Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/17

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Subject: [Leica] R8 vs AF
From: "Birkey" <>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 23:01:54 -0500

A couple minor points....

1) The R-8 screen/viewfinder appears to my eye to be over one stop brighter
the EOS 1N... I'm amazed it is easier to MF the R-8 with the 80-200 f/4 than
the EOS 1N with 70-200 f/2.8.    On the other hand... I don't have marks on
my forehead from using the EOS 1N.

2) If you think AF cameras will automatically give you every shot in
focus.... well... you're wrong....  Unless you happen to have the right
sensor on the exact thing you want in focus... you will probably find
something else is sharper...

If you are lucky, the sensor will be on something that is the same
distance... if you are unlucky you'll get sharper hands or ears than eyes or
in basketball...the seat of the guy's shorts  defending the shooter will be
sharper... or the ball will be sharp and his face will be soft...

Either way...  to get good results.... you have to train yourself to use the
sensors and in the case of predictive multi sensor AF modes, which one to
start with... as well as use AF lock etc... ...  I have EOS 1N  cameras and
I rarely use AF as I spend too much time thinking about what sensor is
working and whether the stupid camera is focusing on the subject when I need
to anticipate the next good moment...

I always find when I use AF that my composition goes kaput.....  and I've
gotten burned badly a couple of times with the sensor ending up on subjects
arm or the wall or person behind them in situations where my grandmother
could have MF'd it correctly....  So the only time I use AF is when I know I
can't MF the image and I have nothing to lose with using AF..... and well
that's not very often.

So.....  While AF can help in some situations..... it isn't perfect and
sometimes it can be a downright pain in the neck and you can miss some shots

Duane Birkey
HCJB World Radio, Quito Ecuador
Duane's Photographs of Ecuador: