When is Manual Focus better than auto focus?
Let me start by saying there is no right or wrong time to use either manual or auto focusing – both can produce great results in almost all circumstances – however there are a few times when you might find it easier to switch to manual focusing
1. Macro Work – When doing macro photography I almost exclusively switch to manual focusing. The narrow depth of field in these shots mean that you need to be incredibly precise with focusing.
2. Low Light – Shooting in dimly lit environments can be difficult for some cameras and lenses when it comes to focusing. You’ll know when your camera is struggling in Auto mode when every time you go to take a shot the lens will whirl from one end of it’s focusing options to the other and back again before deciding on where to focus.
3. Portraits – When shooting portraits focus needs to be precise. The majority of your shots of people will need to have their eyes in perfect focus and so switching to manual focus will give you complete control to enable this to save you from having to line up the focusing points on your camera on the eyes, press halfway down and then frame your shot.
4. Shooting Through Glass/Wire Fences – If you’ve ever shot through anything like a window or a mess/wire fence you’ll know how cameras will often get confused on where to focus your shot.
5. Action Photography – Shooting fast-moving subjects (like racing cars, planes, bikes, running animals etc) can be a frustrating experience when shooting with auto focus.