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| p.1 #7 · Volleyball. Would 45 point AF helped? |
Robert: No. It's somewhat ironic that the most complex AF system which contains the largest number of focus points and is best suited to shooting sports is likely, in most situations, to work best when you have complete control over the single focus point determining the target of focus. The only time I have used all 45 points with great success is when I have been certain there wouldn't be anything in the frame competing for 'attention' from the AF system. When using all points, AF still begins with the center point, so you must acquire focus using the center point (even though, if I recall, it doesn't light up when all-points is selected), and then as you continue to engage AF (steadily pushing whichever button you use to control this), the camera will track the subject across all points. (Examples that have been somewhat successful: shooting a gymnast on balance beam when I am shooting from low enough that the only other thing in the frame is the crowd in the background, and this is far enough away that nothing is vying for AF; shooting a moving subject against a clear sky.) With a sport like volleyball, there are sooooo many potential distractions to the AF system that using all points would be akin to AF pinball, and you aren't likely to appreciate the results. Of course, volleyball is challenging enough that it's difficult to like the results given any approach, but you should have a better chance with a single point. Even the question of whether to allow for expansion, right or left, up or down, all surrounding points, is a matter of experimentation as far as I'm concerned. So, use a single point, aim, engage, lock, track and shoot, all while hoping both that you succeed in locking on AND that nothing else (net, hand, ball) offers a seductive level of contrast/movement to the system. You also might consider going with a slower setting for tracking.