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Archive 2013 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority,...
  
 
m_appeal
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p.1 #1 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


I'm just wondering... is it me or is it generally impossible to get a good hit rate with the D800 when using the above focus settings for portraits when focusing on the eyes for portraits. My hit rate is very poor when using primes, not just at f1.4 necessarily but stopped down a bit to f2 or f2.8. This is not a lens problem with front focus or backfocus (yes, I've tested this), nor is this a left AF problem... It's specifically a problem with Af-C.

I get a ton of shots where the focus point is on one eye (and I am very mindful), yet the resulting focus is on the other eye or the shot is OOF...I'm using focus priority. Again, I recognize that shallow DOF always makes things challenging and that AF in the viewfinder is in reality smaller than the focus area, but this isn't even a subject that's moving... and again I make sure that I get sufficiently close that the AF covers the eye area. I'm not using 9, 21 or 51 points, but specifically the single-point focus mode. When I'm reviewing the shots in View NX, the red square is on the correct eye, but the focus is off.




Apr 07, 2013 at 01:15 AM
Slug69
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p.1 #2 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


How close have you been to the subjects? Have you been getting too close?


Apr 07, 2013 at 01:22 AM
m_appeal
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p.1 #3 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


Well... I can't say exactly how close , but not approaching / or beyond Minimum Focusing distance.


Apr 07, 2013 at 01:30 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #4 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


Personally, I'd never use "focus priority" with AF-C on ANY NIkon body....
your words...but this isn't even a subject that's moving
Try AF-S and single point if you insist on focus priority, just sayin'



Apr 07, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #5 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


Actually, I sent a D800e in for repair for focus consistency issues that sound a bit like yours. I could take the same static subject and one time it's sharp, the next not so much. My first suggestion is to try a number of AF friendly (static, inanimate) targets and see if focus is spot on each and every time. If it's not, you may have an AF issue.

Just a thought.



Apr 07, 2013 at 01:58 AM
m_appeal
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p.1 #6 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


Steve Perry wrote:
Actually, I sent a D800e in for repair for focus consistency issues that sound a bit like yours. I could take the same static subject and one time it's sharp, the next not so much. My first suggestion is to try a number of AF friendly (static, inanimate) targets and see if focus is spot on each and every time. If it's not, you may have an AF issue.

Just a thought.


It depends on the subject... but I'm finding it's too jumpy on certain subjects and produces OOF shots. Did they fix your D800e?



Apr 07, 2013 at 02:31 AM
m_appeal
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p.1 #7 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


something like this typically happens (or sometimes it's all OOF)... not all the time, but often enough to piss me off!

Ex.1:

http://ivan-t.smugmug.com/Category/Whatever/23885371_mX3dhh#!i=2444176561&k=XBd9rBb&lb=1&s=O

Ex. 2:

http://ivan-t.smugmug.com/Category/Whatever/23885371_mX3dhh#!i=2444214344&k=bXqzVpZ&lb=1&s=O



Apr 07, 2013 at 02:36 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #8 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


There is no focus priority setting for AF-C, just focus + release which just slows the framerate. Even f/2 and f/2.8 has very shallow dof at portrait distances. If the subject is static use AF-S, that way the camera is not trying to track with potentially focus jumping backwards and forwards slightly.

All this said, fast primes seem to not be particularly consistent in this scenario perhaps due to their lower contrast. 2.8 zooms seem much more consistent.



Apr 07, 2013 at 08:39 AM
m_appeal
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p.1 #9 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)



There is no focus priority setting for AF-C, just focus + release which just slows the framerate.


in the menu there is. It's called "focus" "focus + release" is a separate setting.

Even f/2 and f/2.8 has very shallow dof at portrait distances. If the subject is static use AF-S, that way the camera is not trying to track with potentially focus jumping backwards and forwards slightly.
I'm using AF-C to compensate for slight movement of my hand...

All this said, fast primes seem to not be particularly consistent in this scenario perhaps due to their lower contrast. 2.8 zooms seem much more consistent.

Possibly, but that doesn't stop others from getting great results with primes, not to mention it's necessary to use f2 and higher due to lighting sometimes.



Apr 07, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #10 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)




So there is, seems to be a change from D3/D700

I'm using AF-C to compensate for slight movement of my hand...


The slight movement of your hand is probably smaller than the AF error

All this said, fast primes seem to not be particularly consistent in this scenario perhaps due to their lower contrast. 2.8 zooms seem much more consistent.

Possibly, but that doesn't stop others from getting great results with primes, not to mention it's necessary to use f2 and higher due to lighting sometimes.

People just delete the oof frames. If you are shooting with such shallow dof it is a fact of life with phase detect af.


Edited on Apr 07, 2013 at 02:31 PM · View previous versions


Apr 07, 2013 at 01:29 PM
 

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rffffffff
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p.1 #11 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


what lens are you using?

I find that on my 85 1.4D, at 1.4, the focus accuracy (AF fine tuning) changes requirements based on focal distance... If I am 10 feet from something and fine tune til its perfect, the af tune requirements are very different as I approach minimum focal distance. I usually leave it on single area, continuous focus, release priority and pop two or three shots as I very slowly lean in, kind of giving myself a little 'focus bracketing'... I do that with all cameras at 1.4 on the 85, though, its really habit now... keeper rate is not what it should be on any of them at 1.4 up close, but I shoot way too many frames and get what I need usually.



Apr 07, 2013 at 01:43 PM
m_appeal
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p.1 #12 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


Using the Sigma 35 f1.4 and Nikon 85 1.8 G.


Apr 07, 2013 at 02:00 PM
AllenM
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p.1 #13 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


If this is not allowed or offends anyone, please delete...

There's been a thread that's relevant to what you are referring to (AF-C focus behavior) over on DPR. You can find the relevant portion of the discussion here:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51239445

The pertinent points seem to be:

If AF-C release mode is set to Release or Release+Focus the camera will choose one of the adjacent focus points, snap to focus and fire.

In AF-C mode if the camera is set to focus release mode and you have chosen 9 or 21 point mode it will again seek a suitable focus target outside of your selected focus spot and fire.

In AF-C mode with single point and the release mode set to Focus the camera will NOT fire unless it finds a suitable focus target under the chosen focus spot.

Hope this helps...



Apr 07, 2013 at 02:05 PM
m_appeal
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p.1 #14 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


AllenM wrote:
In AF-C mode with single point and the release mode set to Focus the camera will NOT fire unless it finds a suitable focus target under the chosen focus spot.
.


Not in my experience... see the examples posted. Well I should say that the camera did find a target but it's not what's under that red square that's in focus.


Edited on Apr 07, 2013 at 02:13 PM · View previous versions



Apr 07, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #15 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


m_appeal wrote:
It depends on the subject... but I'm finding it's too jumpy on certain subjects and produces OOF shots. Did they fix your D800e?



I haven't used it a ton since it came back (I will be in the next few weeks), but it does seem much better. In the sample images you posted it does look like a consistency problem to me since one if front focused and the other is back focused.



Apr 07, 2013 at 02:12 PM
m_appeal
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p.1 #16 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


I don't know if I should send mine in... I suppose it can't be made worse (or can it?). The number of OOF shots I'm getting is way too high IMO.


Apr 07, 2013 at 02:24 PM
James R
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p.1 #17 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


m_appeal wrote:
Not in my experience... see the examples posted. Well I should say that the camera did find a target but it's not what's under that red square that's in focus.



Give the method mentioned a try. Nothing to lose. Also, do you need to shoot in AF-C mode when shooting portraits? I think Monkey's advice makes sense. That's how I shoot static scenes with the D800E before I moved to the D4.



Apr 07, 2013 at 03:45 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #18 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


trenchmonkey wrote:
Personally, I'd never use "focus priority" with AF-C on ANY NIkon body....
your words...
Try AF-S and single point if you insist on focus priority, just sayin'


Trench: Care to explain this? Focus priority in AF-C with spot focus seems to work okay on my D4 and D800 when subjects are moving. Having said that, most of my targets walk on 2 legs - they rarely run, and don't have wings



Apr 07, 2013 at 04:17 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #19 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


Sure, John. You can miss "the moment" waiting for focus to get off it's butt in AF-C.
99% of what I shoot moves, by letting release have the reins...you're odds increase
to nail that sucker as you raise the camera/lens. a1 gives you 3 choices
*Release
*Release & Focus
*Focus
Try 'em all, you'll see "Release" is by far the quickest responder. FWIW, other (a) settings directly impact
speed and accuracy of the AF as well as f2.8 glass and the # of AF points. I'd be glad to discuss this further
via PM or cell.



Apr 07, 2013 at 04:41 PM
AllenM
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p.1 #20 · D800 low hit rate with AF-C single point (focus priority, AF-ON only)


m_appeal wrote:
Not in my experience... see the examples posted. Well I should say that the camera did find a target but it's not what's under that red square that's in focus.


What selection did you have for a1: Release, Release + focus or Focus?
The reason I ask is because your explanation above from the thread info on DPReveiw sounds like were you in either Release or Release + focus.


BTW - are you the same m_appeal that interacted with michaeladawson in the DPReview thread mentioned? If so, sorry to be redundant. :-)



Apr 07, 2013 at 07:12 PM
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