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Thread: Manual versus AF

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    Manual versus AF

    I have a question about using Manual mode and AF on the camera and the lens itself.
    I would expect the dedicated professionals would go Manual all the way with RAW, but maybe I could be wrong in this assumption.
    Please advise me of the following:

    Do you
    1. Dial M, use M on the camera and M on the lens
    2. Dial M, use M on the camera and AF on the lens
    3. Dial M, use AF on the camera and M on the lens
    4. Dial M, use AF on the camera and AF on the lens
    or some other combination I can't think of at present?

    Regards Kath
    D7000, 18mm to 105mm Nikon lens & 18mm to 250mm Sigma lens.

    To know what you know and to know what you don't know...is to know.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubyKatz View Post
    or some other combination I can't think of at present?
    Yep, quite a few combinations spring to mind but -----

    Dial M is purely for manual exposure and has nothing to do with focus

    Manual on the lens and / or camera is only about focus and has no effect on exposure.

    You can use manual focus with any camera dial setting the same way that you can use autofocus with any camera dial setting. The main reason that they have a separate switch on the body is so that Nikkor "D" lenses which use the focus motor drive that is housed in the camera body can be disconnected.
    Later "G" type lenses are electrically driven by a motor in the lens itself and do not have to be disconnected.
    There are a heap of reasons behind all of that but at this stage you really need to sit down and read the manual to explain it all.

    No, dedicated professionals would not necessarily be photographing in manual everything in raw. The technology of semi auto exposure modes and autofocus are things that they paid good dollars for and they take full advantage of them and quite often ( sport photographers ) will only be using jpeg.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Mf or af really depends on the situation. Mf should only be used when your subject isn't moving anywhere very soon. Like landscapes. Mf can give you sharper contrast than af for those sorts of shots if you're good enough. Af should be used for high speed subjects especially. Sports and bird photographs are examples. Situations where you can't afford time to manually turn the focus ring and really hone in on tje sweet spot because your subject might be gone by then or you miss the perfect shot . Personally I do use manual mode with af sometimes as I need a certain exposure for a shot.
    Last edited by vinhtee; 16-03-2014 at 11:04am.

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    I use Manual on the camera all the time though the only time I use MF is when I am shooting Macro 1.1 or up to 5x magnification or when I have the time and want to get something spot on.

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    #2 for me, Kath, though that Dial M sounds ominous!!!
    This set of Qs could well have been a poll.
    Perhaps you also meant to ask about "gravy"
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I use M on the camera for settings (ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed), but mostly I use AF for focusing. On Nikon's the switch for Focusing is on the front of the camera near the lens release button. It usually has three settings A/M/C. A is the lens will Auto focus, M is you need to do manual focusing, and C is continuous focus, this uses AF but 'tracks' moving targets.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    manually focusing doesn't necessarily give you any image quality advantage over AF .. all it really does is assert that the person controlling the camera is in full control of the point of focus.

    The camera/lens/lighting and so on determine image quality aspects.

    In saying that tho, AF or MF will produce varying degrees of results, but only in that the user(in terms of MF) or the camera electronics(in terms of AF) will be to blame for those varying results.
    The method itself .. ie. manual or auto focusing has no effect of producing different results.

    It's already been said that manual focusing and manually controlling the camera are two entirely separate operating environments.


    FWIW Ruby:

    I think you may not be 100% clear on what those AF/M dials and switches do.

    Using M on the camera(as Andrew has already said, just disconnects the screw drive on cameras that have them!) is basically the same as using M on the lens.

    So, to use M on your camera and use M on your lens is a repeated setting.

    That, is. If you have an AF-S type lens, which all have AF/M switches, and you set your camera's focus switch to M, there is no need to set the lens switch to M .. as it's already in M mode.

    (technically the camera focus switch operates on both the mechanical focus coupling as well as the electronic connection).

    So, with that knowledge .. setting the camera to M and altering the AF switch on the lens .. is a futile exercise. Irrespective of which setting you choose on this lens it will only work in manual focus mode.


    As a side note: did you know about the differing focus modes. The focus switch on your camera, that has two settings AF and M, also has a push button, where you select the focus modes available.

    If you push the button, and rotate either of the control dials, you get various options for focus mode settings.
    Front control dial('aperture' control or sub command) controls how many focus points you want active(ie. 9, 21, 30, Auto, 3D)
    Rear control dial('shutter' or command) controls the focus mode used(AF-C, AF-S, AF-A, AF-F .. or whatever your options are)
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    *wonders if our advice was read or used in any way. Would be good to hear back from the thread starter

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    Excellent advice above. I trust you and others got something out of it.

    For me:

    Wildlife/Dancing/Sport = normally Av mode, Full AF (set internally for backgound and speed of subject etc), centre weighted exposure.

    Landscape = normally using Live View, set camera to single shot, use magnification to zoom in and select focus area (and focus on it), turn off AF on the lens, and shoot. For best results use mirror lock up with either 2sec shutter delay or a remote and RAW or your cameras equiv or course.

    There are a bunch of other things too, but they are the fundamentals.
    Last edited by enduro; 28-03-2014 at 11:25pm.
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    I take bird pics most of the time ,so I use AF, using the AF-ON button on the back of the camera. D300S.

    Ross
    Ross. Nikon D810, Nikon D300s, Nikkor 18-200, , Nikon 105mm Micro lens. Nikon 200-500mm lens

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