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D700 technical problem.

ALM_327ALM_327 Member
edited May 2012 in news & discussions
I shot my first wedding this evening and my D700 had an issue. There were multiple times during the event that I would press my shutter halfway to focus and when I fully depressed to trip the shutter nothing happened. I would have to release and press again, sometimes multiple times, to get the shutter to finally release. The issue caused me to miss some important shots. Anyone ever have this problem before?


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    1] Check to see the AF button on lens is firmly clicked into the AF mode, and not 'sort of' between MF and AF

    2] Push the lens release button, twist the lens as if you are taking it off the camera body, but then firmly click it back into position until you feel/hear the click it is seated properly.

    3] Your focus lock/hold recompose is not being done properly, you may think you have it locked but if recomposing it may not be locked properly and it won't take a shot if not focus locked correctly.

    4] If shooting in dark, it has trouble locking focus, and same as #3.

    What focus do you have it on, as in a single point focus, or leaving the camera to choose it's own with no actual focus point by you.

    Have you tried some tests since, as in with no pressure since it was your first wedding it may be a case of nerves, just a thought.

    Go out and try it a few dozen times, daylight and inside, see if the camera replicates the error.


  • ALM_327ALM_327 Member
    Thanks for taking the time to comment Trev.

    I just did some test shots and it definitely seems to be happening in low light against dark surfaces. I noticed that both arrows on either side of the green dot focus indicator are blinking when the issue occurs, but the autofocus is not hunting to obtain focus. If I release the shutter button and re compose on a different the autofocus kicks back in.

    I just played around some and changed an autofocus setting in CSM from focus priority to release priority and that lets me release the shutter, but it still seems to me that if focus priority is chosen the autofocus should continue to search until it obtains focus on something.

    The issue happens on both my 24-70mm and 80-200mm lenses, so it's not a lens issue.
  • ALM_327ALM_327 Member
    I use single point focus and the issue occurs prior to recomposing..the autofocus just stops searching and I can't trip the shutter.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    That means you are definitely not getting a focus lock then, and if it has trouble getting focus in low light and it's hunting, it will 'give up' after a while and won't trip the shutter since it does not have a focus lock.

    Setting the CSM from focus to release will not 'solve' the problem, since it will fire anyway weather it has obtained a sharp focus or not. Do you have a 'Focus Priority and Release' option in the menu, I don't have a D700 so cannot comment on that.

    You need to just keep testing in low light, see when it occurs and when it obtains focus, and to try to maybe say lock onto an edge of a face, or a contrast part of body in same plane, but if you are on f2.8 you need to be careful.

    I am afraid you do need to just see what will work and won't during those situations.

    Even during very low light with my D3s, and a good optic, it will lock but takes a fraction longer than if I have sharp contrasty edges to lock onto.

    After you using on camera flash, since the infrared flash assist beam will help you obtain focus also.
  • ALM_327ALM_327 Member
    Thanks again Trev...

    The AF seems to search for a shorter duration than I would expect in these situations before it gives up.

    I do have the "release+focus" priority option in the CSM, but only for AF-C and not for AF-S.

    I did have an SB-900 on the camera when the issue was occurring, and it didn't seem to be much help. I rented a 2nd D700 for another wedding I have this coming weekend so I will compare it's AF performance with mine when I get it to confirm that mine doesn't have some kind of issue going on. I'll also use the tips you gave me...thanks for taking the time to help me out with this..

  • NaftoliNaftoli Member
    what button r u using to achieve focus? the af on or the shutter release?
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    AF-C should ideally be set for Release Priority.


    In AF-C mode, the (red) auto-focus beam of the flash is disabled, making it difficult to focus in the dark.
    And being in Release+Focus Priority mode, when the camera had trouble locking on, it refused to fire.

    Change AF-C to be Release Priority,
    and in low light, use AF-S where the flash helps you focus.

    This should solve your problems.
  • Thanks for chiming in Neil...I'm not sure if I was in AF-C or S when I was having the issue during the wedding, but the AF seems to be working fine in AF-S with my speedlight on now..the big test will be at my next wedding tomorrow.
    Focus works on contrast. If you were trying to focus on something with little or no contrast then the D700 will not lock focus and hence will not allow the shutter to release. Also which focus point were you using? The centre point or any other point that has a cross focus point will be the most sensitive (especially in low light). In low light conditions or low contrast images I lock focus on an edge which has a lot of contrast and then recompose. These are just my thoughts based on what you describe.
  • D700 have build in light for focus assistance. If you put your sb-900 it replace this light, be sure that your sb-900 red light is assisting during the focus.
  • It might be SB-900 problem or sort of setting in flash?
  • On my D700 no problem on almost dark room with street light to focus, but with asistance from my SB-700 or built in light.
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