Wed 09-Jul-08 09:44 PM | edited Thu 10-Jul-08 08:27 AM by nimike
As you can see on the pictures at http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikond700/page4.asp, D700's AF points covers only middle area of the image frame. I believe that it is fine for sport and reportage photographers but what about landscape photography? I often use AF points placed near frame border now for focusing on objects at hyperfocal distance and I'm afraid that it could be problem with D700, especially in use with the tripod. What is your experience?
With my cameras, I always focused, locked it and then recomposed. I don't see a problem. Photographers got by when cameras didn't have outer frame AF sensors without any problems. In landscape photography, there is time to do the necessary steps.
Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)
I always focus manually in this situation as well. I can't imagine fiddling around with autofocus sensors and recomposing for landscape photography. When I get my D700 I plan on using my manual focus 17mm and 24mm lenses as I did for film. These lenses have the f-stop and distance markings that are missing from the newer AF primes that make it easy to set the lens to the hyperfocal distance.
I agree mostly with the OP. For landscapes I prefer MF, but for portrait, candid and concert photogrphy I always use the outer AF points. You simply don't have time to focus and recompose. The D700 is an attractive camera, but this could be the reason for NOT getting one.
As a photographer who shoots with available light 99% of the time, with much of it people and things in dimly lit rooms, my experience with the D700 is that the focusing system is very, very good in practically any light this side of total darkness, and is absolutely a reason FOR getting one.
I have been getting good pictures in bad light with mostly manual focus lenses for about 40 years - now my eyes are bad, and the D700's wonderful focusing system has enabled me to continue shooting the way I have always done. That was absolutely not the case with the D70 and D200 that came before it.
I can't use the viewfinder/focusing screen effectively anymore, so I rely on the focus indicators at the lower left corner of the viewfinder screen - just point the camera, get the green dot, and shoot. It works fabulously well for me with both auto and manual focus lenses. No exaggeration - before I bought the D700, I was ready to give up photography altogether and was in a very deep funk due to my inability to focus a camera.
Often there are considerable advantages in using Live View tripod mode for landscapes. One advantage is in Live View Tripod mode AF can be positioned anywhere in the picture frame, not just in the central AF area Perhaps dpreview do not test extensively or check out camera instructions before publication.
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.
Personally I'd either focus manually, or use the centre af point and recompose. For a landscape you will probably be using a fairly small aperture so any minute error in recomposing will be extremely minimal.
HEY, has anyone tried out custom setting a8 AF point selection set to 11?
I never noticed this setting until configuring my D700 last night, but I am thinking that it might increase my speed in thumb-wheeling the AF point selector (multi selector) around when using continuous focus.
It's a little weird because I have A3 Dynamic AF area set to 51-point per my normal habit, but A8 allows me to move around more quickly when making the initial selection of the starting focus point!!
Also not sure if these 11 AF points correspond to the cross-AF-sensors or not...
Best regards, SteveK My Nikonians gallery 'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
I actually agree with the OP on this. For the vast majority of cases the central AF area is fine for landscape or action. However, I also sometimes find that I've composed the shot using an AF lens on the tripod and then want to select a foreground item that is outside of the AF zones. Often this is only very slightly outside the AF zone but it might as well be way off since the solution still requires moving the camera, focussing and then recomposing. This isn't unique to the D700 - it also applies to the D3.
My preference for landscape these days is Zeiss manual focus primes. However, there are often times where I'll have the 14-24 or 24-70 with me and these are pretty lame in MF mode IMHO (at least compared to real MF lenses).
I agree with you, Graham. AF lenses have very loose focusing mechanics to make it easier for the camera to spin it using the internal motors. Accidents may (and do) happen and sometimes you shoot with the wrong focus point. On dedicated lenses (Zeiss, Leica) these focus rings are waaaay better and the hyperfocal marks are a lot easier to use with precision.