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Thread: Question on AF-Area Mode

  1. #1

    Default Question on AF-Area Mode

    Hi All,

    As a newbie, this thing has been puzzling me for a while. I just got an Nikon D5000 and use it to shoot alot of landscape photos.

    So lets say my setting is AF-S (for stationary objects) and for area mode, the settings are single area, dynamic area and auto area. I assume for landscape shot, i should chose auto area since you would want everything inside the pic to be sharp right?

    What puzzled me is when in auto area, when i half-press to focus, it automatically select a few points in my viewfinder. Doesnt that means only those few points would be in focus while the rest of my landscape photos are blur?

    Thanks in advice for any pointers !!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Question on AF-Area Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by just4while View Post
    Hi All,

    As a newbie, this thing has been puzzling me for a while. I just got an Nikon D5000 and use it to shoot alot of landscape photos.

    So lets say my setting is AF-S (for stationary objects) and for area mode, the settings are single area, dynamic area and auto area. I assume for landscape shot, i should chose auto area since you would want everything inside the pic to be sharp right?

    What puzzled me is when in auto area, when i half-press to focus, it automatically select a few points in my viewfinder. Doesnt that means only those few points would be in focus while the rest of my landscape photos are blur?

    Thanks in advice for any pointers !!
    the zone of sharpness or the Depth of Field is affected by distance and aperture and focal length. The smaller the aperture, the larger depth of field, the farther you are the larger the depth of field, vice versa ...for landscapes you might want to use large F number say f11 or f22 (for small aperture) so you have a large depth of field so that everything is in focus..the focus setting will just help you determine which area or which part of the picture you would want your focus point at, imagine the focus point in Z axis, the depth of field starts at the focus point, there are online tools to compute how thick is the depth of field given the aperture and distance..suggest you read up more on depth of field so you'll have a better understanding how to set your focus points..for auto area, camera will determine which part it would set its focus point based on the information gathered by the 11 focus points
    Last edited by gimumancer; 15th December 2009 at 04:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on AF-Area Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by just4while View Post
    Hi All,

    As a newbie, this thing has been puzzling me for a while. I just got an Nikon D5000 and use it to shoot alot of landscape photos.

    So lets say my setting is AF-S (for stationary objects) and for area mode, the settings are single area, dynamic area and auto area. I assume for landscape shot, i should chose auto area since you would want everything inside the pic to be sharp right?

    What puzzled me is when in auto area, when i half-press to focus, it automatically select a few points in my viewfinder. Doesnt that means only those few points would be in focus while the rest of my landscape photos are blur?

    Thanks in advice for any pointers !!
    When you half-press to focus, and only a few points are selected, do the remaining areas become blur?
    If you have in your frame, an object that is, say... 2m away, and another that is 200m away, do you think that the camera will be able to get both objects to be tack sharp no matter what settings you choose?
    The above sentence may seem like I'm being sarcastic towards you, but I'm just trying to get you to think about the physics behind focusing.
    Exploring! :)

  4. #4
    Member Foxshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on AF-Area Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    When you half-press to focus, and only a few points are selected, do the remaining areas become blur?
    If you have in your frame, an object that is, say... 2m away, and another that is 200m away, do you think that the camera will be able to get both objects to be tack sharp no matter what settings you choose?
    The above sentence may seem like I'm being sarcastic towards you, but I'm just trying to get you to think about the physics behind focusing.
    I think still related to ZerocoolAstra's post.
    Try this:

    - put a mug (or any small object of interest) on your table.
    - set your camera to Aperture Priority mode
    - Set your lens to Maximum zoom.
    - set your aperture number to 3.5 or lower
    - focus on to the mug but make sure you still can see your room behind the mug, and take a shot.
    - ONLY modify your aperture number to 22 and shoot with the exact same composition again.

    Your mug should always be sharp, but not those behind your mug.

    I think this little experiment should give you rough idea of what controls the sharpness (Depth of Field as those seniors call it)

    Have fun trying...
    A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.
    ~Ansel Adams

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question on AF-Area Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by just4while View Post
    Hi All,

    As a newbie, this thing has been puzzling me for a while. I just got an Nikon D5000 and use it to shoot alot of landscape photos.

    So lets say my setting is AF-S (for stationary objects) and for area mode, the settings are single area, dynamic area and auto area. I assume for landscape shot, i should chose auto area since you would want everything inside the pic to be sharp right?

    What puzzled me is when in auto area, when i half-press to focus, it automatically select a few points in my viewfinder. Doesnt that means only those few points would be in focus while the rest of my landscape photos are blur?

    Thanks in advice for any pointers !!
    Why do you want to use Auto-Area in which "the camera automatically detects the subject and selects focus point"? In landscape photography, where should you be focusing?
    Last edited by Daoyin; 16th December 2009 at 12:07 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Question on AF-Area Mode

    Thanks all for the advise. I think when I pondered this question, i miss out a very important component which is the depth of field controlled by the aperture.

    Daoyin: For my landscape shot, i will focus on a particular subject like tree or mountain peak or building. Is that what others do as well? Lets say you are taking pictures of mountains ...
    Last edited by just4while; 16th December 2009 at 05:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question on AF-Area Mode

    Quote Originally Posted by just4while View Post
    Thanks all for the advise. I think when I pondered this question, i miss out a very important component which is the depth of field controlled by the aperture.

    Daoyin: For my landscape shot, i will focus on a particular subject like tree or mountain peak or building. Is that what others do as well? Lets say you are taking pictures of mountains ...
    focus to infinity

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question on AF-Area Mode

    Taking shots of mountains? If there is no foreground etc and there are only the mountain peaks in the picture, then I would focus on infinity. If there are details from foreground onwards (e.g. your tree, some rocks ), then focus one third into the scene. These are "template solutions". For an understanding of the science, you have to bone up on some physics and hyperfocal distances.

    Switch to "single point" focus to take control of your focus point. Good luck.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Question on AF-Area Mode

    I found a informative page which talks about landscape shots with DOF and focus to infinity. Read the comments as well. I have so much to learn !!

    http://digital-photography-school.co...pe-photography

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