I am confused about how to use this switch on the bottom left hand side of the camera body. The middle push button is understandable, but the switch for “AF” or “M”, is a bit of a mystery. I understand that AF is AutoFocus and the M is for Manual, and I think it has to do with the lens being used, but I don’t grasp how and when you need to switch from AF to M. One of my lenses is the Nikkor AF-P 70-300mm f4.5 and it has no switches. I believe camera settings are used to switch it to Manual Mode,so setting the top Mode dial to “M” is apparent, but what about the Focus Mode Selector switch? Can someone enlighten me ?
For 99% of my shots I will use autofocus. It gets the focus right. Those 1% that I use manual focus is one of two times. I am working on a macro shot or a shot that I want the focus (as an example) in the center of the X. Autofocus can say hit the top right part of the X and that will throw my focus off. So I turn the live view on then switch the manual focus switch on the lens and focus then use the magnify button for the live view and make sure what I want sharp is sharp. The second time is for example a bird in a bush with twigs infront of it. Autofocus grabs the twig and will not focus on the bird so I use manual focus to get the bird in focus (through the view finder not live view). I have no experience using Nikon since the early 80s so I maybe wrong here with this point. I think if you want to manual focus with that lens you have to change it to manual focus in the camera which is why there is no switch for it. M on the top of the camera means you control the iso/shutterspeed/aperture usually has nothing to do with autofocus.
I know there are a number of Nikon shooters here that might be able to explain how to change the 75-300 lens from auto focus to manual a bit better this boils down to my lack of knowledge about the OS and layout of the camera.
Now some lenses can be infuriating to try to use manual focus the canon kit lens 18-55 comes to my mind. This is because of something called the focus throw (the distance you turn the focus ring in order to change the focus) other lenses like say the 100mm macro from tokina is great because it is a smooth and tight ring that requires a decent amount of movement to move the focus. Same with say a Sigma 150-600 . Some lenses you will find 3 option AF, MO (or something similar), MF . The MO or middle part of the switch is autofocus but you can turn the focus ring and get focus…
Thanks for the comments Russell. I think I may have figured out that switch I mentioned. I wasn’t having an issue with the Nikkor 70-300mm. That is an “AF-P” lens and it has no switches for VR, AF/M or any other setting. The control of the lens is all done by the camera. And I think that to use that lens on full manual, I have to set the camera top mode dial to “M” and also the selector switch on the lower side of the camera from AF to M. I also think that if I was using an AF-S Nikkor lens, I can set the top mode dial to “M” and the “AF/M” switch on the lens to M and I don’t have to change the selector switch on the lower camera body at all. Kinda of confusing ain’t it? Apparently it has to do with where the focusing motor is,in the lens only or in the Camera only or in both ! My D7500 has a focus motor in the camera. If anyone sees that I am not correct on anything, please comment…thanks.