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01-04-2011, 09:35 AM   #1
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Best setting for focusing

What is the best setting for focusing? I currently use the "auto" setting and was wondering if this should be always "on" , or should I change at certain times. My camera is the K10D
Thanks

01-04-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerrys Quote
What is the best setting for focusing? I currently use the "auto" setting and was wondering if this should be always "on" , or should I change at certain times. My camera is the K10D
Thanks
Can you please elaborate? I don't understand what you are asking there is only afs afc and mf as your options for focusing. Do you mean the shooting modes such as auto macro sport landscape etc? If you are referring to that my first choice is av mode that controls aperture.
01-04-2011, 10:24 AM   #3
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in general for AF on a K10 AFS is the better choice in general (AFC is just very slow on K10) Mostly mine has been used lately on MF (manual focus) as the lenses I favour are not AF. I've recently changed to the K7 but in tha last few years with the K10 I'd say 80% of the time I was in AFS for AF lenses
01-04-2011, 10:25 AM   #4
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Auto-5? Auto-11? Single-Point?

I use single-Centre-point... Focus on subject... half de-pressing shutter... and recompose...

epqwerty is correct... Your question is somewhat vauge...

Read the manual? Pretty much everything you need to get going is in there...

01-04-2011, 10:28 AM   #5
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Maybe I should explain the difference AFS is single focus, push the shutter halfway and it focuses and locks
AFC is continuos better for moving objects but can continually hunt rahter than lock sometimes losing the focus you were chasing (and killing battery)
01-04-2011, 10:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Auto-5? Auto-11? Single-Point?

I use single-Centre-point... Focus on subject... half de-pressing shutter... and recompose...

epqwerty is correct... Your question is somewhat vauge...

Read the manual? Pretty much everything you need to get going is in there...
I also primarily use the selective function picking my focus point rather than letting the camera make the decision (forgot about that)
01-04-2011, 11:44 AM   #7
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Manual for Artistic effects at times

QuoteOriginally posted by Gerrys Quote
What is the best setting for focusing? I currently use the "auto" setting and was wondering if this should be always "on" , or should I change at certain times. My camera is the K10D
Thanks
You could use manual to make a subject out of focus for artistic effect as well. There are times as well, where I look better unfocused the focused.
01-04-2011, 01:10 PM   #8
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Hi Gerry,

It really comes down to the conditions and content of the shot, and the lens' characteristics. Excuse me in advance for a possibly confusing post. . .

The AF system, in 11 point Multipoint Mode, will usually select the closest object with the most contrast as the most likely subject -- it can't read your mind, so there has to be some reason for the selection. All AF systems rely on contrast to determine focus accuracy, so it likes an area of higher contrast. Using Multipoint allows more room for error since you're letting the camera decide. If you're shooting a relatively low contrast scene with a person standing in front of a white picket fence that's not very distant, the camera could choose the higher contrast fence, for example.

Single Center point focus is more precise, as it limits the camera's choices to the center point only (it covers roughly the area of the central ( ) on the focusing screen), so the camera can only choose between objects within this area. The most common method people use is Center point focus and recompose, where you center your subject in the VF, half-press the shutter to actuate the AF, lock focus, then while holding the half-press, recompose your frame, then shoot.

There's a very well-know article which describes how this method may not be optimal.

Why Focus-Recompose Sucks

Practically, this argument has real merit mostly if you do a lot of shooting with very fast lenses at pretty close distances. For most shooters, with most lenses, the DOF, even at max apertures is enough to cover critical focus issues, so that's why focus and recompose remains a popular and easy technique.

For situations where focus and recompose is not appropriate as per the article, you can use SEL focus point mode. Choose the composition that pleases you, and then select the most appropriate AF point to get your subject in focus. This obviously gives you the most control, but it's more fiddly and slower.

One other problem is that the center focus point is the largest, and has the best configuration to sense either horizontal or vertical contrast borders within its area. It's the only "cross" type sensor in the array that is actually shaped like a "+", while the surrounding 8 "cross" type sensors are shaped more like a "T" (with the foot of the T pointing in the rough direction of the center point), are somewhat smaller, and a bit less sensitive (in my experience, but I could be wrong. . .) The two sensors farthest to the right and left are line type sensors and are only effective with contrast borders that intersect their vertical alignment, with an intersection that's closer to right angles giving the best result.

For me, the technique is a bit too fiddly, and since I primarily shoot birds handheld, final composition in the frame is not as high a priority as AF and minimum lag between acquiring the subject in the VF and taking a shot, so I shoot center point, then crop for final composition.

Hope this might be more enlightening than confusing. . .

Scott

01-04-2011, 03:23 PM   #9
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Scott - Thanks for posting the link for that 'well-known article' that I somehow missed I've been using center focus & recompose since my p&s days, but that article explains nicely some of the "what-the- $#*!" moments I've had since moving to a DSLR.

Paul
01-04-2011, 03:56 PM   #10
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Sorry, I ment the meter monitoring. Spot or center?
01-04-2011, 05:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerrys Quote
Sorry, I ment the meter monitoring. Spot or center?
Hi Gerry,

Dude!!!

A good exercise is to map out the viewfinder to see the effect of the different modes. At night, use a room with one light source (lamp) on a table in a corner of the room. Start with matrix metering at a relatively high ISO (so blur won't enter into your consideration the shot) and Av mode, place the lamp at one extreme of the frame in the VF. Take a shot. then pan slowly with the meter activated moving the light across the frame, and watch the shutter speed for change -- there won't be much because the however many metering sensors are measuring the total scene and giving you an overall average. The lamp should be overexposed while the rest of the room is relatively well exposed.

Switch to Center Weighted. Take a shot with the lamp at one side, then another with the lamp in the center, and noet the difference in the shutter speed. Pan so the light starts at one side of the frame and ends at the other, again watching the shutter speed change. You'll see the shutter speed increase as the lamp approaches the center of the frame, then decrease as you move past the lamp. Note the area where the shutter speed starts to change, and this will give you an idea of where the center weighted area starts. The shot with the lamp in the corner will be better exposed for the room but the lamp will be more overexposed, the one with the lamp in the center will have the lamp better exposed, and the rest of the room darker.

Repeat the last test with Spot metering. This time, the shot with the lamp at the side should be properly exposed for the wall, and the lamp will be very overexposed. The shot where the lamp is in the center, the lamp will be very well exposed compared to the other two, and the rest of the room will be darker. The shutter speed will change more quickly and more dramatically, and only when the lamp gets close to the center of the frame.

Matrix metering averages the whole frame, CW still averages, but weighs the center 1/3 or 1/4 of the frame more heavily, and spot only meters a small percentage of the frame at the center.

You also have the option (in the Custom Menu) of Lock the AE point to the AF point, so you can weigh the exposure bias in different parts of the frame by selecting a focus point other than the center if you need more metering flexibility.

Scott
01-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerrys Quote
Sorry, I ment the meter monitoring. Spot or center?
The meter setting has no effect on focus.
01-05-2011, 12:08 PM   #13
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Scott pretty effectively covered the differences in using the metering modes so I won't re-elaborate them. I tend and always have, to use spot metering. Some think it is an antiquated way of doing things but I like the control it gives me, especially when I'm doing Manual Exposure (M mode) where my camera stays 80% of the time.

If your question relates to how metering affects AF, then as stated above, it doesn't.

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