The advantage of manual focusing is that you can focus on whatever you want – the camera doesn’t decide for you.

With Landscape photography, it’s better to use manual focus to pinpoint the item you want in focus.

How to use autofocus

There are two things to consider:

1.  The mechanics of focusing

  • AFA – The camera chooses which focusing mode / option to use (don’t tend to use this one.)
  • AFS – Single shot – half press the button to lock focus on your subject then reposition your camera to get the desired composition
  • AFC – Moving objects – it’s about the change in distance between the subject and the camera
  • MF – Manual focus – decide yourself where you want the focus to be


2. Area of focus – The area you’re going to focus on

Decide whether you want to focus on one thing or the whole area

Focus areas on the Sony A77ii:

  • Wide (doesn’t focus wide – it selects and area and focuses on part of it)
  • Zone
  • Centre
  • Flexible spot
  • Expand flexible spot
  • Lock on AF Expand flexible spot


Homework – practice focusing: include shallow depth of field

All photos below were taken using manual settings and auto-focus with the flexible spot option

1. Focusing – general


2. Focusing and depth of field

3. Focusing and comparison of exposure settings


4. Focusing and White balance

5. Continuous focusing

This didn’t really work for me! On my first attempt, not featured here, I realised that I was using a slow shutter speed so I tried again. On the first set below, I used a shutter speed of 1/250 and on the second set, a shutter speed of 1/400 however they are still not in focus and the green focusing guide didn’t seem to move with the subject so I need further advice on this

Shutter speed: 1/250

Shutter speed: 1/400

Further ‘Just for fun’ photos can be found at the bottom of this page. I discovered a setting on my camera that created watercolour / illustrations and paintings of the subject you are photographing.