Focus Hunting

Started Jun 30, 2003 | Discussions thread
OP Wingspar Senior Member • Posts: 2,247
Re: Focus Hunting Subject Deepens..Now Solved :)

Jeffrey Klofft wrote:

Can't say why the focus hunted with the top sensor selected. If
memory serves me, the top sensor focus on vertical lines (or maybe
its horizontal). In either case, if there wasn't contrast in the
proper dimension, the camera would hunt. This, in my opinion is
the differenct between the CAM900 system in the D100 and the
CAM1300 system in the D1X/H. The focus system does a much better
job with the outer sensors. I'm not surprised that in focused well
outside. There is lots of light and plenty of contrast. Some
people turn there camera at a 45% angle to get it to focus. I've
not done that, but heard that it helps sin some situations. One
other thing that you might want to consider. In S mode, I set the
custom setting to use closest focus. This allows the camera to
select the sensor the is closest to the subject. I then use S mode
for basically stationary subjects (Portraits), leaving C for moving
subjects (action, candids), and M for Landscapes (using Hyperfocal
distance). Lastly, If you have an SB Flash, I'd turn off the focus
assit light. It does help that much and since you'll be using a
flash in lower light situatiions, the focus assist on the flash is
much better. just my $.02


I think the focus hunted with the top sensor because there was nothing there to focus on. On the portrait shots I’ve been taking, I had the camera tilted 90 degrees to the left in the portrait mode, about 8 to 10 feet from the subject. Placing the center focus sensor on the persons face placed the upper sensor on the solid color background. Nothing for it to focus on, therefore, the “hunt”.

Trying to focus on things around the office, I would pick clocks on white walls. Center sensor would be on the clock, but the top sensor would be on the wall. Nothing to focus on. On close objects where the top sensor was also on the same object as the center sensor, it would focus, or where the top sensor had something to focus on behind what I had the center sensor on, it would focus on that, leaving my object in the center sensor out of focus. I believe this is why it was so random, and unpredictable as to when the camera would or would not focus.

I’m certain I am not the first person to experience this, and I won’t be the last. If the focus selection switch is set to off, it is extremely easy to accidentally change the sensor you are using, and have no idea what is wrong with your camera. I’m just glad I figured it out.

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Will Fly for Food

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