D800 Firmware Update Focus Improvement!

Started Apr 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 10,600
Re: Sports photographers WANT AF-C to change targets, rather than hunt.

m_appeal wrote:

No, it wasn't set to" focus" only. It was set to "focus release"  (see your quote below - "if a camera has never achieved a single focus lock in FOCUS RELEASE mode..." You stated that in the conditions I described the camera wouldn't fire ...

the wall is featureless... if it weren't, a lock would be achieved....it's hunting without a chieveing a single lock

michaeladawson wrote:

m_appeal wrote:

That's not how ifocus-release works on my camera... I am pointing it at  a blank wall and no focus lock is achieved (it's hunting). however I'm still able to trip the shutter...

If the camera has NEVER achieved a single focus lock while in Focus release mode it will NOT allow you to trip the shutter.  This is subtle but it is an important difference.

If it really is not working the way I have stated I would suspect that there is something wrong with your camera.  In which case you need to get it fixed and I sympathize with this inconvenience.

But let me just ask one more thing to make sure we're on the same page here.

Go to Custom setting a1 in the menu.  This is "AF-C priority selection".  There are three options there; Release, Release + focus, and Focus.  Have you chosen the bottom one that says "Focus" only?

This, in combination with AF-C single point focus mode should give you the results that I have previously described.

In addition, are you sure that your test wall is completely featureless?  No texturing of any kind that could cause light to create highlight/shadow areas where AF could lock?  Can you try this again by taping a sheet of white paper to the wall and using that as your target?

Sorry for the confusion there.  There is no "Focus Release" mode.  I struggle with what to call it every time I write about it.  I suppose I should refer to it as "priority" mode instead of "release" mode.  I would have called it "Release + focus" mode if that's what I had meant since that is the way it is written in the menu.  But I see how my phrasing could be read differently than the way I intended.

So let's do it again...  If you set the AF-C priority selection menu (a1) to "Focus" only, along with AF-C Single Point, does your camera behave the way I described?  The camera, sometimes, will seem like it achieved a lock right away.  It will stop hunting.  But what you should see is the double triangle indicators in the lower left of the viewfinder and the camera will not fire.  Other times the camera hunts for a bit, near and far, then stops with everything completely out of focus.

If you get it working the way I've described then you should also be able to play around and see how difficult it may be to achieve critical focus on a human face with wide open apertures.  If you are not steady with the camera you can place the focus point over the eyeball.  But inadvertantly moving the camera for just an instant can put the AF spot over an eye brow or eyeglasses frame.  And when you do that the camera will obtain lock and you can now trip the shutter no matter what is in focus.

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Mike Dawson

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