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How to Set The Nikon F100's AF Modes
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Nikon F100

Nikon F100 and Nikon 24mm f/1.4. I'd get it here, and check here, too.

This very confusing, since the instructions never say in English what settings do what and there must be at least three different independent things to set, not even counting the AF sensor selector.

Here's how to set the camera:

1.) Don't screw with the custom settings for nearest focus priority.

2.) Use the AF sensor selector to put the sensor on your subject.

3a.) Still subjects: set S mode on front of camera, [ ] mode on rear of camera. The camera will focus on the selected sensor, and lock until you release the shutter regardless of what the subject does or where you point the camera after you get focus to lock the first time.

3b.) Moving subjects: set C mode on front of camera, [+] mode on rear of camera. The camera will focus on the selected sensor, and then will track whatever was there as it moves around the frame. This works better than I would believe; it will track flying birds, naked people, sports or anything. You need to keep the release pressed, if you let up even for an instant the camera starts over by focussing on the selected sensor which may no longer be your intended subject. It is intended for fast subjects. If the subject moves too slowly from side to side the system may indeed decide to focus again on the selected sensor. The system is not perfect, just close. It is excellent against a blank background. It is more likely to be fooled against a busy background. Yes, you can fool it easily if you are deliberately trying to trick it. For real action photography it is dialed in to work great.

If you really care to know what each of the modes do, then read on:

S (single) mode means the camera focuses and then locks when the subject stops. Use this for still subjects.

C (continuous) mode means the camera keeps focussing in and out as the subject moves toward and away from the camera.

[+] means the camera is allowed to use all the sensors automatically as it chooses. The F100 does different things in C or S mode when this is selected:
In C and [+] the F100 will try to track the side-to-side motion of the subject from sensor to sensor. This mode is used to track moving subjects automatically.
In S [+] the F100 will choose whichever sensor has the closest subject. This mode is only used when you hand your camera to a stranger to have him take your picture. It's the point-and-shoot AF mode.

[ ] means the F100 uses only the selected AF sensor.

You can use the custom modes to screw with this, I don't.

Note that there are TWO kinds of focus tracking, each in a different dimension:

1.) in C mode the camera tracks the subject as it moves closer and farther away, regardless of which AF sensor is used.

2.) in [+] mode the camera chooses which AF sensor to use, and in C [+] mode it tracks the subject as it moves around the frame in an attempt to select automatically the sensor representing the moving subject, a second type of tracking.


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