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Thread: Manual mode using icons

  1. #1
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    Manual mode using icons

    I just started and I know this may sound dumb to some. I brought a Sony a230 camera. If I want to take a landscape photo, and turned my dial to that icon. I still can use the camera in a manual focus? I don't need to use the auto focus? And does this apply to all the icon as well?
    I learning slowly but I just want to make sure. I don't want to hurt my camera by doing something stupid.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 23rd March 2011 at 10:21 AM.

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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Manual mode using icons

    Hello, Ronald. I believe the choice to use manual or auto-focus is on the lens and not on the camera body itself. When you use the special modes (like landscape or portrait) what the camera does is that it uses its built-in algorithm or "program" to set the aperture and shutter speed (and even the ISO speed) for you depending on the scene you are capturing. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 23rd March 2011 at 10:22 AM.

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    Re: Manual mode using icons

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Hello, Ronald. I believe the choice to use manual or auto-focus is on the lens and not on the camera body itself. When you use the special modes (like landscape or portrait) what the camera does is that it uses its built-in algorithm or "program" to set the aperture and shutter speed (and even the ISO speed) for you depending on the scene you are capturing. Hope this helps.
    With those Sonys it's a bit complicated: the bodies have an AF motor inside, so there is an A/M switch on the body. The standard kit lens also has an AF motor, so it also has an A/M switch... So official advice is: use the switch on the lens if it has one, otherwise use the switch on the body (no other choice there anyway ).

    To get back to the OP's question: the special modes (scene modes like landscape, sunset etc, or the basic PASM modes) influence exposition and in-camera post-treatment. The focussing system is independent, so you can use either autofocus or manual focus with any of the scene modes you want.

    Remco
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 23rd March 2011 at 10:20 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Manual mode using icons

    Dave,

    Thank you just want to make sure I don't hurt a brand new camera. LOL

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    Re: Manual mode using icons

    Remco
    I was reading here about the GND filters for taking photos of landscape et al. I am going to buy one as I saw some of the photos taken with these filters. I was blown away with them. Since I have a polorize filted on my lense right now. When I get the new GND filter, do I leave the polorize on and screw the new filter on top, or would it best to remove and just leave the GND filter?

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    Re: Manual mode using icons

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald View Post
    I was reading here about the GND filters for taking photos of landscape et al. I am going to buy one as I saw some of the photos taken with these filters. I was blown away with them. Since I have a polorize filted on my lense right now. When I get the new GND filter, do I leave the polorize on and screw the new filter on top, or would it best to remove and just leave the GND filter?
    Hi Ronald,

    First up, lets be sure we're talking about the right thing here ...

    GND (Graduated Neutral Density) filters have a different degree of opacity from one side to the other, and are used for - example - darkening a sky so that you can better capture foreground shadow detail, like in this shot ...

    Manual mode using icons

    ND filters are "sunglasses" for your lens - they allow you to slow down the exposure for various effects, like in this shot ...

    Manual mode using icons
    Assuming that you're meaning GND and not ND filters, then ... there are two basic sorts: Screw in ones, and sliding ones. Screw in ones are useless because the transition zone invariably runs right through the middle of the filter and thats pretty much where it's never ideal -- so screw in GND filters are extremely limiting, and pretty much a total waste of time.

    The sliding variety come in two basic sizes - the first are 6 x 4" or 150 x 100mm ("post card") size - these are my recommended size; you need this size for many lenses, and even if you have a smaller lens, this size still gives you a greater safety margin. the smaller ones are typically 3" x 4.5".

    When using sliding GND filter, one attaches a sizing ring to the lens (to adapt the size of the lens to a standard size for the filter holder), and then attaches a filter holder, which typically hold 1 to 3 filters. There are two main brands of filter holder; "Lee" which are of stronger construction, but cost more, and "Cokin" which are cheaper, but not as solid quality.

    In terms of filters, the best in the world are made by Singh-Ray (whilst singing their praises, you may be interested to read a few of the articles I've written for their blog on using their filters).

    To (finally!) answer your question about using GND with CPL (Circular Polarisers) filters, the short answer is that one wouldn't normally use them at the same time, for two reasons ...

    1. Stacking filters (on a good day) typically results in vignetting (ie "darkening in your image around it's outside, especially in the corners) due to the light being attenuated due to the filter being in the way), and on a bad day this can amount to total obstruction of parts of the image, and

    2. CPL filters filter light that's hitting the lens at an angle (indirectly) and in landscape (a) it'll give you uneven skys if you're shooting with a wide angle lens (which is what most use when shooting landscape), and (b) if you're using GND filters - usually - you'll be shooting into the light source, in which case a CPL won't do anything anyway.

    Some people swear by CPL filters, but personally, I just never use them because I've never found a need for them (and yes, I have 2 very expensive ones!). If you want to shoot world-class landscape then you'll only be able to do that at dawn or dusk -- and CPL filters just don't really do anything at these times.

    Hope this helps -- happy to answer any questions for you.

  7. #7
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    Re: Manual mode using icons

    Colin
    Wow, thank you for this wonderful information. As I was going to buy the GND screw in filters as I thought the otherw would not last as long I would end up continuing buying them. You gave me a lot to think about.
    I am learning from my photography club at my job. We meet once a month and I am learning, very slowy may I say. I know next month they are teaching us the difference between hard light and soft light. Now I have to find me a light meter as they want us to take some photos using both lights. Last month it was window ligthing.
    I thank you for you time and your help. Have a wonderful Easter.....Ron

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