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Old May 15th, 2013, 06:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
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maintaining focus on subject coming toward you

I don't think this really matters for which Nikon dSLR that you use. I'm back to shooting video on my D4 after being a wedding videographer for a few years about 10 years ago with a Canon XL1. Focusing was easy, kept it on MF and utilized the AF button.

With these dSLR's, it's a lot tougher. For one, you can hardly see the back of the screen when you're shooting video. But worse, the only way to really track a moving subject is to move the MF with them, using the focus ring, and I'm just not very good at that at all.

What are your tricks? What do I need to learn here? Are you guys using AF for moving subjects?

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Old May 15th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: maintaining focus on subject coming toward you

We've talked about a lot especially lately. When you use a pro type lens you need to do 1 of 2 things.
1) get really really good at follow focus
2) Learn how to Spot focus

To do the first (and you should learn how to anyway) you need to practice practice practice. Shoot the kids, dog (uh, not literally of course) go to the corner and shoot cars going down the street. I used to shoot some NASCAR and always had corner 3. Cars coming at me at up to 190mph. Follow the leader thru the turn and to the next corner (or until the director called another shot). I would practice even when we weren't on the air. Not hours but 10 minutes here and there just to keep my skills up.

To do 2) spot focus (or also called zone focus) is where you place yourself at a certain point and focus on a point say 1/2 way down the aisle. Now keep in mind that DoF is not just iris opening (F/stop) but also how long the lens is and how far to your focus point. Wide lenses are more forgiving. Zoom a lens in and they are less so. Some more than others.
I use mostly spot focusing today using the HM700 with the Fuji17 lens. Of course making sure your point of focus is 110% sharp is critical.
Again, practice practice practice!
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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