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Rohinton_Mehta

Mumbai, IN
530 posts

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Rohinton_Mehta Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2002
Wed 19-Jun-13 09:58 AM

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

ithompson72

Chichester, UK
68 posts

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#1. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 0

ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008
Wed 19-Jun-13 10:09 AM

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.

billD80

US
2238 posts

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#2. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 0

billD80 Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2007
Wed 19-Jun-13 10:44 AM

>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

chesterdawg

Commerce, US
213 posts

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#3. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 2

chesterdawg Registered since 04th Jul 2010
Wed 19-Jun-13 12:28 PM

This explains it all:

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

Steve

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Pete Wilson

Lake Orion, US
888 posts

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#4. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 0

Pete Wilson Gold Member Winner in the Annual Nikonians Best Images Contest 2015 Nikonian since 27th Jun 2004
Wed 19-Jun-13 04:58 PM | edited Wed 19-Jun-13 05:00 PM by Pete Wilson

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
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Rassie

Milton, CA
4055 posts

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#5. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 0

Rassie Gold Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Wed 19-Jun-13 07:26 PM | edited Wed 19-Jun-13 07:38 PM by Rassie

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

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Rohinton_Mehta

Mumbai, IN
530 posts

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#6. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 5

Rohinton_Mehta Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2002
Thu 20-Jun-13 01:23 AM

Thank you everyone. My doubts are now absolutely cleared.

Rohinton

Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
762 posts

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#7. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 6

Bravozulu Registered since 04th Jun 2012
Wed 26-Jun-13 10:39 PM

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.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#8. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Thu 27-Jun-13 04:48 PM

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

Manchester, UK
75 posts

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#9. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 8

NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013
Mon 01-Jul-13 11:50 AM | edited Mon 01-Jul-13 11:50 AM by NickMilner

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!

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16918 posts

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#10. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 9

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Mon 01-Jul-13 11:56 AM

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

NickMilner

Manchester, UK
75 posts

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#11. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 10

NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013
Mon 01-Jul-13 12:04 PM

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.

BrawlerO

Wokingham, UK
57 posts

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#12. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 7

BrawlerO Registered since 01st Nov 2012
Wed 10-Jul-13 09:30 AM

>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?

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#13. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 11

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 10-Jul-13 01:28 PM

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

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NickMilner

Manchester, UK
75 posts

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#14. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 13

NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013
Wed 10-Jul-13 02:31 PM

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!

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tfeazel

Polk City, US
992 posts

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#15. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 4

tfeazel Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2004
Thu 11-Jul-13 12:48 PM

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

Tom

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10541 posts

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#16. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 14

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 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Thu 11-Jul-13 02:47 PM

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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jhonave

San Diego, US
20 posts

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#17. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 8

jhonave Registered since 11th Jan 2010
Thu 11-Jul-13 11:05 PM | edited Thu 11-Jul-13 11:19 PM by jhonave

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

Alfred70

San Antonio, US
18 posts

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#18. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 17

Alfred70 Registered since 12th Dec 2012
Fri 12-Jul-13 11:55 AM

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

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#19. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 18

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Fri 12-Jul-13 02:57 PM

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

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Alfred70

San Antonio, US
18 posts

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#20. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 19

Alfred70 Registered since 12th Dec 2012
Sat 13-Jul-13 11:24 AM

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

Rmastran

Carver, US
61 posts

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#21. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 8

Rmastran Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Nov 2011
Sat 13-Jul-13 06:33 PM

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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jhonave

San Diego, US
20 posts

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#22. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 20

jhonave Registered since 11th Jan 2010
Sun 14-Jul-13 12:32 AM

Thanks also to Pete and Rassie.

Passion 4 Photography
www.p4ph.com

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#23. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 21

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Sun 14-Jul-13 10:13 AM

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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Ellis Feibush

Summit, US
286 posts

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#24. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 10

Ellis Feibush Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009
Sun 14-Jul-13 11:14 AM

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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lautry

Panama City Beach, US
121 posts

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#25. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 8

lautry Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2011
Mon 15-Jul-13 06:45 PM | edited Mon 15-Jul-13 06:51 PM by lautry

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

Atlanta, US
10541 posts

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#26. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 25

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 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Mon 15-Jul-13 07:54 PM

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
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lautry

Panama City Beach, US
121 posts

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#27. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 26

lautry Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Oct 2011
Mon 15-Jul-13 11:25 PM

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

Atlanta, US
10541 posts

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#28. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 27

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 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Tue 16-Jul-13 09:01 AM

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

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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geeks2you

Alpharetta, US
7 posts

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#29. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 3

geeks2you Registered since 29th May 2013
Tue 23-Jul-13 02:35 PM

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

Thanks for the link!

clayolmstead

Austin, US
197 posts

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#30. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 0

clayolmstead Registered since 21st Jul 2010
Wed 24-Jul-13 01:40 PM

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):

https://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

clayolmstead

Austin, US
197 posts

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#31. "RE: AF-S or AF-C?" | In response to Reply # 30

clayolmstead Registered since 21st Jul 2010
Wed 24-Jul-13 02:29 PM

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

G