D4-ideal settings for sports

Started May 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Grevture
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,947Gear list
Like?
Re: D4-ideal settings for sports
In reply to sportsnut1, May 10, 2012

sportsnut1 wrote:

Just curious-would anyone like to share what settings on the D4 have produced the best results for action sports?Trying to decide by trial and whould like others input!

I really am not trying to be rude or condescending, but your question is a bit like asking "how do a cook a tasty meal?" ...

To which the answer is - it depends ...

In this case it mainly depends on

  • which kind of action sport you are shooting

  • what kind of images you are looking for

  • your skill and experience in following the action and camera handling in general

  • what level and quality of light are at hand

There is no universal generic setting which works for everyone in every situation. It actually is to a large degree a matter of taste and habit what you will use.

I tend to mix and match a lot.

Lets say I shoot a medium distance sport, like soccer or football, and at first I am looking for generic images of a game (like when delivering some images to a news paper) then I tend to shoot with 21 focus points, medium or medium-short refocus delay (setting A4). But then I might switch to get some more portrait like images of key players, I then often switch to 9 focus points or even single point.

In volleyball, where action is much close, setting A4 is at shortest possible (delay before refocusing), 9 point or single point.

Or if I am shooting race cars gunning by me, 51 points and (if the light is consistent) even 3D focusing.

Some rules of thumbs - narrow down your focusing (like use center focus point) when going for something specific in a messy situation, like trying to get sharp imnages of one specific player in football. Use many focus points for more accurate and more relaxed tracking of something where there are less disturbing elements (like players, referees and such). Use fewer focus when you want to increase the responsiveness of the focusing, but realise you will also miss entirely more often. Shortening the refocus delay can make the AF jumpy and 'nervous', but can improve responsiveness if you manage to keep disturbing elements out of the line of sight (not something one can easily control).

Last but not least, the AF is a help , it is a tool , but it cannot think for you. You are the one who knows what you want in focus, the camera can only help out so much since it has no idea what it is you are trying to achieve. Sometimes that mean ignoring AF altogether, just prefocusing and let it rip when action enters the zone in focus.

-- hide signature --

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every moment of it!

By the way, film is not dead.
It just smell funny

 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
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow