Nikon Professional Services Nikon Professional Services
At the heart of the image. Nikon Professional Services

Technical Solutions | D4S TIPS

Recommended AF Settings for Aquatics

Recommended AF Settings

This section offers some advice on adjusting autofocus-related settings for different aquatic sporting events.

Swimming

This section offers some advice on adjusting autofocus-related settings for different gymnastic sporting events.

Autofocus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Single-point or group-area AF
Custom Settings
a1 AF‑C priority selection Release
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on 3 (Normal)
f19 Lens focus function buttons
>AF-area mode
Group-area AF

For information on lenses that support Custom Setting f19 (Lens focus function buttons), see Basic AF Settings for Sports Photography.

Synchronized Swimming

To photograph swimmers from above, choose 9-point dynamic-area AF and position the focus area over the main subject.

Autofocus mode AF-C
AF-area mode 9-point dynamic-area AF
Custom Settings
a1 AF‑C priority selection Release
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on 3 (Normal)
a5 Focus point illumination
> Dynamic-area AF display
On

Diving

When photographing divers against low-contrast, undifferentiated backgrounds, choose 3D-tracking, position the focus area over your subject (for best results, choose the uniform or another area of the subject that is a different color from the background), and press and hold the AF-ON button or keep the shutter-release button pressed halfway. The camera will automatically track the athlete, letting you concentrate on composition. When photographing divers against the stands, billboards, and other high-contrast backgrounds, select 21- or 51-point dynamic-area AF.

Autofocus mode AF-C
AF-area mode 3D-tracking (low-contrast backgrounds)
or 21- or 51-point dynamic-area AF (high-contrast backgrounds)
Custom Settings
a1 AF‑C priority selection Release
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on 3 (Normal)
a5 Focus point illumination
> Dynamic-area AF display
On

Instant AF-Area Mode Selection

AF-area mode can be assigned to the lens focus function buttons for flexible AF-area mode selection when photographing fast-changing sports. Select Custom Setting f19 (Lens focus function buttons), then highlight AF-area mode, press  , and choose an AF-area mode (3D-tracking excluded) according to the scene.

Example: Swimming

By selecting single-point AF with the camera and assigning group-area AF to the focus function buttons, you can press a focus function button to select group-area AF when your subject is diving from the starting block and release the button to switch to single-point AF when your subject is in the water.