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Easier Focusing

There’s no denying that the automatic focus features on a7-series cameras are great, but sometimes it just pays to turn them off and go manual. This is especially true when you are shooting on a tripod: Once you have your shot composed in the viewfinder and are ready to focus, chances are that the area you want to focus on is not going to be in the area of one of the focus points. Often this is the case when you have a foreground element that is fairly low in the frame. You could use a single focus point set low in your viewfinder and then pan the camera down until it rests on your subject, but then you would have to press the shutter button halfway to focus the camera and then try to recompose and lock down the tripod. It’s no easy task.

But you can have the best of both worlds by having the camera focus for you, then switching to manual focus to comfortably recompose your shot.

Getting focused while using a tripod

  1. Set up your shot and find the area that you want to focus on.
  2. Pan your tripod head so that your active focus point is on that spot.
  3. Press the shutter button halfway to focus the camera, and then remove your finger from the button.
  4. Switch the camera to manual focus by pressing the Fn button next to the shutter button, navigating to FOCUS, and selecting MF (manual focus).
  5. Recompose, and then take the shot.

The camera will fire without trying to refocus the lens. This works especially well for wide focal lengths, which can be difficult to focus in manual mode.

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