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10-07-2008, 01:27 AM   #1
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Help W. Auto Focus Setting

Need help with the whole concept of the auto focus mode. Can't seem to get it with the manual.
I've got a K10. I would like to know how to set it to auto focus & KNOW that it is in auto focus.
I know there's the AF button on back up right of view screen, but I can't get the logic or reason for the camera being in the mode where you hold the shutter release halfway down and then it auto focus and then you shoot. I know about the mf, continuous focus , etc switch on the side. Is there something in the menu I'm not finding ?
Sometimes the camera focus w. button halfway down , other times , I have to press the AF button. I can't seem to tell how to just tell the camera: stay in Auto - focus / shutter button halfway down mode: don't go out of it..

Thanks for any help,

Marty

10-07-2008, 02:57 AM   #2
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In the Custom menu theres two functions (on my k20D) for this.
One turns AF on for the small little AF button on the back.
The other turns AF on when "shuitter button depressed halfway" or something similiar.
Might be that yours is NOT set to engage AF on "halfway shutter button" press.
Press "Menu", go to CUSTOM, and scroll down till you find something similiar. I hope Im right, I hate being wrong on these forums all the time.
10-07-2008, 06:58 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by marlon Quote
In the Custom menu theres two functions (on my k20D) for this.
One turns AF on for the small little AF button on the back.
The other turns AF on when "shuitter button depressed halfway" or something similiar.
Might be that yours is NOT set to engage AF on "halfway shutter button" press.
Press "Menu", go to CUSTOM, and scroll down till you find something similiar. I hope Im right, I hate being wrong on these forums all the time.
I can confirm that the K10D has this facility.

John
10-07-2008, 08:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by voicelit Quote
I know there's the AF button on back up right of view screen, but I can't get the logic or reason for the camera being in the mode where you hold the shutter release halfway down and then it auto focus and then you shoot.
The logic is, that's how most people have taken pictures since the AF became common 30-some-odd years ago. Simply press the shutter button, and it autofocuses when the shutter reaches the half way point then takes the picture immediately after. The idea of stopping half way down to focus without taking the picture is useful if you want to "pre-focus" - get something in focus first, then take the picture later without having to wait that extra fraction of a second focusing would have taken. Or to allow you to focus on an object, then re-frame before taking the picture.

QuoteQuote:
Sometimes the camera focus w. button halfway down , other times , I have to press the AF button.
If you have the menu option set to focus on half-shutter, it will always focus on half-shutter as long as the switches on the camera (and lens, if applicable) are set to AF. If your camera is not focusing on half-press in this mode, then it is defective and should be sent in for service.

If you have the menu option set to focus on AF button press, then it should *not* focus on shutter half-press, and if it does, it is defective and should be sent in.

That is, however you have the camera set up, it should stay that way, and if it doesn't, something is wrong.

QuoteQuote:
I can't seem to tell how to just tell the camera: stay in Auto - focus / shutter button halfway down mode: don't go out of it..
As I said, that's definitely how it should be. Although I thought you said you couldn't get the logic of doing this?

10-07-2008, 11:45 AM   #5
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I don't think it's "either/or" with the half-shutter press and the AF button. Unless you've changed the settings, both will AF the camera, IIRC. I know I've used the back AF button while tracking an object to force it to update the AF. So, if your camera is AF with the back button, it should still also AF with the half-pressed shutter, unless your settings were changed in the menus somewhere.

Also, excuse me if you already know this, but look for the hexagon in the bottom of the viewfinder to indicate "in focus". The red focus indicators in the middle of the viewfinder just indicate where the camera is trying to focus, not that it's in focus. Again, sorry if I'm stating the obvious to you, but many people make that mistake.
10-07-2008, 12:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I don't think it's "either/or" with the half-shutter press and the AF button. Unless you've changed the settings, both will AF the camera, IIRC.
And note that, if I worded things as carefully as I tried to, I didn't say anything that conflicts with that. If the AF button is set to do the AF, then half-press *won't*, but the reverse may or may not be true.

Anyhow, either the camera is flaky, or the OP is confused about what is happening, and at this point it's tough to say which.
10-07-2008, 09:38 PM   #7
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Advantage of AF button for manual focus

Last night I read an article by 2 nature photographers who recommended setting the autofocus on their Canon and Nikon cameras to use only the button on the back and not use the shutter button. They had a number of good reasons for this and I wondered whether my K10D had this ability. Sure enough, one can set the camera to only use the AF button on the K10D (as has been stated in this thread already)

The revelation for me was that now I can use manual focus with my lenses but keep the body set in the autofocus mode for those cases where autofocus can be an advantage. Gone is that annoying re-focus and/or hesitation when I press the shutter - hoorah!

I'm curious if anyone else has found this feature useful or has any other tips for autofocus?
10-07-2008, 10:03 PM   #8
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Original Poster
THANKS, Everybody

Yes, I found the "AF press Halfway Down" option in the menu under custom. It was/is set "ON."
Maybe I wasn't getting some concept ? I also use the AF button to keep the focus on moving objects (dogs) for some reason, almost always when it's darker .
But there seems to be something about the halfway down shutter release press, AF button, and the AFC ( continuous auto focus ) that I can't seem to hold in my mind. Is it that once I press the shutter release button down , it stops continuously focusing and locks there, or what.
It just seems that sometimes , it seems to stop auto focusing .... and I have to take a shot to get it back to continuously auto focusing , or press the AF button .
I don't think it's broken ; I just don't think I get what I'm doing that is accidently locking it.
Thanks for any help.


Marty
(dotfur.com)


Last edited by voicelit; 10-07-2008 at 10:10 PM.
10-08-2008, 12:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hornet Quote
Last night I read an article by 2 nature photographers who recommended setting the autofocus on their Canon and Nikon cameras to use only the button on the back and not use the shutter button. They had a number of good reasons for this and I wondered whether my K10D had this ability. Sure enough, one can set the camera to only use the AF button on the K10D (as has been stated in this thread already)

The revelation for me was that now I can use manual focus with my lenses but keep the body set in the autofocus mode for those cases where autofocus can be an advantage. Gone is that annoying re-focus and/or hesitation when I press the shutter - hoorah!

I'm curious if anyone else has found this feature useful or has any other tips for autofocus?
Me!
Its friggin, I lock focus in at a certain point with the back button, and then use the shutter button for, well, shutter!I tried it at an airshow, and Im never going back
10-08-2008, 10:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by voicelit Quote
Yes, I found the "AF press Halfway Down" option in the menu under custom. It was/is set "ON."
Maybe I wasn't getting some concept ? I also use the AF button to keep the focus on moving objects (dogs) for some reason, almost always when it's darker .
But there seems to be something about the halfway down shutter release press, AF button, and the AFC ( continuous auto focus ) that I can't seem to hold in my mind. Is it that once I press the shutter release button down , it stops continuously focusing and locks there, or what.
It just seems that sometimes , it seems to stop auto focusing .... and I have to take a shot to get it back to continuously auto focusing , or press the AF button .
I don't think it's broken ; I just don't think I get what I'm doing that is accidently locking it.
Thanks for any help.


Marty
(dotfur.com)

There are several good suggestions already posted as answers, but I'm going to give my version if you wish.

First of all, we each must practice with our cameras and choose what suits our purposes and our inclination best. I've been using my K10D now for about 16 months, and am still developing new and different techniques to fit the need at any given time.

As to the AF button vs. the half press shutter, I have never felt comfortable with the AF button. I simply do not use it, but always the shutter at half press to focus. As someone else posted, look at the bottom of the LCD screen for the settings, and about in the center you should see a red hexagon. It might be blinking or solid red. When it's blinking the camera is still trying to satisfy itself that it's focused. When it's solid red - it is happy with its results.

Most of the time I use the AFC (for continuous focus), but sometimes I use the AFS for single focus. If the subject is moving, or if you change your aim where you want to focus, you are better off to use the AFC. Otherwise if you used AFS, and either you or the subject moved, it will stay locked where it was - as long as you hold the shutter half down. And the red hexagon will fool you into believing that everything is still in proper focus, when it may no longer be.

Now, there's another factor to consider. You mentioned something about "when its darker", and if you haven't recognized it yet - these Auto focus modes are not foolproof. You MUST have enough light of some kind to aid the Auto focus. Otherwise, if the light is too low, you should be using Manual focus and try for the best you can achieve that way. Maybe with a laser pointer turned onto the subject, then focus. Incidentally, these things can also be used to aid Auto focus, but it gets awkward when you are holding the camera by hand. Not too tough if its on a tripod, though.

Good luck on developing the technique that suits you and your subject matter.

Olin McDaniel
10-08-2008, 10:13 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by voicelit Quote
Yes, I found the "AF press Halfway Down" option in the menu under custom. It was/is set "ON."
Maybe I wasn't getting some concept ? I also use the AF button to keep the focus on moving objects (dogs) for some reason, almost always when it's darker .
But there seems to be something about the halfway down shutter release press, AF button, and the AFC ( continuous auto focus ) that I can't seem to hold in my mind. Is it that once I press the shutter release button down , it stops continuously focusing and locks there, or what.
It just seems that sometimes , it seems to stop auto focusing .... and I have to take a shot to get it back to continuously auto focusing , or press the AF button .
I don't think it's broken ; I just don't think I get what I'm doing that is accidently locking it.
Thanks for any help.


Marty
(dotfur.com)

I wonder if you are experiencing the camera going into sleep mode? or the timeout of the meter? It took me quite a while to get used to my K100D because of this. Especially when using manual lenses, I use the AE-L to set the exposure, but if the meter has timed out it wont do anything... half pressing the shutter "wakes" it up!!

It might do the same with the AF button, I will have to check... Maybe someone else can confirm that the back AF button doesnt wake up the camera from sleep???
10-08-2008, 10:36 AM   #12
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Also commonly used by sports photographers to be able to prefocus and shoot without having that focus be adjusted while shooting (think fast moving cars passing you on the same corner multiple times).

QuoteOriginally posted by Hornet Quote
Last night I read an article by 2 nature photographers who recommended setting the autofocus on their Canon and Nikon cameras to use only the button on the back and not use the shutter button. They had a number of good reasons for this and I wondered whether my K10D had this ability. Sure enough, one can set the camera to only use the AF button on the K10D (as has been stated in this thread already)

The revelation for me was that now I can use manual focus with my lenses but keep the body set in the autofocus mode for those cases where autofocus can be an advantage. Gone is that annoying re-focus and/or hesitation when I press the shutter - hoorah!

I'm curious if anyone else has found this feature useful or has any other tips for autofocus?
10-08-2008, 12:45 PM   #13
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Isn't he referring to AF.S vs AF.C ?
When he said it stops focussing when he does shutter button depression.
OP, have your problem been remedied now?
10-08-2008, 12:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by voicelit Quote
Need help with the whole concept of the auto focus mode. Can't seem to get it with the manual.
I've got a K10. I would like to know how to set it to auto focus & KNOW that it is in auto focus.
I know there's the AF button on back up right of view screen, but I can't get the logic or reason for the camera being in the mode where you hold the shutter release halfway down and then it auto focus and then you shoot. I know about the mf, continuous focus , etc switch on the side. Is there something in the menu I'm not finding ?
Sometimes the camera focus w. button halfway down , other times , I have to press the AF button. I can't seem to tell how to just tell the camera: stay in Auto - focus / shutter button halfway down mode: don't go out of it..

Thanks for any help,

Marty
on the front you have a switch, auto s, auto c and M

if you are in auto s or auto c, and the lens that you are using is an autofocus lens, then you will ALWAYS be in autofocus mode unless something is broken.

there are a number of ways to focus, half way shutter pressing, or using the external AF button.

if you do not hear or see the camera focusing when using the half shutter method, the following could be your problems

1. what you are shooting is already within the cameras accepted threshold for focus, its not going to bother focusing again, esp if the target is static. If what the camera thinks is in focus is not what you want to be in focus, move the camera sideways, or stick your hand in front of the lens and get it break focus that way, then recompose.

also, if you are using multi-point focus, you are relying on the cameras brain to figure out on its own what YOU want to be in focus, i have never trusted this feature, i personaly always shoot center focus and recompose (altho you have to understand how to properly recompose too...)

2. the camera was in sleep mode, in which case your first tap of the shutter "wakes it up", and will require another tap to get it to start focusing

3. you have poor finger dexterity, i know for a fact that my dad has alot of trouble "half pressing" anything, not just with a camera, but also wi6th the new age video game console controllers that have ALL of their buttons pressure sensitive. If this is the case, i dont know what to suggest... practice?

4. the camera, or lens, is broken (highly unlikley)


my guess is user error, and the only solution i more practice.
10-08-2008, 02:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by voicelit Quote
Need help with the whole concept of the auto focus mode. Can't seem to get it with the manual.
I've got a K10. I would like to know how to set it to auto focus & KNOW that it is in auto focus.
I know there's the AF button on back up right of view screen, but I can't get the logic or reason for the camera being in the mode where you hold the shutter release halfway down and then it auto focus and then you shoot. I know about the mf, continuous focus , etc switch on the side. Is there something in the menu I'm not finding ?
Sometimes the camera focus w. button halfway down , other times , I have to press the AF button. I can't seem to tell how to just tell the camera: stay in Auto - focus / shutter button halfway down mode: don't go out of it..

Thanks for any help,

Marty
One way I can see the camera acting like that is if the [AF on half press] option is enabled by default, but has been switched off in [USER] mode. Every time you switched to user mode, your shutter release will no longer engage autofocus. As a quick reference, here are the options avialable in the k10d.

The Custom Menu allows you to program the [AF] button to do one of three things:
  1. Autofocus the lens
  2. Cancel autofocus
  3. When using multi-point or selected point AF, reset to the center focus point.
You are also allowed to turn the [AF on half press] of the shutter button off, if you wish. At times I and some others on the list set the camera so that it only focuses using the [AF] button, the default, and does not focus when the shutter button is pressed.

This optional way of using the autofocus takes a little getting used to if you have used cameras that only had the option to focus with the shutter button, but can be beneficial when you want to set your focus to a specific distance and leave it there without going to manual focus only.

With soccer (football), for example, you could decide that you wanted to capture the goal keeper in full flight. In this circumstance it is much easier to turn off the shutter button AF in the menu, focus on the goal line, set the aperture to give some depth of field, and just wait for action at the goal. AF is still available to rapidly switch to another area of action when needed. Then just aim at the goal line and [AF] to take the action with the focus remaining at the goal line. You want nearer players to be out of focus, and capture the action at the goal mouth.

This way of working also saves a fraction of a second when releasing the shutter because the camera does not have to decide whether or not it has obtained focus.

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 10-08-2008 at 02:20 PM.
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