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04-04-2017, 04:56 AM   #76
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My Canon friends often tell me useless anything other than the centre focus point is. And they are envious that not only can I move a focus point across almost all of the frame on my D500, but all those points work just as well as the centre one.

Canon does have great focus abilities. But I think they save that for the 1Dx.

04-04-2017, 06:35 PM - 1 Like   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcBear78 Quote
My Canon friends often tell me useless anything other than the centre focus point is. And they are envious that not only can I move a focus point across almost all of the frame on my D500, but all those points work just as well as the centre one. Canon does have great focus abilities. But I think they save that for the 1Dx.
Thanks for the info. Do people actually select focus points for a flying aircraft or fast moving bird? I'm not being sarcastic; personally I find it easier to use centre spot focus and reframe or crop the image. Using the controls on the back of the camera also tends to be awkward when you are looking through the viewfinder with your left eye.
04-04-2017, 11:02 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Thanks for the info. Do people actually select focus points for a flying aircraft or fast moving bird? I'm not being sarcastic; personally I find it easier to use centre spot focus and reframe or crop the image. Using the controls on the back of the camera also tends to be awkward when you are looking through the viewfinder with your left eye.
In my experience it can be difficult to keep the same AF point on the target, regardless of whether that AF point is in the center or not. That's where the area or tracking modes come into play. Other points can assist in keeping focus on the subject if necessary.
04-05-2017, 01:28 AM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Thanks for the info. Do people actually select focus points for a flying aircraft or fast moving bird? I'm not being sarcastic; personally I find it easier to use centre spot focus and reframe or crop the image. Using the controls on the back of the camera also tends to be awkward when you are looking through the viewfinder with your left eye.
Yeah, I'm not sure what your angst is about, Rob ... I was at the same air show as you.

I photographed mainly interesting people and things on the ground but as usual had no problem with turning around and snapping something that conveniently went by.



But the 300mm I have is the screwdriven FA*, not that SDM thing of yours!

When I know that a plane is flying without the chance of something closer crossing the viewfinder, I set it to Auto 9 or Auto 27. This was with the Sigma 150-500 at the nearby Pt Cook air force base:





Last edited by clackers; 04-05-2017 at 02:27 AM.
04-05-2017, 01:51 AM - 1 Like   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Thanks for the info. Do people actually select focus points for a flying aircraft or fast moving bird?.

I'm a 100% Nikon shooter now. I use 3D focus most of the time. I lock focus point where o want it and it moves around the frame, stuck on what I pointed it at. Nearly forgot how to shoot any other way.
04-05-2017, 02:31 AM - 1 Like   #81
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I will say that with the K-5 I used single-point AF at Farnborough airshow. I selected the lower middle AF point most of the time because of the composition, and only occasionally used auto-AF. When focus was lost because of user error (not keeping the point on the subject) I was grateful for quick-shift so I could get the focus in the ballpark quickly, letting me see the aircraft through the viewfinder so I could let the AF take it from there.

Last edited by starbase218; 04-05-2017 at 02:39 AM.
04-05-2017, 02:46 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I will say that with the K-5 I used single-point AF at Farnborough airshow. I selected the lower middle AF point most of the time because of the composition, and only occasionally used auto-AF. When focus was lost because of user error (not keeping the point on the subject) I was grateful for quick-shift so I could get the focus in the ballpark quickly, letting me see the aircraft through the viewfinder so I could let the AF take it from there.
On the K-1 you'd choose Select (Large) to do that without needing the quick-shift. It will use the colour sensor to move that point to one of the others for you.
04-05-2017, 03:13 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
On the K-1 you'd choose Select (Large) to do that without needing the quick-shift. It will use the colour sensor to move that point to one of the others for you.
I don't understand. I used quick-shift to get the focus in the ballpark area again so that I could at least look for a blurry spot in the viewfinder. At 300mm, the viewing angles are pretty narrow so it might not even be in the viewfinder (often I would check the sky first to get an idea of where to point the camera).

Or do you mean that the K-1 (or K-3) reduces the chance of losing focus in the first place due to tracking?

04-05-2017, 03:29 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
I don't understand. I used quick-shift to get the focus in the ballpark area again so that I could at least look for a blurry spot in the viewfinder. At 300mm, the viewing angles are pretty narrow so it might not even be in the viewfinder (often I would check the sky first to get an idea of where to point the camera).

Or do you mean that the K-1 (or K-3) reduces the chance of losing focus in the first place due to tracking?
Yes. But you have to make sure you don't let the subject get out of the focus point area ... that's the skill of the action shooter - the understanding, the physical coordination, the prediction of the subject's movement that comes with personal experience of the activity.

Not everyone can do this.

It's why publications are wise to use the same photographers again and again.
04-05-2017, 03:54 AM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Yes. But you have to make sure you don't let the subject get out of the focus point area ... that's the skill of the action shooter - the understanding, the physical coordination, the prediction of the subject's movement that comes with personal experience of the activity.

Not everyone can do this.

It's why publications are wise to use the same photographers again and again.
True, and given the speed of jets things happen very quickly. But when I had my K-3, it was much easier because as you say, you don't have to hold the 1 AF point on the aircraft all the time. I could just use 25 or 27-point AF-C and as long as that array was over the aircraft, and I got the initial focus aqcuisition correct, the camera could at least theoretically keep tracking it.
04-05-2017, 04:02 AM   #86
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What puzzles me is why anyone would invest in the modern Pentax system and then complain that the AF is not up to the standards that the best Nikons provide.
04-05-2017, 04:05 AM - 1 Like   #87
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Btw, these are some shots I took at the airforce days here in The Netherlands, using the K-3. Tracking could be better, but these came out ok.












Last edited by starbase218; 04-05-2017 at 04:31 AM.
04-05-2017, 06:01 AM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Yeah, I'm not sure what your angst is about, Rob ... I was at the same air show as you.
My angst is about the huge number of opportunities of bird photos I have missed because the DA*300 suddenly decides to hunt wildly in the wrong direction, and the same lens doing the same thing when presented with something as large as an F18 Super Hornet at point blank range filling the entire viewfinder. However, that, as I've said several times, wasn't the point of this thread. It was about the option of spending over $3000 on a DFA 150-450 or around the same amount of money on a completely different camera and lens combination. I don't really want to spend over $3000 on a new lens and having exactly the same issues if (and I stress if) a different camera and lens combination might hunt a whole lot less. Yes, I've tried the DFA 150-450 in Shinjuku in the display centre for a few minutes, but it's not the same as a real world experience. I also agree that given the expense of the lens, it's worth trying some other options by hiring gear before making an expensive choice.

The F18 was here in Canberra, not at Avalon. On different trips to Avalon, I've used the DA 55-300 and the DA*300. The DA*300 gives much better results when it focuses, but the DA55-300 achieved focus a lot more consistently.
04-05-2017, 07:09 AM   #89
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What you could do is buy a used older Nikon like a D300S. Its sensor in ancient but its AF is still very good. Then get a cheaper telezoom (maybe the 70-300 VR) and see how that goes.

Btw this is not to promote Nikon. If there was any way I thought you could get a DFA 150-450 cheap I'd suggest that as well. But if you can't rent it somewhere, I don't really see that happening.

edit: Sorry, you were thinking about Nikon. Maybe a used 7D then?

Last edited by starbase218; 04-05-2017 at 08:17 AM.
04-05-2017, 09:59 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Thanks for the info. Do people actually select focus points for a flying aircraft or fast moving bird? I'm not being sarcastic; personally I find it easier to use centre spot focus and reframe or crop the image. Using the controls on the back of the camera also tends to be awkward when you are looking through the viewfinder with your left eye.
I like to select an AF point to better reflect the area I want to focus on for BIF, cars and bikes.

One of the reasons why I like to use this approach is if I am using the center point often times that puts the back half of the target closers to the outer frame of the photograph and give a chance of clipping the target.

Also when panning faster moving objects while using a slower shutter speed to show movement in the capture it is critical for you to hold a sight point over the same point of on the target for panning, I use the AF point for this. When the target is not moving perpendicular to camera we can get funny distortions that appear as OOF areas or shallow DOF even when we have more than ample DOF. What is happening is the perspective is slightly changing and this appears as blur as the movement from other places on the target are moving differently in the pan .
If you take a look at the photo below I placed my sight (AF point) over the people in the car and used that sight as an anchor to the target and tracked the movement of the car thru the exposure.



Using F13 I should have more than enough DOF but you can see that different parts of the car would need to be tracked differently if I want to stop the blur from the movement in the pan.



The closer you get to the target being perpendicular to the camera less of this distortion

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