What is autofocus?

When you are making a photograph of an object, you want to have the object sharp in your photograph. You can do this with autofocus, which give you the opportunity to make a sharp photograph. To create an autofocus photograph, you need to enable autofocus in your photography camera. After this is done, you need to press lightly on your take a photograph button to set your camera sharp on an object. Via your viewfinder (where you look through with DSLR cameras), you can see some red dots which are going to light up. These red dots which are automatically selected by the autofocus. The initials of autofocus are AF.


When do you need to use autofocus?

Autofocus is very handy in a lot of situations. I recommend you to enable always the autofocus (AF) when it is possible. You can combine this setting with the manually mode. This will mean that you can use the automatically autofocus, but that you also can change the autofocus by yourself. When the automatic autofocus is enabled, you can turn on the ring on your lenses, so you can move the focus point to the front or more to the back. Be sure that you press and hold the take a photo button lightly. Otherwise, you will lose the manually focus. When you are satisfied with your settings, you can press the take a photo button to take your photograph.


Different kinds of autofocus

With Nikon and Canon DLRS cameras (and maybe also with other brands) are you available to use different kinds of autofocus. I will explain them here below.

    • AF-S (Nikon) / One shot (Canon): This mode can be used with only one focus point in your photograph. For instance, a duck that swims in the water. You can use this mode to follow the duck in the water and put the autofocus on the duck itself.
    • AF-C (Nikon) / AI Servo (Canon): This mode is handy when you want to focus on a specific part of a photograph with only one focus point. When you use this mode, you are available to sharp automatically on that specific focus point.
    • AF-A (Nikon) / AI Focus (Canon): This mode can be used when you want one or two focus points in your photograph. This can be used in sport photography, for instance with cycling or running competitions.


When do you disable autofocus?

I recommend you to disable the autofocus when you want to focus on another point in your composition. You can use, if it is available, to use the manual autofocus option on your camera (or to disable the AF mode). You can use the ring on your lens to do the focus point manually.


Beside that, I am not recommended you to use the autofocus when the contrast between the objects and the background is almost equal. Your photography camera has difficulty focusing in such situations. In most of the cases I will recommend you to know what type of autofocus your photo camera and how to use these autofocus modes.

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