D500 - What am I doing wrong?

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cilayin New Member • Posts: 5
D500 - What am I doing wrong?

So, I've had my D500 for a little over a year now... I just can't figure out if I'm doing something wrong or not. Because I just constantly have or more specifically tracking issues.

I'm not new to photography, I've been shooting since I was a kid with my fathers old 35mm Minolta X700, I had a canon rebel in my teens that I used for weddings, senior pictures, etc. Blah blah blah... Long story short though, this is the first Nikon that I've personally owned... So, I'm not sure if I'm just doing something wrong here.

When I got the D500, I was excited because I do a lot of sports and wildlife. I wanted the crop factor and was excited because it's got "the same focusing system as the D5", but I just don't get it.

Sure, I do get the occasional shot that's great, like above. It seems like the first time I focus, it's (Usually) pretty decent.... But then the focus does NOT track whatsoever. I struggle so many times with focus and tracking that it makes me want to just toss this camera in the garbage. I've tried many different modes... and can't figure it out and I feel like I'm doing something wrong but I just can't figure it out.

I'm using BBF (Back button focus), with AFC (Obviously) and I usually shoot with Group AF, 3D (Not really. I'll explain more below), and Single. It seems like I used to get more keepers using AFS than AFC. Which maybe is a "me" problem? But I just can't figure out the Nikon AFC I just can't figure out why it seems to never keep up.

Whether it's shooting my dog, cars, or birds for instance.... 3D tracking literally can never keep up with ANYTHING unless it's barely moving and super high contrast and obvious (Like a bird in a crystal clear sky type of thing). It's always lagging behind the subject unless it's moving at a slower than normal walking pace. If anything's moving faster than that, even if it's... lets say, a person running/jogging... It doesn't matter if it's coming towards me, or across the frame... It just can't keep up. Is that normal? Obviously, at some point, too fast is too fast. But I wouldn't expect the issues I'm having just with slow moving subjects.

For instance, I was shooting my dog (Don't call Peta, she's still quite well lol) with the 85 1.4, and you can see the first shot, she's (Mostly) focus (Don't judge these, they were just snapshots for fun/memories)... But then it's like the focus even bother to track? It BARELY moves, if you look at the grass you can tell. I get this ALL the time and everything I've tried and tried over the last year hasn't helped. So I'm really just ... Not sure what to do anymore.

It's like the camera doesn't actually move the focus. I don't understand why this is ALWAYS happening? Does anyone know? Like I said, usually the first picture is quite alright. But then AFC doesn't track? It's not like she was even moving that fast, she wasn't running, she was just slowly coming over towards me and it couldn't keep on her and granted... The lighting wasn't the best... But I'd think it should've at least been able to come close or be within reason? Or maybe I'm just expecting too much? But this is the case with literally just about anything else. Even under "ideal" circumstances... So??

I'll be honest, I don't remember exactly what mode these were shot on. I believe it was Group AF though...

Nikon D500
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