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09-13-2013, 09:06 PM   #16
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I've been shooting like this for a couple years now, but I've gotta say the AF button on my K20D is not well placed. Ideally I'd like it right under where my thumb naturally rests, and in portrait orientation, forget it. It's really hard to reach. I guess the newer cameras have an AF button in the grip, but it still doesn't look like Pentax has done much to improve the placement. It would be nice if they'd just give us one Fn button that could be customized, right in the thumb location. For example, I never use AE-L because I'm always in manual mode.

The biggest thing that has improved my focusing accuracy is my Katzeye screen. The combination of matte screen, microprism collar and split prism makes it pretty obvious when photos are OOF. I've found that with 2.8 lenses and faster, I actually have a higher rate of keepers if I focus manually than the camera's AF system can produce. The camera can still beat me with f/4 and slower lenses though, it's just not as obvious when critical focus is off.

09-14-2013, 07:41 PM   #17
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Thank you!

I tried this approach this morning at my son's soccer game after reading this thread last night. I can't be sure I had more in-focus shots, but the technique made the the process feel more fluid... Shot's like the one below were certainly harder to come by in the past. It's nothing special, but the kid in the air is in focus (shot with the F 135).
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09-14-2013, 09:15 PM   #18
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I tried this today and it was ok but awkward, as I kept forgetting and sometimes found myself pressing the green button instead of the AF button. I also find myself not being able to switch AF points fast enough at times... (Which I often find when I try to make SEL my main mode... Then I get lazy and keep trying to compose all my shots with the same focus point rather than selecting the appropriate point)... I will keep experimenting with this config though to see if it becomes comfortable and effective.

One question occurred to me though that there is still need to switch back to AF-S for the case when we want to use SR without risking AF readjusting, right? CMIIAW (Correct me if I am wrong), but I've read that SR only works while AF is activated (aka shutter button half pressed in the default mode)... So with AF-C on with this config, if I want to take my finger off the AF button to simulate AF-S after I've selected my focus, then I loose SR...
09-14-2013, 10:23 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
I tried this today and it was ok but awkward, as I kept forgetting and sometimes found myself pressing the green button instead of the AF button. I also find myself not being able to switch AF points fast enough at times... (Which I often find when I try to make SEL my main mode... Then I get lazy and keep trying to compose all my shots with the same focus point rather than selecting the appropriate point)... I will keep experimenting with this config though to see if it becomes comfortable and effective.

One question occurred to me though that there is still need to switch back to AF-S for the case when we want to use SR without risking AF readjusting, right? CMIIAW (Correct me if I am wrong), but I've read that SR only works while AF is activated (aka shutter button half pressed in the default mode)... So with AF-C on with this config, if I want to take my finger off the AF button to simulate AF-S after I've selected my focus, then I loose SR...
Semi correct. The SR turns on when the shutter is half depressed. So no, you do not need to switch to AF-S. The idea is that on release of AF button your camera for "still life" is the same as using AFS.

It does take some getting used to and the shooting method may not be for everyone. But I personally can't got back now



09-15-2013, 03:56 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
Semi correct. The SR turns on when the shutter is half depressed.
So you are saying that even when using this config with the AF button and AF-C, SR is still relying on the half-pressed shutter, right? That's great! thanks
09-15-2013, 04:21 PM   #21
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I use this method except for the AF button, I use the half press of the shutter release to enable AF. And this is why:
You stil have to half press the shutter release to get SR
You still need the thumb to move between focus points (always use SEL)

So, how is it that using the AF button gives you a better keeper rate?

@Wired, thanks for taking the time to put this toghether
09-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #22
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I'll have to try this.
09-15-2013, 09:40 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
I use this method except for the AF button, I use the half press of the shutter release to enable AF. And this is why:
You stil have to half press the shutter release to get SR
You still need the thumb to move between focus points (always use SEL)

So, how is it that using the AF button gives you a better keeper rate?

@Wired, thanks for taking the time to put this toghether
I find that I support the camera differently if I am pressing into the AF but ton instead of gliding on the shutter. I also seem to have more miss focus fires on the half press mode. But most of all its of I'm working on tripod/still life, I can focus and recompose without resetting the focus on shutter release.



09-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #24
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Two beginner questions, if you folks don't mind:

1. why is using SEL better than center AF (and recompose)?
2. why is AF button focus better than half press focus?

I guess the answer to the 1st question would be something related to "the movement in recomposing not corresponding the field curvature of the lens". Most people recompose moving the lens angularly (including myself), and not displacing linearly...don't know if this has anything to do with it.
09-16-2013, 04:58 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by HSV Quote
Two beginner questions, if you folks don't mind:

1. why is using SEL better than center AF (and recompose)?
2. why is AF button focus better than half press focus?

I guess the answer to the 1st question would be something related to "the movement in recomposing not corresponding the field curvature of the lens". Most people recompose moving the lens angularly (including myself), and not displacing linearly...don't know if this has anything to do with it.
1. You pretty much answered it. But to expand, if tour shooting a lens at its widest aperture then there is a possibility that the inch you may move the camera forward or back while recomposing could in fact change your focus. Your going to get more accurate focus lock by using SEL.

2. Essentially gives you more control over the shot. Especially when using this method of constant auto focus engaged do that your constantly focusing on your selected point. I personally find that the half press does not allow as stable a grip on the camera.

09-17-2013, 06:04 PM   #26
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Hmm, interesting method. I had always used center AF and recompose, often with a quick switch into manual focus to ensure I didn't refocus by accident. It seems that on a tripod, my method would be just as accurate. Handheld, though, as you've mentioned, there are real advantages to using your method. I'll have to try it out, but I suspect it will be some time before I'm good enough at it for it to become faster and more accurate than simply manually focusing. That's always been my issue with SEL in general.. I always felt like choosing the point just took too long. Guess it's one of those practice things
09-18-2013, 05:24 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxk7dish Quote
Hmm, interesting method. I had always used center AF and recompose, often with a quick switch into manual focus to ensure I didn't refocus by accident. It seems that on a tripod, my method would be just as accurate. Handheld, though, as you've mentioned, there are real advantages to using your method. I'll have to try it out, but I suspect it will be some time before I'm good enough at it for it to become faster and more accurate than simply manually focusing. That's always been my issue with SEL in general.. I always felt like choosing the point just took too long. Guess it's one of those practice things
it totally is. I'm just so used to it now that it hardly takes no time at all. I've been asked when I shoot live bands what modes I use and the answer is always manual mode with this AF discipline. The really fun one is when I use my MX for shooting live music (something I need to start doing again) and in both cases they don't understand how I can keep up with the fast pace. Or even during the chaos during weddings

The funny thing is that I can use M mode faster than A mode. I just can. I'm sure its like that for you with adjusting manual focus vs AFS. while for me manual focusing takes me forever now
09-29-2013, 11:10 AM   #28
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Interesting thread. Thanks.
09-30-2013, 09:56 AM - 2 Likes   #29
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I've been using this technique with my new K-5 II. So far it's really working well, for some landscape shooting and random street pictures. It's funny, until switching I hadn't realized how annoying the whole half press thing actually was! Much happier now. Thanks for the suggestion and writeup.
09-30-2013, 10:17 AM - 2 Likes   #30
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I used this approach while capturing my 8 month old. I thought I was the only one who knew this! j/k

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