AF/Metering Points

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by beaminge36, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. beaminge36

    beaminge36 TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys, I'm just curious if you set the focus/metering point manually or if you just choose the matrix and let select for you. I generally find that in auto it won't focus precisely on the eyes or the subject I choose, especially when its off centered (most cases). I have a rebel xt and its a little cumbersome to switch every time to the point I want. I always get better results by manually selecting the point. I guess my question really is will a more advanced camera do a better job on auto or have a better layout for manual selection or do I just have to suck it up and just get faster at it. I've already reached the point where I can switch reasonably quick when choosing a new composition. Also, when is it appropriate to use the auto mode? More for landscapes and when you have the lens stopped way down where the DOF is much larger? Just curious how everyone shoots.

    Nick
     
  2. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    I own an XTi and I NEVER use the AF points!!! It's always on Center Point Focus. That way if you want the eyes to be in focus just move the center point to the eyes and shoot! :) When I first started using my camera I had everything on Auto., but now that I know how to use it..it never leaves Manual or AV. I had problems with my shots being out of focus and that could have been a result of using every point to AF. Once I switched to manual, more of my shots are in focus and I couldn't have been happier!
     
  3. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    If you use the other points you will do even better. By focusing and recomposing, you move the plane of focus away from where you want it to be, which is a real problem if you work with very shallow depth of field.

    I use single AF points but I use most if not all of them. For sports I bounce between picking one and using the so called "Ring of Fire" mode that picks AF points.
     
  4. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    I was under the impression that using all AF points might yield subpar results. I used to use every point until I realized my shots were OOF, but when I switched over that seemed to stop. Also, I heard that if you used every AF point that it doesn't give you more in focus, but just chooses the points which have more contrast and thus making it easier for the camera to lock onto that point. This is just what I have picked up on the subject.
     
  5. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    Single center autofocus point for me, then hold focus and recompose. It seems to work well for me and I don't spend too much time fumbling with the switches. I almost always use just a tiny bit of sharpening during pp. People say I'm a detail freak.
     
  6. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    You are largely right (in my case it's a bit different because I have a lot more AF points for the camera to chose from).

    But what I'm suggesting you do is change your point from having a single point in the center selected to selecting an off-center point. You don't have to choose between "all, let the camera pick" and "center." You can pick any of the points you like.
     
  7. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I wonder if I can choose any point on my XTi. For some reason I only used the center point because I thought it was either that or all points. I'll take a look at it this weekend! Thanks again for the pointer!
     
  8. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I have an XTi, and yes you can. I do this sometimes, accidently hit the wrong button when fumbling with my camera in the dark. I just use the center because it is easier to work with "most" of the time. If you have time to make adjustment, ie scenery or portraits, then perhaps you should use a different focus point.
     
  9. beaminge36

    beaminge36 TPF Noob!

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    I generally use the two points directly to the left or right of the center point. I haven't had much time for going out with the specific intent to take pictures but i've been taking alot of pictures at all my events so its always of people. I find using center then recomposing can shift the focus plane enough to make a difference because I shoot with the lens pretty wide, 2.8 and wider (lots of lower light situations). With the two points on either side they generally land right around the eyes on the subjects. Its just a ***** switching from side to side because you have to scroll through half the points to go just two over. I've never used the auto selection and was curious if I'm wasting my time manually selecting them or if auto really does suck. well, thanks for all the input guys.

    Nick
     

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