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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Transportation Talk 
Thread started 15 Feb 2015 (Sunday) 19:13
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Focus issues with aircraft in flight

 
Pagman
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Feb 15, 2015 19:13 |  #1

Does anyone else experience inconsistent results when shooting aircraft in flight that are not moving across your view or horizon, but more so coming towards the camera either at an angle or head on?, i had not noticed this with my older lower mp camera but with the same lens, but as my current camera has double for some reason i can not get the same level of in focus shots as before:-(

Any ideas folks.

P.


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socalrailfan
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Feb 15, 2015 19:47 |  #2

I have to ask, are you using AI servo?


Dave - Riverside, CA PhotographersNature.co​m (external link)
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Pagman
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Feb 15, 2015 20:51 |  #3

Ye

socalrailfan wrote in post #17433427 (external link)
I have to ask, are you using AI servo?


Yep, its nikon i use so i tend to either use AF-C continues with predictive focus tracking with lock on, or AF-A or auto where the camera sellects one shot if the object is still and selects AF-C if it detects movement, i have just recently moved up from a 12mp nikon to my current 24mp d7100 and i wondered if the increase in resolution may have and impact on focus accuracy?

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Pagman
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Feb 15, 2015 21:00 |  #4

I don't have a problem with aircraft that i am following across my path even in the distance as all these are crisp and sharp, its just those that fly across or over me, as when i try to follow them - even with keeping my center focus square on them, then even after getting focus confirmation,lock and shutter firing, they are very often out of focus when they should be sharp.
I have calibrated my focus and its spot on, i use a high shutter speed always 1000sec + and use Vr so i can follow the plane ok without shake, i get an inconsistent batch where one could be in focus and so sharp you could cut yourself on it, then the next one under the same condition but a different plane and its out of focus, there is no pattern to it, and i can't see what i am doing wrong?

Pagman.


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socalrailfan
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Feb 15, 2015 21:12 as a reply to  @ Pagman's post |  #5

I'd ask Nikon users myself since this is a Canon group for the most part. I know nothing about Nikons, sorry.


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Pagman
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Feb 15, 2015 21:26 |  #6

socalrailfan wrote in post #17433541 (external link)
I'd ask Nikon users myself since this is a Canon group for the most part. I know nothing about Nikons, sorry.

No worries thank you for having a go though i appreciate it:-)

P.


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S_Egbert
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Feb 15, 2015 21:31 |  #7

Does your Nikon have provisions for separate focus and shutter release, like Canon back button focus? I would assume it does. If you can program a button for focus only, and completely separate it from the shutter button,using AI Servo or whatever Nikon calls it, then you can have continual focusing whether tracking or shooting. Shooting bursts I have found that sometimes the first shot is not always sharp but the second or third may be better.
Sorry if I am misunderstanding your dilemma.


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Pagman
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Feb 15, 2015 21:54 as a reply to  @ S_Egbert's post |  #8

Yep it has a back button for focus or it can be set for focus lock, what is confusing me is - in the camera in settings for focus you can choose between focus priority or release priority for focus where by in focus priority the shutter will not fire till it has confirmed sharp focus, in release it will fire shutter either in focus or not, i have mine set to focus priority so it should not return out of focus pictures.
In AF-C mode or continues focusing there are two focus brackets each side of the focus confirmation lamp, and they dance back and forth when they can not lock focus and then the shutter will not fire, but if i select a mode called Auto or in nikon its called AF-A it will move between one shot and continues and engage predictive focus tracking if it detects movement, i have honestly not found any difference in accuracy between these two modes.
It is like when a radio has a loose connection and keeps coming on and off, put that into a visual focusing situation and this is what is happening - under the same conditions with the same type of object the focus is either in or out of focus without any reason.

P.


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96whiteknight
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Feb 16, 2015 08:19 |  #9
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Transportation Talk




  
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ChunkyDA
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Feb 16, 2015 13:30 |  #10

Can you provide a sample or two with the EXIF data? full image shrunk down and a crop of what you are experiencing. It may be a lens problem that was not showing up with the older camera.
Also with a high shutter speed (like 1/1000) you can turn off VR, it is not helping you. Just don't forget to turn it back on when you lower the shutter speed.


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Pagman
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Feb 16, 2015 15:42 |  #11

Here are four examples - two each of the original without cropping, and 100% cropped examples the crops are probably over 100% as they were cropped in camera by 33% first.
Here are the first two - one original and cropped that are in focus.

P.

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7405/16551506791_3145456fd7_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/rdAN​jK  (external link) Sharp normal (external link) by AM.45 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7393/15933027823_49d7d2554f_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qgWW​5g  (external link) Sharp 100% crop (external link) by AM.45 (external link), on Flickr

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Pagman
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Feb 16, 2015 15:46 |  #12

And here are the two that are out of focus.

P.

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7397/16365541158_f6bda2eb27_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qWaF​dJ  (external link) Unsharp normal-2 (external link) by AM.45 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7379/16365720960_d1d54b96a0_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qWbA​EL  (external link) Unsharp 100%Crop-2 (external link) by AM.45 (external link), on Flickr

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Pagman
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Feb 16, 2015 20:31 |  #13

These are left purposely un edited apart from cropping - no noise reduction sharpening etc, i know what people will think - to far away to tell, but the camera has so much resolution that even with heavy cropping, when the focus is bang on the money it is sharp as you like, and shows every detail, then it goes to mush...

P.


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Pagman
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Feb 16, 2015 20:40 |  #14

ChunkyDA wrote in post #17434535 (external link)
Can you provide a sample or two with the EXIF data? full image shrunk down and a crop of what you are experiencing. It may be a lens problem that was not showing up with the older camera.
Also with a high shutter speed (like 1/1000) you can turn off VR, it is not helping you. Just don't forget to turn it back on when you lower the shutter speed.


You talk about the Stabilization - VR etc, can it affect AF at all in any negative way, or are you saying its just not necessary over 1000sec?

P.


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sandpiper
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Feb 16, 2015 21:33 |  #15

Pagman wrote in post #17435151 (external link)
You talk about the Stabilization - VR etc, can it affect AF at all in any negative way, or are you saying its just not necessary over 1000sec?

P.

My view on the VR is that whilst it shouldn't be necessary at shutter speeds over 1/1000th, to avoid camera shake showing in the shot, it will still stabilise the viewfinder and help you keep the AF point on target, particularly when the target is such a small object in the frame (is it possible that your soft ones are simply due to the AF point slipping off the plane as you press the shutter?). I have never seen any negative effect on AF using IS with Canon cameras and I doubt that Nikons are going to be different. Does your lens have the equivalent to Canon's mode 2, a panning mode which locks off the IS in the direction of the pan, but stabilises the other axis? It is possible that if it doesn't have that, the VR may be fighting the pan which could potentially cause some anomalies.

I shoot aircraft using IS (mode 2) quite often and have never had any issues with it at any shutter speed from very slow (for prop aircraft) to fast for modern fighters.




  
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Focus issues with aircraft in flight
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