Best practise or tips (from FX users)


akagi07

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2006
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#1
starting a thread for helping myself and hopefully can be beneficial to others too

I recently tried out D700 over the wkend and as a second shooter for 2 friends' wedding. Luckily I volunteered as second shooter, no stress but I strived for my own excellence.

I know when I used big aperture from 1.8 to 3.2, I will suffer from OOF shots if I do re-composition after half shutter. So I choose my aperture wisely and used A mode with F3.2 to F7.1 the whole night. F4.5 and up, I am above to grab minimum sharpness.

However my issue is with 51 points. Switching from 3D matrix tracking to single point focus, I realised potentially I faced challenge myself. Was a D90 owner with 11 points to select from. As wedding is not a super fast action event, I used single point focus all the time. How do you FX users switch your focus point fast enough to catch up?

I was hesitating to switch back to use 11 or 21 points however. Not sure what was the potential benefits or if there is any.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#2
How do you FX users switch your focus point fast enough to catch up?
practice practice practice.... even before i lift the camera viewfinder to my eye, i have already selected an af point that is close to what my composition requires...
 

akagi07

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Apr 6, 2006
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#3
practice practice practice.... even before i lift the camera viewfinder to my eye, i have already selected an af point that is close to what my composition requires...
rather subjective. during such an event, you wont be staying stagnant in 1 position or forever in the same direction of the subject right?
even so, you may still need to change right in between seconds
 

daredevil123

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lil red dot
#4
rather subjective. during such an event, you wont be staying stagnant in 1 position or forever in the same direction of the subject right?
even so, you may still need to change right in between seconds
I think you should read my post more carefully... I am changing AF points all the time, just that I am still doing it while my camera is down, and my eye is not at the viewfinder.

The moment you bring your camera up to your eye, and you still need a couple of seconds to move the af point around, you will be too slow... and probably miss the moment. And if you stick your eye to the viewfinder all the time, you lose your vision to observe what is going on around you...
 

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akagi07

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#5
ok. got your point. but at times subject may still go faster, so do you use 3D matrix tracking?
 

lenslust

New Member
Apr 22, 2012
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#7
3D matrix is for metering, not focussing.
Best practice. Hmm.

Know what you are doing and what you are comfortable with. What others practice and do, might not suit your cup of tea. :)
 

akagi07

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2006
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#9
Best practice. Hmm.

Know what you are doing and what you are comfortable with. What others practice and do, might not suit your cup of tea. :)
naturally, what daredevil123 used may not suits but its still good to know right :)
 

rain5533

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Apr 14, 2009
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#10
akagi07 said:
ok. got your point. but at times subject may still go faster, so do you use 3D matrix tracking?
That 3D matrix tracking normally is used the macro of bug such as caterpillar moving object and used to it.

The 51 points is best on the bird flying object or faster capture.

I don't think this 2 function you need used on wedding capture..

If you wanna capture like group photo & can be used as single point on the center of person with using small aperture like F8 + flash should be good enough to cover all the face and look as sharpen image.

One more thing the 51 points an not suitable for human, cause the points can be automatic selection and not point to the face and the image output just look like very wired.
 

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akagi07

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#11
One more thing the 51 points an not suitable for human, cause the points can be automatic selection and not point to the face and the image output just look like very wired.
hmm.. hard to digest this
 

Entity

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2009
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#12
Group photos are not as simple as using a point-and-shoot, where the large depth of field allows you to point centre and fire.

If you have done enough weddings, you may realise the statement below may not work for every scenario:
- even with f/8, is d.o.f. enough to put the person nearest to you in focus? Bearing in mind for table shots the centre person is usually the furthest from the camera as everyone is arranged in a u-shape.
- what is the effect on your flashgun of going f/8 for 30-80 tables? Assuming you bounce your light, not direct.

...If you wanna capture like group photo & can be used as single point on the center of person with using small aperture like F8 + flash should be good enough to cover all the face and look as sharpen image...
 

rain5533

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#13
akagi07 said:
hmm.. hard to digest this
Did you using the 51 focusing point and every object is suits to your right pointed you need?

Cause the 51 points only can capture the moving object and active motion.

If the group photo and all the ppls are stand there and not move at all, so the 51 points is does not help much.

Some is only point on leg or clothes and not all is pointing on face.
 

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rain5533

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#14
Entity said:
Group photos are not as simple as using a point-and-shoot, where the large depth of field allows you to point centre and fire.

If you have done enough weddings, you may realise the statement below may not work for every scenario:
- even with f/8, is d.o.f. enough to put the person nearest to you in focus? Bearing in mind for table shots the centre person is usually the furthest from the camera as everyone is arranged in a u-shape.
- what is the effect on your flashgun of going f/8 for 30-80 tables? Assuming you bounce your light, not direct.
Thanks your sharing experience.
 

spidey89

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Jun 6, 2007
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#15
I'm so used to using 11 points on my previous camera that I just set to 11 AF points rather than use all 51 AF points
 

#16
turn on 51point AF with 3d tracking, turn off the function for af when you half press, switch the af mode selector to the middle option(single point with tracking), and switch the camera to 'C' on the AF mode switch. place the focus point on the subject you want, hold down the AF-on button and recompose, the af point will move to track the subject. its very accurate and fast cos you dont need to change the point. when you need single point af, just press the af-on button, let go, recompose. manual overide on AFS lenses will work fantastically without the camera trying to refocus every time you hit the shutter button.

also, consider getting the EC-S screen from focusingscreens.com, this way you can tell when the camera is screwing up the focus and you can corrected it with manual focus before you take the shot. it will also allow you to shoot your lenses wide open accurately. i use it with very good results on 35 1.4 AIs and 50 1.2 AIs and 135 f2 AIs
 

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akagi07

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2006
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#17
Cause the 51 points only can capture the moving object and active motion.

If the group photo and all the ppls are stand there and not move at all, so the 51 points is does not help much.
Now, isn't 11pt/21pts/51pts about the focusing point?
Where to focus is base on which point you use and to where you position your selected point

I am referring to # of AF points and AF Sensor Mode here but not the AF-mode (AF-A, AF-S / AF-C) so correct me if I am wrong after reading your comment.
Btw I was using one fixed sensor, the bottom most of AF Sensor Mode Switch

Nikon D700 Autofocus Settings

why would you say 51 points can capture the moving object and active motion but not still?

actually this is getting OT abit. I was just trying to pick up some tips on making the selection point fast :)
 

akagi07

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2006
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#18
turn on 51point AF with 3d tracking, turn off the function for af when you half press, switch the af mode selector to the middle option(single point with tracking), and switch the camera to 'C' on the AF mode switch. place the focus point on the subject you want, hold down the AF-on button and recompose, the af point will move to track the subject. its very accurate and fast cos you dont need to change the point. when you need single point af, just press the af-on button, let go, recompose. manual overide on AFS lenses will work fantastically without the camera trying to refocus every time you hit the shutter button.

also, consider getting the EC-S screen from focusingscreens.com, this way you can tell when the camera is screwing up the focus and you can corrected it with manual focus before you take the shot. it will also allow you to shoot your lenses wide open accurately. i use it with very good results on 35 1.4 AIs and 50 1.2 AIs and 135 f2 AIs
This is informative :)
 

rain5533

Senior Member
Apr 14, 2009
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S'pore, JB
www.flickr.com
#19
akagi07 said:
Now, isn't 11pt/21pts/51pts about the focusing point?
Where to focus is base on which point you use and to where you position your selected point

I am referring to # of AF points and AF Sensor Mode here but not the AF-mode (AF-A, AF-S / AF-C) so correct me if I am wrong after reading your comment.
Btw I was using one fixed sensor, the bottom most of AF Sensor Mode Switch

Nikon D700 Autofocus Settings

why would you say 51 points can capture the moving object and active motion but not still?

actually this is getting OT abit. I was just trying to pick up some tips on making the selection point fast :)
Correct all the focusing point you can set on the menu and choose on maximum of 51 AF points,
When you need the 51 AF points, you can switch on the button.

But I'm referring took on 51 AF points is does not help for group photos.
 

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daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#20
That 3D matrix tracking normally is used the macro of bug such as caterpillar moving object and used to it.

The 51 points is best on the bird flying object or faster capture.

I don't think this 2 function you need used on wedding capture..

If you wanna capture like group photo & can be used as single point on the center of person with using small aperture like F8 + flash should be good enough to cover all the face and look as sharpen image.

One more thing the 51 points an not suitable for human, cause the points can be automatic selection and not point to the face and the image output just look like very wired.
51 pt + 3D tracking, I believe uses the 3D matrix metering system to aid in the AF tracking. That said, it works the best when the subject you are tracking really stands out in terms of color. (like a red ball in a green background). Personally, I find it quite useless for my applications so I almost never use it.
 

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