Focus lock set-up

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by strobel, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    I hope this is not a silly question. I am trying to set up my D2X with a focus lock. I know you can do that with the AE-L and AF-L button but I would like to have Auto exposure on that button and focus lock on another key. My other camera Fuji S2 would lock focus by holding the shutter key half way.

    Is there a way to do this on the D2X. I know you can set the AE-L and AF-L button to only lock focus, but I would hope to have this separated. I could be missing something, but I can not find this.

  2. There is a separate AF-ON button next to the AE-AF/L button; this will allow you to remove focus from the shutter.
  3. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    If that is true then mine must not be functioning. When I hold the AF-ON Button and move the camera the focus changes. I have gone through the menus and tried what I think is every variation. The only way I can hold focus is to hold the AE-L/Af-L button when the menu is set to lock both exposure and focus. I would prefer only to lock exposure with that button.

    If anyone has some ideas please let me know. I just do not see what I am missing.

  4. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Press the AF-ON button just long enough to lock focus, and then let go. Now focus is locked _unless_ you also have the shutter half-press configured to engage AF. Just take AF off the shutter release so that only AF-ON engages AF and you have the best of both worlds: you can enable continuous AF by keeping AF-ON pressed, and when you want to lock/stop focusing you can do so by letting up.
  5. marc

    marc Guest

    what focus setting are you in

    af-s or af-c

    if af-s focus priority, then focus will lock
    af-c shutter priority focus will not lock if you move camera.

    put camera on af button only for focus, and put camera in af-s, hold button and focus will lock
  6. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    I am in AF-S single mode. I am starting to believe I have a small problem with my camera. At present time I am just using 2 banks and have the AE/AF button set to just lock focus on bank B and exposure on Bank A.
  7. If you are sure that you are releasing AF-ON button after focusing, then maybe:
    1) maybe you are accidentally bumping the Vertical AF-ON button which might be set to function like AF-ON thru the menu item a8??
    2) maybe you have the AF-Mode Selector switch set to one of the Closest Subject Priority settings? Scenario:
    You have the switch set to Dynamic AF with Closest Subject Pri.
    You place the center focus bracket on a distant item subject.
    There is some item in the left-side of the frame that is closer than your chosen subject.
    You press/release the AF-ON button thinking to focus on the distant item.
    The cam correctly brings into focus the closer, left-hand item.
    Note that you would see a left-side focus bracket light up briefly in this scenario and you would NOT see the center focus bracket light up.

    I wrote these two suggestions because I have done them myself more than once and then wondered why my AF-ON didn't work "~}

    Also what do you have your multi-selector button set to thru menu item f2?
    Hope this helps !!
  8. How do you have a5 set? If you only want the AF-ON button to control focus then set a5 to AF-ON (it's default setting is Shutter or AF-ON).
  9. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    If you want to use the D2X with effective AF-ON, there are a number of mandatory setttings. Just pushing the AF-ON button by itself would not suffice. These settings are as follows,

    a1: AF-C mode priority: FPS rate (=release)
    a2: AF-S mode priority: Release
    a4: Lock-on: Off
    a5: AF activation: AF -ON only
    a8: Vertical AF-ON: AF-ON
    c1: AE-lock: off
    c2: AE-L_/AF-L: AF-ON

    Why the "c" settings? Tthis is to ensure AF-ON no matter which of the rear button(s) I push. I call this "fail-safe" mode and it has given me the picture more than one time when I accidentally touched the "wrong" button (they are set a little too close for my liking).
  10. So, Bjørn, do you lock exposure only thru the shutter? Or do you use the FUNC button for that? I've grown fond of locking exposure via AE-L/AF-L button and focus via AF-ON button, but I probably have smaller thumbs than you do <grin>.
    What is your f2 setting for effective AF-ON? I'm thinking maybe that f2 should be set to "Do nothing", because if f2 is set to "Initiate autofocus" a user could bump the multi-selector and undo the previous press of the AF-ON ?? [I'll go experiment and see if it is possible.]
    Thanks for pointing out that there are multiple menu settings that must be coordinated for effective AF-ON.
  11. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    Thanks everyone, I must not be explaining myself well enough. So to be quick and to the point. I want to have focus work with the shutter button. Then I want to disable the shutter focus (hold focus) to move camera to shoot the photo. For example on my S2 i could push the shutter half to focus and then hold the shutter half way holding focus while I repositioned the camera.

    I know you can use the AE/AF-L button but I want to use that for AE only.
  12. What you have done on your S2 should work fine on the D2X.

    Bjorn, thanks for the "tip" on having both buttons be "AF-ON" -- I have struggled as well with my thumb hitting the correct button, and never thought of this nice tip.

  13. If you put the switch on the front of the camera to the AF-S position the camera will focus when you push the shutter halfway and once it has stopped focusing you can reposition the camera to shoot and the focus will not change as long as you do not let up on the shutter button. If you let up on the shutter button the camera will start to focus again. Make sure the in-focus indicator (•) is on in the viewfinder before you change camera position.

    NOTE: If you put the switch to the AF-C position then the camera will refocus when you reposition it.
  14. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL

    Thank you that is exactly what I was looking for. I totally forgot about the front switch. Now that it was so simple I feel a little silly. But at least I know now.

    Thanks to everyone.
  15. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    There is one thing about this approach I feel is worth pointing out. If you are in either of the continuous shooting modes, the camera will re-focus between shots even though you didn't let the shutter up and even though you're in AF-S. Makes no sense to me but that's the way it works, and that's a big part of why I switched to using AF-ON. If you really want to have maximum control over focusing then you need a separate button for it.
  16. My D2x doesn't exhibit this behavior. Focus stays locked between frames....

    Personally I mostly use the dedicated AF-On only mode most of the time but there are situations I prefer it to focus with the shutter button too.
  17. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    I forgot to mention the obvious, namely that the focus mode selector on front of the camera should be set to "C". Otherwise, AF-ON won't really be helpful because with the camera set to "S", even the AF-ON will only make the camera focus once, so you have no guarantee that it iterates to find the optimum focus as with "C" mode.

    Sorry about that. But I never change the "C" mode on my D2X bodies.
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