A9 focus fails


TalkEmount Veteran
Jan 25, 2019
The first time I took the camera out I noticed that locks were often hard to come by with small birds. Nothing would get focus.
Some settings experiments and a firmware update later and I'm not seeing any improvement.
The bird can be in mid ground with little around to confuse the AF or it can be closer in amongst foliage with plenty to confuse the AF.
Yesterday for the first time I added the 1.4 TC to the FE200600 and this failure hit a new level. I lost four shots in a row.
I did a simple test: a sapling trunk that was in good light with plenty of contrast. I used Spot: Small, Medium, and Expand Flexible. The AF area was entirely or substantially over the bark.
First up was a failure to focus on anything at all. Then I found with repeated alternating between more distant foliage and the trunk, focus occurred but was slow. I suspect the camera has some ability to learn. I've found similar results with test locks on a horizontal power line - initial failures followed by some success if a nearby object was used to set the range.
Settings: Focus/release balanced; AF sens set at 4.
If this was a DSLR I'd be blowing the AF sensor out or getting it repaired.

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