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AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.

  
 
CanonShooter88
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.


Hi All - Which / how many AF points or zones do you use when photographing sports?

Back in my earlier years, I used single-point exclusively.

Now with all the newer tech available, the latest DSLRs have 150+ AF points and the latest mirrorless cameras have 900+ AF points.

I just got back into sports photography after 10 years of not touching a camera, so I'm curious as to what you all are doing now

NOTE: The big concept I'm trying to understand is if you choose 4-9 points (really, any option more than 1 point), do the cameras frequently latch onto subjects you don't want them to and you miss shots, esp. in sports like basketball, football, and soccer?

Thanks in advance for helping me get up to speed with the more modern times



Nov 22, 2022 at 08:28 PM
abeese
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.


I pretty much shoot single point or 9 point (nikon)


Nov 23, 2022 at 05:23 AM
CanonShooter88
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.


abeese wrote:
I pretty much shoot single point or 9 point (nikon)


@abeese - When do you differentiate between Single Point vs. 9 Point? Does 9 Point ever grab the wrong player?



Nov 24, 2022 at 02:09 PM
schlotz
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.


Comes down to simple logic. Example: shooting a soccer match. There are two in the middle of the action fighting for ball possession, different jersey colors providing varied contrast and using expanded spot AF. Expanded spot allows the camera to decide what to lock on. This can easily result in a defender being locked on to vs the offense player who is the intended target. Add to the equation the action is relatively close (filling the frame) and you're shooting at É2.8 and the intended result can be OOF.

There is no silver bullet to replace the lack of solid shooting technique, especially for one of the more difficult sports such as soccer. The ability of the photographer to manually place and keep a single focal point on the intended target is the key to capturing peak action. It takes practice and a lot of it. Sports that are more individually based like tennis, golf, tack, and baseball lend themselves better to using expanded AF points but even there I personally don't want the camera in charge of making decisions. BTW, my cameras are always in manual mode for shutter and ap. JMTC



Nov 25, 2022 at 08:38 AM
 


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Resqu2
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.


I wish Iíd seen this post earlier and tried single point when shooting my first basketball game. Iím using a Canon R6 and choose the smallest box and put it in the middle of the screen. I still missed focus on several great plays because the camera would grab something I didnít want.


Nov 25, 2022 at 11:52 AM
wcj0
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.


not really sure if this link will work but we'll see. I've been shooting Kids sports and some pro sports for about 10 yrs. On my 1Dx's i usually shot single point focus with 4 additional points around it. I always track my subjects and use back button focus. when i swithced to the Canon R3 i usually use singlecenter point or once again choose the 4 outer ajacent points. I shut off auto tracking and anything else that tries to do the job for me especially in soccer and lacross. I track everyone i try to shoot manually and i can care less about the eyes because the action is so intense i just want the shot. I included the link to one of my latest shoots, but i don't know if it will work. all these were shot with the Canon 100-400 version 1 because i can push and pull alot faster than turning a ring to lock on my subject and go from one side of the field to the other. Hope this helps. Jeff

https://j-dcreativephotography.smugmug.com/Comsewogue-HS-Boys-Varsity-Game-10182022/n-J8QkXW/



Nov 25, 2022 at 03:05 PM
CanonShooter88
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.


Thanks everyone!
Appreciate the sample images & explanation, @wcj0!



Nov 26, 2022 at 12:32 AM
wcj0
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · AF Points: Single Point, 4 Point, 9 Point, etc.


hope this helps


Nov 26, 2022 at 07:47 AM







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