The right lens choice counts for nothing if your camera isn’t set up wi th the right AutoFocus settings.
Pro Mark Pain
Pro-file Chief sports photographer at the Mail on Sunday, Mark was named Sports Photographer of the Year at the 2005 and 2011 British Press Awards. A Nikon Ambassador, he founded the UK’s first sports photography school.
Most people are aware of the many different patterns and numbers of focus points available to them in their camera, but very few adjust the focus tracking, which can be just as crucial. The AF tracking speed refers to how quickly the camera tries to refocus on a subject if it suddenly comes into frame. For instance, with rugby, tries are sometimes scored between the posts [above right]; if you had the tracking set on the wrong speed and were behind the try-line, your camera would attempt to shift focus from the player to the goalpost as he dived over the try-line to score. By slowing the tracking down slightly the camera will delay how quickly it tries to refocus and would ignore the goalpost for longer, retaining focus on the player. Each sport differs so you have to adjust your tracking accordingly.