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A simple question...

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Donzo98, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Donzo98


    Nov 10, 2005
    Merrick, NY
    I usually shoot portraits of the kids and non moving things. I usually use AF-S, center point and recompose.

    I wanted to know what settings I should be using for simple action stuff like this shot of my daughter. Obviously AF-C... but what else?? What F stop?

  2. Yes to AF-S. To get the background in focus, I would use ƒ/8 to ƒ/11. You will have to bump up the ISO to obtain faster shutter speeds for action shots.

  3. Hi Don.

    It depends on what you want to show. If the background is important, I agree to f/8 to f/11.

    If you prefer to isolate your subject from a blurred background, open the aperture to 5.6 or wider (= smaller number like 4.5 or 2.8). This is also a good way to shorten the shutter speeds.

    Keeping in mind that most lenses are not the best wide open, try to open them not fully (e. g. using f/3.5 on a f/2.8-lens).


  4. Donzo98


    Nov 10, 2005
    Merrick, NY
    You guys use AF-S for action?? I would think AF-C would be the way to go.
  5. in theory, don..... you HAVE to use CONTINUOUS focus to get THIS 'job' done
    but.... maybe the firmware 2.00 upgrade has helped... but, before that, my D3 didn't like AF-C, at all

    the focus on AF-S works very quickly, especially in 'favorable' light

    make sure you have the setting on shutter release only with focus lock
    then shoot with AF-S
    give that a try
    i bet it will work out well

    remember.... no 1/2 way shutter pressure
    and not AF-ON button use
    just depress the shutter release in one motion so the camera focuses and takes an image

    of course, the pro sport shooters wouldn't agree with this
    but.... the D3 and continuous focusing... something with it that makes no sense to me
  6. Donzo98


    Nov 10, 2005
    Merrick, NY
    WOW... very interesting. I always do the half press thing. I didn't even realize I could focus accurately using a one press method.

    AF-C just makes more sense. Almost everything I have read says that is the way to go.
  7. pressing half-way is fine for STATIONARY objects (when using AF-S)
    i have used the AF-ON button for AF-C images on my D3 and 200/2 and 70-200 with "varied" results

    i have NOT repeated my own personal tests since the 2.00 firmware upgrade, however
  8. MMarz


    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Don, I have different take on this..

    I have been shooting my daughters swim meets as well..She swims for Unqua Corynthian Yacht Club in Amityville. Shooting an "away" meet tonight in Biltmore Shores..

    I find AF-C with AF set to decouple from the shutter release and assigned to the AF-On button works best for me, Single or 9pt active AF points. (This is another case of "More is Less"...More competing subjects = Less active AF Points"). Center Weighted or Matrix.

    I know there is a lot of debate over the AF-On technique for Action/Sports, but for me it's the same shooting wildlife... and the technique is either blip AF-On then release, blip again then release, or stay on the AF-On button and release as needed, with the latter giving you essentially the same technique Greg is describing (with the addition of full AF-C as needed..best of both worlds IMHO).

    Choosing f8 or better helps to bring the competition in the next lane into focus; Out of pool shots can get cluttered with all the kids, coaches, parents, fences, umbrella's and chairs, so f/2.8 - 4.0 help to isollate. Your D3 will allow you a high enough ISO to get a complimentary shutter speed, but I find it a delicate balancing act, sort of like shooting an air show..you want a fast enough shutter speed to freeze your subject, but slow enough to allow the for prop blur (or water to blur in this case)..otherwise it looks very un-natural to me.

    Also, for swimming competitions, make sure you have Focus Tracking with Lock-On (CSM-B3) set to at least Short or every splash of water will tempt AF to reacquire.
  9. that is an EXCELLENT point... thank you
  10. MMarz


    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Every now and then I come up with something worth while... :redface:

  11. Actually, I typed AF-S by accident. I ment to type AF-C.

    Interesting replies about using AF-S for action as I didn't know about that either.

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