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Improve Your Focus by Understanding Focus Modes

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Important Introduction

Understanding focus modes is key to getting the photo that you want in a hurry – it’s the difference between the photo being in focus and out of focus. You’ve probably struggled to focus in the past and not been entirely sure why it just won’t lock on exactly what you want it to, but don’t fear, this post will tell you everything you need to make sure you never lose focus again.

Now a Video Chapter Ad Improve Your Focus by Understanding Focus Modes

One Shot / AF-S

This is the simplest of all of the focus modes and it does exactly what it says on the tin – it focuses for one shot. You would typically shoot on this mode when shooting a subject that’s not moving as the camera will only focus once when you depress the shutter button halfway. This is the mode that you would use if you wanted to use the focal lock of the camera, to focus on the subject and then move the camera, to recompose the frame. The camera will not focus again on this mode until you lift up the shutter button and depress it again.one shot Improve Your Focus by Understanding Focus Modes

AI Servo / AF-C

This is often referred to as continuous focus because it will focus when you partially depress the shutter, but will monitor movement in the frame and make any necessary adjustments in focus between the shots, without the need for removing your finger from the shutter button. This mode is useful if you’re going to be shooting moving subject, such as at a marathon and other sporting events. You would not be able to use the camera’s focal lock to recompose a shot in this mode, you&

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#039;ll find that the camera will continually try to focus.one shot 1 Improve Your Focus by Understanding Focus Modes

AI Focus / AF-A

This is probably the least understood mode and it’s actually a mixture of the 2 modes above. When the camera has only slight movement it will act as if it’s on One Shot / AF-S mode and will allow you to use the focal lock feature. When the camera detects movement, the focus mode will start acting like AI Servo / AF-C mode instead and track the subject. This may sound like the best focus mode to use, but I typically like to set to one of the other modes as I usually know what i’m shooting and what to expect. This mode does come in handy though when you’re shooting still objects that are like to move without much notice, such as a bird on a perch. one shot 2 Improve Your Focus by Understanding Focus Modes

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Improve Your Focus by Understanding Focus Modes Improve Your Focus by Understanding Focus ModesThank you for reading my post, if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

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Comments

6 thoughts on “Improve Your Focus by Understanding Focus Modes

    1. Josh Post author

      Predictive focus is a feature commonly found on newer Nikon cameras, and it works in much the same was that AI Servo does, except it’s more accurate because it can work out the movement that takes place between when the camera focuses, and when the image is captured (this is known as the release time lag) and adjusts the focus accordingly. This is not a different mode on your camera, it takes place when you set your camera to AI Servo. Thanks, Josh

      Reply
  1. Lindsay

    Thanks for the info. Since you don’t do much post-processing, do you shoot raw? My photos tend to look a little flat, therefore need some post processing. Maybe I need some camera settings advice. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Josh Post author

      I do shoot raw, but I keep any processing to the minimum, it’s just not what i’m about when it comes to photography. I wouldn’t call myself in an expert in post processing so I just fine tune my photos. Thanks, Josh

      Reply
  2. Vegaskid1973

    I own a Nikon D3100 as my 1st DSLR and the manual isn’t great. This article is well written and has explained these modes to me very well. Thanks

    Reply

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