I am recently trying to experiment with types of photography that I have not done much before before. One of these is photographing subjects that are moving towards or away from me. But I have experimented with all the different focus modes (AF-S, AF-C, AF-A as well as single-point AF, Dynamic-area AF, 3D tracking, and auto-area AF). But I am unable to take the shot when the subject is moving towards me. What I see happen in every possible mode combination is that when I press the shutter it instead stops focusing and refuses to take the picture at all and then the subject just goes out of focus! I have tried pressing the shutter halfway and hold it so that it will automatically continue focusing, and I have tried letting off the shutting and only pressing down when I am ready to take the picture. In the latter case if I am really quick I can get off a single shot if I am lucky, but I am in continuous release mode and it does not continue to track focus and fire more than one shot.
If the subject is moving slow enough relative to my zoom setting that they are not moving out of focus very fast then I do not see this issue. I need a lot of zoom to bring the subject close enough, but there is plenty of light (for example, 1/1000s, f6.3, iso 220, 270mm zoom) But I do not have any control over how fast the subject is moving, so it's more blind luck and I wind up missing shots I feel like my camera should have taken.
This is a Nikon D5100 (as given by the tag) with a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 lens.
Am I doing something wrong? Is this an issue with my camera? The lens? It's really old (9 years) but I feel like it has always had trouble focusing on fast moving scenes, it's just that I rarely did such photography before. But I have always noticed that in for instance AF-C the lens does this little periodic click clack at times when continuously focusing, so maybe this model is just not good at this?