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Old 04-03-2019, 07:13 PM   #1
35remington
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Default Not getting the photos I want. What to change?

Recently I've been grabbing my D7000 and Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F/1.8G to shoot the kids. It just gets superior results compared with using even the best iPhone camera. However, once the kids start running towards me, I always have the same problem, especially indoors when the light is poor: the camera can't focus fast enough and won't shoot.

As I see it, there are 4 options:

(A) Get a better lens
(B) Get a better camera
(C) Change settings on my current camera
(D) Become a better shooter

Current camera settings (tonight at least) are: Aperture Priority, F/1.8, Auto ISO ON, min shutter speed 1/200, AF-S priority selection set to Focus instead of Release, AF-assist illuminator OFF, shooting speed CH

Other than the obvious Choice D, I really don't know where to start. Any thoughts? I have some but don't want to bias any answers yet.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:31 PM   #2
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I changed some settings last night that may show promise. Went from AF-S to AF-C, but kept the priority set to Focus instead of Release. I also limited the AF range to the 9 closest points to the center.

Time will tell.
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Old 04-04-2019, 03:40 PM   #3
Bill M
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For action/sports continuous shooting is preferred and 1/200th second is way too slow. You will need to experiment with faster shutter speeds. I would also shoot group focus points. FYI, I have only been shooting a Nikon for maybe a month and a half.
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:48 PM   #4
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C and D, you have a good camera setup.

Can you post some examples of the shots you are getting? is motion blur or missed focus the problem?

Either manual mode or shutter priority will be your best bet in an action situation like that. I really recommend getting into manual as often as possible, it almost always gives better shots the more you tell your camera what to do, you are way smarter than it!

Cranking up the shutter speed to freeze the action and stopping down the aperture a bit to deepen the depth of field might help too. And don't be afraid to bump up the ISO to compensate for that lost light!

I really recommend setting up back-button autofocus too for DSLRs, I find it works great for action and tracking moving subjects
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:38 PM   #5
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You might also try shooting at a higher ISO, up to 1600 you are probably okay if you are not going too large on print size.
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaqui View Post
You might also try shooting at a higher ISO, up to 1600 you are probably okay if you are not going too large on print size.
Fear not the noise
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Old 04-08-2019, 02:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jspradley View Post
C and D, you have a good camera setup.

Can you post some examples of the shots you are getting? is motion blur or missed focus the problem?

Either manual mode or shutter priority will be your best bet in an action situation like that. I really recommend getting into manual as often as possible, it almost always gives better shots the more you tell your camera what to do, you are way smarter than it!

Cranking up the shutter speed to freeze the action and stopping down the aperture a bit to deepen the depth of field might help too. And don't be afraid to bump up the ISO to compensate for that lost light!

I really recommend setting up back-button autofocus too for DSLRs, I find it works great for action and tracking moving subjects
Thanks for responding. It's not motion blur.

I don't see how M or S will fix this problem, since I think the problem lies in the autofocus settings. I do agree on DOF—that could be the source of the problem. But if so, that's frustrating, because the whole point of a large aperture lens is to work great in low light situations (which these are).

Quote:
Originally Posted by yaqui View Post
You might also try shooting at a higher ISO, up to 1600 you are probably okay if you are not going too large on print size.
I will have to check to see what the Auto ISO numbers are at 1/200. Maybe there is room to bump a little.
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:54 PM   #8
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Jspradley nailed it. Back button focus, AF-C, use Manual or Shutter Priority mode and set shutter speed to at least 1/500, and then bump ISO to wherever it needs to be to get the shot at that shutter speed. A little noise is better than blur. The lens your using doesn't have the fastest autofocus, and 35mm isn't ideal for action sports either. It's not a lens designed for action sports, so it's not gonna give you the results you'd like to see, probably. It's going to be a better landscape, portrait, etc. lens. You would do better with a longer lens (85mm, 70-200mm, or something in that range) that has a larger aperture and fast autofocus mechanism. Combine that with the right camera settings, and you'll get better shots.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
Jspradley nailed it. Back button focus, AF-C, use Manual or Shutter Priority mode and set shutter speed to at least 1/500, and then bump ISO to wherever it needs to be to get the shot at that shutter speed. A little noise is better than blur. The lens your using doesn't have the fastest autofocus, and 35mm isn't ideal for action sports either. It's not a lens designed for action sports, so it's not gonna give you the results you'd like to see, probably. It's going to be a better landscape, portrait, etc. lens. You would do better with a longer lens (85mm, 70-200mm, or something in that range) that has a larger aperture and fast autofocus mechanism. Combine that with the right camera settings, and you'll get better shots.
Not shooting sports outside. Mainly just kids indoors with bad light. I hadn't heard of BBF until y'all mentioned it. Just got it set up. Will give this a chance. Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
Not shooting sports outside. Mainly just kids indoors with bad light. I hadn't heard of BBF until y'all mentioned it. Just got it set up. Will give this a chance. Thanks!
There are two types of photographers, those who use back button autofocus, and those who haven't heard of it yet
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jspradley View Post
There are two types of photographers, those who use back button autofocus, and those who haven't heard of it yet

Hahahaha I like that.
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