I have had my Nikon D3 for several years now and primarily shoot MMA and boxing. My primary lens is the 24-70mm f/2.8. The typical setup is manual, 640 to 800ths of a second @ f/2.8, ISO 1000 to 2000.
For live fights, I go for center-mass of the fighter to make most of the target.
Recently, I’ve been having a lot of problems with capturing images of fighters (while fighting) in focus. The usual problem is focus elsewhere behind or next to the fighter instead of the fighter themselves. I’ve run though the different focus options such as dynamic area 9/21/51 AF points and AF point selection of 11 and 51. The body is setup for AF-ON on the AF-ON button as well as the shutter. I also mix between dynamic and single AF and spot, matrix, and center-weighted metering. I have also tried focus tracking lock from off through 5 (longest).
This does not appear to be a back focus issue as the lens lines-up with testing on well-lit subjects.
The body has been reset to factory defaults several times; the issue persists.
Despite numerous combinations, I seem to catch focus on the fighters surroundings instead of the fighter. When on the fighter however, the image is tack-sharp.
I am looking for advice on what may be the issue. At this point, it could either be me or the camera settings. It seems like the camera will focus where it thinks it should focus vs. where I am telling it to.