My Experience with using Autofocus for the First Time

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As most of you know, up to this point, I don’t use autofocus. The reason for that is simple. The systems I was trying to use were too slow and inaccurate. I could never trust autofocus to actually focus.

So I decided I would only shoot manual focus until I could afford a system that was at least as fast and accurate as I was.

Well, that time has come…

My System for Shooting Autofocus

I’ve had the Sony a7 II for many years now and I’m not sure (because I never tried it) how good the autofocus is in it. It’s probably fine, but I still couldn’t afford a decent autofocus lens to go along with it.

A couple of weeks ago I purchased the AMAZING Sony a7 III. Now with a camera like this, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to not use its full functionalities and capabilities. So I got a Sigma 135mm f1.8 art lens to go along with it.

I can’t lie, this is the most impressive setup I have ever held in my hands!

Shooting Autofocus for the First Time

As soon as I had a camera and lens in the same room together, they got married and became one.

I took the kids and we ran out to put it through some tests before that evening’s session.

After getting all of the settings set up the way I wanted, I gave it a go.

I noticed right away that the autofocus was immediate! There was no searching or focusing in and out, in and out trying to find a face, no. It was absolutely instant!

I tried having the kids ran straight at me full speed while I was focusing and shooting in burst mode. No problem. The only problem I did notice, was no eye autofocus…

Eye Autofocus

I was pretty concerned about not seeing the eye autofocus happening. I searched through the settings to see if maybe I just needed to turn on that feature. Nothing. 

I was getting nervous thinking “well maybe since I’m using a Sigma lens, it might not be supported.”. This had me very bummed as I was really looking forward to having the eye autofocus feature.

After some quick research, I discovered that it was actually assigned to another button and buried in the settings you could actually assign it to any bottom you wanted.

So I tested it out and found that it was as quick as the regular autofocus!

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Again I had the kids run straight at me and I was able to track their eyes while I was shooting in burst mode. 

It is quite very impressive.

Cons

The only time I had any trouble was later that evening when I was using it during a senior session. I was shooting into the sun internally trying to confuse the autofocus. It still focused fine, even with my subject running straight at me. However, the eye autofocus was having a hard time locking on.

I also noticed in extream low light situations, it starts to have a hard time finding the eyes.

But hey, worst case scenario, I can switch that sucker over to manual focus and do it the old fashioned way! 😉

Conclusion

Obviously, I am very impressed with this camera and lens and the lightning fast autofocus. I definitely plan on getting set up with a bunch of autofocus lenses now. I will probably stick with the Sigmas, I really like them and they have almost all of the lenses I need.

I hope you enjoyed this article!

Let me know your thoughts on autofocus in the comments below.

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