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  1. #11
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    Quote Originally Posted by BackdoorHippie View Post
    Because I've run into this in more than one instance I need to clarify something that many people get wrong - AF-C S and AF-C d51 are both single point focus settings. So saying you "use single point focus" is a misnomer, or at least incomplete. The only difference between the two is how the focus point moves or tracks after locking. Before achieving focus both modes allow you to move the focus point within the viewfinder anywhere within the focus box so it can be used for the initial focus lock. After that is where the difference happens. With AF-C S you are required to keep that single point on the spot you want to remain focused, which I would posit is a near impossible task when handholding a big lens against a fast bird. With AF-C d51 (or any other dXX setting) after the focus point initially locks it is free to move within the set number of focus points to stay locked on the original spot. So if the bird is migrating north, south, east and/or west within the viewfinder the camera is going to try and keep the same part of the bird in focus.

    The problem in referring to the other modes as "non-single point" or worse yet "multi-point" is that it's not correct. Modes like Group or 3D are "multi-point" because they allow the camera's focusing system to choose the locked focus point from among multiple points. The camera may then lock on multiple points, but only because they are equidistant and all in focus. I can't tell you how many times I've seen questions that ask about using multi-point focus but "not being able to get multiple things in focus".

    If you understand the difference great, but perpetuating "single point" instead of saying "center point" (which is almost always the case) can cause a great deal of confusion.
    Oops. I need to go back and switch settings between AF-C S and AF-C d51 to see their differences because *I* am one who is perpetuating this misinformation. Thanks for pointing it out, Jake.


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  2. #12
    Senior Member

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    Quote Originally Posted by BackdoorHippie View Post
    Because I've run into this in more than one instance I need to clarify something that many people get wrong - AF-C S and AF-C d51 are both single point focus settings. So saying you "use single point focus" is a misnomer, or at least incomplete. The only difference between the two is how the focus point moves or tracks after locking. Before achieving focus both modes allow you to move the focus point within the viewfinder anywhere within the focus box so it can be used for the initial focus lock. After that is where the difference happens. With AF-C S you are required to keep that single point on the spot you want to remain focused, which I would posit is a near impossible task when handholding a big lens against a fast bird. With AF-C d51 (or any other dXX setting) after the focus point initially locks it is free to move within the set number of focus points to stay locked on the original spot. So if the bird is migrating north, south, east and/or west within the viewfinder the camera is going to try and keep the same part of the bird in focus.

    The problem in referring to the other modes as "non-single point" or worse yet "multi-point" is that it's not correct. Modes like Group or 3D are "multi-point" because they allow the camera's focusing system to choose the locked focus point from among multiple points. The camera may then lock on multiple points, but only because they are equidistant and all in focus. I can't tell you how many times I've seen questions that ask about using multi-point focus but "not being able to get multiple things in focus".

    If you understand the difference great, but perpetuating "single point" instead of saying "center point" (which is almost always the case) can cause a great deal of confusion.
    Iím a big fan of Steve Perry, Iíve bought two of his e-books n watched all his vids, but @BackdoorHippie, I think you got it just right. Thank you for that clarity. Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Woodyg3's Avatar

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    Dakota, there has been lots of good info provided here. The only thing I will add is that it takes practice to get good shots of birds in flight, race cars zooming past, etc. Don't be too concerned if you have some bad sets of shots. You'll get better.
    Woody Green

    Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

    D500, D7200, D7100, D70

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Danno's Avatar

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    Quote Originally Posted by BackdoorHippie View Post
    Because I've run into this in more than one instance I need to clarify something that many people get wrong - AF-C S and AF-C d51 are both single point focus settings. So saying you "use single point focus" is a misnomer, or at least incomplete. The only difference between the two is how the focus point moves or tracks after locking. Before achieving focus both modes allow you to move the focus point within the viewfinder anywhere within the focus box so it can be used for the initial focus lock. After that is where the difference happens. With AF-C S you are required to keep that single point on the spot you want to remain focused, which I would posit is a near impossible task when handholding a big lens against a fast bird. With AF-C d51 (or any other dXX setting) after the focus point initially locks it is free to move within the set number of focus points to stay locked on the original spot. So if the bird is migrating north, south, east and/or west within the viewfinder the camera is going to try and keep the same part of the bird in focus.

    The problem in referring to the other modes as "non-single point" or worse yet "multi-point" is that it's not correct. Modes like Group or 3D are "multi-point" because they allow the camera's focusing system to choose the locked focus point from among multiple points. The camera may then lock on multiple points, but only because they are equidistant and all in focus. I can't tell you how many times I've seen questions that ask about using multi-point focus but "not being able to get multiple things in focus".

    If you understand the difference great, but perpetuating "single point" instead of saying "center point" (which is almost always the case) can cause a great deal of confusion.

    BackdoorHippie, I did not say any of this. In fact, I only mention that I use single point and set my camera up using the video and the book by Steve Perry. I do set both my D700 and D7200 up with BBF and AF-C and I set AF point selection to AF51 and as Steve explains in the video and book I set mine up that way using a single point and only work up to the Dynamic area modes first 9 then 21 and rarely 51 because my experience has been just as Steve describes it in the latter part of the video. AF 9 or AF 11 I end up with wings instead of eyes in focus many times. But that is MY experience... and until NOW I did not share it.

    Now I use a Gimbal and a tripod when I rarely shoot the big lens, but I still find it better. I am not making up terms as you elude too in your reply. That is beneath me. I know I get confused when I try to get into too much detail so I point people to experts that I respect rather than allow my ego to get in the way.
    Dan~~Kentucky

    "The natural man must know in order to believe; The spiritual man must believe in order to know. " ~ Aiden Wilson Tozer ~ "The Dwelling Place of God"

    Nikon Z 6 Nikon D7200 w/Grip, Nikon D700 w/Grip, AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm/1.8G, Tamron 28-75, Tamron 70-200 F/2.8
    Yongnuo Speedlight YN568EX, Vanguard ALTA Pro 264AB Tripod, Vanguard
    SBH-100 ball head Beike Gimbal Head, ARCA Swiss B1 ball head

    https://www.dailywalkinthelight.com

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Woodyg3's Avatar

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    The problem is with Nikon's confusing focus mode terminology. You guys both know what you are talking about, it's all good.
    Thanks/Like Danno Thanks/liked this post
     
    Woody Green

    Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

    D500, D7200, D7100, D70

  6. #16
    Senior Member

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    BackdoorHippie, I did not say any of this. In fact, I only mention that I use single point and set my camera up using the video and the book by Steve Perry. ...
    Not accusing anyone of anything, I'm just trying to stamp out the misconception that dynamic-area autofocus is not "single-point", mainly because Nikon specifically labels one of the options in available in AF-C as just that but they all allow the selection of only one point. This leads people (like me until I really got it) to believe that selecting something other than S in would cause the camera to vary the AF point as it saw fit and not work with what I selected, therefore adopting the idea that it was somehow "multi-point" and not bothering to understand the concept (Canon's use of "multi-point" further exacerbating the misunderstanding).

    As with everything camera related, how you set things personally depend a lot on how you shoot. I would state unequivocally that well less than 1% of my wildlife shots are taken with a tripod, so my choices are greatly influenced by the fact that I'm handholding long glass with no specific target in mind until it comes to me, usually faster and more erratically than I could ever follow with a tripod head. That means 153 dynamic focus points on my D500, which does cause the point to migrate occasionally (something I make up for shooting at f7.1 or f8) and me to lose entire parts of larger birds as it gets very close or flies immediately overhead (something I make up for by shooting at 10fps in a calculated spray and pray methodology). For larger wildlife, waterfowl, and the like the ability to sweep a Gimbal head makes fewer focus points easier to deal with particularly when sweeping strictly horizontally with only minor up/down movement. The important thing to understand is how each combination of settings plays with each situation.
    Thanks/Like Woodyg3 Thanks/liked this post
     
    Jake

    The imitator is a poor kind of creature. If the man who paints only the tree, or flower, or other surface he sees before him were an artist, the king of artists would be the photographer. Ė James McNeill Whistler

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Texas's Avatar

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    I miss the old days when the photographer had to do some work, like focusing.

    Fun to use my manual focus lenses.
    D750, D90, D100, Nikon 1 J5
    (Once owned: EL, F2AS, D50, D200, D300s, and D7100)

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    mikew's Avatar

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas View Post
    I miss the old days when the photographer had to do some work, like focusing.

    Fun to use my manual focus lenses.
    Have to be honest i would struggle to find anything in the older gear that i miss
    Mike

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/7239177@N07/

    Olympus EM1MK11,Panasonic G80, 12-60mm, 60mm macro, Leica 100-400mm

    Nikon 1 V2,FT-1,10-30mm 30-110mm Viltrox extension tubes










  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Texas's Avatar

    Re: Focus points for tracking birds in flight or other fast moving objects ???

    The lenses were metal, felt good to focus...
    and they did not wobble

    there was no end of ground glass choices too

    you could even spray and pray with a motor drive, up to 36 exposures anyway
    Last edited by Texas; 05-04-2018 at 02:17 AM.
    D750, D90, D100, Nikon 1 J5
    (Once owned: EL, F2AS, D50, D200, D300s, and D7100)





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