had more keepers than I feared although at iso 12800 they are a bit noisy. Never would have been able to do this with my K10D... My message would be not use use AF in these circumstances...


...very nice. That's exactly kind of work I'm going to do. Thanks for the tip.
12-20-2011, 04:26 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mxlinn Quote
Are you saying when recompose a shot, no need to hold down the rear AF bottom as normally would when pressing 1/2 way while holding down the shutter?

Right. I "target" my point of focus in the middle to use the center point focusing, push the AF button to focus on the object I want in focus, and then let go of the AF button and recompose.
For example - In this shot I focused on the girl in the foreground (with the purple headband). Once focus locked on her I then moved the camera so that she was in the lower right corner of the shot.....





Make sense?

Tim
12-20-2011, 05:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UpNorth Quote
Right. I "target" my point of focus in the middle to use the center point focusing, push the AF button to focus on the object I want in focus, and then let go of the AF button and recompose.
For example - In this shot I focused on the girl in the foreground (with the purple headband). Once focus locked on her I then moved the camera so that she was in the lower right corner of the shot.....


Make sense?

Tim
Yes, it does...
Do you normally use AF-S or AF-C. Thanks.
12-21-2011, 05:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dosdan Quote
Did you use zoomed-in LV to adjust the MF? Or was it too laggy for use in a LL hand-held situation? Or you had a split-prism focussing screen?

I found LV helped greatly with me getting a sharp shot with a Super Takumar 50/F.14 here


Dan.
I actually used focus confirmation in combination with my eyes (and the stock K5 screen). I also alway use center focus only
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