Nikon people... how do you focus?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jay M, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Jay M

    Jay M TPF Noob!

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    I have a D90 and I still have a hard time making it focus on what I want it to focus on.

    For instance if I have a 1.8 Aperture for a portrait, I would want to focus on the subject's eyes, not their ear or nose.

    Another example is when the subject is not in the center of the frame. An example would be when they are in the right third, and the background is in the center and left third.
    How do I tell the camera to focus on the subject, not the center?

    Ideally I'd like to be able to quickly scroll through the focus points as I'm looking through the view finder then select the one i want to use.

    Is there a way to have the camera automatically recognize a person's eyes and focus on them?

    thanks,
    ~Jay
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    First, I set mine to single point AF.
    Next, I make sure it's in AF-S mode (not AF-C or AF-A).
    Finally, I set my focal point to the center and focus... then recompose the shot.

    I hope that makes sense.

    Only way to do face detection is in LiveView.

    Love the avatar btw :lol:
     
  3. jcblitz

    jcblitz TPF Noob!

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    Autofocus Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module with TTL phase detection, 11 focus points (including 1 cross-type sensor) and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5-3 m/1 ft. 8 in.-9 ft. 10 in.)

    Are you adjusting the focus points accordingly?
     
  4. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    same as noyze.

    i dont have a d90, but i select my focal area with the d-pad.
    noyze, can you confirm that's how it;s done?

    sounds like it might be stuck on center, or closest or something.
     
  5. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    If you're keeping it on automatic, it's NOT going to focus on what you want.

    Set it on dynamic focus and you should be able to focus it by the d-pad like what has been mentioned.

    For me, there is no other way. Even when I didn't shoot full manual, I always choose where I wanted the camera to focus.

    ~Michael~
     
  6. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    That's correct... I set mine to the center and then locked it (switch under the d-pad).

    Single and dynamic both allow you to select the focal point.
     
  7. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1.Click menu on the camera.
    2.Scroll down to custom settings.
    3.Select Auto Focus.
    4.Select a1.
    4.Select Dynamic Area.

    Now you can use the arrow pad to select the AF point that you want.

    Also if when selecting the points if you want the point when you go all the way to the right to go over to the left side follow these instructions.

    1.Custom Settings
    2.Autofocus
    3.a5
    4.Select wrap
    5.You're all done!
     
  8. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    first i have my AF modes assigned to my function button so i can switch between them easily. but i generally compose my shot, use the appropriate AF point, focus and shoot in the same motion. much faster and more accurate this way. this eliminates the possibility of losing focus when recomposing.

    you say you'd like to be able to quickly scroll through the focus points... what is keeping you from doing that now? it's already the default action on the DPad. it really can't be any easier.

    also... the L switch does not lock your focus, it locks the focus point so you don't move it accidentally by bumping the dpad. at least thats the default action.

    if you have a moving subject you can use the 3d tracking mode and the focus point will switch to the subject you had originally focused on.
     
  9. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another great thing to assign to the Fn button is the first item on my menu which is custom colors and then you can click d pad to the left and there is everything that's in your custom setup menu and i have af point second so it's all easy to select.
     
  10. Jay M

    Jay M TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, this is a huge help! Tonight I'll re-read this thread with my camera in hand.

    My problem is that I don't know the lingo, and don't know the possibilities. That makes it hard to deal with the problem.

    But I'm learning, slowly but surely. The photo community is very friendly. I am fortunate to work with a lady who used to be a professional photographer. She has really taken an interest in mentoring me.

    I have never had an SLR in the past, my first DSLR was just over a year ago, and for the first year I only used it in AUTO. So I have only been shooting manual for a few months.

    ~Jay
     
  11. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    Set to Single AF point, During taking the photo, Centre the image all you want.
    The image resolution is large enough to crop it into the Thirds
    so centre focus your image on (or use single af point and put your focus area on the point but centre will do)
    then import it into Photoshop and crop it so it is framed into the ROT

    Also in reference to your lingo problem read this
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...ery/167288-camera-terms-acronyms-dummies.html
     
  12. Jay M

    Jay M TPF Noob!

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    I suspect that is unconventional, but it would put the subject in the sweet spot of the lens.

    ~Jay
     

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