D700 settings with 300mm f2.8 for night time sports

Discussion in 'Sports' started by lesterphoto, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Hello,
    I'm using a D700 and a AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 ED VR I for night time sports and sometimes when I press the shutter the camera doesn't fire, like it can't focus fast enough.
    I've tried Dynamic AF Area of 9, 21, and 51. Changed the Focus Tracking with Lock-on from short to long. My AF-C is set to Focus Only, and the Built in AF-Assist illuminator it OFF.
    Can someone recommend which settings I should use? Thanks.
  2. "Focus Only" is going to only fire when your subject is in focus. Try your setting at "Release + Focus". Also try AF Assist ON.
  3. I don't think the small AF assist lamp will help with a 300mm lens, it is better to leave this off.
  4. Is the lens new or used. I had similar problems with a Sigma 70-200 that I kind of wore out! Are you sure lens and camera couple correctly, and tightly?
    How about in daylight lighting? does same thing happen?
    Laura's suggestion 'focus only' is good idea. My d300's are set to "release", I'm pretty sure.
    But 'focus only', with nightime lighting, and lots of movement, could be the cause.
  5. I agree with Jordy.
    Focus assist lamp range on D700 is perhaps about 9 ft or less efective at the limit.
    Your lens minimal focus as perhaps 7.5 or 8 ft, so perhaps not much to make use of the lamp.
  6. Sounds like you have Focus Only (a1) set since it won't fire when you press the shutter.You don't say what sport. I do some low light sports (football) and use a D300.
    Maybe I misunderstand how focus tracking with Lock-On works, but wouldn't the Long setting cause more of a delay in focusing when the subjects are moving rapidly and distance to subject changes quickly say as you switch from the quarterback to the receiver in football. I understand using Long might be better if taking photos of one player and other players pass between camera and subject but everything happens so quickly I don't know that long would be an advantage.
    I'm in a learning process with low light sports. I use the AF-ON button rather than the press shutter release half way for activating focus which seems to work for faster and better focus for me since by holding the AF-ON button down and with focus to continuous I get more in focus shots than if I use the shutter half pressed method.
    If you have any settings suggestions as to what is working for you I'd appreciate hearing about them.
  7. In low light its just difficult for the autofocus to find good contrast to work.
    I shoot a lot of soccer, often with very low light, and its a big difference to focus a player with a black-white striped trikot or a player with an unicolor red one.
    You can set the camera to high ISO so the images you get are bright, but these settings dont work for AF-sensor, and the real light situation limits the use of AF.

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