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Subject: "Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Fo..." Previous topic | Next topic
wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011Sun 27-Mar-11 09:44 PM
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"Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"


US
          

There is absolutely nothing in focus here.

What does this mean?
Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No

and

Depth Of Field : 2.42 m (4.66 - 7.09)
Field Of View : 25.8 deg (2.57 m)
Focal Length : 52.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 78.0 mm)
Hyperfocal Distance : 27.00 m

Meaning 13M to 17M where in focus,
but the dog was only 1.5M away,

image https://picasaweb.google.com/wvarela/TheVarelaDogs#5588878694791506786


---- ExifTool ----
ExifTool Version Number : 8.52
---- System ----
File Name : WNV-20110327-133610-019.NEF
Directory : C:/Documents and Settings/Administrator/My Documents/My Pictures
File Size : 21 MB
File Modification Date/Time : 2011:03:27 13:36:10-05:00
File Permissions : rw-rw-rw-
---- File ----
File Type : NEF
MIME Type : image/x-nikon-nef
Exif Byte Order : Big-endian (Motorola, MM)
---- IFD0 ----
Subfile Type : Reduced-resolution image
Image Width : 160
Image Height : 120
Bits Per Sample : 8 8 8
Compression : Uncompressed
Photometric Interpretation : RGB
Make : NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model Name : NIKON D7000
Strip Offsets : 114592
Orientation : Horizontal (normal)
Samples Per Pixel : 3
Rows Per Strip : 120
Strip Byte Counts : 57600
X Resolution : 300
Y Resolution : 300
Planar Configuration : Chunky
Resolution Unit : inches
Software : Ver.1.01
Modify Date : 2011:03:27 13:36:09
Artist :
Reference Black White : 0 255 0 255 0 255
Copyright :
Date/Time Original : 2011:03:27 13:36:09
TIFF-EP Standard ID : 1 0 0 0
---- SubIFD ----
Subfile Type : Reduced-resolution image
Compression : JPEG (old-style)
X Resolution : 300
Y Resolution : 300
Resolution Unit : inches
Jpg From Raw Start : 172544
Jpg From Raw Length : 2263416
Y Cb Cr Positioning : Co-sited
---- SubIFD1 ----
Subfile Type : Full-resolution Image
Image Width : 4992
Image Height : 3280
Bits Per Sample : 14
Compression : Nikon NEF Compressed
Photometric Interpretation : Color Filter Array
Strip Offsets : 2435968
Samples Per Pixel : 1
Rows Per Strip : 3280
Strip Byte Counts : 19909789
X Resolution : 300
Y Resolution : 300
Planar Configuration : Chunky
Resolution Unit : inches
CFA Repeat Pattern Dim : 2 2
CFA Pattern 2 : 0 1 1 2
Sensing Method : One-chip color area
---- ExifIFD ----
Exposure Time : 1/500
F Number : 5.0
Exposure Program : Aperture-priority AE
ISO : 100
Sensitivity Type : Recommended Exposure Index
Date/Time Original : 2011:03:27 13:36:09
Create Date : 2011:03:27 13:36:09
Exposure Compensation : 0
Max Aperture Value : 4.9
Metering Mode : Multi-segment
Light Source : Unknown
Flash : Off, Did not fire
Focal Length : 52.0 mm
User Comment : Varela Images
Sub Sec Time : 50
Sub Sec Time Original : 50
Sub Sec Time Digitized : 50
Sensing Method : One-chip color area
File Source : Digital Camera
Scene Type : Directly photographed
CFA Pattern :
Custom Rendered : Normal
Exposure Mode : Auto
White Balance : Auto
Digital Zoom Ratio : 1
Focal Length In 35mm Format : 78 mm
Scene Capture Type : Standard
Gain Control : None
Contrast : Normal
Saturation : Normal
Sharpness : Normal
Subject Distance Range : Unknown
---- Nikon ----
Maker Note Version : 2.10
ISO : 100
Quality : RAW
White Balance : Auto1
Focus Mode : AF-C
Flash Setting : Normal
Flash Type :
White Balance Fine Tune : 0 0
WB RB Levels : 1.89453125 1.46484375 1 1
Program Shift : 0
Exposure Difference : 0
Flash Exposure Compensation : 0
ISO Setting : 100
External Flash Exposure Comp : 0
Flash Exposure Bracket Value : 0.0
Exposure Bracket Value : 0
Crop Hi Speed : Off (4992x3280 cropped to 4992x3280 at pixel 0,0)
Exposure Tuning : 0
Serial Number : 3073021
Color Space : sRGB
VR Info Version : 0100
Vibration Reduction : On
Active D-Lighting : Off
Picture Control Version : 0100
Picture Control Name : Standard
Picture Control Base : Standard
Picture Control Adjust : Default Settings
Picture Control Quick Adjust : Normal
Sharpness : 3
Contrast : Normal
Brightness : Normal
Saturation : Normal
Hue Adjustment : None
Filter Effect : n/a
Toning Effect : n/a
Toning Saturation : n/a
Timezone : -06:00
Daylight Savings : Yes
Date Display Format : Y/M/D
ISO : 100
ISO Expansion : Off
ISO2 : 100
ISO Expansion 2 : Off
Distortion Version : 0100
Auto Distortion Control : Off
Nikon 0x002c : 0101#.<...>
Unknown Info Version : 0100
Lens Type : G VR
Lens : 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6
Flash Mode : Did Not Fire
Shooting Mode : Continuous
Nikon 0x008a : 1
Lens F Stops : 5.33
Contrast Curve : (Binary data 578 bytes, use -b option to extract)
Shot Info Version : 0220
Firmware Version : 1.01b
NEF Compression : Lossless
Noise Reduction : Off
Linearization Table : (Binary data 46 bytes, use -b option to extract)
Color Balance Unknown : 0216<...>
Lens Data Version : 0204
Exit Pupil Position : 102.4 mm
AF Aperture : 5.0
Focus Position : 0x04
Focus Distance : 5.62 m
Focal Length : 53.4 mm
Lens ID Number : 158
Lens F Stops : 5.33
Min Focal Length : 18.3 mm
Max Focal Length : 106.8 mm
Max Aperture At Min Focal : 3.6
Max Aperture At Max Focal : 5.7
MCU Version : 160
Effective Max Aperture : 5.0
Raw Image Center : 2496 1640
Retouch History : None
Nikon 0x00a3 : 0
Nikon 0x00a4 : 0200
Shutter Count : 3861
Flash Info Version : 0104
Vari Program :
Multi Exposure Version : 0100
Multi Exposure Mode : Off
Multi Exposure Shots : 0
Multi Exposure Auto Gain : Off
High ISO Noise Reduction : Off
Power Up Time : 2011:03:27 13:33:18
AF Info 2 Version : 0100
Contrast Detect AF : Off
AF Area Mode : Dynamic Area (21 points)
Phase Detect AF : Unknown (3)
Primary AF Point : Center
AF Points Used : Unknown (01 00 00 00 00 00 00)
Contrast Detect AF In Focus : No
File Info Version : 0100
Directory Number : 101
File Number : 3759
AF Fine Tune : Off
AF Fine Tune Index : n/a
AF Fine Tune Adj : 0
Nikon 0x00bb : 0200
Nikon 0x00bc : 0100D"..#"2$2X&~(—)*")¡*¾-...--0..1<...>
---- PreviewIFD ----
Compression : JPEG (old-style)
X Resolution : 300
Y Resolution : 300
Resolution Unit : inches
Preview Image Start : 16760
Preview Image Length : 97811
Y Cb Cr Positioning : Co-sited
---- GPS ----
GPS Version ID : 2.3.0.0
---- Composite ----
Aperture : 5.0
Auto Focus : On
Blue Balance : 1.464844
CFA Pattern :
Image Size : 4992x3280
Jpg From Raw : (Binary data 2263416 bytes, use -b option to extract)
Lens ID : AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
Lens : 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR
Preview Image : (Binary data 97811 bytes, use -b option to extract)
Red Balance : 1.894531
Scale Factor To 35 mm Equivalent: 1.5
Shutter Speed : 1/500
Create Date : 2011:03:27 13:36:09.50
Date/Time Original : 2011:03:27 13:36:09.50
Modify Date : 2011:03:27 13:36:09.50
Circle Of Confusion : 0.020 mm
Depth Of Field : 2.42 m (4.66 - 7.09)
Field Of View : 25.8 deg (2.57 m)
Focal Length : 52.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 78.0 mm)
Hyperfocal Distance : 27.00 m
Light Value : 13.6

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
chris_platt Silver Member
27th Mar 2011
1
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
chris_platt Silver Member
27th Mar 2011
3
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
dm1dave Administrator
27th Mar 2011
5
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
chris_platt Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
6
     Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
wesmannmsu Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
10
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
wesmannmsu Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
9
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
wesmannmsu Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
8
     Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
elec164 Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
12
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
dm1dave Administrator
27th Mar 2011
2
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
wesmannmsu Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
11
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
elec164 Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
7
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
JPJ Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
13
Reply message RE: I don't think that is right..
wesmannmsu Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
14
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
ericbowles Moderator
28th Mar 2011
15
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wesmannmsu Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
16
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
briantilley Moderator
28th Mar 2011
17
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wesmannmsu Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
19
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briantilley Moderator
28th Mar 2011
20
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ericbowles Moderator
28th Mar 2011
22
Reply message RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF I...
elec164 Silver Member
28th Mar 2011
18
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ericbowles Moderator
28th Mar 2011
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chris_platt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Apr 2009Sun 27-Mar-11 10:31 PM
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#1. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 0


Newburg, US
          

Wow that's a lot of EXIF data..

Your camera wasn't using contrast detect autofocus. If you read five lines up from that entry, you will see the contrast detect autofocus was off. You were not shooting in live view mode, so the camera was using phase detect autofocus, which is better for moving subjects anyway. That's why contrast detect AF in focus said no.

It's hard to tell from the posted image, but i do think there were some things in focus - the grass, parts of the dog. 1/500 shutter speed was probably not high enough to completely freeze the dog, so some of the out of focus area, especially around the head may be due to motion blur.

I'm not sure where you are getting that 13m to 17m were in focus. According to this data, the focus distance was 5.62 meters and the DOF covered 4.66 - 7.09 meters.

If the dog was really 1.5 meters away, of course that would explain why his head was out of focus. Knowing the angle of view and the approximate width of a german shepherd give an opportunity to calculate the approximate distance of the dog. I'm going to go take a shot at that.

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chris_platt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Apr 2009Sun 27-Mar-11 10:58 PM
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#3. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 1


Newburg, US
          

Ok. Assuming the dog is about 18 inches wide at the shoulders, here is what I get.

The field of view is 25.8 degrees. The dog's shoulders are occupying 18.5% of the field of view (if the field of view is being measured laterally instead of diagonally - not sure which), so the width of the dog's shoulders represents an angle of 4.7 degrees from the camera. Taking the tangent of 4.7 degrees and dividing it into 18 (the width of the dog) suggests the distance to the dog is close to 18 ft or about 5 1/2 meters - almost exactly the reported focus distance.

So I'm thinking your shutter speed wasn't fast enough to avoid motion blur and that is the primary focus issue.

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Sun 27-Mar-11 11:56 PM
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#5. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 3


Lowden, US
          

I think Field of View is always measured diagonally.

It looks like the focus may have been off a little but I agree that 1/500s may not have been fast enough to stop the motion of the moving dog.

Dave Summers
Lowden, Iowa
Nikonians Photo Contest Director

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chris_platt Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Apr 2009Mon 28-Mar-11 12:13 AM
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#6. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 5


Newburg, US
          

Yep. I'd really like to see the raw file posted.

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wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011Mon 28-Mar-11 01:47 AM
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#10. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 6


US
          

Would love to post it...

But Picasa doesn't allow uploads of NEF files, neither does this forum,

where can i up load it to?

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wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011Mon 28-Mar-11 01:44 AM
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#9. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

Thanks, will bump that up next time.

Appreciate the input!

Visit My Website Nikon Fanboy.

  

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wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011Mon 28-Mar-11 01:43 AM
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#8. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

>I'm not sure where you are getting that 13m to 17m were in
>focus. According to this data, the focus distance was 5.62
>meters and the DOF covered 4.66 - 7.09 meters.

Sorry, Still learning,

Depth Of Field : 2.42 m (4.66 - 7.09)
Field Of View : 25.8 deg (2.57 m)
Focal Length : 52.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 78.0 mm)
Hyperfocal Distance : 27.00 m

I understood the area of focus started at 1/2 the
Hyperfocal Distance : 27.00 m = 13m --- How did you get the 4.66 as the starting value..

THanks for helping!!!

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Mon 28-Mar-11 02:34 AM
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#12. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 8
Mon 28-Mar-11 02:36 AM by elec164

US
          

>I understood the area of focus started at 1/2 the
>Hyperfocal Distance : 27.00 m = 13m --- How did you get the
>4.66 as the starting value..
>

I believe you are getting things confused. The Hyper-focal distance is the distance you would focus at to obtain maximum DOF. If focus is set at Hyper-focal then everything from 13.5 meters to infinity would appear apparently sharp or in focus. Your EXIF data seems to indicate the focus distance was 5.62 meters.

If that is the case then the DOF for that distance and f/5 would be about 4.66 to 7.09 meters. Also if you are correct that the dog was only 1.5 meters away, then my point about the missed focus in my post is accurate for the ground behind the dog appears to be the focus point. Couple that with VR not stabilizing and it should be more clear to you what might have possibly went wrong.

Pete

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Sun 27-Mar-11 10:54 PM
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#2. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 27-Mar-11 11:58 PM by dm1dave

Lowden, US
          

Contrast Detect Auto Focus is used in Live View. Notice that 5 lines higher in the EXIF it says Contrast Detect AF: Off.

If you were not shooting in Live View then that EXIF comment means nothing.

Depth Of Field : 2.42 m (4.66 - 7.09)

The total Depth of Field was 2.42 meters.

The camera was focused at 5.62 meters. At that focus distance everything between 4.66 meters and 7.09 meters would within the depth of field.

The distances here may or may not be reliable depending on the software reading the EXIF info.

Field Of View : 25.8 deg (2.57 m)

At 52mm the diagonal field of view is about 25.8 Degrees.

Focal Length : 52.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 78.0 mm)

This is where your zoom was set at.

Hyperfocal Distance : 27.00 m

27m is the distance you would need to focus at for everything from just a few feet in front of you to the horizon to appear in focus

Dave Summers
Lowden, Iowa
Nikonians Photo Contest Director

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

My Nikonians Gallery | SummersPhotoGraphic.com | My Crated Gallery
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wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011Mon 28-Mar-11 01:49 AM
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#11. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 2


US
          


>The distances here may or may not be reliable depending on the
>software reading the EXIF info.
>

I was using EXIFTOOL, do you recommend something else?

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Mon 28-Mar-11 12:56 AM
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#7. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 28-Mar-11 01:26 AM by elec164

US
          

>There is absolutely nothing in focus here.
>
>Vibration Reduction : On
>
>Sharpness : 3
>
>Primary AF Point : Center

My first thought was, HEY, were did you get a picture of my dog!!. LOL

But I believe there is something in focus, the ground just behind the dog.

Some of the issues have been covered such as Contrast Detection versus Phase Detection AF.

Personally I think there is a number of things going on here.

First is that the subject is backlit, and if I interpret the EXIF data correctly you seem to have had the center focus point selected. That put the focus point just to the right (dogs left) of the dogs upper leg. So it appears the camera seeing the low contrast leg and the higher contrast grass blades chose the grass just behind the dog to lock focus on. Of course the focus point is not always centered in the indicator in the viewfinder so it could have been totally on the grass.

You also had VR on. A number of people feel the D7000 has a hair trigger and sometimes the VR does not have time to settle and actually blurs the image instead of stabilizing it. Many action shooters also determined that when tracking moving subjects it is best to turn VR off.

As to shutter speed, well it wouldnt hurt to go a bit faster. But 1/500 should have been close enough. If you look at the front paw it does not appear to me to show any motion blur and if you would have any that is where you most likely would have seen it. So while there may be slight motion blur, I think the main problem was the missed focus and possibly the VR.

Another point is that if you want sharper JPEGs straight from the camera you may wish to bump the Picture Control sharpening up a bit. I see you have it set at 3 and many of us have decided that 7 is a better setting for JPEGs straight from the camera.

I hope you don't mind but I took the liberty of tweaking the image a bit and placing a mark where I believe the focus point was centered on, and the grass in that area seems to indicate that may be the case. The center of the red O is where the center of the image is. I also tweaked the shadows and highlights plus sharpened it a bit.





Hope this helps.

Pete


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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Aug 2009Mon 28-Mar-11 02:56 AM
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#13. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 0


Toronto, CA
          

I agree with what has already been stated, most notable:

1. 1/500 is probably borderline for this type of action shot, which would introduce motion blur;
2. That being said, it does appear to me that focus locked at the ground just to the dog's left.

Another potential issue is your A3 custom setting (focus tracking). You may want to turn it off for this type of shot to prevent the accidental switching of your intended AF target.

Jason

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wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011Mon 28-Mar-11 03:24 AM
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#14. "RE: I don't think that is right.."
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

>1. 1/500 is probably borderline for this type of action shot,
>which would introduce motion blur;
>2. That being said, it does appear to me that focus locked at
>the ground just to the dog's left.
>
>Another potential issue is your A3 custom setting (focus
>tracking).

A3 was off..

1/500, may possibly be too slow, but honestly, it looks like he's moving faster then he was. he was just really hopping around.

I wish i could upload the NEF file, honestly, if you can find grass that's in focus, i might need to ask for a refund on my lasik surgery.

How and Where do you guys upload NEF files?

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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 28-Mar-11 11:52 AM
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#15. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 0


Atlanta, US
          

I do a lot of German Shepherd photography for a local rescue. I have both a D7000 and a D300.

The closer the subject gets to you, the more difference shutter speed makes. I try to have more space between me and the subject so I can track the eyes of the dog. I use single point AF. And I try to shoot from eye level of the dog.

Controlling backgrounds is really the key, so I typically shoot at f/3.2 to f/4. I typically shoot dogs at 1/500 to 1/640 sec of higher using ISO increases as needed.

I don't have any problem using VR, but at the faster shutter speeds it is not needed.

Your focus is definitely off. Photographing a rapidly moving dog at close range will require lots of practice and keepers will be low.
I like using a 70-200 or even a 70-300 lens. Zooming with a longer lens provides a lot of flexibility.


Eric Bowles
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wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011Mon 28-Mar-11 02:41 PM
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#16. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 15


US
          

>I do a lot of German Shepherd photography for a local rescue.
> I have both a D7000 and a D300.
>
>The closer the subject gets to you, the more difference
>shutter speed makes. I try to have more space between me and
>the subject so I can track the eyes of the dog. I use single
>point AF. And I try to shoot from eye level of the dog.

Good tip, thanks!


>Controlling backgrounds is really the key, so I typically
>shoot at f/3.2 to f/4. I typically shoot dogs at 1/500 to
>1/640 sec of higher using ISO increases as needed.

This is where i was, but perhaps too close


>Your focus is definitely off. Photographing a rapidly moving
>dog at close range will require lots of practice and keepers
>will be low.

But why was it off? with AF-C (21) it should have picked the Target that was moving.

> I like using a 70-200 or even a 70-300 lens. Zooming with a
>longer lens provides a lot of flexibility.

yeah, the 70-200/2.8 is on my list, just got to get Management Approval (AKA wife)

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Mon 28-Mar-11 02:57 PM
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#17. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 16


Paignton, GB
          

>But why was it off? with AF-C (21) it should have picked the
>Target that was moving.

As has been pointed out in your other thread, you may be misunderstanding the camera's AF logic.

In Dynamic-Area AF (which is what I think you mean by "21-point"), YOU select the AF sensor that you want the camera to use. The camera will try to focus on whatever that AF sensor is pointing at, and if that subject then moves, the camera will use the surrounding sensors as well to try to track it.

Brian
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wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011Mon 28-Mar-11 03:21 PM
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#19. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 17


US
          

>In Dynamic-Area AF (which is what I think you mean by
>"21-point"), YOU select the AF sensor that you want
>the camera to use. The camera will try to focus on whatever
>that AF sensor is pointing at, and if that subject then moves,
>the camera will use the surrounding sensors as well to try to
>track it.

Ah, then I may be misunderstanding... I thought that was the was the definition of AF-A.

AF-A Auto-servo AF: Camera automatically selects single-servo autofocus if subject is stationary,continuous-servo autofocus if subject is moving.

vs

AF-C Continuous-servo AF: For moving subjects. Camera focuses continuously while shutter-release button is pressed halfway; if subject moves, camera will engage predictive focustracking (pg93) to predict final distance to subject and adjust focus as necessary. At default settings, shutter can be released whether or not subject is in focus (release priority;pg 208).

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Mon 28-Mar-11 03:29 PM
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#20. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 19


Paignton, GB
          

No, AF-A just means that the camera works out whether the subject is moving - if it decides it is static, AF-S Mode will be used and if it is moving, AF-C Mode will be used. That's just so that you don't have to worry about switching between AF-S and AF-C - it says nothing about which AF sensor(s) is/are used.

Brian
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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 28-Mar-11 05:30 PM
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#22. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 20


Atlanta, US
          

With AF-A, the subject motion determines whether AF-S or AF-C is used. With AF-S, the subject must be in focus for release to occur. With AF-C, Release is given priority so it will fire even if you are out of focus. With a fast moving subject, sometimes close is better than no shot at all. I also have images that are in focus that according to the camera did not achieve focus lock. That's okay - that's why I use AF-C. AF-A is a nice feature in that it lets the camera decide.

This does not mean your lens will keep up with the camera. I've had plenty of times when focus was never achieved, the lens hunts, and I missed the critical action. In low light or at slower shutter speeds, you may have the same problem.

Eric Bowles
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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Mon 28-Mar-11 03:16 PM
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#18. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 15


US
          

>I do a lot of German Shepherd photography for a local rescue.
> I have both a D7000 and a D300.
>
>I don't have any problem using VR, but at the faster shutter
>speeds it is not needed.
>

Eric, I have a question on your choice of focus mode. Have you used 3D tracking when shooting the dogs, or as Wesley, do you use Dynamic Area AF?

Also a number of people seem to feel that the D7000 has a hair trigger and have discovered that shooting with VR off gives them sharper images seeming to indicate that the VR is not having enough time settling down with quick button presses. I know you have said you dont have issues shooting with VR, but have you noticed this yourself with using the D7000 as opposed to shooting with your D300?

Just curious.

Pete

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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 28-Mar-11 05:22 PM
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#21. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 18


Atlanta, US
          

I use AF-A on the D7000 and AF-C on the D300. With either, the AF system has a predictive feature that recognizes and anticipates subject movement.

For dog photography I use a single point for my AF sensor rather than Dynamic. I find Dynamic is better if I can't track the subject. With rescue dogs I have someone walking or running with the dog, or working them in a predictable manner. Even if you are throwing a toy, they dog will return (or not) in the same manner time after time. I may miss the dog's eye, but I generally hit the nose or the ear. If it is a tough subject, I'll focus on the neck or shoulder with the subject moving at a 30-60 degree angle to me.

3D tracking is most useful if the dog is playing in one place but moving wildly. For example - chasing its tail. I typically don't use 3D tracking because I am allowing lots of space and the dog's track is relatively predictable. I've used 3D tracking and don't see any adverse impact of having it turned on especially if you are using a slower lens or using the shutter release button held halfway down looking for a specific capture.

As you can see, there are a lot of options. I use a 70-200 lens on a DX body - and occasionally use a 70-300. If the dog gets closer than 70mm, it is moving very quickly and I just don't have enough time to squeeze off more than a frame or two. With a 100-200mm distance, I can watch, wait, and compose pretty easily. Longer distances allow me to blur the background. Furthermore the focus point is pretty easy to place on the eye or head of the dog at longer range, while at close range it is very tough.

As an example, on Saturday I shot a total of 270 frames across 5 dogs. I immediately discarded 10% due to bad focus or because I was just setting up the scene. I discarded another 15% due to the head being turned the wrong way, etc. I rated the balance. I ended up with 57 that were good enough to use - and culled those down to about 25 that will be posted on the organization's Facebook page.

Dog photos are tough and take practice. But it is amazing the difference it makes for this rescue when they can post great dog shots. These dogs get adopted very quickly when you have a good photo that captures the spirit of the dog - and avoid the bad behavior.


Eric Bowles
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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Mon 28-Mar-11 05:49 PM
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#23. "RE: Sometimes I just don't get it: Contrast Detect AF In Focus: No"
In response to Reply # 21
Mon 28-Mar-11 05:51 PM by elec164

US
          

>If the dog
>gets closer than 70mm, it is moving very quickly and I just
>don't have enough time to squeeze off more than a frame or
>two.

Thanks for the info Eric. I know what you meant by this.

In the example I gave I was busy trying to get a shot of a different subject. My GSD being the intelligent girl that she is, was getting bored without my lack of attention to her and found that branch to amuse herself. She was tossing it like a tooth pick chasing it down and tossing it again.

I caught the action out of the side of my eye and got up from my prone position to try and get her playing with it. But being the guard dog that she is she immediately noticed my movement making her look and turn toward me in her leaping stride. That is a whole frame capture with no cropping. And like you said, in another second or two I would have not been able to take the shot being that I had my 70-300 set at 70mm and if she got any closer I would not have been able to frame the shot.

But once again thanks for your experience and explanation.

Pete

Edited to add:

OOOPS!! I just realized I provide the example in the other thread on the same topic. Sorry for the confusion.

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