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Struggling with Nikon AF modes

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Hi all,


I'm still getting to grips with my D2Xs! I've been using it with a Tokina 10-17mm.


I find that with fast moving subjects, I struggle to get the Af to lock on. Can or would anyone explain to me what settings they use?


As I understand it, there are two sets of adjustments. Firstly, Single Servo/ Continuous and secondly metering patterns. Do people use continuous mode for (moving) fish photography? I must admit, that I can't work out how the metering patterns works-if anyone could give me an idiots guide, and which they choose underwater I would really apreciate it.


Many thanks



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Since you're using a wide angle zoom fisheye (Tokina 10-17mm), you could:

-prefocus on something at the distance you want to shoot (remember to adjust your strobes' power settings and aim for that distance also)

-set the aperture to f/8 or f/11

-set the camera focus mode to Manual

This is hyperfocal shooting. (letting the wide angle lens' huge depth of field keep most everything in focus)

why use it?


-yields good results

-no focus light required (no watching you AF hunt while your subject is in the perfect pose)


if the D2x is similar to the D200, you have:

two AF modes

-single servo (static subjects or subjects moving parallel to film plane)

-continuous (subjects moving toward/away from film plane)


four AF Area modes

-single AF area

-dynamic AF area

-group dynamic AF area (good starting point for wide angle)

-dynamic area AF with closest subject priority (maybe for close focus wide angle)


two area modes

-Normal (11 areas) <default>

-Wide (7 areas)


Practice on land:

-try photographing your dog running around the yard

-use both AF and hyperfocal (see what fits your wide angle shooting style best)

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you need to slow down! The D2Xs is a big, complex beast, and I'm not surprised that you have some teething troubles.


It sounds as if the focus lag is defeating your efforts, so Continuous AF would be a place to start. Or you could use Single-Servo AF and prefocus on a suitable target.


I would also forget the focus area flexibility at first, and simply use the central area. On the D200, which, I think, has a similar AF system, I've noticed that the performance is more reliable in the centre of the field than towards the edges. I've not heard this described, buut it could reflect an incompatibility between the lens and the dome, throwing out the focus away from the optical axis and frustrating the AF system.


Hyperfocal techniques are fine...

... if you have manual focus on the lens. My housing gives manual focus or zoom capability, but not both. A lot of photographers don't use manual focus on wide-angles. Some do.





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Hi guys


Many thanks-lots of great info. :)


I'm sure I do need to slow down!


My camera is in a Subal ND2 housing-so manual focus is not an option. I will try continuous mode and "central focus" and see what happens! I'm lucky that I get in the water pretty often.The down side is that it is in quite dark water (UK) so sometimes this presents an additional challenge!


My dog will have more pictures of it than ever!


Many thanks again :lol:



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