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Nikon Z6 and 24 - 70 lens

Discussion in 'Nikon Chat' started by Chris Weston, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Chris Weston

    Chris Weston Member

    Thanks for the add.
    I have just bought the Nikon Z6 and 24 - 70 4S lens and seem to be having problems with the autofocus. I have resorted to manual focus. The depth of field seems very narrow.
    Are there any settings that might improve focus such as pinpoint selection?
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Most cameras focus at full aperture and close down to taking aperture which may be why the depth of field looks shallow while you are focussing. I expect you can set the camera to give depth of field preview if you want to see what it is.

    Some subjects are hard for autofocus, this include smooth, shiny, low contrast.

    Mirrorless AF is not exactly the same as on a DSLR, you may find choosing a very specific AF point worsens performance compared to using a larger focussing area. It is worthwhile going through the various options and reading the manual carefully. My Fuji has all sorts of options. I tend to use a single focussing area and set the size roughly equal to my DSLR single focussing point with surrounding AF point support.
  3. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    This is perhaps slightly vague.

    What area mode are you using? (Pinpoint, single-point, dynamic, wide-area, auto)

    What focus mode are you using? (Single AF-S, continuous AF-C)

    In what lighting conditions?

    I only seem to have problems with the AF in very dark conditions (which sadly I experience regularly!) - in a 'normally' lit environement it seems to work ok.- I tend to use Single Point AF-C (I use the AF-ON button)
  4. Chris Weston

    Chris Weston Member

    Thank you for the responses.
    The camera seemed to be 'hunting' for the focus point and would not settle on the green square. Should there have been a known fault or idiocyncracy then I needed to find out within the return period.
    I was using centre weighted /AFC but now spot metering/AFS and the AF-ON button.
    Everything seems so much better in brighter lighting outdoors today.
    I have read that it may be possible to assign one of the buttons to DOF preview but I've yet to find that facility in the menus. I do miss that reassurance of WYSIWYG.
    You will no doubt gather I'm still on the learning curve with this outfit and look forward to trying other F type lenses in the future.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Speaking generally the metering mode shouldn't affect the AF and spot metering has rather specific applications. Evaluative metering s generally good for most things.

    Continuous AF (AF-C) should track whatever is under the green square, so if you move the camera the focus will change.

    On my cameras the AF-on button function is useful only if AF using the shutter release is disabled. Otherwise, whatever you do with AF-ON will be overriden when the exposure is made.

    On two cameras I've also got an AF-lock option which will overide both the AF-ON and shutter release. I find that makes things a bit complicated - I'd rather use AF controlled with the AF-ON button only if I want to do a lot of focus and recompose. This is also called back-button focus because, before dedicated AF-ON controls, a button on the camera back was assigned. A common back-button focus error was to assign and forget, then on the next use of the camera the AF dosesn't work when the shutter release is depressed and panic ensues.

    On a mirrorless it is possible that DOF preview might be called something else or the viewfinder light level might be boosted so that the viewfinder doesn't darken as expected.
    Chris Weston likes this.
  6. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    No this is not an error, simply the AF searching for an element of contrast that will allow it to 'fix' the focus. As I previously mentioned, this is far more likely in low light and/or low contrast situations - using the AF-ON button or not changes nothing. The principal advantage of using this button is that it allows you to use AF-C (continuous) for as long as the button is pressed - a huge advantage to sports or performance photographers (like myself) - naturally the shutter button would be set to AE-lock, thus being able to control the focus and the exposure independently.

    Depth of field preview is set in the 'Control' menu F2 by assigning 'Preview' to, for example, the FN1 button.
    Chris Weston likes this.
  7. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    Sorry but I can't see to what you are refering here...
  8. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I am glad I'm not alone in that
  9. Chris Weston

    Chris Weston Member

    What you see is what you get.
  10. Chris Weston

    Chris Weston Member

    Thank you all for your input - much appreciated.
  11. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    Despite being extremely old, it might surprise you to know that I actually know what WYSIWYG means - however, in this context I can't, for the life of me, imagine why you mention it.

    However, I do know a little bit about the Z 6 + 24-70 S lens, which is why I replied to your original post.
    RogerMac likes this.
  12. Chris Weston

    Chris Weston Member

    I sense people are being slightly testy or perhaps a little sniffy here?
    I responded in the way I did because people were suggesting I hadn't made myself clear enough. WYSIWYG referred to the use of the DOF lever used on traditional cameras which I wish they still had on this one.
    I find the modern stuff far too complicated .
    I too am very old and may very well revert to my Nikon FM, some lovely FP4 and Agfachrome! No offence intended.
  13. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    No offence taken, however, it wasn't clear to me (And for once I was not alone in this) - sorry that I asked you to clarify, which you now have.

    As previously mentioned, the DOF preview function CAN be assigned to a number of buttons - however, this doesn't go far in answering how to fine-tune your use of the AF...

    I tried to explain in a previous post (2.16am) what I thought the problem might be, based on personal experience, but not knowing the lighting conditions and the relative contrast of your subject, it's difficult to 'guesstimate' a solution. My apologies.
  14. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    It is interesting to note that AF systems, much like your eyes, need some contrast or texture if they are to achieve sharp focus. Point your camera at a white painted concrete wall and it will run full scale a couple of times and stop with, on a Nikon SLR, both arrows flashing. Give it an edge or some texture and it will focus quite quickly. You will have equal difficulty using the split image device on your FM, I had an FM2n for a while so I have tried. Simply if you have difficulty focusing manually the camera will also struggle but it isn't as clever as you are so there will be occasions where you can focus and it can't.

    Nikon usually have a page of two on getting the best out of AF in their manuals, I recommend having a look they are quite good.
  15. Chris Weston

    Chris Weston Member

    Gentlemen, thank you so much for your explanations which have been thorough and very helpful. I am much relieved to know that my system is normal for type and I have the confidence now to begin the process of getting to grips with it.
    It represented a considerable outlay for me hence my anxiety.
    I shall save your comments and refer back to them to work through the menus!
    Hopefully then I can concentrate more on the subject and framing rather than the technicalities!
    Again, my sincere thanks.
  16. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    Hi, as an. an aside, my 24-120 f4 occasionally will not autofocus, this is on a D800, and seems to be when the lighting is difficult, so I have manually focused to get the shot, but next time I,v shot it worked.
    ChrisNewman and Chris Weston like this.
  17. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    Going back to the men
    I come across this situation on a fairly regular basis - my solution is relatively simple - I point the camera to the right or the left until I get an element of contrast (the difference between a performers costume and a darker rear wall, for example) press the AF-ON button to focus then reframe my shot - even at f/2.8 I manage to nail it more often than not.

    Going back to the menu conumdrum...with modern equipment we're sadly light years away from three simple settings - ISO, speed and aperture. But after a short time "setting up" the camera to do what I expect it to do, I'm enjoying this new 'mirror less' experience - it transpires that I change very little from the default settings in fact, and as I shoot RAW most of the colour settings are a complete waste of time for me. I heartily agree that it's a PITA to have to delve into menus (the virtual horizon, which I employ often with ultra-wide angle lenses, is hidden amongst the functions on the 'DISP' button, not in the menus at all!) but this does allow in-camera processing (of a sort) and being able to output a .JPEG directly from the camera with appropriate settings already applied is an advantage for a number of users.
    ChrisNewman and Chris Weston like this.
  18. Chris Weston

    Chris Weston Member

    Thank you Ian. I have trolled through all the recommendations posted and hand written extracted notes. (The old fashioned way!)
    The fog is slowly lifting I'm happy to say as I delve into the various menus.
    Computer science never was my forte although I'm just managing this post on my mobile phone!
    What a wonderful and far ranging site this is.
    My thanks to you all again.
  19. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    One last little piece of advice - once you have chosen a few settings in the menus, and BEFORE turning the camera off, go to the last series of menus, the "setup menu" and using the second option "save user settings" save what you have just setup to one of the three possible "U" values. This way you can recall all your settings Simply by turning the left hand knob to the U value you saved.

  20. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    "Trolling" is discouraged on this forum. "Trawling" is on the other hand quite acceptable... ;)

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