Autofocus for dummies (AF-C mode, back button AF-On focus)

Started Apr 28, 2014 | Questions thread
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ngtszhodavid Contributing Member • Posts: 662
Autofocus for dummies (AF-C mode, back button AF-On focus)

Rather embarrassing dummy question to ask, but somehow I suspect I've been doing this wrongly for the past few years on my older camera for continuous shooting and just wanted some clarification and I might have misunderstood how all this works.

I did try read the manual carefully many times but perhaps since I'm not getting the results i wanted on my D4S.   Mostly trying to take pics of randomly moving objects/more like my baby and kids. (not as fast as animals/birds but still....)

My current setup:

Back AF-On button to focus only.

For AF-C mode, (For single point, Dynamic area   9/21/51pt, Group Area focus), I point the focus point onto the subject I wanted to focus and PRESS and HOLD the AF-On button AND at the same time press the shutter continuously for burst shots.

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> Is this correct? and basically camera will just focus around the focus point area I point Only to as I hold on the AF-On and I need to make sure the subject is ard that focus point right? - That means, if for composition purpose i want the subject to be at the top left area, I need to move the focus point curser to the top left of the screen, Press and Hold AF-On continusously, and then press shutter at the same time to get the photo I want right?

For AF-C mode, (For 3D tracking), I point the focus point onto the subject I wanted to focus and PRESS and HOLD the AF-On button to focus on it, as it moves around Or as I move my camera to recompose the frame it'll still track that some initial focus object and I then press on the shutter to take those shots right?

For AF-C mode, (For Auto Area), I press the AF-On and the camera searches the focus points and blinks and I continue to hold on to it until I press the shutter to take the shot? or I can release the AF-On and recompose and then press the shutter?   Also in case of moving subjects, pressing and holding on the AF-On button would make the camera keep searching for the new focus points as the subject moves and then i just kieep hitting the shutter right?

In short mainly for AF-C shooting:

I do need to continously press and hold the AF-On button when pressing the shutter right?

I do need to set the focus point in the frame area I want it to appear in my photo right For single point, Dynamic area   9/21/51pt, Group Area focus (If I want it top left, i need to move focuz point cursor to the top left)?  - or i just can hit focus once and recompose as the suject moves?

In the past i just have been moving the focus point ard every time to place it at the area i wanted to focus for composition (could be the top left, top right, bottom left etc) and using pretty much point focus so havnet really tested out the various modes above and obvoiusly the way is not fast enough in some cases for my hyperactive son that just never looks into the camrea or stay still at the park.

Appreciate constructive guidance. Thanks in advance.



 ngtszhodavid's gear list:ngtszhodavid's gear list
Nikon D4S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G
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Nikon D4S
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