Hi folks. New to this so please excuse my ignorance but is there a way to select a group of focus points while letting the camera pick which individual point to use?
For example if you are taking a picture where the action is in one area be it left or right side or in the centre can you select a group of points in that area or is the choice simply between all 51 or a single point?
Thanks for your help
#1. "RE: AF query" | In response to Reply # 0CharlieS Registered since 29th Aug 2007Tue 06-Dec-11 11:44 AM
Setting A3, gives you the choice of 9, 21, or 51 focus points but not the ability to select a group of focus points in a certain area of the viewfinder. you can of course move the focus point manually with the 4 way thumb pad when focusing.
When no one is looking, Pigs can walk on they're hind legs
#2. "RE: AF query" | In response to Reply # 1Tue 06-Dec-11 03:48 PM
Thanks Charlie. Am I right in believing that the custom setting you mention still requires you to manually select a single focus point initially although the camera will select another of the surrounding points ( depending on the number selected ) should the subject move away from that focus point?
I'm really wondering what the best setting would be for birds in flight. Would it be best to select one point and then try and focus one point accurately on the eye of the bird, or whether to leave it in the fully automatic 51 point mode and hope it selects the right area.
I'm assuming the former as the other way seems a bit hit and miss.
#3. "RE: AF query" | In response to Reply # 2Holmes375 Registered since 08th Sep 2006Tue 06-Dec-11 04:11 PM
I think you'll find 9 point or 21 point Dynamic most effective for BIF. You might start with the 21 point and practice, practice, practice The background will also have an effect on the efficacy of 9 pt, 21 pt and 51 pt. A confused background can trick the camera if using a larger number of sensors. A blue sky background is much easier to maintain focus tracking without interference.
You will be required to select which point initially acquires focus. While you can move the position of the 9 pt or 21 pt group, I'd start with a centrally located group as it features the most sensitive and effective sensors. Experiment as your skill level increases.
If not already doing so, considering setting up your camera to use the AF-On button only for focusing. This technique has benefits many find attractive for this kind of photography.
BIF is a demanding discipline with time behind the camera being the most important factor for success.
#4. "RE: AF query" | In response to Reply # 3Tue 06-Dec-11 05:32 PM | edited Tue 06-Dec-11 05:36 PM by wooster
Thanks Holmes. I appreciate your advice. I am fairly experienced in portrait and event photography but new to Nikon in general and new to BIF pics in particular. Its something I have fancied for a while now but always was reluctant to spend money on the gear for this quite demanding area.
As a result of switching my gear to Nikon I am now re-considering my lens list and will probably include a 300mm f4 with 1.4 tc with a view to doing a bit of modest birding for pleasure only.
#5. "RE: AF query" | In response to Reply # 4Holmes375 Registered since 08th Sep 2006Tue 06-Dec-11 10:40 PM
Excellent choice. That lens/converter combination offers the greatest degree of performance for the dollar spent for the wildlife photographer. Its portable, affordable and capable.
You'll like its minimum focus ability, too. Makes a great tool for close-up fun.
#6. "RE: AF query" | In response to Reply # 0
>is there a way to select a group of focus points while letting the camera pick which individual point to use?
Some yes - some no.
Most recent Nikon cameras allow Auto area AF via the mode selector on the back of the camera.
In this mode the camera detects a subject and sets the auto focus point or points for you.
In single servo AF the AF point/points are displayed for about 1 second after focus is acquired.
The downside of single servo AF for moving subjects is once focus is acquired the focus distance is fixed - not good for moving targets.
The system works for dynamic area AF (focus tracking) - but does not display any focus points. You get no viewfinder AF indication of what part of the scene the camera is trying to focus on
With a G or D lens Auto area AF can detect a face from the background and automatically focus on the face.
It is worth experimenting with Auto area AF.
In my experience Auto area AF sometimes performs more accurate than other methods with some difficult scenes.
In single servo AF when the AF point/points illuminate you know the AF has detected the subject. I do not find it practical for moving targets.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
#7. "RE: AF query" | In response to Reply # 6Wed 07-Dec-11 08:29 PM
Thanks Len and to everyone for your help with this. The AF system is a lot more complex than I'm used to but also seems to be very accurate even with critical situations using 1.4 lenses it seems spot on.
Looking forward to learning more
#8. "RE: AF query" | In response to Reply # 0
Apologies in advance if I'm sending you to view something that is too elementary, but I found the series of 3 videos (this is the first one) quite illustrative. The first one, you can probably skip most of it, but the next ones provide a nice explanation on the AF system.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.