D3000 focus problems

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by eagleguy, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. eagleguy

    eagleguy TPF Noob!

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    Took my new Nikon D3000 and Nikon 18/55 and 55/200 DX-VR lenses to my sons football game yesterday and took 100 plus photos that I thought were OK. However, upon review what I took with the 55 and 200 mm lenses in sport mode are all out of focus (far with the 200 lens and close with the 55). Don't believe I touched any other settings and thought the pictures would be great. WRONG!
    Should I have left the camera on the auto mode, I didn't think I had to set anything to get good pictures but something is obviously off or on that shouldn't be!

    Help :grumpy:
     
  2. robdavis305

    robdavis305 TPF Noob!

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    Without seeing the pictures its hard to tell but it could be camera shake. If you have it at the 200mm focal length you cut down on the amount of light that gets to the camera. The sports mode doesnt always give you a fast enough shutter speed and can make the pics come out blurry. When I shoot my daughters basketball games I set my camera to (S) shutterspeed priority to get a higher shutterspeed.I know you said it was the VR lens but they cant take all the vibrations out. If you can get the book UNDERSTANDING EXPOSURE by Bryan Peterson. Amazon has it for about 10.00 and its a great read. Good luck and keep shooting.
     
  3. eagleguy

    eagleguy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info. I should have mentioned that I had the camera on a mono pod so there was no movement. Also when I took photos with the 55mm lens the kids were sitting still. Guess I'll try auto mode next time but thought I needed the camera set on sport mode for faster shutter speed!
     
  4. robdavis305

    robdavis305 TPF Noob!

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    If your taking action shots the auto setting wont help, you need to go to shutter speed priority.
     
  5. eagleguy

    eagleguy TPF Noob!

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    I thought that the purpose of putting the camera in sports mode was to automatically set shutter speed for moving objects. Images are somewhat blurry moving and standing still. This is why I think I messed up a setting.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    One thing you might try is to press the shutter button halfway down as you are tracking action: that half-press of the shutter release button will begin the autofocusing operation and as long as you halfway depress the shutter button, the focusing operation will continue.

    If you just mash on the shutter button beginning the instant you want to make an exposure, you might wind up with lots of badly focused images. I'm not 100 percent convinced that all of your issues were focus--some might have been camera shake, and some could, I suppose have been subject motion blur. Or, even a combination of all three. Without seeing actual sample shots, it's often difficult to diagnose a problem, and many beginners mistake subject motion blur, camera shake, and bad focus...the three all look subtly different. And combinations of them look even more odd.

    If you could post a few samples someplace, it would help us know what was what: every digital photo carries EXIF info hidden in it that tells a whole slew of details about the camera,lens, shooting mode, and exposure.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Were you shooting at night?

    You don't mention what metering mode you had the camera set to: Spot, Center-weighted, or Matrix.

    Actually, Sports mode conditions the Auto Focus system so it will continually focus. The camera will automatically attempt to select the correct shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to make a correct exposure, as far as light levels. But, the camera isn't as smart as a human.

    With the lens zoomed to 200mm the widest aperture is f/5.6. That is the limit that Nikon

    Also, while in continuous focus the shutter will release whenever it is pressed all the way, even if focus hasn't actually been achieved. You need to keep a close eye on the in-focus indicator in the viewfinder.

    VR is not an instantly acting feature. You have to wait until the image stops vibrating before you trip the shutter (per the AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6 lens manual "Notes on Using Vibration Reduction")
     
  8. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Also, were YOU selecting what the camera focuses on?

    The camera doesn't KNOW what you are wanting to focus on so if it's choosing, it might have choosen what to focus on. EVEN if the kids were still, the camera sees differences in contrast and while it should have "seen" the kids, it might have backfocused on the trees or whatever was behind them

    ~Michael~
     

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