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Subject: "Shooting Blanks" Previous topic | Next topic
Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Tue 21-Aug-12 12:28 PM
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"Shooting Blanks"


Los Angeles, US
          

Restaurant. Dinner party of 5. SB800 in shoe-- TTl-bl. P mode. 16-85mm lens. AF-S focus, with focus area set in automatic. Matrix metering.

I missed number of shots when the camera wouldn't release. I have the AF/AE button set for Back Focus. Most of the frames were pretty wide. i'd hit the AE button and get the green light, then the shutter button would capture. This happened at the table. There wasn't a lot of movement among the subjects.

Upon leaving, we all stood at the doorway and I handed my camera to a security guy, and he couldn't get the camera to fire. He was focusing, got the green light, but the camera wouldn't shoot. I'm sure my understanding of AF-S and AF-C is weak. And I am a bit wobbly about focus area selection.

How do you deal with these hangups?

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
Covey22 Moderator
21st Aug 2012
1
Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
cosmicfires Silver Member
23rd Aug 2012
12
Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
RockyIII Gold Member
21st Aug 2012
2
Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
Vlad_IT Silver Member
21st Aug 2012
3
Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
Bravozulu Silver Member
21st Aug 2012
4
     Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
RockyIII Gold Member
21st Aug 2012
5
     Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
km6xz Moderator
21st Aug 2012
6
          Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
Bravozulu Silver Member
21st Aug 2012
7
               Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
RLDubbya Silver Member
21st Aug 2012
8
                    Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
Vlad_IT Silver Member
21st Aug 2012
9
                         Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
Bravozulu Silver Member
21st Aug 2012
10
                              Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
Vlad_IT Silver Member
22nd Aug 2012
11
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Bravozulu Silver Member
28th Aug 2012
13
                              Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
jiano
28th Aug 2012
14
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Bravozulu Silver Member
29th Aug 2012
15
                                        Reply message RE: Shooting Blanks
jadiniz
29th Aug 2012
16

Covey22 Moderator Expert in various fields including aviation photography Awarded for his contributions to the Resources and The Nikonian eZine Charter MemberTue 21-Aug-12 01:22 PM
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#1. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 21-Aug-12 04:58 PM by Covey22

US
          

Single Servo (AF-S) will not allow shutter release until focus is confirmed (i.e., Focus Priority), hence you need to get the Focus Confirmation light (green light in VF) before you can fire. To get Shutter Priority, set the camera to Continuous Servo (AF-C), then it will fire when you fully depress the shutter button, regardless of focus status.

Edited to add - this will change your situation from one of multiple "stabs" at the shutter button before firing to immediate gratification, only to realize later those shots were out-of-focus because the new user (like the doorman) did not know to press the alternate Focus button. When handing the unit over to someone whose photographic skill you do not know, it might be best to switch to Auto/Green (what I call the "Waiter" mode) if it's available on the Mode Dial, and/or re-assign the shutter release back to the traditional front button.

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cosmicfires Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Nov 2011Thu 23-Aug-12 01:40 AM
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#12. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 1


Lynnwood, US
          

You can set the D7000 for focus priority or release priority in both Single Servo (AF-S) and Continuous Servo (AF-C) modes.

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Tue 21-Aug-12 03:34 PM
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#2. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 21-Aug-12 03:34 PM by RockyIII

Raleigh, US
          

Did you instruct the security guy to use the AE-L/AF-L button to focus before depressing the shutter release button? Most people would not know to do that.

Rocky

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Tue 21-Aug-12 04:01 PM
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#3. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

In certain situation i had a similar problem - while back button (AF-On assigned to it) is depressed – and the focus is confirm and camera allows to take a shot, but if after that the back button is release (after acquiring the focus) the shot may not be not taken as confirmed focus circle switched to two triangles (not confirm focus) - nothing is changed, not distance not anything else. It’s ONLY happens in dark environment. I can only speculate that AF system in dark environment functions “under the stress” and any small body motion can trigger “mis-focus” status. Solution here is not to release AF-On button ever before taking a shot. Another solution is to program AF-S for release priority, but it’s not a best solution – it can bite you back. Another solution is to programmed U1 or U2 for a snapshots with AF assigned to shatter release button - more common way for other people to take pictures. I suspect the same can be achieved by switching from P mode to auto.

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Tue 21-Aug-12 04:52 PM
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#4. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 3


Los Angeles, US
          

Rocky, the answer is yes. The other suggestions here point to a solution that is bit uncomfortable ——— holding the Back Button while simultaneously pushing the shutter button all the way.

And, Vlad suggested darkness might be the fault. Yes, it was dark. I was having trouble in the restaurant, and outside at the door.

You know, the explanations available in the manual, in 3rd party books and on forums could be enhanced by explaining AF-S and AF-C in a more practical way. I believed that my camera settings (AF-S) were good because everyone was seated. Not out on the dance floor.

And at the front door outside, everyone was standing motionless. At this point I'm beginning to suspect that AF-S is defined by "not breathing, no heartbeat". Dead, lying on the floor.

What are the distinguishing characteristics of AF-C, AF-S? And what would have been the appropriate Focus Area for a group of 5? 3Dmatrix, Center Weighted?

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Tue 21-Aug-12 07:28 PM
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#5. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 4


Raleigh, US
          

> What are the distinguishing characteristics of AF-C, AF-S? And
> what would have been the appropriate Focus Area for a group of
> 5? 3Dmatrix, Center Weighted?

AF-C is continuous focus and typically used when the subject is moving. AF-S is typically used for stationary subjects.

3D matrix and center weighted have to do with the metering for exposure, not the focusing.

Rocky

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Tue 21-Aug-12 08:05 PM
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#6. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 4


St Petersburg, RU
          

You are right, the AF-On button is a bit uncomfortable....for a short while until the habit become natural and the benefits become appreciated. One advantage of AF-S is the ability to shoot with improved AF performance in low light conditions by use of the AF Assist light, either on the camera or in the case of having the speed-light attached, the infrared AF Assist source on the front of the flash. Be sure to enable it in the menu. Using the feature on the external flash improves AF performance to be even a bit better than in good light because of the nature of the gated light pattern it emits.
If something does not work as expected, until the camera is learned very well, is best to assume a setting as the cause. To rule out the camera, switch to an auto exposure mode and see it the problem disappears. If it still does not work, the camera might very well be at fault.

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Tue 21-Aug-12 08:19 PM
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#7. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 6


Los Angeles, US
          

Stan, when the security guard was struggling to get the camera to fire, I was facing him and could see the red AF Assist bursts coming from the strobe. But it would be too much to expect a stranger to manipulate the 2 buttons at the same time. I can barely do it.

I've been reading up about this issue and have looked at camera settings. A few failures occurred when I was shooting two heads. i focused on one, then rotated the camera slightly to get both heads in the frame. So the lens was looking out into blank space momentarily.

In custom settings AF-S and AF-C are designated to FOCUS. Not to RELEASE under any condition.

The dark conditions were a contributing element. And I am starting to believe that manual focus would have been wise decision. Heck, it worked in film cameras all the time. And was pretty quick.

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Tue 21-Aug-12 09:29 PM
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#8. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

Don't give up. I'll go through settings for you, I came across a weird combo that yields the results you're describing. With one combo (I'll call it the "good" combo), I get spot-on results using AF-S, focus priority, and works fine in the dark. With the other combo, I get the camera not firing a lot, in the same circumstances.

Might take me a day or three.

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Tue 21-Aug-12 10:18 PM
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#9. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 8


US
          

Bob,
I'll be interested too to analyze it. But I suspect the problem here is AF-On and AF-S combination. As long as camera focuses with af-s and you do not release focusing button (shutter release or back button) one can recompose and camera will take picture even it will be out of focus. But I suspect you released back focussing button for a moment and thus camera went into OOF situation and with focus priority camera locked.
Best regards,
Vlad

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Tue 21-Aug-12 11:42 PM
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#10. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 9


Los Angeles, US
          

Gee, 2 doctors who make house visits. I'm honored.

Yes, I pressed the AF-On (Back Button) and released. And I was in AF-S mode. As I said above, everyone was sitting or standing still.

Worse yet, I think I aimed the lens at the lady on the left, pulled focus, and then reframed to the empty center between two ladies so they'd both be in frame.

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Wed 22-Aug-12 12:38 AM
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#11. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

Gee, next tome use af-c with back button or override the default from focus release to shutter priority release.

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Tue 28-Aug-12 04:31 PM
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#13. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 11


Los Angeles, US
          

Anyone?

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jiano Registered since 13th Aug 2009Tue 28-Aug-12 07:24 PM
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#14. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

>Yes, I pressed the AF-On (Back Button) and released. And I was
>in AF-S mode. As I said above, everyone was sitting or
>standing still.
As others have said, you have to continue to hold down AF-On until you shoot. If you release the AF-On button and you are in focus priority, the shutter will not release.

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Wed 29-Aug-12 12:27 AM
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#15. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 14


Los Angeles, US
          

A fellow Nikonian just spent one hour on the phone with me discussing this problem. He owns a D800 and has lots of DSLR experience.

I have been lazy about choosing my focus points. Even though I posted a question about the little Focus point selector on the back of the camera. Somehow in the excitement of changing to 'back-button' mode, and discussions of AF-C/AF-S I neglected to point the focus where I wanted it. I just let it go AUTO.

My friend suggested I illuminate the focus points of the restaurant images in ViewNX2. I saw the confusion the camera was undergoing and why it wouldn't fire. Most of the points were about 25+ feet behind the subjects in the foreground. Against the dark wall on the other side of the room.

And I thought configuring the AE/AF-L button to AF-On was a magic bullet. It still required intelligent input from me.

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jadiniz Registered since 25th Dec 2010Wed 29-Aug-12 09:14 AM
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#16. "RE: Shooting Blanks"
In response to Reply # 15


Estoril, PT
          

1. For the use of back-button focusing, one should enable shutter release priority, and not focus release priority.

2. If the AE/AF-L button is set to AF-ON, switching the mode dial to AUTO will not change that, which I believe is something that should be changed in firmware. The green AUTO should reset all settings to the easiest modes possible, but this here is an exception I'd whish Nikon take care of.

Whenever I hand out my D7000 no someone, I have to go in and set focus back to the shutter button. No other way around it, except for burning U1 or U2 with a snapshot mode, which IMO is a waste.

No point in trying to explain how to operate AF-ON to a non-photog. It is indeed complicated.

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