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  • Difference between shooting in AF or MF??

    Hi everyone, I'm a new Canon Rebel Xsi user and am trying like everyone else, to teach myself. Tired of the point and shoot cameras.

    One question I have is: I am shooting with a 50mm 1.8 canon lens. Can someone explain to me the difference of shooting with the the lens in AF vs. MF? Again, being NEW, and wanting to learn to shoot in manual, I guess I figured I need to have my lens on the MF setting. I'm sure I'm so wrong here, but if someone doesn't mind explaining it to me and how and why I'd use each one, please feel free. (That is, after you stop laughing at my question.)

    Thanks: Kim
    Kim


    Canon Xsi: Canon 50mm 1.8

  • #2
    Originally posted by trvl_girl View Post
    Hi everyone, I'm a new Canon Rebel Xsi user and am trying like everyone else, to teach myself. Tired of the point and shoot cameras.

    One question I have is: I am shooting with a 50mm 1.8 canon lens. Can someone explain to me the difference of shooting with the the lens in AF vs. MF? Again, being NEW, and wanting to learn to shoot in manual, I guess I figured I need to have my lens on the MF setting. I'm sure I'm so wrong here, but if someone doesn't mind explaining it to me and how and why I'd use each one, please feel free. (That is, after you stop laughing at my question.)

    Thanks: Kim
    Personally, I shoot mostly (99%) in auto focus mode. It's not only faster, but lends itself much better to moving targets, like kids or pets. The only time you may want to switch to manual is when the camera is struggling to focus in auto focus mode. Very low light might be those times, or when the camera cannot find a specific thing to focus on. More often than not, the camera will focus fine...just be aware of what it's focusing on. If you're shooting in the full auto mode (green box) make sure one of the focus points is on the subject, particularly the eyes in portrait work. If you shoot in one of the creative modes as in aperture, shutter, program, or manual modes you can dial in the focus point to where you want it. This way you have pretty good assurance that your subject will be in focus, and not your neighbor's car in the background. Many people will also use the center focus point only while holding the shutter half way down, recomposing the shot in the view finder, and then completing the shot by pressing the shutter the rest of the way. However, I prefer the former method of dialing in the focus point, but that'll be your choice. Hope this helps

    Vinnie
    Vince "...the law of unintended consequences, sometimes, you get a truly memorable photograph"
    Gear: Canon G2, Canon 20D, Nikon D300...bunch of lenses
    My Flickr
    www.montalbanophotography.com

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    • #3
      Hi, Welcome...

      Let's start with this... MANUAL mode on your camera, and MANUAL FOCUS mode on your lens - they're two different things.

      Now, I think rather than throw you right into MANUAL mode, unless that's really what you want - and you certainly don't get looked down on for trying auto mode in this here forum... I'd start with the P mode on your camera and the AF mode on your lens.

      That means that you still have control over what your camera does, but that your lens automatically focuses on stuff - you don't have to worry about manually focusing and setting the camera settings...

      Does that make a little more sense?

      Sime
      www | twitter | facebook

      If you're looking for customer service, please use this link, thank you!

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      • #4
        Wouldn't shooting in P mode be kind of cheating? I want to learn to shoot in manual and am having a tough time, making my head understand aperture, shutter speed and ISO all at the same time.

        Maybe I should try the AV mode, because the toughest thing I have issues with is the shutter speed.

        But, if I do that, will that hamper my learning of how to shoot fully in manual?

        I'm new with a ton of questions and if you don't mind me asking....

        Thanks tons: Kim
        Kim


        Canon Xsi: Canon 50mm 1.8

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        • #5
          Originally posted by trvl_girl View Post
          Wouldn't shooting in P mode be kind of cheating? I want to learn to shoot in manual and am having a tough time, making my head understand aperture, shutter speed and ISO all at the same time.

          Maybe I should try the AV mode, because the toughest thing I have issues with is the shutter speed.

          But, if I do that, will that hamper my learning of how to shoot fully in manual?

          I'm new with a ton of questions and if you don't mind me asking....

          Thanks tons: Kim
          Kim, let's start slowly...learn some of the basics first. Before you jump into manual mode learn the camera...get comfortable with it. "P" or program mode gives you some control over the camera's fully auto mode (green box mode) In P mode, you can make changes to your ISO, your exposure values (EV) your exposure modes, and how and where the camera focuses, etc. Next, play with aperture mode, and remember, as you make changes to the aperture setting the camera will automatically be making adjustments to your shutter speed. Try shutter priority mode..once again, changes to the shutter speed will also make the camera make changes to your aperture. You might say all of these modes are semi-automatic...you change one thing and the camera changes the rest. Once you learn how, and when to deal with these modes, then it might be time to go full manual...Lastly READ YOUR MANUAL, and then read it again so that you'll get a better understanding of all the features on your camera.

          Vinnie
          Vince "...the law of unintended consequences, sometimes, you get a truly memorable photograph"
          Gear: Canon G2, Canon 20D, Nikon D300...bunch of lenses
          My Flickr
          www.montalbanophotography.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Okay, I get your point. I really want to try to learn in Manual, as I think doing a program mode will be a handicap to me. (I'm anal and want to learn from scratch, not have the camera do the work for me)

            BUT, I think I will try the AV mode for the week, as it sets the shutter speed for me and that's what I am having issues with.

            If anyone wants to be my tutor, pipe up. I'm ready to learn, grasp things rather easily and can be pretty funny at times too!

            My main reason for wanting to learn is so I can capture amazing moments in life with my children and capture their story forever.

            Thanks for all your help so far. I appreciate it
            Kim


            Canon Xsi: Canon 50mm 1.8

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            • #7
              I think using P, Av, and Tv and paying attention to what happens to the other setting when you change either the shutter speed or aperture would go a long way in learning how those relate to each other. There's cold, undeniable logic in how they operate together. Starting off with M will just lead to a long period of trial and error, IMO.

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              • #8
                The people posting in this topic are trying to help not hinder you and I believe they are right in what they say, from my own experience Manual is a lot to take in a solid understanding of AV TV and P modes will help no end so when you come to manual and you need depth of field you know how the shutter speeds will change with the aperture and the reverse when you need shutter speed.

                And there have been many a shot I have made hard and longer for my self trying to do it in manual mode when P would of gotten quicker and the same results... and in the end more shots from my time.

                If you do go ahead to full manual I will say one thing learn your metering modes and how your light meter work as this will help you with exposing difficult scenes.
                You cant fool all of the people all of the time, some of the time all of the people will some of time but not all of the time as some of the time all of the people will some of the time but all of the people will not all of the time !!

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                • #9
                  I shoot in manual mode (taking control over ISO, aperture and shutter speed) with manual focus on my lens 99% of the time. However, I spent the first few months of my time with a DSLR using other modes on the camera and autofocus on the lens.

                  When I felt fairly competent at using the other modes, I then set up a static scene at home and took a series of photographs using manual mode and experimenting with the different combinations that would give a decent exposure. After that I began to use manual mode more, accelerated by getting my wonderful 50mm lens (which doesn't work with auto-anything).

                  Don't feel that you're behind the curve if you are still shooting in aperture or shutter priority mode a couple of months into having a DSLR, let alone a week!

                  Wulf
                  Wulf Forrester-Barker << Sites: blog / flickr >>
                  Gear: Nikon D40, Nikon AFS 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6G, Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8, Nikon AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6G, Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 macro, Raynox DCR-250, Lensbaby 2.0k, SB600

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                  • #10
                    trvl_girl, I feel your pain. I have shot in manual mode from day one. I am one of those anal types that have to do everything myself as well. It may or may not have been a hindrance to my learning, but it is just how I do it.
                    I am not saying you haven't been given good advice, as from what I have read, everyone is correct. I am just saying you are not alone.
                    I would suggest you do a lot of reading, especially the exposure triangle articles.

                    I do agree with Sterling about using the Av and Tv modes as a learning tool to see the changes your camera makes to compensate for the changes you make. Just don't use it as a crutch.
                    Good luck and happy shooting!
                    Luke
                    Luke.
                    500px
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                    • #11
                      1st day i play with auto....
                      2nd day i switched to manual
                      6 months later, i played with Av
                      :-)
                      Site : http://www.pazza.biz
                      Camera : Canon 5d Mk ii

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                      • #12
                        Kim, I can appreciate why you'd want to go manual straight away, but it really isn't going to speed up your learning of how the camera setting affect your image.

                        Feel free to skip P (for professional ) mode, but I would spend some time in Av and Tv priority modes. Let the camera worry about exposure for now, to free you up to see how different aperture settings affect your images and what shutter speeds you need to capture your kids running around.

                        I'd learn the relationship between aperture and shutter speed first as they are the key settings that will define how your photograph looks. From there, it's just tweaking the exposure.

                        Letting the camera do some of the work for you initially will also give you some time to think about composition.

                        Don't forget to post up your shots to show us how your progressing.

                        Good luck!
                        Neil
                        www.hargreavesphotography.com.au | Twitter | Blog | email
                        Canon 5D2 | Canon 50D | Canon 10D
                        17-40L | 24-70L | 35L | 70-200 f/2.8L IS | 100L Macro IS | 135L | 85/1.8 | Sigma 50/1.4 | Pocketwizards & other lighting stuff

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                        • #13
                          Thank you all for your help. I am going to start off in the AV move for awhile and see what I come away with. I think I am confusing myself more than need be. Reading so much online, in books and my manual. I get the aperture thing, ie, small aperture will be my higher numbers, giving me more dof and vice versa.

                          My thick head can't grasp setting shutter speed, I am doing a lot of practice with my settings and how by changing that, I need to readjust the aperture. So, I think AV mode for awhile will be great for me. I will do some shooting this weekend and post for ya'll to see.

                          I'm super glad I found this site. I have a passion for photography and want to be able to capture my loved ones to preserve a slice of time.

                          Everyone has been super friendly, helpful and I am grateful for that.

                          Thanks again: Kim
                          Kim


                          Canon Xsi: Canon 50mm 1.8

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                          • #14
                            Kim, Times to use Shutter mode (TV):
                            Anytime you want, or need to stop action...remember, anytime you use your onboard flash will also help stop action even at it's default setting of 1/60 sec. Also remember the connection between adjusting the shutter and what impact it will automatically have on your F/Stop. Example: you set your shutter to a high speed, say 1/2000 sec, in order for getting the correct exposure, your camera will now need to open up your lens to compensate and let more light in (if it can...your lens may limit that as it may not be able to open up as much as it needs to....you need to understand that connection..you will wind up with an under exposed image in that case)
                            Depending what the "action" is will dictate how fast your shutter setting needs to be. Action moving directly at, or away from you will probably need somewhere around 1/100 - 1/250th sec. Fast action moving across your focal plane will probably need somewhere between 1/300th - 1/500th sec in order to stop it. You can also pan with the action, and this takes a bit of practice...for this, you can actually use a slow shutter speed, say 1/30th - 1/40th sec. If you are trying to chase, and shoot young kids outdoors, shooting in manual mode may be near impossible as you'll constantly be needing to make adjustments, and by the time you do, the kid will be somewhere else, and probably with different exposure requirements. Therefore, P, AV, or TV mode might be your best call.
                            Vince "...the law of unintended consequences, sometimes, you get a truly memorable photograph"
                            Gear: Canon G2, Canon 20D, Nikon D300...bunch of lenses
                            My Flickr
                            www.montalbanophotography.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you Like I said, I think I'm going to practice awhile in AV mode. I'm shooting indoors right now, taking posed pictures of my 4 yr. old son and baby, so chasing them right now wont' be a problem. It's trying to get him to sit still, lol.

                              I do have another question: I the book I'm reading "Understanding Exposure" he talks about "metering" of the sky or other light source.

                              1. Can I do that for indoor shots?

                              2. He says after he does that, he locks it in. I'm thinking for that, I'll need to be in manual to make that happen and not have the camera change it on me, right?

                              Sorry for being so wet behind the ears, I'm new at this and trying to learn all I can and understand how everything relates to each other.

                              Thank you again for all your help
                              Kim


                              Canon Xsi: Canon 50mm 1.8

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