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Using the Nikon Autofocus System

with Mike Hagen

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  •   15 Bird in Flight with Autofocus


Class duration: 2h 30m

See all 17 lessons
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About The Class

Autofocus modes to suit every style of shooting.

The best photo moments often present themselves to us when we least expect it. Every photographer knows the feeling of lining up what they believe will be the perfect shot, only to realize after the fact that their focus was off. Nikon cameras have a built-in autofocus system for these situations. 

Join Mike Hagan, Nikonians Academy Director, to learn how to make the most of this often-overlooked function of your digital SLR. 

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • How to set your focus within the menu settings and overall various camera settings
  • How to use autofocus patterns and area modes
  • How to use servo modes and lens configurations
Mike will help you configure the autofocus system for portraits, sports, wildlife, and landscapes. Relying on autofocus will also let you concentrate on lighting and composition, and help you take advantage of those fleeting moments.

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

  2. 02

    Autofocus Defined

  3. 03

    How Autofocus Works

  4. 04

    Focus Servo Modes

  5. 05

    Focus Patterns

  6. 06

    Autofocus Settings

  7. 07

    Impacts on Autofocus

  8. 08

    Menu Banks

  9. 09

    Mode Selector Switch & Multi Selector

  10. 10

    The AF-ON & Back Button Focus

  11. 11

    Lens Switches

  12. 12

    Autofocus for Portraiture

  13. 13

    Macro Photography with Autofocus

  14. 14

    Landscape with Autofocus

  15. 15

    Bird in Flight with Autofocus

  16. 16

    Outdoor Sports with Autofocus

  17. 17

    Indoor Events with Autofocus


Meet Your Expert

Mike Hagen

Mike Hagen is a professional photographer, author, and workshop leader. He's taught hundreds of workshops and thousands of students over the years on just about all photo topics including camera gear, studio lighting, Photoshop®, Lightroom®, landscape, travel, and digital workflow. ... read more

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80% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.


    March 2018

    Good course! I am a beginner and this course helped me a lot. I agree with some students that a better work could have been done in preparing the presentations. It seems to me that Mike is great in having informal live workshops. However, for recorded classes like the ones we buy in Creative Live, the teaching technique should be adjusted. Overall I am glad I bought this course.

  • Catherine Lucas

    Catherine Lucas

    May 2017

    After having my camera D800 for 5 or 6 years and never really got the focussing down I can finally do it. This video should be included with every Nikon sold. I am so happy that I am finally get the fullest out of this great camera, I am more of a visual person. Reading the manual is not the same as actually see it done... Thanks Mike, you rock! I have watched the sequences over and over and learned so much. Thanks. And always welcome when you pass in New Mexico...

  • Janie Anderson

    June 2016

    Thanks, Mike! I will go on tomorrow's shoot with my new Nikon D500, using autofocus with much more confidence thanks to this excellent class. I especially want to master birds in flight, so that module was of particular interest, as was the detailed review of back-button focus.

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