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Thread: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

  1. #1

    Default Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    As above thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    you have a habit of deleting your own threads, after you have gotten answers you wanted,

    doing this is no respect to members who had taken their time replying in your threads,

    I do not see there is any benefits to other members for such act, in fact, I would this is a very selfish action, becos you are deleting other people posts as well.


    IF you keep doing this, I will serve an infraction to each thread you've deleted, and restore all your deleted threads.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    restore the previous threads please.

    members here took time to type out their useful views and it has to be deleted away?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    I am sorry that this is not allowed. I have no ill intentions and I was thinking that my questions are too stupid to be worth listing. I promise I will not do it again.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    Please restore my previous threads. Actually I have no benefits in deleting threads. Just dun want to cluster the forum with too many of my stupid questions. For the last thread I deleted, I just thought I want to let the matter rest and I do not want the seller to see it
    Last edited by maisatomai; 25th February 2012 at 01:27 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    Quote Originally Posted by maisatomai View Post
    Please restore my previous threads. Actually I have no benefits in deleting threads. Just dun want to cluster the forum with too many of my stupid questions. For the last thread I deleted, I just thought I want to let the matter rest and I do not want the seller to see it
    which would be stupidity if you delete it, because no one would have access to the knowledge that you've consolidated in those threads.

    if you don't ask, people won't be able to answer, and others wouldn't be able to glean knowledge from those threads if they didn't exist.

    no thread serves no purpose at all

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    So nobody has answered his question yet

    Anyway, whether or not manual focus is more precise depends a lot on your skill. I believe camera technology has advanced so much that autofocus should be more precise. The only time when you should manual focus with an AF lens is if you want to focus on something with very low contrast (in which the AF system will "hunt" a lot or misfocus), or when you want to focus on something while keeping a certain framing such that there is no AF point on your camera which will be able to place your subject on.

  8. #8

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    Both has its own advantages. To me af and mf work hand in hand. Under good light af is able to achieve focus faster for me and less variability. When the af system starts to hunt then one can use mf to aid. E.g use mf to focus and see af can lock it faster.

    MF is a good skill to have since one can mount manual lenses via adapter and some good manual lenses are cheaper than af alternative.

  9. #9

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    I believe autofocus is more accurate than manual focus, especially for digital cameras. On digital cameras, you only have either LCD or a visual indicator in the viewfinder to tell that you are in focus. Of course, there are some photographers that changed their viewfinder screen to include a split prism design that aid in manual focus. But under normal circumstances you can always rely on the electronics to perform much better than your eyes.

    There are some instances where manual focus comes useful. Dark scenes make most AF hunt due to lack of contrast. With your eyes a better equipment in low light areas, manual focus gives you more consistent and better gauge of something in focus. AF can also be confused in situation when you have some faint objects in the way which infuse the electronics of not knowing which object is intended to be in focus, such as branches, leaves, window grilles, or human profiles. Manual focus will be a good choice where you override. Of course, you can always try your luck and let the AF do it's job making guesses.
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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    On the topic of accuracy, everyone here need to realize that accuracy depends largely on the setup of the camera.

    MF accuracy (using focus confirm) can be tuned physically just as AF accuracy can be tuned. For Nikon cameras, there are two separate hex knobs each for tuning the accuracy of either AF or MF. it works by adjusting the mirror that sends part of the image to the focus sensor.

    AF accuracy can also be tuned using AF fine tune in the camera. Remember that accuracy is very dependent on many factors, like camera and lens tolerances etc..

    Even if you are using a Split prism focusing screen, accuracy can be tuned as well, by adding or removing shims... etc.

    Even if you are using your eyes to determine focus in the viewfinder, you need to tune the diopter correctly.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 25th February 2012 at 09:46 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    Was looking for something else and chanced upon this thread...

    That's an interesting question to ask! I guess if you have good perfect eyesight, MF can definitely be very precise, esp so if you can magnify it digitally via the camera's LCD!
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    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    to me ... mf is more precise than af

    now the SPEED ..... which is FASTER.... mf or af ? .....is debatable
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  13. #13
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119 View Post
    to me ... mf is more precise than af

    now the SPEED ..... which is FASTER.... mf or af ? .....is debatable
    if split screen, i think i can be faster with manual focus. but splitscreen requires something like f2.8 + good lighting for me to see well enough/for it to work.

    else, af is pretty accurate. stop down a little, more than enough leeway

  14. #14

    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    if split screen, i think i can be faster with manual focus. but splitscreen requires something like f2.8 + good lighting for me to see well enough/for it to work.

    else, af is pretty accurate. stop down a little, more than enough leeway
    Depends on the lens and lighting condition. Some lenses autofocus practically instantly, you can't possibly beat that with manual focus.

  15. #15
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam View Post
    Depends on the lens and lighting condition. Some lenses autofocus practically instantly, you can't possibly beat that with manual focus.
    ok la. splitscreen works even if you don't have contrast. AF needs certain conditions for it to function well.

    for me, i can work with AF la. just stop down a little can already

  16. #16

    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    At F8 and >, i can quite confidently say I can MF faster than any AF currently available.... now that is OT and nothing to do with focus precision!
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by newghost
    At F8 and >, i can quite confidently say I can MF faster than any AF currently available.... now that is OT and nothing to do with focus precision!
    At all focal length?

  18. #18

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    If is ultra wide angle and at f8 there will be lots I'd depth of field which makes the photo look sharp though it may not be in 100% focus. Try on say 600mm under gd light and see if u can do that

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by gundamseed84
    If is ultra wide angle and at f8 there will be lots I'd depth of field which makes the photo look sharp though it may not be in 100% focus. Try on say 600mm under gd light and see if u can do that
    With a uwa, and a small aperture, you can set the focus slightly nearer than midway and just shoot without focusing. Essentially turning the camera into an instant cam. Can't be faster than this.

    It is a technique when you can't focus and can be applied to the shorter lenses, just have to know the DOF. Sadly most lenses don't have this marking anymore.

  20. #20
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is manual focus more precise than autofocus?

    Quote Originally Posted by qystan View Post
    With a uwa, and a small aperture, you can set the focus slightly nearer than midway and just shoot without focusing. Essentially turning the camera into an instant cam. Can't be faster than this.

    It is a technique when you can't focus and can be applied to the shorter lenses, just have to know the DOF. Sadly most lenses don't have this marking anymore.
    i believe its called hyperfocal

    usually applied to shorter lenses yep!

    anyways back to the question. which is more precise? barring all things aside, and all your diopters etc are accurate, splitscreen is still more precise. here is why:

    given a low contrast background, AF is sure to miss. but a splitscreen works on a different idea (getting 2 halfs to join into 1), which does allow better control imho.

    however, split screen has its limitations, which is it needs a relatively fast lens, and good lighting for it to work.

    AF tech has developed a lot that now it is relatively accurate. just stop down a little and your images will normally be sharp already!

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