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03-19-2007, 12:19 AM   #16
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My Solutions..

I tackle the problem in the following 3 ways:-

1. AF Single and re-compose *quickly* - use central AF point only;

2. AF Continuous and not re-compose, for fast moving object - use central AF point mostly;

3. MF and first focus to somewhere near and re-adjust and predict the path as required, if neither method 1 nor 2 above works out.

I haven't tried to decouple AF from shutter release button (similar to use the "OK" button to deactivate AF) as I used to do the AF in the conventional since the 80s, but I would have a try on that. However, it seems that even we decouple the two, the AF tracking will still stop once the the AF button is released or the AF is stopped - so correct focus still cannot be obtained with fast moving objects.

QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
Ok, I have never got along with my pentax auto-focus... either from my ZX-5n or now my K100D. It seems to work ok when I play with it or practice, but in real life situations, when I am concentrating on the subject matter, I find the subjects out of focus and the back wall in focus.

Web Albums - Carl - 2007_03_17 Et...[/url]


03-19-2007, 12:24 AM   #17
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On the *ist Ds - Custom settings -> OK btn when shooting -> option 3 Enable AF. In the Rec Mode -> Swtch dst msr pt -> pick the center AF.
To shoot, Pick what you want in focus - point the camera at it - push the OK button until the camera is in focus (remove your finger). Set the exposure (which can be the spot meter - if necessary lock the exposure) compose the image and shoot.
This is a very similar set of steps taken back in the days of manual cameras.
On the K10D the settings are slightly different - but the effect is the same.
Here is an image that shows this technique.




PDL

Last edited by PDL; 03-19-2007 at 12:49 AM. Reason: add image
03-19-2007, 12:31 AM   #18
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Thanks PDL! I'll take a look at my camera and fiddle with it in the morning. Have to hit the sack now.
03-19-2007, 08:07 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by button Quote
Kmccanta, I'm a parent, and I've gone through much of the same ordeal. So far, here's what I do to chase my 4 month old:

1) Decouple the shutter from the autofocus. If the k100d allows this, then disable "AF when press halfway" and enable "AF button function" (custom menu). Use your right thumb to autofocus with the AF button and fire the shutter with your right index finger. Few things angered me more than waiting for the AF to quit hunting while I held down the shutter button, only to watch the moment slip away.

2) Often, but not always, I set the AF dial to "select" and move the red dot to where I think my daughter will be. This eliminates the "focus and recompose" step.

3) I always aim for the leading eye of the subject, using the red dot as my "sight". I NEVER use the "auto" (green) position on the AF dial. When shooting guns, as well as photographs, the axiom "aim small, miss small" will serve you well.

Please let us know if this helps.

Here's a pseudo action shot: k10d, 43mm f1.9 ltd: f2.5, 1/15 sec, ISO 400
I tried #1 for a very little while, I found the OK button on the K100D awkward. AF.C worked much better for me. AT least I was more comfortable. Cant say if the shots are better.

I think your #3 advice is good. I am going to leave it in Selective and practice. I think my mistake was just wrongly thinking the camera was in auto select focus point mode... only it wasnt. I wonder where the focus point was? I would have assumed center... but several of the shots have the subject centered and out of focus....probably I just didnt wait for the AF.C to do its job...

03-19-2007, 09:19 AM   #20
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I used to own a DS, and I found the "OK" button for AF a little awkward. I now have a K10D and really like the position of the AF button, and I use it exclusively. I find that it's much nicer to use than the shutter release - especially with the DA lenses as I can adjust at will, even if i've got my finger on the shutter button and it's half-pressed.

Makes it easier to re-compose too. Try it for a while - it took me a week or so to adjust, but now my thumb goes right to the AF button on the back. Occaisionally I will forget, but not very often.

Mike
03-19-2007, 09:51 AM   #21
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Another thing to think about (as if there isn't already enough) is SR. I've heard if you are panning/shooting moving targets you should turn shake reduction off. Also, you didn't mention the shutter speed, make sure it's fast enough.
03-19-2007, 10:13 AM   #22
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Here is a little trick that works for me.
If you are taking a shot of a stationary or slow moving thing, I push the button half way down... at the same time checking to see where the red dot is hitting (where it will focus on) if it isn't in the right place, I move the camera slightly and do it again until the focus is locked on the point I want then take the photo.
I always leave the focus in auto select unless I know something is in front of the subject I am taking that will fool the camera (for example, when I was trying to take a photo of our cat under the tree I had to choose center focus because branches where the first thing the camera would focus on.

remember in auto select focus, usually the subject closest to the camera will be chosen as the focus point.,

hope this helps

randy
03-19-2007, 02:33 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
Ok, I have never got along with my pentax auto-focus... either from my ZX-5n or now my K100D. It seems to work ok when I play with it or practice, but in real life situations, when I am concentrating on the subject matter, I find the subjects out of focus and the back wall in focus.

Its not the speed, its the decision making...

The problem I am having is that my subject matter is getting faster. My sons basketball games are difficult to track with pre-focus as the action doesnt come in expected spots.

The auto-select focus spot guesses wrong too often, and center spot/recompose doesnt work for me for action shots I am not fast enough recomposing.

So how do you parents use the AF? How do wedding photogs use it? Do I just need MUCH more practice selecting my AF point? What if I hand the camera to my spouse? How do you get the camera to behave decently like a point and shoot?

heres some examples of a once in a lifetime event for my son. I got a few keepers, but the missed shots are haunting me... I felt like I was fighting the autofocus while I was trying to take in the event and frame shots... anything in focus needed cropping as the framing was terrible. anything composed, was focussed somewhere else.

heres a link to the keepers, I attached some trouble makers below...Picasa Web Albums - Carl - 2007_03_17 Et...
One of the things I see in the photo's is that you are dealing with relitively low indoor light. I have done shots like these also, but generally set the ISO to 1600 (K10D) or 3200 (*istD) which allows faster shutter speed and some depth of field also. I have not had the problem you have had, but I generally have the focusing spot centered, not on any of the outside spots, and keep the prome subject dead center. I know this is not the best condition for all compositions, and in one of your shots would definitely get the back wall. Also, on my *istD, I have decoupled focus comfirmation from shutter release. On the K10D you can't do this.

03-19-2007, 03:37 PM   #24
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I think this is why I started taking pictures of flowers. They don't move. I have experienced many good shoots indoors and then find out when I put them into the computer they're blurry. this is one reason I have stopped taking pictures of sporting events and kids. I'm to old and they move too fast.
03-19-2007, 03:52 PM   #25
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For my dragboat pictures I use the center focus spot, continuous autofocus and burst shutter mode. I establish initial focus as the boat begins to move from the starting line and then pan along with the subject, keeping it on my center spot as it moves faster and faster across my field of view. The continuous autofocus does a great job this way and rarely losses track. I do end up with a centered subject this way so I have to crop later for a rule of thirds composition. I guess I could use selective auto-focus to manually move the spot so that cropping would be reduced. I'll have to try that to see if outter spots are as accurate and fast as the center.

These are *very* fast moving subjects moving perpendicular to the camera. However, unlike basketball shots, their paths are entirely predictable so I'm sure that makes it easier on me. I still think it would work though. Establish initial focus on your son when he is standing still or moving slowly. Then track him around the court keeping your spot on him (shutter button half depressed)at all times until you are ready to fire. Also make sure that you have the focus spot indicator (red light) turned on so that you know exactly where the spot is. I'm wondering if you have it turned off since you're not sure if you where in auto-selection mode or not. You would have seen the spot moving to different (seeming random) locations on each shot rather than staying in one place for each shot.

Another point that was made earlier is the low indoor light. My istDS has *terrible* autofocus speed and accuracy in low light conditions.

Last edited by awjweb; 03-19-2007 at 04:00 PM.
03-20-2007, 06:36 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
To Mike Cash:
No sin in cropping, I did crop that first one. As long as its not blown up its viewable. Its just taht some shots like the second one, cant be cropped. If I had centered the framing on either player, I wouldnt have the shot I wanted.

Of course, since I am still bungling the AF, I still dont have that one!

more practice for me! As JoN said, at least it wasnt film I was burning! now I can just charge the batteries and go practice
I just realized today that I have had nothing but screwmount lenses mounted for about two weeks now and hence haven't taken any AF photos at all for a while. Even when I don't have the M42s on the camera I typically have M or A lenses mounted. The only AF-capable lenses I own are the kit lens and an FA J 75-300. The kit lens stays in the bottom of the bag, and the FA J doesn't see a great deal of use. It's currently on the kitchen table in my Super Takumar 200/4's carrying case, where it may sit for quite a while.
03-20-2007, 09:52 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by awjweb Quote
... I'm wondering if you have it turned off since you're not sure if you where in auto-selection mode or not. You would have seen the spot moving to different (seeming random) locations on each shot rather than staying in one place for each shot.
No, its on... the main issue for me is that the camera is new to me, and I mainly use manual focus. I was really distracted at this event, my son is on the court playing a game against an NBA idol of his (and mine). This is a situation that I know will likely never happen again.

I have to say, that my son performed MUCH better under the pressure than I did!

in retrospect, the camera was in manual select focus point mode (or whatever its called) which I had only recently played with a little bit. I forgot that I had been playing with it, and was expecting the camera to be in AUTO. Which is a stupid mistake on my part, because I switched it to center point only the first time I went through the menus in the first half an hour I turned it on. I never used the side focus points of my ZX-5n either. So here I was expecting the camera to do something I had no reason to expect. And it wasnt even the right something different.

My learning from this is
1) be glad that I did get some keepers.
2) decide on an AF strategy (my purpose for this thread)
3) practice. Or, as Brandon's promotional poster says...

WORK HARD. WORK HARDER.
03-20-2007, 10:12 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmccanta Quote
WORK HARD. WORK HARDER.
Should add... DON'T FORGET TO HAVE FUN WHILE YOU'RE AT IT!
03-20-2007, 05:58 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
The first thing I did on my K10D was to de-couple the AF from the shutter button - that is what the AF button is for. I set the AF select points to center - pick the focus point - focus - compose and shoot.
PDL
Forgive me, I have had the K10D for a little over a week now, I have looked over the manual and the settings numerous times...but how do you set this up???

I came from a Canon 20D where I had the shutter button for exposure, and the * button for focus. It is the same technique/setting as the K10D and I have read that it can be done...but how? I shot exclusively like that on the 20D and want it the same on my K10D.

Thanks!
03-21-2007, 07:16 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by WildSioux Quote
Forgive me, I have had the K10D for a little over a week now, I have looked over the manual and the settings numerous times...but how do you set this up???

I came from a Canon 20D where I had the shutter button for exposure, and the * button for focus. It is the same technique/setting as the K10D and I have read that it can be done...but how? I shot exclusively like that on the 20D and want it the same on my K10D.

Thanks!
Go to the "custom setting" in menu mode. Scroll down to "AF Button Function" and press the right arrow and then chose "Enable AF". Hit "OK". Go to the next option down, "AF by press halfway" and chose "Off". Hit "OK". Done! Now, the shutter will fire at full depression, no matter the focus. Half shutter depress will no longer cause the AF to work. The "AF" button is your new "*" button.

John
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