Forums > Photography Talk > Survey! Who shoots fashion with manual focus?

Photographer

JLA Photography

Posts: 36

Los Angeles, California, US

I'm thinking about trying it....
C'mon guys and girls let me know what works for you when your model is "flow posing"???

I've been using focus/recompose with the top (portrait orientation) focus point..Quick to the eyes and bam! But I want to shoot faster with the model moving without F/R

FYI, I'm usually at f8 1/200 and about 8-10ft away (DOF approx. 1.8 ft in front, 3.8 to the rear)

James

Dec 03 12 10:28 pm Link

Photographer

Vector 38

Posts: 8296

Austin, Texas, US

Dec 03 12 10:32 pm Link

Photographer

Andrew Thomas Evans

Posts: 24078

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

I guess I do since my 80-200 f4 is manual focus only. Although I still use the AF dot to confirm if it's in focus or not, then I double check in the review screen.





Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Dec 03 12 10:34 pm Link

Photographer

Razorlight Photography

Posts: 8

Tahlequah, Oklahoma, US

im sorry, i misunderstood.

Dec 03 12 10:40 pm Link

Photographer

DG at studio47

Posts: 2365

East Ridge, Tennessee, US

Everything in my MM port and in the images linked in FB is manual focus--never used auto. Lots of movement and spray and pray all along the way. Do it.

Dec 03 12 10:45 pm Link

Photographer

shawn is boring

Posts: 1288

Long Beach, California, US

If its a manual focus lens... Otherwise... why? Zero percent chance you will ever be as accurate as your autofocus.

Dec 03 12 11:47 pm Link

Photographer

kevinLi

Posts: 214

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lara Jade does.

Dec 03 12 11:57 pm Link

Photographer

Glenn Liam Kelly

Posts: 42

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

When doing portraits I select the autofocus point with the joystick and place that point on the eye closest and try not to rock back and foward.

Manual focusing on modern cameras is a lot harder than older SLRs. Even then I find it hard to focus with anything shorter than 100mm.

Dec 03 12 11:58 pm Link

Photographer

JLA Photography

Posts: 36

Los Angeles, California, US

Wow thanks for the replies...I'm surprised
So even with a moving model?

So no one out there is using ALL focus points?
With f8 at 8ft 35mm, I think all will be in focus (eyes) even if the cam locks on her torso?
Am I incorrect in thinking this...

I will test soon. But just seeing ahead of time


James

Dec 04 12 12:36 am Link

Photographer

Glenn Liam Kelly

Posts: 42

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

I do a lot more head/ head and shoulder shots than full length so the depth of field tends to be shallower and the facial features more detailed.

Dec 04 12 12:45 am Link

Photographer

Neil Snape

Posts: 9473

Paris, Île-de-France, France

I do when I have to, like when I compose with the model outside the AF points. I bought a 5DMKIII and now will be able to sneak by with less manual focus.

Dec 04 12 12:51 am Link

Photographer

Top Level Studio

Posts: 3253

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I always use autofocus, but don't leave the sensor selection on Auto.  I usually use the centre sensor and recompose, but sometimes select a sensor more toward the right that will line up with the model's eye when she's at the right place in the frame.

That makes for pretty quick work:  line up with the eye, get the beep, shoot!

Using all the focus points slows you down, because you have to wait and see which one the camera picked, decide if it's the one you want, and if it's not, you start over.

Letting the camera choose the focus point is okay for casual outdoor use, but not when you're trying to get good well-focussed shots quickly, with minimal wasted effort.

Dec 04 12 12:58 am Link

Photographer

Marcio Faustino

Posts: 2160

Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

I only have manual cameras and manual lenses. I have nothing automatic.

Dec 04 12 01:02 am Link

Photographer

Top Level Studio

Posts: 3253

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

JLA  Photography wrote:
So no one out there is using ALL focus points?
With f8 at 8ft 35mm, I think all will be in focus (eyes) even if the cam locks on her torso?
Am I incorrect in thinking this...

Yes, you are incorrect.  If you're doing careful work, and have gone to the trouble of bringing in a model, close enough is not good enough.

Left to itself, the camera will often select the part of the model that is closest to it, like her elbow, while her face will be unsharp.  You don't want that.

Dec 04 12 01:07 am Link

Photographer

David Poata

Posts: 421

Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand

Any one here using the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 manual focus lens with a D800 for shooting beauty or fashion? I really love the creamy Zeiss bokeh and smooth focus roll off wide open more than any other lens I've seen.

Do you need a split-prism focusing screen to help with MF or is the focus confirm dot in camera more then efficient?

I'm thinking of biting the bullet and using the Nikkor 85mm f1.4G for those times I really need AF smile

Dec 04 12 01:11 am Link

Photographer

JLA Photography

Posts: 36

Los Angeles, California, US

Thanks for responding Neil.
Love your photos!!

When the llama is moving side to side I've always quickly used the highest focus point on her eye/face, recompose and shoot. But after watching a bunch of Behind the scenes high fashion photo shoots...the shutter is going of every second and there is no recomposing....what gives?

Dec 04 12 01:22 am Link

Photographer

David Poata

Posts: 421

Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand

JLA  Photography wrote:
after watching a bunch of Behind the scenes high fashion photo shoots...the shutter is going of every second and there is no recomposing....what gives?

As long as your subject remains within the defined field of focus and there is no shift your pretty much locked in and can shoot as fast as needed.

Dec 04 12 01:37 am Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5364

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

I used to - when I shot with Nikon F's, F2's, F3's and FM2n's. Sometimes even with an N90s, since I could focus faster manually with some lenses than the camera could autofocus.

Now about the only time I focus manually is with the Micro-Nikkor 70-180mm f/4.5-5.6D, which I use mainly for beauty shots. It's the only lens with which I can focus faster manually than with autofocus.

Dec 04 12 02:12 am Link

Photographer

November Light

Posts: 53

San Francisco, California, US

I sometimes use autofocus to get the focus, then turn off autofocus (leaving focus where it is) for a few shots.  This isn't using the focus ring and viewfinder to focus, so I'm not sure if answer to your question is yes or no.

I do this one of two ways:
1) switch lens from AF to MF after getting focus I want
2) use CF4-1 (on Canon) to do back button focus.

Why?  Because I find it more reliable in many situations than leaving AF on and recomposing.

Dec 04 12 06:34 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12888

Atlanta, Georgia, US

F/8 is still more shallow then I would prefer, I like f/16.  This gives the model room to move around and makes sure the details in the garment (the star of the show) are crisp.

I never saw a reason to manually focus, my camera is far faster then me and the viewfinder just isn't as easy these days like it was with older cameras (esp my 645)

Dec 04 12 06:47 am Link

Photographer

JLA Photography

Posts: 36

Los Angeles, California, US

This is great...lol

ok, How about one focus point and one shot focusing (F/R) VERSUS all focus points with ai servo focusing on any body part the cam chooses?

Same scenario...model moving around non stop jumping etc in studio at f11. Are we still needing to focus recompose?


J

Dec 04 12 12:06 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

I like shooting in manual focus when the situation calls for it. I shot my avatar using manual focus. My camera was on a tripod shooting tethered to a computer. In that situation, the 5dii makes it pretty easy as live view shooting allows you to magnifiy exactly where you want to focus by 10x to really nail critical focus.

If the shooting situation is a bit more fast paced however, and/or the model is moving around a lot, I prefer using auto focus as it's quicker and more accurate.

Dec 04 12 12:14 pm Link

Photographer

Atelier H

Posts: 146

Boston, Massachusetts, US

David Poata wrote:
Any one here using the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm f/2 ZF.2 manual focus lens with a D800 for shooting beauty or fashion? I really love the creamy Zeiss bokeh and smooth focus roll off wide open more than any other lens I've seen.

Do you need a split-prism focusing screen to help with MF or is the focus confirm dot in camera more then efficient?

I'm thinking of biting the bullet and using the Nikkor 85mm f1.4G for those times I really need AF smile

I agree.  The 100 Zeiss makro planar is world class, in league with Leicas, which I also shoot.  But it gets taxing to manual focus at times so I use the 85 1.4 G Nikon more often.  A gorgeous lens as well, although I do prefer the Zeiss look.

Dec 04 12 12:21 pm Link

Photographer

Andrea Acailawen

Posts: 953

Tampa, Florida, US

I exclusively shoot beauty using manual focus. I do a lot of close up work and prefer to selectively focus my shots for precise precise control. It's very much the same for me as when I shoot still life/product work. I'd rather be 100% in control when shooting close up than rely on the camera's AF system and risk potentially not get exactly what I wanted.

For fashion, I shoot using manual focus quite often, as one of my most used lenses is a manual focus 28mm. I also shoot AF lenses in manual focus under certain conditions, though not all the time. It depends on the conditions under which I am shooting. When I do shoot in auto focus, I almost exclusively use a single AF point.

Dec 04 12 02:20 pm Link

Photographer

Vampman Studios

Posts: 362

Chicago, Illinois, US

I only use manual focus on videos. Photos are strictly auto.

Dec 04 12 02:23 pm Link

Photographer

Andrea Acailawen

Posts: 953

Tampa, Florida, US

David Poata wrote:
As long as your subject remains within the defined field of focus and there is no shift your pretty much locked in and can shoot as fast as needed.

+1

Dec 04 12 02:24 pm Link

Photographer

Ally Moy

Posts: 415

New York, New York, US

Just when autofocus doesn't feel like being intuitive and actually slows me down. I don't see any reason to not use AF if you can though.

Dec 04 12 02:26 pm Link

Photographer

BlueMoonPics

Posts: 4527

New York, New York, US

On my last studio shoot I stopped auto focusing.  It was getting too slow for the fast movements I was getting from the model.
I was using my 24-70 at around f8 or f11 and wanted more shooting speed.
I stopped focusing and recomposing, set the focus manually and shot away.  Much quicker.

Dec 04 12 02:30 pm Link

Photographer

Bob Helm Photography

Posts: 18220

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US

I shoot race cars with AF, why not a model.

As Yoda says, feel the Force within you. The Force works quicker and better than we do most of the time.

Dec 04 12 02:32 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12888

Atlanta, Georgia, US

kevinLi wrote:
Lara Jade does.

She also shoots with a English accent, doesn't mean we all should wink

Dec 04 12 02:33 pm Link

Photographer

R Michael Walker

Posts: 11987

Costa Mesa, California, US

AF is the only auto function I use. At my age and with my poor health I can never focus the wides I love manually. MAYBE a 105 or longer but even 20 years ago when I shot for agencies using 35mm the focus was not alway spot on. Seems I could get my MFs focused properly but not 35mm. And that was when my eyes were just starting to give me trouble..oh..and back in the days of film where models and/or their agencies actually paid for test shots. LOL!

Dec 04 12 03:19 pm Link

Photographer

Photos by Lorrin

Posts: 7024

Eugene, Oregon, US

Everyone with Leica M cameras - they do not even have a auto focus mode.

Dec 04 12 05:17 pm Link

Photographer

chasecaleb

Posts: 154

Kansas City, Missouri, US

I use a Canon AE-1P (35 mm SLR) and a Yashica LM (MF/6x6 TLR). Have an older DSLR, but I never use it except for the occasional event that I get dragged into shooting by work or friends. Of those two cameras, neither have AF big_smile

Of course, they were made back in the days of massive, bright viewfinders and lenses with big focus rings. For that matter, my Yashica has a magnifying glass that pops up over the waist-level finder to assist with fine tuning focus. It's amazing how rarely I end up with focus issues if I'm paying even the slightest attention compared to when I shoot digitally though, even shooting wide open.

Dec 04 12 11:43 pm Link

Photographer

terrysphotocountry

Posts: 4272

Rochester, New York, US

Manual, Auto focus with my eye site.

Dec 04 12 11:47 pm Link