Af mode of choice when shooting moving people?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Paul P K
Paul P K Contributing Member • Posts: 611
Similar to shooting catwalk

solamnus wrote:

So was just thinking about this today when i watched a wedding shooter that shot walking couples. I have shot a few weddings and shoot portraiture a lot, and sometimes of course people moving. But i never really figured out what worked best or found a preferred method to use as a goto, but just use AF on 3D follow on my D4 and ai for the face then use back button focus and let that work naturally. Sometimes its great, but i sometimes feel there might be something more accurate in the settings perhaps that i might be missing out on that someone being a master of that could give some great hints about how to use better.

So what would be the best settings on a Nikon to use, how many af points, what af-mode etc to nail focus when someone is moving towards you or a similar situation to get good results as many times as possible?

/Cheers, Martin.

Catwalk = fast moving models, usually walking straight toward the camera, sometimes in a more erratic, non linear line towards the camera

Weddings = to be married/just married couple walking to/from the alter into/towards the exit of the church, or wedded couple and/or guests moving/dancing around on the dance floor

Based on my experience shooting catwalk and dance (as well as considerable number of weddings I shot in the past, although I -fortunately - no longer shoot those) :

AF-C, Dynamic AF (number of AF points a matter of personal preference, I usually go for as much as possible) with one manually selected AF point for the Dynamic to start from.

Back button AF as mentioned in another reaction serves no purpose with the AF coupled to the release button, ands onl would add delay between seeing/getting a subject in focus by pushing the AF button with the thumb, and the having to switch over to taking the shot bu pushing the release button with the index finger

At the moment trying to find the 'perfect' settings for my Z6's, Auto AF with Eye AF works nicely at closer distances, while after FW 3.0 the improved AF tracking shows a lot of promise.

However still got a 2nd hand D4S for the rare occasions (low light, low contrast conditions with fast moving subjects) when the Z6's AF is prone to fail

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Nikon D1H Nikon D800 Nikon D4S Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +30 more
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