How Do You Autofocus?

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on Understanding Autofocus, I’d like to run a poll to find out which methods are most commonly used. So refer back to the previous post if you need some definitions, and if your camera has something I didn’t mention, let us know in the comments.

Day 79 - f o c u s
Creative Commons License photo credit: margolove

I also realize that many of us use more than one setting, so choose the one that you most commonly use… or the one you couldn’t live without.


Also, take a peek at the results from last week’s poll asking “What’s Your Choice Brand for Digital Cameras?” Looks like Canon still has a 50% stronghold, while Nikon moved up to 35%, and Sony dropped to a measly 4%. Really? …4%? …yikes.

12 thoughts on “How Do You Autofocus?

  1. Andreas Manessinger

    Sony is definitely coming back, it only takes a while. Just last Saturday I met a young woman with a new Alpha 700. She saw me photographing with filters and asked me about it, I gave her some advice about basic camera settings.

    Sony comes back. The 24mp A900 (if that’s the name) will change the perception of the brand, and I suppose they may be up at 7% by year’s end. Still, it is a competitive market, and Nikon could only get back into the pro segment because there was Canon only, Canon was fat and slow, and at the same time had severe problems with the 1DIII’s autofocus. Nice coincidence for Nikon, but that window is closed now. Still, Sony is determined and over time things will level out, but slowly.

  2. libeco

    I chose other since I use several methods. When I used my Fuji Finepix S9500 I used S, but on my 400D I mainly use regular autofocus. When I have extension tubes in between my lens and camera I have to use manualfocus. When trying to take pictures of moving objects I use AI Servo (I guess it’s called C on your camera?) to continuousl re-focus…

  3. Mustanir

    I usually leave my camera on Continuous, so I voted that, but I use others too. If the shot it set up (i.e. a portrait) I’ll use Single-servo. Also, if I have to focus in low-light, I will use Single-servo as AF-assist only works on that mode (on Nikon cameras anyway).

    I also use the AF-ON button to autofocus instead of the half-press shutter thingy. Makes more sense to me that the camera focusses when and only when I want it to.

  4. Cyler

    I use Continuous Autofocus on my D70s, using the focus-lock button whenever I need to lock in the focus (unlike the D100, D200, D300 series, the D70 does not have a switch on the front to change between single and continuous). This system seems to work the best for me, as sometimes I find myself wanting continuous autofocus as soon as I pick up my camera.

  5. jerry

    I use AF Continuous about 75% of the time, mainly due to the fact that the kids don’t like to hold still. If shooting inside, and something other than the kids, I’ll switch to Single. This is on my D70s.

  6. Gregg

    I use manual for landscapes, macro, and low light situations. Single for grab shots and when taking portraits without a tripod. Some of my lenses have a manual override when in Single mode and my D200 has “auto-assisted” manual focus so I can see if my eye and my camera agree on the focus point. I mostly use static focus points, but sometimes use dynamic focus groups when I use Continuous autofocus.

  7. Dillon Ross

    Well it really depends on the situation. In general I leave my D-SLR in Auto and probably use it for a good 60% of my photos. The second must used mode for me is probably continuios followed by manual.

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  9. qaqwex

    I have presentl;y a Nikon D300 and before that a D200. I tend to you the autofocus mode dependent on circumstances and subject and that comes out about 55% single, 30% continuous and 15% manual

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