AF for dynamic fashion shots?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Nils
Nils Senior Member • Posts: 1,224
AF for dynamic fashion shots?
2

I am still struggeling which AF is best for shooting a fashion model which is running towards me.

At the beginning she is too far away for the EYE-AF to give me a Yellow Square signaling it is tracking the eye.

1. I tried waiting for the AF to recognize the EYE, both in Wide and Region Eye-AF mode. Several times it did not recognize the EYE at all (no yellow square)

2. Like with my D850 (3D Tracking) I pressed the OK button and placed the square on her face and focussed once I started shooting. Then framed the shot while taking pictures. Mostly all pictures were in focus but not perfectly on the EYE.

What is the best workflow for such a setting? I normally shoot between 70 and 200mm

Thanks

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Ernie Misner
Ernie Misner Veteran Member • Posts: 7,455
Re: AF for dynamic fashion shots?
3

Nils wrote:

I am still struggeling which AF is best for shooting a fashion model which is running towards me.

At the beginning she is too far away for the EYE-AF to give me a Yellow Square signaling it is tracking the eye.

1. I tried waiting for the AF to recognize the EYE, both in Wide and Region Eye-AF mode. Several times it did not recognize the EYE at all (no yellow square)

2. Like with my D850 (3D Tracking) I pressed the OK button and placed the square on her face and focussed once I started shooting. Then framed the shot while taking pictures. Mostly all pictures were in focus but not perfectly on the EYE.

What is the best workflow for such a setting? I normally shoot between 70 and 200mm

Try Dynamic AF, AF-C, and BBF. Hold the BBF in with the AF point right on the face while firing. I don't shoot fast moving sports or birds but that technique works for most everything I do.

Thanks

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The first digital image was made in the late '60's for NASA, as a way to record images of Mars. Each "square" was represented by three numbers, corresponding to the red, green, and blue hue on a scale of 0 to 255. This eliminated the need to ship film back to Earth.

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Paul P K
Paul P K Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Model is running how fast?
3

Nils wrote:

I am still struggeling which AF is best for shooting a fashion model which is running towards me.

At the beginning she is too far away for the EYE-AF to give me a Yellow Square signaling it is tracking the eye.

1. I tried waiting for the AF to recognize the EYE, both in Wide and Region Eye-AF mode. Several times it did not recognize the EYE at all (no yellow square)

2. Like with my D850 (3D Tracking) I pressed the OK button and placed the square on her face and focussed once I started shooting. Then framed the shot while taking pictures. Mostly all pictures were in focus but not perfectly on the EYE.

What is the best workflow for such a setting? I normally shoot between 70 and 200mm

Thanks

Practically speaking, I can't see a model running fast towards the camera on high heels. I at least never have in the years I have been shooting fashion https://pbase.com/paul_k/straat encountered a model able to do so without severe risk of spring ankles, falling etc. (and never wanted to expose them to risking that)

In my experience Eye AF (I have 2 Z6's, so while familiar with normal Eye AF and Wide AF, not with Region AF) with isn't a option for shooting a model further away at full out (the AF will simply switch to Face AF), apart from the fact that,also in my experience it really isn't a fast enough AF option for a fast moving subject

Had a D850 (sold it after a long period of not using it when I found that I was using my Z6's for over 95% of my photography work, including fashion, catwalk, dance and event), but never went for 3D tracking, as

Despite the raving reviews of the 3D tracking of eg the D850 (and eg D3 and D800 before that), never went for that option, as I prefer to have the final decision where the AF is to at least start to AF on, rather then just aim the camera in the direction of the model to then let the camera decided what to AF on

I prefer to be the one to select the point the AF starts from, after that, based on my experiences with it from back in my 80's/90's F801/F90X/F100 film shooting days, relying on the 'standard' AF tracking.

After all, I'm the photographer so I should have the decisive voice (and yes, that also means no 'shoot and spray' for me, despite the possible high fps and near bottomless buffers of modern DSLR's and mirrorless)

My standard AF set up with a DSLR (D800/D850, and the D4s I got to replace the D850 in the few occasions I do need the ultrafast reliable AF of a DSLR, like with extreme low light, extreme low contrast, heavy backlighting) for a fast moving subject (not running, but eg model on a catwalk, although those models nowadays do strut down the catwalk in a speed close to racewalking) is AF-C, dynamic AF with one manually selected AF point I aim on the subject to have the AF start from, AF and shutter release on the camera release button

With my Z6's I go for AF-C with Dynamic AF, with the center point, rather then the periferal ones, within the AF box pointed on the model I(usually model's face) as starting point, after which I let the AF tracking take over https://pbase.com/paul_k/20181209_mafb_tropenfest https://pbase.com/paul_k/20190117_amfi_take_over

Have tried the Z6's (FW 3.20) Eye AF and AF tracking for fast moving subjects, but found them not as reliable enough to pick them over Dynamic AF https://pbase.com/paul_k/20191216_amfi_studio_show https://pbase.com/paul_k/20200123_amfi_individuals

Only use BBF in very rare occasions, usually only to AF on a semi static subject, eg at the moment stands still briefly at the far end of the catwalk just before they start their run, after which the AF activation is taken over by activating the shutter relaease (which indeed means still having the AF - also - triggered by the camera release button as main AF release option).

BBF only with separate shutter release triggering, is IMO and experience based on shooting years of fashion, catwalk and surf photography, not feasible for use with a model moving at full speed, as it means triggering having to switch from the AF with the BBF button with one finger, to another finger to take the picture, causing a however slight delay, allowing the moving model from the spot the AF was at on the moment the decision was made to take the shot, to just a bit closer by in the next split second moment later when the shutter release button was pushed

Basically still work on the same settings I found out in the late 80's and 90's after years of experience with the F801/F90X and lesser degree F100 (never really learned to rely on that camera as with the F90/F90x), although of course over the years did pick up the AF improvements I liked with my DSLR's (D1/D1X/D1H/D2X/D300/D3/D800/D850/D4s)ands Z6's

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Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,278
Re: Model is running how fast?

Paul P K wrote:

Nils wrote:

I am still struggeling which AF is best for shooting a fashion model which is running towards me.

At the beginning she is too far away for the EYE-AF to give me a Yellow Square signaling it is tracking the eye.

1. I tried waiting for the AF to recognize the EYE, both in Wide and Region Eye-AF mode. Several times it did not recognize the EYE at all (no yellow square)

2. Like with my D850 (3D Tracking) I pressed the OK button and placed the square on her face and focussed once I started shooting. Then framed the shot while taking pictures. Mostly all pictures were in focus but not perfectly on the EYE.

What is the best workflow for such a setting? I normally shoot between 70 and 200mm

Thanks

Practically speaking, I can't see a model running fast towards the camera on high heels. I at least never have in the years I have been shooting fashion https://pbase.com/paul_k/straat encountered a model able to do so without severe risk of spring ankles, falling etc. (and never wanted to expose them to risking that)

In my experience Eye AF (I have 2 Z6's, so while familiar with normal Eye AF and Wide AF, not with Region AF) with isn't a option for shooting a model further away at full out (the AF will simply switch to Face AF), apart from the fact that,also in my experience it really isn't a fast enough AF option for a fast moving subject

Had a D850 (sold it after a long period of not using it when I found that I was using my Z6's for over 95% of my photography work, including fashion, catwalk, dance and event), but never went for 3D tracking, as

Despite the raving reviews of the 3D tracking of eg the D850 (and eg D3 and D800 before that), never went for that option, as I prefer to have the final decision where the AF is to at least start to AF on, rather then just aim the camera in the direction of the model to then let the camera decided what to AF on

I prefer to be the one to select the point the AF starts from, after that, based on my experiences with it from back in my 80's/90's F801/F90X/F100 film shooting days, relying on the 'standard' AF tracking.

After all, I'm the photographer so I should have the decisive voice (and yes, that also means no 'shoot and spray' for me, despite the possible high fps and near bottomless buffers of modern DSLR's and mirrorless)

My standard AF set up with a DSLR (D800/D850, and the D4s I got to replace the D850 in the few occasions I do need the ultrafast reliable AF of a DSLR, like with extreme low light, extreme low contrast, heavy backlighting) for a fast moving subject (not running, but eg model on a catwalk, although those models nowadays do strut down the catwalk in a speed close to racewalking) is AF-C, dynamic AF with one manually selected AF point I aim on the subject to have the AF start from, AF and shutter release on the camera release button

With my Z6's I go for AF-C with Dynamic AF, with the center point, rather then the periferal ones, within the AF box pointed on the model I(usually model's face) as starting point, after which I let the AF tracking take over https://pbase.com/paul_k/20181209_mafb_tropenfest https://pbase.com/paul_k/20190117_amfi_take_over

Have tried the Z6's (FW 3.20) Eye AF and AF tracking for fast moving subjects, but found them not as reliable enough to pick them over Dynamic AF https://pbase.com/paul_k/20191216_amfi_studio_show https://pbase.com/paul_k/20200123_amfi_individuals

Only use BBF in very rare occasions, usually only to AF on a semi static subject, eg at the moment stands still briefly at the far end of the catwalk just before they start their run, after which the AF activation is taken over by activating the shutter relaease (which indeed means still having the AF - also - triggered by the camera release button as main AF release option).

BBF only with separate shutter release triggering, is IMO and experience based on shooting years of fashion, catwalk and surf photography, not feasible for use with a model moving at full speed, as it means triggering having to switch from the AF with the BBF button with one finger, to another finger to take the picture, causing a however slight delay, allowing the moving model from the spot the AF was at on the moment the decision was made to take the shot, to just a bit closer by in the next split second moment later when the shutter release button was pushed

I've never seen anyone set up BBF and use it that way. The BBF button is generally pushed with your right thumb. Your index finger is still capable of pressing the shutter release at any time, completely independent of the BBF button being held depressed or not.

Basically still work on the same settings I found out in the late 80's and 90's after years of experience with the F801/F90X and lesser degree F100 (never really learned to rely on that camera as with the F90/F90x), although of course over the years did pick up the AF improvements I liked with my DSLR's (D1/D1X/D1H/D2X/D300/D3/D800/D850/D4s)ands Z6's

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Steve

Paul P K
Paul P K Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Duh ....
1

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

BBF only with separate shutter release triggering, is IMO and experience based on shooting years of fashion, catwalk and surf photography, not feasible for use with a model moving at full speed, as it means triggering having to switch from the AF with the BBF button with one finger, to another finger to take the picture, causing a however slight delay, allowing the moving model from the spot the AF was at on the moment the decision was made to take the shot, to just a bit closer by in the next split second moment later when the shutter release button was pushed

I've never seen anyone set up BBF and use it that way. The BBF button is generally pushed with your right thumb. Your index finger is still capable of pressing the shutter release at any time, completely independent of the BBF button being held depressed or not.

Duh, of course the BBF button can practically speaking only be pushed with the thumb (which is one of the five fingers on a hand), alongside with the index finger (another one of the 5 fingers on a hand) for pushing the release button

Pushing the BBF button with another finger then a thumb  from the same hand when holding a camera is next to impossible, if even possible, anatomically speaking, and apart from the obvious fysical impossibility of course would be extremely time consuming.

But (even) with AF activation by BBF only, and separate release triggering by the release button only, there will be a split second delay between finding the subject in focus, and taking the picture

Basically one would be in the same situation as manually focusing on a moving subject, and after seeing the subject in focus in the viewfinder, taking the picture the next split second before the subject has moved on from the spot it was seen in focus, especially as few have/still have the fast eye/hand reflex to be able to take a picture that way.

While I do still have that kind of fast eye/hand reflex from my 70's/80's days of shooting fashion, catwalk and dance with my F2AS and FE,

P&H A'dam 1983 F2AS 4.5/80-200 f4.5 (manual focus obviously) 1/125th Tri-X pushed ISO 800

I nowadays gladly embrace the advanced AF that comes with modern DSLR's and mirrorless

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Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,278
Re: Duh ....
1

Paul P K wrote:

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

BBF only with separate shutter release triggering, is IMO and experience based on shooting years of fashion, catwalk and surf photography, not feasible for use with a model moving at full speed, as it means triggering having to switch from the AF with the BBF button with one finger, to another finger to take the picture, causing a however slight delay, allowing the moving model from the spot the AF was at on the moment the decision was made to take the shot, to just a bit closer by in the next split second moment later when the shutter release button was pushed

I've never seen anyone set up BBF and use it that way. The BBF button is generally pushed with your right thumb. Your index finger is still capable of pressing the shutter release at any time, completely independent of the BBF button being held depressed or not.

Duh, of course the BBF button can practically speaking only be pushed with the thumb (which is one of the five fingers on a hand), alongside with the index finger (another one of the 5 fingers on a hand) for pushing the release button

Pushing the BBF button with another finger then a thumb from the same hand when holding a camera is next to impossible, if even possible, anatomically speaking, and apart from the obvious fysical impossibility of course would be extremely time consuming.

But (even) with AF activation by BBF only, and separate release triggering by the release button only, there will be a split second delay between finding the subject in focus, and taking the picture

Basically one would be in the same situation as manually focusing on a moving subject, and after seeing the subject in focus in the viewfinder, taking the picture the next split second before the subject has moved on from the spot it was seen in focus, especially as few have/still have the fast eye/hand reflex to be able to take a picture that way.

I guess there is still something I'm not understanding. If shooting a moving subject, you would surely be using AF-C. While holding the BBF button, the subject, at least walking human, should remain in focus. Obviously, that would be different when shooting a race car coming in your general direction at 200mph. Pressing the shutter release at the appropriate time should result in a properly focused image.

Modern cameras have a shutter release lag time measured in a few milliseconds. If you're splitting hairs, yes the subject moves during that time. If the focus mechanics don't adjust for subject movement during that few milliseconds the focus will be off. But, how much could that possibly be in a walking subject? The DOF should be much greater than the distance a lady moves on the catwalk. Am I just completely missing your point?

While I do still have that kind of fast eye/hand reflex from my 70's/80's days of shooting fashion, catwalk and dance with my F2AS and FE,

P&H A'dam 1983 F2AS 4.5/80-200 f4.5 (manual focus obviously) 1/125th Tri-X pushed ISO 800

I nowadays gladly embrace the advanced AF that comes with modern DSLR's and mirrorless

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Steve

Paul P K
Paul P K Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Read better

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

Paul P K wrote:

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

BBF only with separate shutter release triggering, is IMO and experience based on shooting years of fashion, catwalk and surf photography, not feasible for use with a model moving at full speed, as it means triggering having to switch from the AF with the BBF button with one finger, to another finger to take the picture, causing a however slight delay, allowing the moving model from the spot the AF was at on the moment the decision was made to take the shot, to just a bit closer by in the next split second moment later when the shutter release button was pushed

I've never seen anyone set up BBF and use it that way. The BBF button is generally pushed with your right thumb. Your index finger is still capable of pressing the shutter release at any time, completely independent of the BBF button being held depressed or not.

Duh, of course the BBF button can practically speaking only be pushed with the thumb (which is one of the five fingers on a hand), alongside with the index finger (another one of the 5 fingers on a hand) for pushing the release button

Pushing the BBF button with another finger then a thumb from the same hand when holding a camera is next to impossible, if even possible, anatomically speaking, and apart from the obvious fysical impossibility of course would be extremely time consuming.

But (even) with AF activation by BBF only, and separate release triggering by the release button only, there will be a split second delay between finding the subject in focus, and taking the picture

Basically one would be in the same situation as manually focusing on a moving subject, and after seeing the subject in focus in the viewfinder, taking the picture the next split second before the subject has moved on from the spot it was seen in focus, especially as few have/still have the fast eye/hand reflex to be able to take a picture that way.

I guess there is still something I'm not understanding. If shooting a moving subject, you would surely be using AF-C. While holding the BBF button, the subject, at least walking human, should remain in focus. Obviously, that would be different when shooting a race car coming in your general direction at 200mph. Pressing the shutter release at the appropriate time should result in a properly focused image.

Modern cameras have a shutter release lag time measured in a few milliseconds. If you're splitting hairs, yes the subject moves during that time. If the focus mechanics don't adjust for subject movement during that few milliseconds the focus will be off. But, how much could that possibly be in a walking subject? The DOF should be much greater than the distance a lady moves on the catwalk. Am I just completely missing your point?

What I wrote before about previously, and you clearly did failed to read, is 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', i.e. activating the AF with the BBF button only, and decoupling the AF from the shutter release button, which means that button is used only for triggering the shutter, useless for moving subjects

But on the other hand very useful when you are shooting a static subject with very critical AF for a specific area, and you don't want the AF to change whenever you touch the release button.

In the first scenario, using 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', you are one moment triggering the AF button with one fingering, and have to switch to another finger to take the shot when you see your subject in focus in the viewfinder (similar to the manual focus film shooting days when you would focus on a subject by turning the focus lens with your left hand till you had it in focus, and having to switch the next moment to your right hand to take the shot)

What you are describing is activating the AF with both the BBF button as well as the shutter release button, (which is doing the same thing simultaneously using the BBF button and the shutter release button, and obviously a bit redundant).

I.e. still having the AF activation linked to the shutter release button ( which means the camera will AF whenever the release button is touched), while doing the same with the BBF button at the same time ( and pretty much a waste of attention and energy).

In the old/early days of DSLR's, there was a small, but for fast shooting significant enough delay between the moment the AF found the subject in focus, and the camera taking the shot the next moment/split second you pushed the release button to take the shot. That delay would come on top of the shutter release that already was came with the the camera when taking a shot, a pretty deadly combination when trying to nail a shot in a very specific moment (eg when shooting catwalk, when catching a specific pose at the very moment it occurs will make or break a shot)

With modern DSLR's and mirrorless the delay caused by shutter release lag has indeed been reduced to negligible fractions of a second, no longer a real shot threatening problem (although of course there are plenty of 'experts' to find it something to still complain about when shooting under laboratory condition during 'tests').

But in my experience with DSLR's (reaching back to the D1/D1H/D2X days) and with the Z6, based on shooting fashion, catwalk, dance and surf, the delay between activating the AF by pushing the release button half way, and taking the shot when deciding to do, is so negligible that using the BBF button while already triggering the AF with the release button is unnecessary overlap.

Only time I use/have used that option is when I want to pick a point for the AF to start focusing from without risking to take an undesired shot (like as described earlier when a model takes a pose at the far end of the catwalk before taking the run down the catwalk towards the camera)

As far as the Dof is concerned, for creative purposes, as well as possible limitations to the fastest shutter speed possible to use in combination with the possible maximum aperture (eg bad/low lighting), especially when using long lenses (like eg in my case at times a 2/200VR wide or nearly wide open ) that DoF may sometime be simply not enough to keep the subject in focus while moving along in that split second, despite of the appealing theory, when using BBF AF with separate shutter release triggering.

In  the case of having the AF linked to the shutter release button, means one will have to trust the AF, and the lack of significant shutter release lag , of the camera used, like I did with my Z6 in this shoot https://pbase.com/paul_k/20181209_mafb_tropenfest

See in particular shot https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520443 https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520444 and https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520445, from a series of 14 shots taken within 3 seconds of a model further away to close up. The result of what at that moment my 1st serious shoot with the Z6 late 2018 (with still only FW 1.0) were reason/impressive enough for get a 2nd Z6 within two weeks after that (not widely for sale at that moment yet) despite its at that moment still novelty status

So yes, you are completely missing my point, but that of course may also be due to not  only not fully reading what I wrote, but also apparently never having shot a catwalk show in earnest

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romendo Forum Member • Posts: 95
Re: Read better

I would think there is absolutely no difference between

- holding the AF-ON constantly pressed and using the shutter button to take a picture

- holding the shutter button half-pressed and then completely pressing it to take a picture

Many sports and wildlife photographers are using BBF and AF-C. If that didn't work - for much faster moving subjects than models walking on a catwalk - I am sure they would be using something different.

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j_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,204
Re: Read better
2

Paul P K wrote:In the first scenario, using 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', you are one moment triggering the AF button with one fingering, and have to switch to another finger to take the shot when you see your subject in focus in the viewfinder (similar to the manual focus film shooting days when you would focus on a subject by turning the focus lens with your left hand till you had it in focus, and having to switch the next moment to your right hand to take the shot

I've been shooting BBF for many years. It is perfectly fine for moving subjects and there is no delay in the shutter release compared to activating focus with the shutter button.

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Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,278
Re: Read better

Paul P K wrote:

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

Paul P K wrote:

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

BBF only with separate shutter release triggering, is IMO and experience based on shooting years of fashion, catwalk and surf photography, not feasible for use with a model moving at full speed, as it means triggering having to switch from the AF with the BBF button with one finger, to another finger to take the picture, causing a however slight delay, allowing the moving model from the spot the AF was at on the moment the decision was made to take the shot, to just a bit closer by in the next split second moment later when the shutter release button was pushed

I've never seen anyone set up BBF and use it that way. The BBF button is generally pushed with your right thumb. Your index finger is still capable of pressing the shutter release at any time, completely independent of the BBF button being held depressed or not.

Duh, of course the BBF button can practically speaking only be pushed with the thumb (which is one of the five fingers on a hand), alongside with the index finger (another one of the 5 fingers on a hand) for pushing the release button

Pushing the BBF button with another finger then a thumb from the same hand when holding a camera is next to impossible, if even possible, anatomically speaking, and apart from the obvious fysical impossibility of course would be extremely time consuming.

But (even) with AF activation by BBF only, and separate release triggering by the release button only, there will be a split second delay between finding the subject in focus, and taking the picture

Basically one would be in the same situation as manually focusing on a moving subject, and after seeing the subject in focus in the viewfinder, taking the picture the next split second before the subject has moved on from the spot it was seen in focus, especially as few have/still have the fast eye/hand reflex to be able to take a picture that way.

I guess there is still something I'm not understanding. If shooting a moving subject, you would surely be using AF-C. While holding the BBF button, the subject, at least walking human, should remain in focus. Obviously, that would be different when shooting a race car coming in your general direction at 200mph. Pressing the shutter release at the appropriate time should result in a properly focused image.

Modern cameras have a shutter release lag time measured in a few milliseconds. If you're splitting hairs, yes the subject moves during that time. If the focus mechanics don't adjust for subject movement during that few milliseconds the focus will be off. But, how much could that possibly be in a walking subject? The DOF should be much greater than the distance a lady moves on the catwalk. Am I just completely missing your point?

What I wrote before about previously, and you clearly did failed to read, is 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', i.e. activating the AF with the BBF button only, and decoupling the AF from the shutter release button, which means that button is used only for triggering the shutter, useless for moving subjects

But on the other hand very useful when you are shooting a static subject with very critical AF for a specific area, and you don't want the AF to change whenever you touch the release button.

In the first scenario, using 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', you are one moment triggering the AF button with one fingering, and have to switch to another finger to take the shot when you see your subject in focus in the viewfinder (similar to the manual focus film shooting days when you would focus on a subject by turning the focus lens with your left hand till you had it in focus, and having to switch the next moment to your right hand to take the shot)

What you are describing is activating the AF with both the BBF button as well as the shutter release button, (which is doing the same thing simultaneously using the BBF button and the shutter release button, and obviously a bit redundant).

Absolutely not. There would be no reason that I know of to not decouple AF from the release if BBF is enabled. OTOH, when shooting in AF-C, there would be no problem created by having the release try to initiate AF when the BBF is already pushed. You can't start AF when it's already active via the BBF. I simply would never have a camera set to work that way.

The problem would occur (as you have stated above) in AF-S when you had already obtained the focus you desired and did not want the camera to initiate focus again when you pushed the release. So far as I'm concerned, turning on BBF in the menu should decouple AF from the release at the same time. One menu selection.

I.e. still having the AF activation linked to the shutter release button ( which means the camera will AF whenever the release button is touched), while doing the same with the BBF button at the same time ( and pretty much a waste of attention and energy).

In the old/early days of DSLR's, there was a small, but for fast shooting significant enough delay between the moment the AF found the subject in focus, and the camera taking the shot the next moment/split second you pushed the release button to take the shot. That delay would come on top of the shutter release that already was came with the the camera when taking a shot, a pretty deadly combination when trying to nail a shot in a very specific moment (eg when shooting catwalk, when catching a specific pose at the very moment it occurs will make or break a shot)

With modern DSLR's and mirrorless the delay caused by shutter release lag has indeed been reduced to negligible fractions of a second, no longer a real shot threatening problem (although of course there are plenty of 'experts' to find it something to still complain about when shooting under laboratory condition during 'tests').

But in my experience with DSLR's (reaching back to the D1/D1H/D2X days) and with the Z6, based on shooting fashion, catwalk, dance and surf, the delay between activating the AF by pushing the release button half way, and taking the shot when deciding to do, is so negligible that using the BBF button while already triggering the AF with the release button is unnecessary overlap.

I too started with a D1 as my first professional DSLR. I still have the D1X I later replaced it with. Although, without a good battery, it's a dust collector. While they couldn't match the image quality of the film cameras I had been using the previous 30 years, I loved those cameras.

Only time I use/have used that option is when I want to pick a point for the AF to start focusing from without risking to take an undesired shot (like as described earlier when a model takes a pose at the far end of the catwalk before taking the run down the catwalk towards the camera)

As far as the Dof is concerned, for creative purposes, as well as possible limitations to the fastest shutter speed possible to use in combination with the possible maximum aperture (eg bad/low lighting), especially when using long lenses (like eg in my case at times a 2/200VR wide or nearly wide open ) that DoF may sometime be simply not enough to keep the subject in focus while moving along in that split second, despite of the appealing theory, when using BBF AF with separate shutter release triggering.

I won't argue over your experience. Every parent or grandparent that has tried to capture a focused image of a 2 year old can relate to that problem. How we can catch a speeding auto on the race track, and not a 2 or 3 year old, remains a mystery.

In the case of having the AF linked to the shutter release button, means one will have to trust the AF, and the lack of significant shutter release lag , of the camera used, like I did with my Z6 in this shoot https://pbase.com/paul_k/20181209_mafb_tropenfest

See in particular shot https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520443 https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520444 and https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520445, from a series of 14 shots taken within 3 seconds of a model further away to close up. The result of what at that moment my 1st serious shoot with the Z6 late 2018 (with still only FW 1.0) were reason/impressive enough for get a 2nd Z6 within two weeks after that (not widely for sale at that moment yet) despite its at that moment still novelty status

So yes, you are completely missing my point, but that of course may also be due to not only not fully reading what I wrote, but also apparently never having shot a catwalk show in earnest

Trust me, I've read every word you wrote. I may not have understood it the way you meant it, but I read it. And no, shooting on the catwalks is not my thing. The closest I've come is shooting some amateur bikini contests locally. Those never earned me the money you no doubt make, but I wouldn't trade a moment of the experience with you.

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Steve

Boudewijn van der Drift Regular Member • Posts: 453
Re: Model is running how fast?

Paul P K wrote:

Nils wrote:

LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ2DC2X1e5k

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michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,979
Re: Read better
3

I agree with Shutterbug.  I have been using separated BBF and shutter release for 15 years. I cannot picture what delay you are talking about.

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Mike Dawson

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1llusive
1llusive Veteran Member • Posts: 3,398
Re: Read better

Paul P K wrote:

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

Paul P K wrote:

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

BBF only with separate shutter release triggering, is IMO and experience based on shooting years of fashion, catwalk and surf photography, not feasible for use with a model moving at full speed, as it means triggering having to switch from the AF with the BBF button with one finger, to another finger to take the picture, causing a however slight delay, allowing the moving model from the spot the AF was at on the moment the decision was made to take the shot, to just a bit closer by in the next split second moment later when the shutter release button was pushed

I've never seen anyone set up BBF and use it that way. The BBF button is generally pushed with your right thumb. Your index finger is still capable of pressing the shutter release at any time, completely independent of the BBF button being held depressed or not.

Duh, of course the BBF button can practically speaking only be pushed with the thumb (which is one of the five fingers on a hand), alongside with the index finger (another one of the 5 fingers on a hand) for pushing the release button

Pushing the BBF button with another finger then a thumb from the same hand when holding a camera is next to impossible, if even possible, anatomically speaking, and apart from the obvious fysical impossibility of course would be extremely time consuming.

But (even) with AF activation by BBF only, and separate release triggering by the release button only, there will be a split second delay between finding the subject in focus, and taking the picture

Basically one would be in the same situation as manually focusing on a moving subject, and after seeing the subject in focus in the viewfinder, taking the picture the next split second before the subject has moved on from the spot it was seen in focus, especially as few have/still have the fast eye/hand reflex to be able to take a picture that way.

I guess there is still something I'm not understanding. If shooting a moving subject, you would surely be using AF-C. While holding the BBF button, the subject, at least walking human, should remain in focus. Obviously, that would be different when shooting a race car coming in your general direction at 200mph. Pressing the shutter release at the appropriate time should result in a properly focused image.

Modern cameras have a shutter release lag time measured in a few milliseconds. If you're splitting hairs, yes the subject moves during that time. If the focus mechanics don't adjust for subject movement during that few milliseconds the focus will be off. But, how much could that possibly be in a walking subject? The DOF should be much greater than the distance a lady moves on the catwalk. Am I just completely missing your point?

What I wrote before about previously, and you clearly did failed to read, is 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', i.e. activating the AF with the BBF button only, and decoupling the AF from the shutter release button, which means that button is used only for triggering the shutter, useless for moving subjects

But on the other hand very useful when you are shooting a static subject with very critical AF for a specific area, and you don't want the AF to change whenever you touch the release button.

In the first scenario, using 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', you are one moment triggering the AF button with one fingering, and have to switch to another finger to take the shot when you see your subject in focus in the viewfinder (similar to the manual focus film shooting days when you would focus on a subject by turning the focus lens with your left hand till you had it in focus, and having to switch the next moment to your right hand to take the shot)

But in my experience with DSLR's (reaching back to the D1/D1H/D2X days) and with the Z6, based on shooting fashion, catwalk, dance and surf, the delay between activating the AF by pushing the release button half way, and taking the shot when deciding to do, is so negligible that using the BBF button while already triggering the AF with the release button is unnecessary overlap.

Only time I use/have used that option is when I want to pick a point for the AF to start focusing from without risking to take an undesired shot (like as described earlier when a model takes a pose at the far end of the catwalk before taking the run down the catwalk towards the camera)

Huh? You do know about AF-C, right?

As long as you're holding a focus button, any focus button, the focusing is a separate operation from image-taking. One does not preclude the other; the camera will do both at the same time if you tell it to with no difference between using AF-ON or shutter focus. That is simply an ergonomic preference.

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Paul P K
Paul P K Contributing Member • Posts: 647
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Paul P K
Paul P K Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Again: read beter

Boudewijn van der Drift wrote:

Paul P K wrote:

Nils wrote:

LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ2DC2X1e5k

In reply to Paul P K • 4 min ago

Paul P K wrote:

What I wrote before about previously, and you clearly did failed to read, is 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', i.e. activating the AF with the BBF button only, and decoupling the AF from the shutter release button, which means that button is used only for triggering the shutter, useless for moving subjects

But on the other hand very useful when you are shooting a static subject with very critical AF for a specific area, and you don't want the AF to change whenever you touch the release button.

In the first scenario, using 'BBF only with separate shutter release triggering', you are one moment triggering the AF button with one fingering, and have to switch to another finger to take the shot when you see your subject in focus in the viewfinder (similar to the manual focus film shooting days when you would focus on a subject by turning the focus lens with your left hand till you had it in focus, and having to switch the next moment to your right hand to take the shot)

What you are describing is activating the AF with both the BBF button as well as the shutter release button, (which is doing the same thing simultaneously using the BBF button and the shutter release button, and obviously a bit redundant).

I.e. still having the AF activation linked to the shutter release button ( which means the camera will AF whenever the release button is touched), while doing the same with the BBF button at the same time ( and pretty much a waste of attention and energy).

In the old/early days of DSLR's, there was a small, but for fast shooting significant enough delay between the moment the AF found the subject in focus, and the camera taking the shot the next moment/split second you pushed the release button to take the shot. That delay would come on top of the shutter release that already was came with the the camera when taking a shot, a pretty deadly combination when trying to nail a shot in a very specific moment (eg when shooting catwalk, when catching a specific pose at the very moment it occurs will make or break a shot)

With modern DSLR's and mirrorless the delay caused by shutter release lag has indeed been reduced to negligible fractions of a second, no longer a real shot threatening problem (although of course there are plenty of 'experts' to find it something to still complain about when shooting under laboratory condition during 'tests').

But in my experience with DSLR's (reaching back to the D1/D1H/D2X days) and with the Z6, based on shooting fashion, catwalk, dance and surf, the delay between activating the AF by pushing the release button half way, and taking the shot when deciding to do, is so negligible that using the BBF button while already triggering the AF with the release button is unnecessary overlap.

Only time I use/have used that option is when I want to pick a point for the AF to start focusing from without risking to take an undesired shot (like as described earlier when a model takes a pose at the far end of the catwalk before taking the run down the catwalk towards the camera)

As far as the Dof is concerned, for creative purposes, as well as possible limitations to the fastest shutter speed possible to use in combination with the possible maximum aperture (eg bad/low lighting), especially when using long lenses (like eg in my case at times a 2/200VR wide or nearly wide open ) that DoF may sometime be simply not enough to keep the subject in focus while moving along in that split second, despite of the appealing theory, when using BBF AF with separate shutter release triggering.

In the case of having the AF linked to the shutter release button, means one will have to trust the AF, and the lack of significant shutter release lag , of the camera used, like I did with my Z6 in this shoot https://pbase.com/paul_k/20181209_mafb_tropenfest

See in particular shot https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520443 https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520444 and https://pbase.com/paul_k/image/168520445, from a series of 14 shots taken within 3 seconds of a model further away to close up. The result of what at that moment my 1st serious shoot with the Z6 late 2018 (with still only FW 1.0) were reason/impressive enough for get a 2nd Z6 within two weeks after that (not widely for sale at that moment yet) despite its at that moment still novelty status

So yes, you are completely missing my point, but that of course may also be due to not only not fully reading what I wrote, but also apparently never having shot a catwalk show in earnest

in the several reactions on the above post the specific details on how the BBF focus is set up (and consequently is used) are missing, and thus pretty useless to be able to judged upon on their merit.

Again, I'm talking about the usefullness/uselessnes of having AF on the BBF button only Practically speaking this boils down top: push the BBF button and the AF is triggered, push the shutter release button and the shot is taken without the focus previously set with the BBF changing.

This set up is useless for shooting fast moving subjects, but as said earlier ideal when shooting a static subject when perfect focus on a specific area is wished for, annd to be left unchanged when the shutter release button is pressed (eg to check exposure, or simply 'wake up' the camera from 'sleeping')

What however is generally used and incorrectly described as as BBF focusing (yes, also in sportsphotography, which I did in my early digital DSLR days shooting surf https://pbase.com/paul_k/surf_main) is having the AF linked to both the BBF button and the shutter release button, and probably is the BBF focus mode mentioned in several reactions to be used so successfully over the years (sorry, but referring to a video rather then having actual relevant experience with BBF focusing IMO really isn't relevant).

In this case the BBF button is used to adjust the AF on the subject while moving, but without risking to take an accidental shot, in order to have the focus as close to the subject at the moment the shot is to be taken by pushing the shutter release button (at which moment the AF activation is taken over by depressing the release button in the split second before the picture is shot)

To state the obvious, if you have focused on a subject nearby, and leave the focus there, to next focus on a subject further away, the camera/lens will have to adjust from near by to far/further away, which with a slow focusing AF lens and body will risk missing to lock on the subject in time reuslting in an OoF shot

With modern DSLR's and mirrorles the delay between switching focusing, and taking the image with the same release button is negligible, contrary to the early digital shooting days when shutter release and AF lag were always a standard topic mentioned in the camera reviews.

Since pictures say more then words:

I took this picture using BBF (pre)focusing in combination with shutter release AF activation

Kelly Slater Q Silver Pro 159 201001002 D3 4/600mm AF-I + TC1.4EII

View: original size

I started shooting the series using BBF to toggle the relatively slow focusing 600mm+ TC14EII combination to (pre)focus (and have the AF point as close to as possible) on Kelly Slater when I anticipated (and had the time to do so) he would start a run on the approaching wave

To then taking the several shots with the shutter release button taking over the AF activation while taking the shots, with AF tracking following him during his run, since obviously adjusting focus with the BBF button is/would have been impossible within the very few seconds between him starting his run down the wave and into the funnel .

But this shot however

Texel 175 20091016 D3 4/20-400mm VRI

View: original size

happened unexpectedly in a split second , leaving no time for BBF focusing, only allowing to next to instinctively aim the camera, and rely on the shutter release activated/coupled AF activation.

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jlafferty Senior Member • Posts: 1,353
Re: AF for dynamic fashion shots?
1

Hi Nils - I’ve shot models and dancers moving dynamically with the Z6 and this video perfectly demonstrates a fantastic method for doing so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxXvNBZLLYU

Nils wrote:

I am still struggeling which AF is best for shooting a fashion model which is running towards me.

At the beginning she is too far away for the EYE-AF to give me a Yellow Square signaling it is tracking the eye.

1. I tried waiting for the AF to recognize the EYE, both in Wide and Region Eye-AF mode. Several times it did not recognize the EYE at all (no yellow square)

2. Like with my D850 (3D Tracking) I pressed the OK button and placed the square on her face and focussed once I started shooting. Then framed the shot while taking pictures. Mostly all pictures were in focus but not perfectly on the EYE.

What is the best workflow for such a setting? I normally shoot between 70 and 200mm

Thanks

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DezM
DezM Forum Pro • Posts: 35,367
Re: AF for dynamic fashion shots?
1

jlafferty wrote:

Hi Nils - I’ve shot models and dancers moving dynamically with the Z6 and this video perfectly demonstrates a fantastic method for doing so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxXvNBZLLYU

I use it this way as well, but I mapped my Fn2 button to switch to tracking mode.

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