Autofocusing for Still Subjects on the Nikon D7500: AF-S + Single Point - dummies

Autofocusing for Still Subjects on the Nikon D7500: AF-S + Single Point

By Julie Adair King

For stationary subjects, pair AF-S Focus mode with Single Point AF-area mode, as shown here. To access both settings, press the AF-mode button. Rotate the Main command dial to set the Focus mode, and rotate the Sub-command dial to change the AF-area mode.

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For stationary subjects, these autofocus settings are recommended.

Follow these steps to focus:

  1. Looking through the viewfinder, use the Multi Selector to position the focus point over your subject.
    You may need to press the shutter button halfway and release it to wake up the camera before you can take this step. (By default, the system automatically shuts down after a period of inactivity.) Also make sure that the Focus-selector lock switch isn’t set to the L (locked) position. To change the focus point, the white marker on the switch must point to the white dot.
  2. Press the shutter button halfway to set focus.

    When focus is achieved, the camera displays a dot at the left end of the viewfinder, as shown. Focus is locked as long as you keep the shutter button pressed halfway.
  3. Press the shutter button the rest of the way to take the shot.
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In AF-S mode, a white dot appears when focus is achieved.

Here are a few additional details about this autofocusing setup:

  • Triangles appear instead of the focus dot when the current focusing distance is in front of or behind the subject. A right-pointing arrow means that focus is set in front of the subject; a left-pointing arrow means that focus is set behind the subject. Release the shutter button, reposition the focus point over your subject, and try again. Still no luck? Try backing away from your subject a little; you may be exceeding the minimum focusing distance of the lens.

The autofocusing system also can have trouble locking onto some subjects, especially reflective objects or those that contain little contrast. Don’t waste too much time letting the camera hunt for a focusing point; it’s easier to switch to manual focus.

  • Remember that by default, the camera doesn’t release the shutter if it can’t achieve focus. If you want the shutter to release regardless of focus, open the Custom Setting menu, select Autofocus, and then set the AF-S Priority option to Release.
  • You can ask the camera to beep when focus is achieved. You enable and disable the sound via the Beep On/Off option on the Setup menu. When the feature is turned on, a musical note appears near the battery symbol in the upper-right corner of the Information display. Even when the beep is enabled, it won’t sound in the Quiet and Quiet Continuous Release modes, though — because, you know, “Quiet.”

Initial exposure settings are also chosen at the moment you press the shutter button halfway. However, assuming that you’re relying on autoexposure, settings are adjusted as needed until you take the shot.

  • If needed, you can position your subject outside a focus point. Just compose the scene initially so that your subject is under a point, press the shutter button halfway to lock focus, and then reframe.

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You may want to lock focus and exposure together before you reframe. Just press and hold the AE-L/AF-L button. Otherwise, exposure is adjusted to match the new framing, which may not work well for your subject.

Your half-press of the shutter button also replaces the shots-remaining value with the buffer capacity (r94). This bit of data comes into play only when you use the Continuous Release modes; the number indicates how many shots the camera can record in a continuous burst before filling the buffer (temporary data storage space). When the value drops to 0, the camera pauses until it has time to finish recording all current images to the memory card.