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Okay, a real message about technology in cameras

 
 
Don Stauffer in Minnesota
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      07-10-2008
While the original message was a troll, there is something to be said
about the subject line. The thing is, with a good camera you can pick
and choose which technical aids are appropriate for the shot you are
taking. That is why many folks like a camera which allows manual
modes as options.

Personally, I like auto exposure but very seldom use autofocus. I do
not trust the tiny little computer in the camera to decide what it is
I want to focus on, and I find it easier to focus myself than move
things around to get the edge of the subject in one of those little
focus reticle marks.

I use an SLR because it allows me better manual focus.

Even with auto exposure I still like to be able to set aperture
manually (aperture preferred exposure). I can let the camera decide
how long to make the exposure. As long as the camera is on a tripod,
I don't care how long the exposure is.

Very seldom do I do a complete manual exposure.

I use the various pre-programmed exposure types very little.

There are times, however, when I use either auto or even programmed
exposure when things are changing rapidly. I even use auto focus
occasionally. At least for the wide to normal focal length lens. The
longer focal length lens I bought does not autofocus, so I obviously
don't use it for long shots.

So, in summary, having some of those technical aids is okay as long as
I have the option not to use them. But none of the technology helps
composition.
 
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ben brugman
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      07-10-2008

>
> So, in summary, having some of those technical aids is okay as long as
> I have the option not to use them. But none of the technology helps
> composition.

Minolta did have a camera which 'helps' composition. Depending on
the scenery, the zoom was set or adjusted.

ben
 
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Paul Furman
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      07-15-2008
Don Stauffer in Minnesota wrote:
> ...with a good camera you can pick
> and choose which technical aids are appropriate for the shot you are
> taking. That is why many folks like a camera which allows manual
> modes as options.


The unexpected benefit of a D200 over D70 was much more that can be
adjusted manually more easily with many more buttons & knobs. I don't
use that many but am glad the ones I want are there... perhaps a little
super-glue & whiteout would help. Everything shows in the viewfinder too.

> Personally, I like auto exposure but very seldom use autofocus. I do
> not trust the tiny little computer in the camera to decide what it is
> I want to focus on, and I find it easier to focus myself than move
> things around to get the edge of the subject in one of those little
> focus reticle marks.
>
> I use an SLR because it allows me better manual focus.


Yep, I autofocus more than half the time: a little flick of the left
fingers without looking switches that on & off for most lenses. I have
many favorite manual lenses. Stopped down, you don't notice much but yes
it does still matter.

> Even with auto exposure I still like to be able to set aperture
> manually (aperture preferred exposure). I can let the camera decide
> how long to make the exposure. As long as the camera is on a tripod,
> I don't care how long the exposure is.
>
> Very seldom do I do a complete manual exposure.


Yep, I choose the aperture & watch the shutter.
It keeps life simple

Manual is useful for consistent exposure but is seldom faster than auto
with exposure compensation & chimping. I do fiddle with the exposure on
probably half my shots, that was almost my only trick on the P&S. I
learned on a Canon AE1 with a meter where you centered the needle with
the aperture ring & shutter wheel. The new metering & stuff is usually
spot on but I do check & adjust, still throwing the meter away is not a
consideration.

I do wish there was a button to switch into manual mode with the current
settings, do other cameras have that?

> I use the various pre-programmed exposure types very little.


Never here. I did shoot in auto for several months moving from a P&S to
DSLR.

> There are times, however, when I use either auto or even programmed
> exposure when things are changing rapidly. I even use auto focus
> occasionally. At least for the wide to normal focal length lens. The
> longer focal length lens I bought does not autofocus, so I obviously
> don't use it for long shots.


For wildlife or sports or something fast moving like that, autofocus can
do amazing things these days. I have a 70-200/2.8 VR AF-S and it's great
at that. The 300/2.8 manual Tokina is real tough to follow a hawk
swooping by not impossible though I'd sure rather have AF as an option
if cash was endless. I also have an archaic Century 500mm f/4.5 which is
almost completely hopeless for tracking birds: it takes several muscular
full-body-motion arm cranks to run the length of the focus. I did manage
to get reasonably OK shots of hang gliders by focusing & waiting for
them to cross the plane of focus. It is great for birds sitting on
branches, if I had a $10K lens I'd turn off the AF with a flick of my
fingers in that situation (after using the AF to get me in the ballpark).

> So, in summary, having some of those technical aids is okay as long as
> I have the option not to use them. But none of the technology helps
> composition.


Bigger better viewfinders & focusing screens would help some.

--
Paul Furman
www.edgehill.net
www.baynatives.com

all google groups messages filtered due to spam
 
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ASAAR
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      07-15-2008
On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:12:18 -0700, Paul Furman wrote:

> I do wish there was a button to switch into manual mode with the current
> settings, do other cameras have that?


Doesn't the AE-L button effectively do that with the right
programming? It can can be set to function that way only as long as
you to hold it down, or it can be programmed to keep the exposure
locked for multiple shots until you press it again to turn AE-L off.
That said, the AE lock doesn't survive turning the camera off and on
again.

 
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Chris Malcolm
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      07-16-2008
Paul Furman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I do wish there was a button to switch into manual mode with the current
> settings, do other cameras have that?


In what way doesn't switching into P mode in effect do that?

--
Chris Malcolm http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) DoD #205
IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
[http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]

 
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Paul Furman
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      07-16-2008
ASAAR wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:12:18 -0700, Paul Furman wrote:
>
>> I do wish there was a button to switch into manual mode with the current
>> settings, do other cameras have that?

>
> Doesn't the AE-L button effectively do that with the right
> programming? It can can be set to function that way only as long as
> you to hold it down, or it can be programmed to keep the exposure
> locked for multiple shots until you press it again to turn AE-L off.
> That said, the AE lock doesn't survive turning the camera off and on
> again.


Looks like you are right. On my D200, 'AE Lock Hold' is the menu option
that puts you in virtual manual mode till the AE lock button is pressed
again or turned off. I can still adjust things from there. The other AE
Lock menu item needs to *not* be 'Release Button' which uses a half
shutter press. The same lock button can be used for AF lock also but I
just use the switch for that. This is a nice trick.

--
Paul Furman
www.edgehill.net
www.baynatives.com

all google groups messages filtered due to spam
 
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Paul Furman
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      07-16-2008
Chris Malcolm wrote:
> Paul Furman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> I do wish there was a button to switch into manual mode with the current
>> settings, do other cameras have that?

>
> In what way doesn't switching into P mode in effect do that?


Manual mode stays put as you re-frame with different amounts of light &
dark subjects that would otherwise change the metering between shots.
Some things look best at one particular exposure like for instance
studio shots where the lighting is perfect, you just want to try
different angles.

--
Paul Furman
www.edgehill.net
www.baynatives.com

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ASAAR
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      07-16-2008
On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 23:44:28 -0700, Paul Furman wrote:

> Looks like you are right. On my D200, 'AE Lock Hold' is the menu option
> that puts you in virtual manual mode till the AE lock button is pressed
> again or turned off. I can still adjust things from there. The other AE
> Lock menu item needs to *not* be 'Release Button' which uses a half
> shutter press. The same lock button can be used for AF lock also but I
> just use the switch for that. This is a nice trick.


Yep. I started using the AE-L button that way when I also
assigned the AF-ON button to focus. Thanks for mentioning that the
exposure can still be adjusted while "locked", which I hadn't tried
before. The only odd thing I discovered is that while locked and in
P mode, only the shutter speed can be changed. I thought that it
would also allow the aperture to be changed, as in Manual mode.

 
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Paul Furman
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      07-16-2008
ASAAR wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Jul 2008 23:44:28 -0700, Paul Furman wrote:
>
>> Looks like you are right. On my D200, 'AE Lock Hold' is the menu option
>> that puts you in virtual manual mode till the AE lock button is pressed
>> again or turned off. I can still adjust things from there. The other AE
>> Lock menu item needs to *not* be 'Release Button' which uses a half
>> shutter press. The same lock button can be used for AF lock also but I
>> just use the switch for that. This is a nice trick.

>
> Yep. I started using the AE-L button that way when I also
> assigned the AF-ON button to focus.


I don't see the point of the AF-ON button, it does the same thing as a
half shutter press: triggers AF to work... maybe if you were using the
half shutter press to lock exposure I guess.

> Thanks for mentioning that the
> exposure can still be adjusted while "locked", which I hadn't tried
> before. The only odd thing I discovered is that while locked and in
> P mode, only the shutter speed can be changed. I thought that it
> would also allow the aperture to be changed, as in Manual mode.


Both can be changed in A mode after locking exposure.

--
Paul Furman
www.edgehill.net
www.baynatives.com

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ASAAR
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      07-16-2008
On Wed, 16 Jul 2008 10:20:42 -0700, Paul Furman wrote:

>> Yep. I started using the AE-L button that way when I also
>> assigned the AF-ON button to focus.

>
> I don't see the point of the AF-ON button, it does the same thing as a
> half shutter press: triggers AF to work... maybe if you were using the
> half shutter press to lock exposure I guess.


It's useful when you want to prefocus and not have the half
shutter press initiate focusing again, whether on the next shot or
the next ten shots, but this is a simplistic use. Thom Hogan calls
using the AF-ON button the "Pro Approach to Autofocus" in his
Complete Guide to the Nikon D300. On page 394 of his 769 page
eGuide he says :

> Many professionals gravitate to the same approach to autofocus
> (which I'll describe in a moment). The reason is that changing
> autofocus settings all the time can be a tedious process, as the
> autofocus controls are split between a switch on the front of the
> camera, a switch on the back of the camera, and the Custom
> Setting menus. Thus, most pros look for a single menu
> combination they can use that gets them 90% of their autofocus
> needs and helps them avoid menu-itis.
>
> The solution is the AF-ON button on the back of the camera.
> Specifically, here's what you do:
>
> Use custom setting #A5 to move autofocus activation to AF-ON only.
> Set the switch on the front of the camera to C (Continuous Servo).
> Make sure that Custom Setting #A1 is on the default of Release.
>
> Now your camera is configured to autofocus only when you press
> the AF-ON button. This provides you with the following abilities:
>
> Focus and Reframe : Focus on the subject using the AF-ON button,
> let go of the button and reframe. Focus stays where it was when
> you let go of the AF-ON button.
> Track Focus : Just hold the AF-ON button in while shooting. Focus
> will be performed as usual. This takes a bit of dexterity, as you
> have to hold the AF button in at the same time as pressing the
> shutter release.
> Manually focus : With most AF-S lenses, twist the focus ring. With
> other lenses move the lens' focus switch to the M position first.
>
> This means that the primary control you change--if you make any
> change--is only the Autofocus Area selector switch on the back of
> the camera. Switch to Single Point for focus-and-reframe, to
> Dynamic Area or Auto Area for tracking focus, depending on the
> subject. (Note that you can assign Dynamic AF Area settings to
> the Fn button on the front of the camera via Custom Setting #F4.)
>
> Using this technique takes practice, so don't expect to make those
> settings and rush out and take perfect pictures a few minutes
> later. However, with practice it becomes second nature and
> relatively easy to control your focus in most situations without
> having to make multiple settings changes.


If you don't have his Guide for the D200, it's probably worth
getting, and I look forward to his eGuide for Nikon's CLS flash
system. It should be available soon, and I imagine that it will
include coverage of the new SB-900. See www.bythom.com

I've seen a number of photographers on DPReview say that they've
switched to using the AF-ON button for focusing after trying it, and
so far haven't seen anyone say that they've tried it and decided to
go back to the traditional default shutter press. It 'feels'
different. Using the shutter button is like driving a car with an
automatic transmission and using Cruise Control. Using AF-ON is
like driving using a stick shift and occasionally double clutching.


 
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