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Subject: "Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?" Previous topic | Next topic
Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Tue 31-Jul-12 11:48 PM
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"Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"


Los Angeles, US
          

That little 2 position lever on the back of the camera is gathering dust. I wondered what it was, now that I've invested a few days reading and studying about auto focus.

Do real people actually spend time maneuvering the Multi Selector around to chase focus points and then lock them in?

It would seem good for tree sloths and other slow moving targets only. Why did Nikon invest the valuable real estate on the camera for this? A 2nd Fn button would seem much more useful.

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
Patrick604
01st Aug 2012
1
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
mklass Platinum Member
01st Aug 2012
2
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
RLDubbya Silver Member
01st Aug 2012
3
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
mklass Platinum Member
01st Aug 2012
4
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
JosephK Silver Member
01st Aug 2012
5
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
The Warrior
01st Aug 2012
6
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
blw Moderator
01st Aug 2012
7
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
Bravozulu Silver Member
01st Aug 2012
8
     Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
ShrimpBoy Silver Member
02nd Aug 2012
9
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
gbowen Gold Member
02nd Aug 2012
10
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
Davidpeter1 Silver Member
02nd Aug 2012
11
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
DerekTV85
02nd Aug 2012
12
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
MotoMannequin Moderator
08th Aug 2012
13
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
pencho
09th Aug 2012
14
Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
ShrimpBoy Silver Member
10th Aug 2012
15
     Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
pencho
11th Aug 2012
16
          Reply message RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?
Bravozulu Silver Member
11th Aug 2012
17

Patrick604 Registered since 24th Jun 2012Wed 01-Aug-12 02:31 AM
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#1. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

It is essential for any situation where focus is critical. It is especially useful when the camera is on a tripod and you have your framing and everything set. If you are allowing the camera to select the focus point, you are giving up control. It might be useful when tracking a moving object, but I find for stationary subjects, the camera never focuses on what I want. YMMV depending on the type of photography you are engaged in.

  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Wed 01-Aug-12 03:13 AM
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#2. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 1


Tacoma, US
          

I use the selector to focus a lot. Probably 90+% of the time. The only time I use the lock is when I accidentally move the lever.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Wed 01-Aug-12 10:06 AM
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#3. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 01-Aug-12 10:06 AM by RLDubbya

US
          

I use it quite a bit; not for every shot, to be sure, but I'd that during 70-80% of my shooting sessions, I'll use it for at least a couple shots. I find it useful when I have control the focus point, particularly in AF-S mode or single point AF-C mode. My subject might not quite be centered in a conventional portrait shot; in other cases, I might have to move the focus point to the far side of the field to get the effect I want.

FYI, I keep "wrap around" turned on - makes it much quicker to navigate around, I've found.

Does this make me artificial? (j/k)



  

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Wed 01-Aug-12 12:07 PM
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#4. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 3


Tacoma, US
          

Aside from focus, it is also very useful if you want to use spot metering. The focal point and the metering point are tied together.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Wed 01-Aug-12 03:32 PM
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#5. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, WA, US
          

Focus point selection is very important. I use the multi-selector as needed since I never let the camera pick the focus point.

I have never used the lock switch.

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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The Warrior Registered since 26th May 2012Wed 01-Aug-12 08:38 PM
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#6. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0


Oil City, US
          

I move the focus point often. Most of my shooting is landscape and I apply the rule of thirds to most of these shots. It is very important that the main subject which falls on one of the quadrant lines has the focus point on it rather than the center of the shot. It is also useful when shooting sunsets, when the horizon is one third up from the bottom of the shot to move the focus point down to the horizon.

Warrior

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 01-Aug-12 09:29 PM
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#7. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

I use it on most shots, for either focus or spot metering.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Wed 01-Aug-12 10:45 PM
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#8. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 7
Wed 01-Aug-12 10:48 PM by Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
          

This information was very instructive. I guess I have grown suspicious of features on the D7000 which seem dumbed-down on only casual examination. Much like the Scene modes.

As a recycled film shooter, parameters in DSLR that fall outside the old parameters of ISO, F-stop, Shutter can be perceived as 'digital poppycock'. In other words, fanciful. As I'm learning, many of these operational inputs on the camera are well thought out and truly useful.

So, I'll guess I start using focus point selection, and that it will become second nature pretty quick. Thanks again.

from Santa Monica.

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ShrimpBoy Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Thu 02-Aug-12 05:07 AM
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#9. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 8
Thu 02-Aug-12 05:16 AM by ShrimpBoy

Brighton and Hove, GB
          

>So, I'll guess I start using focus point selection, and that
>it will become second nature pretty quick.

I had my old D70 for a long while before I got into the habit of shifting the focus point around. What a difference! Suddenly the camera is focusing where you want without drastic recomposing. This must be a feature of film cameras with similarly competent AF systems though, not just a digital thing.

As Mick suggested, the AF point also controls metering. And not only in spot mode, I understand the matrix meter biases its reading according to what's under the focus point. If you use an auto-exposure mode and you focus and recompose, the camera keeps metering until you make the exposure at which time the thing you focused on is not under the AF point and therefore the metering bias is set by something else.

The AF lock lever is a useless control for me. I haven't used it on any of the bodies I've owned.

Gary
"Yea, Sussex by the sea!" - Rudyard Kipling

  

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gbowen Gold Member Nikonian since 31st Mar 2011Thu 02-Aug-12 02:26 PM
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#10. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0


Canton, US
          

I usually just move it when I accidently move it off center. I rely more on AF-ON, which I have set the AEL/AFL button to. Better known as back button focus. I find it very easy to focus on what I want, and then recompose, keeping my finger off the button and just use the shutter release to take the shot.

I shoot in either matrix, or centerweighted 99% of the time. Never tried spot. No clue how to use it at this point.

George

  

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Davidpeter1 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Mar 2004Thu 02-Aug-12 05:58 PM
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#11. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0


Cardiff, GB
          

I use the selector all the time, changing the focal point from one shot to the next.
I only use the locking lever when handing the camera to someone else, usually picking the centre spot first, and then have to tell the shooter that whatever is in the middle of the frame will be in focus. I did this a lot on hols recently when we wanted our pic taken together. Just letting the camera choose it's own points generally ends in out of focus pics, especially in less than bright light, on my camera anyway.

David.

Cardiff,Britain.

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DerekTV85 Registered since 12th Feb 2012Thu 02-Aug-12 09:53 PM
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#12. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 11


Salt Lake City, US
          

As i almost exclusively use Single focus point the selector is a must, i use it all the time when my subject isn't in the middle. I also use AF/AE lock button and use my center sensor too for difficult lighting or exp control in difficult light.

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Wed 08-Aug-12 10:37 PM
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#13. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0


Livermore, CA, US
          

For those who are left-eyed I guess your nose hits the multi-selector and the lock works wonders. Personally I use the selector to move the AF point all the time, but the lock only ever gets set by accident.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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pencho Registered since 19th Jun 2012Thu 09-Aug-12 09:56 PM
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#14. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 0


Roswell, US
          

I usually leave mine locked. I focus with AF-ON on the back AE-lock button. I lock exposure when I press the shutter half way (set in the custom menu). If I am outside I will meter off the sky, press my shutter halfway to lock exposure, then point to my focus point and hit the back button, recompose and press the shutter all the way. Might sound like a lot of steps but I find it works well.

John

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ShrimpBoy Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Fri 10-Aug-12 02:12 AM
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#15. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 14


Brighton and Hove, GB
          

John, the lock lever doesn't lock focus, it just prevents you from changing the current AF point with the multi-selector.

Gary
"Yea, Sussex by the sea!" - Rudyard Kipling

  

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pencho Registered since 19th Jun 2012Sat 11-Aug-12 11:27 AM
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#16. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 15


Roswell, US
          

Hi Gary, yes I understand it prevents you from moving the focus selector. I was saying I leave mine locked, thus preventing me from accidentally moving the focus point since I am a focus and re-frame shooter.

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Sat 11-Aug-12 11:46 PM
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#17. "RE: Use of Focus Selector-- Popular or not?"
In response to Reply # 16


Los Angeles, US
          

I'm glad to hear all these comments. In your responses I see that I not only don't know the camera features, but I didn't state my question fully.

I just returned from the camera store where I played around with two lenses — the older model 80-200 f2.8, and the newish 12-24mm wide angle. Especially with the wide angle, it sure helped understanding choosing the focus point and then locking that point in.

Gee, and I thought the lever froze the focus! Live and learn, as they saw. Thanks for all your help.

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