For a modern photographer, it is vital to be able to get fast and accurate autofocus from the camera. In this post I will give my thoughts on how to work with autofocus for simple scenes using the optical viewfinder.
Focusing process different photographers call in different ways: focus, focus, focus, get into sharpness, achieve focus, achieve focus, catch focus. When communicating, I most often use the word ‘to focus, which creates two meanings at once -‘ to focus ’to the camera for optimal sharpness and объект to focus’ to the photographer on the subject.
For each individual camera and lens, you need your own approach and ability to work with them, and this skill comes with experience. Also with experience comes the skill that allows you to get sharp pictures of almost any tasks even with cameras or lenses with slow focusing.
I usually highlight the focus for two types of tasks – complex and simple. I call simple phototasks where objects move slowly enough, or even stand still. These tasks include studio, landscape, portrait photography, partly macro shooting, subject shooting. I call complex photo challenges, where subjects move quickly enough, where you often have to change the composition of the frame, and shooting conditions may not be the most successful. These tasks include sports photography, night shooting, reportage photography, shooting children and animals, and other dynamic scenes.
Depending on the type of shooting, a personal approach is developed. I usually notice that for simple tasks amateur photographers use the following focusing method:
focusing on the center of the subject
frame layout (moving the camera to achieve optimal composition)
shooting (shutter release)
This method is very simple and available on any CZK. For example, we remove some immovable object (in the photo below it is a plant stem with down). Focusing is performed on the central focus point (the stem is in the center of the frame), after which the focus position is locked, and by rotating the camera, the frame is compiled (the stem ‘moves away’ to the right) and the shutter is released.
I focused on the downy stem in the central viewfinder area, then arranged the frame in such a way as to achieve a more interesting composition, where the downy stem is on the third line of the frame.
This is a very simple and good working method. In such a case, the center point (or area) of the focus is used, which is usually best able to determine the correct sharpness of the image. This is due to the fact that usually the center focus points are cross-shaped points (for Canon everything is much more complicated, the information is here), while all the others are of the linear type. Almost all amateur CCP have only one or a few cross-shaped points, which are located in the central area of the optical viewfinder.
The easiest way to use this method of focusing is to shoot in AF-S / One Shot mode (once clicked – once focused). In this mode, after successful focusing, the camera stops the focusing process, after which it is possible to rotate the camera for any composition of the frame and the camera will not continue to focus.
True, this method has a serious drawback. When recomposing a frame, the focus may be lost due to the fact that the camera changes its position relative to the subject being shot. If you even rotate or move the camera a little, the RIP moves along with it, capturing or cutting off parts of the image in the sharpness zone. A better way to understand this image:
Field of focus
Field of focus. When the frame is recompiled, the three-dimensional ‘frame’, which is responsible for the GRIP, also moves. Thus, parts of the image we need can “fall out” from it. The plane of the frame is parallel to the focal plane of the camera (that is, parallel to the matrix of the camera).
Focusing will not fail only when we move the camera strictly in one plane, parallel to the camera matrix, for example – strictly left / right, or up / down. Errors from biasing the RIP during rearrangement are often imperceptible, but using high-aperture long-focus lenses you can really face such a problem at close and medium focus distances. Due to the fact that the error when rearranging the frame is often reduced to zero, this method of focusing is recommended for novice photographers.
Also, photographers of ‘old school’ often use this focusing method, since the first autofocus cameras had only one central focus point and this method just became a habit.
For simple tasks, I use a different focusing method:
pre-focusing on the center point. In this case, I just focus approximately to see what’s going on in the frame.
frame layout. I build a frame composition as