D700 Sport Settings?

Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
408
Location
Sugar Land (Houston)
Hello,
If you don't mind helping, I need a little help!
I have read my D700 manual several times, I have read every forum, I have seen every video to focus on sport, but still don't know what is the best way to shoot! Because I don't get most of the shots in focus! :Angry:
Plus Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 :biggrin:

Tell me what you think of these settings?

AF Continuous = C
Auto -Area Focus = Solid White Box
3d Matrix Metering = White Dot with Box around it
CH Mode
I have Active D-Lighting off
High ISO Off @ times
AF-C Priority on FOCUS
Dynamic AF Area @ 51 points 3d-Tracking
Focus Tracking With Lock-on is OFF
Focus Point Wrap Around = YES
5 FPS

Any advice would be very helpful and thank you!

angel m. leal jr.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Messages
2,283
Location
NY
While certainly not an expert myself I'll through out a few possible changes. Before I do that, I might suggest you post this question in the sports forum in order to get the best replies. I'll make my suggestions next to yours in red below:

AF Continuous = C
Right on here. No change
Auto -Area Focus = Solid White Box
I would change this one to either Dynamic AF (middle option) or spot metering depending on what you are shooting. With the AUTO AF as you have it, you have no real control of where the focus point is going.
3d Matrix Metering = White Dot with Box around it
Most of the time you can use this although I think you will find many sports shooters will use Center Weighted if not spot. Personally I tend to use CW the most.
CH Mode
This is fine
I have Active D-Lighting off
I think you'll find times when this can come in handy. Mainly for outdoor sports in midday or harsh sunlight where there is a high level of contrast. ADL can help in these situations especially in helmet sports (football, baseball, lacrosse) where it might be able to get a little light under the facemask. My understanding of ADL is that it applies a curve that basically brightens the shadows/darks a dark
High ISO Off @ times
I don't want to speak for others here, but I usually only use "LOW" if I'm shooting over 1000 ISO. Other than that I handle the noise reduction in PP
AF-C Priority on FOCUS
This is fine for the most part, but many will shoot with either Focus/release or just release in order to raise their frame rate. It can frustrating at times to take press the shutter and the camera doesn't do anything. Most would consider a slightly OOF shot to be better than not getting the shot at all
Dynamic AF Area @ 51 points 3d-Tracking
I would say the greater majority of sports shooters use either 9-pt or 21-pt dynamic AF and not the 51 or 51-3D. Best thing I can offer here is it experiment. If you are pretty steady and get your focus point where you want it, try 9-pt.
Focus Tracking With Lock-on is OFF
I still haven't wrapped my head around this one yet. I traditionally leave it OFF, but NIKON actually says that the AF system works optimally with this turned on to one of the settings (short, normal, long)
Focus Point Wrap Around = YES
This is fine. To be honest it won't affect your sharpness at all, just makes it quicker if you had the focus point all the way to the right to get it back to the left.
5 FPS
Fine or even faster depending on the sport.

A lot of this stuff comes with practice. You are doing the right thing in asking a lot of questions and reading a lot.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2008
Messages
46
Location
Minnesota
I would use center point with expansion. AF-C with shooting priority works for me. Are you using the AF button rather than the shutter to lock focus?
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
408
Location
Sugar Land (Houston)
Randy thanks a lot! I will try some more and practice!
It's hard switching over from Canon, but I know i will get this D700!

baboy,
yes, I am using the AF button....
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,116
Location
Canada
Hi Angel,

I would suggest using 21pt (or 9pt) dynamic areas and not use the 3d-tracking for sports. The 3d is just too slow and erratic for sport. I think this is your main problems source. I used to use the 3d alot with the D300, but been using 21pt continuous dynamic almost exclusively for everything these days. Plain jane and you know what you get.

I would also suggest using the AF-ON button to autofocus instead of the shutter button. If the camera is not locking onto the right spot, just release the AF-On button and repress and hold to start the acquisition over. There is a sticky (thread) on the top of the DSLR forum.

I tend to turn the lock-on to off, but use short occasionally, to keep the AF responsive.

Hello,
Dynamic AF Area @ 51 points 3d-Tracking

Any advice would be very helpful and thank you!

angel m. leal jr.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
408
Location
Sugar Land (Houston)
gilbo, sweet print out... thanks!

Allan,
I will try that out today or tomorrow!
I think the 3-D tracking is easier on birds and planes! Just IMO...

thanks,
angel m. leal jr.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
418
Location
Harrisburg PA, USA
I agree with everything said so far; I just wanted to elaborate on the AF-Lock On setting, based on my experience. If you are tracking only one player (your son/daughter, or the team star who is about to set a record), then I'd use AF-Lock On, and probably set it to High. For anything else (which is really 100% of the time for me), I always set it to Off, for the simple reason that it noticably interferes with AF acquisition when you move from player to player -- which makes sense, if you think about it. It is designed to maintain focus on whatever you have locked focus on; when you shift to another player, it doesn't know you've changed targets, and is trying to maintain focus on the original one, even though it is no longer in the frame. This results in a noticable and frustrating delay in acquiring the new target, often to the point of missing the shot, because it refuses to immediately change focus, even though you are stabbing the AF-On button (or shutter) for all you are worth.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,116
Location
Canada
I too think it is easy to use, but 3d is less reliable and accurate...and slower for the camera to perform.

gilbo, sweet print out... thanks!

Allan,
I will try that out today or tomorrow!
I think the 3-D tracking is easier on birds and planes! Just IMO...

thanks,
angel m. leal jr.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
24,404
Location
Moscow, Idaho
couldn't resist!!!!! :biggrin:


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
369
Location
Towson, Maryland
Hi Angel,

I would suggest using 21pt (or 9pt) dynamic areas and not use the 3d-tracking for sports. The 3d is just too slow and erratic for sport. I think this is your main problems source. I used to use the 3d alot with the D300, but been using 21pt continuous dynamic almost exclusively for everything these days. Plain jane and you know what you get.
I agree. While the 51pt tracking is interesting, it is not quite ready for prime time sports. I works better for sports where they move laterally, but not well when the contestants move forward and backwards. I typically use 21pt dynamic. Maybe in the D800....
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
369
Location
Towson, Maryland
I think the 3-D tracking is easier on birds and planes! Just IMO...
I disagree. Maybe planes, but I still find dynamic setting more reliable in general. While the 3-D tracking stands a better chance with birds than sports, especially if you are shooting against a blue sky, I still have had many instances where the bird will drop into the tree line, where the 3-D is worthless. just my 2 cents...
 

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