D3000 - Auto focus problem

Started Apr 14, 2010 | Discussions
Waverley82 New Member • Posts: 3
D3000 - Auto focus problem

Hi there

Potentially stupid question from an absolute beginner... I've just got a Nikon D3000 which I love but I'm having one small problem with it. The way I like to shoot is to half push down to focus on the subject, then re-compose before actually taking the picture(s).

The problem I'm having (which isn't a problem for my fiance on his D300) is that the focus is fine for the first shot I take but then the camera auto-focusses on the centre point (and not the subject) before I take any subsequent shots.

I know I could change the focus point before I take the piciure but I'm finding that a bit awkward and would prefer to be able to half press, re-compose and then shoot (more than one shot at a time).

I just wondered if there is a setting I am missing to fix this or if anyone has any other tips?

Thanks in advance.

wilson44512 Contributing Member • Posts: 582
Re: D3000 - Auto focus problem

what autofocus mode are you using?

AF-S (AF single, sometimes called single area AF) mode, is good for photographing subjects that don't move, such as flowers or portraits etc. It locks the focus on the non moving object that you want to photograph. You can then recompose the shot and take the photograph.
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OP Waverley82 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: D3000 - Auto focus problem

Sorry, I should have said that. I'm in AF-S mode and it's fine for the first shot, it's just that if I want to take multiple shots of that scene I have to re-focus before each one (or the camera automatically 'jumps' to focus on the centre point).

ie - if the subject is on the right hand side of the screen, I half press down and focus on the subject, then re-compose. I fully press down on the shutter to take continuous shots. The first shot focusses fine but subsequent shots re-focus automatically on the background and not the subject.

Is there any way I can stop the camera re-focussing automatically after the first shot?

Sorry if that isn't very clear!

lhwj Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: D3000 - Auto focus problem

Yes, there is a way. What you need to do is to set the camera to lock focus when you press the AF-ON button (which you naturally use with your right thumb), instead of half pressing the shutter. That way, both AF and taking the shot can be controlled independently.

(Consult your manual on how to do this)

So place your AF point over the focus point, press the AF-ON button, recompose and press the shutter.

Another much troublesome way is to focus, turn off AF on the lens then take the shot. I imagine you don't really want to do this.

Having said that, I think you will drool over the D300(s)'s AF system, with 51 points filling the entire frame there's virtually no need to focus and recompose Let's hope this system will trickle down to the more affordable cameras in future. (I'm sure it will)

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binary_eye Veteran Member • Posts: 4,290
Re: D3000 - Auto focus problem

Waverley82 wrote:

I just wondered if there is a setting I am missing to fix this or if anyone has any other tips?

There's a button on the back of the camera, to the right of the viewfinder, labeled AE-L/AF-L. By default this locks exposure and focus while it is held down. So focus your shot, press and hold this button, then recompose and take as many shots as you like. The button can be configured to lock only focus if you prefer to not lock exposure as well.

OP Waverley82 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: D3000 - Auto focus problem

Thanks all, that's really helpful!

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