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Subject: "AF-S or AF-C?" Previous topic | Next topic
Rohinton_Mehta Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2002Wed 19-Jun-13 09:58 AM
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"AF-S or AF-C?"


Mumbai, IN
          

When using the D7000/D7100, is it okay to use AF-C with the central AF point even for static subjects?

When photographing birds, it is rather difficult or time-consuming to change from AF-S to AF-C if the bird takes off. So, would it be safer to always use AF-C? After all, for non-moving subjects, AF-C would act as AF-S, wouldn't it?

Of course, by only using AF-C with the central AF point, I would lose the advantage of using Dynamic AF. On the other hand, the central AF point is considered the most accurate.

Would appreciate your views.

Rohinton

  

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ithompson72 Silver Member
19th Jun 2013
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billD80 Silver Member
19th Jun 2013
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chesterdawg Silver Member
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geeks2you
23rd Jul 2013
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Pete Wilson Gold Member
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tfeazel Silver Member
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20th Jun 2013
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ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Wed 19-Jun-13 12:09 PM
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#1. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 0


Chichester, GB
          

From my somewhat limited knowledge the reasons for using AF-S would be:

Reduced battery usage (AF-C runs down the battery quicker)
Ability to focus and then reframe (ie use shutter release to focus lock and then reframe so that the focussed item is no longer centre of frame).

I personally am not aware of any other disadvantages of using AF-C.

  

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billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007Wed 19-Jun-13 12:44 PM
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#2. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

>When using the D7000/D7100, is it okay to use AF-C with the
>central AF point even for static subjects?

Yes, it is.

After all, for
>non-moving subjects, AF-C would act as AF-S, wouldn't it?

Yes it would.

>Of course, by only using AF-C with the central AF point, I
>would lose the advantage of using Dynamic AF. On the other
>hand, the central AF point is considered the most accurate.
>

You can use AF-C and 3D, starting with the focus set on your primary subject. I'm amazed how well the camera follows what it has been initially set on, even under challenging circumstances.

www.billkeane.zenfolio.com

  

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chesterdawg Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2010Wed 19-Jun-13 02:28 PM
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#3. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 2


Commerce, US
          

This explains it all:

http://www.pixelfinesse.com/_docs/D7000_AF_Explained.pdf

Steve

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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geeks2you Registered since 30th May 2013Tue 23-Jul-13 04:35 PM
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#29. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 3


Alpharetta, US
          

This article from pixelfitness is excelletn for anyone just learning these cameras or comparing the setting differences when upgrading bodies.

Thanks for the link!

  

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Pete Wilson Gold Member Nikonian since 27th Jun 2004Wed 19-Jun-13 06:58 PM
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#4. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 19-Jun-13 07:00 PM by Pete Wilson

Lake Orion, US
          

I have assigned my AF-ON to the AE-L/AF-L button and leave my camera in AF-C all of the time. Press the AE-L/AF-L button once and the camera will focus as if it was in AF-S mode. Then you can easly recompose the shot without having the camera refocus. Hold the AE-L/AF-L button down and the camera focuses like its in AF-C mode (because it is).

Takes a little bit to get used to but once you get used to it you will never want to go back to focus on the shutter release button again.

Pete Wilson
Nikonian from Lake Orion, Michigan
My Nikonians gallery

Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera

  

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tfeazel Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Sep 2004Thu 11-Jul-13 02:48 PM
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#15. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 4


Polk City, US
          

Great suggestion.
I've been using the AEL/AFL button for months, but did not know about holding it down.
Thanks all.

Tom

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Rassie Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Wed 19-Jun-13 09:26 PM
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#5. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 19-Jun-13 09:38 PM by Rassie

Milton, CA
          

Here's how I do it.
I have the AF-ON set to the AE-L/AF-L button, set on center-point, together with appropriate ISO and F/stop for my stationary bird pictures. This is saved into U1 user mode. In this mode the camera only focuses when I hit the AE-L/AF-L button. I only re-focus when the bird moves closer or farther away. Once focus is set it leaves me free to not have the shutter button attempting to re-focus every time I touch it or when I re-compose.

For fast-moving birds or animals, I set a somewhat higher ISO, preferred shutter speed or aperture and AF-C focus mode with dynamic autofocus. In this mode I leave the autofocus linked to the shutter button. This is saved into U2.

So I'll be using U1 for a stationary bird. If it should decide to take off I can switch the mode dial to U2 and keep shooting. Since the two user modes are directly adjacent to each other on the mode dial, all it takes is a small turn of one click to switch to the other user mode.

The reason I don't like AF-C on static subjects is that grasses, leaves or branches could be blown into and out of the picture and have the camera re-focus on that at the wrong moment. This especially happens on breezy days when the bird is among branches and foliage in a tree.

Regards

My Nikonians gallery

  

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Rohinton_Mehta Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2002Thu 20-Jun-13 03:23 AM
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#6. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 5


Mumbai, IN
          

Thank you everyone. My doubts are now absolutely cleared.

Rohinton

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Thu 27-Jun-13 12:39 AM
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#7. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 6


Los Angeles, US
          

There is an added dividend to configuring the AE-AF Lock button to AF-On. When you tap the focus button and release, the lens quickly behaves in AF-S mode. You get instant focus , but then can quickly reframe the scene if you wish.

But, if you push and hold the focus button, you can AF-C, continuous focus that will track moving scenes. In typing out this info I am reminded of the really astounding flexibility and power of this feature. It quickly becomes an automatic reflex. It takes longer to explain than to put into action.

The D7000/7001 is an amazing camera.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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BrawlerO Registered since 01st Nov 2012Wed 10-Jul-13 11:30 AM
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#12. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 7


Wokingham, GB
          

>There is an added dividend to configuring the AE-AF Lock
>button to AF-On. When you tap the focus button and release,
>the lens quickly behaves in AF-S mode. You get instant focus ,
>but then can quickly reframe the scene if you wish.
>
>But, if you push and hold the focus button, you can AF-C,
>continuous focus that will track moving scenes. In typing out
>this info I am reminded of the really astounding flexibility
>and power of this feature. It quickly becomes an automatic
>reflex. It takes longer to explain than to put into action.
>
>The D7000/7001 is an amazing camera.

Do you just dial AF-C to the top lcd screen for this?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Thu 27-Jun-13 06:48 PM
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#8. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 0


St Petersburg, RU
          

As others have commented AF-C, when used with the AF-On function assigned to the AE-L/AF-L button, becomes the only mode needed. It locks and stays on the focal plane the last time the button was released to simulate AF-S but also offers more control when using continuous focus mode.
The only downside for me is losing AF Assist light when using an external flash in very dark conditions. AF Assist, particularly when using an SB series external flash is very effective in nailing focus in dark conditions. The flash emits a special patterned infrared light that is hardly noticed by subjects, unlike the obnoxiously bright white assist light that is used with the internal flash. The grid pattern of light is very effective in aiding the center cross focus point in absolutely lightless interior shots.

Any time you recompose, metering needs to be considered since it measured the scene or spot before recomposition. That is aided by the AE-L metering lock function. Since most of us use the switch labeled AE-L/AF-L for AF-On, I assign the Fn button for the AE-L function, even on my camera that has dedicated AE-L and AF-On buttons so both the D7000 and D800 has the same focusing and metering control layout.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013Mon 01-Jul-13 01:50 PM
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#9. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 8
Mon 01-Jul-13 01:50 PM by NickMilner

Manchester, GB
          

Hi all, this is my first post (other than in the New Users forum) so please go easy on me!

I wanted to say that I also set up both my D5100 and D7100 for back button focusing and leave them in AF-C mode. Another advantage I found with my D5100 was that it decoupled the VR from the AF, which meant I could focus and re-focus without the added drain of the VR, and then VR only kicked in during shutter release. Nice.

Where it gets a bit more interesting is that on my D7100 I'm pretty sure that the VR triggers when focusing, not on the shutter, which seems like a step back for me. I can't confirm that because I'm at work and don't have the cameras in front of me but it's something that briefly stuck in my mind at the weekend while playing with my new D7100 (which I love, btw!)

Thanks!

  

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walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Nikonian since 05th May 2002Mon 01-Jul-13 01:56 PM
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#10. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 9


Colorado Springs, US
          

Newer cameras (D7100, D4, D800/e, D600, etc.) have VR triggered via either the shutter release or the AF-On button, so you're not imagining anything. Personally, I view it as a step forward rather than a step backward. It makes it easier to precisely compose a photo when handholding a longer lens. It also lessens the likelihood of taking a photo prematurely while VR is still settling.

Rick Walker

My photos:
GeoVista Photography

  

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NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013Mon 01-Jul-13 02:04 PM
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#11. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 10


Manchester, GB
          

Ah, great, probably a custom setting then. I felt that having it on the shutter release worked for me because you could kick it in with a half-press. So you had three independent steps - AF, VR, shoot.

Thanks for the reply - I'll go looking for that setting.

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Wed 10-Jul-13 03:28 PM
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#13. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 11


St Petersburg, RU
          

The vr function is not improved by that intermediate step at half press. It is very useful during the focusing function however and at the moment of release. There are a number of benefits of activating VR while focusing including having a steady vf image but also having a steady focusing sensor image when locking onto the optimum focal plane. That makes a welcome difference with the new hi res sensors. Af systems are put to the test with hi pixel density sensors in ways that never taxed 12mpx cameras.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013Wed 10-Jul-13 04:31 PM
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#14. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 13


Manchester, GB
          

Do you know, in the time since this conversation started I've already grown to appreciate the "new" method. Thanks for the followup and the advice!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Thu 11-Jul-13 04:47 PM
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#16. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 14


Atlanta, US
          

In theory AF-A provides the best of both worlds. AF-A is designed to automatically switch from AF-S for static subjects to AF-C for moving subjects. But in practice, I found AF-A would not fire or focus at all at the moment when a subject begins to move. I was shooting black bears in water and trying to get a shot of them shaking off water. With several separate attempts in good lighting I the camera would not fire (basically it stayed in AF-S Focus Priority). With AF-C the camera fired and the images were sharp.

So stay away from AF-A.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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Ellis Feibush Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Sun 14-Jul-13 01:14 PM
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#24. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 10


Summit, US
          

In the D7100 is VR and focus activated when you hit the back AF-On button? And then the shutter button is used only to trigger the shutter? That would be excellent. On my D7000 AF-On button only focuses. The shutter button activates the VR function beside tripping the shutter.

efeibush

  

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jhonave Registered since 11th Jan 2010Fri 12-Jul-13 01:05 AM
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#17. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 8
Fri 12-Jul-13 01:19 AM by jhonave

San Diego, US
          

Stan, I appreciate this information on AF-C with the AF-On function, another technique to use on my next photo-shoot. Thanks.

Passion 4 Photography
www.p4ph.com

  

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Alfred70 Registered since 12th Dec 2012Fri 12-Jul-13 01:55 PM
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#18. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 17


San Antonio, US
          

Setting the AE-L/AF-L button to create AF-ON is quite nice. If I hold the AF-ON button I have AF-C mode and if I single press it I have AF-S. A clever and very useful trick you all came up with.

I have one problem with this technique and that is that VR does not work until I half-press the shutter release. In order to have AF-ON and VR, I must hold the AF-ON button with my thumb and the shutter release button with my index finger. This is somewhat awkward and often results in my pressing the shutter release too far and tripping the shoot before I'm ready.

Is there a way to setup the D7000 so that VR is active as soon as I press the AF-ON button?

Alfred
San Antonio, TX

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Fri 12-Jul-13 04:57 PM
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#19. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 18


St Petersburg, RU
          

No, that behavior was added in the D800, D4, D600 and now the D7100.
At first many people complain about it thinking having VR active too long will drain the battery. It does a little but overall, there are benefits to having it on while the AF is working and on again only milliseconds before the shutter release at the full press.
I have a D7000 and never was concerned over the VR activation during focusing but when I got the D800 and the higher demands placed on technique and stability, it was a welcome addition.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Alfred70 Registered since 12th Dec 2012Sat 13-Jul-13 01:24 PM
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#20. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 19


San Antonio, US
          

Thank you for the info Stan. The camera is still quite new to me so I'll consider this as just another fact to learn and practice.

Alfred

  

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jhonave Registered since 11th Jan 2010Sun 14-Jul-13 02:32 AM
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#22. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 20


San Diego, US
          

Thanks also to Pete and Rassie.

Passion 4 Photography
www.p4ph.com

  

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Rmastran Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Nov 2011Sat 13-Jul-13 08:33 PM
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#21. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 8


Carver, US
          

Hi Stan,

I'm curious, do you assign the Fn button to AE/AF lock, AE lock only or AE lock (Hold)?

Thanks!

Ralph

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sun 14-Jul-13 12:13 PM
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#23. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 21


St Petersburg, RU
          

I normally assign it to AE-L Hold which allows me to take additional frames if desired without going back the original framing to meter again. It does require adopting the habit of clearing the hold by a second press or allowing the meter to time out, which for me is 6 seconds.
AE-L is one of the least used functions by newcomers but it's very useful and has a place in almost any type of non-snap shot.

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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lautry Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2011Mon 15-Jul-13 08:45 PM
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#25. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 8
Mon 15-Jul-13 08:51 PM by lautry

Panama City Beach, US
          

Stan could you explain the difference between setting the f5 function to af - lock or af-on? It seems to mean the same thing to me. Focus is locked when you depress the button and release. Thanks for patience with a beginner.
Larry

ps I got this from reading the link above:
AE/AF lock* - Exposure and focus will lock while the button is pressed. This is the default.
AE lock only – Exposure will lock while the button is pressed.
AF lock only* - Focus will lock while the button is pressed.
AE lock (Hold) – Exposure will lock when the button is pressed the first time. It will remain locked
until the button is pressed a second time or until the exposure meters turn off.
AF-ON* - This option is popular with many photographers. It moves turning on autofocus from the
half press functionality of the Shutter Release button to the AE-L/AF-L button. The Shutter Release
button can’t be used to initiate autofocus if this option has been selected.
FV lock – Flash value will lock when the button is pressed. A second press will cancel the lock.

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Mon 15-Jul-13 09:54 PM
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#26. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 25


Atlanta, US
          

Larry

With AF-Lock only focus is only locked as long as you continue to press the button. If you release the button, when you press the shutter the camera focuses.

AF-On lets you press the button and release it and focus does not change - even when you press the shutter or recompose.



Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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lautry Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2011Tue 16-Jul-13 01:25 AM
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#27. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 26


Panama City Beach, US
          

Eric, if you could see me now a light bulb has lit over my head as I understand what may have been happening in some of my pictures. Thank you so much for your help.
Larry

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Tue 16-Jul-13 11:01 AM
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#28. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 27


Atlanta, US
          

Great - sometimes the materials are confusing and it takes some discussion to translate from the manual to practice.

Eric Bowles
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clayolmstead Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Jul 2010Wed 24-Jul-13 03:40 PM
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#30. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 0


Austin, US
          

There's an explanation of the AF-ON method of focusing in Russ McDonald's article (which is worth reading for several reasons, even if you're not planning on taking pictures of large groups):

http://www.nikonians.org/reviews?alias=how-to-shoot-large-groups-with-nikon-cls

Russ points out that you need to select AF Priority Selection to Release mode for this to work: if you reframe the image between focusing and and taking the picture, the Focus light goes out and the shutter won't release.

An additional benefit to this method: you get AF-C mode by holding your thumb on the AE-L/AF-L button and simulate AF-S mode by releasing it, without actually changing modes. As Stan noted, you do lose the AF Assist lamp, which you may or may not miss.

Another benefit to this method (over setting focus and exposure on the half-press of the shutter release) is that with your right thumb setting aperture with the rear selection wheel and moving over to the AE-L/AF-L button to focus, you're forced to support the camera with your left hand underneath the lens. That's the right way to hold it anyway, since it minimizes camera motion.

Clay
Austin, TX USA

  

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clayolmstead Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Jul 2010Wed 24-Jul-13 04:29 PM
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#31. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?"
In response to Reply # 30


Austin, US
          

I should mention the other disadvantage to this setting: the focus setting for the Green Auto ("hand your camera to the waiter") mode follows the focus mode you have set in PASM. That includes Live View - so if you hand your camera to somebody to take your picture, you have to focus it first.

Clay
Austin, TX USA

  

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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D7100, D7000 (Public) topic #28312 Previous topic | Next topic


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