I need some clarification on the focus point indicator. Some of my shots have the red bracket indicating the focus point and some do not. I'm using AF-C single point with AF-On only and focus priority. My question, are the photos without the indicator out of focus? I get different results depending on which mode I use and it's a bit confusing. I forgot to mention, D800 with 24-120 f4. I'm using Capture NX2 for processing.
Yes, if Capture NX does not show the focus point that indicates that the cameras electronic range finder was not indicating good focus.
On the other hand this doesn’t mean that the shot is not actually in-focus, just that the camera “thinks” it is not in-focus. This happens a lot in AF-C mode when the camera fires while focus is readjusting and the focused area is just in front or behind the selected focus point.
It should only show if you pressed the AF-ON button for that particular shot. If you took two shots in a row of a static subject but only pressed AF-ON for the first shot, then NX2's indicator won't show for the second shot, even though it will still be in focus.
The camera has a built in range finder. It can detect if the area under the selected focus point is in-focus or not. The camera must be able to detect proper focus or auto focus could not work.
This works with auto focus as well as when you are manually focusing.
Set you camera to manual focus and point it at an object and turn the focus ring until nothing is in-focus. You will notice that the green Focus Indicator is not displayed.
Now turn the focus ring and watch the left side of the viewfinder information display. As you approach proper focus you will see a small arrow pointing left or right (depending on the direction you are turning the focus ring) when you achieve focus the arrow will disappear and the green dot will light up – if you continue to turn the focus ring the green dot will disperse and the opposite arrow will light up.
Okay, I found some guidance in the View NX help file.
Simon (Gromit44) is correct. Thank you for guiding me to dig a bit deeper for an answer.
If you are using AF-ON only the focus point will not show in any image when you are not holding the AF-ON button down. Auto focus must be active via the AF-ON button of Shutter button must be active for the focus point to show.
The help file states that “...the focus points will be not displayed...” “...he image shot by manual focus...”
So, if you focus and take a shot and then release the AF-ON button and then shoot another image without refocusing the focus point will not show on that second image. If the camera is not actively focusing - the image is treated as if it were manually focused.
The OP is shooting in AF-C mode and the help file also states...
“...the focus points will be not displayed...” “...image shot using AF-C (Continuous-servo AF) mode without the in-focus indicator appearing in the viewfinder...”
So, if AF is active but the image is taken when the in-focus indicator does not appear in the viewfinder – no focus point will be displayed.
This happens easily in AF-C mode especially if your subject is moving fairly quickly.
I suppose the moral of the story is don't use the presence of NX2's indicator (or lack of it) to assess which shots are in focus - unless of course you're certain you've hit the AF-ON button for every shot.