Any thing wrong with using AF-C permanently?

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions
nikkorwatcher
Contributing MemberPosts: 684
Like?
Re: Any thing wrong with using AF-C permanently?
In reply to Jostian, Apr 25, 2013

If you had an upmarket camera with an AF-lock button you could use AF-C more often. For still subjects when you don't use it, the lens would chatter a lot.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Brev00
Senior MemberPosts: 5,765Gear list
Like?
Re: Oh come along now Mikey ....
In reply to Jostian, Apr 25, 2013

Jostian wrote:

The reason I ask is cos with the D7100 and the Tamron 17 to 50mm SP F2.8, when I use centre focus (5 point) with AF-S I have as many out of focus as in Focus shots, not sure why, but with exactly the same settings and just changing the AF to AF-C I have every shot in focus, photographing the same objects from same angle with same lighting etc. And I have no idea why the difference? hence my question, could be an issue specifically with the Tamron not sure...

Do you have access to any other lenses, preferably a Nikkor?  While some shoot AF-C all the time, I believe they do it because they prefer that approach.  If you do it to avoid an issue, you might avoid a solution as well.  I would try a Nikon lens and try some shots with the same settings.  If the shots are fine, you may have discovered another third party compatibility issue with the D7100.   Either Tamron can devise a solution (Sigma seems uninterested in doing so according to some posts) or you may be stuck with AF-C.  I use AF-S for the majority of my shots since I recompose all the time.  I would consider a new lens if the issue could not be resolved.  But, that is me.  Right now, I see the problems some are having with their Sigma 17-70's and the D7100.  A good reason to settle in and enjoy my D90 a little while longer.   Of course, your test could show that you get a small number of keepers in AF-S regardless of your lens.  I guess that might indicate a user or a camera issue.

-- hide signature --

www.flickr.com/photos/brev00

 Brev00's gear list:Brev00's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Steve_in_FL
Contributing MemberPosts: 948Gear list
Like?
Re: Oh come along now Mikey ....
In reply to Jostian, Apr 25, 2013

Jostian wrote:

The reason I ask is cos with the D7100 and the Tamron 17 to 50mm SP F2.8, when I use centre focus (5 point) with AF-S I have as many out of focus as in Focus shots, not sure why, but with exactly the same settings and just changing the AF to AF-C I have every shot in focus, photographing the same objects from same angle with same lighting etc. And I have no idea why the difference? hence my question, could be an issue specifically with the Tamron not sure...

-- hide signature --

Jostian

And the D7100 uses an improved version of the D300 AF system.

 Steve_in_FL's gear list:Steve_in_FL's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jostian
Senior MemberPosts: 1,353Gear list
Like?
Re: Oh come along now Mikey ....
In reply to Brev00, Apr 26, 2013

Brev00 wrote:

Jostian wrote:

The reason I ask is cos with the D7100 and the Tamron 17 to 50mm SP F2.8, when I use centre focus (5 point) with AF-S I have as many out of focus as in Focus shots, not sure why, but with exactly the same settings and just changing the AF to AF-C I have every shot in focus, photographing the same objects from same angle with same lighting etc. And I have no idea why the difference? hence my question, could be an issue specifically with the Tamron not sure...

Do you have access to any other lenses, preferably a Nikkor?  While some shoot AF-C all the time, I believe they do it because they prefer that approach.  If you do it to avoid an issue, you might avoid a solution as well.  I would try a Nikon lens and try some shots with the same settings.  If the shots are fine, you may have discovered another third party compatibility issue with the D7100.   Either Tamron can devise a solution (Sigma seems uninterested in doing so according to some posts) or you may be stuck with AF-C.  I use AF-S for the majority of my shots since I recompose all the time.  I would consider a new lens if the issue could not be resolved.  But, that is me.  Right now, I see the problems some are having with their Sigma 17-70's and the D7100.  A good reason to settle in and enjoy my D90 a little while longer.   Of course, your test could show that you get a small number of keepers in AF-S regardless of your lens.  I guess that might indicate a user or a camera issue.

-- hide signature --

www.flickr.com/photos/brev00

Thanks will try with my Nikkor 18 to 105 and see what the results are like.

-- hide signature --

Jostian

 Jostian's gear list:Jostian's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X II Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JCB123
Senior MemberPosts: 1,159Gear list
Like?
No - have both at once.
In reply to Jostian, Apr 26, 2013

Jostian wrote:

Was wondering why one would use AF-S, when AF-C focuses continually, addressing slight variations in mvt that AF-S doesn't, so why use AF-S, just leave it on AF-C, I now there are other considerations like speed etc that would affect which AF to use, but speaking purely on focus, surely t here's nothing wrong with just leaving AF on AF-C? or am I missing something(s)?

-- hide signature --

Jostian

Assign the AEL/AFL button as AF ON, and leave the camera in AF-C mode permanently. For continuous AF keep the AF ON button pressed. For focus and re-compose press the AF ON to focus, then release it and recompose. The shutter button does not activate AF at all.

Regards

John

 JCB123's gear list:JCB123's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon D90 Nikon D7000 Olympus PEN E-PL5 Nikon D7100
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
antoineb
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,158Gear list
Like?
In my experience, AF-C is not as precise
In reply to Jostian, Apr 26, 2013

Jostian wrote:

Was wondering why one would use AF-S, when AF-C focuses continually, addressing slight variations in mvt that AF-S doesn't, so why use AF-S, just leave it on AF-C, I now there are other considerations like speed etc that would affect which AF to use, but speaking purely on focus, surely t here's nothing wrong with just leaving AF on AF-C? or am I missing something(s)?

-- hide signature --

Jostian

Hi Jostian,

- in my experience on a D7000, AF-C is just not quite as precise as AF-S.
Of course when I use the great 85mm f1.4G for portraits at short range, my DOF is at most a couple centimetres (one inch) so I have found I just have to use AF-C, because AF-S would be off even if the subject, say a child, moved front or back by those couple centimeters.
But for uses where the photographer and the subject are steady, say landscapes for one, or flowers, I have found that AF-C is just a tad more precise.

- also I remember reading here in the forums, that for those higher-end DLSRs where Nikon publish "Technical Guides" besides the more humble User's Guide, they do recommend to use AF-S not AF-C, for the most precise focus (don't have a ready reference for you on this one though)

How do I make sens of this?  Simple: the AF engine is very quick to get close to perfection but not quite, and then needs a tad longer to reach perfection.  Probably by using the AF-C mode we tell the camera to keep on adjusting, and due to not infinite processing power this comes at the expense of those final adjustments to reach "perfection", which happen only in the AF-S mode.

 antoineb's gear list:antoineb's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 Olympus TG-610 Nikon D7000 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kkardster
Senior MemberPosts: 4,797Gear list
Like?
Re: Any thing wrong with using AF-C permanently?
In reply to Jostian, Apr 26, 2013

AF-S can be better that AF-C when you do a lot of recomposing.  AF-C will refocus - possibly on something other than your subject - while AF-S will keep focus locked.    All bets are off if your subject won't stay still though - with either mode you have to make sure your focal point is on subject for clear results.

-- hide signature --

Bruce
You learn something new every time you press the shutter

 kkardster's gear list:kkardster's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JacquesC
Senior MemberPosts: 1,397
Like?
No, it's often best
In reply to Jostian, Apr 26, 2013

Using AF-C coupled to the AF-ON button is an excellent way of shooting, regardless of the subject being stationary or moving.

You can read a complete explanation (using the D800 as an example, but equally applicable to other bodies)  here

-- hide signature --

Jacques
apple-and-eve.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tko
tko
Forum ProPosts: 10,335
Like?
what does this have to do with the OP?
In reply to LouCioccio, Apr 26, 2013

I mean, shouldn't we try to stay on topic? What does your reply have to do with the question?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
the Mtn Man
Regular MemberPosts: 141
Like?
Re: Any thing wrong with using AF-C permanently?
In reply to nfpotter, Apr 26, 2013

nfpotter wrote:

LouCioccio wrote:

Just go over pages 91 through 95, especially 94 and 9 point dynamic really helped on people shots.

I have two bodies (one refurb and one new) maybe just luck of the draw but both AIS manual lenses are sharp plus the two kits (refurbs also) and the 50d/1.8 but then I am old school VR IS NEVER ON.

Here is a 28/3.5 at F/16 using hyper focal distance, a bounced Olympus FL50 flash (cannot remember if auto or manual) and I shoot only in manual mode.

Ciao,

Lou Cioccio

Why are you giving advice, when you take a shot like that at f/16?

Out of curiosity, what, exactly, is wrong with taking a picture like that f/16?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
starman1969
Senior MemberPosts: 2,441Gear list
Like?
Re: No, it's often best
In reply to JacquesC, Apr 26, 2013

I use AF-S for most shooting, although I enable 'Release Mode' in settings. This is because I nearly always focus then recompose.

If focusing then re-composing in AF-S mode with 'Focus Priority' option enabled the camera will not fire if the selected focus point is on an area that is out of focus. Hope this makes sense

Just my experience.

-- hide signature --

They are watching us......

 starman1969's gear list:starman1969's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD
Forum ProPosts: 15,751
Like?
Not true
In reply to starman1969, Apr 26, 2013

starman1969 wrote:

I use AF-S for most shooting, although I enable 'Release Mode' in settings. This is because I nearly always focus then recompose.

If focusing then re-composing in AF-S mode with 'Focus Priority' option enabled the camera will not fire if the selected focus point is on an area that is out of focus. Hope this makes sense

Just checked using the D7K/D70 If you are in AF-S and get a green confirmation light and hold it with half press...you can recompose and shutter will fire even if you point to the sky in "focus priority". Once you have the green "in focus light" light, it stops checking and assumes in focus regardless of what is in the FOV of the focus array. If you let go the half press....you have to start over, of course.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
oklaphotog
Contributing MemberPosts: 788Gear list
Like?
Re: No - have both at once.
In reply to JCB123, Apr 27, 2013

JCB123 wrote:

Assign the AEL/AFL button as AF ON, and leave the camera in AF-C mode permanently. For continuous AF keep the AF ON button pressed. For focus and re-compose press the AF ON to focus, then release it and recompose. The shutter button does not activate AF at all.

Regards

John

This definitely works and there is nothing wrong with it if it is comfortable for you.....

But it is extremely awkward for those of us who have used AF cameras for years using the shutter button for focus when there was no such thing as an AF ON button (I've used one for 25 years). This technique for many is like an American trying to drive in England in an RHD vehicle on "the wrong side" of the road. Using your thumb to AF gets even more awkward if you want to change focus points and have to keep moving it from the focus point selector to an AF ON button. This becomes even worse when your face is planted to against the camera and you are shooting in manual mode and also trying to manipulate the rear exposure wheel in addition. Dealing with three controls all the time with just your thumb while it bumps your cheek can be annoying. It's much more comfortable for me to focus with index finder on the shutter and select points on the fly with your thumb when needed.

Also most work has sufficient enough DOF that even if the subject moved a couple inches from the initial point of focus, it would have minimal effect. Once your DOF starts to get super thin, sometimes the exact place you wish to place the focus is smaller than the AF point and switching to manual focus would be the preferred method for precision.

Personally I cannot see any reason to permanently leave AF-C on after years of shooting the traditional way and switching modes when needed. I never have focus issues with AF-S. With the fact that many compositions may require focusing and recomposing on top of the awkwardness for many people when dealing with an AF-ON button as the only means to solve that problem, it seems to be more hassle than it's worth.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD
Forum ProPosts: 15,751
Like?
best move
In reply to oklaphotog, Apr 27, 2013

oklaphotog wrote:

JCB123 wrote:

Assign the AEL/AFL button as AF ON, and leave the camera in AF-C mode permanently. For continuous AF keep the AF ON button pressed. For focus and re-compose press the AF ON to focus, then release it and recompose. The shutter button does not activate AF at all.

Regards

John

This definitely works and there is nothing wrong with it if it is comfortable for you.....

But it is extremely awkward for those of us who have used AF cameras for years using the shutter button for focus when there was no such thing as an AF ON button (I've used one for 25 years). This technique for many is like an American trying to drive in England in an RHD vehicle on "the wrong side" of the road. Using your thumb to AF gets even more awkward if you want to change focus points and have to keep moving it from the focus point selector to an AF ON button. This becomes even worse when your face is planted to against the camera and you are shooting in manual mode and also trying to manipulate the rear exposure wheel in addition. Dealing with three controls all the time with just your thumb while it bumps your cheek can be annoying. It's much more comfortable for me to focus with index finder on the shutter and select points on the fly with your thumb when needed.

I personally had many of the difficulties you describe here. I to spent near 25 years never using back-button focus. Upon the recommendation of others, I spent a month getting use to AF-ON with the D7000. I know can not go back and find just using the shutter release very awkward.

Personally I cannot see any reason to permanently leave AF-C on after years of shooting the traditional way and switching modes when needed. I never have focus issues with AF-S. With the fact that many compositions may require focusing and recomposing on top of the awkwardness for many people when dealing with an AF-ON button as the only means to solve that problem, it seems to be more hassle than it's worth.

I too though that...switching to AF-ON focus has been one of the best moves I've made. Everyone's mileage will vary though

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daisy AU
Senior MemberPosts: 1,561Gear list
Like?
Re: Any thing wrong with using AF-C permanently?
In reply to Jostian, Apr 27, 2013

Jostian wrote:

Was wondering why one would use AF-S, when AF-C focuses continually, addressing slight variations in mvt that AF-S doesn't, so why use AF-S, just leave it on AF-C, I now there are other considerations like speed etc that would affect which AF to use, but speaking purely on focus, surely t here's nothing wrong with just leaving AF on AF-C? or am I missing something(s)?

-- hide signature --

Jostian

This article may clarify things for you:

http://www.pixelfinesse.com/_docs/D7000_AF_Explained.pdf

I found it very helpful to understand the whole Nikon AF system.

-- hide signature --

Thanks,
Daisy AU - Brisbane

 Daisy AU's gear list:Daisy AU's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nfpotter
Senior MemberPosts: 4,072
Like?
Re: Any thing wrong with using AF-C permanently?
In reply to the Mtn Man, Apr 27, 2013

the Mtn Man wrote:

nfpotter wrote:

LouCioccio wrote:

Just go over pages 91 through 95, especially 94 and 9 point dynamic really helped on people shots.

I have two bodies (one refurb and one new) maybe just luck of the draw but both AIS manual lenses are sharp plus the two kits (refurbs also) and the 50d/1.8 but then I am old school VR IS NEVER ON.

Here is a 28/3.5 at F/16 using hyper focal distance, a bounced Olympus FL50 flash (cannot remember if auto or manual) and I shoot only in manual mode.

Ciao,

Lou Cioccio

Why are you giving advice, when you take a shot like that at f/16?

Out of curiosity, what, exactly, is wrong with taking a picture like that f/16?

Obviously you didn't choose to read anything else I posted.  I've tried before to get you out of thinking in film terms, perhaps this time you'll pay attention.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nfpotter
Senior MemberPosts: 4,072
Like?
Hey! All of you that THINK you know what you're talking about - pay attention
In reply to Jostian, Apr 27, 2013

There is NOTHING wrong with being a sheep, coming here, reading a few posts, and adopting the "AF-ON" button technique.

HOWEVER...

For SOME of us, the position of the assignable button on cameras such as the D7K, D7100, etc., is in a physical position such that it causes you to hold the camera in an uncomfortable way.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH DOING THINGS YOUR OWN WAY.

I, for one, do not use AF-ON on my D7K for 2 reasons: it makes me hold the camera "funny", promoting a weak grip, that's the biggest reason (A WEAK GRIP IS 1000 TIMES WORSE THAN ANYTHING ELSE YOU COULD DO WITH A CAMERA); as well, it doesn't active VR on the D7K (solved in the newer cameras), and if you've ever tried to hand-hold a 500mm lens (750mm FF equiv.), you'll know why VR helps you nail initial focus.

So, don't be a sheep.  The AF-ON technique CERTAINLY has advantages (i LOVE it on my D300, with a dedicated button in a MUCH better position), but use what works best for you, not what you THINK you should do.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Daisy AU
Senior MemberPosts: 1,561Gear list
Like?
Re: Hey! All of you that THINK you know what you're talking about - pay attention
In reply to nfpotter, Apr 27, 2013

nfpotter wrote:

There is NOTHING wrong with being a sheep, coming here, reading a few posts, and adopting the "AF-ON" button technique.

HOWEVER...

For SOME of us, the position of the assignable button on cameras such as the D7K, D7100, etc., is in a physical position such that it causes you to hold the camera in an uncomfortable way.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH DOING THINGS YOUR OWN WAY.

I, for one, do not use AF-ON on my D7K for 2 reasons: it makes me hold the camera "funny", promoting a weak grip, that's the biggest reason (A WEAK GRIP IS 1000 TIMES WORSE THAN ANYTHING ELSE YOU COULD DO WITH A CAMERA); as well, it doesn't active VR on the D7K (solved in the newer cameras), and if you've ever tried to hand-hold a 500mm lens (750mm FF equiv.), you'll know why VR helps you nail initial focus.

So, don't be a sheep.  The AF-ON technique CERTAINLY has advantages (i LOVE it on my D300, with a dedicated button in a MUCH better position), but use what works best for you, not what you THINK you should do.

Just to understand what you are saying ... If one uses this AF-On technic with the D7000, none of the VR lenses will actually have the VR on at the time of pressing the shutter?  If so, is there another way to activate VR whilst using this technic?

-- hide signature --

Thanks,
Daisy AU - Brisbane

 Daisy AU's gear list:Daisy AU's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
starman1969
Senior MemberPosts: 2,441Gear list
Like?
Re: Not true
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 27, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

starman1969 wrote:

I use AF-S for most shooting, although I enable 'Release Mode' in settings. This is because I nearly always focus then recompose.

If focusing then re-composing in AF-S mode with 'Focus Priority' option enabled the camera will not fire if the selected focus point is on an area that is out of focus. Hope this makes sense

Just checked using the D7K/D70 If you are in AF-S and get a green confirmation light and hold it with half press...you can recompose and shutter will fire even if you point to the sky in "focus priority". Once you have the green "in focus light" light, it stops checking and assumes in focus regardless of what is in the FOV of the focus array. If you let go the half press....you have to start over, of course.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Thanks for the correction. I did mean letting go of the AF before re-composing.

-- hide signature --

They are watching us......

 starman1969's gear list:starman1969's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BirgerH
Senior MemberPosts: 1,311Gear list
Like?
Re: best move
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 27, 2013

Hi Mako.

Two things of difficulties to me, using (practicing using) this AF-ON thing.

First my thumb - dosn't seem to be a grown-up's thumb - becomes a little short to naturally reach the AE/AF-L button on my D90 - maybee just practicing! (Always been told, that I have a lot of thumbs:-) ).

Second - I'm left eyed - and in that possision my nose will not let the thumb operate anyway.

So now I am practicing AF-ON, using right eye and operating tumb - as they say - it's three things.

Hope it's worth that.

BirgerH

 BirgerH's gear list:BirgerH's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Tamron SP AF 11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro +14 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads