When it comes to auto-focus problems... theres 4 types of people.


surrephoto

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#1
Was having a discussion just now with friends and I concluded that there are 4 types of people when it comes to AF problems, see whether you agree.

Mr or Mrs "My-gear-is-perfect!"

Characterized by people who frequently upgrade camera/lenses and newbies who just purchased expensive cameras.

When their lens doesn't seem to focus properly they'll still think it's a perfectly sharp picture. Don't criticise his image sharpness or focus for god's sake unless you want to destroy the friendship. This guy usually sets his in-camera sharpness setting very high to impress himself.

Many of these people are brand fanatics so don't talk to them about how bad their brand is or smell gunpower.

However they can also be great and practical photographers at the same time as they are not distracted by camera prone problems.

Uncle bad-tech sob

Characterized by people who know that there are many problems with lenses but assume this is how it should be because lenses and cameras can never perfect and there is nothing they can do about it. To them, all these problems are norm & normal.

Some of them may have conspiracy theories about manufacturers and how they hide and reserve technology from consumers and can be pessimistic. They tend to spend less money in gear and believe in the saying "It's the man behind the camera".

A sub-variant of this type of photographer; some will stop down their lenses and almost never use large apertures since they assert "No lens is sharp wide-open".

Another sub-variant of this type of photographer are the machine-gunners; they tend to over-shoot for safety's sake.

They are effective & safe photographers as their often old-school techniques seldom result in bad pictures.

Focus-chart hugger

This type of people spend more time pixel peeping and meddling with micro-adjustments and get constantly irritated if their lens mis-focus even very slightly. Some less savvy of this type will visit service centres constantly and become a huge pain for staff/technicians.

They can often detect minor changes and pending death & complications in lenses & cameras as they seem to have a seisometer built into them. Never let him test your lenses or you will be left with a lasting sour taste in your mouth. They also tend to be critical against specific lenses that have tormented them in the past.

Most photographers in this group use large aperture lenses; the very reason which transformed them into chart huggers.

Unfortunately not all in this group know what they are doing. This results in more pain and unhappiness when focus-chart huggers realize that they can't seem to get their lenses to focus to their standards.

The "Lucky-go-copy" man

Buying lenses & cameras are an adventure for this type of photographer.

With enthusiasm like a zealot, they believe that there are sharp copies & bad copies for all lenses and spend time hunting & selling lenses till they are satisfied.

To distinguish them from the focus-chart hugger group, this group of copy hunters tend to reject micro-adjustments & service centre visits as they might believe that a lenses must be destined to the right body for the best performance. They tend to be difficult buyers for sellers as they can spend a long time testing lenses but with little aim and strategy, lenses with erratic focusing immediately result in an unsuccessful sales.

This guys can be a huge source of irritation to shops especially when he brings a laptop to pixel-peep images and try over 3 sets of the same lens.

For the case of canon users, they seem to know lens codes by heart and can tell you which year UU or UT are. And certainly not by coincidence, copy obsessed individuals are mostly canon users due to manufacturing variations which are believed to appear more frequently in canon AF lenses.

Which type or which combinations do you think you are?
 

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surrephoto

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#3
what's the use of stereotyping people? it breeds disharmony and prejudice
This is purely from my own observation though I cannot deny it is partially stereotyping.

However I think it will be good for people to know that their views are not always correct.

For my case I am type 3 and am guilty for often criticizing people's lenses and techniques though I am not that good either. :)
 

diver-hloc

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#4
You forget those that don't care as long as they are happy with their own photos type :sweat:
 

henry soh

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#5
It is helpful to know which type of people you are, as at one time or another,you are not aware of the type you are in. It helps
to correct your behaviour as you move along in life.
 

surrephoto

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#7
You forget those that don't care as long as they are happy with their own photos type :sweat:
Haha thks bro for the reminder but my classification are for attitudes related to autofocus, since there are heck lots of people complaining about it recently.

I'm sure everyone is happy and forget the problems when they get a nice photo.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#9
Which type or which combinations do you think you are?

You forget those that don't care as long as they are happy with their own photos type :sweat:
I just shoot and work towards the output.
 

Mar 19, 2011
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Lavender
#10
give surrephoto a break lah :bsmilie: and engage the topic for what it is
Sorry sorry TS.

I think I am the 2nd type. Talking about the front/back focus problem right for AF and calibration with micro-adjustment? All of my lens are front (or back, I don't even remember is what) focused, very lazy to go down to CSC, want to do micro-adjustment but my noob camera don't have this option. A friend told me it is the camera, not lens. My lens on his camera don't have this problem. So, to be safe, just like TS said, gun down many shoots, go home and pick. Got used to the miss focus problems, know how to deal with it, so now most photo are ok.
 

GENO

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Jul 31, 2004
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#11
So troublesome....dont bother them when they ask you to shoot with them, go for coffee with them only, haha.

But i find those photographers that love to zoom in 100% to find noise then complain. But they dont even print any picture out in poster size? Viewing on PC screen can hardly see noise unless the picture's exposure is very badly taken.
 

kiwi2

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#12
I hope you meant it as a joke cos I think it's totally rubbish.

Like kei1309 mentioned, it's plain stereotyping.

There isn't a one class fits all (or even a combi) based on your stereotyped classification. Of all the derogatory descriptions you have given, I don't know of a single photographer who is like that.
 

surrephoto

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#13
I hope you meant it as a joke cos I think it's totally rubbish.

Like kei1309 mentioned, it's plain stereotyping.

There isn't a one class fits all (or even a combi) based on your stereotyped classification. Of all the derogatory descriptions you have given, I don't know of a single photographer who is like that.
It's not a joke but written in a exaggerated manner for sure. And non of my descriptions are derogatory.
 

s1221ljc

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May 7, 2006
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#14
Back in the days of manual focus lens/cameras, photographers had to struggle & contend with all sort of problems with focusing - poor eyesight, small lens aperture & darkened screens, different focusing screens types etc. We never blame the technology or tools, but only ourselves, if a photo is out of focus :) But photography was just as enjoyable, if not more. One never ever imagined then that technology would one day make this focusing possible at the mere touch of a finger, all so easy & so fast.

Yet we hear of all the frustrations, real or perceived, from TS. It is recognized & understood that whatever automatic functions there are, there will be situations, however small, where they fail. That’s why we have manual over-rides. I just wonder how many people, especially hobbyists, ever use this feature, or do they just expect everything to be perfect every time, automatically. Or they never tried, even know, how to focus manually? Try using the latest greatest camera to focus on an absolute white or black wall - one can’t. Is it the camera’s auto-focus fault??? Or is it a design limitation - until we can get a camera to compute precisely & accurately, exact distances to the last millimeter (like laser technology?). How about other focusing techniques, like visually estimating distances, using DOF to control what’s in/out of focus, using more suitable focusing subjects at similar distances etc as alternatives or last resort.

A camera’s auto functions, including focusing, are but tools, to ASSIST us in what we are doing. Putting the camera on auto doesn’t mean putting the brain on auto too. Used the right way, the auto-focus is indeed incredible & wonderful. There are many people who spend thousands of dollars on gears (& not a cent on courses) and who do not even understand the basics & fundamentals of focusing techniques. Most poorly focused photos I came across are due to poor focusing & hand-holding techniques, misunderstanding focal planes/shifts, unsuitable/less than ideal focusing targets etc. Full auto mode/multiple focusing points merely confounds, esp the novice. Used on a focusing chart or suitable subject, even the cheapest AF lens I come across performed incredibly well. If a lens is really at fault, just send it in for repairs. As I have said before, a poor workman always quarrels with his tools. A sharpshooter will always be a sharp shooter, & a bobo king will always be a bobo king - unless he does something to improve his techniques :)

So what type TS think I am :bsmilie: And so what if my type is as or not listed :)
 

Last edited:
Mar 19, 2011
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Lavender
#15
Back in the days of manual focus lens/cameras, photographers had to struggle & contend with all sort of problems with focusing - poor eyesight, small lens aperture & darkened screens, different focusing screens types etc. We never blame the technology or tools, but only ourselves, if a photo is out of focus :) But photography was just as enjoyable, if not more. One never ever imagined then that technology would one day make this focusing possible at the mere touch of a finger, all so easy & so fast.

Yet we hear of all the frustrations, real or perceived, from TS. It is recognized & understood that whatever automatic functions there are, there will be situations, however small, where they fail. That’s why we have manual over-rides. I just wonder how many people, especially hobbyists, ever use this feature, or do they just expect everything to be perfect every time, automatically. Or they never tried, even know, how to focus manually? Try using the latest greatest camera to focus on an absolute white or black wall - one can’t. Is it the camera’s auto-focus fault??? Or is it a design limitation - until we can get a camera to compute precisely & accurately, exact distances to the last millimeter (like laser technology?). How about other focusing techniques, like visually estimating distances, using DOF to control what’s in/out of focus, using more suitable focusing subjects at similar distances etc as alternatives or last resort.

A camera’s auto functions, including focusing, are but tools, to ASSIST us in what we are doing. Putting the camera on auto doesn’t mean putting the brain on auto too. Used the right way, the auto-focus is indeed incredible & wonderful. There are many people who spend thousands of dollars on gears (& not a cent on courses) and who do not even understand the basics & fundamentals of focusing techniques. Most poorly focused photos I came across are due to poor focusing & hand-holding techniques, misunderstanding focal planes/shifts, unsuitable/less than ideal focusing targets etc. Full auto mode/multiple focusing points merely confounds, esp the novice. Used on a focusing chart or suitable subject, even the cheapest AF lens I come across performed incredibly well. If a lens is really at fault, just send it in for repairs. As I have said before, a poor workman always quarrels with his tools. A sharpshooter will always be a sharp shooter, & a bobo king will always be a bobo king - unless he does something to improve his techniques :)

So what type TS think I am :bsmilie: And so what if my type is as or not listed :)
O no, manual over-ride... Later TS try to perform manual over-ride, but can't have sharp focus, he want to change his eyes and fingers...
 

ed9119

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#16
.......For the case of canon users, they seem to know lens codes by heart and can tell you which year UU or UT are. And certainly not by coincidence, copy obsessed individuals are mostly canon users due to manufacturing variations which are believed to appear more frequently in canon AF lenses ......
I am truly sorry to have to bring this up bro' but be careful with your words ...... u just recently got into an incident regarding Nikon Professional Services and seem to have jumped over to Canon .... are u now saying Canon lenses have lower manufacturing quality standards ?
 

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Oct 1, 2011
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#17
kiwi2 said:
I hope you meant it as a joke cos I think it's totally rubbish.

Like kei1309 mentioned, it's plain stereotyping.

There isn't a one class fits all (or even a combi) based on your stereotyped classification. Of all the derogatory descriptions you have given, I don't know of a single photographer who is like that.
Chill la bro. Why take it so seriously?
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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#19
Never had a problem with autofocus on Canon or Nikon. Understand the limitations. Sometimes it hunts if there is no contrast. e.g. blank sheet of white paper. I like manual focus with bright screens and large aperture lenses on the old film SLRs. With Leica rangefinder, even better.
When taking far away landscapes with wide angle lenses, no need to focus. Just set to infinity.
 

Oct 1, 2011
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#20
ricohflex said:
Never had a problem with autofocus on Canon or Nikon. Understand the limitations. Sometimes it hunts if there is no contrast. e.g. blank sheet of white paper. I like manual focus with bright screens and large aperture lenses on the old film SLRs. With Leica rangefinder, even better.
When taking far away landscapes with wide angle lenses, no need to focus. Just set to infinity.
Why canon will have lousier af? I though all the same??
 

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