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A visual example of AF4 set to on

Discussion in 'Birds' started by bfjr, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    I have finally gotten a crasp on this paticular custom setting, and reading around the net there seems to be quite a bit of confusion about it.

    While shooting this weekend with AF4 on I managed a shot of a JuviNH that I thinks gives a good example of this function. While tracking this bird I acheived focus lock (AFC) then he headed straight for cover as you can seen focus stayed locked on the bird even though my last shot was covered by reeds between me and my subject. As I have come to understand this function without AF4 set to on auto focus would of lost lock and began hunting again.

    Here is the shot;

    If I'm wrong someone straighten me out and if not I hope it helps others. I know it seemed to bring it home to me.
  2. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    You have it exactly correct. It is intended for those instances when your subject moves in front of or behind something else.

    No...it won't work if the subject flies behind a solid wall and stays there :) 
  3. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Oh darn I was so hoping :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
  4. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Thanks Ben. I have another question which I would really someone who has birds in flight to test. It seems to me that having a4 ON would have another benefit. As you track a bird, if you let the bird get off the main focus point (for me always the center one) and then get the bird back on the point quickly, you shouldn't lose focus. Otherwise the instant you let the bird move off the point, the focusing mechanism would start trying to focus on the background. If this is right, it would be a very helpful feature.

  5. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I agree with your conclusion on this and with Jim. I also agree with Gordon. When I turn this off, my D2H tends to hunt immediately if I get off of the target when tracking flying birds. I've tried it both ways, and much prefer leaving this setting ON (which means that you do not disable lock on -- weird :confused: ).
  6. All this brings up another question for me. That is Single Area AF or Dynamic Area AF.

    With A4 on, what about the effect of dynamic Area AF, where focus is initally determined with the selected point, but could be picked up by any of the other focus areas?

    It seems that it will do as instructed, and could switch focus points, leaving you tracking with a different focus point, and losing focus.

    Any thoughts on what the focus delay might do?
  7. radz


    Nov 12, 2005
    Ben:your observation is correct.
    I was trying this Pelican shot,it was very far ,i was testing how sharp i can get,i focusd eyes,did panning AF-ON it works.
    I was surprised D lens VR80-400mm also I got FAST AF.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  8. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    I think Gordon this scenario you describe has more to do with which of the 4 AF modes you use. When shooting BIF I stick mainly to Dynamic Area. In this mode all sensors are active and you can pick your main one (usually the center one) as the bird moves you track if it the leaves the center one he will be picked up by one of the other (11) sensors. There does seem to be a Catch22 here. That is if you dropped the shutter before or after your subject has either entered or left one of the AF sensors focus will be lost.
    I have checked several sequences of shots in NC (show focus point) and notice that the above seems to hold true.

    AF4 set on should work as designed in all 4 of the AF modes however.

    There was an excellent article at this link:

    However I checked this morning and the link did not work.
    In the article he says that by leaving AF4 on the AF system is much smarter, so basically your answer is yes.

    Direct quote from Digital Darrel article:

    Since Dyanmic Area AF is truly dynamic, it sees any high-contrast subject in any of the 11 focus areas as fair game for auto-focusing upon, even though you have a different sensor selected with the thumb switch. It doesn't matter if the new subject is in front of or behind the subject. By leaving custom setting a4 set to ON, the D2.. is much smarter and tracks your real subject until it leaves the frame, or you take the picture.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  9. Ben, out of curiosity, how long did it take to retrain yourself to use AF-On? Frank had me try it on his D2h back in May and I struggled as it felt so foreign. Of course I only had my D2x for about 10 days when I met them so I was still very green. I think I need to migrate soon before birding season really kicks in. Don't think I will this weekend as Harry promises eagles @ Viera! :wink:
  10. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Actually Kevin no time at all since I've been using AF-on button from the very 1st day I owned my Hs. My suggestion would be to set your camera up that way, I don't think it should take long to become accustomed to it.

    It really is the only way to FLY!!

    Be sending you good thoughts and wishes that you nail an Eagle or two!
  11. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Ben & Kev,

    I couldn't agree more. The first thing that Ron did to my D2H when he got here last year was to move the AF activation to the AF-ON button. It took about 30 minutes to become totally comfortable with it, and I can't imagine shooting any other way now. I even had my D70 set up that way. :smile:

  12. Well, you were right about shooting manual.....guess I'll have to give in to this one too and try it out. Sometimes being a creature of habit is a bad thing! :rolleyes: 
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