D780 AF problem for dogs with black faces

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Craftsman70 Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Re: D780 AF problem for dogs with black faces

Robert Cohen wrote:

I understand your problem. A week ago I was shooting rally. The indoor facility has black rubbery floor material and one of the dogs was a black Pumi. I was using a D850 and current model 70-200 2.8 VR. As far as the camera was concerned it was black on black. The camera at times had trouble finding those black eyes in the midst of the fuzzy black fur. But usually it got good shots of the Pumi.

I'm not sure if there's a decent solution to your problem except for additional light, if possible, or changing the AF setting. The black face (GSD or Malinois pup?) is tough. It may be that a different AF setting would help. I use Group AF for dog events and the D850 does a darned good job of focusing on the eyes even though it isn't advertised as having animal eye AF. The D780 might behave similarly.

One thing that newer Nikon higher-end DSLRs have in common is the removal of the AF-assist light when Nikon removed the built-in pop-up flash.  I can understand the removal of the flash (I don't agree with it but understand it) but I don't know why they removed the AF-assist light as well as they are independent from one another.

In certain situations (provided that the lens doesn't block the AF-assist light), that AF-assist light may be the difference between locking on to a black-on-black subject and not locking on.

Also, both cameras being of very recent vintage (compared to a D7000) might also share some advances in terms of how the AF system now works so they might have similar issues when it comes to certain situations.

 Craftsman70's gear list:Craftsman70's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D7000 Nikon D7200 Nikon D780 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +14 more
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