Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Focusing manually, part of Learning the Nikon D5200 and D5300.
- While I usually use autofocus, I sometimes find myself shooting manually. Perhaps it's for more control when shooting video, where focus is often changing in the middle of the shot. Or, maybe I'm dealing with a moving subject, that autofocus just can't track. I may want to manipulate focus to really push the shallow depth of field, or get a softly focused image for aesthetic reasons. When shooting time-lapse, I'll often set the focus to auto. Get the initial focus, and then turn autofocus off, so the camera doesn't make any changes in between shots.
Of course, it there's too little light, you may need to manually focus anyway. To use manual focus, you'll need to switch the camera to manual mode. To do this, press the information edit button. and use the multi-selector to select focus mode. Press OK, and then use the button to select manual. Press OK to store the setting. Now, if you're using a lens that actually has a switch on it, for manual or auto, you could switch that to M for manual as well, and this will switch the camera into manual mode.
Once in manual mode, turn the focus ring to adjust focus. To help you focus, here's a few tips. You can use the zoom in button to see a larger image on the live view display. This can make focusing easier. Some lenses also have focus markings that indicate exactly what distance you're focused at. This is measured from the focal plane mark near the back of the camera. Your camera also includes an electronic range finder. This makes it easier when using most lenses to simply look through the view finder and use the focus indicator.
Select a focus point using a technique you learned earlier, and then press the shutter halfway. Now as you slowly turn the focus ring, you'll see the light, light up, as well as arrows to serve as a guide. Keep adjusting until the focus indicator lights up.
- Getting ready to shoot
- Shooting in scene modes
- Working with the built-in flash
- Changing ISO
- Focusing with modes or by hand
- Understanding shutter release mode
- Switching metering modes
- Shooting with an external flash
- Shooting video