Rookie question about AF tracking...

Started Jul 2, 2014 | Questions thread
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Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Rookie question about AF tracking...

I recently picked up a D610, my first SLR since the film days before the time of AF, let alone tracking AF! I liked the Df a lot, but I think the D610 is a better fit for me despite slightly preferring the sensor in the Df. I tend to shoot wider primes with single point S-AF or manually focus for zone focussing. Tracking AF has never been part of my arsenal, but I have a couple of longer lenses where this technique may come in handy, so I figured I should know how to do it now that I have a tool with the capability.

My setup for this type of shooting so far is to set up the AEL button for AF-ON and set the AF to AF-C - so far so good. The thing I haven't managed to figure out with my limited experience so far is whether to use

  • a single AF point and try to keep the subject in the small focus box as it moves around,
  • set it to automatic and let the focus point change automatically as the subject moves around (which seems to be easily confused by foreground elements),
  • or to set it for 3D, focus in the single point and then let the camera move the 3D point around as it follows the subject.

I'm guessing this last approach is how it was designed to work, but it seems like the combination of the AF point moving around to follow the subject and me moving the camera to also follow the subjects larger movements has a LOT going on and also seems subject to some confusion (on the camera's part, and maybe my own).

So, for those of you who do a lot of this kind of thing to follow birds or sports or crazy running dogs or whatever, what do you recommend?


We judge photographers by the photographs we see. We judge cameras by the photographs we miss - Haim Zamir

Nikon D610 Nikon Df
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