D7000 and Action Photography

NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,135Member
Maybe I'm being a bit of a noob, but I have a couple questions about photographing action on a D7000. I usually just use center point autofocus with the stuff I do, but I don't always shoot action so in the rare cases I do shoot action, I miss focus. I usually just set the camera on continuous AF, and give it a whirl. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. Is there a setting that would optimize it a little more? I feel like continuous AF with single point AF actually isn't so great as it seems to want to rack focus and that causes me to miss shots. I did read the autofocus section in the D7000 manual and although it gives a general overview of AF overall, I feel like it doesn't let you know what AF to use in certain scenarios, such as fast action or birds in flight. There are lots of settings and variables that perhaps you members could direct me towards.

Feel free to rake me over the coals, but most of my shots are just non-action shots and I have very little practice with action.

Here's an example of what I tried to do last week.

I really wish I hadn't missed focus Pt 1

I will agree that I don't have the fastest lens, but mid afternoon sun should not need the fastest lenses available. I was not able to predict the motorcyclist's movement as I was facing the opposite direction of where she was originally turning into the corner. By the time I noticed, I only had time to flip it into continuous AF and there was too much crud leading into the corner I was only able to squeeze off a shot.
Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S


  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,293Moderator
    I think you could get great shots on any camera - even one without AF (shock - horror!). I used to use zone focus for motorcycle racing in the poor English light using 100ASA film. You focus on the racing line where you want to capture the shot and arrange your stance to be comfortable when pointing there, then wind back to where you pick up the bike, pan with it until you reach the comfortable zone and shoot the frame.

    Nowdays I use continuous group focus and half-press (or press back-button if that floats your boat) close to where I will take the shot then final click as the subject is where I want it.
    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited June 2017
    I have the d7000.. and it is known for missing focus. Yes when I got my d7200 it was gloriously spot-on compared to the d7000, and now I have the D500 :-)

    But, I find that for the D7000 the best thing to do is use the center AF, fix it, and just take with that. Compose by cropping. Maybe there is a better way but that's what worked for me for action/birds.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,135Member
    Spraynpray, much respect to those photographers who took great shots without AF. I was hoping to grab this shot with AF, and unfortunately either due to my own incompetence I was unable to get it, probably because I don't know the AF system well enough. More practice will be required unfortunately. Looking back, had I been able to pan and track the shot, I might have been able to pull it off, but it might have been too much to expect my D7000 to focus on the motorcycle. The background is tack sharp.

    That being said, with Heartyfisher's account of D7000 AF performance, at least I don't feel so bad now...

    That being said, that gives me an excellent excuse to buy a new camera body...

    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,293Moderator
    Sure, the same technique works. Pre-focus where you want the shot to be taken, wind back, pick up the bike early then squeeze the shutter when you get to the right place. Your continuous servo then has less to do so stands the best chance. You say above you have a tack sharp background so it sounds like you aren't panning at all.
    Always learning.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,135Member
    Panning would have been an option, but my friend was just standing to the right of me, where the motorcyclist would have entered the intersection.

    Thanks for all the responses!
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
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