I thought auto focus was lazy enough. Actually the one technique that’s preferably used in street photography – zone focusing, it shoots pretty sharp images too, once the pre-focused focal length is in the zone of your subjects. And it can make you even lazier, or a nicer way to say it; it lets you concentrate on your composition. The distance error can often be ignored if we’re not that far off. Let say I’m shooting a subject 2m away, and my focus is just 1m. The subject can still be seen sharply.
By doing so, on my X100. I set my focus mode to manual and pre-focus (with AE lock) to about 1.5m-2m depending upon the area i’m shooting. Then now the aperture, set to relatively small f7.1-higher value. I found that it’s possible and safe to shot it with f7.1, ISO800+, shutter speed as auto, in the afternoon under a tiny bit of shade. I got around over 1/200s of shutter speed. It’s very well over the speed i needed to capture a shot via a viewfinder or off the hip (i’m more like “off my chest” usually).
The manual focus mode in X100 is useable in practical situation, in times like what i do. The AE-L is a cheat button, but you fall in love with it eventually.
I think i’m liking this pre-focused zone method. It saves time by not needing the systematic focus mechanism of your subject. It’s not as intelligent as the snap focusing by Ricoh. But it’s the same token. I got some great results from a shoot during the weekend near Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tai. And yea, many interesting faces and things in those area.
[A very special week of the NBA history made by J.Lin, keep it up!]
[old lady taking a stroll behind the street of a market.]
[market stall with chinese sausages]
[old lady with a funny look, is she stealing her own goods?!]
[While we’re ditching our outdated thin LCD TVs, there’re people out there repairing TVs that had been out there for over two decades.]
peeling pineapple in less than 30sec.
[art of multi-tasking in the mouth with cigarette and toothpick by the man.]
I have not gone shooting at night with the zone focusing method yet. I assume I’d have to step down the aperture to a less than f3.0 in order to shoot with a workable shutter speed. And the ISO would have to go as high as my camera can. It’s like a game of working a perfect mix between the aperture and ISO. Fine tuning is always needed anyway.. there’s not a textbook setting of what’s best. I personally found it more comfortable and easier to get a better shot with the aperture almost wide open. I’ve no idea when I hurt my ankle. It’s been a few days now. Seems not healing too well..it’s bugging my daily exploration.
Update: Check out my results 3 months later
The Colorful Hong Kong: Collection (5-6/2012) – Part I