View Full Version : Sequence shots with manual focus

06-28-2006, 04:32 PM
I'm attending a slalom skateboarding race this weekend to both ride in and photograph. I'm heading up to Ottawa from Connecticut; the race counts as the Canadian Nationals. Super excited, there are 70 racers signed up.

I brought my D50 out to one race before and had trouble with focusing. guys are (some of these riders are FAST!). I try to focus on a cone I pick, and wait for the rider to go around that cone so I can snap a picture. One problem is that sometimes what looks in focus in the viewfinder, isn't in focus when I view the full-sized photo on my computer. The other problem is that their stance and their body positions change from cone to cone. It's tough to guess when they'll be in a good position to photograph, so I'm not sure how to make focusing work.

Here's a photo that I thought came out decent. This guy is super fast with textbook form:

Here's a photo to show how the courses are set and what I have to work with. This was somewhat of a narrow venue, the place I'm going to this weekend will be on a closed street with a lot more width for me to work with:

I'm using a Nikon Nikor AF 28-80mm lens on my Nikon D50. Do you guys have any suggestions as how to keep the shutter clicking away without worrying about too many photos being out of focus?

06-29-2006, 09:40 PM
Um, I'm no expert, but how about auto focus?

06-30-2006, 05:00 AM
Try shooting in S mode, keep the speed up as high as you can based on the light you have. Go ahead a kick up the iso to 400 if you have those cloudy conditions like in your first picture, in order to keep the speed and light up.
Try your auto focus set to AF-C, and the auto focus area mode to dynamic area. One more thing is that, sorry to say but the 28-80 is not a very sharp lens and maybe you are seeing its limitations. You may also try burst mode while shooting board events, although it may be to slow to get exactly the shot you want. Sometimes I find it better to wait and anticipate the next movement to shoot just the one I want. Have fun.

Sorry, duh, I just realized you said manual focus in you title. I have not tried fast action with manual focus, the above info was more for what for auto focus.