I shoot with a D4/200mm 2.0; Focus Tracking.
Originally I was shooting with a TC 1.4 III and had mediocre results. It might be the crappy low-light high school fields? So I dropped using the teleconverter and started getting better results, most noticeably quicker focusing. I started getting better results. I then turned off all the extraneous settings inside, e.g. long exposure noise reduction, vignetting, etc... everything I could find. Then changed focus points from 51 to 11. I got better results.
But the results I got last night are super frustrating. I have opened up a case w/ Nikon to see if this can be resolved, but if not then the big debate of whether to keep dealing w/ the unknown of whether the shot will be in focus or not.
The series of shots here show that the first two frames are in focus, the next two fall out of focus and then the following two regain focus. These were shot on Continuous High, at 9:37:41:30-9:37:41:80. The red square is from Nikon's ViewNX2, displaying where the focus point is, and if it is in focus. The middle two images show not red square, not in focus.
If anyone has any experience with this type of issue and can resolve this, or is it an issue and cannot be fixed?
Here is a link to the gallery showing the problem: The resolution affects the look here- these are screen shots from Nikon's ViewNX2 software to show the red focus square.
#1. "RE: D4 Losing Focus" | In response to Reply # 0Sat 12-Oct-13 12:56 PM
new firmware installed? Too slow shutterspeed? 11 pics/s ?
#3. "RE: D4 Losing Focus" | In response to Reply # 2Sat 12-Oct-13 01:12 PM
same issue with other lens? if so
#6. "RE: D4 Losing Focus" | In response to Reply # 4Sun 13-Oct-13 06:10 AM
>Don't know about that... I shoot almost exclusively w/ the
>200mm 2.0 for football. Anything else is either too slow or
High iso allows to shoot even with slow or too short lense in high speed. Think when the same problem occurs with other lenses your d4 will have a problem.
#5. "RE: D4 Losing Focus" | In response to Reply # 0
I've got that lens and a D4 and it's incredibly sharp for me.
But if you are shooting at F2 (were you?), that's an awfully thin DOF for field sports. I've tried night soccer with that combination and it did not go well. The DOF is about the width of a body.
That said, I don't find it too odd that one or two in a series are out of focus. What tracking setting were you on?
>>Then changed focus points from 51 to 11. I got better results.
This has no effect on tracking. This affects how many initial focus points are available for you to select from with the multi-select. The camera still uses either 1, 9, 21, or 51 points according to that setting. For images like this, I would be on at least 9. If you happened to be on single, that might explain it, as the space between the two players may have been confusing.
Other settings that have effect include the release priority and tracking duration settings (A1, A3). A good description of these is in the technical manual (sorry if all this is obvious and you have read it). An example of out of focus shots being expected is shown on pages 36-37. I don't know that is what happened (since the distance didn't seem to be changing much), but just for context.
Sorry if none of that is a definitive answer. It's a great combination of lenses, I shoot baseball quite a bit with it, and also with the 1.4x to give me a cheap 300/2.8. I like it best for candids and dugout shots. For field use it's really tough -- a player leaning into a catch toward me can have his feet in focus and the face or glove out. But what's in focus is awfully sharp.
Here's an example, a player sliding into 3rd:
The dirt nicely shows the DOF, and his fingers and face are in it. Now look at the next frame I saved (the frame number indicates it is 4 frames later).
The camera failed to track him forward. If you look closely you'll see that what's in focus is about his waist and butt (look at the in-focus logo there; the dirt is strange and looks at first like it front focused). The scene was just too confusing for it to track properly. I should have deleted this, frankly.
I guess what I'm saying is that I don't find this too surprising if it happens occasionally, especially in the middle of a burst. At F2 it just doesn't take much to be out of focus.
Incidentally, if you have not fine tuned it, you should consider it. Mine requires a -9 to be correct. It's pretty consistent at distance/close in needing that, and if I don't use it, it's fairly soft in the in-focus point.
Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://www.captivephotons.com