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Old 08-18-2012, 12:30 PM   #1
CuriousMike
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Default Using spot focus/metering + continuous AF 99% of the time.

I'm stuck in a pattern for creating a photo: A-mode, spot focus, spot meter, continuous auto-focus. Adjust ISO and aperture as I see fit.

99% of the time, I operate as above.

I went into continuous auto-focus for my boys baseball games, and never switched it out.

Is there a downside (other than battery life) for using it compared to single-autofocus mode?

I tend to care about the spot I'm focusing on being metered correctly, damn the rest of the scene. But that doesn't always seem to produce desirable results.

Also: My Sigma lens seems to be more picky/fickle about spot focusing compared to my Nikon kit lens. I'm wondering if a scene-focus mode (assuming enough DOF) would help it out.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
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I only use continuous for sports. Otherwise you want to be able to focus, then frame the shot. The object at the center of your frame isn't necessarily what you're trying to focus on. Also, it puts more wear on the focusing parts, but I don't know if that matters.

I always use full frame metering except for portraits.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throckmorton View Post
I only use continuous for sports. Otherwise you want to be able to focus, then frame the shot. The object at the center of your frame isn't necessarily what you're trying to focus on. Also, it puts more wear on the focusing parts, but I don't know if that matters.

I always use full frame metering except for portraits.

With spot focusing, I frame the shot, then select the focus spot closest to what I want in focus. Maybe back-asswards.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CuriousMike View Post
With spot focusing, I frame the shot, then select the focus spot closest to what I want in focus. Maybe back-asswards.
That's more work though, and it requires a focus point to be where you need it. Switching focus spots is good though if you're close to the subject and changing the angle of the camera will alter focus
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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I use continuous AF all the time, but it requires re-assigning the focus button to the AF-ON or AF-Lock button, otherwise there's a lot of missed focus shots from having the autofocus and shutter on the same button.

Spot metering is not really ideal for a lot of shots. You want to meter to a neutral area, which is not always the spot you're focusing on, so it can lead to unpredictable exposures. I almost never use spot metering except in a situation where I have a lot of time to fiddle with the camera. Evaluative/matrix metering or center-weighted will get you there most of the time, and with the better sensors + Lightroom/Photoshop these days, brushing in the exposure adjustments in post sometimes works better.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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Depends on the situation. Sometimes it's easier to prefocus and meter in advance so you can let the action come to you.
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