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stevo01
16-12-2010, 11:58
I just saw this article that I thought might be useful to some people on here, I think it provides a great summary of some tips to get tack sharp images. I think most of this stuff has probably been discussed on here before but this article sums it up nicely I think.

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/advanced-tips-for-tack-sharp-images

Since switching to back button focus with AI Servo focus tracking I have never looked back! The only problem lies in handing your camera over to a "layman" to take a photo, but why would you want to hand your camera over to someone else anyway :D

kiwi
16-12-2010, 12:02
yes, tips are valid.

Personally I dont like using the af-on button for focussing, but know many that do

The major cause of non-sharp photos though are still poor handholding technique, stabbing the shutter button like youre hammering in nails and mainly too low a shutter speed for you, your lens or your subject

stevo01
16-12-2010, 12:40
Oh I agree Darren, the points you mentioned are the basics you need to come to grips with first for getting sharp images, but once you have a good handle on the basics then the more advanced techniques described in the article help to get that extra bit of sharpness.

I understand that you don't like the back button focussing personally (and I assume you have tried it), but I think it is something that everyone should at least try out for a while as it removes the coupling between the shutter/exposure and focus, which can be crucial in a lot of situations (as discussed in the article). If you are comfortable with that setup then it can be quite helpful for precise focus control.

kiwi
16-12-2010, 12:59
Steve, using the af-on button over the shutter release button doesnt change/in itself helpwith those situations at all really. It's just a different approach. You can still use the single shutter release/focus button to pick out a subject.

JM Tran
16-12-2010, 13:13
I agree with Kiwi

I find the AF-on mentioning in the article to be irrelevant, hand-holding technique is a lot more crucial and should be the first thing addressed when facing with achieving sharp focusing and sharp photos in general. Older photographers tend to be slightly more shaky and jerky in their shutter action and holding techniques - how the hell would the AF-on stop that?

I also dont use or feel the need to have the AF-on function on my work cameras, and I take photos for clients every week. I follow my old Army teachings of keeping things simple - not just for yourself but for your assistants - in case of an emergency - they may need to grab the camera and snap some shots off, messing around with the AF-on is a guaranteed miss for them - such as at weddings.

Flawed article, shouldnt be about advanced tips, should be titled as focusing common sense:)

stevo01
16-12-2010, 13:14
Steve, using the af-on button over the shutter release button doesnt change/in itself helpwith those situations at all really. It's just a different approach. You can still use the single shutter release/focus button to pick out a subject.

No, but it removes the coupling between exposure and focus, depending on personal setup and shooting mode of course.

I @ M
16-12-2010, 13:28
Keep using the AF on button Steve. :th3:

The article linked is very Canon specific ( probably because Canon cameras don't focus so well :D ) and the comments that follow are quite funny to read with a ton of potentially misleading points. However the biggest laugh to me comes from the fact that the author titled his article " Advanced Tips for Tack Sharp Images " and advocates using the AF on button to achieve those images but then says in the comment section " It’s not that it makes your images sharper, it’s that it makes it easier to keep certain things in focus".

stevo01
16-12-2010, 13:51
Yeah, I do agree, a better title for the article could have been chosen.

Art Vandelay
16-12-2010, 13:54
Using front or back button in itself won't automatically give you sharper images. It's just a different button to get the same result.

I went to back button as I found it more comfortable for tracking BIF as I do a fair bit of that, now it just stays on all the time.

Wayne
16-12-2010, 14:11
I don't use the rear AF button to primarily focus as it won't lock the meter on re-composing so it can change before you take the shot.

I @ M
16-12-2010, 14:22
Wayne, that is why they have the separate exposure lock button beside the AF on button.

Nothing simpler really, focus on the subject, lock the exposure on the subject, recompose and release the shutter.

Art Vandelay
16-12-2010, 14:30
or just dont recompose. just flick the AF point to where you want.

I @ M
16-12-2010, 14:32
or just dont recompose. just flick the AF point to where you want.

unless of course the point you want in focus doesn't lie inside the focus points ------

JM Tran
16-12-2010, 14:34
let me ask the wedding couple to stop midway through their dance or walking down the aisle so I can flick to the correct AF point:)

Art Vandelay
16-12-2010, 14:40
unless of course the point you want in focus doesn't lie inside the focus points ------

yes, agreed. I have a pretty fair spread to toggle around, unsure what Wayne is using.

Art Vandelay
16-12-2010, 14:46
let me ask the wedding couple to stop midway through their dance or walking down the aisle so I can flick to the correct AF point:)

I move mine around with a thumb toggle while tracking birds in flight. Never tried it on a bride, perhaps it doesn't work on them.

I may be different, I've just found with most modern stuff, and the ability to move the point simply, over a good spread, the need to focus and recompose is becoming less.

I @ M
16-12-2010, 14:48
Art, the FX and DX Nikon bodies sharing the same number of focus points unfortunately spread those focus points over the same physical area.
That means that the DX bodies have a pretty fair spread as you said but the FX bodies have a significant amount of "vacant" space around the edges. :(

Art Vandelay
16-12-2010, 14:55
Art, the FX and DX Nikon bodies sharing the same number of focus points unfortunately spread those focus points over the same physical area.
That means that the DX bodies have a pretty fair spread as you said but the FX bodies have a significant amount of "vacant" space around the edges. :(

No worries. , I shouldn't have said anything, :D

Was thinking more along what I do than what others do.

Wayne
16-12-2010, 17:19
Wayne, that is why they have the separate exposure lock button beside the AF on button.

Nothing simpler really, focus on the subject, lock the exposure on the subject, recompose and release the shutter.

Which is what I use :)


or just dont recompose. just flick the AF point to where you want.

And I do that too..

Wayne
16-12-2010, 17:21
yes, agreed. I have a pretty fair spread to toggle around, unsure what Wayne is using.

I have D3 & D700, no shortage of focus points here..

Leanne
17-12-2010, 12:58
I constantly adjust my point of focus when shooting, as I tend to shoot with a shallow depth of field most of the time. Using the AI servo is also great for specific scenarios, but be warned that it drains the batteries much quicker! I only use AI servo as and when required :)