D780 and moving subjets out of focus.

axlroseaxlrose Posts: 24Member
Hi there.

I'd like to ask a thing about focusing. Although the tittle suggests D780, I had the same problem with D750 and D4s. And I am not sure, what am I doing wrong.

I have problems focusing on moving subjects. I just can't get sharp image, everything is moving out of focus.

My settings are AF-C, single focus. I took car of shutter speed since at start I thought it is problem with it. So it is always at least 1/200, but I tried also with 1/500.
I tried to focus on walking cat, missed focus.... I tried to focus with people, missed focus.
I don't use BBF, which I know it is recommended for moving subjects, but I never had problem with my old D700 and just lately I think I have some setting that is wrongly set. I use shutter button.
So, where should I look? Should I use 3D tracking?

Thanks for advice.


  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    The newer cameras do operate differently than the older gen models for moving subjects. In some ways better, in other cases worse. I for one also find the focus on the newer models more jumpy, but there are settings you can change that will make the camera refocus slower or faster depending on the subject, I cannot recall the exact menu section, but it is in there with the other AF settings for AF-C. You might also want to try experimenting using the group AF, or dynamic zones for moving subjects.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,370Member
    edited April 2020
    You don't say what lens but for me I would be using Group AF often recommended for birds in flight AF-c of course and shutter to max fps at least until you sort it out . I assume you are panning along with the cat half-pressed and not stopping the pan when you fully press the button. The body should be sharp but the feet may depend on the shutter speed ..1/200 should be fine
    The menu selection referred to in previous post is for the AF to ignore objects that come between you and the subject as you pan.
    Everything on a nikon will be blurry if you don't set the sharpness to +9 in the picture control menu. I assume you have done the AF fine tune for your lens.All nikons come out the factory set soft at +3 ( only improves JPEG and LCD sharpness)
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • axlroseaxlrose Posts: 24Member

    Thanks for reply.
    PB_PM: yeah, I guess it is different, since I never had that problem with my D700, but lately I find that problem occurs. I tried with 3D tracking it is a bit better, but still... I won't dare to use it on wedding since focus point can jump around a lot.

    Pistnbroke: I noticed it on every lens I tried. 58mm, 24-70 and 70-200. I know 58mm is a bit slow, so I tried other too. But I know it is something different in focus system, something that I can't figure it out yet. Yes, I am panning Ok and also I have AF fine tune set as it should. Really strange.
    I found this problem bigger if the light is lower, like indoors.

    I have to try also group AF. Is that the single point and little dots around it? Is this setting available in Af-C?

    I gotta make use of this spare time during corona, to find out the solution for this. Thanks for helping.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,370Member
    edited April 2020
    Having done thousand of weddings just set it like this ....A mode (aperture) group area focus , Auto iso 200-6400 (this gives you 800 iso when the flash is on and balances natural with flash.) F8 Shutter trigger when in focus.
    Let us know how you go
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • axlroseaxlrose Posts: 24Member
    Thanks. Will try it. I still must go through all settings and see, if I am not seeing something there.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,370Member
    I shot everything at F8 in the summer (inside or out) and 5.6 in winter . Just used a SB400 on a flash flipper .had all the dials and wheels taped up so nothing could get moved . put the FP (flash programme) on its max either 1/250 or 1/350 this prevents a white out if you leave the flash on outside in full sun in error
  • axlroseaxlrose Posts: 24Member
    Pistnbroke: i must figure this out on wider aperture, as 1.8 or 2.0, max 3.5 :smile: But will figure it out, I hope.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,370Member
    No lens gives a sharp picture at max aperture ..have you got the picture control at +9 ? Nobody at a wedding is interested in bokeh..forget it .
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,670Member
    Can you provide some examples? Are you sure it's not motion blur?
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