For the last two years, I’ve shot exclusively with old vintage lenses, along with the manual focusing that comes with them.
But recently, one of my readers kindly sent me a bunch of lenses. Most of them were of the modern day, with auto-focus capabilities. I’d almost forgotten auto-focus existed!
After taking these lenses out for a spin, I took an instant disliking to the auto-focusing. It confirmed to me that manually focusing is the best way, and always will be. Here’s why.
Auto-focus has come a long way. It’s faster and smarter than ever before. It’s hard to imagine it ever getting better. (Though I’m sure camera companies will “invent” a new technology they can slap a trademark on, in order to sell more cameras).
Yet, I still miss so many shots when using it. Auto-focus still feels like a risk to use, since it often goes haywire, or focuses on the wrong subject.
No matter how well I set up my AF points, the camera still misses shots throughout the day, leaving me with a handful of unrecoverable photos that could’ve been something special.
Of course, we could argue that using manual focus also means missing shots if we’re not quick to act. But at least the photos I end up with are ones I want later on; photos that possess my desired results, and have a far higher chance of seeing the light of day.
It’s Too Easy
Okay, so what if you don’t have the same issue as I do, and your auto-focus is spot on. It never lets you down, and it keeps your subject tack sharp every single time.
Well in this scenario, photography becomes far too easy. And there are two downsides to this.
For starters, photographers who find photography super easy, for whatever reason, will fall into the habit of happy snapping. We see this all the time with the newest generation of photographers online.
They simply go out into the street, shooting anything and everything. The photos are technically perfect, with tack-sharp focus, blurry backgrounds, and a balanced dynamic range.