Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

English German French

Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Recent Photos Contest Help Search News Workshops Shop Upgrade Membership Recommended
members
All members Wiki Contests Vouchers Apps Newsletter THE NIKONIAN™ Magazines Podcasts Fundraising

What focus settings do you use?

stevenfstein

US
41 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author
stevenfstein Registered since 02nd Nov 2007
Tue 26-Jun-12 12:52 PM

Have the D7000 and have been using mainly with the 18-200 and have not been having great results. Focus is off and I'm not sure if it is me or the camera/lens or setting I'm using. I shoot both in auto and aperture. If I take a picture of my wife/daughter the focus point is on the blouse rather than the face and as a result it is slighty blurry. I was coming home from a trip and in a field were two baby deer. Took some shots at the 200 length and the focus point was the grass by their feet, not anywhere on the deer. Shooting at f8. There are some shots that are right on but most of them are not. I'm thinking I will bring the camera and lens to Nikon in Melville (also have an older 80-200 that has a slight dent on the outside ring)but was wondering if it is something I'm doing wrong.

Best.... Steve

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

luckyphoto

Port Charlotte, US
1050 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#1. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010
Tue 26-Jun-12 11:39 AM

It would help if you could supply more information.

- What auto focus settings were you using?
- How did you determine the focus point? Visual of the image or where the camera actually focused?
- Provide an image of the deer with the EXIF data available.

The depth of field at f8 should have put much of the deer shot in focus so that part is a little concerning, however, without seeing the image it's hard to make any comments of value.


Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

stevenfstein

US
41 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#2. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

stevenfstein Registered since 01st Nov 2007
Tue 26-Jun-12 11:44 AM

I'll try and upload this evening, thanks....

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

elec164

US
2575 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#3. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Tue 26-Jun-12 11:49 AM

From the information you give us it’s tough to say Steve. There is so much that can go wrong with achieving AF that it could be a camera/lens issue, or pilot error.

The complexities of testing AF are covered well in two articles at lens rental by Roger Cicala. They can be found here and here . Phase Deteciton AF also works within a tolerable accuracy not a precise calibration. As such your 18-200 performance might well be different when mounted on your D7000 then when mounted on mine.

Perhaps a sample image showing the issue with the EXIF data intact will help us see what settings you are using, and what issues you are having.

Pete

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

elec164

US
2575 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#4. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 1

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Tue 26-Jun-12 12:11 PM

>The depth of field at f8 should have put much of the deer shot
>in focus so that part is a little concerning,

Larry brings up a good point here and that is DOF.

DOF is dependent upon magnification factor and viewing distance. Most charts and calculators are based on an 8x10 print viewed at about 18 inches. Printing larger and view from the same distance and the relative sharpness changes.

We are now routinely viewing enlargements that were unimaginable when shooting film. If you’re evaluating your 16MP images for focus point using 100% view on screen, then only the actual focus plane will look relatively sharp for the DOF at that magnification and viewing distance will be quite narrow. If you actually made an 8x10 print, what seemed out of focus may now look fine.

Pete

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

mjhach

Simcoe, CA
610 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#5. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

mjhach Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Dec 2010
Wed 27-Jun-12 12:57 AM

I gave my combo, like yours, into Toronto Nikon shop and they fixed AF issues (backfocus issues) and now things are fine. Another post, indicates viewing at 100% DON'T DO IT, as its not the way you are likely to view your final image, and DOF will be too short.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

ShrimpBoy

Brighton and Hove, UK
887 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#6. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

ShrimpBoy Registered since 08th Jan 2006
Wed 27-Jun-12 02:00 AM | edited Wed 27-Jun-12 02:02 AM by ShrimpBoy

When reviewing the image on the back of the camera, pressing the up or down button on the 4-way controller will cycle through different levels of data display, one of which shows the actual focus point that was used for focusing as a small red box. View NX can show you the focus point too if you want to do this on the computer.

If the image is not in sharpest focus at this red box, your camera's AF system possibly needs calibration or you need to turn on AF Fine Tune and set up an adjustment for this lens.

If the red box does match the sharpest focus in the image, then AF is working and you have to discover why that red box isn't where you wanted it. The most likely answer is that you're using the 39-point 3D tracking mode, which allows the camera to continually shift focus between the entire grid of AF points. On some subjects it will dance all over the place. Try a non-tracking mode where you have to tell the camera which AF point to use and see if that helps.

Gary
"Yea, Sussex by the sea!" - Rudyard Kipling

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Omaha

Omaha, US
566 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#7. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 6

Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012
Wed 27-Jun-12 11:34 AM

^^^^
THIS is right on the money!

Visit my Nikonians gallery
Most of my Nikon photos end up here.

paul_7e

Farmington, US
321 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#8. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 6

paul_7e Silver Member Charter Member
Wed 27-Jun-12 11:47 AM

How do you set the display on the back of the camera so that the focus point only shows up when pressing the up or down button on the 4-way controller? When I set the focus point using the Playback Menu, the focus point displays when I turn on the display and only disappears when I press the up or down button to view the histograms. Thanks.

elec164

US
2575 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#9. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 6

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Wed 27-Jun-12 01:03 PM

>If the image is not in sharpest focus at this red box, your
>camera's AF system possibly needs calibration or you need to
>turn on AF Fine Tune and set up an adjustment for this lens.
>

There are a number of reasons why AF might fail, some of which are well described in the manual. So using the average scene to evaluate focus issues is in general problematic. If you continually feel your results are less than optimal, then using a good well lit high contrast target properly aligned is the only way to see if there is indeed a calibration issue, and if AF Fine Tune might be of value.

Pete

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
8582 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to send message via AOL IM

#10. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 6

MotoMannequin Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Registered since 11th Jan 2006
Wed 27-Jun-12 02:12 PM

Gary is spot on - if the AF point isn't where you want it, then it's completely premature to question the AF system or start wondering about DOF. You have to get the focus point right before anything else even has a chance of falling into place.

Start with the basics - set your AF system to single point, and when shooting, use the 4-way selector to choose where you want that point. I recommend setting your camera to focus from the AE-L/AF-L button and leave it in AF-C, but assuming you focus using the shutter release, for portraits, set the camera so AF-S, and for moving objects, AF-C. press halfway and give a second for focus (and VR) to settle. Elbows braced against your body, breathe slowly, and gently squeeze (don't press or stab) during your exhale.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

greenwing

Yorkshire, UK
1304 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#11. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 8

greenwing Registered since 18th May 2006
Wed 27-Jun-12 02:29 PM

>How do you set the display on the back of the camera so that
>the focus point only shows up when pressing the up or down
>button on the 4-way controller? When I set the focus point
>using the Playback Menu, the focus point displays when I turn
>on the display and only disappears when I press the up or down
>button to view the histograms. Thanks.

Oh, cheese... there are several possible displays on the rear LCD. When selected, the display displays the last option that you selected. Up or down on the 4-way pad cycles through the possible displays.

Chris

paul_7e

Farmington, US
321 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#12. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 11

paul_7e Silver Member Charter Member
Wed 27-Jun-12 04:28 PM

Actually, on my D7K, if the focus point is set to on using the Playback Menu, the display never shows just the photo. The other option I have selected is the RGB Histogram and that shows the 3-color histogram and the white histogram when I cycle thru the display using the up/down button on the 4-way controller. So, with the focus point set to on, when I press the playback button after taking a photo, the first screen shows the focus point, and when I press the up/down button, the next 2 screens show the 2 histograms, and then it's back to the focus point when I press the up/down button. I never see just the photo unless I turn off the focus point.

Paul

dbrook

CA
15 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#13. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

dbrook Registered since 18th Apr 2012
Wed 27-Jun-12 09:03 PM

The first couple weeks with my new D7000 were extremely frustrating and discouraging. I started out with lots of things set on Auto. I just couldn't master the 3D tracking or 39 point system. Eventually I found my way to this forum and followed a lot of the advise I found here. I switched to a setup like MotoMannequin has suggested and I immediately got amazing results. Here's a shot I took the first day after switching to single point. I was shooting some stationary objects on the ground when this goose exploded out of the marsh so I just started shooting in single exposure mode, not continuous. I wasn't prepared for this scenario. The shutter speed wasn't optimum for a flying bird shot so I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Don't give up on the camera yet.

Click on image to view larger version

ledgefork

Oakley, US
1 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#14. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 10

ledgefork Registered since 03rd Nov 2012
Sat 03-Nov-12 09:23 PM

Are you at the Wave in your member photo?

dfaughtcvt

Chicago, US
62 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#15. "RE: What focus settings do you use?" | In response to Reply # 13

dfaughtcvt Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Oct 2012
Mon 05-Nov-12 02:54 PM

Nice shot, dbrook!

Deb

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
― Ansel Adams

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G