Autofocus vs manual: how to take control of focus in problem foregrounds

    | Photography for Beginners | 28/08/2013 00:01am

    Spot metering and AF

    Spot metering is really useful for high-contrast lighting or other difficult shooting conditions, but the results can be unpredictable.

    On many DSLRs the spot reading is taken from the current AF point, so if you’re using Auto-area AF this means the exposure may change each time the camera swaps autofocus points – another good reason for using single-point autofocus!

    Spot metering and AF: set spot mode

    Set spot mode
    On our Nikon D300s, there’s a metering pattern dial on the back of the camera. Here, it’s set to Matrix mode – the spot mode setting is directly below.


    Spot metering and AF: set spot metering point

    Spot metering point
    Linking the spot area with the focus point works well here because we want Sarah’s face correctly exposed and in focus. We’d get a different exposure, though, if the AF point was over the background, or the bright white areas of her dress. This is why you need to use the spot metering mode with a good deal of care.

    PAGE 1: Autofocus vs manual: why not focus manually?
    PAGE 2: How to take control of autofocus
    PAGE 3: Taking control of AF video tutorial
    PAGE 4: Spot metering and AF


    How to focus your camera for any subject or scene: free photography cheat sheet
    Using Autofocus: 9 situations when AF will fail you
    How to use autofocus with moving subjects
    DO or Di? Your lens markings explained

    Posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 at 12:01 am under Photography for Beginners.

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