Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

Started Apr 18, 2017 | Discussions
Ken G.
Ken G. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
Nikon support re: Dynamic AF
3

I contacted Nikon Support about the Dynamic AF issue a few weeks ago, and we have been doing a bit of back and forth since then. Today I received a message from them stating that they have talked with the corporate office in Japan

"and they let us know that the behavior of Dynamic Area on the D500 should be the same as that on previous cameras. We have, however, changed the display of the focus point for pictures taken with Dynamic Area AF. Previous models would display the focus point chosen by the camera if the subject moved away from the selected point. The D500 and the D5 have been changed to display the focus point initially selected by the photographer instead.

Your original message indicates that your camera does not appear to be moving along to the supplemental points as needed. We'd like to take a look at 2-3 unedited sample images showing the problem. Its important that we receive unedited samples so the meta data remains intact..."

I'm aware of the 1st change they mentioned and, while I think the change was pointless, am not that concerned about it. The 2nd point is the one most here are concerned about.

My image methodology went like this: I took 2 images with each D25, D72, and D153. For each pair of images I used back button focus, keeping it pressed for both shots. First shot on the nearer umbrella, 2nd shot on the brick wall behing it. In all cases, the focus shifted almost immediately to the brick wall.

This seemed to me the best way to show the phenomena in a controlled setting. Is there a better way to do this?

The 6 images:

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arniebook Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

I downloaded the last one and don't see the focus point displayed in Nx-i, or any of the focus mode information which NX-i displays with unedited images (continuous, dynamic 153) . Maybe you should do SOOC jpegs so all the Nikon information will show up and will display in NX-i. I'm sure that is what they will want to see along with the time interval between shots.

Arnie

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Ken G.
OP Ken G. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

arniebook wrote:

I downloaded the last one and don't see the focus point displayed in Nx-i, or any of the focus mode information which NX-i displays with unedited images (continuous, dynamic 153) . Maybe you should do SOOC jpegs so all the Nikon information will show up and will display in NX-i. I'm sure that is what they will want to see along with the time interval between shots.

Arnie

These are all sooc, then uploaded from Lightroom to Flickr.  Do I need the Nikon NX-I software?  Not sure exactly how i need to move forward.

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T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,000
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

Ken G. wrote:

I contacted Nikon Support about the Dynamic AF issue a few weeks ago, and we have been doing a bit of back and forth since then. Today I received a message from them stating that they have talked with the corporate office in Japan

"and they let us know that the behavior of Dynamic Area on the D500 should be the same as that on previous cameras. We have, however, changed the display of the focus point for pictures taken with Dynamic Area AF. Previous models would display the focus point chosen by the camera if the subject moved away from the selected point. The D500 and the D5 have been changed to display the focus point initially selected by the photographer instead.

Your original message indicates that your camera does not appear to be moving along to the supplemental points as needed. We'd like to take a look at 2-3 unedited sample images showing the problem. Its important that we receive unedited samples so the meta data remains intact..."

Ken that's good news, in a bad sort of way. Glad you got somewhere with them. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a fix and it's great you took the time to do this.

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Ken G.
OP Ken G. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

T O Shooter wrote:

Ken that's good news, in a bad sort of way. Glad you got somewhere with them. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a fix and it's great you took the time to do this.

I just want to be sure to respond with the best examples of how this behavior shows up.  Is there a better way?

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T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,000
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

Ken G. wrote:

T O Shooter wrote:

Ken that's good news, in a bad sort of way. Glad you got somewhere with them. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a fix and it's great you took the time to do this.

I just want to be sure to respond with the best examples of how this behavior shows up. Is there a better way?

I posted the update of what you received back from Nikon over on FM.  I've you're a member over there as well, Steve Perry might be able to give you some direction on what would be good examples.

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Ken G.
OP Ken G. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

T O Shooter wrote:

I posted the update of what you received back from Nikon over on FM. I've you're a member over there as well, Steve Perry might be able to give you some direction on what would be good examples.

I used to be - maybe I still am.  Haven't been there in a while, but I'll take a look.  Thanks

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arniebook Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

I think lightroom is removing the "Nikon specific" meta data. You don't need NX-i ... what I am suggesting is to take the files straight from the memory card to the computer and upload to Nikon without passing them through any editing software.

I've noticed with any editing at all, that the focus point and all but the standard camera settings are removed.  Notice the focus point on the bird and additional information on the right both of which are missing in your upload.  I think that is what they are interested in seeing.

Arnie

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larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,028
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

This is the last answer I got from Nikon USA after I questioned them about the focus points inside of the dynamic framing not keeping focus when the acquired focus point moves off the subject.

Although different from previous models, this is the appropriate operation for this camera. I'm not sure why this particular change was made, but I have reached out for an answer. In the meantime, has this adversely affected your photography? If so, please send a few unedited samples ao I might evaluate them.

Regards,

David M.
Nikon Tech Support

The answer has me wondering what the heck is going on.

Larry

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n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,409
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

Ken G. wrote:

arniebook wrote:

I downloaded the last one and don't see the focus point displayed in Nx-i, or any of the focus mode information which NX-i displays with unedited images (continuous, dynamic 153) . Maybe you should do SOOC jpegs so all the Nikon information will show up and will display in NX-i. I'm sure that is what they will want to see along with the time interval between shots.

Arnie

These are all sooc, then uploaded from Lightroom to Flickr. Do I need the Nikon NX-I software? Not sure exactly how i need to move forward.

Try to take both Lightroom and Flickr out of the equation. Drag&drop the files directly from the card to your hard drive, then maybe use Google's Drive or Dropbox to upload the files directly from your hard drive. That will make sure the images are not manipulated in any way.

JC
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T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,000
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

larrywilson wrote:

This is the last answer I got from Nikon USA after I questioned them about the focus points inside of the dynamic framing not keeping focus when the acquired focus point moves off the subject.

Although different from previous models, this is the appropriate operation for this camera. I'm not sure why this particular change was made, but I have reached out for an answer. In the meantime, has this adversely affected your photography? If so, please send a few unedited samples ao I might evaluate them.

Regards,

David M.
Nikon Tech Support

The answer has me wondering what the heck is going on.

Larry

Larry

I'm hoping you got the wrong answer and Ken got the right one.

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RoyC01
RoyC01 Senior Member • Posts: 1,158
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF
2

larrywilson wrote:

The answer has me wondering what the heck is going on.

Multi-national company with regional employees that are not able to access the technology decision makers located in Japan, you have multiple middle management types giving best guess responses.  SNAFU as usual with these large organizations.

Larry

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Ken G.
OP Ken G. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
Re: Nikon support re: Dynamic AF

arniebook wrote:

I think lightroom is removing the "Nikon specific" meta data. You don't need NX-i ... what I am suggesting is to take the files straight from the memory card to the computer and upload to Nikon without passing them through any editing software.Arnie

Got it.  Thanks Arnie.

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Ken G.
OP Ken G. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
My reply...

I'm uploading the sooc images to Nikon now, and am including this reply...

It sounds like you've got a good understanding of the issue I am having with the Dynamic Area AF, when you said "Your original message indicates that your camera does not appear to be moving along to the supplemental points as needed."

I would think it should be an easy test for someone at Nikon to perform themselves then. But, as you asked that I submit a few images that illustrate the behavior, I have shot several pictures using D25, D72, and D153 AF modes. There are two images taken with each of the three modes - one image focused on the nearer umbrella, and the second image showing how the focus fails to stay locked on the umbrella as the selected focus point moves slightly off of the subject. This was done with the camera on a tripod, using back button auto focus. The auto focus button was held continuously for both shots in each set. In each instance, whether in D25, D72, or D153, the focus shifted almost instantly OFF the subject and onto whatever the originally selected point was over. The focus did NOT stay with any of the supplemental points as needed.

Please let me know if you need further help. I would hope someone at Nikon can duplicate the behavior seen here - it's easy to do, and it happens every time.

We'll see what happens...

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larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,028
Re: My reply...

Ken G. wrote:

I'm uploading the sooc images to Nikon now, and am including this reply...

It sounds like you've got a good understanding of the issue I am having with the Dynamic Area AF, when you said "Your original message indicates that your camera does not appear to be moving along to the supplemental points as needed."

I would think it should be an easy test for someone at Nikon to perform themselves then. But, as you asked that I submit a few images that illustrate the behavior, I have shot several pictures using D25, D72, and D153 AF modes. There are two images taken with each of the three modes - one image focused on the nearer umbrella, and the second image showing how the focus fails to stay locked on the umbrella as the selected focus point moves slightly off of the subject. This was done with the camera on a tripod, using back button auto focus. The auto focus button was held continuously for both shots in each set. In each instance, whether in D25, D72, or D153, the focus shifted almost instantly OFF the subject and onto whatever the originally selected point was over. The focus did NOT stay with any of the supplemental points as needed.

Please let me know if you need further help. I would hope someone at Nikon can duplicate the behavior seen here - it's easy to do, and it happens every time.

We'll see what happens...

Thanks so much Ken, even Nikon Rep. indicated to me that the dynamic af does not work the same as on previous cameras.

Larry

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Canadianguy Senior Member • Posts: 2,547
Re: Does anyone know when to use the various Dynamic Area AF Modes?

I never did understand the difference between the Dynamic modes - especially the 153 mode when there was the 3-D mode which still appears to work as advertised in the D500/D5?

To me:

Dynamic Area 25 - too small to track properly, I just use it as a larger single AF point mode

Dynamic Area 72 - a little better but still a small area for tracking - you still have to work to keep the subject in that little area.

Dynamic Area 153 - now we are talking, for those subjects you just cannot keep track of - let the camera handle it but the problem I had was always picking this one or the 3-D mode - area coverage is the same but I think the 3-D mode was supposed to be better at tracking so I would pick 3-D when I wanted to let the camera do the tracking after I picked the starting subject.

Now it appears that the 25 / 72 / 153 modes don't track like they used to in the D5/D500 - but the 25 / 72 modes are really too small to do any real tracking, that's why I almost never use those modes for subject tracking - you end up doing most of the tracking work anyways and the 153 area mode can be replaced by the 3-D mode - no?

But to be honest - I end up using group area AF most of the time when tracking BIF - I want the closest subject in focus.

Interested to know who is using the various Dynamic tracking 25/72/153 modes and what are they using it for?

larrywilson wrote:

This is the last answer I got from Nikon USA after I questioned them about the focus points inside of the dynamic framing not keeping focus when the acquired focus point moves off the subject.

Although different from previous models, this is the appropriate operation for this camera. I'm not sure why this particular change was made, but I have reached out for an answer. In the meantime, has this adversely affected your photography? If so, please send a few unedited samples ao I might evaluate them.

Regards,

David M.
Nikon Tech Support

The answer has me wondering what the heck is going on.

Larry

T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,000
Re: Does anyone know when to use the various Dynamic Area AF Modes?
2

Canadianguy wrote:

I never did understand the difference between the Dynamic modes - especially the 153 mode when there was the 3-D mode which still appears to work as advertised in the D500/D5?

To me:

Dynamic Area 25 - too small to track properly, I just use it as a larger single AF point mode

That problem is not a Nikon problem.  You need to practice your tracking if you can't track with D9 ( D25 in 500/5 )

Dynamic Area 72 - a little better but still a small area for tracking - you still have to wor k to keep the subject in that little area.

Dynamic Area 153 - now we are talking, for those subjects you just cannot keep track of - let the camera handle it but the problem I had was always picking this one or the 3-D mode - area coverage is the same but I think the 3-D mode was supposed to be better at tracking so I would pick 3-D when I wanted to let the camera do the tracking after I picked the starting subject.

Now it appears that the 25 / 72 / 153 modes don't track like they used to in the D5/D500 - but the 25 / 72 modes are really too small to do any real tracking, that's why I almost never use those modes for subject tracking - you end up doing most of the tracking work anyways and the 153 area mode can be replaced by the 3-D mode - no?

But to be honest - I end up using group area AF most of the time when tracking BIF - I want the closest subject in focus.

Interested to know who is using the various Dynamic tracking 25/72/153 modes and what are they using it for?

larrywilson wrote:

This is the last answer I got from Nikon USA after I questioned them about the focus points inside of the dynamic framing not keeping focus when the acquired focus point moves off the subject.

Although different from previous models, this is the appropriate operation for this camera. I'm not sure why this particular change was made, but I have reached out for an answer. In the meantime, has this adversely affected your photography? If so, please send a few unedited samples ao I might evaluate them.

Regards,

David M.
Nikon Tech Support

The answer has me wondering what the heck is going on.

Larry

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BillyBobSenna
BillyBobSenna Senior Member • Posts: 2,519
Re: My reply...

Ken G. wrote:

I'm uploading the sooc images to Nikon now, and am including this reply...

It sounds like you've got a good understanding of the issue I am having with the Dynamic Area AF, when you said "Your original message indicates that your camera does not appear to be moving along to the supplemental points as needed."

I would think it should be an easy test for someone at Nikon to perform themselves then. But, as you asked that I submit a few images that illustrate the behavior, I have shot several pictures using D25, D72, and D153 AF modes. There are two images taken with each of the three modes - one image focused on the nearer umbrella, and the second image showing how the focus fails to stay locked on the umbrella as the selected focus point moves slightly off of the subject. This was done with the camera on a tripod, using back button auto focus. The auto focus button was held continuously for both shots in each set. In each instance, whether in D25, D72, or D153, the focus shifted almost instantly OFF the subject and onto whatever the originally selected point was over. The focus did NOT stay with any of the supplemental points as needed.

Please let me know if you need further help. I would hope someone at Nikon can duplicate the behavior seen here - it's easy to do, and it happens every time.

We'll see what happens...

Ken, this should be very interesting to see Nikon's reply. It is very cut and dry how different the dynamic focus performs compared to previous cameras. If they cannot reproduce the issue and acknowledge an issue, we are in trouble. The dynamic AF system is currently flawed on the D500. Why in the world would the focus point shift so quickly in dynamic AF.

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BigDG Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: My reply...

Ken

For your shot of the umbrella and wall, where do you have menu item a3 set? Menu item a3 is focus tracking with lock-on, If I understand this confusing subject correctly, then moving the blocked shot AF response to a higher value will help by delaying the AF from moving to the wall. Please let me know if my understanding is correct and where should blocked shot item a3 be set.

David

T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,000
Re: My reply...

BigDG wrote:

Ken

For your shot of the umbrella and wall, where do you have menu item a3 set? Menu item a3 is focus tracking with lock-on, If I understand this confusing subject correctly, then moving the blocked shot AF response to a higher value will help by delaying the AF from moving to the wall. Please let me know if my understanding is correct and where should blocked shot item a3 be set.

David

This is NOT an A3 block shot problem.  Most suggestions are to use 4 or 5, but nothing solves the problem.  Read Ken's opening post - Nikon Japan tells exactly what is NOT happening.

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