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Archive 2012 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons
  
 
knower
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p.1 #1 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Hi everybody!

I got my D800 few days ago and I am super very happy with it!
Crazy good camera!

But I have a question for you! I didn't really find an answer in the manual, but maybe I didn't check very well.

Now we have this AF-mode button. When it is in AF-C you click the button and switch AF-Area Mode with the dials.
This is ok, if you don't have a 500mm lens handhold and you want to quickly switch focus.

Since the button is on the left, and the dials are on the right, there is no other way to do that without putting the lens down, and in a weird movement change the settings.

Is it really true that we can't assign the same AF-Area Modes function of the AF button to another function button as it was possible with the D300?!?!?!

If so, I must say that the designers at Nikon are blown out.


Thanks for your answers,
G.



Dec 11, 2012 at 08:22 PM
knower
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p.1 #2 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Really nobody knows?

I am starting thinking that is as bad as it seems....

G.



Dec 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM
wellsjt
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p.1 #3 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


I don't think you can assign the AF mode to a function button. Can you hold it such that your left palm is face up supporting the base of the camera, thumb pressing the AF button and the remaining four fingers are supporting the lens?


Dec 12, 2012 at 02:16 AM
knower
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p.1 #4 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


No way wellsjt.
The long lenses are too long and heavy to try doing what you say without risking to drop it.

This is a VERY BIG drawback for me. It means always using the 3D tracking mode, which sucks.

Thanks for your reply!
G.



Dec 12, 2012 at 02:19 AM
wellsjt
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p.1 #5 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Ok. I don't have experience with lenses heavier than about 4 pounds. I guess the 500mm f/4 is at least twice that. I personally don't switch AF mode very often so it doesn't affect me, but I could see how it would be a problem. Good luck!


Dec 12, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #6 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


I don't think you really have to always use the 3D tracking mode, but I agree that changing modes with one hand is a PITA.

If you have the rigid hood on your lens and if you are wearing shoes then you could rest the weight of the lens and camera on one foot to make the AF changes without getting the lens in the dirt or mud. Less than ideal but do-able, and better than being stuck in one AF mode all the time. In part it works because you probably tend to make the settings for a subject or type of shot and stick with them, rather than change the settings for every individual photo.

- Alan



Dec 12, 2012 at 02:50 AM
knower
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p.1 #7 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Well but if you have a bird, static and you are composing the picture nicely, you use the n number of points. If the bird starts flying then you want to quickly switch to 3d tracking mode...and I don't want to miss the shot because I have to hold the lens in a weird way.

I always use a black rapid strap on my lens, but even with that is not really easy to change the focus mode when you have such a glass and you are hand-holding it and the worst is that you have to put your lens down, you can't really change on the fly!

The only easy way to use this AF mode button is when using the lens on a tripod.
I don't understand what Nikon software engineers were thinking, this is very crap.

G.



Dec 12, 2012 at 03:00 AM
RoyC
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p.1 #8 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


I change it all the time with both my 300 2.8 and 500 4. The left thumb just slides against the button and the right index finger rotates the command dial. If need be for the 500, you can let the lens strap take the load so you can completely free up your left hand.


Dec 12, 2012 at 03:08 AM
 

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knower
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p.1 #9 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Sure I can, but again it means putting the camera down, and loosing the shot.

Not ideal.
G.



Dec 12, 2012 at 03:16 AM
RoyC
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p.1 #10 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


knower wrote:
If the bird starts flying then you want to quickly switch to 3d tracking mode...
G.


That statement I do not agree with. 9, 21 or 51 points are all fine for tracking most flying birds. What are you shooting in flight, humming birds?



Dec 12, 2012 at 03:21 AM
knower
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p.1 #11 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Sorry Roy I don't understand what you are talking about.

I am talking about switching between 9,21,51 and 3d tracking mode, without moving your head from the viewfinder and without risking to drop your lens, so basically without using the AF-Button.

That they are good enough we all know...
G.



Dec 12, 2012 at 06:00 AM
jrash168
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p.1 #12 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Have you tried back button focus. It sounds like it would be perfect for your situation. By separating the focus from your shutter release, you have the use of single point focus, yet are able to move to continuous focus instantly. You would be able to keep the camera in 3d mode, but compose shots just like you were in single point focus.


Dec 12, 2012 at 06:19 AM
knower
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p.1 #13 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


I only use the AF-on button, but using the 3d tracking all the time simply doesn't really work for accurate but fast work since it relies on the tracking algorithm that doesn't always choose what you want to choose.
On my D300, and D3s as well, you could assign the area-mode to the function button, and quickly switch between 3d tracking and other modes. All while watching in the viewfinder and without lowering the camera.

I don't understand why they took it out, there are two function buttons that are almost useless since only very few options are there to customize them.
I must say that these Nikon custom menus are primitive, at best.

Anyway great camera, that's my only complain for now.
G.



Dec 12, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Nick Warde
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p.1 #14 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Like Roy C, this is fairly easy for me. Support lens with left hand, body pushed back into my torso for additional support. Hold the mode button with my right index finger. Turn dial with my thumb. I actually like the new system more than the previous controls on my D300s. I can change more quickly between a wider variety of modes.


Dec 12, 2012 at 09:38 AM
knower
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p.1 #15 · Nikon D800 AF-Area Modes and function buttons


Nick, thanks for your answer.

What you and some other guys said is possible, but not ideal.
What is your longest lens you tried this with?
With my Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS and the 2x is very uncomfortable and risky, and I am not a small guy.

I like the new system, too, what I don't like is the positioning, but I also want versatility from a 3000$ camera.

Also there is no difference at all between this system and the one on the D300 when assigning a function button to the AF-Area Mode...they are exactly the same, just different positioning (better in D300 in my opinion).

Thanks,
G.



Dec 12, 2012 at 03:32 PM





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