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Old December 6th, 2002, 02:20 PM   #16
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Dylan,
First of all I guess I should not be so harsh about peoples problems with focusing because I understand we are all in the same "club" here. I simply hate to see people frustrated with an art that is not an easy one. Everyone thinks they are a shooter, and shooting is supposed to be uncomplicated and something everyman can do--And it's not. This is why I kind of lose a little of my patience when I see someone having a hard time focusing when the camera will not do it for them. Plus, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think NFL films has ever had an auto focus device in their 35mm film cameras as they zoom tight to a football screaming at 60 miles an hour towards them. Hope I'm not being an ass**** because I really am not one (honestly). Just wish people would start using their skills and quit relying on equipment to do all their work (guess I am kind of from the old school).
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Old December 6th, 2002, 04:38 PM   #17
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<<<<First of all I guess I should not be so harsh about peoples problems with focusing because I understand we are all in the same "club" here. I simply hate to see people frustrated with an art that is not an easy one. Everyone thinks they are a shooter, and shooting is supposed to be uncomplicated and something everyman can do--And it's not. This is why I kind of lose a little of my patience when I see someone having a hard time focusing when the camera will not do it for them. Plus, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think NFL films has ever had an auto focus device in their 35mm film cameras as they zoom tight to a football screaming at 60 miles an hour towards them. Hope I'm not being an ass**** because I really am not one (honestly). Just wish people would start using their skills and quit relying on equipment to do all their work (guess I am kind of from the old school).>>>>

There's nothing wrong with being old school. However, there's nothing wrong with using your camera's automatic features to their full potential. In most situations you cannot do a better job of focusing your camera than it can. Plus it will do it almost instantly. I don't know about you, but my time is money. An extra minute focusing manualy per shot, times 50 shots...

And personaly, I can focus as well as anyone here. Up until 2 months ago, my SLR camera for the last 10 years has been a 35 year old Pentax with zero automatic capabilities. Hell, the light meter doesn't even work. On the new EOS Elan I just bought, I mostly use the manual focus unless I'm shooting fast moving subjects. On the XL1, I don't like the focus rings, and find the VF image is lacking, so I prefer using the autofocus for it's speed and accuracy.

I don't see why exactly you are losing patience, could you please be more specific?

Also
If we went out to an NFL football game, would we find anyone with their SLR camera's autofocus set to "OFF"? I don't know, I'd like someone with experience in this area to chip in.
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Old December 6th, 2002, 08:15 PM   #18
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Most Press Photographers I know use AF, including the sports ones. The current generation of AF in 35mm SLR's is better than the human eye in most conditions. Video AF is a different matter. The lenses made for ENG and EFP video cameras are all manual focus. AF is only found on consumer and prosumer video cameras.

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Old December 6th, 2002, 08:24 PM   #19
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The problem with auto focus on a video camera is that so often it doesn't know exactly what to focus on, and consequently "hunts" for focus during the shot. That's annoying. I've seen it happen a lot and, for my own work, turn it off.

As a photographer for a newspaper, I've seen a lot of guys start relying on autofocus lenses for sports photography and they come up with excellent results. The difference is that for still photography the shot needs to be in focus only for that moment, and that it doesn't matter much if the camera makes lots of abrupt focal adjustments for its target. A lot more sports photographers are depending on the newest autofocus lenses and cameras and the number of sharp images during a game have gone up. Focal adjustments, or any other adjustments, have to be made smoothly during a video shot to avoid drawing attention to itself.

By the way, I once hired a fellow still photographer to shoot second camera for an event and the result was video which contained lots of sudden focus adjustments during the shoot -- even when the framed image remained more or less static. The image would get deliberately tossed out of focus, then back into focus after some experimentaton. It's a habit many still photographers have and they don't realize that it's something you don't do with video. We both learned something important back then.

Dean Sensui
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Old December 7th, 2002, 02:11 AM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by dc_sensui : The problem with auto focus on a video camera is that so often it doesn't know exactly what to focus on, and consequently "hunts" for focus during the shot. That's annoying. I've seen it happen a lot and, for my own work, turn it off.

Dean Sensui
Base Two Productions -->>>

Agreed. My autofocus is always OFF. I can't stand seeing amateur video on TV hunting for focus all the time. If I need to focus on the fly, I use the push focus.
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Old December 9th, 2002, 05:08 AM   #21
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Most of the programmes I make are in an operating theatre with the auto focus off. I had to shoot a fire exercise where a ward was evacuated. As it was to be a 'fly on the wall' style, with no retakes I put the auto focus on. The camera was hand held as I had to follow patients as they were dragged down stairs strapped in their evacuation mattress's.

I hate it.

The constant hunting is a real pain and I find it quite off putting. Lucky for me the staff who requested the video think it was an intention effect on my part to add to the 'drama' of the event :-)

Never again.

Ross
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Old December 9th, 2002, 12:23 PM   #22
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Ross, next time a situation like that occurs, why not leave the camera completely wide, and just dolly your body in and out as needed? This should guarantee that everything in your shots is in focus (unless you're using a lens with a minimum focal distance).
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Old December 9th, 2002, 02:52 PM   #23
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Earlier I was talking about VIDEO cameras in auto focus. No offense, but still photography is a whole different breed of shooter.
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Old December 9th, 2002, 03:11 PM   #24
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Fine, video cameras then. What was your point?
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Old December 9th, 2002, 08:41 PM   #25
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Dylan.
My point is, you wrote "These people might take offense at your comment about using autofocus." I don't blame still photographers for using AF. But I don't see where VIDEOgraphers need to spend more money on LCD's or B&W viewfinders (although these things are nice to have), when a manual lense and a little practice can solve a lot of problems. This is my point. From your post I seem to feel you agree with that.
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Old December 9th, 2002, 08:49 PM   #26
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The reason to buy B & W view finders is the higher resolution. The small, low resolution, color LCD on the XL1/s is not easy to use to accurately determine focus. Pro ENG/EFP video cameras use large B & W view finders. Why? so the videographers can accurately focus the manual lenses on their cameras.

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Old December 9th, 2002, 08:59 PM   #27
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That is correct Jeff,
I do understand the reason for a B&W viewfinder. From this thread i see people trying to make shooting easy by spending more money on equipment
that yes, makes shooting easier but will not make you a shooter. My whole point on this thread is that shooting is not easy, I don't care if you spend $1,000 or $10,000. I am just trying to say not to spend tons of money on stuff that may not totally solve your problem. Work at getting a focus with the color viewfinder, I have. Then take that money you save and spend it on your kids. Maybe the best advice is for myself,I should just shut up and stop writing on this thread because I am confusing the subject.
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Old December 9th, 2002, 09:15 PM   #28
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I understand much better what you point is now. To address you point (don't waste your $$, practice and learn your trade) I would counter with the right tool for the job. It would be like training someone to be a house painter and giving them a 1/2 inch brush. Very, very frustrating. Give 'em the right tool for the job.

In my opinion, to put it in the vernacular, the color LCD s**ks. Why increase a novices frustration? He may have a lot of talent, good eye, follows the action, good composition etc. But if the focus is off, the shot is useless. I'll urge anyone to use any advantage he can to get better shots. right tool for the job.

Jeff
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Old December 9th, 2002, 09:22 PM   #29
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Jeff
Yeah, you are absolutely correct. Maybe its the cheapness in me coming out. I really tried to get the B&W viewfinder with my XL1s, but with the manual lense it got to be way out of my budget. I do understand the frustration, sometimes I think everything I have shot for the whole day was out of focus. Someday Canon will have the B&W standard on this model and we'll be the old men saying "in my day we had to look thru that crazy color viewfinder." By the way, how did you know I used to be a house painter? haha
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Old December 10th, 2002, 01:55 AM   #30
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Kelly, Jeff sort of made my point clearer, but I also agree very strongly with you that people should learn to use what they have before upgrading.
And yes, if I had a real manual lens instead of the stock servo lens, I'd probably never touch the autofocus again. But for now I'd rather have the $1500 to spend on myself (no kids yet). :)
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