I took possession of a new 70-200 VR lens this week and was disappointed to be reminded that my preferred focus routine of AF-ONLY using continuous servo (AF-C) is imcompatible with VR. I have a commitment this coming Saturday to shoot moving subjects: runners, running towards me in a local weekly parkrun), outside in daylight. The subjects will be wearing a variety of bright athletic sports clothing, and I will be able to get close up to the track to a comfortable minimum (for me) of 3 or 4 metres from each runner. I will have plenty of time to pre-mark a focus point on the trail. I have only taken movement shots once before and the results went quite well using the 24-70 (no flash) but I finished up making too many crops, hence the wish to use 70-200. I would also like to use fill-flash (mounted SB-900) for these action shots with the the new lens but maybe that question isn't appropriate for this forum. Can anybody suggest a sure-fire winning approach to shooting glorious action shots with the 7-200 VR now that my Trap-focus and other AF-ONLY routines seem to be denied me? I have a good tripod and could abandon VR but it would be good to try it and have it work well on this first day out if possible. With thanks
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#1. "RE: Using D700 with a 70-200 VR lens" | In response to Reply # 0briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 16-Jul-10 06:19 AM | edited Fri 16-Jul-10 06:21 AM by briantilley
Using the AF-ON button in AF-C mode to initiate autofocus is not incompatible with VR. The widely-held idea that it doesn't work is down to misinterpretation of the (admittedly poor) wording in the manual.
VR will start when you press the shutter release, whichever method you use for AF. You just have to make sure to half-press the shutter release and allow a brief interval for VR to "settle" before pressing it fully to take the shot. Although it requires some co-ordination of thumb and forefinger, I found it quickly became second nature after a bit of practice
#2. "RE: Using D700 with a 70-200 VR lens" | In response to Reply # 0Luke_Miller Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Fri 16-Jul-10 11:01 AM
I shot a softball game yesterday afternoon with this combination and as Brian said - no problems. My D700 autofocus is set up the same way as you describe. I just have to remember to track the runner by holding the AF-On button down AND maintaining a half-press on the shutter button. I get the best results on a runner comming towards me with custom setting a4 set to OFF.
#3. "RE: Using D700 with a 70-200 VR lens" | In response to Reply # 2manples Nikonian since 04th Dec 2008Fri 16-Jul-10 11:56 AM
Thank you, Brian and Luke - I shall go to the Parkrun with more confidence tomorrow. I had in fact tried the method you suggest and felt it was working but worried the AF-C was acting on occasions just a little like AF-S might (limping from focus to focus) rather that constantly striving continually for focus in the usually way. I supposed that this perceived difference was the reason for Nikon's warning in the User manual. However, if two Nikonians say I can relax, that's good enough for me. Thanks again.
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#4. "RE: Using D700 with a 70-200 VR lens" | In response to Reply # 3MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Fri 16-Jul-10 03:29 PM
Congratulations on your new lens.
The technique described above is effective.
If you will be using shutter speeds of 1/500th sec. or faster, you might want to turn VR Off.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#5. "RE: Using D700 with a 70-200 VR lens" | In response to Reply # 3Luke_Miller Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Sat 17-Jul-10 11:14 AM | edited Sat 17-Jul-10 11:19 AM by Luke_Miller
>I had in fact tried the method you
>suggest and felt it was working but worried the AF-C was
>acting on occasions just a little like AF-S might (limping
>from focus to focus) rather that constantly striving
>continually for focus in the usually way.
You might check custom setting a4. That setting determines how long the body waits after it loses focus on a subject moving towards you before it tries to regain focus. In my experience I get the best results in that situation with a4 set to OFF. A setting of Normal (the default) gives me a lot of out of focus shots.
During my recent softball game shoot I was getting 100% in focus shots of base runners running directly towards me with my D700 and both my AF-S 70-200 and old AF-D 35-70 "screwdriver" lens.
#6. "RE: Using D700 with a 70-200 VR lens" | In response to Reply # 0
I shoot a lot of sports with my D700 and find that the following settings for AF operation have worked well for me:
Focus mode: C (Continuous-servo AF) via switch on front of camera
a1 AF-C Priority Selection: Release + focus
AF-Area Mode: Dynamic AF via switch on back of camera.
a3 Custom setting: 9 points
a4 Focus Tracing with Lock-On: Off
I never use VR when shooting sports action because my shutter speed is almost always 1/500 second minimum.
#7. "RE: Using D700 with a 70-200 VR lens" | In response to Reply # 6gqtuazon Registered since 18th Nov 2009Sun 18-Jul-10 09:12 AM
>I shoot a lot of sports with my D700 and find that the
>following settings for AF operation have worked well for me:
> Focus mode: C (Continuous-servo AF) via switch on front of
> a1 AF-C Priority Selection: Release + focus
> AF-Area Mode: Dynamic AF via switch on back of camera.
> a3 Custom setting: 9 points
> a4 Focus Tracing with Lock-On: Off
>I never use VR when shooting sports action because my shutter
>speed is almost always 1/500 second minimum.
Thanks for sharing your custom settings Bob. I'll give this a try especially with a4 since I shoot a lot of fast moving airplanes during landing. It will probably work well during panning but I typically use the 51 point with 3D tracking.
#8. "RE: Using D700 with a 70-200 VR lens" | In response to Reply # 7Bob32 Nikonian since 28th Jul 2007Sun 18-Jul-10 11:39 AM
I prefer to keep the number of focus points to a minimum and to date have never used more than 9 points when shooting Dynamic AF area mode. I notice that a few of the guys who post results on the Nikonians sports forum even use Single-point
AF, but I prefer Dynamic AF 9 points in case my selected focus point moves off the subject momentarily when I am attempting to track it--like when trying to follow a basketball player driving in for a layup or a football/rugby player running with the ball.