For sports shooting where my human subject is moving around in a group of other humans:
AF-C Continuous Servo AF CH Continuous HighMotor Drive AF Mode Group Dynamic AF a3 Custom Setting set to Pattern 1 Center Area a5 Custom Setting set to ON (enabled Lock-On) a1 Custom Setting set to Focus Priority (forces ONLY in-focus shots)
For fun shooting like a party where I don't want to think about my camera’s settings, but want great pictures:
AF-C Continuous Servo AF S Single Frame Mode for the Motor Drive AF Mode Dynamic Area AF with Closest Subject Priority a5 Custom Setting set to ON (enabled Lock-On)
That is a great article, I appreciate the information on Group Dynamic AF and the suggestions for sports photos. I also second the request for a pdf or some type of printable version to have in my D200 library.
>That is a great article, I appreciate the information on >Group Dynamic AF and the suggestions for sports photos. I >also second the request for a pdf or some type of printable >version to have in my D200 library.
Agree about the article. Absolutely superb. It has gone a long way to helping me get my shots in focus.
Regarding the pdf product. I rather hesitantly admit that I made the effort of making a pdf document out of the text and images of the article. Believe it or not, I keep it by my bed and read from it almost every night.
I would be more than happy to make it publicly available if I have permission from Nikonians and Mr. Young, the author.
I'd suggest adding some more detailed information on the performance of the cross-type sensor vs. the other ten. In low light, low contrast situations single focus with the center sensor (and recomposing as necessary) is the best technique for the D200 or any other Nikon AF body with just one cross-type sensor. The lack of multiple cross-type sensors is the most serious limitation of the D200 compared to the D2X.
The grouped sensor mode offers something akin to cross-type performance reading edges at various angles, but this is useful only if you're okay with a much larger area within which focus can be achieved. I'd underline the loss of focusing precision whenever you choose grouped sensor operation. Even more useful would be a discussion of what subjects lend themselves to large-area AF sensing versus single AF sensing.
You must have a REALLY smart D200 because I can't get mine to play the focus game with the Lock-On. I am talking about where he focused on the map and then covered the sensor and it switched sensors. Should I be able to see that it switched sensors?
Perhaps I am doing something wrong but I have tried every permutation of settings I can think of. I have the a5 setting to "Normal", the auto focus switch set to dynamic area, the front focus mode switch set to S (I have also tried C in case that was the correct setting). I focused on a relatively flat object and then put my hand in front of the lens hood. This did nothing so I grabbed the manual and held it a ways in front of the lens in front of the sensor and it still did nothing.
Is this a problem? Does my D200 not behave properly?
Like Kevin, I too love the article and thank JRP for the great work, however also like Keving I find that my D200 will not play the focus game. I have tried all of the variables I can think of, but no luck.
Do I have an underachieving D200 or is this a DFU error?
It couldn't be because I am using AF lenses, could it?
Be *extremely* careful of how you set up your autofocus options.
1. Changing to AF-C disables *all* AF Illumination (neither the D200 nor your SB-800, so in dim light your D200 hunts and sometimes even takes photos that are not focused! (This plays into the D200's focusing weakness in dim lightning--although it's better than D70 i've heard...)
2. I also set my AF to "Group Dynamic AF" (that small 5-sensor cross-shaped mode), but at Pattern#1 Closest Subject (ie: the center sensor does not get focus priority).
3. Release Priority (ie: subject doesn't need to be in focus when shutter releases).
Above (1) + (2) + (3) worked with each other to give the worst of all worlds on my D200 flash shooting under dim light...
I learnt the above the hard way; I just got my D200 and my very fist photo shooting was inside a giant freezer with no lights, just Christmas lights inside the ice sculptures itself.
One thing is confusing: Custom setting a3 on my D200 is the choice between 11 center elements or 7 wide area elements. Called "focus area frame". Under a4 - group dynamic af - that is where you choose center are or closest subject - not a3.
Anyone know why it is different than mentioned in this article? I just bought this camera two weeks ago. Could it be different because of a firmware upgrade?
a3 controls sensor width--whether it's "wide" or individual narrow sensors.
a4 controls the behaviour of Group Dynamic AF (one of 4 different focus sensor pattern behaviors). ie: whether the sensors are in a Cross-shape (5 sensor) mode, or just Line-shape (3 sensor mode). Also, for both of these modes you can select the center sensor as the "only" active sensor when you press the shutter release, or "any" of the active sensors can be the focus point (depending on subject distance)...
hope this is clear?
(I actually wanted a "Wide" 5-sensor-mode Cross-Shape Group Dynamic AF, but from what I understand this isn't possible...)
Thank you for your summary. I do understand the custom function. If you go back to the report on the MulitCAM 1000 - you will see it ends with custom setting suggestion. I believe that the author made an error or typo for a3 - which should be a4. That's all.