Once And For All - All this "Nuts" about Focusing Speed

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,734
not a lot of composition time in action shooting

I agree that a whole lot of the time, the whole notion of focus speed being the most important thing in the world is pretty whacked out. Maybe it's because I still shoot view camera and pinhole camera from time to time. The whole process there is very painstaking and slow. Focus speed issues didn't seem to harm Frank Capa, Ansel Adams, Graciela Iturbide, etc.

However, focus speed does matter in some situations. Try and shoot a herding dog competition from an interesting perspective (meaning down on the ground in the pen) or a frisbee dog competition from that same (on the ground under the leaping dog) perspective and suddenly focus speed matters a whole lot. Or, try to capture nice candids of a room full of 4 year olds who've just been given bubbles or balls to play with. Yeah, you can wait until they're tired and slow down… but those aren't nearly as interesting.

Perhaps its because I still shoot using some of the slowest cameras to operate, that I don't get lathered up about focus speed. Yeah, I do know its slow, and I emphasize that to people who are thinking about buying a camera because they want to photograph things that aren't so easy to shoot with slow AF.

But, I take my DSLR when I know I'm going to shoot difficult situations. BTW, I still lose shots to missed AF, because I put myself in situations (low angles very close up low light) where no AF system in the world will nail all the shots. But it does get more usable shots than I'd get manual focus.

And I use my Fuji or m4/3 cameras when I know that fastest AF doesn't matter, but weight and size does.

I tell people all the time - stop saying your camera's flawed because there are nothing BUT flawed cameras in the world.

Start taking responsibility for your own results, and you'll be surprised how good your camera gets.

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