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D200 focus settings. Let's start discussion here:
I post this message to start a thread about experiences using the various focus settings of the D200. I am a bit overwhelmed by them all. I'm just wondering which settings are best to use in which situations (situations varying from landscape, street photography, sports, low light, parades, architecture, wild-life, etc). So, which settings are best for these situations?
Here are the focus modes:
- Manual: That's easy. Manual is manual.. it's all up to the photographer :)
- AF-S: Single servo focus.
- AF-C: Continuous servo focus.
Here are the focus-area modes:
- Single-area AF: One (normal or wide) focus area is selected by photographer
- Dynamic-area AF: One (normal or wide) focus area is selected by photographer, but actual area used may change based if and how the subject moves out of the original selected area. Best used with AF-C mode.
- Group dynamic-AF: Like dynamic-area AF, but best used when subject moves within a given selected group (top, left, center, right, bottom). Group is selected by photographer.
- Dynamic-area AF with closest subject pri: Camera chooses focus, based where a subject is closest.
And here are the settings:
1. AF-C priority: FPS; FPS+AF; Focus.
- FPS for faster frame rate, possibly lowering focus accuracy (default).
- FPS+AF for a middle ground. Lesser frame rate, camera takes more time to focus (low contrast).
- Focus for better focus accuracy, possibly missing shots due to fact that subject must be in focus. 'AF-C + Focus-priority' does not lock focus and 'AF-S' does. What does this mean in real life?
* When/why should i use FPS/FPS+AF/Focus?
2. AF-S priority: Focus; Release
- Focus for making sure that pic is only taking when subject is in focus (default).
- Release when pic can always be taken, even if subject is not in focus.
* Why would one want to use 'Release' priority?
3. Focus area Frame: Normal; Wide
- Normal frame consists of 11 focus areas (default). I have had issues when tracking focus with such a small area.
- Wide frame consists of 7 focus areas. I have had issues that the camera actually focused on something inside the wider frame but that was not my subject.
* What are good guide-lines for choosing what 'frame'? What about focus speed and accuracy differences between the two 'frame' settings?
4. Group dynamic-AF pattern: Pattern1/2; Center area/closest subject
- Pattern 1 and Pattern 2 are defined on page 150. Each pattern defines how the 11 focus sensors are grouped. Basically, pattern 1 has one center-group and pattern 2 has a left- and right-center group.
- Center area: Use the focus area in the center of the selected group.
- Closest subject: Focus on the closest subject in the selected group.
- Pattern1/Center is the default setting
* First, when should one be using Group dynamic-AF and when used, which of the 4 patterns should be selected? Which situations are best for this?
5. Focus tracking when lock-on: Normal; short; long; off
When something moves between subject and camera, this setting determines how long the camera keeps the focus(-lock) before it tries to refocus when that something has not moved away yet.
- Normal (default). Normal time.
- Short: Shorter than default time.
- Long: Longer than default time.
- Off: No such lock is held at all.
* What does this setting do to focus-accuracy and focus-speed?
And as last:
I myself am using AF-C with AE/AF-L button set to focus lock (AF-L) and the release-button set to exposure lock (AE-L).
* What are your favorite focus settings? Are you using the 'AF-On only setting (a6))'?
I hope this thread will give some insight in how to use the various focus modes/areas/settings.
I'm not sure if you've seen this article over at Nikonians, but it's a nice read. I doubt you'll get much response here to this subject since it can get rather complicated. The link below really does a lot to explain all this.
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