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Probably a dumb AF question

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Steve S, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    While it's really taking me forever to get used to it, esp the hard-to-find Vert AF-On button, I've made the switch over using the AF-On button exclusively for focusing duties. My keep rate doing portraits both outdoors, & in studio have gone up dramatically, to about 99%!

    My question is this:
    Since I have my camera set to focus with AF-On only, do I have to hold it down while recomposing my shots, (in AF-S), or can I get a focus lock, let go of it, then take the shot using the shutter button without it effecting the focus? I haven't been totally sure, so most of the time I've been holding it down.
    fyi, this is with me shooting in either A-Priority or Manual Mode.
    Told you it was a dumb question! :redface:
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2005
  2. steve the shutter release no longer will affect your focus or focal point. if you change composition significantly the focal point will remain as you set it, so know that. This is really the way to go once you get used to it.
  3. nfoto

    nfoto Guest


    press the AF-ON to achieve sharp focus, let the button go and concentrate on the photography. Focus will stay put no matter what you do. This is how the system is designed to work and that's why most pros prefer using this instead of the shutter release.
  4. Hi, Bjørn. Is there any disadvantage to focusing by using the shutter release and then holding it down while composing? I have the AE-L/AF-L button assigned to FV lock, to avoid distracting subjects with preflashes.
  5. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  6. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    I could give a long list, but a single point suffices.

    When you use the release button to initiate AF, and lock it by holding it half-way down, this will work albeit your hand will have a tenser grip so camera shake is more likely. However, the moment you push the release to snap the picture, and you have recomposed the frame so that the focusing point is moved away from the subject, or the subject moves slightly laterally, then the camera will of course refocus, which will prevent you from getting the second shot in proper focus. In order to accomplish this, you have to go through the whole focus, reframe, cycle again. But not with AF-ON controlling AF.
  7. Steve, I'm kinda glad you asked this as I've been wondering about it too. Frank (Flew) showed me the AF-ON technique back in May but it was so foreign to me that I wasn't comfortable with it. I've been holding off switching to that technique until I learned more about it. You've asked the similar question I've had.

    Now maybe I can go out and try it. I focus/recompose quite frequently and it sounds like this is a better option. Currently I'm using the AF-L/AE-L button.

    Now if this blasted tropical storm would blow over then I could go out and shoot! :rolleyes: 
  8. Steve,

    Thanks for asking. I'm been less than happy with some of my D2x shots (AF operator error) and have been thinking of switching to the AF button and had this very same question.
  9. A follow on...

    I was playing with this last night and if the camera is in AF-S and I focus and recompose, it will only work if I keep the AF-ON button pressed as once I try to press the shutter, the camera checks focus and sees that it is not in focus and won't fire.
  10. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  11. Paul,

    Thanks. With my D2h, I was a AF-C man all the time, but have had better luck with AF-S on the D2x. I'm switching the AF-ON/AF-C for the next few shoots and see how it goes. Thanks again.
  12. marc

    marc Guest


    just a comment, if you are using af-on, then you must set camera in menu to af-on only. i do not know which setting it is. if you do not do this everytime you use af-on, and then press shutter camera will automatically refocus, even if you did not move camera.

    change your menu setting to af-on only, then it works correctly.
    this will not affect the vr, that is a shutter button function.

    af-s, af-c in af-s with focus priority shutter wilonly fire if camera achieves focus lock.
    af-c has 3 different settings, shutter, frames+focus, focus

    i have used frames+focus in cl-h very successfully.

    if using af-c, af-on lock on, aquire your subject and shoot, 95% keepers.
  13. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I use AF-ON/AF-C because it confuses anyone else who tries to use my 2x. :wink:

    With the D70 I set the AF/AE button for FV lock like Uncle Frank.
  14. MaartenL945

    MaartenL945 Guest


    To avoid having to hold the AF-ON button in AF-S(ingle) mode, you can also set the AF-S mode priority (a2 setting) to 'release' instead of 'focus'.

    That way you can focus with AF-ON, recompose, and press the shutter release to take the picture even if the camera says you don't have focus anymore.

  15. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Hi Maarten, and welcome aboard the Cafe. Are you absolutely sure about what you just said? If the camera indicates you don't have focus anymore, would you actually still have a focus lock?
  16. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Why would you want to use the AF-On button along with AF-C (Continuous) Focus for non-moving subjects, such as in portraiture? It seems AF-S (Single) focus would be a better choice for this task. Somebody straighten me out here. Paulllll? :wink:
  17. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
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