Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/15

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Subject: [Leica] Schumacher
From: Frank Dernie <>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 14:21:13 -0400

Simonn lamb chose to use the followingg exaple in favour of autofous
Take Schumacher spinning off in the British F1 Grand Prix last year.
If you did not happen to have been tracking him with your inbuilt human AF
capabilities, by the time you had heard the tyres screech, turned round,
focussed and taken the shot he would have been in the helicopter on his way
hospital!  I bet many Canon EOS and Nikon F photographers got some good
shots of that
action, far more than the number of manual focus photographers old have

This is exactly the opposite of what the pros in F1 believe. Maybe the F5
does not do this, most in F1 use Canon, but the examples given to me as to
why the top F1 pros use MF on the circuit is that when something unexpected
happens and they suddenly swing from where they were concentrating to the
new action by the time the AF spot is over the action and the camera has
re-focussed it is all over. AF can easily give a shot nicely focussed on
the gravel trap or barrier with a blurred racing car somewhere in frame. A
slightly out of focus shot is preferable in these circumstances.
The good guys know what they are trying to achieve and are prepared to risk
having a smaller number of brilliant keepers rather than complete films of
totally in focus banal images.
I must admit that I do not do on circuit shots because I am working in the
pits, this is (possibly out of date) opinion I have been given by the best
pros. I have an EOS 1n and know how quickly it can focus onto the wrong
thing if the subject you are interested in is not in the appropriate sensor
Cheers Frank