D80: dynamic area AF question

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by sir oliver, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Just to check this out:

    when I shoot action with my D80, with objects moving rapidly in all directions, I usually use a combination of the following AF settings:

    - continuous-servo AF (AF-C),
    - dynamic area AF, which means that I select the main starting AF point for the object that I want to track, and the camera automatically switches to other AF points if the object moves across the frame.
    - I use the AE-L/AF-L button as the AF-ON button (custom setting 18) and usually keep it pressed all the time to track my object


    Now, when I look throught the viewfinder, the same AF point is highlighted all the time, despite the dynamic area AF being selected.

    Does it mean that the camera does switch from point to point as necessary (dynamic area AF), but without showing it in the viewfinder display, or it means that it just stays at the same AF sensor all the time?!

    :confused:
     
  2. APandya

    APandya

    362
    Jul 2, 2008
    NJ
    Greetings,

    Please double check that your AF LOCK is not on, this is tothe right of your LCD screen.

    edit

    I just reread your post.

    I dont think AF-C will select another focus point, but will continue to focus on the point you have selected as you move the camera around.
     
  3. It doesn't make sense to me.

    The point of AF-C is to keep focusing while the button is pressed, and the point of dynamic area AF is that the camera switches to other AF points if necessary.

    The way you described should work if I use AF-C and single area AF.
     
  4. CoOokie

    CoOokie

    153
    May 4, 2008
    Poland
    True, but it doesn't say, that it will switch to different focus point. Maybe you can have one of what you want, but not both at the same time. I mean D80 will focus at the selected focus point when AF-C is selected OR it will switch focus points. Don't forget that it's not a PRO body :wink: I also have D80 so it is interesting topic for me too.

    If anyone will menage to run both at same time please post it here.
     
  5. stane1967

    stane1967

    83
    Aug 18, 2007
    Slovenia
    It is allways in selected AF point. It does not move.
     
  6. Guys, this is very surprising for me; are you sure about it?


    AF-C doesn't say it, but Dynamic Area AF DOES.

    I don't know that there is any warning from Nikon that Dynamic Area AF is not applicable in combination with the AF-C mode. Is there any such official notification from Nikon?

    If anyone knows for sure that Dynamic Area AF doesn't automatically switch to other focus points while in the AF-C mode, please give some more info. Thanks.

    Please take a look at the D80 User Manual, page 87: "Dynamic area AF: User selects focus area manually, but if subject leaves selected focus area even briefly, camera will focus based on information from other focus areas. Use with erratically moving subjects."

    The manual gives no notice that this is not applicable in combination with AF-C. :confused:
     
  7. CoOokie

    CoOokie

    153
    May 4, 2008
    Poland
    It probably would be the best to send Nikon an e-mail with question. Now I got to pack my stuff and go home, but maybe later, when I have time I will. But if someone knows how this works (in 100%) then please post it here.
     
  8. In Thom Hogan's "Nikon D80 To Go" book he states that using Dynamic Area Focusing with Continuous Servo AF being set,
    You control which sensor starts the focus but the camera may use another sensor if it detects movement.
    The active, starting sensor lights up to indicate you have chosen it.

    There is no indication that the sensor, other than the sensor you choose, will be lit.

    Have I just added to the confusion??

    Max
     
  9. stane1967

    stane1967

    83
    Aug 18, 2007
    Slovenia
    No. Thank you.
     
  10. That's exactly how I understand that the AF-C + Dynamic Area AF combination works. I choose the starting point, camera switches to other sensors if necessary, while maintaining continuous autofocusing.

    That's why I was puzzled with the other guys' statements that it doesn't work that way.

    Thanks for the info; I guess there is no online source where you can take a closer look at the Thom's above statement?
     
  11. I don't believe there is a source available for this. You might try Thom's web site, www.bythom.com, and check out his D80 review to see if this is mentioned.

    His book has a useful "truth table" with all combinations of Auto Focus and Auto Focus area mode and the results of each.
    His material is copyrighted and I cannot put this info on the forum as helpful as it would be.

    Max
     
  12. CoOokie

    CoOokie

    153
    May 4, 2008
    Poland
    Thanks a lot Max for clearing this topic :) I was so confused, that I went out to check if it works like you said and it does, so problem solved :D