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  1. #1
    childers-jk's Avatar
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    Autofocus or Manual Focus

    I promise I will not continue to seek advice for every little issue, but I could really use some feedback on this issue. I have a nice collection of Canon manual focus cameras, AE-1, AE-1 Program, and 2 nice F1ns. I really like these cameras, and I will not part with them. However, I am being asked more frequently to shoot weddings, birthdays, and other events (not family related). So, in order to maintain a balance between film and d*gital, I was looking to acquire some autofocus lenses to compliment my 20D (with a 5D in the works). So here are a couple of questions:

    Should I invest more money in the EF mount lenses or continue to work with my FD lenses?

    For commercial work, do most people use manual or Autofocus?

    Being a film user, would the EF lenses give me more flexibility? Meaning, on a shoot, would it be reasonable to shoot d*gital and the switch to film using say an EOS 1 or Elan 7e?

    I appreciate any comments.

    Thanks,
    Jeff C.
    [COLOR=Cyan]We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
    - Frank Tibolt[/COLOR]

  2. #2
    Markok765's Avatar
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    I use MF for almost everthing. they do give more flexibitity when shooting. i sujject the 50 and the 70-200 2.8 is L
    Marko Kovacevic
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  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Event photography seems like one of the situations where autofocus will often pick the the wrong thing. Of course you can just turn off the autofocus, but manual focus lenses are usually better designed for manual focus than autofocus lenses are.
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  4. #4
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    Event photography seems like one of the situations where autofocus will often pick the the wrong thing. Of course you can just turn off the autofocus, but manual focus lenses are usually better designed for manual focus than autofocus lenses are.
    Having done a lot of event type photography (well, shooting for newspapers) I would disagree and say that having fast focussing lenses (like Canon's USM lenses) is actually a boon. Granted, I only use the center focussing area, focus, lock focus, and then recompose very quickly--I do the same thing when shooting bands.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  5. #5

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    I'm a believer in autofocus. It wasn't that way for many, many years but Canon EOS cameras and EF lenses sold me on autofocus. It probably has to do with aging, slowed reflexes and declining eyesight but an autofocused photo is almost always sharper than a manually focused photo for me.

    I use both rangefinders and SLRs in 35mm and, much like Jeremy, I approach them the same way. Using the center sensor on an Canon is like using the rangefinder spot on a Leica.

    I've never used manual focus Canon equipment--I was a Nikon guy in my manual focus SLR days. But, if you're planning on shooting with both film and computer generated image equipment and they both use the same lenses, it does seem like a way to simplify.

  6. #6
    Markok765's Avatar
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    I like the 600mm f4 is L USM. when used with the 1V it has the worlds fastest AF
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  7. #7
    Peter Black's Avatar
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    Without wishing to duck the issue, I think this becomes quite a personal matter. You're still pretty young Jeff, and your profile pic does not show you wearing glasses, so I'm taking it that eyesight is not an issue. If it was, I might lean more towards AF. Where I think AF can score quite highly is that they are now available as IS (VR for Nikon) and this could be a considerable factor on a dull day, either for handholding at lower speeds or letting you lower the ISO for better quality.

  8. #8

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    It just doesn't matter what others are using, it's all about what you are comfortable using.

    Test an autofocus to learn for yourself.

  9. #9

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    I have EOS cameras, that is autoeverything cameras. I use them in manual focus mode, and manual or aperture priority exposure modes. But, thing is: You CAN turn your EF lenses and EOS camera to full manual mode, but you CAN'T turn your manual AE-1, AE-1 Program, and 2 nice F1ns, to autofocus mode if ever you need it.

    But, then, investing in EOS camera and EF lenses can be noticable more expencive than investing in AE-1 camera and lenses...

  10. #10
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    The main problem with autofocus is the camera's brain decides what to focus on and not you.
    I have been exclusively manual focus for the last four years.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

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