D610 Single Centre AF Lock...???

posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
There doesn't seem to be a setting on my camera for this & the manual AND Dr Google don't seem to have an answer for me..

I am unable to lock focus on the centre of my camera unless I am in manual focus, which is not ideal when doing kids day care portraits.. I have changed the settings on my camera to back button focus; however I still have to continue pressing it (as I would have with the shutter release focus) until I find the centre & then it will lock in place when I let go, which is a little inconvenient as I still waste time focusing..

Ideally I would like to be able to lock focus in the centre of my camera and then move the focus point. I hope this question makes sense and I hope somebody somewhere out there has an answer for me..
posted October 22nd, 2014
You can set one of the buttons to "AF ON." Then in AF-S and Single Point Area mode, the standard way most of us shoot, place the single focus point where you want it and then press and release the button you have set. Focus will lock until you press the button again. You can now move the frame where you want it.

You can set the buttons in the Custom Settings Menu (Menu button, third choice down), "f" section, Controls. I use the "fn" button, but there are others you can find on the menu. You cannot use the shutter half press now to focus of course.

I use this "back button focus" (well "front button" with the "fn" button) all the time. In conjunction with "AE Lock (Hold)" on the AE-L/AF-L button, I have now decoupled focus from exposure metering, and I can now get AF from one area of the frame and meter on a different place or frame, all without keeping any buttons pressed.
Now the shutter release button is exactly that only. The procedure and assignment work nicely for me. You might find a different arrangement of the buttons works better for you.

Good luck!
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@frankhymus So it is set to AF ON and AF-S but when I toggle the focus area, it literally won't let me choose a point to focus on until I press the AE-L/AF-L button (which I re-assigned to AF) and even then I can't toggle through, I have to keep pressing a million times until the camera finally decides it wants to focus on the same point as I would like :(

I find it really odd because my old camera would allow me to toggle through the focus points and lock when I chose the point I wanted to lock it on.. so I was hoping that this is me just being silly and not a feature that is missing from the d610 :/
posted October 22nd, 2014
@becpeterson No, the "lock" doesn't appear to allow you to work that way. I wonder, why are you trying to move the focus area? Just point the selected area where you want it, lock and then move the whole camera to the frame you want.
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@frankhymus So I want to focus on one point in the photo and move the camera, exactly like you said.. except I can't choose the focus point manually. I have to allow the camera to choose the focus point and then move the camera. Sorry I just used the centre of the camera as an example, because that is most likely where my initial focusing would occur.. does that make better sense?? Sorry if I am confusing you..
posted October 22nd, 2014
@becpeterson Have you "locked" the focus point with the control that is around the "OK" button? Move it from "L" to "." and you can operate as you describe. I just tried it. I actually love the "L" feature. With my D5100 I was forever accidentally moving the focus area as I operated the selector direction wheel.
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@frankhymus yep :( and it still chooses to focus where ever it pleases.. I just don't understand what I could be doing wrong..??
posted October 22nd, 2014
@becpeterson You are not shooting AUTO?
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
Nope, full manual..
@frankhymus
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@frankhymus Besides focus obviously.. I even have the same issue if I change to A or S priority..
posted October 22nd, 2014
If you have the focus set to AFS S you can use the direction pointer on the rear of the camera to select the focus point you want withing the confines of the focus area as defined in the viewfinder. On my D800 I have up to 51 points that I can move the focus point to.
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg Yeah I can do that on my D3200 and J1 but for some reason not on the D610?? The directional pointer will not move the focus area at all..??
posted October 22nd, 2014
Have you the focus lock switched on?
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg I did have it locked, but I have switched between lock and unlock and I have gone into custom settings and played around but no luck :(
posted October 22nd, 2014
I think you need to seek Nikons assistance on this. When you look through the viewfinder and press the AF button the front left of the camera - where you switch between AF and M what does the viewfinder say?
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg AFS AUTO..
I actually emailed Nikon right before I posted on here, but was hoping I may find an answer before they get back to me :)
posted October 22nd, 2014
looking though the viewfinder and using the directional button does the focus point move?
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg Nope :(
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg it will only move if I press the AE-L/AE-F button, because I reassigned to BBF..
posted October 22nd, 2014
you need to take it off auto
posted October 22nd, 2014
use the front wheel to change the setting
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg So when I put it on manual focus it will move, but the point is that I want it to auto focus, but where I want it to focus to, not to where the camera thinks I should focus to.. which hasn't been an issue with ay of my other cameras, even while on AF.
posted October 22nd, 2014
did that work
posted October 22nd, 2014
If you are using BBF and set the camera to AFS S it will do exactly what you want to.
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg That's what I thought.. and that's what it does on my other cameras.. just not with this camera for some reason??
posted October 22nd, 2014
I use the BBF button to Focus and the shutter button to take the picture. The camera is on AF but it wont do what you want while you have it set to Auto. If you mobe it to AFS 39 you can select any of the 39 focus points that the camera offers. You compose the image, move the focus point to where you want to focus and push the BBF buuton and while holding it with you thumb press the shutter release button
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg so do you think my camera is faulty? Because it won't let me move to any of the 39 points unless I continually press the BBF button to find the focus point (which is the camera choosing, not me) & when I try to use the wheel to find the focus point myself, the camera does not respond..
posted October 22nd, 2014
No I think its simply the setting you are using. The BBF will highlight the current focus point as long as you have taken it off Auto when Looking through the viewfinder. If you look though the viewfinder press the button on the front left again and it will highlight the setting you are on.In the bottom left of the VF it should say either AFS or AFC and in the right corner AUTO, D39, D11 or S
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@andysg Oh my gosh I am so confused, haha. So I have my camera set up on manual mode.. Now in my view finder it says what you say it should say (AFS on the right and AUTO on the left).

The BBF will only let me choose if I flick the AF switch on the front to M, which means I also have to manually focus, but if I change the camera settings to auto focus the camera will not let me choose the focus point.

If I do these exact same settings on my D3200 it will let me choose the focus point and automatically focus for me.. Does your D610 do the same thing as what I am explaining or will it allow you to choose the focus point like how I can on my D3200?
posted October 22nd, 2014
@becpeterson @andysg OK, problem identified. As you have described just above, you have the AF-Area-Mode set to AUTO. This "area focus" mode is not to be confused with the AUTO on the "exposure" mode (M,A,S,P AUTO, etc.) dial. That's the one mode where you do not have control over setting the focus point, the camera employing some "smart" technology, face detection being only one, to decide.

So press the AF Mode Set button (on the front left, inside the A/M focus switch) and rotate the front command dial away from AUTO, "S" is the only other option if you are in AF-S (Single Servo). Now you can do what you want. Your D3200 also has an AUTO Area option that will also take away the choice of setting a point. But you probably had never had it in that area mode to notice that behavior.

To fully understand all the options you have, I'd suggest you take a glance at the appropriate manual pages. Or consult one of the add-on books. The David Busch series are good and comprehensive, good to have anyway for a lot of ins and outs and words of wisdom. He spends a whole chapter on the ins and outs of Auto Focus, which has so many options, variations and intricacies one wonders if it should still be called "Auto" Focus at all. :)
posted October 22nd, 2014
Bec
@frankhymus OH MY GOSH WHAT A SIMPLE FIX!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! It was seriously doing my head in & the manual doesn't mention this at all :( But now I know & I will never forget.. & I will defiantly look up David Busch, thanks again you are a life saver, if I could hug you though the screen I would :)
posted October 23rd, 2014
@becpeterson Not a problem. Ask any time about things Nikon, I can probably help. I feel your hug from here, too. Good shooting with your D610, a fine camera.
posted October 24th, 2014
Bec
@frankhymus I have something Nikon to ask.. in a way..

Can you please set me a speed light task... or two... The place that hired me requested I buy one for their group shots.. I've no idea how to use it other than mount it, set it to i-TTL & shoot away.. Not ideal..

The company said when it comes to the kids group shot they like their photographers to shoot in P & auto flash, which is fantastic news for me but I personally would like to understand and confidently use the speedlight in manual before just throwing it all into auto and never seeing for myself how it all works together. & I feel like it would give me better results, just like when you use the camera in manual.. always better results :)

Thanks in advance :) :) :)
posted October 24th, 2014
@becpeterson Hah!. I don't know about tasks, I just wrote a screed about flash operation in your other thread.

Look into "Slow Synch" mode, and especially "night portraits" where you illuminate the front subject with flash, but use ambient light for the background. Look into "Rear Curtain Synch" mode where you can follow a moving subject and have the light trails follow the subject.

You can try both of these with your onboard flash.

When you get your strobe, try a portrait with an off-board flash, the flash placed 45 degrees around from your camera. This will start to give you nice shadows and wrap-around light on the face of the subject. Use the on board flash in Commander mode.

Look to set a very fast shutter (I think your D610 will allow you to set a fast synch mode, they have an asterisk against them in the menu setting screen) to send the background completely black.

Look to go just the opposite and use the background in "Slow Synch" mode - Night Portrait scene mode, but with the much nicer light of the off board strobe.

After your "one light" off board portrait, try to have a reflector light on the other side of the subject to highlight the shadow side of the face a little. If you have two strobes, you can instead use a second strobe, commanded in the commander mode on your camera at, say -2EV for flash.

Have fun with flash. I do. And then, go outside in "normal" light, even strong natural back light and try "fill flash" effects. Combined with judiciously placed reflectors, you can do all sorts of stuff. These can be especially nice "off board" where the flash light is not directly along the axis of the lens, the placement that gives you that very "flat" and unflattering flash illumination.
posted October 24th, 2014
@becpeterson iTTL is ideal. I strongly believe this. By all means experiment with other modes, the "Auto A" modes are interesting. Amd always remember than flash compensation is a very useful too. But for production shots, and especially multiple strobe situations and mixed with ambient light, trust iTTL. Nikon Pros do, all the time.
posted October 24th, 2014
Bec
@frankhymus Thanks :) this gives me a starting point but from your other thread reply I can see it's not as easy as mount and shoot, there is quite a lot to learn about flash photography!! But at least you have given me a fantastic starting point & I have a few things to look up and try now... & hopefully in one month my daycare group shot will turn out how they want it to so they don't fire me before I even get started, haha.

Also, when I did the training day it was so different to how I would shoot kids portraits as I personally don't shoot in that "classical style" but it came in super handy, especially for the next time I shoot newborns, as I've been having some issues getting comfortable with that shooting style..

Anyway thanks again for your help, you have come in very handy!! Actually you have even assisted me when I was looking at upgrading either my camera or my lens.. I don't remember what your answer was but I remember your profile picture :) Not sure if I took your advice or not but now I have upgraded both, haha.
posted October 24th, 2014
@becpeterson The D610 is a fine camera and paired with good FX lenses can make all the difference. Have fun, and the best of luck...
posted October 24th, 2014
Bec
@frankhymus Thanks :)
posted December 7th, 2015
Thanks! This helped me immensely with the D610 as I could never find a way to hold a focus point in place and just switched to manual focus in exasperation. The tiny button on the Af/ M lever is not so obvious.
posted May 5th, 2017
Holy moly. FINALLY you guys helped me with the same issue. So frustrating. I cant believe i just had to switch the command dial to S. I thought something was wrong with my camera. I have read a million forums trying to figure it out. THANK YOU!
posted September 19th, 2018
@frankhymus Thank you very much...i was trying whole day to find why i cant play with my focus point. finally i get here to read all comments and fix my camera.now i can play with my focus point same like my D7200... thanks again
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