Multiple focus points

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Slaphead, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Slaphead

    Slaphead TPF Noob!

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    So with my new D90 I've finally got something that a lot of you guys have had for ages, and probably take for granted - Multiple focus points (11 to be exact) - My D40x has 3 focus points which I selected manually (automatic point selection always seemed to use the wrong point).

    I've played with the D90 in automatic point selection mode and I have to say that I'm impressed - more often than not it chooses the points I want, and it's ability to detect and focus on a subject's eyes borders on the uncanny. However, I've found myself going back to selecting the focus points manually (most of the time using the centre focus point) because it gives me more control, and guarantees that I have focused on the area that I want.

    So is the automatic point selection really a gimmick? It doesn't inspire confidence if there's a possibility of the camera deciding on the wrong subject.

    What do you guys do? Do you use the automatic mode, or do you select the points manually? Are there any photographic situations where it would be correct and preferable to use the automatic mode?

    I must say that, despite the D90 being superior in every way to the D40x, I much prefer the simplicity of the D40x's viewfinder, and that the focus point I want is never more than 2 presses of the D-pad away.
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The D300 has 51 focus points. I wouldn't do without. Eventually, you will get good at either finding that focus point sweet spot, or recompossing the shot to compensate. And that's really the power of the focus point, the flexibility in composition. With three focus points, your shot has to be centered around those - period. So you either have to move your subject, or make do with what you've got. With multiple focus points, you are damn near given the entire viewframe with which to select who/what is your subject. The "tedium" of having to scroll through selections becomes a piddling nothing when you realize just how much more freedom you have been given.
     
  3. Just Jack

    Just Jack TPF Noob!

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    this may be a stupid question, but I'm curious about these manual focus points

    With multiple focus points is it just selecting certain points and the camera will then automatically focus the selected points for, or do you get to then adjust each focus point manually. That second option seems like a mechanical impossibility I imagine as it would need multiple lens sets to focus differently on certain areas.

    Since my guess is the first option, I'm assuming this is primarily a convenience feature for having the camera automatically adjust the focus & depth of focus so that all of your focal points are in focus.

    Please correct me if I'm mistaken on any part of that.
     
  4. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is only one focus point that can be selected at once. I'm sure in the future we may have lenses that are capable of achieving multiple focus, but for now, though a camera will have Multiple SELECTABLE Focus Points, only one acts as the actual focus point.
     

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