D4 AF - Question to Pros

Started Apr 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
Grevture Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
Re: Sports shooter here, can feel you pain :)

jeminijoseph wrote:

Grevture wrote:

jeminijoseph wrote:

So you are suggesting a4 set to shoert or long? Ever since I started using 51 point af (d300) people were suggesting set it to off. I will try this anyway.

This setting basically introduces a delay before the AF does any drastic refocus, the typical example given is when you shoot sports, following a player of some sort and another player or referee briefly get between you and your subject. The delay mean the AF will wait ever so slightly before refocusing drastically (at whatever got between you and your subject) - the setting basically set the wait period.

Looks like this should help me.

It is no silver bullet though, it might decrease the problem, not eliminate it.

It is a little more involved then that, but that is the basics. The downside of this delay is it will slightly impair the tracking ability for subjects moving irregularly, but for a large bird it should not pose a problem (a swallow would be a different matter )

My default setting is having this set to its mid value, but for a sport like volleyball which is extremely taxing on AF and where people stepping into your FOV is not a huge proble, I typically set it to a minimum. While when trying to track a player in say soccer, rugby or the weird American flavour of football, I occasionally use more delay. It depends on what I shoot, and what kind of subject movement I specifically try to follow.

I tend to have one setting and forget about it. One thing I like about Nikon's AF-C is that it works fine for static subject too especially after the first firmware. I have to try different settings and practice before a major shoot

I have to admit I have used the AF-S setting in my oldest D3 ... Once Since the things I shoot tend to move I just don't see the point of ever leaving AF-C. But I do switch AF mode a lot depending on the situation: for most sports I start out with 9 or 21 points, and using assistance from surrounding points. But at times it is single point, or 51 point mode or even 3D focusing (albeit rarely). And I change the a4 setting quite often, but the mid position is the default. And most of all, I shift around which AF point to use almost constantly. Which is why I find cameras where doing that is difficult extremely annoying.

I looked at 1dx for a while. Switch is very expensi e as you know. Also I saw threads suggesting to get best out of 1dx, you need their latest lenses. That's even more expensive. That's why I dropped the idea for time being. Do you think now D4s is pretty close to 1dx? That's encouraging. Upgrdes is not too expensive.

The 1Dx is a great camera for sure, it is overall slightly, but noticeably, faster then the D4 (not just framerate and AF, the whole experience), but the D4s seem to alleviate that.

Good to know. I will definitely try D4s before thinking about switching.

The D4s might not look like much of a upgrade, but it is a noticeably snappier camera then the D4 (which is by no means a slouch) or even more so compared to a D3s.

I had a loaner D4s for a week earlier this year ...

Thank you for the detailed reply. Now I want D4s (not sure I need it:)

If all photographers only bought the cameras the need, instead of the ones they want, then all the camera manufacturers would go bankrupt

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