"?" for those with a D3/D3s/D3x...

Joined
Jul 9, 2008
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...greetings everyone,

was wondering how you shooters change focus points while shooting in portrait orientation?? i've previously used a D700 + mb-d10, and the grip had a focus selector button for use in portrait mode. however, it doesnt look like the D3/s/x has this.

any experiences/insights/comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks!!
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
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Toronto, CANADA
It's not quite as easy a reach to the thumbpad from the vertical position, but for me it's still pretty do-able. I'm a fairly big guy, so maybe it doesn't work for smaller hands. I also use a D700 with the grip a fair bit, but honestly find the grip's thumbpad is tucked a little TOO tight to the handgrip personally. I can adjust to both setups however...
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
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Luxembourg
You can also use the Fn button + command dials to move focus point selection when shooting in portrait orientation. See the description of custom setting f4 in the manual to see how to set up and use this option.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
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Los Angeles, Ca.
I don't have any problems reaching the thumb pad in the portrait orientation. Like DJ, I found the D700's thumb pad on the grip too tight to be comfortable.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
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I don't have any problems reaching the thumb pad in the portrait orientation. Like DJ, I found the D700's thumb pad on the grip too tight to be comfortable.

That depends very much on how large your hands are. It is very obvious that Nikon, unlike Canon, forgot here, that not everybody have big hands and some people might have a problem to reach the D-Pad when the camera it is in portrait orientation. This is a well known problem. Of course this does not happen with the Canon professional line cameras. Women can shoot their professional ones... with Nikon is different. I would rate this as a very serious weakness in their professional bodies layout.

So yes, you can customize the Fn button + command dials on the VG so that you could select the focus points, i.e. Fn+front dial moves the focus point vertically, Fn+rear dial moves focus horizontally. It is not that efficient as if you used the D-Pad and it will not take away the frustration, but with a bit of training everything is possible.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
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thanks for the replies everyone! guess im just gonna have to hit the local stores and see for myself whether the multi selector position is comfortable for me in portrait orientation. my thumb may be long enough, but im a left-eye shooter, so my thumb may be impeded by my giant forehead!?!:tongue:

and i dont think i can use the custom function af selection, since i need instant selection, and dont wanna have to scroll thru points. plus, the Fn button looks to be a reach too in portrait mode.

thanks again everyone!
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
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Los Angeles, USA
Just to give you an idea, the thumb pad is about halfway between the D700/D300 pad and the MB-D10 mini-knob. So if your thumb can reach that point, you should be able to move your AF points just fine.
 

Commodorefirst

Admin/Moderator
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Joined
May 1, 2005
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23,528
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Missouri
Same here, I don't move the hand when in portrait mode. Harkens back to my old film shooting days, I just keep the hand in the same place. Once I get use to buttons being one direction with my hand in a certain place and eye to the viewfinder, I don't like switching.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
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NYC
i shoot exactly just like in your screen name image ^^^^

and plus, i turn off the vertical button, cuz i can sometime accidently shoot the ground :)
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2008
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Why not just use AF-ON to focus and re-compose.

Much easier to do. I usually shoot AF-C as well or whatever mode the focus rectangle follows action around. When shooting still objects, moving the camera around simulates the subject moving around so its almost like the using the thumb pad.
 
Joined
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im enjoying the wide variety of responses. it really shows how everyone shoots differently!

wade, i shoot an ungripped D700 at the moment, and am comfortable with that style of grip. but when i shoot in portrait mode using a lens like the 70-200vr for long times, my wrists just start to give up and i have a hard time leveling my shots correctly, especially if its a fast paced environment. it bothers me cuz i absolutely hate cropping shots, even if its just to level things out. other than those situations, i LOVE the form factor of the D700.

SWLD, i dont use focus recompose because like someone already mentioned, nailing critical focus with a very shallow DOF can troublesome with that method. i ALWAYS have my AF point over my subject, and this method has been very good to me, keeper-wise.

jonh68, i've dabbled with the 51-pt 3d dynamic af mode, but didnt like its unresponsiveness. sometimes i felt like i was waiting for the af point to move and follow the subject, which can lead to missed shots. i much prefer manually moving the af points. im at the stage where i start to move the af points around before i even put my camera up to my face, envisioning my shot and where my subjects ought to be. once the shot is taken, i press the OK button and reset my af point to the center, so i can setup for the next shot. ive grown really fond of this method...

again, thanks everyone for your insights and experiences! from the looks of things, despite the fact that a D3 style body is very appealing to me, i might just end up with a gripped d700 as a second body...
 
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