Displaying Available Focus Points (Dynamic Area AF)
This started as looking at how ‘available’ focus points are displayed, particularly when effective aperture starts limiting your choice
We talk about 9-point, 21-pt and 51-pt AF areas and our favorites for motion subjects. I’ve been looking at Teleconverters and understand I may not have all of those choices available. I wanted to look into how operating with 15 and 11-pt AF areas would impact me.
That led to a review (read fumbling around) of how to display the pattern of available focus points. I usually just look at the focus point selected in the VF. If you move the focus point to select one at the edge of the area, what happens? Oh, the whole area (pattern) moves. We knew that, right? The manual even shows this on pg 94 while discussing auto-area AF (unfortunately, I haven’t been using auto-area AF). You can display all of the available AF points in the VF by pressing the AF-mode button. Or you can press the Info button to view the available area, or what’s left of it, in the LCD (photo below).
Somehow, this has not made a big impression on me. In moving the VF focus point around, I have been unclear on the concept. I’ve even noticed that I move the focus point inadvertently at inopportune moments. A nose press to the multi-selector, for example, while shooting birds. The focus point marches purposefully, not erratically (Nikon’s word), to the left side of the focus area. That’s rather a disadvantage when you need your whole favorite area active to try to place over the target.
To add insult, I don’t have a lens/TC combination to display focus points when the numbers available start to drop (apertures smaller than f/5.6, but larger than or equal to f/8). Since I really like the Nikon 300mm f/4 lens, I’m thinking 11 pts and one cross sensor with the TC-20 is more restrictive than I want.