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Archive 2013 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?
  
 
trenchmonkey
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p.6 #1 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?



Do you use AF-ON?
No, I never liked it 21 13%
Yes, it's the best thing since sliced bread 119 74%
I haven't tried it yet 21 13%
Total Votes 161 100%


Let's review: if just half of those that haven't "tried it" go with those of us who love it, yer lookin' at 80% Just sayin'



May 03, 2013 at 12:30 PM
BoneCounter
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p.6 #2 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


trenchmonkey wrote:
Let's review: if just half of those that haven't "tried it" go with those of us who love it, yer lookin' at 80% Just sayin'


I just set up a user profile on my D7000 to try out this AF-On technique. Always have found it cumbersome using the lock button. Hopefully I'll soon add myself to the "love it" ranks.



May 03, 2013 at 02:59 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.6 #3 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


Yeah, just give yourself some time with it. Takes a few days of dedication but you may find
it's that "slice o' bread" Key thing to remember if tracking...keep your thumb depressed
while taking the shot. I've found that's the biggest frustration when teaching AF-ON for
those new to the technique. GL



May 03, 2013 at 03:08 PM
binary visions
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p.6 #4 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


Especially if you're not new to photography and are very used to a way of doing things, it is a slightly weird/unnatural workflow.

I kept switching back on my D300 because it wasn't second nature yet, so I'd miss shots by quickly bringing my camera up to my eye and trying to focus with a half-press, then start fiddling with the camera assuming I had flipped the focus switch or something. Now that I'm comfortable with it, even though I've had a couple times where I'd initially half-press to focus, I immediately reach for the button rather than thinking something is wrong.



May 03, 2013 at 03:50 PM
tkhasawinah
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p.6 #5 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


The AF-ON button can really make a big difference for certain lenses. For example, with my Sigma 85 1.4 on my D800E, it likes to hunt for the focus too much resulting in the focus being slightly off when using the shutter release button to focus. It is really noticeable when shooting at an aperture of 1.4 with such a narrow depth of field. On the other hand, my Nikkor 70-200 2.8 vr II hits the focus instantly every time even when using the shutter release button to focus.


May 05, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Mark_L
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p.6 #6 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


tkhasawinah wrote:
The AF-ON button can really make a big difference for certain lenses. For example, with my Sigma 85 1.4 on my D800E, it likes to hunt for the focus too much resulting in the focus being slightly off when using the shutter release button to focus.


Interesting, I make sure NOT to use back button focus with this lens precisely because it likes to hunt for focus. I switch to AF-S and back to shutter release button focus so there is no delay between focusing and the shot being taken mitigating against my hand moving or my subject moving.



May 05, 2013 at 07:36 AM
Andre Labonte
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p.6 #7 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


Mark_L wrote:
Interesting, I make sure NOT to use back button focus with this lens precisely because it likes to hunt for focus. I switch to AF-S and back to shutter release button focus so there is no delay between focusing and the shot being taken mitigating against my hand moving or my subject moving.



Right, and the AF-C vs. AF-S switch is right by the left thumb making it very easy to switch quickly if need by.

I do find that for static subjects, AF-S works better with screw drive and macro lenses. With AFS lenses, it does not matter much.



May 06, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.6 #8 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


Ignoring the needless insults and rude commentary, I'll add my 2 cents.

I rarely use the AF-On button, mainly because it wouldn't activate VR. After a few decades of photography, I've grown accustomed to doing the half press, which does activate VR, which I find very useful, especially when trying to track moving subjects.

Using both the AF-On and shutter release buttons, requires a certain level of manual dexterity and the ability to do different things with different fingers on the same hand. That can cause issues, such as not smoothly releasing the shutter. Given enough time and practice, I suspect that most folks could learn to overcome that and other issues.

I recognize that there are certain situations in which using AF-On could be beneficial to the user. Those times are usually when I take the time to move focus to the AF-On button, for my own use, if I have the time to do so.

Otherwise, for the vast majority of shoots, I see no problem not using AF-On. I am not a fan of focus and recompose and only do that when I have no other choice.

None of this means that others are wrong for using AF-On. As I see it, it's a personal preference thing. The fact that many "pros" use it, means that they handle their cameras enough that they've learned to use it to their advantage, meaning that they don't have to stop and change the settings like I do. Perhaps they don't care that VR isn't activated by the AF-On button on most bodies. Again, that's a personal preference.

Personally, if all of my bodies activated VR with the AF-On button and I could then make the shutter release button more sensitive, easier to fire, then I'd probably change my habits. Until then, I'll continue to use the shutter button for the majority of my shooting. It works just fine for me. I certainly don't think that others should follow my lead.

It's not a right or wrong thing, IMO. Like most anything else in photography, use whatever technique works best for you.

Kerry



May 06, 2013 at 09:41 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.6 #9 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


I rarely use the AF-On button, mainly because it wouldn't activate VR.
Kerry, the D4/D800/D800e/D600/D7100 ALL activate VR with AF-ON (AE-L/AF-L) button!




May 06, 2013 at 09:53 PM
binary visions
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p.6 #10 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


Interesting, Kerry, I didn't realize AF-On didn't activate VR on some camera bodies. It does on my D7100.

One of the things I like about it, though, is I can keep VR active without having to engage focus. I still use the half-press function of the shutter button for both VR and metering, just not for the function of engaging focus.



May 06, 2013 at 10:11 PM
 

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James R
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p.6 #11 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


I have found that shooting an event at low apertures can be problematic with AF-ON. Losing critical focus happens due to general movement of people. Usually, you will be shooting at an higher aperture, but in low light this can bite you. Generally, I use half-press when shooting events.

Re. VR: The D4 does activate VR, which I personally don't like. I would rather it only be activated when I press the shutter, after I have acquired focus. I prefer a menu option to assign "VR on" to the AF-On button. Best of both worlds.



May 06, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Kerry Pierce
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p.6 #12 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


I rarely use the AF-On button, mainly because it wouldn't activate VR.

trenchmonkey wrote:
Kerry, the D4/D800/D800e/D600/D7100 ALL activate VR with AF-ON (AE-L/AF-L) button!


doh? Really?

So what? I have a d800, d3s, d300, d700, d7k and d5100 at my disposal. As I said, *IF* all of my cameras activated VR with the AF-On button, I'd probably change my habits.

Until such a time that there are no Nikon users with cameras of generations that don't activate VR, it's not a doh moment.

thanks
Kerry



May 07, 2013 at 01:27 AM
BigIronCruiser
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p.6 #13 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


I had never given AF-ON much thought until Monkey enlightened me a few weeks ago relative to AF-C, AF points and AF-ON. His success can be contagious, and now I'm wondering why I waited so long. YMMV.


May 07, 2013 at 01:47 AM
rd4tile
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p.6 #14 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


You know you've mastered the AF ON button when your thumb is sore at the end of a shoot! (or if you can't stop pressing it while using a MF lens)


May 07, 2013 at 01:50 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.6 #15 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


it's not a doh moment.
My bad, I'm thinking the was for someone having a D800 and perhaps not knowing how it works.



May 07, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Kerry Pierce
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p.6 #16 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


it's not a doh moment.

trenchmonkey wrote:
My bad, I'm thinking the was for someone having a D800 and perhaps not knowing how it works.


No problem, Will. For me, it's hard enough to switch between bodies with their vastly different controls and UI, without having to deal with the differences of the AF-On.

I've always complained about it not activating VR and I'm happy that they finally fixed it. It will just be a while before I can make use of it.

thanks
Kerry



May 07, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Jason_Brook
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p.6 #17 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


I've been trying it out myself for the past few days. Terribly awkward at first and a lot of what the hell why won't it focus moments. I think I'm getting used to it, but I don't know if it'll stick.

I tried a couple years ago for about five minutes and said lol nope.



May 07, 2013 at 04:49 PM
ScottHM
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p.6 #18 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


I"ve tried going back to not using AF-On a few times and it just felt strange. Found myself firing off shots when I didn't mean to, it was actually harder getting used to not doing that then it was for me to get used to using AF-on


May 08, 2013 at 02:56 AM
HauntedHat
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p.6 #19 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


Is there some kind of tutorial/videos/something I can read that teach me how to properly use AF-ON on my D300? I've tried using it, but I haven't seen anything near as amazing as you guys say, so I guess I'm really not getting it.


May 09, 2013 at 06:04 PM
binary visions
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p.6 #20 · Oh, AF-ON... where have you been all my life?


I don't know what a tutorial would say... you press AF-On to focus instead of the shutter. I have my focus set up for 9-point, AF-C.

Maybe it would help if you could clarify what you mean by "haven't seen anything [amazing]"? AF-On doesn't focus any better, it's a method of using your camera, and I find that, now that I'm used to it, it's a much more efficient method of using my camera.



May 09, 2013 at 06:38 PM
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