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oops! I was in Manual Focus and thought I was in Auto

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Early this morning just after the sun had risen, I attempted to take some travel photos and thought I'd been successful only to learn tonight that everything I took was out of focus. I had previously been using manual focus and forgot to switch it back to Auto. Normally I would have caught this quickly, but this morning with the sun shining very brightly and often directly into my eyes, I failed to notice the error. I am posting this as an opportunity for others to learn from my own dumb mistake. 


Part of the issue was the rear LCD was totally unusable in the bright light. When using the EVF, I expected to see the focus rectangle in the middle of the screen, but when I did not, I assumed it was there, but the bright light was masking it. 


I now understand that when in manual focus there is no rectangle at all. Makes sense when you think about it. So, I wasn't seeing any rectangle red or green color because I was in manual mode.


Don't be a dummy like me. I make so many mistakes with cameras and I do my very best to learn from them, but it does seem it's the nature of the beast somewhat.


Here''s what would have been a decent shot OOF. Ugh!

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Similar issue with other systems, like all the M. Zuikos within the Olympus Micro Four-Thirds system with the clutch mechanism that allows one to easily shift between manual and auto focus. The one and only clear indication in the finder that AF is off is, no green AF confirmation light. Every time I change from one lens to the next, it's become an automatic/reflex action to check the clutch ring as it is easily moved in the process of swapping lenses. If I owned a Q, I'd probably be doing the same thing every time I pulled it out of the bag.


Since I've started using an M262 system, confusing AF with MF has ceased being something to think about.

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Greg, since I've started using my M262 I've been keeping the Q on manual focus.  If I need autofocus (rare) I know I have to turn it on.

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I have profil1 with autofocus and profil2 without.

I would enjoy to see the number on the viewfinder !

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A trip to India and 1200 shots later, I'll be honest and say, that I realised after reading this thread that I had never switched autofocus OFF.  A/F is so fast and accurate even with the lens wide open, I wonder why I would want to slow down my response time with manual focussing.  I've got an M9 for that, but I only used it once on that trip.   No regrets.  Users wanted A/F, they got it, and it works.  No need to prove any skill or superiority by bypassing the feature. Else get a rangefinder!  You have a modern camera well suited to spontaneous and right-moment shooting. 

Edited by lucerne

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(...) I wonder why I would want to slow down my response time with manual focussing.  I've got an M9 for that (...)

Ah, I don't have an M9

  but I'd say, in one shot every 30 or so, I need to get rid of foreground tree branches or things like that, and in this case indeed I switch to manual (which is extremely accurate I must say -day and night compared to my previous Nikon D5200)

Now, maybe I could quickly switch to single-point AF instead, which would prevent me to forget the manual gear -but indeed that one I didn't forget yet. Maybe I'd detect the missing AF rectangles, I don't know.

But, I did forget at least once all the other manual settings, including macro!

Edited by Herve5

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Response time is not always an issue.  Slowing down gives time for thought about the image to be captured.   Manual focus is one part of the thinking involved.   When response time is an issue I'll turn on autofocus.   Or I'll grab my DSLR.


It's a style of shooting that appeals to me.  When I'm in a hurry I make more mistakes.  Usually stupid mistakes.  My failing, not the camera.

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