D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
arrr
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D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
11 months ago

Hello, I'm looking replace my now sold Fuji S5 Pro with a Nikon D600 but have some concerns about the autofocus system. I believe the D600 shares the AF module with the D7000? If so does the D600 have a tendency to back focus like D7000 does? After tuning my lenses the D7000 is usable but I still lose a small number of images to back focus.

Also would you recommend the D600 and its' AF for low-light shooting? Is it capable of capturing a sprinting 4-year-old flower girl in a dimly lit church for example?

Tia,

Jimmy

 arrr's gear list:arrr's gear list
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Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Nikon D600 Nikon D7000
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mrjpack
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to arrr, 11 months ago

I imagine it depends on the lens you are using, the 70-200 VR1 under high school stadium lights performs very good for me. I think there are differences from the D7000 module, but you will have to research that further... I would think the 600 is more than capable of capturing what you are looking for...

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arrr
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to mrjpack, 11 months ago

mrjpack wrote:

I imagine it depends on the lens you are using, the 70-200 VR1 under high school stadium lights performs very good for me. I think there are differences from the D7000 module, but you will have to research that further... I would think the 600 is more than capable of capturing what you are looking for...

Thanks for the feedback. Currently I have a 50, 85 and 80-200 that can be used with the D600. I'm thinking about purchasing the D600 with 24-85 to start.

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wasserball
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to arrr, 11 months ago

arrr wrote:

Hello, I'm looking replace my now sold Fuji S5 Pro with a Nikon D600 but have some concerns about the autofocus system. I believe the D600 shares the AF module with the D7000? If so does the D600 have a tendency to back focus like D7000 does? After tuning my lenses the D7000 is usable but I still lose a small number of images to back focus.

Also would you recommend the D600 and its' AF for low-light shooting? Is it capable of capturing a sprinting 4-year-old flower girl in a dimly lit church for example?

Tia,

Jimmy

I doubt you will be able to capture that sprinting girl. I don't know about the back focusing issue with the D7000, but I am experimenting with the D600 shooting sports at ISO 6400, inside low light HS gyms and stadiums. Here is what I've found so far comapred to the D3s in focusing... It is not as fast, and using any lens other than a f2.8 you will have some problems with speed to AF. To offset that, make sure you shoot at AF-C, and use the shutter button to prefocus as much as you can before taking the shot. I use the D600 because it gives me more flexibility in cropping than the D3s with its 24mp sensor. But AF and low light shooting, the D3s is still king.

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arrr
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to wasserball, 11 months ago

wasserball wrote:

arrr wrote:

Hello, I'm looking replace my now sold Fuji S5 Pro with a Nikon D600 but have some concerns about the autofocus system. I believe the D600 shares the AF module with the D7000? If so does the D600 have a tendency to back focus like D7000 does? After tuning my lenses the D7000 is usable but I still lose a small number of images to back focus.

Also would you recommend the D600 and its' AF for low-light shooting? Is it capable of capturing a sprinting 4-year-old flower girl in a dimly lit church for example?

Tia,

Jimmy

I doubt you will be able to capture that sprinting girl. I don't know about the back focusing issue with the D7000, but I am experimenting with the D600 shooting sports at ISO 6400, inside low light HS gyms and stadiums. Here is what I've found so far comapred to the D3s in focusing... It is not as fast, and using any lens other than a f2.8 you will have some problems with speed to AF. To offset that, make sure you shoot at AF-C, and use the shutter button to prefocus as much as you can before taking the shot. I use the D600 because it gives me more flexibility in cropping than the D3s with its 24mp sensor. But AF and low light shooting, the D3s is still king.

Sadly the D3s is beyond what I'm willing to spend on a body right now. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have one. I am however keeping an eye out for a mint used D3 or D700. My gut feeling is that I should go with one of them over the D600.

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YRUNVS
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to arrr, 11 months ago

I haven't had any experience with fast action in low light, but lots of low light and I cant remember a time where I've had focus hunting when using a prime other than when I've tried to shoot closer than MFD. Daylight with the kit lens, I've had no problems tracking fast action.

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arrr
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to YRUNVS, 11 months ago

,YRUNVS wrote:

I haven't had any experience with fast action in low light, but lots of low light and I cant remember a time where I've had focus hunting when using a prime other than when I've tried to shoot closer than MFD. Daylight with the kit lens, I've had no problems tracking fast action.

Thanks for the samples YRUNVS, if possible I'm going to try to rent a D600 to test. I'd hate to have to buy and return it if it did not meet my needs.

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mrjpack
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to wasserball, 11 months ago

wasserball wrote:

arrr wrote:

Hello, I'm looking replace my now sold Fuji S5 Pro with a Nikon D600 but have some concerns about the autofocus system. I believe the D600 shares the AF module with the D7000? If so does the D600 have a tendency to back focus like D7000 does? After tuning my lenses the D7000 is usable but I still lose a small number of images to back focus.

Also would you recommend the D600 and its' AF for low-light shooting? Is it capable of capturing a sprinting 4-year-old flower girl in a dimly lit church for example?

Tia,

Jimmy

I doubt you will be able to capture that sprinting girl. I don't know about the back focusing issue with the D7000, but I am experimenting with the D600 shooting sports at ISO 6400, inside low light HS gyms and stadiums. Here is what I've found so far comapred to the D3s in focusing... It is not as fast, and using any lens other than a f2.8 you will have some problems with speed to AF. To offset that, make sure you shoot at AF-C, and use the shutter button to prefocus as much as you can before taking the shot. I use the D600 because it gives me more flexibility in cropping than the D3s with its 24mp sensor. But AF and low light shooting, the D3s is still king.

First of all, if you are shooting indoors & need 6400, obviously you need a fast lens & if you are shooting sports AFC is a must.  For better results you need to program the AE button to focus & set the shutter for release. Will you nail 100% nope, but you will get a good majority of your shots...

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John Cerra2
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to arrr, 11 months ago

Of the 14,000 shots on my D600, probably are shooting Hs basketball of a nationally ranked team.

I get a lot of great shots, but lose a lot to OOF. I suspect the 51 pt AF on the D700 is more capable. But the sensor on the d600 is outstanding at iso 3200. I know a pro who  thinks the sensor outperforms the D3s, but the AF is no where near as good.

But a girl running...yes if you practice and ave modern lenses.

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Currently shooting aD300s, a D200, D70 and N50. Have a 'F.'
Also shooting with Konica 35mm SLRS (T3 and FT-1) with numerous Hexanon Lenses. Printer: Canon i9900.

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arrr
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to mrjpack, 11 months ago

mrjpack wrote:

First of all, if you are shooting indoors & need 6400, obviously you need a fast lens & if you are shooting sports AFC is a must. For better results you need to program the AE button to focus & set the shutter for release. Will you nail 100% nope, but you will get a good majority of your shots...

I've never been an AF ON button shooter. I've always used the half press to start focus and a full press to capture. This technique worked just fine on my previous D300 and D2X. I doubt I can change the way I shoot now. I've been doing it this way for 18 years.

For low light shooting, I understand that its necessary to take some buffer/insurance shots but I'm not looking to get lucky. I need the autofocus to be more reliable than unreliable. Losing 30% of my images to poor focus isn't going to cut it, especially when I am only going to get one chance to capture that moment.

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arrr
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to John Cerra2, 11 months ago

John Cerra2 wrote:

Of the 14,000 shots on my D600, probably are shooting Hs basketball of a nationally ranked team.

I get a lot of great shots, but lose a lot to OOF. I suspect the 51 pt AF on the D700 is more capable. But the sensor on the d600 is outstanding at iso 3200. I know a pro who thinks the sensor outperforms the D3s, but the AF is no where near as good.

But a girl running...yes if you practice and ave modern lenses.

-- hide signature --

Currently shooting aD300s, a D200, D70 and N50. Have a 'F.'
Also shooting with Konica 35mm SLRS (T3 and FT-1) with numerous Hexanon Lenses. Printer: Canon i9900.

I'm not picky with sensor performance, I'm probably one of the few photogs that will say I was happy with the Nikon 12mp DX sensors below ISO 1600. I think the 16mp sensor in the D7000 is usable to ISO 6400, if you get the exposure right in camera.

But hey it's 2014 and buying a 12mp sensor today kinda feels like a small step backwards. I really want the D600/610 to work for me so I can continue to use my SD cards. I gave away my remaining CF cards when I sold the S5.

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frank-in-toronto
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to John Cerra2, 11 months ago

Sprinting! If she's sprinting towards you, u could easily get 1 good shot. but more might be tough. Side-on, nothing to it. How many good shots do u want? I would prefocus and shoot 5 fps burst using an f-stop to give me a couple of feet DOF (auto-iso up to 6400). i would have af set to d-9 and af-c with my thumb poised over ael button reprogrammed as af-on.  Keeping the center 9 on her, burst away.  u need a good lens.

anyway, u should practice beforehand.  no-one can say how good you'll track her or if she's wearing contrasty clothes.  when u mention a 51 point system as being better, are u just talking about the center point or using all? if all, which i doubt, i suspect your keepers will drift down towards zero.

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mrjpack
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to arrr, 11 months ago

arrr wrote:

mrjpack wrote:

First of all, if you are shooting indoors & need 6400, obviously you need a fast lens & if you are shooting sports AFC is a must. For better results you need to program the AE button to focus & set the shutter for release. Will you nail 100% nope, but you will get a good majority of your shots...

I've never been an AF ON button shooter. I've always used the half press to start focus and a full press to capture. This technique worked just fine on my previous D300 and D2X. I doubt I can change the way I shoot now. I've been doing it this way for 18 years.

For low light shooting, I understand that its necessary to take some buffer/insurance shots but I'm not looking to get lucky. I need the autofocus to be more reliable than unreliable. Losing 30% of my images to poor focus isn't going to cut it, especially when I am only going to get one chance to capture that moment.

In dark shots if I am shooting properly, I get about 90% which is pretty good according to the conditions. AF On allows for more accurate shooting on any body. It was very foreign to me at first, but now comes naturally to me. Would the D-800 be more accurate? Maybe, but I have not shot it. To be sure, you wold need to go to the D4, maybe a DF.

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YRUNVS
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Re: D600 AF Tracking in Low-Light?
In reply to arrr, 11 months ago

arrr wrote:

,YRUNVS wrote:

I haven't had any experience with fast action in low light, but lots of low light and I cant remember a time where I've had focus hunting when using a prime other than when I've tried to shoot closer than MFD. Daylight with the kit lens, I've had no problems tracking fast action.

Thanks for the samples YRUNVS, if possible I'm going to try to rent a D600 to test. I'd hate to have to buy and return it if it did not meet my needs.

You actually read my mind.  I intended to suggest renting the camera to insure that it was a good fit for your needs. As you mention that is likely a much preferable route then going through the potential hassle of buying, being disappointed and having to return.

Good luck!

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