My take on the Z6/Z7 focusing issues

Started Dec 27, 2019 | Discussions
Diswantsho
OP Diswantsho Regular Member • Posts: 340
Re: Apparently its possible

commiebiker wrote:

Stunning image!!  Compliments to the photographer.

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SaltyPeanut
SaltyPeanut Senior Member • Posts: 1,422
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick
1

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

What value did you have for Custom Setting A3?

I shot that on 3, in the middle. I have since changed it to 1, Quick.

You should set A3 to more Delay, not quicker. This value tells the camera how quickly to pick a new subject. And what you wrote above was:

The square sometimes locked onto an object in the background, or halfway in the doggie's run, it would decide the dog is no longer the subject, and start jumping elsewhere in the frame. Then focus was lost.

This is textbook symptoms of a3 being set too fast.

It's unfortunate that so many set (& suggest setting) this to quicker, which is usually the wrong value for what one is trying to achieve. I suspect people see the word "Quick" and think "This will make my focus quicker." But that is not the case.

Setting A3 just makes your camera's subject tracking more erratic. This setting means: "How quickly do you want the camera to forget your subject?"

As I wrote in that link and above, set it to 4 or 5. Delayed keeps your intended subject in focus longer. This is even specified in the manual:

Thanks, I get you now. Yes even at 3 it was a bit erratic. The delayed setting makes sense now.

I've had more success with a3 set to 1 (quick). YMMV. Note I follow the subject with one of the wide mode boxes, I'm not using subject tracking. In my last post I did say try both ways (a3 set to fast and slow).

The issue I've had with a3 set to slow is when it chooses the background by mistake, it doesn't want to re-acquire (naturally, it's set to slow). This drives me nuts. I also use AF-C to track (not subject tracking in AF-C) and like to be able to choose where I want to focus in real time by putting the AF box where I want to, so a3 set to 1 allows for real time AF adjust this way (I just keep AF-ON held down and go about my way). That's just how I do it. Use the settings best suited for your approach.

A3 set to slow is more to avoid change in AF due to foreground objects that may come into view as you pan, not to make it focus on the subject any better/sharper.

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j_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,106
Re: My take on the Z6/Z7 focusing issues

Diswantsho wrote:

Sorry, my bad. I shot the images in Auto Area with the red marks in the corners and the yellow block that tracks the subject.

It seems I had it right in my second point, but messed it up later below as you quoted.

I also tried a series with dynamic area with the square and the dots around and only the first two or three images of the series were sharp. But the post was intended to say auto area.

I've had good success with Subject Tracking when the subject is mainly moving side to side in the frame. But I'm not sure I would count on it for your scenario.

I tend to rely on Dynamic Area quite a bit, coming from my DSLR experience. But one of the Wide Area modes, which prioritize the closest subject, might also be worth trying here. There are others in this forum who have success with this kind of shooting. Would be interesting to hear their technique and settings. And as other's have mentioned, be sure you have the latest firmware update and have tweaked other focus settings, like a3, as suggested. With a bit of practice, you should be able to get better results.

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commiebiker Senior Member • Posts: 2,580
series of shots coming right at the camera
3

A couple of months ago I posted this series. for some reason I'm just not having issues with AF

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63147769

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forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 5,172
Re: My take on the Z6/Z7 focusing issues

fpessolano wrote:

Do you actually know you can lock by half pressing the shutter?

The issue is that to unlock you need the use the zoom out button. If they would les us use the shutter of AfOn to controll the lock, it would be all much easier.

You can also tap the screen to reposition tracking box and click ok to reset tracking.

beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,516
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick
3

SaltyPeanut wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

What value did you have for Custom Setting A3?

I shot that on 3, in the middle. I have since changed it to 1, Quick.

You should set A3 to more Delay, not quicker. This value tells the camera how quickly to pick a new subject. And what you wrote above was:

The square sometimes locked onto an object in the background, or halfway in the doggie's run, it would decide the dog is no longer the subject, and start jumping elsewhere in the frame. Then focus was lost.

This is textbook symptoms of a3 being set too fast.

It's unfortunate that so many set (& suggest setting) this to quicker, which is usually the wrong value for what one is trying to achieve. I suspect people see the word "Quick" and think "This will make my focus quicker." But that is not the case.

Setting A3 just makes your camera's subject tracking more erratic. This setting means: "How quickly do you want the camera to forget your subject?"

As I wrote in that link and above, set it to 4 or 5. Delayed keeps your intended subject in focus longer. This is even specified in the manual:

Thanks, I get you now. Yes even at 3 it was a bit erratic. The delayed setting makes sense now.

I've had more success with a3 set to 1 (quick). YMMV. Note I follow the subject with one of the wide mode boxes, I'm not using subject tracking. In my last post I did say try both ways (a3 set to fast and slow).

The issue I've had with a3 set to slow is when it chooses the background by mistake, it doesn't want to re-acquire (naturally, it's set to slow). This drives me nuts. I also use AF-C to track (not subject tracking in AF-C) and like to be able to choose where I want to focus in real time by putting the AF box where I want to, so a3 set to 1 allows for real time AF adjust this way (I just keep AF-ON held down and go about my way). That's just how I do it. Use the settings best suited for your approach.

A3 set to slow is more to avoid change in AF due to foreground objects that may come into view as you pan, not to make it focus on the subject any better/sharper.

I haven't.

Because if the camera chooses the background by mistake, it will NEVER re-acquire focus by itself if it is working correctly and there is any background anywhere in the AF area.  The best way to re-acquire focus is to let go of AF-On, put the box over the subject, and press AF-On again, which takes a split-second and ensures that the camera is tracking the correct subject.

A3 also does not affect the speed at which the camera acquires focus; nor does it affect the speed at which the camera tracks focus over the subject.  Setting a3 to 5 also allows for real-time AF while holding down AF-On.  (That's what AF-C does).

The only thing A3 does is that it slows down the camera from picking a new subject after it has lost the original subject.  A3 does not affect how fast the camera focuses on a subject or how fast it tracks a subject that it already has.

fpessolano
fpessolano Veteran Member • Posts: 3,951
Re: My take on the Z6/Z7 focusing issues
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PCSaito
PCSaito Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: My take on the Z6/Z7 focusing issues

fpessolano wrote:

Do you actually know you can lock by half pressing the shutter?

The issue is that to unlock you need the use the zoom out button. If they would les us use the shutter of AfOn to controll the lock, it would be all much easier.

On my Z50 I have the video record button mapped to DOF preview for stills, it also instantly cancel the tracking so I never have to find the zoom out 'virtual' button.

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Nikon Z50
fpessolano
fpessolano Veteran Member • Posts: 3,951
Re: My take on the Z6/Z7 focusing issues
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Luftwalk Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: My take on the Z6/Z7 focusing issues

I never had problems with the Z6 focusing...in fact for me, it's miles ahead of the D750 I used to own.

I use H* with Dynamic Area most of the time and the only downside I can see to it is that you're not seeing action live but a series of images taken in the EVF.

A link to a Flickr album solely dedicated to AF Tracking here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/luftwalk/albums/72157706365176231/with/33827152938/

There's also a full series of my dog running towards me and I think there's 3 photos OOF...

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SaltyPeanut
SaltyPeanut Senior Member • Posts: 1,422
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick

beatboxa wrote:

SaltyPeanut wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

What value did you have for Custom Setting A3?

I shot that on 3, in the middle. I have since changed it to 1, Quick.

You should set A3 to more Delay, not quicker. This value tells the camera how quickly to pick a new subject. And what you wrote above was:

The square sometimes locked onto an object in the background, or halfway in the doggie's run, it would decide the dog is no longer the subject, and start jumping elsewhere in the frame. Then focus was lost.

This is textbook symptoms of a3 being set too fast.

It's unfortunate that so many set (& suggest setting) this to quicker, which is usually the wrong value for what one is trying to achieve. I suspect people see the word "Quick" and think "This will make my focus quicker." But that is not the case.

Setting A3 just makes your camera's subject tracking more erratic. This setting means: "How quickly do you want the camera to forget your subject?"

As I wrote in that link and above, set it to 4 or 5. Delayed keeps your intended subject in focus longer. This is even specified in the manual:

Thanks, I get you now. Yes even at 3 it was a bit erratic. The delayed setting makes sense now.

I've had more success with a3 set to 1 (quick). YMMV. Note I follow the subject with one of the wide mode boxes, I'm not using subject tracking. In my last post I did say try both ways (a3 set to fast and slow).

The issue I've had with a3 set to slow is when it chooses the background by mistake, it doesn't want to re-acquire (naturally, it's set to slow). This drives me nuts. I also use AF-C to track (not subject tracking in AF-C) and like to be able to choose where I want to focus in real time by putting the AF box where I want to, so a3 set to 1 allows for real time AF adjust this way (I just keep AF-ON held down and go about my way). That's just how I do it. Use the settings best suited for your approach.

A3 set to slow is more to avoid change in AF due to foreground objects that may come into view as you pan, not to make it focus on the subject any better/sharper.

I haven't.

Because if the camera chooses the background by mistake, it will NEVER re-acquire focus by itself if it is working correctly and there is any background anywhere in the AF area. The best way to re-acquire focus is to let go of AF-On, put the box over the subject, and press AF-On again, which takes a split-second and ensures that the camera is tracking the correct subject.

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.

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.

nor does it affect the speed at which the camera tracks focus over the subject. Setting a3 to 5 also allows for real-time AF while holding down AF-On. (That's what AF-C does).

The only thing A3 does is that it slows down the camera from picking a new subject after it has lost the original subject.

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.

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.

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Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR
beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,516
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick
2

SaltyPeanut wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

SaltyPeanut wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

What value did you have for Custom Setting A3?

I shot that on 3, in the middle. I have since changed it to 1, Quick.

You should set A3 to more Delay, not quicker. This value tells the camera how quickly to pick a new subject. And what you wrote above was:

The square sometimes locked onto an object in the background, or halfway in the doggie's run, it would decide the dog is no longer the subject, and start jumping elsewhere in the frame. Then focus was lost.

This is textbook symptoms of a3 being set too fast.

It's unfortunate that so many set (& suggest setting) this to quicker, which is usually the wrong value for what one is trying to achieve. I suspect people see the word "Quick" and think "This will make my focus quicker." But that is not the case.

Setting A3 just makes your camera's subject tracking more erratic. This setting means: "How quickly do you want the camera to forget your subject?"

As I wrote in that link and above, set it to 4 or 5. Delayed keeps your intended subject in focus longer. This is even specified in the manual:

Thanks, I get you now. Yes even at 3 it was a bit erratic. The delayed setting makes sense now.

I've had more success with a3 set to 1 (quick). YMMV. Note I follow the subject with one of the wide mode boxes, I'm not using subject tracking. In my last post I did say try both ways (a3 set to fast and slow).

The issue I've had with a3 set to slow is when it chooses the background by mistake, it doesn't want to re-acquire (naturally, it's set to slow). This drives me nuts. I also use AF-C to track (not subject tracking in AF-C) and like to be able to choose where I want to focus in real time by putting the AF box where I want to, so a3 set to 1 allows for real time AF adjust this way (I just keep AF-ON held down and go about my way). That's just how I do it. Use the settings best suited for your approach.

A3 set to slow is more to avoid change in AF due to foreground objects that may come into view as you pan, not to make it focus on the subject any better/sharper.

I haven't.

Because if the camera chooses the background by mistake, it will NEVER re-acquire focus by itself if it is working correctly and there is any background anywhere in the AF area. The best way to re-acquire focus is to let go of AF-On, put the box over the subject, and press AF-On again, which takes a split-second and ensures that the camera is tracking the correct subject.

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.

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.

nor does it affect the speed at which the camera tracks focus over the subject. Setting a3 to 5 also allows for real-time AF while holding down AF-On. (That's what AF-C does).

The only thing A3 does is that it slows down the camera from picking a new subject after it has lost the original subject.

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.  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.

SaltyPeanut
SaltyPeanut Senior Member • Posts: 1,422
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick

beatboxa wrote:

SaltyPeanut wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

SaltyPeanut wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

Diswantsho wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

What value did you have for Custom Setting A3?

I shot that on 3, in the middle. I have since changed it to 1, Quick.

You should set A3 to more Delay, not quicker. This value tells the camera how quickly to pick a new subject. And what you wrote above was:

The square sometimes locked onto an object in the background, or halfway in the doggie's run, it would decide the dog is no longer the subject, and start jumping elsewhere in the frame. Then focus was lost.

This is textbook symptoms of a3 being set too fast.

It's unfortunate that so many set (& suggest setting) this to quicker, which is usually the wrong value for what one is trying to achieve. I suspect people see the word "Quick" and think "This will make my focus quicker." But that is not the case.

Setting A3 just makes your camera's subject tracking more erratic. This setting means: "How quickly do you want the camera to forget your subject?"

As I wrote in that link and above, set it to 4 or 5. Delayed keeps your intended subject in focus longer. This is even specified in the manual:

Thanks, I get you now. Yes even at 3 it was a bit erratic. The delayed setting makes sense now.

I've had more success with a3 set to 1 (quick). YMMV. Note I follow the subject with one of the wide mode boxes, I'm not using subject tracking. In my last post I did say try both ways (a3 set to fast and slow).

The issue I've had with a3 set to slow is when it chooses the background by mistake, it doesn't want to re-acquire (naturally, it's set to slow). This drives me nuts. I also use AF-C to track (not subject tracking in AF-C) and like to be able to choose where I want to focus in real time by putting the AF box where I want to, so a3 set to 1 allows for real time AF adjust this way (I just keep AF-ON held down and go about my way). That's just how I do it. Use the settings best suited for your approach.

A3 set to slow is more to avoid change in AF due to foreground objects that may come into view as you pan, not to make it focus on the subject any better/sharper.

I haven't.

Because if the camera chooses the background by mistake, it will NEVER re-acquire focus by itself if it is working correctly and there is any background anywhere in the AF area. The best way to re-acquire focus is to let go of AF-On, put the box over the subject, and press AF-On again, which takes a split-second and ensures that the camera is tracking the correct subject.

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.

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.

nor does it affect the speed at which the camera tracks focus over the subject. Setting a3 to 5 also allows for real-time AF while holding down AF-On. (That's what AF-C does).

The only thing A3 does is that it slows down the camera from picking a new subject after it has lost the original subject.

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.

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.

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Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR
beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,516
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick
2

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.

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.

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. 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.

SaltyPeanut
SaltyPeanut Senior Member • Posts: 1,422
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick

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.

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.

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.

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.

 SaltyPeanut's gear list:SaltyPeanut's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR
beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,516
Re: Set A3 to Delay, not Quick

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."

SaltyPeanut
SaltyPeanut Senior Member • Posts: 1,422
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 Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR
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