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Subject: "D3100 Autofocus help needed" Previous topic | Next topic
cpditter Registered since 04th Sep 2012Wed 05-Sep-12 06:11 PM
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"D3100 Autofocus help needed"


US
          

Hi,
Pretty new to my D3100. This past weekend took some action shots of my son waterskiing behind our boat, using AF-S Nikkor 55-200 4-5.6 G zoom lens.

Being new to the camera, I dialed in the the "sports" mode. A number of shots resulted in the autofocus locking on the shoreline rather than the skier.

What changes to settings would help avoid this?
thanks

  

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Skyco Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Mar 2012Thu 06-Sep-12 02:02 AM
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#1. "RE: D3100 Autofocus help needed"
In response to Reply # 0
Thu 06-Sep-12 11:24 AM by Skyco

Roanoke Island, US
          

>Hi,
>Pretty new to my D3100. This past weekend took some action
>shots of my son waterskiing behind our boat, using AF-S Nikkor
>55-200 4-5.6 G zoom lens.
>
>Being new to the camera, I dialed in the the
>"sports" mode. A number of shots resulted in the
>autofocus locking on the shoreline rather than the skier.
>
>What changes to settings would help avoid this?
>thanks

Hi Chuck,

Do you remember if you had the camera set in 'Auto' mode? Or where the focus point light up? "Auto" mode can give you a bunch of focus points, especially where there is a lot contrast like a shore line.

Without knowing more about what settings you were using other than "sports" I want to refer you to Nikon's 'Digitutor'. It will give you a good walk through of the camera as well as different focusing options. http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/IMG/Assets/Digital-SLR/2010/25472-Nikon-D3100/Video/digitutor/index.html

I usually shoot 'Aperture Priority' and for the kind of shots you mention I would use AF-C matrix, as I think your son would be moving, starting with the focus point light up on your son - center in the view finder or where ever you would compose the shot. Holding the shutter release 1/2 way down locks focus and you can see where the focus point is.

I hope this helps. The D3100 is an entry level DSLR but it is a very capable camera that can take some practice learning how to use it to get the photos you are expecting.

Well Wishes,

Ken

Visit my Nikonians gallery.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/skyco_g/

"Humans don't rise to the occasion. Instead, we fall to our level of training and experience". Archilochus, a Greek soldier and poet.
The best photo advice I ever received was at a John Shaw workshop. "... Practice your craft... ... Pixels are free...Practice... experiment with your camera".

  

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cpditter Registered since 04th Sep 2012Fri 07-Sep-12 01:13 AM
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#2. "RE: D3100 Autofocus help needed"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

Hi Ken:
Thanks for the response and the link.

From what I have researched and learned looking further into the info screen on the camera, when I chose the sports mode on the mode dial, the default settings for focus are AF-A, or "automatic", which means the camera automatically determines whether to use single servo or continuous servo focus mode. And the auto focus area mode default for this sports setting is "dynamic area". From what I have learned, I would be better served using either aperture priority or shutter priority and setting these to AF-C "continuous" and area mode to "3-d Tracking".

  

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Skyco Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Mar 2012Fri 07-Sep-12 04:00 AM
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#3. "RE: D3100 Autofocus help needed"
In response to Reply # 2
Fri 07-Sep-12 04:04 AM by Skyco

Roanoke Island, US
          

>Hi Ken:
>Thanks for the response and the link.
>
>From what I have researched and learned looking further into
>the info screen on the camera, when I chose the sports mode on
>the mode dial, the default settings for focus are AF-A, or
>"automatic", which means the camera automatically
>determines whether to use single servo or continuous servo
>focus mode. And the auto focus area mode default for this
>sports setting is "dynamic area". From what I have
>learned, I would be better served using either aperture
>priority or shutter priority and setting these to AF-C
>"continuous" and area mode to "3-d
>Tracking".

Hello again Chuck,

You are most welcome.

Yes I think your on the right track. I like 3-D mode for fast moving subjects and your subject and boat will be moving. I prefer Aperture Priority as that sets the area of focus - depth of field (DOF). If you choose shutter priority the camera will change everything else but the shutter speed. On the D3100 setting the aperture is done by pressing a button on top and turning the command wheel. In good light (I'm thinking on a lake or river - good sun - f/8, ISO 800 - 1600 should give you plenty good shutter speed for hand held shots. Considering boat vibrations and movement - higher ISO might be better, but see how 800 ISO works.

Amazon has a few books on the D3100 that may be of help also. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=nikon+d3100+for+dummies&sprefix=Nikon+D3100%2Cstripbooks%2C258

Welcome to Nikonians and I do hope you enjoy your photography!

Well Wishes,
Ken

Visit my Nikonians gallery.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/skyco_g/

"Humans don't rise to the occasion. Instead, we fall to our level of training and experience". Archilochus, a Greek soldier and poet.
The best photo advice I ever received was at a John Shaw workshop. "... Practice your craft... ... Pixels are free...Practice... experiment with your camera".

  

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cpditter Registered since 04th Sep 2012Fri 07-Sep-12 06:01 PM
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#4. "RE: D3100 Autofocus help needed"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

OK, Ken, thanks for the additional advice. Makes sense now why you recommend aperture priority. In retrospect, I should have known that from my first go-around with SLRs back in my college days...had the little Nikon EM which was aperture priority-only!
Chuck

  

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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #6646 Previous topic | Next topic


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