Street Fair "Action" with a long lens

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
We had our first street fairs of the summer this past weekend - our town has all sorts of these things from now into October. I did some street shooting with my Coolpix A, but I blew it and accidentally set the aperture to f22 and there were only a few shots even worth thinking about processing. But I also brought the 180mm f2.8 (non-D version), which I bought used for just under $400 several months ago, and did some longer lens shooting. A few shots are musicians who weren't really moving but the other stuff involved skateboarders doing tricks and kids hauling butt down a zipline and spinning like dervishes on a ride that used to be called the "orbitron" (which always, for no good reason at all, always reminds me of the "orgasmatron" from Woody Allen's "Sleeper" movie of yore).

I don't shoot a lot of action or use tracking AF very much and I know this is supposed to be a real weak point of the Df, but it sure seems good to me. I got a very high rate of keepers and the stuff I missed mostly seemed down to user error, where I just never found the subject well enough to let the camera lock on. So for my purposes, I guess I have to say the tracking AF is more than good enough for my purposes. Even with this ancient screw-drive AF lens. I mostly use MF glass anyway, so I guess all auto-focus sort of feels like magic to me these days, tracking AF even more-so... I've never had a camera before that could do this type of tracking auto-focus so easily...

Super Sunday Skateboards
by Ray, on Flickr

Super Sunday Skateboards
by Ray, on Flickr

Super Sunday Skateboards
by Ray, on Flickr

Super Sunday Bands
by Ray, on Flickr

Super Sunday Bands
by Ray, on Flickr

Super Sunday Bands
by Ray, on Flickr

Super Sunday Zip Line
by Ray, on Flickr

Super Sunday Zip Line
by Ray, on Flickr

Super Sunday Spinning ride
by Ray, on Flickr
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I would say action shots are definitely NOT a weak point of the Df. Perhaps those who thought so are crappy action shooters anyway. Your shots are excellent.
Thanks Sue. But among Nikon FX shooters, the 39 point AF in the DF and D610 is considered to be "crippled", a bit of a travesty! :biggrin: And I suppose maybe compared to the 51 point AF that covers a larger part of the frame and includes a center "group" AF that's supposed to do magic of some sort (in the newer D4s, D750, and D810), maybe it is relatively worse. But jeez, compared to anything else I've ever used, it's absolutely incredible. There's no EVF blackout or lag between shots in burst mode. And the way I have it set up with back button AF, I keep the camera in C-AF all the time and just use my thumb to simulate S-AF (ie, you leave your thumb on the button, it keeps focussing, you press and remove it and you've focused and then it holds that focus point until you press again, sort of like a half press with a shutter button). So all I have to do when I want to track is to change the AF are from a single point to a central group of nine (which takes all of a second), keep my thumb on the AF button, and just try to follow the action. It seems if I catch the movement anywhere in that central area, it'll lock on and follow it as long as it stays reasonably central in the frame. I don't do this type of thing much or often, so I'm probably not particularly good at it, but you really don't have to be. The camera makes it so damn easy...

These were all shot wide open, BTW, so not much room for error if the camera is just a little off, but it almost never is...

-Ray
 

Livnius

Top Veteran
Jun 3, 2012
Melbourne. Australia
Joe
Some pretty decent air in the first 2 shots of the skateboarders and clearly the tracking performance of the Df is not as 'crippled' as the internet chatter suggests, at least not for the average enthusiast. Those shots looks crisp to me.

Interesting in the third shot to see the guy on his skateboard with a camera (shooting video I assume) using his board as a dolly rig.
 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Thanks Sue. But among Nikon FX shooters, the 39 point AF in the DF and D610 is considered to be "crippled", a bit of a travesty! :biggrin: And I suppose maybe compared to the 51 point AF that covers a larger part of the frame and includes a center "group" AF that's supposed to do magic of some sort (in the newer D4s, D750, and D810), maybe it is relatively worse. But jeez, compared to anything else I've ever used, it's absolutely incredible. There's no EVF blackout or lag between shots in burst mode. And the way I have it set up with back button AF, I keep the camera in C-AF all the time and just use my thumb to simulate S-AF (ie, you leave your thumb on the button, it keeps focussing, you press and remove it and you've focused and then it holds that focus point until you press again, sort of like a half press with a shutter button). So all I have to do when I want to track is to change the AF are from a single point to a central group of nine (which takes all of a second), keep my thumb on the AF button, and just try to follow the action. It seems if I catch the movement anywhere in that central area, it'll lock on and follow it as long as it stays reasonably central in the frame. I don't do this type of thing much or often, so I'm probably not particularly good at it, but you really don't have to be. The camera makes it so damn easy...

These were all shot wide open, BTW, so not much room for error if the camera is just a little off, but it almost never is...

-Ray
I think Nikon users are completely spoilt rotten with regard to AF points. My Nikon 1s have 70 something. or is it 120 something. they are crazy fast. But 39 is good. The other N users are just spoilt rotten.

[edit] 73 focus points but only 41 in auto area auto focus. whatever that means. Fast, anyhoo.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Some pretty decent air in the first 2 shots of the skateboarders and clearly the tracking performance of the Df is not as 'crippled' as the internet chatter suggests, at least not for the average enthusiast. Those shots looks crisp to me.

Interesting in the third shot to see the guy on his skateboard with a camera (shooting video I assume) using his board as a dolly rig.
Yeah, he was doing that last year too, so I wasn't as surprised to see it this year. They start together at the top of the street and rolls right along shooting the whole run, from a very low angle. I'm sure that to the extent I'm showing air, his footage probably makes it look like EPIC air!

-Ray
 

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