Zoner Photo Studio X: The only photo editor you'll ever need - save 25%

Manual vs. Auto focus


12 Jul 2015 6:22PM
With my EM-1 I can use magnify, peaking, or both to assist manual focus, but I wonder if many people use this or if they find autofocus just as good? When do you use one or the other?
12 Jul 2015 6:29PM
When you want the fastest possible frame rate or shortest shutter lag, then manual focus is the best way to achieve this. No difference to the way we pre-focused with film cameras.

I also use old OM Long Tele Lenses and the "Mag & Peak" facility is very useful.

Being able to watch the focal plane move back and forth is a huge advantage and gives an idea of the DoF as well.
mikehit 12 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2015 8:48PM
I have recently found the delights of peaking and think it is a fantastic aid to effective manual focus.



Quote:When you want the fastest possible frame rate or shortest shutter lag, then manual focus is the best

Can you expand on that. What if the subject is moving?

I find the E-M series auto focusing to be highly accurate.
Paul Morgan 20 19.5k 6 England
12 Jul 2015 8:52PM
I find peaking good for static subjects like macro and pretty useless for most other uses.
Carabosse 18 41.8k 270 England
12 Jul 2015 8:52PM
When focusing is critical, I am tending to use MF with focus peaking. It's good to see exactly what is in focus.

But most of the time it's AF.
DaveRyder Plus
7 5.8k 13 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2015 9:58PM
MF with a decent f stop to give some depth of field.
Served since my Zenith E

Having said that i always have settings to auto i and AF when turned off.
On and ready if needed quickly.
12 Jul 2015 11:05PM
Use manual focus only when autofocus fails to catch on the subject (focuses on contrasty background, etc). Otherwise the difference is not worth extra fiddling.
User_Removed 6 1.0k United Kingdom
13 Jul 2015 8:26AM

Quote:Use manual focus only when autofocus fails to catch on the subject (focuses on contrasty background, etc). Otherwise the difference is not worth extra fiddling.


Er.............. sorry, wrong

I shoot sports and pre focus a lot of the time using dof to get just what I want when I want it, manual focussing is as important as af it is another thing that is not taught these days

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2014/05/21/pre-focus-vs-tracking-how-to-use-each-technique/
lemmy 14 2.9k United Kingdom
13 Jul 2015 11:01AM

Quote:I find peaking good for static subjects like macro and pretty useless for most other uses
It's great for manual focus video of bands in very low light.
13 Jul 2015 2:16PM

Quote:
Quote:Use manual focus only when autofocus fails to catch on the subject (focuses on contrasty background, etc). Otherwise the difference is not worth extra fiddling.


Er.............. sorry, wrong

I shoot sports and pre focus a lot of the time ...



Not a bad point on use of manual focus as a special technique when autofocus is ineffective. It did not come to my mind at the time of writing the comment and I do not see any contradiction - it just reinforces my point on manual focus use when autofocus is likely to fail.
User_Removed 6 1.0k United Kingdom
13 Jul 2015 2:30PM

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:Use manual focus only when autofocus fails to catch on the subject (focuses on contrasty background, etc). Otherwise the difference is not worth extra fiddling.


Er.............. sorry, wrong

I shoot sports and pre focus a lot of the time ...



Not a bad point on use of manual focus as a special technique when autofocus is ineffective. It did not come to my mind at the time of writing the comment and I do not see any contradiction - it just reinforces my point on manual focus use when autofocus is likely to fail.



+1 Smile
13 Jul 2015 3:46PM
Thank you very much for your comments. Really helpful. Think I'll stop using time and battery for manual focus when not needed. Yes, I CAN trust my AF, hooray!
peterjones 19 5.2k 1 United Kingdom
14 Jul 2015 3:42PM
In the final analysis the most important part of the photographic process is your image and how you arrive there is entirely up to you; some swear by M/F others by A/F in the end both camps are right and wrong; personal preference will out; I usually use A/F as the camera is less likely to make mistakes that I am; after all it isn't human only a dumb instrument, sometime I impose myself on the infernal machine and prefer M/F particularly in the fields of close up and low light; however I do tell the camera even with A/F where it should autofocus ... so mebbe I am manually auto focusing? ...... Grin
Carabosse 18 41.8k 270 England
14 Jul 2015 4:13PM
I sometimes use AF then immediately switch to MF for fine adjustment. Usually only when shooting small objects at close range.
lemmy 14 2.9k United Kingdom
14 Jul 2015 4:42PM

Quote:I sometimes use AF then immediately switch to MF for fine adjustment
On Olympus lenses, just pull back on the focus ring to switch from AF to MF. On Panasonic, set the system to autofocus with half press release. Then if you wish to fine adjust, just half press and turn the focus ring.

On MFT, you are unlikely to improve on the auto-focus though, since it is focusing directly from the sensor and thus cannot be inaccurate.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.