Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

Started Jan 2, 2014 | Questions thread
Rservello Senior Member • Posts: 1,157
Re: Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

TacticDesigns wrote:

Rservello wrote:

hmm. So is it that with numerous AF points the camera takes an average? What is the advantage of having so many AF points? Surely, in the end, the camera only focuses on one part of the field?

I personally always choose a single focus point and recompose. So it could have a million focus points and not matter. For rich point and shooters, additional focus point spread the af across a wider field on the screen. So in the dreaded full auto mode it has more leverage to decide what your subject is. Or in 3d mode it has more room to follow.

I personally use the center point to focus quite a bit. Probably 60% of the time. Then a good dose of single point, but moving it around.

But one thing I shot in the past that I used all the autofocus points was when I was trying to shoot a lot of shots of my daughter's entire cheerleading team during a competition.

The routine is only about 2.5 minutes long.

The girls are running around the stage doing stunts, making pyramids . . .

I couldn't use center point for that, because when they'd make 2 pyramids and I try to get a picture of the whole team, there would be nothing in the middle of the picture for the camera to focus on.

And there was no way I'd keep up trying to manually move the focus point around. I was working full speed just aiming the camera, zooming in and out and switching from landscape to portrait every now and then. LOL.

So with my Nikon D5100 (only 16 focus points or something like that) I turned on all the focus points, locked in the exposure manually (lots of flashing lights that would trick the exposure metering, but since there were floods lights on, I knew what iso, aperture and shutter I wanted to be at.), and just worried about composing the shots, and I let the camera sort out focusing.

And it did so amazingly well.

I probably shot about 30-40 shots @ 4fps. And out of all those shots, only once did it hiccup. I think 3 shots were out of focus. And when it hiccuped, I just kept my finger on the trigger and I could see the camera pulling itself back together. Its one of the many occasions I just looked down at that camera and thought . . . that's just insane! This camera is so amazing! <grin> Especially when you think that most of the time the girls are running in between the "few" 16 autofocus points. So most of the time the focus system doesn't even see the girls, only when they run across one of the focus points!

My daughter only did the one year of cheerleading then decided to return to gymnastics . . . but she joined her school cheerleading team and they are potentially heading down to the nationals for a competition . . .

I've since picked up a D7000 with more focus points (although only 39 versus the latest of 52?), so I'm going to have a chance to see how using the full 39 focus points works in this situation . . .

So . . .

Although I personally use center point more to give me more control over what is in focus, it's really nice to have more focus points available when you can use it.

An excellent use point example.

 Rservello's gear list:Rservello's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II Rokinon 85mm F1.4 +4 more
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