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NPhoto - - Special Feature -


M/A-M vs A-M

Nikon lenses have a switch for switch­ing be­tween AF and man­ual fo­cus, but on some it’s an M/A-M rather than A-M switch. Th­ese of­fer man­ual fo­cus over­ride in aut­o­fo­cus mode – you can half-press the shut­ter but­ton to aut­o­fo­cus, then turn the fo­cus ring man­u­ally.


Lock the fo­cus

Some­times you want the ac­cu­racy of aut­o­fo­cus, but the re­peata­bil­ity of man­ual fo­cus, such as when you’re shoot­ing a land­scape. Leave the lens set to aut­o­fo­cus to get the ini­tial fo­cus, then slide the switch on the lens to the M po­si­tion and the fo­cus will stay the same.


Max­imise depth of field

Aut­o­fo­cus sys­tems are de­signed to fo­cus on a sin­gle plane. If you are go­ing for max­i­mum depth of field, you may need to fo­cus mid-way be­tween two ob­jects, not on one or the other. Use sin­gle-point AF and pick a mid-point to fo­cus on, or switch to man­ual fo­cus.


In­fin­ity… and beyond

It can be hard to fo­cus in near dark­ness. An old trick is to fo­cus man­u­ally and then turn the fo­cus ring un­til it stops, as­sum­ing that’s ‘in­fin­ity’ fo­cus. This doesn’t work with mod­ern lenses, which have ex­tra travel. In­fin­ity will be slightly be­fore the ring stops turn­ing.


Fo­cus in Live View

Man­ual fo­cus may have been ac­cu­rate with film SLRs, which had big viewfind­ers, but it’s not so easy with the smaller fo­cus­ing screen in a mod­ern Nikon D-SLR. How­ever, if you switch to Live View and zoom in, you can judge man­ual fo­cus with pin-sharp ac­cu­racy.


Con­firm fo­cus

You can also use the elec­tronic rangefinder op­tion to con­firm fo­cus if you’re hav­ing prob­lems with fo­cus­ing. While the viewfinder dis­play is ac­tive, look for the green AF con­fir­ma­tion lamp in the bot­tom-left cor­ner of the viewfinder as you turn the fo­cus ring on the lens.

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