D2X - the quandry of Focus Tracking.....and I'm still .....

Joined
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fence-sitting.

The focus tracking issue is now, for me, at least as important as the High-ISO performance. I found this on Rob Galbraith:

http://forums.robgalbraith.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=UBB1&Number=352461&page=0&fpart=all

It is appearing to me that the D2X is superb when you can fill the frame with your subject for focus tracking, but that it screws up when the frame is dominated by something other than your subject, like a dinky little bird. Does that seem consistent with what you are all seeing, and I am hearing? Anyone found any specific "cure" for this, other than waiting/hoping for a firmware fix to the algorithm for AF? Is this the case even when you limit your AF to a single focus-point?

Thanks,
 
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Bill

A dinky little bird isn't going to screw up your focus...BUT...if it's the dinky little bird that you're trying to acquire as the subject (medium birds and large birds that are less than 1/2 the frame) in my opinion are a totally different issue.

Ron R has posted than he's had issues, especially with "busy" backgrounds...that he's actually provided info to the folks in Japan regarding this issue and that while he has no official info or time frame, that he's expecting a firmware update relative to this.

From my experience shooting birds with the H (3 bodies) and the X (2 bodies) and a borrowed Hs the H was substantially better at both acquisition, tracking and overall focusing moving sunjects....especially where any type of background other than a clear sky is present.

In the majority of instances, my particular camera will NEVER acquire the intended subject and may not even grab the background....it will simply refuse to focus in these instances.

Lastly, this is consisitent even when using a single focus point (center) in AF-C

This is why the majority of my flight shots are currently against the sky.
 
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Hi Paul

I would agree that subject contrast is SOMETIMES an issue, however, a big white egrett against a totally green background of trees a .25 miles distance and the camera won't grab focus on anything at all. And this was in great light with the bird really lit well.
 
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Andreas Berglund
I agree with Jim that focus tracking pretty much never works when you have small subject agains dark or busy backgrounds. I have a a new 300 F2.8 VR that is a wowderful sharp lens, just don't try to track any birds with it!

As for Nikons silence on this issue: "What we have here is a failure to communicate"
 
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Hi Andreas

Hazy backgrounds are just as bad as dark ones I've found.

A bright blue sky is the only way that I can get a cosistent lock and tracking.

Too bad the sky isn't bright blue most of the summer!
 
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Thanks for confirming what I THOUGHT I understood. When I read the thread at Galbraith two things struck me right off. The first was how well the focus tracking appeared to be working for these folks. The second was "big subject filling frame". I think I will concentrate my next round of testing on the High ISO issues as well as just general "sharpness" comparisons between the D2X and my D2H. And I hope that Ron is on the right track in thinking that Nikon is working to sort this out. Too bad there isn't a way to drop the D2H tracking algorithm in for a test.

As to Blue Skies, ours are gorgeous here right now. But then we have to remember that we get more "gray days" here than anywhere, well, maybe not more than the UK :wink:
 
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