Part 4 Take con­trol of fo­cus

You can con­trol more than your cam­era’s ex­po­sure sys­tem

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So far, we’ve been talk­ing ex­clu­sively about me­ter­ing, but there are other ar­eas where you can take back con­trol from the cam­era. Mod­ern aut­o­fo­cus sys­tems are very so­phis­ti­cated, but there will still be times when AF will strug­gle. It’s dif­fi­cult to achieve fo­cus on a sub­ject when it’s one of sev­eral el­e­ments in a frame that don’t ap­pear on the same plane, for ex­am­ple. Aut­o­fo­cus sys­tems also tend to ‘run off’ (the fo­cus ring spins from side to side) while try­ing to lock on to the sub­ject. Re­duc­ing the amount of fo­cus points be­ing used will help pin-point fo­cus­ing, but if you’re still hav­ing prob­lems, you can dis­able the AF sys­tem and switch to Man­ual to get the sub­ject sharp. As a back­stop, use Live View or fo­cus peak­ing to check you’ve achieved the cor­rect fo­cus. Man­ual fo­cus is a handy over-ride to use if AF has dif­fi­culty track­ing a mov­ing sub­ject, for ex­am­ple a horse vault­ing a jump. So you don’t miss out on get­ting the shot, choose a suit­able aper­ture and shut­ter speed com­bi­na­tion for the ef­fect you want, pre-fo­cus on the jump, and lock the fo­cus.

Type of shot AF will strug­gle to lock fo­cus on a scene like this Set­tings Man­ual Switch to MF mode and do it your­self

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