When to use Manual focus & Manual Mode?


Jan 8, 2011
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#1
Can anyone here advise when do we use
1) Manual Focus, and
2) Manual Mode??

Thanks.
 

brapodam

New Member
Jun 12, 2009
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#3
You use manual focus when
1. the lens does not AF on your camera or does not AF at all
2. AF fails to achieve focus lock
3. when doing macro
4. you want to focus somewhere close to the subject and then tweak the focus
5. you just like manual focusing

You use manual mode when
1. the lighting conditions at where you are shooting at is constant
2. you are insecure and don't trust the camera's metering
3. you feel somewhat better than other photographers just because you set everything yourself.
 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#4
Can anyone here advise when do we use
1) Manual Focus, and
2) Manual Mode??

Thanks.
There are so many reasons.

One that jumps to mind is simply when you prefer it. It's just like asking why someone chooses chocolate ice cream.

Manual focus is useful when it comes to macro photography, AF will hunt too long. Another case where it is useful is when the camera can't focus, because of the use of a strong ND filter or IR filter which cuts out light.

Manual mode is useful when 0 EV as predicted by camera is not likely to be very accurate. Some examples include contrasty situations. Of course, it's just a matter of preference, you can just as easily adjust the exposure compensation yourself.
 

Dec 11, 2010
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#5
let me pose this question since we're on manual mode. Assuming i'm in this situation:
# light - constant, but dim
# flash not allowed
# subject is fast moving

can i also use manual mode to switch to a bigger aperture (more light passes through), faster shutter speed (no motion blur from the subject) and a mid-range iso (as little as possible to reduce noise)? :dunno:
 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#6
Prince Photogenic,

you still have to consider exposure. If you switch to faster shutter speed, mid-range ISO, and large aperture and the exposure time is insufficient for the ISO/aperture settings, you'll get underexposed photo.

If you fully rely on camera metering to get 0 EV, then you can just as easily use aperture priority, set the ISO range, open up the aperture, and let the camera determine the shutter speed for you.

I think you will have more problem getting focus in such a situation rather than worry about the exposure.
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#7
let me pose this question since we're on manual mode. Assuming i'm in this situation:
# light - constant, but dim
# flash not allowed
# subject is fast moving

can i also use manual mode to switch to a bigger aperture (more light passes through), faster shutter speed (no motion blur from the subject) and a mid-range iso (as little as possible to reduce noise)? :dunno:
If you trick the camera and underexpose the photos, bringing the exposure up in PP will result in much more noise than using a higher ISO in the first place, so just push the ISO up if you need to.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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#8
let me pose this question since we're on manual mode. Assuming i'm in this situation:
# light - constant, but dim
# flash not allowed
# subject is fast moving

can i also use manual mode to switch to a bigger aperture (more light passes through), faster shutter speed (no motion blur from the subject) and a mid-range iso (as little as possible to reduce noise)? :dunno:
Remember: taking pictures is capturing light. If there is only dim light then only high ISO (signal amplification) will help to capture moving objects without motion blur and without using flash. ISO can be adjusted in other modes as well, doesn't need manual. Maximum opening of aperture is defined by the lens, no camera mode can change this. Again, you can adjust this in other modes as well, Aperture Priority mode is designated for such approach. Moving subject requires either fast manual focus or prefocus.
Just go out in evening an try. More important is that you understand the exposure triangle of aperture, shutter and ISO and how they affect each other. Fast moving objects don't give much time for trial and error, you should exercise before you go for important shots.
 

#9
I would use manual focus in the following situations
1) Lens Incapable of AF
2) Hesitant AF lock
3) Lens with front/back focusing issues
4) Switching to MF after focus lock (using AF) for panoramic/HDR shots
5) Setting hyperfocal distances using the scale on lens
6) Shooting Macros

I would use manual mode in the follow situations
1) Finer control of Aperture and Shutter speed, ISO
2) Situations where i want to ensure consistant exposure
 

Diavonex

Senior Member
Sep 23, 2008
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#10
When shooting in low light and flash is not allow, you can try the following:

1. Increase ISO

2. Open up Aperture

3. Shoot RAW and underexpose by one to two stops

4. You can reduce the noise when processing the RAW file
 

armadillo

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Jan 30, 2006
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#11
When using manual focus, try to remember to switch back to auto focus.
Sometimes after using manual focus, I forgot to switch back to auto, result some photos not focus :sweatsm:
 

Bukitimah

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
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#14
After a couple of weeks into photography, I realise I am using around these 3 settings most times. Manual, Aperture and Speed. The rest seems to be less often. Of course the ISO setting is also a very useful tool.

Am I using the camera correctly? I think I will pick up more tips over this weekend outing at Pandan. ;p
 

makolit

New Member
Nov 3, 2010
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#15
manual focus = AF is insufficient
manual mode = when you think you know what you're doing to be creative

:cool:

After a couple of weeks into photography, I realise I am using around these 3 settings most times. Manual, Aperture and Speed. The rest seems to be less often. Of course the ISO setting is also a very useful tool.

Am I using the camera correctly? I think I will pick up more tips over this weekend outing at Pandan.
i don't see why you feel you are doing anything wrong. you will learn something new everyday, even when you think you already know everyting. good job. keep on shooting!

cheers!
 

Jan 8, 2011
46
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6
35
#17
May I know why I cant set the Exposure Compensation while I am in Manual Mode?
I can only set the bracketing/HDR when in Manual Mode...
Is my camera malfunction or wat? Thanks.
 

CamInit

New Member
Nov 3, 2009
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#18
May I know why I cant set the Exposure Compensation while I am in Manual Mode?
I can only set the bracketing/HDR when in Manual Mode...
Is my camera malfunction or wat? Thanks.
Manual means everything you set yourself. EC is just to offset from the setting that the camera thinks is the correct exposure for the scene. Why would you need EC when you can do the same by manually adjusting aperture or shutter speed in Manual Mode?
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
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#19
When you want a sense of being in control.
Just like racing drivers like manual gear change.
It means you really know your stuff.
 

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