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.
Wed 01-Aug-12 08:06 AM | edited Wed 01-Aug-12 08:06 AM by RLDubbya
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.
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.
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.
Thu 02-Aug-12 03:07 AM | edited Thu 02-Aug-12 03:16 AM by ShrimpBoy
>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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.