Shooting weddings and AF points?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ecphoto, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. ecphoto
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    ecphoto New Member

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    I'm helping out a family member that's broke by shooting their wedding. I did some after wedding pictures for some friends that were married in vegas a long time ago. Those pictures were okay, they loved them, but I've improved and can do better now lol.

    My question now is, should I rely on a single focus point or multiple and let the camera decide?

    My only reserve about that approach is having it ruin the focus on a great composition or an important moment by picking the wrong focus points. Then again using a single point and recomposing could cost me a valuable shot due to lost time.

    What's your take on this?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  2. cnutco
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    cnutco New Member

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    I use the "single point and recomposing" method and have not missed a shot... I have moved the focus point to the desired spot for special shots, but 99% of time it is set on center and then recompose.
  3. o hey tyler
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    o hey tyler Well-Known Member

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    Back Button Focus + Center Focus Point + Focus and Recomposing = Winning
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  4. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    Single point. If it's a static scene (For instance while they are at the altar, formals) then I'll move the point exactly where I want. If it's a dynamic scene (processional, recessional, reception) then I will often use Tyler's method, but be aware, there are potential problems with focus & recompose.
  5. MReid
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    MReid New Member

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    Depends on how close you are and your depth of field. I normally shoot wide open so .........
    Up close you need to use the correct focus point on the inside of the near eye, out to 8' or so.
    Middle distance focus on the middle of the eyes recompose, 8' to 15' or so.
    Further away middle point upper chest beyond 15' or so.
    Always control your focus point, If I have to shoot fast I put it on the upper chest and shoot.

    For me, inside 15'....I always choose the closest focus point and put it on the eyes....very seldom do I focus recompose, takes too long.
    Outside 15' I choose the focus point based on overall composition, where I want the subject in the scene.
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  6. Mike_E
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    Mike_E Well-Known Member

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    Single point.

    Just remember that keeping the camera vertical is a MUST. The newer cameras with the better multi-point focusing will increase the aperture (ie DoF) to accommodate varied focus points masking camera tilt.
  7. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    You know there are 2 kinds of focus points, right?

    The regular kind of focus point that can detect edge contrast in only one plane, either horizontal, or vertical.

    Cross-type focus points that can detect edge contrast in both horizontal and vertical planes.

    How many of each type, and how they are distributed in the viewfinder, depends on the camera you are using, which you don't mention unless you're using the AE-1 listed in your profile.
  8. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    There is the key point.

    Do you want the camera making decisions, or do you want to be making the decisions?
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  9. ecphoto
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    ecphoto New Member

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    The AE-1 is the 35mm I learned on and it's all manual focus... I'm currently using a 550D.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  10. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    Single center focus point. Sometimes I use other single focus point when I am very close but very rare.
  11. ecphoto
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    ecphoto New Member

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    Do you focus then recompose with the center AF point or compose as desired using the center AF point?
  12. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    yes, focus and recompose.

    Focus and recompose wont work if you are really really close. For example if you shoot a macro shot of the ring and the ring is not in the middle of the frame. And other detail shots.
  13. MTVision
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    MTVision Well-Known Member

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    If you use only the center af point without recomposing then all your subjects will be dead center. If you focus with center af then recompose you can put your subject wherever you want in the frame. I'm not all that familiar with focus and recomposing but I would think it could cause focus issues on e in a while. You can always toggle your focus points as well.
  14. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Depends on the camera one has, and the focusing system, as well as one's familiarity and proficiency with said AF system. At longer distances, focus isn't nearly as critical as it is at close ranges. If you have a color-aware Nikon that can spot human skin tones by its analysis of RGB values and face detection, AF is "one thing"...if you have a color-blind Canon Rebel, it is "another thing entirely". The lens or lenses in use can also play a part.
  15. LRYoung
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    LRYoung New Member

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    Practice practice practice :)There are a few different methods you can use, Focus using the centre point then recompose, shift the in-camera to the focus point using the camera controls, you can even (if you are feeling brave) manual focus. The point is that any of these can work, if you are practiced with the technique and it's limitations. The only way to know which one will work for you is to get your camera, and spend a few hours practicing each technique. Think of it like practicing scales when learning the paino.Then let us know which one you found worked best for you :)

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