Discussion Forum Leica S System S2 S2 shooting technique advice pleas
  • #2260
    GMB

    I am seeking adivce on how best to achieve focus on slow moving targerts. For example, on a recent trip to Sri Lanka, I wanted to shoot some persons that were walking towards me–steadily but not fast. I had set the camera to continues outfocus and fired a few shots, albeit not in burst mood. You could realy feel the camera seeking for a focus point. Results were mixed with a noticable back focus (i.e., face not sharp but shoulders in focus–person was forward leaning). I had similar experience when I was trying to shoot a leopoard that was slowly walking towards us on a safari.

    Thanks.

    Georg

  • #2261
    Mark Gowin

    I have had similar experiences with the S2 autofocus. I gave up and try to manual focus adjust which works ok, but not great, if the subject speed is slow and steady. Hopefully, someone else will post a better experience and/or solution.

  • #2263
    Roger

    Last summer I took the S2 to the US Open Tennis. It is a wonderful event and place to fully understand your equipments strengths and weaknesses . I shot about 50% action and 50% the event/crowd(like street).

    I found it frustrating to use AF in a tradition manner and went to a combination of manual and AF . I would pick the probably location of the key point of action and prefocus using the AF from the rear button . Then I would manually adjust .

    I also shoot Polo in the winter and I know the shot of the horses coming directly at you . No chance the S2 AF can follow focus …..this a Pro DSLR challenge.

    The S2 has a great viewfinder and I find it easy and quick to manually focus . The AF is a quick way to establish a specific location. Takes a while to learn to adjust for the geometry as if you focus on the ground the subject at eye level will be closer .

  • #2267
    fotografz

    RE: AF on a subject walking toward you at a normal pace:

    Here is a technique you may want to try. I use it at every wedding where the Bride is being escorted down the aisle toward me. Oddly, this slow “processional” is one of the harder shots to get right every time, but it is a critical shot at every wedding. I often would get marginal results even using a Nikon D3 or D3X set to continuous focus … something about the irregular pace when people are walking toward you as opposed to running, like in sports.

    I found that if I track the subject myself in single focus, I nailed the shot every time. As they move toward me, I AF but don't shoot. I keep doing that until they are where I want them in the frame, and then shoot with one motion of the shutter button …. no hesitation, one firm steady press of the shutter button all the way.

    I think that it works because the lens has been partially focused closer and closer as they move toward me, and when the time comes has very little ways to go to nail the shot. It's sort of a Manual Continuous focus technique … LOL!

    Practice it a bit and see if it can work for you.

    Marc

  • #2268
    GMB

    Thanks, Marc. I will try that. So far, I had it set to continuous focus.
    Georg

  • #2273
    Paratom

    The only way I am successfull is to prefocus on a certain point where I expect the subject to come and then press the shutter once the subject reaches this point.
    Its still a hit and miss.
    Some time ago I have used my D700 again and as much as I love the S2 for this type of images the continues AF of the Nikon is a releaf.

  • #2277
    fotografz

    One wonders how all the wonderful photography was taken before the advent of automation … LOL!

    Practice perhaps?

    One thing of value when shooting wedding photography, is that it forces a relationship with any given camera. If you use a S2 for it's strengths, then you must practice techniques that mitigate any weaknesses. Same for any camera.

    If you use a pre-focus technique to nail a moving subject, then you have to be really good at timing the shot. I used to shoot moving subjects with a manual focus Hasselblad 203FE and digital back using pre-focus, and I HAD to be successful because there are no second chances at a wedding. So, practice makes perfect … practice timing shots until any idiosyncratic aspect of a camera becomes part of the shooting technique.

    Here's a tip regarding the S2 that takes note of how the camera works. When you turn on the S2, the lens starts up and sets itself at the focus distance you last used. If it was @ 5′, then the lens sets itself to 5′. Now, for those that have used a manual focus system in past, one effective technique was to set the focus at infinity prior to a shot because for most images (other than close-ups), the lens has less distance to travel to achieve focus. If you have a lens with distance markings like a M optic, look at how they progressively get closer and closer covering greater distances as you approach infinity.

    So, one technique that can improve AF speed is to manually set the focus to infinity before you turn on the camera. If a subject is moving toward you, the lens only has one way to travel as the subject successively gets closer. It isn't traveling from a close setting to a farther one and maybe over-shoots it and has to return (hunting) … it is simply faster to move from infinity for a great majority of shots.

    Try it. With practice, it's pretty revealing.

    -Marc

  • #2278
    ciracrowell

    I will third that observation. The S2 does prefer background focus to an annoying degree and tends to “search” for the correct focus too long. When the camera gets stuck “searching” I switch to manual focus (which means the photo could be gone by then). I find myself toggling between focus modes often on single shoot, which is a problem. However, if you have to switch to manual focus, the microprism focusing screen makes a tremendous improvement. It makes the S2 “feel” like the great old Leica film cameras (SL2, R3).

  • #2280
    melantye

    fotografz;2181 wrote: One wonders how all the wonderful photography was taken before the advent of automation … LOL!

    Practice perhaps?

    One thing of value when shooting wedding photography, is that it forces a relationship with any given camera. If you use a S2 for it's strengths, then you must practice techniques that mitigate any weaknesses. Same for any camera.

    If you use a pre-focus technique to nail a moving subject, then you have to be really good at timing the shot. I used to shoot moving subjects with a manual focus Hasselblad 203FE and digital back using pre-focus, and I HAD to be successful because there are no second chances at a wedding. So, practice makes perfect … practice timing shots until any idiosyncratic aspect of a camera becomes part of the shooting technique.

    Here's a tip regarding the S2 that takes note of how the camera works. When you turn on the S2, the lens starts up and sets itself at the focus distance you last used. If it was @ 5′, then the lens sets itself to 5′. Now, for those that have used a manual focus system in past, one effective technique was to set the focus at infinity prior to a shot because for most images (other than close-ups), the lens has less distance to travel to achieve focus. If you have a lens with distance markings like a M optic, look at how they progressively get closer and closer covering greater distances as you approach infinity.

    So, one technique that can improve AF speed is to manually set the focus to infinity before you turn on the camera. If a subject is moving toward you, the lens only has one way to travel as the subject successively gets closer. It isn't traveling from a close setting to a farther one and maybe over-shoots it and has to return (hunting) … it is simply faster to move from infinity for a great majority of shots.

    Try it. With practice, it's pretty revealing.

    -Marc

    Works very well!

  • #2281
    aboudd

    Marc,

    This is a great suggestion. Thanks for the tip. I've been using MF almost all the time with the S2 because of its propensity to hunt. This should really help quite a bit.

  • #2282
    fotografz

    🙂

    -Marc

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.