Any thing wrong with using AF-C permanently?

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions
Ray Soares
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I've been using only AF-ON + AFC since my D300...
In reply to Jostian, Apr 27, 2013

and with the D7000 and now with my D4!

IMO there are some misconceptions about this matter:

1- In the new bodies ( D4 / D800 /D7100 ) the VR is now activated when you press  AF-ON, which is a much better implementation by Nikon IMO

2- Also with the D4 ( dunno with other bodies ) you've got the AFC plus 1 single focus point which is excelent for details and small DOF situations (as sometimes using the 9/21/51 points options, the camera could for example focus in eyelashes instead of the iris)

3-In the D7000 I truly believe that the AFC algorithyms were more acurate than the AFS ones at least with its first firmware

4- Working with lenses at up to f/2.8  and wide open is the most critical situation where I believe AFC will help as,  with a DOF of let's say a quarter of a inch, it is easy to miss CRITICAL focus due to slight movements of both you and your target

5- And of course AFC is a better option IMO when ANY movement is present, even in the so called posed portraits when your target always moves or when yourself is breathing or slightly moving as we all do when handhelding cameras

6- At f/5.6 and smaller apertures small movements of course will not be a great  issue

7- I usually shoot at a 3 pic burst to catch later the best one as any AF system has some calibration & normal allowances that can sometimes induce it to lock in a not so perfect and critical focus ( easy to see when using for example the FOCAL software for fine-tunning lenses and then displaying the results on a graphic ). In this case AFC will help a lot as movements are more likely to happen between the 3 shots (that is of course also valid in continuous action shooting).

8- And last but not least I also believe that the less you need to change settings when different situations appear during a photo session, the lower the chances you've got to forget something or even to do wrong things ...

Your mileage may vary though...

Best

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photoreddi
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Hey! Don't pay attention to those that attempt to educate using insults.
In reply to Daisy AU, Apr 27, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

...

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?

No, it all depends on the technique that you choose to use as well as the camera you're using. You can half press the shutter button in advance (initiating VR), before focusing with the AF-On button, and then press the shutter button the rest of the way after focusing. Some of Nikon's latest cameras initiate VR when the AF-On button is pressed and others, such as Nikon's 1-Series cameras always have VR engaged when VR lenses are used.

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Mako2011
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Good luck
In reply to BirgerH, Apr 27, 2013

BirgerH wrote:

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.

Good Luck sir. We had a wonderful member, Graystar, who also was left eyed. He trained himself to shoot right eye as you are. Indicated it worked very well and ended up becoming natural in the end.  Good Luck

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

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Mako2011
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In reply to starman1969, Apr 27, 2013

starman1969 wrote:

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.

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

That makes sense.  Realize AF-C with AF-ON does exactly the same thing as your doing, but with far more accuracy and control once learned

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Mako2011
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Always works
In reply to Daisy AU, Apr 27, 2013

Daisy AU wrote:

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?

VR always still works with the AF-ON technique:

There are two VR modes. Pre-exposure mode gives you a stabilized image in the view finder and is what you notice when some say " VR finished stabilization" This mode has nothing to do with the final captured exposure so no need to worry about letting it finish. When you go from half press to full press of the shutter release button, The VR mode changes. The VR element is re-centered and the VR algorithms change from "pre" to "during" exposure mode. This all happens during the time the mirror goes from down to up. Not sure how it works on non Nikon lens. When you press the shutter button to take the picture...VR engages and does it's thing regardless if you had it on during half-press.

There is actually an easy way to see that it's true. Using the self timer function it's easy to see the dif and confirm the 2 modes. Set your self timer for 5 seconds. Now using your VR lens at a shutter speed 1/4 to 1/10th the focal length set VR to "on"...hand held. Point at a good target with lettering or the like and press the shutter release and let go. You will hear the VR motor start and see it work in the viewfinder. A second or so later you will hear the VR motor stop and see VR stop working in the view finder (That was VR pre-exposure mode starting and stopping). In a few seconds (as the timer continues) the shutter will release and a picture will be taken. Note that VR was not engaged and had stopped prior to the shutter releasing. Now do the exact same thing with the VR set to "off". The same thing will happen but you'll not see VR start initially.

Now compare the photos. In the first case, when VR had stopped working before the timer ran out, the pictures are sharper than the VR "off" pictures. The reason is that the second "exposure mode" VR kicked in as the mirror rose and did it's thing....all without the image being stabilized first. With all my Nikon VR lenses, there is no need to engage "pre-exposure" VR mode for pictures to be just as blur free as the pics were you wait for VR to stabilize.

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nfpotter
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Yes, aware of that, not the point (n/t)
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 27, 2013
No text.
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nfpotter
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Once again, no one paid attention
In reply to nfpotter, Apr 27, 2013

Yes, VR still works at the time of the shot.  Yes you can still get VR with a shutter button half-press.  What is the point of using the AF-ON button, if you still have to half-press the shutton button?  Obviously, many of you don't realize how much easier VR make INITIAL FOCUS ACQUISITION WITH A LONG LENS.   For me, none.  AND, still promotes a weak grip.

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Mako2011
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Is the point
In reply to nfpotter, Apr 27, 2013

He asked:

"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"

I answered that (yes VR will be on at the time of pressing the shutter) ...and more

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Mako2011
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Did you notice : )
In reply to nfpotter, Apr 27, 2013

nfpotter wrote:

Yes, VR still works at the time of the shot.  Yes you can still get VR with a shutter button half-press.  What is the point of using the AF-ON button, if you still have to half-press the shutton button?

You do not have to half press the shutter button to get VR...You do have to fully press the shutter button to take the picture...when you do that, VR engages and works as always to mitigate the effects of camera shake.

Obviously, many of you don't realize how much easier VR make INITIAL FOCUS ACQUISITION WITH A LONG LENS.   For me, none.  AND, still promotes a weak grip.

That is indeed another use for VR...but not required for the shot.

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herbymel
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Re: best move
In reply to BirgerH, Apr 27, 2013

BirgerH wrote:

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

My right eye has been injured previously and the vision isn't as good so I don't shoot looking through it, my hands are a bit on the small side. I make it work though, you just have to practice, once you've done it for awhile it becomes second nature.

Excitable Boy

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: I've been using only AF-ON + AFC since my D300...
In reply to Ray Soares, Apr 27, 2013

And there you have it, folks.  Straight from the godfather of sharp, my mentor Ray Soares.  No one handles razor thin 1.4 DOF better than Ray.   If you want to explore other options, great, but this is the proven formula for a massive keeper rate.  With the D7100/D800 focus module, it works to near perfection, rattling off a string of sharp shots on a moving target. Reason enough to upgrade for that feature alone.  Stationary targets are fish in a barrel.   
And my standard disclaimer applies: If you think you're going to get good with your new camera in a hundred shots and then come on here crying about your autofocus not working, then think again.  You need to not be lazy and get out there and practice, a lot.

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BirgerH
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Re: best move
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 27, 2013

Thanks to both.

Actually I am started practicing using my right eye - and the left not closed. I find it not that hard, so I think I'll learn in a while.

The use of the AF-ON is then on stand by - one thing at a time.

Reading this forum do teach me a lot - because of trying whats suggested from a lot of the members here.

I'm very greatfull.

BirgerH.

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Daisy AU
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Re: Hey! Don't pay attention to those that attempt to educate using insults.
In reply to photoreddi, Apr 27, 2013

photoreddi wrote:

Daisy AU wrote:

...

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?

No, it all depends on the technique that you choose to use as well as the camera you're using. You can half press the shutter button in advance (initiating VR), before focusing with the AF-On button, and then press the shutter button the rest of the way after focusing. Some of Nikon's latest cameras initiate VR when the AF-On button is pressed and others, such as Nikon's 1-Series cameras always have VR engaged when VR lenses are used.

I see, thanks!

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Daisy AU - Brisbane

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Daisy AU
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Re: Always works
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 27, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

Daisy AU wrote:

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?

VR always still works with the AF-ON technique:

There are two VR modes. Pre-exposure mode gives you a stabilized image in the view finder and is what you notice when some say " VR finished stabilization" This mode has nothing to do with the final captured exposure so no need to worry about letting it finish. When you go from half press to full press of the shutter release button, The VR mode changes. The VR element is re-centered and the VR algorithms change from "pre" to "during" exposure mode. This all happens during the time the mirror goes from down to up. Not sure how it works on non Nikon lens. When you press the shutter button to take the picture...VR engages and does it's thing regardless if you had it on during half-press.

There is actually an easy way to see that it's true. Using the self timer function it's easy to see the dif and confirm the 2 modes. Set your self timer for 5 seconds. Now using your VR lens at a shutter speed 1/4 to 1/10th the focal length set VR to "on"...hand held. Point at a good target with lettering or the like and press the shutter release and let go. You will hear the VR motor start and see it work in the viewfinder. A second or so later you will hear the VR motor stop and see VR stop working in the view finder (That was VR pre-exposure mode starting and stopping). In a few seconds (as the timer continues) the shutter will release and a picture will be taken. Note that VR was not engaged and had stopped prior to the shutter releasing. Now do the exact same thing with the VR set to "off". The same thing will happen but you'll not see VR start initially.

Now compare the photos. In the first case, when VR had stopped working before the timer ran out, the pictures are sharper than the VR "off" pictures. The reason is that the second "exposure mode" VR kicked in as the mirror rose and did it's thing....all without the image being stabilized first. With all my Nikon VR lenses, there is no need to engage "pre-exposure" VR mode for pictures to be just as blur free as the pics were you wait for VR to stabilize.

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I had no idea there were basically 2 VR stages.  Thanks for explaining it so well.  One never stops learning  

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Thanks,
Daisy AU - Brisbane

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Brev00
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Re: Did you notice : )
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 27, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

nfpotter wrote:

Yes, VR still works at the time of the shot.  Yes you can still get VR with a shutter button half-press.  What is the point of using the AF-ON button, if you still have to half-press the shutton button?

You do not have to half press the shutter button to get VR...You do have to fully press the shutter button to take the picture...when you do that, VR engages and works as always to mitigate the effects of camera shake.

Obviously, many of you don't realize how much easier VR make INITIAL FOCUS ACQUISITION WITH A LONG LENS.   For me, none.  AND, still promotes a weak grip.

That is indeed another use for VR...but not required for the shot.

I don't understand this reply.  If Master Potter uses vr (os) to help acquire initial focus with his Bigma, then he requires it.  He uses it to get and keep a steady frame while tracking his far off birds and such.  I would think that using os only at the precise moment of capture would decrease his keeper rate or, at least, entail a continuous shooting style.  That is precisely what I like best about my Tamron's vc--the ability to hold the frame steady at 300mm.  I used to use a non-vr lens at 300mm and survived.  Now, I require the vr assist.  I don't think that vr, itself, is required for a shot.

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Mako2011
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In reply to Brev00, Apr 27, 2013

Brev00 wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

nfpotter wrote:

Yes, VR still works at the time of the shot.  Yes you can still get VR with a shutter button half-press.  What is the point of using the AF-ON button, if you still have to half-press the shutton button?

You do not have to half press the shutter button to get VR...You do have to fully press the shutter button to take the picture...when you do that, VR engages and works as always to mitigate the effects of camera shake.

Obviously, many of you don't realize how much easier VR make INITIAL FOCUS ACQUISITION WITH A LONG LENS.   For me, none.  AND, still promotes a weak grip.

That is indeed another use for VR...but not required for the shot.

I don't understand this reply.  If Master Potter uses vr (os) to help acquire initial focus with his Bigma, then he requires it.

Sure it helps him hold steady, but it is not required to get the camera shake reduction benefits to the capture.

I would think that using os only at the precise moment of capture would decrease his keeper rate or, at least, entail a continuous shooting style.

Not really as VR completely resets at the moment the mirror starts to rise so keeper rate should not change.  It's helping him frame and pan...an excellent side benefit of VR. I use 9pt on my longer lenses and simply haven't found a real benefit to focus lock speed VR on vs VR off. He uses longer lenses so has better experience in that regard. I was pointing out the not having VR engaged at the time the AF-ON button is pressed is no reason to abandon back-button focus. I actually like being able to separate VR pre-exposure mode VR from focus (best of both worlds as I can engage it at will like everyone else does..I have more options). Gives me personally more control as my thumb wasn't doing anything anyways. Now it has a job and also stabilizes my hold as I've modified how I hold the camera to take more advantage of AF-ON focus. Lots of ways to skin that cat... pros and cons to all.

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cwsiggy
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Re: All
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 27, 2013

Ok, I must be missing something real simple but why would you ever want to implement something that causes one to have to press 2 buttons instead on just one?

Why not just learn to half depress the shutter release button and keep it half pressed to recompose? rather than having to press the AF ON button and then release the shutter.

Yes- I'm new to owing a D7100, but clearly I seem to be missing something here...

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harpo95993
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Re: All
In reply to cwsiggy, Apr 27, 2013

cwsiggy wrote:

Ok, I must be missing something real simple but why would you ever want to implement something that causes one to have to press 2 buttons instead on just one?

Why not just learn to half depress the shutter release button and keep it half pressed to recompose? rather than having to press the AF ON button and then release the shutter.

Yes- I'm new to owing a D7100, but clearly I seem to be missing something here...

Read this thread it explains everything.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/2917220#forum-post-37104695

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Mako2011
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In reply to cwsiggy, Apr 27, 2013

cwsiggy wrote:

Ok, I must be missing something real simple but why would you ever want to implement something that causes one to have to press 2 buttons instead on just one?

Because I can focus and not have VR draining the battery or making noise if I choose to. Also, VR can make you sea sick at times so when I shoot hummingbirds at 200mm I often prefer pre-exposure VR off while the image itself is benefited from VR at the time of capture.

Why not just learn to half depress the shutter release button and keep it half pressed to recompose?

See above

rather than having to press the AF ON button and then release the shutter.

You get all the benefits of focus-recompose in AF-C

Yes- I'm new to owing a D7100, but clearly I seem to be missing something here...

It takes time and practice to notice/understand many of the benefits. Most who get used to and good with back-button focus, never go back to shutter release focus.

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the Mtn Man
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Re: Any thing wrong with using AF-C permanently?
In reply to nfpotter, Apr 27, 2013

nfpotter wrote:

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.

Listen, you jerk, the only thing you posted were snarky "you shouldn't be giving advice" comments to LouCioccio, and I politely requested additional information.  You might be a knowledgeable photographer, but that doesn't give you a license to act like an a-hole.

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