Possible faulty AF, or am I expecting too much?

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#81
should be constantly 'changing' whether using BBF or half shutter press,

Not really, Toby. In AF-C, if the BBF is activated and the SR deactivated,
the AF will follow continuously; but the SR will interrupt the AF and refo-
cus at every actuation. This will slow down focus acquisition.
 
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Gil Bev
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#82
Ah ok, so if you use shutter release button to focus and shoot, the AF-C doesn't operate between releases unlike BBF?
 

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#83
Ah ok, so if you use shutter release button to focus and shoot, the AF-C doesn't operate between releases unlike BBF?
I'm not competent to join in a discussion concerning the minutiae of Nikon AF behaviour, *but* I think you need to be a bit more precise about that word "use" if you want a meaningful answer. What *exactly* are you doing or proposing to do with the shutter release button?
 
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#84
If it's set to AF-C focus should be constantly 'changing' whether using BBF or half shutter press, or do you mean the shutter release on focus setting?
I had one of my D7??? s set on focus priority but when i used BBF it ignored this, it was a long time ago so if there was some other reason i have forgotten it.
 

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#85
Ah ok, so if you use shutter release button to focus and shoot, the AF-C doesn't operate between releases unlike BBF?

I know that AF-C, when set on the BBF, is really continuous while the
delay is no shorter than 3 as when dropping the target.
 
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#86
I had one of my D7??? s set on focus priority but when i used BBF it ignored this, it was a long time ago so if there was some other reason i have forgotten it.
All Nikons ignore the release priority setting by default... this is what allows BBF to be really beneficial IMO.
It allows you to set the camera to AF-C and then have immediate access to all three focus modes.
Press/hold= AF-C
Press/release= AF-S
Don't press= Manual

The camera does actually observe the AF-C release priority setting w/ BBF, but only for the initial AF acquisition after powering on... after that, the requirement has been met until the camera is reset. TBH, I don't know if the camera going into standby resets it as well. The only way to observe this behavior is to be certain the AF system can't focus on *anything* before you ever activate it.
The newer Nikons w/ the 153pt system have an additional setting buried in the menu that allows you to change that. But it's not where you might think, it's a secondary setting for the AF-On only (BBF) option. If you set it to "out of focus release > disable," it disables the ability to focus/recompose with the AF-S/Manual Focus behaviors. I'm pretty certain this still isn't the AF-C priority setting (i.e. release/release+focus/focus+release),and is just a on/off type setting... there's no explanation in the manual.
 
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#87
All Nikons ignore the release priority setting by default... this is what allows BBF to be really beneficial IMO.
It allows you to set the camera to AF-C and then have immediate access to all three focus modes.
Press/hold= AF-C
Press/release= AF-S
Don't press= Manual

The camera does actually observe the AF-C release priority setting w/ BBF, but only for the initial AF acquisition after powering on... after that, the requirement has been met until the camera is reset. TBH, I don't know if the camera going into standby resets it as well. The only way to observe this behavior is to be certain the AF system can't focus on *anything* before you ever activate it.
The newer Nikons w/ the 153pt system have an additional setting buried in the menu that allows you to change that. But it's not where you might think, it's a secondary setting for the AF-On only (BBF) option. If you set it to "out of focus release > disable," it disables the ability to focus/recompose with the AF-S/Manual Focus behaviors. I'm pretty certain this still isn't the AF-C priority setting (i.e. release/release+focus/focus+release),and is just a on/off type setting... there's no explanation in the manual.
So are you saying that if you set AF-C to focus so that it will (in theory) only take shots that are in focus this is ignored if you use BBF therefore it will just release the shutter regardless? Why have they done this, what's the benefit. If like me you set it to focus as you don't want a load of OOF shots (or the possibility of that) then I'd want that in all modes.
 
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#88
I take it Nikons don't work like canon re half shutter button press.
I set my canon to ai-servo and it constantly adjusts focus if I or the subject move when holding the shutter at half press.

It is possible I don't understand the question though.
 
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#89
Ah ok, so if you use shutter release button to focus and shoot, the AF-C doesn't operate between releases unlike BBF?
Yes and no... if you maintain the half press of the shutter button AF-C continues to operate. The other benefit of using BBF is that it prevents you from interrupting AF activation/tracking by inadvertently over-releasing the shutter button.

I use a remote release a lot, so I seldom ever use the AF-On only setting... what I wish the AF-On button could do is actually switch the camera into AF-C with the release button being in AF-S normally. I have the AF-on button assigned as AE/AF lock on my D5.
 
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#90
So are you saying that if you set AF-C to focus so that it will (in theory) only take shots that are in focus this is ignored if you use BBF therefore it will just release the shutter regardless? Why have they done this, what's the benefit. If like me you set it to focus as you don't want a load of OOF shots (or the possibility of that) then I'd want that in all modes.
Because if they hadn't done that you couldn't use the AF-S and Manual focus behaviors for focus and recompose while using AF-C BBF.
 
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#91
Because if they hadn't done that you couldn't use the AF-S and Manual focus behaviors for focus and recompose while using BBF.
D’oh of course :facepalm:
 
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#92
I take it Nikons don't work like canon re half shutter button press.
I set my canon to ai-servo and it constantly adjusts focus if I or the subject move when holding the shutter at half press.

It is possible I don't understand the question though.
Nikon do work like that too, but we’re discussing BBF (back button focussing) (y)
 
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#93
But that's also why they added the extra setting for the newer cameras, to address your concern.

However, IME setting AF-C to any kind of focus requirement can notably *reduce* the number of keepers when photographing action. There are a lot of times where the AF point get's off momentarily but the subject is still in focus/within the DOF... so it's kind of a tradeoff; have to sort through more OOF images in order to have the chance at more keepers, or less of both.
 
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#94
But that's also why they added the extra setting for the newer cameras, to address your concern.

However, IME setting AF-C to any kind of focus requirement can notably *reduce* the number of keepers when photographing action. There are a lot of times where the AF point get's off momentarily but the subject is still in focus/within the DOF... so it's kind of a tradeoff; have to sort through more OOF images in order to have the chance at more keepers, or less of both.


Exactly this, I want the shutter to work when I press the button, not when the camera see's fit, for birds that is.
 
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#95
Not really, Toby. In AF-C, if the BBF is activated and the SR deactivated,
the AF will follow continuously; but the SR will interrupt the AF and refo-
cus at every actuation. This will slow down focus acquisition.
Pretty much saying the same thing that I said ;)
 

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#97
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#98
Nikon do work like that too, but we’re discussing BBF (back button focussing) (y)
Now I know I don't understand.
I can do bbf but can't get to grips with why.
My camera continues to autofocus throughout burst shooting so what's the benefit of pressing two buttons as opposed to one?

I'm confused.com
 
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#99
Now I know I don't understand.
I can do bbf but can't get to grips with why.
My camera continues to autofocus throughout burst shooting so what's the benefit of pressing two buttons as opposed to one?

I'm confused.com
With BBF you press and hold that to continuously AF and then press the shutter button to take the shot. If you don’t use BBF then the shutter half press focuses whilst full press takes the shot, just like every other digital camera I know (y)
 
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what's the benefit of pressing two buttons as opposed to one?

Two different functions performed by two different buttons
permit both functions to work independently from the other. :cool:
 
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Now I know I don't understand.
I can do bbf but can't get to grips with why.
My camera continues to autofocus throughout burst shooting so what's the benefit of pressing two buttons as opposed to one?

I'm confused.com
Depends on the camera/settings as to what is going on. If your camera has a dedicated AF-on button then the default behavior is that both the shutter release and the AF-on activate AF.

Back in post 86 I identified the primary benefit of BBF (AF-on only), IMO it is instant access to all three focus modes. Secondary benefits are that it prevents you from inadvertently interrupting AF/tracking should you over-release the shutter button (poor technique), and it separates exposure metering from AF function (depending on camera/settings).

Personally, I seldom ever use BBF. I tend to use AE/AF-lock instead (pressing a second button only when it's required)... but that's probably because I don't do a lot of event type photography.
 
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I'm guessing in the film days they didn't have BBF?
Here’s a thing, for most of my film days, I had no AF.

So I never associated a shutter button with AF. When I started using AF, I was frustrated by the shutter release having another function. My preference is to keep the shutter and AF as 2 distinctly separate functions, and BBF gives me just that.
 
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Well with the advice I've had on this thread, I'm much happier with the results I've been able to achieve. I'll be using a tripod from now on - and I've picked up a cheap remote shutter which has helped too. I turned on AF on half shutter press (previously shooting BBF) in order to be able to use the remote shutter release without holding the camera body.

Here are the results I've been able to get which is a long way ahead of what I was getting before. The heron is even further away this time.

Original frame


HSC_6665_JPEG QuickProof (sRGB) 1
by Gilbo B, on Flickr

Cropped to approx 100%


HSC_6665_full
by Gilbo B, on Flickr
 
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use the remote shutter release without holding the camera body.

I would not recommend that!

Using two hands on the combo will dampen waaaay better
any vibration and up the speed of your readiness.
 
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I would not recommend that!

Using two hands on the combo will dampen waaaay better
any vibration and up the speed of your readiness.
Interesting, I've never used a tripod and fast shutter speeds so wasn't aware of this (y) I only use tripod for slow shutter stuff in which case a 'hands off' approach definitely yields better results.
 
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The thing about having a grip on the gear is you can steady it against wind or depending where your shooting vibration from vehicles which you may not notice but the camera will.
 

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Interesting, I've never used a tripod and fast shutter speeds so wasn't aware of this (y) I only use tripod for slow shutter stuff in which case a 'hands off' approach definitely yields better results.

Your reply is correct in every way, Toby, but it does not cover
the use of heavy long lenses I would not operate handheld
for long hours.

As my 600 ƒ4 / D850 combo is on the gimbal, it is held at the
centre of gravity… by an arch-swiss type plate. This is the best
system at this time though it will not eliminate any vibrations.
One hand on the camera, the other on the lens shade and the
anchoring on the gimbal will.
 
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Your reply is correct in every way, Toby, but it does not cover
the use of heavy long lenses I would not operate handheld
for long hours.

As my 600 ƒ4 / D850 combo is on the gimbal, it is held at the
centre of gravity… by an arch-swiss type plate. This is the best
system at this time though it will not eliminate any vibrations.
One hand on the camera, the other on the lens shade and the
anchoring on the gimbal will.
I'm not lucky enough to own or have used a tele prime but I'm surprised you can use it handheld at all. The heaviest lens I have is the Tamron 150-600mm which is 1.9kg. I use this exclusively handheld but I don't think I'd be able to hold anything much heavier than that still enough tbh.
 

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I'm surprised you can use it handheld at all.

Sure… HULK is my middle name! :D:D:D

Seriously, I will shoot handheld for very short bursts at high SS
and that means plenty of light available, please… then I'll be
happy to set it back on the gimbal. Mind you, walking around
with the combo hanging at the end of the arm is no problem. :cool:
 
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I would not recommend that!

Using two hands on the combo will dampen waaaay better
any vibration and up the speed of your readiness.
IMO, this is a mixed bag type of thing... If you are touching the camera you ARE causing vibrations/movement. Especially with an unlocked head like a gimbal... that's why I much prefer a fluid damped head for this type of stuff. However, if there are external vibrations being transmitted to the camera, then being hands on can dampen those. You are basically making a choice between faster higher frequency vibrations which resonate in the tripod/head/camera, or slower lower frequency vibrations caused by you.
I will use a remote release for this kind of stuff when it's suitable (like photographing owls in the nest and other slow/stationary things).

I'm not lucky enough to own or have used a tele prime but I'm surprised you can use it handheld at all.
I *handhold a 400/2.8 all of the time; usually with a 2x TC on a D5... I use a rifle mount I developed/produce (SharpShooter Camera Mount). But the combo weighs over 15lbs/7kg and is still hard to hold freehand for any length of time. And I'm getting old/broken, so I've started combining it with a monopod more often.
 
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Unfortunately I'm not as big and strong as you guys, my arms could not possibly hold my combo still before getting tired quickly and drooping / shaking. I put it down to working in an office all my life, and not visiting the gym!! I need some support with either a monopod or tripod. With the monopod, it was extremely hard to keep the lens steady, and even trying very hard, the bird would be jumping in the frame. That's maybe why my results were so poor

With the above situation, with the tripod and remote shutter release, everything was completely still - no perceivable movement at all, certainly less movement compared to just touching / holding my camera - but it was a very still day.

Perhaps I need to practise how I stand, and how I hold my equipment. Is there any videos anywhere with the correct stoop / posture over your camera and tripod?

I find my gimbal doesn't offer a dampened experience - it's not oil dampened. I have the Lensmaster RH-2. I can tighten it down, and there will be resistance when moving the camera. I'm wondering if there is a lighter option out there that is fluid dampened.
 
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Unfortunately I'm not as big and strong as you guys, my arms could not possibly hold my combo still before getting tired quickly and drooping / shaking. I put it down to working in an office all my life, and not visiting the gym!! I need some support with either a monopod or tripod. With the monopod, it was extremely hard to keep the lens steady, and even trying very hard, the bird would be jumping in the frame. That's maybe why my results were so poor

With the above situation, with the tripod and remote shutter release, everything was completely still - no perceivable movement at all, certainly less movement compared to just touching / holding my camera - but it was a very still day.

Perhaps I need to practise how I stand, and how I hold my equipment. Is there any videos anywhere with the correct stoop / posture over your camera and tripod?

I find my gimbal doesn't offer a dampened experience - it's not oil dampened. I have the Lensmaster RH-2. I can tighten it down, and there will be resistance when moving the camera. I'm wondering if there is a lighter option out there that is fluid dampened.
If you have doubts, you can only really test stuff like this - i.e. using remote with hands off, hands on, on a tripod, with Mu etc., using your RH-2, if you put a set up together, i.e.the Spyderlenscal, that you have just bought, and check the results on your computer - it's really easy to see any "errors"
 
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I find with the sigma 150-600 c, that i can really see the difference instantly (in the viewfinder) if i have OS turn on or off. Mine is on 90% of the time.

I know, tripod, hand off, remote, target... is the best. But if you don't have that, have the camera on a stable support like a stone wall or on hard ground, use 2 seconds timer and focus on a fix target that as already remove 99% of the error and vibration possible!
 
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A very simple test with a long lens is to put it on a tripod, max focal length and live-view at max magnification. Then, in anything other than still conditions, just watch the image dance around. The slightest amount of wind buffet can be alarming, or the lightest tap on a tripod leg. Take the lens hood off, that can help!

Then put a hand on the camera, and things will often improve. Hold the lens as well and with a good steady hand (takes some practise) the extra damping and support can make things better again. Try this with image stabilisation both on and off. Different systems can vary, but I always have stabilisation on except at the highest shutter speeds (like above 1/2000sec).

My preferred support with a long lens is a tripod plus gimbal mount, while holding the camera, but I can get pretty close to that with a monopod and it's obviously way more convenient.

Edit: A few birders on here have taken to the new fluid-damped Gitzo gimbal, as Steven sk66 mentions. I've not used it, but a reduction in high-frequency vibration makes sense.
 
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