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10 reasons why you should turn off your AUTOFOCUS

December 17, 2011 12:25 am

Sorry for the disappearrance, my computer decided to do its own thing so I gave a well deserve break.

Have taken pictures and then realised that the result is not what you wanted or expected? This is where the Autofocus comes in. Your camera is not the human eye which means it won’t always do what you want it to do. It hasa tendency to focus on the wrong thing sometime. Here are 10 situations where turning off your Autofocus is a good idea.


In this particular situation contrast is low and AF relies on light and contrast to focus on something.


If AF metering is on a plain coloured wall for example, the camera will find it impossible to focus. Even if there’s is enough light. In this case, you will need to re-frame. Find a detail to focus on then keep the shutter button half-pressed to lock focus and then go back to your original composition. The only other option here would be to focus by hand.

3- shooting wildlife

The Autofocus on cameras then to make noise while focusing. Even if you don’t notice it most wild animals will and it will spook them. And there goes your opportunity for a stunning picture. Just switch t off

4- Shooting Landscape.

I can almost hear the huh and see the eyes rolling……
I shoot a lot lots of landscape, so I usually want is to have details, foreground to distant mountains in focus. This means closing the aperture to increase depth of field and focus about third way into the scene. Switch off the AF, otherwise your camera will re-focus on to faraway mountains.

5- shooting HDR

High Dynamic Range means taking several shots of the same scene, all exactly the same except EXPOSURE, then merging them later on. You really really don’t want your camera to re-focus in you here. This is what will happen in the AF in on.

6- Moving subjects.

Faction shots can make your AF struggle to keep up with the changing distances. Most of the time it will fail. I can tell u that it has happened to me.

7- shooting through glass

Most photographers won’t recommend you taking pictures through glass. But sometimes you just can’t. AF is likely to focus on the glass, home in on reflections or marks on the glass. Unless you want that please switch off the AF.

8- With Portraits

In these situations, the idea is to focus on the subject eyes while using a wide aperture to throw the background off. If you AF picks up the subject eyebrows for example or the tip of their nose, because you’ve got such a narrow depth of field.

9- Macro

same as in moving subjects, AF has a hard time to focus on a subject. The depth of field is so small that the camer has hard time to focus on anything because it has no idea what to focus on.

10- Composition with the “Rule of Thirds”

With most compact camera’s the Autofocus is right in the middle of the viewfinder. so if you are composing using the rule of third, it’s likely to be out of focus.

Autofocus is great when you are staring. Personally it has helped me a lot. But learn do do without. That’s only way to improve your skills………

…………………………………………Have a wonderful weekend guys………….