How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

Started Nov 28, 2022 | Discussions
goncalomp Forum Member • Posts: 57
How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

Hi all!

So I am using a sony a74 + 28-75 tamron and have this combination during events and congresses, portraits, and it has performed super well.

But now I have a challenge, I was taking photos of my dog in a studio setting with strobes and to get his nose, eyes and ears with great focus I had to close the lens to f8 or f16, but when I do that the camera AF becomes super slow even if there is ambient light. If I open up the fstop then it is speedy again.

How does one overcome this?

I have tried raising the iso so that the camera "sees more" but it is does not seem to improve af speed.

My other settings are iso 100, 1/100th

Any help is welcome!!

Thanks!

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,469
Re: How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

im shooting f3.2 in the studio with the same combo and have no problems. are you using caf ? af is fast and accurate even dancers moving towards the camera to do leaps.

Rp

OP goncalomp Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

With f3.2 or f4 the af is fast, with f8 or f16 it becomes slow.

I tried animal eye, animal eye af off and all the different sized boxes. What settings are you using for your photos?

s-trap Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

This is because Sony cameras focus stopped down. At f/8 there is very little light and very little separation at autofocus cells.

Try setting aperture drive to focus priority.

AlephNull Veteran Member • Posts: 5,553
Re: How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

goncalomp wrote:

Hi all!

So I am using a sony a74 + 28-75 tamron and have this combination during events and congresses, portraits, and it has performed super well.

But now I have a challenge, I was taking photos of my dog in a studio setting with strobes and to get his nose, eyes and ears with great focus I had to close the lens to f8 or f16, but when I do that the camera AF becomes super slow even if there is ambient light. If I open up the fstop then it is speedy again.

How does one overcome this?

I have tried raising the iso so that the camera "sees more" but it is does not seem to improve af speed.

My other settings are iso 100, 1/100th

Any help is welcome!!

Thanks!

I assume you are shooting with flash in the studio? Under those circumstances you do want to be using f/8, or thereabouts, and ISO 100, or maybe the bottom of the second gain step, at most. Surprised you are at 1/100 - I am having no trouble syncing at 1/200, but I guess it depends on your lights.

I am surprised the AF is slowing down so much. I have only shot in the studio with the A7RIV and A1, and neither suffer that problem, even in studios with relatively dim ambient light.

I agree with the person who recommended focus priority for aperture drive. Let the camera focus like a DSLR, with the lens wider, stopping down for the shot. You will have ample depth of field at f/8.

 AlephNull's gear list:AlephNull's gear list
Sony a1 Sony a7R V Sony a9 III Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM +8 more
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,469
Re: How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

goncalomp wrote:

With f3.2 or f4 the af is fast, with f8 or f16 it becomes slow.

I tried animal eye, animal eye af off and all the different sized boxes. What settings are you using for your photos?

what is your focal length ?

Rp

Lan Veteran Member • Posts: 4,791
Re: How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

Sounds like you need to increase your ambient light levels to compensate for shooting stopped down. More light = better AF, up to a point anyway.

OP goncalomp Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?
1

Thank you everyone for the tips!

I changed the aperture drive to focus priority as suggested and it improved alot! I had no idea that setting even existed!

Thanks!

AlephNull Veteran Member • Posts: 5,553
Re: How to focus moving action in a studio setting with f8 or f16?

goncalomp wrote:

Thank you everyone for the tips!

I changed the aperture drive to focus priority as suggested and it improved alot! I had no idea that setting even existed!

Thanks!

There are a lot of settings on these bodies, and I'd be surprised if many people used half of them. Sometimes it's worth investigating what's in the menus, and why it's there.

 AlephNull's gear list:AlephNull's gear list
Sony a1 Sony a7R V Sony a9 III Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM +8 more
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