Jump to content


AF or MF

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 decostanza



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 44 posts

Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:31 PM

I'm new to DSLR shooting (10 years video shooter) and was curious if autofocus is the preferred method of focus or if manual is the preferred method?  I got an Ike housing with 8" dome so that I can walk before I walk faster in the DSLR world and in the manuals it consistently refers to how auto focus is what I should shoot with.  This runs counter to everything I've ever done and was curious what those with much more experience do....


Thanks for your input,


#2 Cary Dean

Cary Dean

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 277 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:10 PM

Are you talking AF/MF specifically for video or stills shooting?

Which camera are you using?

Most pro level DSLR's can only MF for video.

As for stills both methods work, just depends on your needs, preference etc.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."
Jacques Yves Cousteau

#3 tdpriest


    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2135 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Solihull, UK
  • Interests:Diving medicine, warm water, scenery...

Posted 04 February 2014 - 06:52 AM

Without a large viewfinder manual focus can be difficult. I use AF for all of my images, but also choose the focus point within the frame and move it around a lot. Some photographers use AF for wide-angle and manual focus for macrophotography (often locking focus and gently moving the camera to focus).


I use a Nauticam viewfinder with the large viewfinder of a Nikon D800, but still rely on AF even though that would be hard to improve on for manual focus.

#4 decostanza



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 44 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 01:59 PM

Thanks for the feedback...using a Canon 70D to shoot both video and stills. Lens is the Tokina 10-17 as my standard underwater lens.  This time of year its under the ice every weekend and have had mixed results with it on MF.  I have kept the camera on "Live View" which makes for a large viewfinder and thought that would help but pics are soft instead of tack-sharp.  Will try AF this coming weekend and see if it works any better.

Best regards,


#5 jasonhartup



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 32 posts

Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:36 PM

I prefer to use MF in some macro super macro or low light situations but 95% of the time AF.

#6 dpaustex



  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas
  • Interests:Scuba. Photography. Mountains.

    What else is there?

Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:37 PM

I'd stick with AF for your lens. The 70D is pretty okay at AF (in brighter light). With your WA lens, it will be hard to MF and tell if you actually ARE in focus.


If you go to macro, then I'd say maybe MF (although the 100mm f2.8 EF does a pretty good job in AF, IMHO).


You'll notice you cannot switch from AF to MF (or vice versa) with the dome port. Great housing, otherwise.

Edited by dpaustex, 10 February 2014 - 08:37 PM.

#7 decostanza



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 44 posts

Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:32 PM

Thanks everyone fo rthe comments and input...had a little better time under the ice this weekend going with AF, I appreciate the help.