D800 - Focusing & Exposure Problem while shooting
I am relatively new with D800, coming from D90.
I am a event photographer and with D90 i used to just press the shutter fast and getting the great clicks in dance party or any event or if someone else using my camera.
With D800 i am losing this fun. I just cant press the shutter and get the clicks, many many times it is defocused and specially someone else taking my pic who is not aware of AF-ON spoils the photo.
I use NIKON 24-120 lens.
In dance party or wedding you need to click fast you cant just keep press the AF-ON all the time.
Is there any setting in camera that i dont need to worry about focus?
In the night shoot with speed light if i click fast; exposure changes automatically and after 3 shots i get the one i am looking for. My exposure is set to 0 zero.
Here is the sequence of the photos. Perfect - Little Dark - very Dark and then Perfect.
#1. "RE: D800 - Focusing & Exposure Problem while shooting" | In response to Reply # 0GBaylis Nikonian since 12th Sep 2012Tue 01-Oct-13 02:05 PM
If you change your AF setting to AF-C (continuous), rather than AF-S, then you can keep your thumb on AF-ON to keep refocusing continuously as you fire off quick shots.
Your exposure problem sounds like you are firing off shots faster than your flash can recharge. I have experienced this when my flash batteries are starting to run low. Sounds as if you need a higher spec Speedlight with an external battery pack.
#2. "RE: D800 - Focusing & Exposure Problem while shooting" | In response to Reply # 0briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Tue 01-Oct-13 02:07 PM | edited Tue 01-Oct-13 02:08 PM by briantilley
Welcome to Nikonians!
Many members here like using the AF-ON button to activate autofocus, but it's perfectly possible to use the shutter button in the same way as you did on your D90, if that's your preference. Just make sure that Custom Setting a4 is set to "Shutter/AF-ON" Rather than "AF-ON only" (see page 283 in the D800 manual).
Regarding exposure, if it's not that you're firing too fast for the flash to recharge, it may be that you have Flash Bracketing and/or AE Bracketing applied. Check pages 130 onwards in the manual for details.
#3. "RE: D800 - Focusing & Exposure Problem while shooting" | In response to Reply # 0SheriB Nikonian since 11th Sep 2010Tue 01-Oct-13 02:11 PM
"exposure changes automatically "
Are you saying that the exposure INFO is different in each shot,(in reading the exif data) or just the exposure as you see it and describe it?If the info is different, you may have bracketing set
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#4. "RE: D800 - Focusing & Exposure Problem while shooting" | In response to Reply # 0km6xz Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Thu 03-Oct-13 08:24 AM
I shot a lot of dance, both theatrical(ballet) and more often, dance clubs and also used the D90 with great results for several years, then added a D7000 and finally D800. All will do what you need but with each it is a little more deliberate and being more in your control. I sense that there is some confusion on settings for that environment. Can you post a photo or two that demonstrate the exposure setting changes? That would help us evaluate what is really going on.
For club shooting, flash will be primary light source but it is often desired to include some contribution of the ambient light which is usually varying between pitch black to laser sweeps to cplored gels on spot or reflecting mirrors. To get any consistency, shooting full manual except AF is the norm, and using whatever reflective surfaces that are available to bounce and defuse from.
A good starting point is slow rear sync and dragging the shutter at 1/10 and low enough ISO to prevent excess ghousting. 1/10 or even slower is used to get the saturated rich colors of the varying lights. Experiment with ISO so you can decide how much ambient exposure you want before the flash fires. If the action is fast, a high shutter speed is needed, and forgetting about ambient light contribution.
A general purpose exposure setting for low ambient light, but resists ghosting, might be 320-400 ISO, f/4, 1/80-1/250, ISO to fixed(don't use flash and Auto ISO), AF-C 9 points. The higher the shutter speed the greater the difference between background and subject exposure.
AF-On is the most common AF activation method and we are all used to it but if you feel more comfortable with the shutter 1/2 press for AF activation, set it in the menu for that operation. If you get used to AF-On (only) it gives a number of advantages for both moving and still subjects. It allows reframing without doing anything more than just letting go of the AF-On button with your thumb, for example.
There are a number of possible causes of variation in exposure, as mentioned above, by others. The bracketing function might not be on "0" brackets. The flash might be firing full dumps which takes a few seconds to recharge. You can fix that by upping the ISO so less flash power is needed. Does the rear red flash lamp flash after every shot? That means there was not enough flash power for the settings and scene. I shoot with a SB900 or two and usually get low power flashes so the capacitor never fully discharges, meaning the next flash does not need to wait for the recovery of the charge on the discharge capacitor. Anything you can do to make the light from the flash more efficient, will decrease the power required for a shot.
The D800 is an excellent event camera but it generates images that are overkill in that atmosphere, and too many by the end of the party at 6-7a.m. Unless you are shooting using ambient light primarily, a D90 will work just as well for club shooting, except you need a lot wider angle lenses if you are shooting full bodies and close in.
When flash takes the dominate illumination duties, the difference in cameras gets smaller and smaller.
I suggest not letting others use your camera, they do not value it or even know how to hold or support it as well as you so there is a high danger of getting it damaged. Take two bodies if your friends want to shoot, the D90 is perfect for that, tough easy to use and light. If you have friends who do not understand that value, don't even take the D800 in a club. A decent lens, the flash and body add up to $5-6k or more and the environment is too risky unless it is your job. The risk is from lots of people crowding in a dark space, combined with fast movements, alcohol and everyone assuming that a camera is just a toy, like their own. It is like tossing the keys to your Maserati to a buddy who has been drinking and still has not completed driver's ed or gotten a license. There is very little upside potential and very significant downside potential.
I have been doing it for a long time and feel comfortable with $10k the bag in a dance club but I know the clubs, and people so there is an acceptable risk, and I know the difference in behavior in the clubs I go to and those back home in the US where fights and drunks are the norm. I don't think the risk is worth it there but here, for me, it is quite acceptable.
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