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Old Apr 10, 2010, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default Major gripe about the D5000 focusing methods

I like shoot birds and several times in the past, I've lost great shots because of the focus point selections or AF-Area mode.

For an example the past two days, I lost great Bald Eagle pictures,
(hours of waiting for them to show up) due to when I went to take the shot, the focus point was to the right, instead of center where I wanted it.
By the time I move the focus point over the shot is gone.

I've tried changing the "Single Point", "Dynamic Area", "Auto Area" & "3-D tracking" and the same thing keeps happening.
The focus point moves to the right and won't fire unless I get the object, bird or whatever in that area. When I set the camera down, the focus is in the center.
When I pick it up in a hurry is when it happens.

What gives? What am I doing wrong. I never had this problem with the Pentax K20D I had.

I'm about ready to give this camera up as I've lost two really great opportunities the past two days.

Hopefully it is ME doing something wrong and not the camera....
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 4:39 AM   #2
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I know this sounds daft but I had a similar issue with a Canon once, I took it back to the shop,they tested it and found the same problem and replaced the camera. Shortly afterwards I found the new one was doing the same thing but I found it was me knocking a focusing button that was badly placed, as did the guy in the shop.
So my guess is that you may be slightly hitting the right side of the 4 way controller as you handle the camera.Certainly as you have two bodies and if you are getting it with both. I have not had this problem with my D5000 or my D40x that have the same type of set up .I also have taken a lot of flying bird shots.
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 5:37 AM   #3
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One other thing, if you look at page 57 in the manual it says "In AF-S focus mode it will only focus in the selected area" . So if you have that selected plus knock the focus point accidently that would definately cause the problem.
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 7:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack55 View Post
I've tried changing the "Single Point", "Dynamic Area", "Auto Area" & "3-D tracking" and the same thing keeps happening.
The focus point moves to the right and won't fire unless I get the object, bird or whatever in that area. When I set the camera down, the focus is in the center.
It's probably working as designed, based on your focus mode (not focus area settings). Press your i (Info) button and check your focus mode (press it again and scroll to it to change it). You probably have it set to either AF-C (Continuous) or AF-A (Automatic) and it's trying to track your subject when it sees any movement in the frame (limbs, camera, subject); versus locking focus on the selected point with a half press as it does when using AF-S (Single Shot Autofocus).
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 1:08 PM   #5
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It's probably working as designed, based on your focus mode (not focus area settings). Press your i (Info) button and check your focus mode (press it again and scroll to it to change it). You probably have it set to either AF-C (Continuous) or AF-A (Automatic) and it's trying to track your subject when it sees any movement in the frame (limbs, camera, subject); versus locking focus on the selected point with a half press as it does when using AF-S (Single Shot Autofocus).
I've tried all the settings you guys mentioned and still have that problem and why I decided to post as I didn't want to sound stupid. I have it set on AF-S after trying all the others. It appears that I must be touching the 4 way controller when trying to focus, especially when I first grab the camera. Upon inspecting I find the lower meaty part of my thumb is resting right on that right side controller, hence the problem. Very frustrating as I have to grip the camera firmly with the heavy Sigma 50-500mm to get the shots I need.

Any way to shut down that controller? Or MAKE it stay on center?
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 1:22 PM   #6
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Not that I an see unless I'm overlooking something. Some models allow you to set the focus area to center spot only (for example, my Sony A700 has that option if you want to use it, as do models from some of the other camera manufacturers).

Some models also allow you to press and hold the center button in the middle of the multi-directional controller pad to lock focus using the center point (pressing and holding it in the same way you'd half press a shutter button), rather than just tapping it to select the center focus.

So, you may want to see if it fires that way by pressing and holding the OK button in the center of the control pad. If it works, you could get into the habit of doing that way so that you're not accidentally moving your thumb to something else.

Or, just get in the habit of selecting the center point before shooting each time and try to be careful not to change it (i.e., try to rest that thumb where it's not hitting the control pad). ;-)
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 1:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Or, just get in the habit of selecting the center point before shooting each time and try to be careful not to change it (i.e., rest that thumb someplace other than the control pad). ;-)
I've got nowhere to place my thumb while shooting. Grab your camera and you will see what I mean.
I guess I will have to practice selecting that center point as I aim toward my subject. Once I select it, it stays there. It only moves when I grab the camera or swing it up from my lap. Remember, I have a fairly heavy lens on there too which causes me to grip it more firmly than with a 18-200mm VR lens.
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 9:38 PM   #8
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Well, I found that my other D5000 with the battery grip on it, my meaty part of my thumb don't rest right on the right side of that 4-way pad.
So I didn't have that problem with that camera which I used today.
These are the shots that I was blowing previously. You HAVE to be ready when it happens.



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Old Apr 12, 2010, 5:05 AM   #9
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I'm a great one for modifying things.
What I would do is probably fix a raised pad where the thumb rests, with something like the self adhesive pads that go under ornaments, that sort of thing,you would only need to raise thumb position by a few mm.
It's amazing how these things can confound you. I thought my on camera flash was playing up when I first bought the D5K, because it wouldn't always fire. I eventually found out it was the peak of my cap stopping the flash from raising fully on some shots. Duhhh!
The flash on the D5K is abnormally high.
I take it that those two shots are taken with the 50-500mm ?
Very nice .Well done.
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D5100 +18-200mVR Nikkor lens.
SB400 Flash, ML-L3 Remote.
SB 700 Flash
Holster + Shoulder Bag.
Beike carbon 4 section tripod/monopod
Gorillapod SLR Zoom + BH1 ball head
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Nissin D i40 Flash
+ SLR Gorillapod

Last edited by deadshot; Apr 12, 2010 at 5:07 AM.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 9:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I'm a great one for modifying things.
What I would do is probably fix a raised pad where the thumb rests, with something like the self adhesive pads that go under ornaments, that sort of thing,you would only need to raise thumb position by a few mm.
It's amazing how these things can confound you. I thought my on camera flash was playing up when I first bought the D5K, because it wouldn't always fire. I eventually found out it was the peak of my cap stopping the flash from raising fully on some shots. Duhhh!
The flash on the D5K is abnormally high.
I take it that those two shots are taken with the 50-500mm ?
Very nice .Well done.
Great IDEA deadshot! I'll try it.
I've had the "cap-flash" problem from time to time too.
After awhile I adjusted and remember to tilt the cap back.
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