Back Focus, Bad Technique Or What?

Started Apr 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
A Owens Veteran Member • Posts: 3,208
Re: Back Focus, Bad Technique Or What?

Paul Gowder wrote:

A Owens wrote:

Paul Gowder wrote:

I've switched from a D700 to a D800.

I've been having some focusing issues with it. And I need your advice.

Am I doing something wrong? Bad technique, wrong focusing settings, or is there an issue with the camera?

Here are some sample images from today:

I was shooting AF-C with single point. I was putting the single point on their eyes as much as possible.

You can see from the samples that at times the hair is in focus and eyes are soft. And one photo the focus is soft all the way around.

Please help!


So please believe that when working properly the D800/e can focus as well as anything.

First you need to AF tune your lenses, then you need to read the manual thoroughly and make sure you have the AF set up correctly for the given conditions. There are not that many parameters but they can make a huge difference and you need to get familiar with the differences each setting delivers. A3, amongst others, is a critical setting. For another example, AF Single would be a better setting for that crocodile shot.

If after all that you cannot get a sharp shot then you will need to send the camera and lens to Nikon and get them to sort it out.

Good luck!

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What is your AF set up for these types of shots?

I've read up on the A3 setting. What do you usually set it for?

From what I was reading last night, most advise to leave it on default. I'm not sure how that would have affected these shots.

Well this is really the point I am trying to make. There is no one default setting that works for all circumstances. You really need to get familiar with your equipment and learn its nuances and learn what works best in a given situation. In my view it will take at least 10-15,000 shots.

As far as the A3 setting goes, tracking side-on I will always take 2-3 to accommodate an erratic travel path. When tracking head on I turn it off. But it really depends on the species you are tracking and the position from which you are shooting them.

All the best.

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