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Manual focus point and number of AF points

ctdrummer

Southern CT, US
240 posts

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ctdrummer Registered since 09th Feb 2012
Tue 29-Jan-13 11:42 PM | edited Tue 29-Jan-13 11:43 PM by ctdrummer

Not really D7000-specific but, Just when I thought I have everything figured out, this puzzles me.

I use AF-A a lot and manually move the focus point around to a part of the image I wish the focus to be set on rather than using AUTO to determine the point for me. How does the number of AF points impact this type of usage? No matter how many points I have turned on, I can still move the cursor to any of the 39 points regardless if they're on or off and focus there.

What am I missing? Do the number of points matter in this case? If I have, say 11 turned on, am I actually moving the center of the 11 points around giving a wider focus area?

Thanks!


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Gamecocks

Joanna, US
986 posts

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#1. "RE: Manual focus point and number of AF points" | In response to Reply # 0

Gamecocks Registered since 22nd Jul 2010
Tue 29-Jan-13 11:41 PM

Hi Patrick,

Not certain if I fully understand your question and if not please accept my apology. You set the number of focus points my depressing the AF- mode button and turning the sub-command dial the number you desire. The camera will then pick a focus point that may or may not be to your liking; you can move a focus point to any area by using the multi- selector. Page 94 of the manual gives suggestions on when to use more than one focus point. With any of the dynamic focus points selected the camera may lock on an area that you really don't want as the main focus and the more points there is the possibility that the camera may search for a spot and cause you to miss a shot. Also, the central focus points may produce better results because they are in the shape of a cross and detect contrast in both the vertical and horizontal axis whereas the outer points are lines and detect contrast only in the horizontal axis.

John

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ctdrummer

Southern CT, US
240 posts

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#2. "RE: Manual focus point and number of AF points" | In response to Reply # 1

ctdrummer Registered since 09th Feb 2012
Wed 30-Jan-13 11:35 AM | edited Wed 30-Jan-13 12:25 PM by ctdrummer

Hi John,

Thanks for the reply, I'm not sure if I described my question clear enough, sorry. What you have explained is true, but I am not using "auto" AF. Focus is done only where I set the single AF point to. I did some tests last night an no matter if I have 39, 11, 9? or 1 point turned on, the single focus point that I select by moving around the selector is used to obtain focus and nothing else.

What is also confusing is that when you look at the back info display rather than the top display, you see the number of AF points move around with the cursor movement. I've read the manual in and out and can't find this explained anywhere. Again, I think I am missing a crucial piece of knowledge here, and I'm sure I will have an Ah! moment, but it has not come yet.

Pat


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mudman2

Jamison, US
188 posts

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#3. "RE: Manual focus point and number of AF points" | In response to Reply # 2

mudman2 Silver Member Nikonian since 14th May 2009
Wed 30-Jan-13 01:15 PM | edited Wed 30-Jan-13 01:16 PM by mudman2


So you press the release half down, then move the single red box to where you want the focus to be and then fully release ?

Is that a fair description ?

>
>Thanks for the reply, I'm not sure if I described my question
>clear enough, sorry. What you have explained is true, but I am
>not using "auto" AF. Focus is done only where I set
>the single AF point to. I did some tests last night an no
>matter if I have 39, 11, 9? or 1 point turned on, the single
>focus point that I select by moving around the selector is
>used to obtain focus and nothing else.
>
>What is also confusing is that when you look at the back info
>display rather than the top display, you see the number of AF
>points move around with the cursor movement. I've read the
>manual in and out and can't find this explained anywhere.
>Again, I think I am missing a crucial piece of knowledge here,
>and I'm sure I will have an Ah! moment, but it has not come
>yet.
>
>Pat

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jbloom

Wethersfield, US
7735 posts

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#4. "RE: Manual focus point and number of AF points" | In response to Reply # 0

jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004
Wed 30-Jan-13 01:22 PM

I'm not sure, but I think you are confusing two different things:

1) The AF-Area mode, which is set via the AF button on the front of the camera. This determines how many focus points are used for focusing. Since you aren't using Auto-area AF (or, presumably, 3D-tracking AF), you are choosing whether to force the camera to use only the AF point you select (Single-point AF) or to also use points surrounding the AF point you select, either 9, 21, or all 39 points.

2) Number of focus points, set by Custom menu item a6. This is poorly named in the manual. It would be better named number of selectable focus points. All it does, when set to 11 points, is restrict which focus points you can select with the the multi selector.

These two things are independent. That is, if you set a6 to "AF11", you'll only be able to manually set one of the 11 indicated focus points, but if you have one of the Dynamic-area AF modes selected, the camera will still use the surrounding AF points -- including ones you can't select manually -- to dynamically focus.

Note, too, that in a Dynamic-area AF mode, when you first push the shutter button half way, the camera focuses using the focus point you selected. Only if the AF system detects that the subject has moved do the surrounding focus points come into play. So, if you're testing in a situation where neither the camera nor the subject moves (and have a good AF target under the AF point), there isn't any significant difference between Single-point AF and Dynamic-area AF.

In all cases, the info screen shows which AF points may be used by the camera once you press the shutter. In any non-auto AF mode, the one you select is the primary one, and autofocusing starts with that AF point.

Hope that helps, and if I have misinterpreted the question, I apologize.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

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ctdrummer

Southern CT, US
240 posts

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#5. "RE: Manual focus point and number of AF points" | In response to Reply # 4

ctdrummer Registered since 09th Feb 2012
Wed 30-Jan-13 02:16 PM

Hi Jon,

Ok, I think I am getting close, please correct me if I am wrong. thanks!

I have my A6 setting on AF39. Using AF-A but not in Auto or 3D, I manually select the focus point with the multi-selector. This lets me select any of the 39 points for my focus. Now, pushing the AF button, I can also select 1,9,21 or 39. This is the AF area "size" of the focus area and moving the point around moves this group around the matrix of the 39 points which I have set in A6.

Correct?

Pat

>I'm not sure, but I think you are confusing two different
>things:
>
>1) The AF-Area mode, which is set via the AF button on the
>front of the camera. This determines how many focus points are
>used for focusing. Since you aren't using Auto-area AF (or,
>presumably, 3D-tracking AF), you are choosing whether to force
>the camera to use only the AF point you select (Single-point
>AF) or to also use points surrounding the AF point you select,
>either 9, 21, or all 39 points.
>
>2) Number of focus points, set by Custom menu item a6. This is
>poorly named in the manual. It would be better named number of
>selectable focus points. All it does, when set to 11
>points, is restrict which focus points you can select with the
>the multi selector.
>
>These two things are independent. That is, if you set a6 to
>"AF11", you'll only be able to manually set one of
>the 11 indicated focus points, but if you have one of the
>Dynamic-area AF modes selected, the camera will still use the
>surrounding AF points -- including ones you can't select
>manually -- to dynamically focus.
>
>Note, too, that in a Dynamic-area AF mode, when you first push
>the shutter button half way, the camera focuses using the
>focus point you selected. Only if the AF system detects that
>the subject has moved do the surrounding focus points come
>into play. So, if you're testing in a situation where neither
>the camera nor the subject moves (and have a good AF target
>under the AF point), there isn't any significant difference
>between Single-point AF and Dynamic-area AF.
>
>In all cases, the info screen shows which AF points may be
>used by the camera once you press the shutter. In any non-auto
>AF mode, the one you select is the primary one, and
>autofocusing starts with that AF point.
>
>Hope that helps, and if I have misinterpreted the question, I
>apologize.
>


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jbloom

Wethersfield, US
7735 posts

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#6. "RE: Manual focus point and number of AF points" | In response to Reply # 5

jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004
Wed 30-Jan-13 02:33 PM

That's correct. And the info display (but not the LCD on the top panel) will show you exactly which group of focus points you are selecting for use.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

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Gamecocks

Joanna, US
986 posts

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#7. "RE: Manual focus point and number of AF points" | In response to Reply # 5

Gamecocks Registered since 22nd Jul 2010
Wed 30-Jan-13 02:37 PM

Correct. Good job.

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ctdrummer

Southern CT, US
240 posts

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#8. "RE: Manual focus point and number of AF points" | In response to Reply # 7

ctdrummer Registered since 09th Feb 2012
Wed 30-Jan-13 02:41 PM | edited Wed 30-Jan-13 02:58 PM by ctdrummer


Wahooo! Thanks John, Jon and Michael.


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