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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 17 Mar 2011 (Thursday) 13:10
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Do the number of autofocus points matter much in wedding photography?

 
Phil ­ V
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Apr 18, 2011 02:09 |  #31

Davie82 wrote in post #12238830 (external link)
Sorry for the thread necromancy, but in my opinion (and, more importantly, experience) cameras with fewer AF points SUCK for wedding photography, but that's because I don't recompose. I think the centre AF/recomposing malarky is a total cop-out...we're photographers, and should be able to use our cameras to their full potential. If you can't quickly select from the 40-something AF points on a Canon 1 series body, you don't deserve to own it (IMHO).

Granted, it's harder (and arguably requires more skill and dexterity) to select specific AF points quickly, but these peripheral AF points ain't there for decoration (unless it's a camera like the 50D...read below) and when you do get the desired AF point, the results are astounding.

I did a wedding yesterday using my 50D as a backup, and having reviewed the pictures very few shots taken using the outer AF points on the 50D are in focus. Thankfully I got the bulk of shots with the 1Ds2 so no harm done, but I'm questioning the value of my 50D and am seriously considering selling it after it's poor performance yesterday. Who cares about IQ when the darn thing can't focus????

Or to paraphrase;
It's loads better to own a 1 series camera, if you do you can use all your focus points. If you focus recompose with your 1d - consider yourself substandard for not learning how to use it as well as I did.:rolleyes:

If you don't own a 1 series camera you might have problems using the outer focus points - so you might need to focus recompose - consider yourself substandard for not buying the camera I chose.:rolleyes:

Really?? :lol:
What was the point of this post, is it the launch of a comedy photography career? Or was it just an exercise in making yourself feel superior?


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Davie82
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Apr 18, 2011 03:21 |  #32

The point of my post was to contribute to the discussion, which did. I shared an opinion (that's all it is) and I explained very clearly that my approach to photography is personal style.

The point of your post was to misconstrue (not paraphrase) my sentiments rather than contribute something of value to the thread. Your photographs are pretty good; there's no need to be so vitriolic and personal the first time you engage with me on this forum.

And I absolutely stand by my statement that if people are using the recompose method because they can't properly work the AF system on a professional camera, they don't deserve it.

There's a BIG difference between choosing the recompose method based on the capabilities of a camera, and being limited to it based on your capabilities as a photographer.


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Phil ­ V
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Apr 18, 2011 05:41 |  #33

Thanks for the compliments - I'm not loving my work at the moment, you cheered me up. Also proves that "cameras with fewer AF points SUCK for wedding photography" isn't really true.

I'm sorry you feel I misconstrued your post - but it's how it 'felt' to me after reading it.

I'm sure you set out to say that focus recompose wasn't anywhere as efficient as using all the focus points, I agree - even though I don't own a 1 series camera I almost always use the outer focus points on the 7d and 40d.

However I think you then countered your own argument by saying the outer points on the 50d weren't up to the job. This led me to the feeling that your argument wasn't focussed and reasoned therefore your motive becomes unclear. Being a Brit and ultra cynical by nature I concluded .....

The fact that the vast majority of wedding shooters use less than 1 series cameras, proof in itself that they're 'up to the job', your intimation that lesser cameras than yours automatically lessen the abilities of photographers who use them is a bit...:twisted:

I'm fed up of reading on forums from people who've only had a camera in their hands for a few months / years how perfectly good gear is unsuitable because it's not the latest or greatest. Professional photography pre-dates multi AF points, 22mp sensors and even coated lenses. But pro photographers have been bringing home the results none the less. They are tools and it's up to us as photographers to make the most of them.
I hope you can re-read your post and maybe see where I was coming from.:)


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Apr 18, 2011 08:10 |  #34

I use all outer focus points on my 7D - that's one of the things I like about the 7D over the 5D2, because they reach out more, and there's more to choose from - I do find them accurate enough to use, but light/lens does have an impact
on the 5D2, i tend to focus and recompose a lot more than I would on the 7D


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Davie82
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Apr 18, 2011 09:46 |  #35

No problem Phil - credit where it's due.

Phil V wrote:
Also proves that "cameras with fewer AF points SUCK for wedding photography" isn't really true.

Yes, but "truth" in this instance is subjective, not objective as you depict it. Cameras with fewer AF points suck for people like me who make use of these extra AF points, which is why I was careful to preface my statement as an opinion and in my experience; furthermore it's why I said I'd rather have another 1D series camera, because I find the AF to be consistently strong across the viewfinder.

The fact that the vast majority of wedding shooters use less than 1 series cameras, proof in itself that they're 'up to the job', your intimation that lesser cameras than yours automatically lessen the abilities of photographers who use them is a bit...:evil:

Here's where I lose you...I didn't ever say that other cameras weren't up to the job; all I intended to communicate was that other cameras don't have strong peripheral AF points and are therefore less reliable when using these outer AF points, and this has been corroborated by a number of other members. It's my personal choice to use a 1Ds2; there are far better photographers than me who use lower grade/cheaper equipment than I do, but that's their choice and their preference, and the trade-off is the recompose method (especially in poor light). I have no objection to other cameras and would love to own many of them, however I'm not sure they would suit my style of wedding photography. I would never say the cameras themselves suck, but I will certainly say that their extra AF points suck!

It's all about choosing the correct tool for the job, and for me (my style, my experience) that's a 1Ds series camera with the best AF system Canon has to offer. Other people may want to recompose; that's fine by me, and I'm not bothered by it nor do I feel superior because of it (quite the opposite, most of the time). :cool:


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ScatterCr
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May 06, 2011 22:33 |  #36

picturecrazy wrote in post #12039407 (external link)
Manually with direction selection enabled. My cameras are too old to have automatic point selection depending on orientation.

Direct selection is really really fast and easy too. The 9 directions on the joystick directly select one of the 9 points. I can set it to do this on my mark III bodies too, even though it has 51 point, so I'm sure it would work on the 7D also.

51 AF points on 1D3 bodies? Where did you come up with the extra six AF points? Did Canon make a 1D3n that I missed? And, what was the ninth direction on the joystick for... DOF?


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May 06, 2011 23:39 |  #37

SMP_Homer wrote in post #12244442 (external link)
I use all outer focus points on my 7D - that's one of the things I like about the 7D over the 5D2, because they reach out more, and there's more to choose from - I do find them accurate enough to use, but light/lens does have an impact
on the 5D2, i tend to focus and recompose a lot more than I would on the 7D

Same here exactly. I have total faith in the outer points on my 7D and tend to stick to centre points on the 5D MK2. I'l have to test out the 5D outer points some more.


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cristphoto
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May 07, 2011 15:22 |  #38

I believe it's not the number of focus points but rather if they are high sensitivity cross-type sensors. The 5D and 5D2 only have the center sensor as high sensitivity cross type. You can work around this design but a camera with more cross type sensors frees you up a bit. I went from 5D bodies to 1D bodies and the difference in focus ability was quite noticible. I didn't miss shots per se with the 5D's but I could nail more shots easily with the 1D bodies. This is very helpful in wedding work, particularly in low light.


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davidcooper
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May 07, 2011 18:29 |  #39

Peacefield wrote in post #12038743 (external link)
Does the number of AF points matter in wedding photography? Not if you're like most of us and you only use the center one anyway.

Most focus on the center point and recompose. It offers more deliberate control and that focus point is always the fastest of them.

And holding POF afterwards is damned awkward to do for repeated shots.
What's the best 5D workaround for that ?




  
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umphotography
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May 08, 2011 08:05 |  #40

SMP_Homer wrote in post #12244442 (external link)
I use all outer focus points on my 7D - that's one of the things I like about the 7D over the 5D2, because they reach out more, and there's more to choose from - I do find them accurate enough to use, but light/lens does have an impact
on the 5D2, i tend to focus and recompose a lot more than I would on the 7D

Same here on the comment. The 7D af system is awesome. When i sold the 7D to get another 5D2, i was convinced the center point was good enough for what we do. And it is. But being able to move it around and knowing its going to hit was something we really missed when we covered a wedding and i didnt have the 7d. So we revamped, sold the 5d classic that was being used as a back up, sold the 40D that was being used for wildlife, and located a low count 1DmkIII. Very excited to get this camera and im looking forward to being able to use all the points again in low light. I dont think it takes anymore time to move it around from the back of the camera than it does to focus and recompose. Both systems work, i just think the 7D and the 1D series do it a lot better in terms of AF selection in low light. 5D2 on the center point is as good as it gets.

The problem is-- does it do it $3000.00 better??-- whos kidding who here. Im glad we were able to make this work for us and found a very low count 1DmkIII. It costs me about $400.00 to make the change v/s $3500.00 if i were to buy them new. Im stoked.

Bright light and this is a mute converstaion. The 5d2 points work well if you have enough light. Sometimes thats a big IF


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picturecrazy
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May 09, 2011 16:38 |  #41

ScatterCrSport wrote in post #12362642 (external link)
51 AF points on 1D3 bodies? Where did you come up with the extra six AF points? Did Canon make a 1D3n that I missed? And, what was the ninth direction on the joystick for... DOF?

oh good grief. So I mixed up my D700 and my 1D3 point count... big deal. Yes, the 1D3 has 45 points. But that tiny detail didn't affect the point (no pun intended) I was trying to make, unless you you're the type who likes to specifically point out typos.

It's a nine direction joystick, and there are nine AF points that are selectable. I'm not sure how DOF possibly comes into this?


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picard
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May 09, 2011 18:27 |  #42

how many AF points do you guys use on 1DM4 ?


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whuband
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May 09, 2011 19:18 |  #43

I think it's been demonstrated that many competent photographers have many different ways to achieve results. I use center point and back button focus, and many people think that's crazy. Whatever works for you.


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Do the number of autofocus points matter much in wedding photography?
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