Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

Started Dec 21, 2013 | Discussions
deednets Veteran Member • Posts: 7,243
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

AustinB wrote:

Or do you prefer to set your focus points manually? I don't do much still life, and shoot lots of candid people shots. I'm finding the X-E1 EVF is lagging a little, and changing focus points is not as efficient as it was on past cameras I've had. For that reason I tend to prefer F/R, despite the issues it can present in any camera.

FWIW, I know the arguments against the technique with particular regards to DOF and focus accuracy. Just wondering what people's experiences and preferences are here?

Like sal & fred, F/R unless I have longer periods where the focus point is in a particular position.

Deed

Chris Dodkin
Chris Dodkin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,342
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?
3

I prefer to use move the AF point over the subject where ever possible

Focus recompose just adds another point where errors can creep in - especially when shooting f/1.4 at close range.

You can go from pin sharp to OOF with focus recompose in that scenario - and then miss that shot.

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Gunston Gun
Gunston Gun Regular Member • Posts: 352
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

X cameras = Xmas cameras right?

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nixda Veteran Member • Posts: 5,515
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

AustinB wrote:

I don't think so, very difficult to get shallow depth of field on a Canon G9, and I shot most of my stuff at 5.6 and around 35-55mm. In any case, I'm glad it seems to work on the X-E1.

There must have been something wrong. At an aperture of 5.6, the depth of field is so huge once your subject is beyond the hyperfocal distance (which is rather close for this camera) that it is hard to get out of focus when doing F/R. I used to have a G10 for years and didn't observe anything like that. If anything, the X-E1 will be quite a bit more challenging, because you have access to much shallower depths of field. 5.6 on the G10 is equivalent to about 17 on the X-E1.

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boinkphoto
boinkphoto Contributing Member • Posts: 989
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

Me.

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BurpeesAreHard Contributing Member • Posts: 701
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

There are two things you're going to want to lock eventually: focus and exposure. On X cameras with leaf shutters you have greater latitude with locking exposure and recomposing, so you can recompose not once but twice if you want to.

Let's say you're in a classic situation of having a subject inside a room near a window. Set your AFL/AEL button to lock exposure only, while pressing. Set photometry to spot. Enable your EF-42 flash. Point the camera out the window to get the correct exposure out there in the sunshine. Hold that AFL/AEL button down. Recompose on your subject. Half-press so your subject is now in focus. Recompose yet again so you're in strict compliance with the rule of thirds (kidding) but keep the camera pointed at something inside still, so the TTL flash metering will be correct when that shutter opens. Now full press and take the shot.

DrBulb
DrBulb Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

Focus and recompose all the time.

I have tried fiddling with things with moving focus points around but not happy - seems too unnatural.

I still share shoots with my S5Pro so the technique is normal for me.

Clive

57LowRider Senior Member • Posts: 3,887
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

Chris Dodkin wrote:

I prefer to use move the AF point over the subject where ever possible

Focus recompose just adds another point where errors can creep in - especially when shooting f/1.4 at close range.

You can go from pin sharp to OOF with focus recompose in that scenario - and then miss that shot.

Exactly my thoughts, and believe me, I've been through the focus - recompose - blur scenario. With a legacy telephoto, not a problem; with the 23 at f1.4 and subject at 3 feet, shift AF point every time.

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Birddogman
Birddogman Veteran Member • Posts: 3,182
I do

The subjects I like to photograph are rarely in one place for more than a few seconds. As far as I can recall, I've used this method with the XP-1 and every other autofocus camera I've used to the point that it is an unconscious action like shifting gears in a car with a manual transmission.  It is the quickest and least disruptive way of both quickly acquiring focus on the principal subject and getting good composition that I know.

Nearly all of the "action" shots I shoot with the Fuji are shot with small apertures to help counter the slow focus tracing of the camera.  That also has the side benefit of giving quite a lot of leeway for the focus/recompose process, thereby off-setting most human error.

On set-piece type shots, like landscapes, there is plenty of time to use other methods of obtaining both focus and pleasing composition, but with something like a dog retrieving a pheasant, there is no time at all.

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artemesia66 Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

I do. Depends on the situation. Street photography, or moving children or pets, where getting the shot is more important than critically sharp focus, set a deeper DOF, and F/R. For situations where you have more time, need critically sharp focus, or are working with a shallower DOF, then move the focus point for sure. Same answer when shooting with my D800 BTW.

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mr moonlight Senior Member • Posts: 1,789
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

nixda wrote:

AustinB wrote:

Spud0 wrote:

I just got an x-e1 and its my first camera other than my phone.

I'm just shifting the focus to my subject once I compose, but i find it a bit clunky for sure. Can you explain what the focus+recompose method is?

Hi Spud, simply focus on the desired target with a half press of the shutter, keep the half press while you reposition your subject in the frame, and then complete the deed by fully pressing the shutter. FYI, the technique can be faulty if you are working with a shallow DOF, or with wide lenses, to my knowledge. But I'm shooting with the 35 1.4. Oh...And if you have the time or are shooting still life/portraits, always set the focus point manually.

I'm finding that the X-E1 does F/R really well, experimenting around the house today. Other cameras I've used tend to lose the initial focus point, while the X-E1 seems to keep it sharp in the frame. This is a relief after shooting in a crowd today and fumbling the focus point around while losing shots.

I don't understand why it should be different for different cameras/lenses. How can the focus point be lost? The shift in the focus plane upon F/R is dictated by basic laws of geometry that surely don'y differ from camera to camera.

It will differ from camera to camera based on sensor/frame size. The smaller the sensor, the larger the DOF, thus the more you can move your camera before your subject is OOF while using the same aperture as a larger sensor camera. As for lenses, the wider your lens the more you can move it off center.

nixda Veteran Member • Posts: 5,515
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

mr moonlight wrote:

nixda wrote:

AustinB wrote:

Spud0 wrote:

I just got an x-e1 and its my first camera other than my phone.

I'm just shifting the focus to my subject once I compose, but i find it a bit clunky for sure. Can you explain what the focus+recompose method is?

Hi Spud, simply focus on the desired target with a half press of the shutter, keep the half press while you reposition your subject in the frame, and then complete the deed by fully pressing the shutter. FYI, the technique can be faulty if you are working with a shallow DOF, or with wide lenses, to my knowledge. But I'm shooting with the 35 1.4. Oh...And if you have the time or are shooting still life/portraits, always set the focus point manually.

I'm finding that the X-E1 does F/R really well, experimenting around the house today. Other cameras I've used tend to lose the initial focus point, while the X-E1 seems to keep it sharp in the frame. This is a relief after shooting in a crowd today and fumbling the focus point around while losing shots.

I don't understand why it should be different for different cameras/lenses. How can the focus point be lost? The shift in the focus plane upon F/R is dictated by basic laws of geometry that surely don'y differ from camera to camera.

It will differ from camera to camera based on sensor/frame size. The smaller the sensor, the larger the DOF, thus the more you can move your camera before your subject is OOF while using the same aperture as a larger sensor camera. As for lenses, the wider your lens the more you can move it off center.

I fully understand the DoF, shifting focal plane and crop factor issues. But the OP is giving me the impression that the cameras behave differently, even for equivalent settings. Besides, the G9 should have much fewer problems with 'losing' focus than the X-E1, because DoF is usually much larger on the G9, not the other way around.

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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,321
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

I use F/R almost all the time. I rarely miss focus due to F/R. I do miss focus occasionally due to operator error. I also occasionally missed focus with my Zeiss Ikon M range finder as well.

However like all techniques there are times when F/R is inappropriate. Unlike a mechanical, optical rangefinder, The Fuji's (and hundreds of other cameras) let you choose the most appropriate focusing technique for the task at hand.

Jonavin
Jonavin Regular Member • Posts: 438
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

I used to always focus and recompose but since I started to use the X system, I mostly pick a AF point. I've done it often enough that I've developed "muscle memory" for this and I do it without thinking. I still use f/r when I want a quick focus on a low contrast area but a higher contrast area at the same distance is available; or moving objects that don't change distance relative to me.

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bowportes Veteran Member • Posts: 3,307
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

nixda wrote:

AustinB wrote:

Or do you prefer to set your focus points manually? I don't do much still life, and shoot lots of candid people shots. I'm finding the X-E1 EVF is lagging a little, and changing focus points is not as efficient as it was on past cameras I've had. For that reason I tend to prefer F/R, despite the issues it can present in any camera.

FWIW, I know the arguments against the technique with particular regards to DOF and focus accuracy. Just wondering what people's experiences and preferences are here?

I do use F/R sometimes, but only when there is no danger of the shifting focus plane affecting the image. For precise work I set the focus point explicitly. Also, for tripod shooting.

Regarding efficiency of setting the focus point, I cannot really see how it can be much more efficiently implemented than it currently is, except perhaps for having keys to move the box diagonally in addition to horizontally and vertically. What did you have in mind?

Try a Panasonic or Oly m4/3s camera that selects multiple focus points and then computes some kind of average... All instantaneously. Why does Fuji limit itself to a single focus point?

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Limburger
Limburger Veteran Member • Posts: 7,812
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

I move the AF point on X100 and my 7D. When shooting open aperture FR is prone to error.

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Cheers Mike

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opticaloptimum Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

I have found with my X100s that when using a wide aperture and the subject is fairly close (for example a portrait with the person a couple of meters or so away) it is necessary to select the focus point. Otherwise, the change in perpendicular distance that happens when re-composing is enough to throw the subject out of focus; the depth of field can be quite shallow in these circumstances.

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nixda Veteran Member • Posts: 5,515
Re: Who Here Uses Focus/Recompose with X Cameras?

bowportes wrote:

nixda wrote:

AustinB wrote:

Or do you prefer to set your focus points manually? I don't do much still life, and shoot lots of candid people shots. I'm finding the X-E1 EVF is lagging a little, and changing focus points is not as efficient as it was on past cameras I've had. For that reason I tend to prefer F/R, despite the issues it can present in any camera.

FWIW, I know the arguments against the technique with particular regards to DOF and focus accuracy. Just wondering what people's experiences and preferences are here?

I do use F/R sometimes, but only when there is no danger of the shifting focus plane affecting the image. For precise work I set the focus point explicitly. Also, for tripod shooting.

Regarding efficiency of setting the focus point, I cannot really see how it can be much more efficiently implemented than it currently is, except perhaps for having keys to move the box diagonally in addition to horizontally and vertically. What did you have in mind?

Try a Panasonic or Oly m4/3s camera that selects multiple focus points and then computes some kind of average... All instantaneously. Why does Fuji limit itself to a single focus point?

So that they can put it into the X-E4.

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