D3S focus testing

Started Feb 14, 2010 | Discussions thread
Grevture
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Re: Missed Dog Series
In reply to JoeinLA, Mar 5, 2010

JoeinLA wrote:

I just took a series of my relatively small dog at a slow run from about 35 ft to about 15 ft using the 70-200 VRII, Continuous Low, AF-C, 51pt 3D Dynamix Focus, Focus Priority.

D3S didn't get a single shot in focus

That makes me sad. I'll keep playing with the 70200II and 2470.

Keep in mind how AF operates: it works by detecting contrast, and with a dog coming towards you the AF usually locks on to the outer contour of the dog which often translate to something like mid body focus. Or, if yoy keep the focusing point on the head of the dog, it grabs the outer edges of the head, meaning you get sharp ears, but not sharp eyes and nose.

For dogs coming at me I would not use the 3D mode, but rather use either a single point focus or dynamic area and work on keeping that selected focus point where you want it on the dog. And I almost never use the focus priority, stay with shutter priority. BTW: With dogs, I often cheat a little by setting the AF adjust to front focus a bit, since most dogs have such pointed faces.

I have shot a lot of running dogs (mostly agility training/competition) in the last three years, and when I first started I was frustrated at the low hit rate. But keep in mind that dogs are tough subjects to get focus on. Thay are fast, move irregularily (giving the predictive AF lots of trouble) and they are small so you often shoot at fairly short distances.

But it can be done.

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 Grevture's gear list:Grevture's gear list
Nikon D70s Nikon D3 Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF +7 more
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