On my D800 I had focus setting set up via af-on button. I typically use AF-C in single point focus with af-on button for focus and shutter halfway or ae-L button for setting exposure. To focus on stationary I frame and tap af-on to focus and for moving objects I just hold down af-on button to capture shot. I learned this method on this forum when I had my D7000 and it works well for me.
I have a Vello Freewave Wireless Remote Shutter Release and a Nikon ML-L3 remote control. I could not get either one to focus for self-portraits. I found that if I set focus mode to use af-on OR shutter via the custom menu, the Freewave will then focus. If it’s only set to focus with af-on button, the Freewave will not focus. I read somewhere that the ML-L3 will not engage focus when in AF-C mode. You have to be in AF-S for focusing to work. So I switched to AF-S when I used the ML-L3.
For now I am using the Vello and set my focus to af-on OR shutter button via the custom menu. I don’t think the D7000 had the option to use both, you had to choose shutter or set the AE-L button to AF-ON. So I think having the option to use either on the D800 is a good thing.
If I am missing something or there are better options for focusing with a remote shutter release please let me know. Thanks!
#1. "RE: Remote shutter release focus observations" In response to Reply # 0
Farmington Hills, US
In my experience the remote always mimics the shutter button. If you have AF set to AF-ON only the remote will not activate focusing. If you have AF set to AF-On and shutter release, a half press of the remote will activate focus.
IMO this is exactly as it should be. I use my remote primarily for tripod mounted landscape and macro images. I also always use AF-ON only. For landscape and Macro I want to frame and focus while looking through the viewfinder or using LiveView and then remove my hands from the camera to eliminate a source of camera motion. (I also use either MUP or exposure delay mode to eliminate mirror slap as a source of vibration.)
I have a D90 which a believe uses AF-ON the same way as the D7000. My experience with the D90 is when you have the AE-L set to activate AF it is the same as the D800 and my other Nikon DSLRs. That is when don't have AF-ON only selected both the AE-L button and the shutter half press will activate AF.
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