Re: Does Rain Interfere with Autofocus?

Bill <bill@xxx> wrote in

Shawn Hirn wrote:

I shot a rugby game in heavy rain today and there are more
focus shots than I'm used to getting. Does a strong rain
interfere with the auto focus?

Heavy rain can definitely affect the autofocus sensors -
autofocus is surprisingly simple, and the contrast from a heavy
rainfall can easily confuse it.

Why were you shooting sports in auto mode in any case?
Regardless how fast the auto-focus operates, the camera is
still behind the action.

Auto mode is not the best option, yes.

But I trust you're not advocating manual focus like this...

Your camera was probably focusing on the rain rather than the
intended scene. Next time, for sports photos, use manual

There is only one way to capture sports action, and that's with
a very fast autofocus system (Canon: ring USM/Nikon: AF-S) and
some anticipation from the photographer. Manual focus in sports
is about as useful as tits on a bull.

Just my opinion though...

Wow! I'm glad somebody seems to share my view. I was starting to
get paranoid. I've shot several different kinds of sports and the
auto-focus of the 20D has always been plenty fast to lock in on the
action. It was only the heavy rain that produced more out-of-focus
shots than I'm used to getting but, even then, it was nothing that I
can't live with. I can't imagine trying to use manual focus. Even
with the full-time ring focus on my 70-200L, I'd need three hands:
one hand on the zoom ring, one on the shutter release and one on the
focus ring. The only sport I've found where manual focus works OK is
auto road racing. The cars all follow the exact same track, so I
pre-focus on the spot where they'll be passing. I then use a
relatively slow shutter speed combined with a horizontal pan to give
some motion blur to the background. Other than this, all sports are
auto-focus for me :).