My take on the Z6/Z7 focusing issues

Started Dec 27, 2019 | Discussions thread
SaltyPeanut
SaltyPeanut Senior Member • Posts: 1,423
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick

beatboxa wrote:

SaltyPeanut wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

SaltyPeanut wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

SaltyPeanut wrote:

Pressing AF-ON again doesn’t always make it choose a new subject. For me, moving the AF box out and back on the subject works better, with a3 set to 1 so that it re-focuses in real time. Clearly YMMV.

It does for me.

A3 also does not affect the speed at which the camera acquires focus;

It affects the speed at which the camera BEGINS to acquire focus (it’s a delay timer basically). Same difference.

No, it doesn't. It has no bearing on the speed at which the camera begins to acquire focus. It affects only the speed at which the camera changes subjects.

You're misinterpreting what I’m trying to say.

Try this - set a3 to 1 and 5. Then while holding down AF-ON change focus from something close to something further away, but everything within the frame. You’ll see a3 delays the focus, as it’s supposed to.

I'm not misinterpreting what you said. What you said may be different from what you're trying to say.

There are different stages of tracking focus.

  1. Initial acquisition
  2. Tracking + continuous focus
  3. Subject lost
  4. New subject acquisition (which goes back to step 1)

Setting a3 has no bearing on the speed of steps 1 or 2. Setting a3 only extends the length of step 3.

What you wrote above is that step 1 is affected by a3. It is not.

It affects the time from step 4 back to 1 in your list. Again, a3 basically sets a delay. Useful to avoid foreground objects interrupting your AF, just as the manual says. Perhaps you should go back and read the manual.

And that is what I said, which (again) is different from what you said.

Going from step 4 back to step 1 is not beginning focus, which you put in all caps.

In stills mode, the camera always begins to acquire focus as fast as it can. It is only in movie mode that the user can control the speed at which the camera acquires focus--and this is because the timing & speed is actually seen & recorded in the movie. There is no purpose in slowing down initial focus acquisition for stills.

Read the manual.

Bingo. This slow down also happens when you decide to choose a new subject while holding AF-ON down to keep focusing on real time. Annoying and can cause a missed shot. Pressing AF-ON again isn’t as good as simply moving the AF box around while holding AF-ON down to begin with.

You just agreed with me, but this contradicts your previous statement. See the word "only."

Also, moving the AF box around is more button presses.

No dude, moving the box around by moving the camera a snitch to the left/right/up/down. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that.

As you are moving the camera left/right/up/down, then the camera isn't tracking. You are tracking, not the camera. And you should be using single-point, not dynamic area.

I said I wasn’t using subject tracking. I track things manually using a wide mode in AF-C. I keep whatever I want in the box. Simple. Wide modes have been working good for me, no need to do single point 99% of the time and dynamic tends to hunt between center and outer points for me, on my lenses. Wide modes have worked best thus far.

And at no point did I reference the camera's dedicated subject tracking mode, which you seem to be referencing.

The whole point of dynamic area is to allow the camera to track for you within the area specified (9-point, in dynamic area).

And you having to move the AF box defeats the purpose of tracking areas. To do what you are describing, you might as well use AF-C with single point.

The single difference between single-point and dynamic area is that dynamic area will track the subject around the 9-point area.

A3 does not affect how fast the camera focuses on a subject or how fast it tracks a subject that it already has.

It’s about how fast you can make it recover manually after it screws up, not the other way around. I like it better this way vs pressing AF-ON repeatedly to try to force it to re-acquire, which doesn’t always work. Again, there is no one right answer for all, it all depends how you like to use the camera. Try both ways and see which you prefer.

AF-On is the quickest way to recover manually after it screws up. In dynamic area, it always resets & focuses on the center box when you hit AF-On before tracking it around the greater 9-point area. A3 affects only tracking after it has already acquired focus.

I mainly use my method with the wide modes. Dynamic jumps around too much.

Wide modes are completely different, as I described in detail in my link in my original reply.

And in wide modes, you don't pick an AF point or a subject: the camera does.

I still “pick” the subject and whatever Nikon did on one of the last FW updates, closest subject priority is better and it hits my intended subject 99.9% of the time. Note I’m not trying to hit a fly that’s a spec within the AF box.

What are you arguing here?

In wide modes, you don't pick a subject--you point the camera to the area to look over for it to pick a subject.

In wide modes, you just tell the camera which general area in which to look in order to find an AF point or subject. And I don't think the wide modes track subjects--they just constantly scan the area for whatever it feels is the best subject (which is also affected by the current subject that is most in focus, along with distance, contrast, etc.), just like auto-area does.

Keep doing what works for you and don’t worry about what works for me. I’m basically doing what I did with my dslr, which worked better than 3D tracking on that camera. Only difference is I’ve substituted dynamic 9 for the wide modes. I set the camera for max speed/no delay and track whatever I want manually. If I have foreground obstructions then I may up a3, otherwise it stays in 1. And the wide modes track just fine. How do you think eye AF works in keeping up with moving people? I’m doing the same thing, using a smaller box and closest subject priority. Nothing more.

Let's be clear on something: you distracted my conversation with the OP, not the other way round. So "don't worry about what works for me"--and if you don't want me to worry about what works for you, don't reply inline to my subthread here.

Your poor descriptions are exactly the type of thing that confuses people on AF modes and speed, and you are using terms and descriptions that you don't know how to use, some of which should be simple like "BEGIN."

I give up trying to explain how I track moving things and how a3 set to 1 is better. I didn’t discover this. Couple friends shows it to me and it worked better for me as well. I suppose it may not work if you can’t keep the AF box over your subject, in which case having a delay (a3 set high) may work better. Maybe that’s you. I prefer being in control. Cheers.

 SaltyPeanut's gear list:SaltyPeanut's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G
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