D700 razor sharp focus

Started Nov 14, 2011 | Discussions thread
Joesiv
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Re: D700 razor sharp focus
In reply to apaflo, Nov 18, 2011

apaflo wrote:

Joesiv wrote:

This is the exact configuration that I use for portraits as well, and even with a "slow focusing" 105DC at F2, I never have problems with critical focus.

But why make it hard on yourself? There simply is no advantage to that configuration for shooting portraits. There are advantages to using AF-S and "Focus priority", which you would be able to make use of if using the AF-S configuration instead.

I wouldn't say there is "no advantages". People obviously prefer to shoot in different ways. No need to say your way is the only way! For example, if you absolutely need to take the picture at a decisive moment, like a little smirk, or something, shutter priority is very very important. Shutter priority seems to be better suited to C-AF, unless you just rappidly keep half press tap to continuously AF-S... but at that point, you might as well just be on AF-C, which I realized, and saves from repetitive movements syndrom lol.. (kinda kidding).

When set to "release" just make sure you give the camera some time to actually nail the focus, on most lens' you can hear or feel the focus advance, then you know you're good to go.

If you switch from AF-C to AF-S and Focus priority you don't need to "make sure", because the camera does that for you. No focus lock, no shutter release. You can concentrate on composition instead of camera operational characteristics. Tap the shutter release or AF-ON button, and if it doesn't lock, tap it again. If done with the shutter release button it can essentially amount to shooting in bursts, where it almost always actually does trigger the shutter, but won't if it isn't in focus.

Yeah, instead, you have to hope that the subject or yourself haven't moved in the slightest, or the camera will refuse to snap the picture, and you'll miss the opportunity. I may shoot different form you, but often my photography is in a rapid pace, myself and my subjects are often moving, even for portraits, I'm adjusting angles to find the best composition between subject/background and also framing.

With AF-C, you just keep your shutter half pressed, and during these transitions it's still keeping actively finding focus. Just different ways of shooting... hope you can accept that.

I do find however that this method breaks down when using some of the outer AF points due to thier orientation and your subject matter. For example, a baby laying down with closed eyes, AF will fail due to the wrong direction of the AF point (I wish they were all cross point).

And that is an instance where focus and reframe would help, which can only be done if you are in AF-S mode. Enable AF, then reframe and trigger the shutter.

yeah obviously... which is why I mentioned it in the first place. I have no delusions that "my way" is the only way. When needed, indeed, I will flip the little switch to AF-S... no problems... but I prefer not to have to. If we had more AF points spread out further in the frame (hopefully all cross points), I could keep to AF-C like I prefer.

Remember, that recomposing alters focus, even if just in the slitest, especially with wide apertures. Relying on focus recompose really slows down shooting, with my older DSLRs with limiited focus points (and crappy AF-C), I had to shoot this way, and don't miss it at all lol...

To each thier own, I just wanted to share what works for me, and might work for others like the OP. The OP should try out various different ways of shooting and see if he can get this sharp focus that he's looking for.
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Cloverdale, B.C., Canada
Nikon D700, Panasonic L1, Olympus e-510
http://www.joesiv.com

 Joesiv's gear list:Joesiv's gear list
Nikon D700 Olympus E-510 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G
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