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Auto focus vs fixed focus
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Jul 20, 2021 17:24:32   #
manpho789
 
I am a relative newbie. I want to make movies of aircraft with my Nikon 5600. I suspect, that because the aircraft are on the runway, taking off, or already in the air, that they are all essentially “at infinity”. Thus my guess would be to not use auto focus, but just manually focus once for a sharp image, and then just leave it there. Any suggestions ?

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Jul 20, 2021 18:21:18   #
kpmac Loc: Ragley, La
 
Set up back-button autofocus. One press for stationary objects at distance. Hold the button down for moving objects.

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Jul 20, 2021 18:26:21   #
BebuLamar
 
Although the aircraft are at great distance the DOF isn't so great because you probably use a long lens so that you can see the aircraft bigger. So still you have to focus or auto focus. Fixed focus wouldn't work.

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Jul 21, 2021 00:02:54   #
Orphoto Loc: Oregon
 
Even though the planes feel far away in each of those scenarios your camera is very sensitive. Depending on the magnification of your lenses errors in focus would range from mild to maddening. Use the autofocus. If this event is a ways off look into back button focusing, practice a bit and see if you like it. Otherwise just let 'er rip. There will be an assortment of other suggestions more germane to shooting videos.

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Jul 21, 2021 08:08:52   #
Sidwalkastronomy Loc: New Jersey Shore
 
The camera infinity mark is not accurate as the auto focus goes beyond it in order to fine tune the focus. I do ASTRO photography and thought it was a no Brainerd to twist focus all the way and all images blurry. Sent lens back and they said it had to do that to have auto focus work

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Jul 21, 2021 08:26:03   #
wmurnahan Loc: Bloomington IN
 
You think wrong. I have to focus my big lens on the moon, it is not at infinity.

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Jul 21, 2021 08:39:59   #
Sidwalkastronomy Loc: New Jersey Shore
 
wmurnahan wrote:
You think wrong. I have to focus my big lens on the moon, it is not at infinity.


was this to me?
Moon is at infinity but the lens has no hard stop for infinity and when autofocus is searching it needs some room to find it

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Jul 21, 2021 09:37:58   #
JRiepe Loc: Southern Illinois
 
Whether using back button focus or shutter release button focus be sure the focus mode is AF-C.

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Jul 21, 2021 10:19:17   #
photoman43
 
manpho789 wrote:
I am a relative newbie. I want to make movies of aircraft with my Nikon 5600. I suspect, that because the aircraft are on the runway, taking off, or already in the air, that they are all essentially “at infinity”. Thus my guess would be to not use auto focus, but just manually focus once for a sharp image, and then just leave it there. Any suggestions ?


In addition to back button focusing and AF-C, learn about depth of field and hyper focal distance. Depending on the lens used and it’s focal length, setting an f stop of f8 or f11 and setting focus at some midpoint distance, you may not need to focus each image after you have set focus at the hyper focal distance.

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Jul 21, 2021 10:35:12   #
ELNikkor
 
Use AF

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Jul 21, 2021 10:45:01   #
joer Loc: Northern Illinois
 
manpho789 wrote:
I am a relative newbie. I want to make movies of aircraft with my Nikon 5600. I suspect, that because the aircraft are on the runway, taking off, or already in the air, that they are all essentially “at infinity”. Thus my guess would be to not use auto focus, but just manually focus once for a sharp image, and then just leave it there. Any suggestions ?


It depends on the camera being used. With high end Canon and Sony ML cameras (perhaps more) there is no need to manual focus or BBF in this scenario. These are techniques used when cameras were less able.

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Jul 21, 2021 10:55:52   #
photoman43
 
Here are some useful links that might help you achieve your focus goals, whether you use AF or manual focus or a combination of both of them.

For most of my landscape shooting I set AF-C and back button focusing. I then focus on a point that gives me the desired depth of field with my aperture usually set to f11. After focus is achieved, I release my finger from the button used to focus , recompose and take the picture.

I use AF-C as when not doing landscapes I do lots of action shooting and AF-C works better than AF-S.


https://photographylife.com/what-is-depth-of-field

https://photographylife.com/landscapes/hyperfocal-distance-explained

https://capturetheatlas.com/hyperfocal-distance-in-photography/

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Jul 21, 2021 12:28:04   #
SuperflyTNT Loc: Manassas VA
 
joer wrote:
It depends on the camera being used. With high end Canon and Sony ML cameras (perhaps more) there is no need to manual focus or BBF in this scenario. These are techniques used when cameras were less able.


I would argue that BBF is not a technique that has anything to do with how able the camera is. It’s about separating the focus from the metering and shutter. Something I find valuable in the most capable of cameras.

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Jul 21, 2021 12:52:42   #
joer Loc: Northern Illinois
 
SuperflyTNT wrote:
I would argue that BBF is not a technique that has anything to do with how able the camera is. It’s about separating the focus from the metering and shutter. Something I find valuable in the most capable of cameras.


What is your camera?

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Jul 21, 2021 13:09:00   #
xt2 Loc: British Columbia, Canada
 
manpho789 wrote:
I am a relative newbie. I want to make movies of aircraft with my Nikon 5600. I suspect, that because the aircraft are on the runway, taking off, or already in the air, that they are all essentially “at infinity”. Thus my guess would be to not use auto focus, but just manually focus once for a sharp image, and then just leave it there. Any suggestions ?


Make it easy on yourself...I suggest "Auto Focus" as the planes will be moving. Manual focus will render a lot of out of focus shots methinks!

Cheers!

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