What is the problem with the rejects? Why do you think the keeper rate is not high enough? Are you sure it is a focus issue? What about shutter speed and DOF? What lens are you using?
For action photos my bank has a1 set to release (not focus), a3 on 21 points (instead of 9), and a8 on 51 points. I have auto ISO set with a shutter speed minimum of 1/400, shooting in aperture priority mode.
Using release instead of focus is somewhat of a gamble. There is a good chance you will get some out of focus images. I can live with that.
For me it started as a necessity because my daughter's indoor karate tests had so little light and contrast that I was missing shots waiting for the focus to lock. Since I knew that most photos would be taken at a similar distance I changed the setting to release instead. The trade off was missing some shots as being out of focus, but at least the shutter was firing. If you have enough DOF, you can miss focus by a bit and still be okay.
Outdoors I've found focusing to be fast enough in most all situations that I rarely miss shots from lack of focus (unless I lose track of the subject). I also shoot in bursts of 3 to 5 frames at a time. So even if the first shot is not in good focus, the later shots in the burst usually are in focus.
If you can track your subject well using AF-On, and keep your subject in focus, it should not matter if you have a1 set to focus. Nor will it matter if a1 is set to release.
My theory is that if I am shooting action photos (sports, wildlife, etc.) I want the shutter to fire when I press the button, period. If I have time to ensure focus is locked, that's fine. I will wait and be patient in taking shots. But if not, any shot is better than no shot. I'd rather have a chance at getting "the" action shot rather than missing it altogether if the focus isn't dialed in to the camera's liking.
Two different functions. I use the AF-On button only to focus. The shutter button does not focus. Focus is different from the shutter release.
Setting a1 is the shutter release. It tells the camera whether to take a photo even if focus is not locked on (release), or requires focus to be acquired first (focus). It does not matter whether focus is by AF-On or the shutter button (or manually for that matter). This setting asks whether focus is locked in, or whether it doesn't matter, before firing the shutter when the shutter button is pushed.
Think about it this way, if you have a1 set to focus then the shutter will not fire until focus is locked and the green dot comes on in the viewfinder. With a1 set to release you will take a shot whenever you hit the shutter button regardless of focus.
Try using both focus and release a1 settings to take an out of focus shot. If your shot is out of focus, and a1 is set to focus, the shutter will not fire. The beauty of digital is that you can try all of the different settings and see the results without the hassle of film.
Sounds good. Make sure to try auto ISO with an acceptable minimum shutter speed, too.
With an AF-S lens I doubt that the a1 setting will make much difference in most situations. I noticed the difference when shooting in low light/low contrast situations where the AF sensors struggled, and when using slower screwdriver AF lenses. With an AF-S lens in decent light focus is not the reason for your issues.
If nothing else it's good to know what different functions offer. I've still got a lot of settings to learn myself. Hopefully this discussion will help you see different possibilities. There is no one right way.
Tue 05-Jun-12 02:30 AM | edited Tue 05-Jun-12 02:34 AM by glxman
Tks Garrett, The only reason I have been "conservative" with high ISO in the past is getting caught out with high dynamic range
Have a shoot next month and will try out auto ISO on the grandson's football game
The lens is an AF-S 300 f4, does get slow on dull days, did a few tests yesterday with a low dynamic range and images looked OK
Would be interesting to do a poll on a1 settings combined with AF-ON only, but where to post? Maybe wildlife? As I guess most are shooting D700, D300 or better with similar custom settings and banks Tks again, Regards, Gary
I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed