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Gear Talk => EOS Bodies - For Stills => Topic started by: jaayres20 on October 18, 2012, 08:08:49 PM

Title: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on October 18, 2012, 08:08:49 PM
I am sure this has been discussed before but I just can't figure out why the 5D3 focuses so slowly when the AF assist is enabled on my flash.  Many times I have been at a wedding reception and I get frustrated with very slow focusing issues related to the AF assist beam.  I have messed around with turning it on and off and there is a very noticeable difference.  For example with my 70-200 as long as I find an area of some contrast it will focus almost instantly even dark situations.  As soon as I turn it on it sometimes takes a full second or two to lock focus.  I remember my 5D2 having improved focus with the AF assist from the 580exII.  Is it a flash issue or a camera issue?  I know there are a lot of you who have the same problems.  Anyone find any solutions?  Most of the time I don't need the AF assist but when it is pitch black and I need it it would be nice if I could focus a little faster.  I just don't understand how the AF can be so great in almost all situations except this one area.  Of course when I call CPS they claim they have never heard of an issue.     
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Sycotek on October 19, 2012, 01:15:08 AM
Happens on the 1DX too...

Personally reported to canon months and months ago - heaps of post all over the web if you good 5d3 wedding low light focus issues, 1Dx wedding low light focus issues, 1dx 5d3 reception issues etc...

They didn't care tbh - it's not a problem apparently.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: pwp on October 19, 2012, 07:34:33 AM
I've noticed this too with 5D3 & 580EXII, but put it down to environmental factors.

I have heard that the pattern thrown by a 600EX-RT AF-assist is allegedly better suited to the 1DX & 5D3 than the 580EXII. Can a resident genius confirm this? If it's correct, I'm in the market for two or three 600 EX-RT's.

-PW
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: 35mm Film on October 19, 2012, 09:17:44 AM
Would this effect the 5D mk2 the same way. I am heading out tomorrow to buy two for a wedding im shooting on sunday. Should I stay with the 580?   :-\
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: drjlo on October 19, 2012, 04:14:02 PM
I've noticed this too with 5D3 & 580EXII, but put it down to environmental factors.

I have heard that the pattern thrown by a 600EX-RT AF-assist is allegedly better suited to the 1DX & 5D3 than the 580EXII. Can a resident genius confirm this? If it's correct, I'm in the market for two or three 600 EX-RT's.

-PW

Well, OP's topic reads "5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus," so 600ex-rt is likely not the answer..
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: pwp on October 20, 2012, 12:19:59 AM
I've noticed this too with 5D3 & 580EXII, but put it down to environmental factors.
I have heard that the pattern thrown by a 600EX-RT AF-assist is allegedly better suited to the 1DX & 5D3 than the 580EXII. Can a resident genius confirm this? If it's correct, I'm in the market for two or three 600 EX-RT's.
-PW
Well, OP's topic reads "5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus," so 600ex-rt is likely not the answer..
That's right, so maybe it's the way the 5D3 AF chip responds to AF Assist beams.
There is definitely something going on. The response is better on the 5D2 & 1D4. Can't speak for 1DX yet.

-PW
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RayValdez360 on October 22, 2012, 03:13:46 PM
I have the same problem too. I am at clubs and parties taking pics with the 5dIII and it is embarrassing trying to focus for a long time. people are looking at me like  i suck or my camera sucks. My 7d never has this problem with the af assist.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Brewyet on October 24, 2012, 10:15:28 AM
I've had my MK3 since Aug and have shot 5 weddings with it. I am using the 600ex's as well. I thought this thing was supposed to be faster than the mk2! It isn't. I haven't tried turning off the focus assist. My mk2 with a 580exII was pretty fast at the receptions in the dark. I've shot over 100 weddings with the mk2/580 combo.

I'm kinda dissapointed in the mk3... :'( I though it was just me, until I searched for some info today...
I'm going to try the mk3 with a 580 tonight and see if it's any better than the 600. I'm also going to try with the focus assist turned off.

It is kinda embarrasing  :-[  to have to wait 2 sec to focus when the couple is on the dance floor waiting on me to focus....
Thanks for the tips so far.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RayValdez360 on November 01, 2012, 04:40:59 PM
I used my 5d3 combo last night it literally focused in an instant without the flash being turned on ( it was off by mistake) in the dark but when I turned the flash on, it was hunting for a few seconds. It is liek the beam isn't strong enough or  the AF light isn't in sync with the lens. It is almost as if the beam goes away before the lens starts to auto focus.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Rofflesaurrr on November 01, 2012, 05:07:54 PM
I can confirm this also. Was using 5D3 with 600EX-RT during a dimly lit wedding reception and the focus was hunting with the AF assist beam on. Didn't think to try turning it off  :-\. I felt like I was walking around painting targets for an airstrike.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: HnJStudios on November 01, 2012, 05:31:06 PM
This is absolutely true. Was at a Halloween party with the family this weekend. I was shooting with my 5dm3 and the 580ex. My wife noticed almost immediately the camera was taking too long to focus. I didn't even know focus assist was on until she mentioned the red light. I turned it off and problem solved.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 11, 2012, 06:49:24 PM
I have the low light Auto-Focus problem too.  Others noticed last night and wondered if I had forgotten how to take pictures.

OK, I received my 5D3 a couple weeks ago but just started using it recently in the last couple days.  I went to a party last night and church this morning.  I tried several lenses, 16-35L, 24-70L and 24-105L.  All lenses exhibited the problem but the 24-105L was the worst offender.  Turning off AF Assist didn't make much difference.

Bottom LineMy 5D3 low light focus performance SUCKSHeck, my 5Dc focuses better in low light.  Aaargh!!

I am very concerned about this since some do and some don't seem have this problem with their cameras.  Some forum posts state their low light AF works great.  This doesn't confirm the problem across the board so it means only a subset of cameras are faulty based on a lot of AF complaint posts.  I guess I have one of the faulty ones.  Grrrr!

I guess this means that the mfr QC of the Canon line is not consistent and/or they received some bad parts and released a lot of cameras with this problem.  What really sucks is it seems Canon isn't admitting a problem exists.  Well it exists on my camera!!  Mine has the current firmware and a serial high enough to be past the light leak so it should have most fixes applied that would have possibly addressed a focus issue, admitted or not.  So I guess there is no fix yet or it's a hardware problem.

Either way, the camera is worthless to me if it won't focus in low light since that it the main reason I got it in the 1st placeI would NOT use this in a professional setting.  It's embarrassing!  FYI - This was a $2899 Beach Camera eBay deal from a few weeks back.  If I hadn't gotten such a good deal, I would probably already be selling it right now.  Still might.  A lot of my shooting is low light.  I don't really want to use it the way it is now.  It's a PITA.  So why keep a $3000+ camera just laying around in case a fix comes along that I have to send it off to have fixed?

Anyone else have a fix that worked for them?  (I already disabled the flash assist.  Didn't seem to make a significant difference.)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 11, 2012, 07:23:32 PM
haha finally, this proves im not mad, pisses me off that no one replied to my message on here, telling everyone about this over a month ago.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: pwp on November 11, 2012, 07:25:28 PM
There is discussion on another thread that suggests the Yongnuo YN565 spits out an AF Assist beam that makes the 5D3 AF more reliable at very low light venues than the Canon 580EXII & 600EX-RT. One poster put up images of the bright Yongnuo AF Assist beam projected on his ceiling, and said that with the Yongnuo YN565 his 7D will focus in pitch darkness. This is interesting enough to look into a bit further. My guess is that it depends a little on what you're trying to focus on. Any real-world feedback on this?

Like others I have been professionally embarrassed by the glacial speed of getting an AF lock with 5D3 & 580EXII at low light venues. If the Yongnuo YN565 does in fact offer a solution, I'll get a couple of them just for extreme low light functions. The YN565 has a side benefit of being able to accept external power sources. Bizarrely, the newer YN568EX which supports HSS doesn't have a plug for external batteries. Go figure...

-PW
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 11, 2012, 07:40:00 PM
Im honestly so F£$%"£d off with Canon really, All I can see is major mistakes and half developed products all for a large selling price, its evident that they are more concerned about profit, it actually stinks of how bad it is, I really want to jump ship to Sony, its just a shame that ship is all about EVF displays and I don't think I can handle that yet, I have spent so much money with Canon, like all of us, and cant make stupid moves, I just wish they will identify this problem and make a fix, I have just seen the  Yongnuo YN565 flash and its cheap, but the first thing that pops into my head is "why on earth should I spend 100 pounds on a flash when I have one! a 430 EXII and it is fine!! I paid 200 pounds for that here in the UK, now I may have to spend another 100 to fix a problem on a £2,300 camera? I hope everyone can see my rage.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 11, 2012, 07:42:47 PM
I am also sad but relieved that others have this problem.  I'm not crazy.  Good.

Now... perhaps I mis-read something about the 5D3.  My perception from the hype and many posts from 5D3 users is that it focuses in low light very, very well.  -2EV or better to be exact.  When I hear 'focus in low light', I don't consider a focus assist beam to be part of the equation.  I would expect any camera to focus with assistance.  If I wanted to attach a big expensive flash to my new $3000 state of the art camera, I would just turn on the damned thing, dial it back, gel it and use it.

Let me be clear, I don't want to blind, distract or freak people out with a focus assist beam, I want to take low available light pictures that AF quickly and accurately.  (I don't want to trade AF embarrassment for AF Beam distraction/embarrassment!)  I don't want to figure out a work around or buy a different flash to help the camera do what it's supposed to do already, I want the camera to live up to expectations/promises and do what it is supposed to do on its own.

Why are a lot of people saying it does exactly that and then others (including myself) not seeing this performance, even with AF Beam assistance to boot?  Something really has got to be wrong here and I want to hear Canon say something is indeed wrong and they have a solution or will have one soon.

I thought after 6+ months, most of the problems and bugs would be revealed and/or solved.  How did I miss the discussions on this problem before I bought mine?

I feel cheated!  Waaaah!  I want my mommy!   :'(
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 11, 2012, 07:56:37 PM
I believe everyone's camera is the same, its a general problem, I've learnt allot from these forums, they are those people who take pictures for work and those people who don't do it enough to realize these problems exists, give me a camera and I do a job with it and I will tell you if it has a problem, it doesn't take me long to find out, people who want to test this problem really need to be out with it and doing a wedding or a night club photography shoot, I am certain you will see the problem, no good looking down under your desk with it and saying " yep mines fine".
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Embe on November 11, 2012, 08:25:23 PM
I checked two cameras. I noticed it faster beaming on 7D with 600EX-RT than 5D3 with 600EX-RT. It's camera, not 600EX-RT.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: PVS on November 11, 2012, 08:27:59 PM
Could be the beam grid - on my 5Dc focus locks instantly with 550ex but is sluggish and takes few seconds with 430ex.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: risc32 on November 11, 2012, 09:04:27 PM
I'm in the same boat you guys are in. It's a sad site to see me at a wedding reception holding a pose for so long to get a shot, while someone with a P&S can walk up and grab it much faster. Honestly, between this and the black AF points, i'm not sure that the initial reviews of this camera, the ones that were written up before the camera was released to the public, were at all legit. A few of those guys where wedding photographers, and i can say that they are 100% BS. 95% of wedding receptions are dark, and they are all lit to roughly the same level(cave!) and the 5dmk3 is lost. now it's not as lost as my 1dmk2 was, it was so lost it never found itself..
    hmmm, we now have a 1d level AF, do we get crap 1d level low light AF? I assumed that most of the 1dmk2's bad lowlight AF was due to it's design age, but maybe not. I think my 5d is about the same age, and it was much better.... hmmm, maybe it's something inherent in the 1d class AF, hence they will be no fix.  damn.

you guys tried using the spot focus setting?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 11, 2012, 10:49:51 PM
Honestly, I find it very disappointing that up until now, I have never even considered focus assist to be a part of my photography.  And I shoot a lot of indoor available light, indoor swimming, outdoor evening and night campouts, low light parties, campfire shots and all kinds of impossible situations.  (With a 5Dc, 40D, 60D, etc.)  Sure, I've had to switch to manual focus occasionally but all my cameras are several years old.  Even still, I've never had the AF challenges I'm having with the 5D3.  I noticed it almost immediately after I had been shooting for about 30 minutes.  Hell, my wife even asked me about it when she borrowed my camera for a bit.

I love/hate the comment about a guest walking up and getting the shot right away with a Point and Shoot.  That's priceless!  And pathetic!!  Ouch!

I use Canon 580 or 580-II flashes occasionally for wedding-like stuff (not weddings per se but still church sanctuary and church reception halls) but 90% of the time I am using a simple SunPak RD2000 with/without diffuser as fill indoors, outdoors, night and day.  The RD2000 doesn't have a focus assist feature.  It's never been much of an issue.  I've never thought about it until now.  Heck, now I want to play with focus assist more on my older cameras and see how well it works.  I'd completely forgotten about it since my most common flash doesn't even support it.

So the 5D3 is literally holding me back.  This issue is a real drag for me.  Given the fact that the camera has been out 6 months and already has a firmware update released, I don't anticipate this problem being addressed for quite a while.  The red viewfinder focus indicator issue seems to be the big deal at the moment.  Heck, if the camera won't focus in the first place, who cares what the indicator does at that point?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Sycotek on November 12, 2012, 12:23:34 AM
Would be nice see them fix this problem - but with so many people raging and no word from canon on a fix it will more then likely be a 1D4 af assist bug - that doesnt exist.

I had 1DX and 5D3's all exhibit same issues with af assist and low light. Forgetting the 1Dx servo issue - the af assist through my reception/wedding photos killed canon for me, I don't have 2-3 sec per shot to wait.

Impacted my work substantially so had no option but to switch - sadly, but surprisingly eye opening (d4+d800 and about to get my second d4) to the point where you couldn't pay me to go back.

I still believe its the size of the af points being too small - great for handoff in servo but it impacts initial lock.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 12:35:06 AM
Too small AF pts makes some sense.  I'll sell it soon if nothing changes.  I can always buy it again down the road if/when things improve.  The pictures I have made are stellar but I don't normally shoot still adults, I shoot kids running around campfires, etc.  What a huge disappointment.  I've waited years for this upgrade (skipped the Mk II).  Grrr!  Maybe the 6D will be better???  Geez.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RayValdez360 on November 12, 2012, 01:14:12 AM
It's is just the camera. I do club photography with  a 7D and 5D3(once in awhile) .  I don't have the issue with the 7d.  I might spend tomorrow in the house messing with  the AF point settings  with my 5d and see what I find out. To the guy that mentioned spot focusing, the 5D3's  manual supposedly mentions that it will be harder to focus with spot metering. That is definitely a tip off to small spots make AF  assisted focusing harder to achieve. AS I mentioned in my  thread,  the 5D3 will actually focus faster with no AF assist in some situations. The 7D is the total opposite for me. I can barely auto focus  a dark club without my flash attached to my 7D.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 12, 2012, 01:31:34 AM
Bottom LineMy 5D3 low light focus performance SUCKSHeck, my 5Dc focuses better in low light.  Aaargh!!

As a potential 5d3 customer I am completely confused by this whole discussion, because it's now moved from slow lock with af assist (even with 600rt) to complaints about general bad low light af performance?!

So is the 5d3 now a capable wedding-event camera or isn't it because of these issues? How is it possible that many people seem to get it working, or are they simply lucky and their receptions were better lit?

If this is a problem and Canon cannot solve it (just like the non-working af indicators in servo, obviously they only will be added to the 1dx) I'm really considering either getting a much cheaper 5d2 or maybe the 6d that is esp. marketed as having better low light af than the "old" 5d3/1dx system.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: kpk1 on November 12, 2012, 02:17:19 AM
It happens to me too. So sad. I bought it (5D3) for its low light capabilities and I ended up with the old 5D2 in complete darkness. What a shame.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Mehmetski on November 12, 2012, 03:50:12 AM
I've shot the first clubgig with the 5dIII this weekend. The combo was 5DIII+24-70II+580EXII and the lag with the AF beam is really terrible. I've used Single Point AF and AF Expansion throughout the night with usually the center AF points selected, the outer edges weren't event doable. For still subjects it was OK and not that very frustrating but when you want to capture that spontaneous moment in which you require almost instant focus, it just can't deliver.
Indeed it is funny and a sad thing if you disable the AF-Beam on camera than it focuses much much faster!
5D2 is much better in this regard.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 12, 2012, 04:42:22 AM
In low light situations it helps to stay away from spot metering and af servo.....stick with one shot and eval and center point.

I rarely use flash on 5d3, but when I have used it I have had mixed results ...which leads me to believe that certain settings or combinations of settings might contribute to hunting and not acquiring focus issues.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Viggo on November 12, 2012, 05:21:54 AM
I noticed the same thing on the 1d X with the 580II, so i fixed it, how? Switched the assist beam off ;)

I tried a on camera flash shot yesterday (very rare occasion) and I, almost of course, used One Shot, I mean I have no problem accepting that Ai doesn't work when I see nothing more than if my lens cap were on. But with one shot it focused and took the shot. Several actually with refocus all spot on. Sure it's not daylight fast, but at that black vf light and no light to accurately focus , 6 of 6 shots is reallyreally good. Used a 35 L which isn't supreme for lowlight although good.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 08:56:46 AM
Bottom LineMy 5D3 low light focus performance SUCKSHeck, my 5Dc focuses better in low light.  Aaargh!!

As a potential 5d3 customer I am completely confused by this whole discussion, because it's now moved from slow lock with af assist (even with 600rt) to complaints about general bad low light af performance?!

When posting, I didn't take into account the distinction between of general slow low light AF lock and slow lock with AF assist.  Let me clarify:  If it won't consistently AF lock in low light, regardless of the reason, it sucks.  It makes no difference to me.  Whether the AF assist beam is enabled or not, mine is inconsistent and sucks.

So is the 5d3 now a capable wedding-event camera or isn't it because of these issues? How is it possible that many people seem to get it working, or are they simply lucky and their receptions were better lit?

Based on my performance so far and what I've read from others that actually shoot weddings all the time, I wouldn't trust it at a wedding.  IMO, weddings are 'no failure' events.  In my case, MY 5D3 camera currently isn't up to that task.  However, some folks seem to report no trouble and think the 5D3 walks on the moon so I would love to go shoot with them some time and compare!!  (See 'A Pro Friend's Experience' below...)

If this is a problem and Canon cannot solve it (just like the non-working af indicators in servo, obviously they only will be added to the 1dx) I'm really considering either getting a much cheaper 5d2 or maybe the 6d that is esp. marketed as having better low light af than the "old" 5d3/1dx system.

I was thinking the same thing but if the 1Dx and 5D3 exhibit a similar fundamental problem, what are the chances that the 6D won't also have trouble?  I'm more than a little irritated that I've patiently waited all this time skipping the 5D2 only to entertain the idea of now selling the 5D3 and getting the 5D2 after all with whatever problems it has had for years.  Wow.  Sure glad I have loved my 5Dc so much.  This is a hard reminder that it's the photographer that makes the picture, not the camera, that's for sure!  (And a camera that isn't working well just gets in the way!)

For the record, My settings are typically...

-  One Shot (rarely ever AI Focus or Servo)
-  Center Point Focus (the way I've always shot on every camera)
-  AF Assist Beam OFF (never use it anyway)
-  Daylight, Fluorescent or Tungsten WB depending...
-  Eval Metering mostly, rarely spot or center
-  Shot Priority AF (not Release Priority)
-  General Purpose AF Case (Case 1?)
-  I usually have a RD2000 flash attached that has no AF Assist beam support, turned off or on depending...

I'll edit the list if I think of anything other setting that matters.  However, a $3500 camera should AF well with any setting combination.  I've also found that the lens matters too.

-  24-105L  =  Poor AF in Low Light
-  16-35L    =  ~OK AF in Low Light (not outstanding)
-  24-70L    =  ~OK AF in Low Light (not outstanding)
-  24/1.4-II  =  ~OK AF in Low Light (not outstanding)

A Pro Friend's Experience:  I have a friend who is a 30+ year veteran pro, goes all over the world and shoots beautiful low light stuff all the time.  She does Nat Geo level stuff.  She has two 5D3 bodies she bought back in March and reports NO problems.  She loves them.  She teaches workshops.  She understands photography well and knows her equipment.  So if she is extremely happy, this can't be happening to her.  I asked her specifically.  No problems.  For all I know, she may not even have the firmware update yet.  I'll have to check sometime.  She's in China right now on the way to India and I don't want to bug her any more.

I'm going to keep using this camera and get a feel for how bad it really is with different lenses.  I think we all agree that it is frustratingly intermittent.  However, the simple fact is that I'm not overwhelmingly loving it.  I'm not blown away.  I'm disappointed using it for what I shoot.  Other folks that shoot controlled studio or outdoors may love it.  Or they have a perfect copy perhaps??  So that's that.  It's not a good start to my relationship with this camera.  I buy camera bodies like cars and drive them until the wheels fall off.  I don't upgrade every 6 months.  It's not that this camera never works in low light, I just can't depend on it to work consistently.  It's not a reliable tool I look forward to using yet.  I'll do my best to make this thing work but eventually I'll invest in something else if necessary, another copy or another camera.

Sorry for the length of these posts, I'm just trying to get it all out there to help both myself and others get this sorted out.

Last Point:  I buy cameras at this level so they will work for me rock solid so I can concentrate on shooting and make my shooting easier.  If I wanted to tweak settings to trick the camera into achieving semi-OK performance, I would just get Rebels.  'nuff said.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 09:04:23 AM
You know, it now occurs to me that perhaps the 6D is Canon's unspoken answer to the 5D3's low light AF problem.  That may be why it has a different sensor and fewer AF points.  Perhaps they are larger AF points and the center cross point is the magic point for low light performance.  Hmmm....
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 12, 2012, 11:19:54 AM
I was thinking the same thing but if the 1Dx and 5D3 exhibit a similar fundamental problem, what are the chances that the 6D won't also have trouble?

... simply because of this:

Perhaps they are larger AF points and the center cross point is the magic point for low light performance.  Hmmm....

Canon actually stated that one reason (except for marketing, that is) for them giving the 6d so few af points is that you need larger af points for better low light performance - and the 6d is supposed to be able to focus at 1/2 the light of 1dx/5d3 which is near darkness.

Smaller af points might be more accurate in good light and you can track better with many of them, af points expansion is nice - but now we might know the tradeoff.

I'm very interested to see the first real (non-"hands on") 6d review and if the performance with or w/o af assist is better. For me, if I shell out €3000 for a camera body it has to be 110% reliable for what I intend to do - maybe it's better to have the small 6d that does focus than a 5d3 that is beaten by p&s cameras... the 5d2 is not a real alternative because the specs say its af stops working at much more lit conditions? And all that with the d800 @2400€ and the d600 @1800€, harrrrgnnnn...

Hope more folks report their experiences with the 5d3 so we might be able to figure out the exact problems - before I actually do buy my first ff body :-o
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 12:21:04 PM
Yeah, by way of "posting progression" (the dreaded 2nd stage of "talking to myself") I sort of commented my way into a possible answer to this, didn't I?   ::)

Funny thing is that I was originally concentrating on purchasing the 6D and I did an impulse buy on a steal deal for the 5D3.  Now I guess I am holding out hope that the 6D will be the best camera for my needs instead - low/available light photography.  Fingers Crossed!!  I hate to give up CF media though.  CF is a MUCH better media design.  There's a reason why it is still used in the faster/better bodies.  Having both in the 5D3 was really nice.

Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 12, 2012, 02:19:33 PM
Rusty..

Quote

-  One Shot (rarely ever AI Focus or Servo)
-  Center Point Focus (the way I've always shot on every camera)
-  AF Assist Beam OFF (never use it anyway)
-  Daylight, Fluorescent or Tungsten WB depending...
-  Eval Metering mostly, rarely spot or center
-  Shot Priority AF (not Release Priority)
-  General Purpose AF Case (Case 1?)
-  I usually have a RD2000 flash attached that has no AF Assist beam support, turned off or on depending.
..

http://www.sunpak.jp/english/products/rd2000/rendou.html (http://www.sunpak.jp/english/products/rd2000/rendou.html)

Rd2000 compatible?
Have you set the AF to cross type points only?
Have you tried middle shot priority NOT focus OR release, but in the middle of the two?
Have you cleared all settings and reset them to factory default?  (Try starting from scratch)
Do you ever do available low light shooting without a flash attached?  (Meaning, no flash attached to the camera)
Highlight tone priority-OFF
Shadow optimization - OFF

In low light, I have not had these issues you mention with my 5d3...I have had af issues when a flash is attached.  Of course "low light shooting" is subjective....my low light definition is different from yours.  However, I distinctly remember a low light AF / iso experience recently where i was at a park shooting the kids and the sun had set 10 full minutes earlier, and I had no problem locking on to kids running around, no hunting.   That is the level of low light shooting that my 5d3 has...just for your info. 

Edit...and I should add that I live in a heavily wooded area...10 minutes after sunset is pretty dark.( compared to the desert or coast)
Good luck...just trying to help..
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Steven_urwin on November 12, 2012, 04:00:36 PM
Here to put this one to bed...

I owe a 7D and a 5D Mark 3. I shoot with a 580EX2 flash. I am the in-photographer for several nightclubs, including one of the O2 academy venues in the UK.

This problems exists. FULL STOP.

If I'm doing a portrait of an artist, DJ, or just patrons of a venue. I will shoot with my 5D3 (I prefer the camera) If it's spontaneity that I'm trying to capture, I revert back to the 7D. I have shot with my 16-35L2 24-70L2 on both bodies, same night, same venue, and found, time after time, the 7D finds focus quicker.

Day time, different story, as far as I can tell, this is an af beam assist issue, and I further invite any Canon rep contact me, and show me how this isn't a problem
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 12, 2012, 04:13:40 PM
Here to put this one to bed...

I owe a 7D and a 5D Mark 3. I shoot with a 580EX2 flash. I am the in-photographer for several nightclubs, including one of the O2 academy venues in the UK.

This problems exists. FULL STOP.

If I'm doing a portrait of an artist, DJ, or just patrons of a venue. I will shoot with my 5D3 (I prefer the camera) If it's spontaneity that I'm trying to capture, I revert back to the 7D. I have shot with my 16-35L2 24-70L2 on both bodies, same night, same venue, and found, time after time, the 7D finds focus quicker.

Day time, different story, as far as I can tell, this is an af beam assist issue, and I further invite any Canon rep contact me, and show me how this isn't a problem

Steve...how about just plain low light without flash between the two?  Have you done that comparison?  As I said, I've had problems with a flash attached, but low available light shooting has been very good for me and I can't believe the 7D would be better with flash off in low light?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 05:02:01 PM
Rusty..

Quote

-  One Shot (rarely ever AI Focus or Servo)
-  Center Point Focus (the way I've always shot on every camera)
-  AF Assist Beam OFF (never use it anyway)
-  Daylight, Fluorescent or Tungsten WB depending...
-  Eval Metering mostly, rarely spot or center
-  Shot Priority AF (not Release Priority)
-  General Purpose AF Case (Case 1?)
-  I usually have a RD2000 flash attached that has no AF Assist beam support, turned off or on depending.
..

http://www.sunpak.jp/english/products/rd2000/rendou.html (http://www.sunpak.jp/english/products/rd2000/rendou.html)

Rd2000 compatible?  Yes, it works and fires the same as on my other cameras and I checked with Tocad, it is fully compatible, no fmwr update needed.
Have you set the AF to cross type points only?  Yes
Have you tried middle shot priority NOT focus OR release, but in the middle of the two?  Yes
Have you cleared all settings and reset them to factory default?  (Try starting from scratch)  Several times.
Do you ever do available low light shooting without a flash attached?  (Meaning, no flash attached to the camera)  Yes but I usually attach the flash and power it on or off.  Been doing it that way for years on several cameras, same flash.
Highlight tone priority-OFF  Yes
Shadow optimization - OFF  Yes

In low light, I have not had these issues you mention with my 5d3...I have had af issues when a flash is attached.  Of course "low light shooting" is subjective....my low light definition is different from yours.  However, I distinctly remember a low light AF / iso experience recently where i was at a park shooting the kids and the sun had set 10 full minutes earlier, and I had no problem locking on to kids running around, no hunting.   That is the level of low light shooting that my 5d3 has...just for your info. 

Edit...and I should add that I live in a heavily wooded area...10 minutes after sunset is pretty dark.( compared to the desert or coast)
Good luck...just trying to help..

Thank you very much for your ideas Northstar!  I appreciate your taking the time to offer help.  See above inside the quote for my specific answers in bold.  In general, I prefer to shoot with the camera set pretty basic.  Center AF Point, very few in camera tweaks to the image.  Since I shoot RAW, most of it doesn't matter anyway.

I decided to return the camera for exchange as defective before my return period expired.  Since there are other photographers that I know and trust that have not had the same experience as I have with their camera, I thought I would roll the dice and see if another 5D3 camera copy would work correctly/better.  If I see the same behavior, I'll just sell it and wait for the 6D.  What a PITA.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 05:14:36 PM
Here to put this one to bed...

This problems exists. FULL STOP.

I'm sad/glad to hear that others can confirm this.  At first, I thought I was nuts.  It took me a little while to decide that it wasn't me and the camera was flaky.  And just when I thought it was a done deal, I would have some good performance again and then I would think it was just me again.  I hate intermittent problems.  But now I can reproduce it pretty well so when I get the replacement body, I should be able to tell pretty quick whether or not it is a consistent problem with the camera.  (As consistent and you can get I guess with a sample size of two bodies from the same retailer shipped 3 weeks apart.)  I fear nothing will change based on so many people echoing what I have experienced.  But since there are those out there that aren't seeing this, maybe I'll get lucky the 2nd time around.  Fingers Crossed!!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 12, 2012, 05:44:59 PM
Here to put this one to bed...

This problems exists. FULL STOP.

I'm sad/glad to hear that others can confirm this.  At first, I thought I was nuts.  It took me a little while to decide that it wasn't me and the camera was flaky.  And just when I thought it was a done deal, I would have some good performance again and then I would think it was just me again.  I hate intermittent problems.  But now I can reproduce it pretty well so when I get the replacement body, I should be able to tell pretty quick whether or not it is a consistent problem with the camera.  (As consistent and you can get I guess with a sample size of two bodies from the same retailer shipped 3 weeks apart.)  I fear nothing will change based on so many people echoing what I have experienced.  But since there are those out there that aren't seeing this, maybe I'll get lucky the 2nd time around.  Fingers Crossed!!

Rusty...Steve did say he shoots with the flash in these low light club venues....much different from shooting available low light w/o flash.   curious to hear what he says about shooting comparison w/o flash attached.

as i said, i put my 430exii on and all of a sudden it's focus hunting...I think the assist beam is the problem.  I'm going to go out in a few minutes (It will be dark in a few minutes here) and do some more testing w/o flash. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 06:02:51 PM
Good to know, thanks Northstar.  I think many agree that the AF Assist is a big part of the problem.  What I don't understand is if the flash is attached but turned off, does it still contribute to the problem?  It didn't seem to matter much in my case.  I've always thought that the camera ignored the flash if it wasn't powered on.  And if it does matter - I'll be damned if I'm going to start physically removing and replacing my flash all the time just to get the AF to work correctly!  (But it will be good know!)

And then there's the whole discussion on the whole - if the camera was working correctly, this whole thread wouldn't even exist.

Wouldn't it be nice if the only thing we had to complain about with this camera was the fact that it only came in one color?   :D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 12, 2012, 06:45:20 PM
Good to know, thanks Northstar.  I think many agree that the AF Assist is a big part of the problem.  What I don't understand is if the flash is attached but turned off, does it still contribute to the problem?  It didn't seem to matter much in my case.  I've always thought that the camera ignored the flash if it wasn't powered on.  And if it does matter - I'll be damned if I'm going to start physically removing and replacing my flash all the time just to get the AF to work correctly!  (But it will be good know!)

And then there's the whole discussion on the whole - if the camera was working correctly, this whole thread wouldn't even exist.

Wouldn't it be nice if the only thing we had to complain about with this camera was the fact that it only came in one color?   :D

yes, that would be nice.  i agree, it seems that the flash might be the issue.

Regarding low light AF w/o flash.  I just did a quick test while being distracted by kids so i underexposed,(i did a quick exposure bump in aperture) but the point is how well did the AF acquire focus without hunting.  Not a problem with my body.  maybe 1/2 second each time I half pressed shutter to acquire focus.

In this series of shots, I simply flipped back and forth between the dog and the cable pole.  4 shots in 6 seconds...they were shot at 25 minutes after sunset (it's not pitch black dark but almost)...with only a little bit of help from a street light (a small street light).

again, this is only about how fast the camera acquired focus, not the IQ of these underexposed shots.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 07:11:23 PM
Thanks for spending time on this Northstar!  I'm looking forward to receiving the replacement camera and hopefully seeing better performance.  It helps to have someone else to compare with.

Since I shoot in both normal indoor and darker indoor/outdoor areas using my older cameras, esp the old trusty 5Dc, I'm comparing to those with regard to what is already normal for me and achievable with older technology.  If the 5D3 can't improve on that in the same circumstances or performs worse, than I have to assume either the camera is faulty, everyone is lying or it has a design flaw.  What else can I assume, right?  I suspect a little bit of everything is possible.  I know how to manage my expectations, but what I (and others) have experienced sounds ridiculous.

I've already got the good glass.  Canon marketing, various reviews and some other individuals attest that the 5D3 is a miracle camera.  So I guess I just want the miracle dammit!   ???

Thanks again!

Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Steven_urwin on November 12, 2012, 07:24:27 PM
Here to put this one to bed...

I owe a 7D and a 5D Mark 3. I shoot with a 580EX2 flash. I am the in-photographer for several nightclubs, including one of the O2 academy venues in the UK.

This problems exists. FULL STOP.

If I'm doing a portrait of an artist, DJ, or just patrons of a venue. I will shoot with my 5D3 (I prefer the camera) If it's spontaneity that I'm trying to capture, I revert back to the 7D. I have shot with my 16-35L2 24-70L2 on both bodies, same night, same venue, and found, time after time, the 7D finds focus quicker.

Day time, different story, as far as I can tell, this is an af beam assist issue, and I further invite any Canon rep contact me, and show me how this isn't a problem

Steve...how about just plain low light without flash between the two?  Have you done that comparison?  As I said, I've had problems with a flash attached, but low available light shooting has been very good for me and I can't believe the 7D would be better with flash off in low light?

First off, can I refer you to a post I made around 5 days after launch (I received my copy on launch day (Keep reading light leak issue not the problem here))
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=4811.msg95784#msg95784 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=4811.msg95784#msg95784)
That's when I first noticed the problem... and it was bad enough that I thought that I must have a defect copy, and it went back very quickly indeed.
I had to wait awhile to get a replacement copy as Canon froze shipping, to address the light leak non issue (I sent mine back before I even knew of this, and for the AF reason only) in-between me posting mine back, and receiving a new copy.
Long story short, new copy still has issue... I lived with it, but it's definiately there, to the point, I couldn't do what I do (Professionally, mainly nightclub orientated work) with only the 5D3, soley due to this problem. The 7D still gets alot of lens time. It's a hassle at times, but what can you do?

Secondly, as far as I have experienced (I have shot a few weddings with my 5D3, along with a few other bits and bobs) and camera without flash attached is a dream. AT LEAST as good as the 7D speed wise, and finding focus without any sort of AF assist, where I would have to prey that the AF assist could help my 7D enough.

Remarkable piece of kit in every day use, and low light.... just not really really low light!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: risc32 on November 12, 2012, 08:38:00 PM
 maybe you guys just haven't read as many reviews and opinions as I have. A few times I've read that the 1dmk4 had much better lowlight AF using the spot AF setting. My understanding, coming from reading tons of stuff, is that the larger AF points help with tracking in good light, while the smaller point can help when the lighting is low. I don't know how many of you have used 1d's before, but they DID at least up until some point, suck in low light, and they just still may. IF i was to stand in the church with a bride walking toward me, with the AF set to focus priority, she would walk right on by while i never got a single shot off.  I've yet to try it(spot AF), as I'm very reluctant to start fooling around during a wedding shoot, but the one i had for this saturday fell through (don't ask! ha!). perhaps I can gleam some info with some tests of my own.  at least with the 1d i could have a bright red AF sensor light up, and stay lit.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on November 12, 2012, 09:10:40 PM
maybe you guys just haven't read as many reviews and opinions as I have. A few times I've read that the 1dmk4 had much better lowlight AF using the spot AF setting.
How much have you used the 1D MK IV, or have you just read about it?
The 1D MK IV, unlike the 7D only has spot AF with the supertelephoto lenses, which are not typically used for weddings. It does not have spot AF for ordinary lenses.
 
1D MK IV is inferior in low light to the 1D MK III and to the 5D MK II.  The 5D MK III and 1DX have very good low light AF, but I've found, like others here, that if you wait for the AF to display the red grid, it takes a long time.  However, if you just press the shutter down, it focuses and opens the shutter quickly. 
I do not understand why it takes so long for the focus indicator to light, but since I get in-focus shots quickly by just holding and pressing the shutter, thats what I do.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2012, 11:15:43 PM
What sticks in my head is the fact that Canon very likely knew how this worked months before it was officially released.  This camera has been in development and field testing for years.  They are likely seeing some kind of spike in return/repair rates for the same AF problem.  If I just returned mine, 1000's of others have got to be returning theirs or having Canon check them at a repair center.  Most buyers of this level camera are going to know how to use the thing so Canon shouldn't expect that the problem won't be noticed.  Esp when the low light features are so heavily marketed.  So what gives??  I know my camera had to have a problem, even if it's a design problem across the board.  But I trust the professional I know that owns two 5D3's and says she loves them and hasn't had any problems at all.  She isn't a fan-girl, all she cares about are the images.  So is the Canon QC/QA so poor that some bodies work great while others don't?  And why hasn't lensrentals.com said anything about it?  You would think with all the 5D3 rentals they do, they would have received plenty of complaints as well.  No mention of that, that I know of anyway.  So I'm holding out a tiny ray of hope that the next camera that shows up will be untouched brand new, undamaged during shipment and work perfectly in all respects.

All I know for sure is that as I do post processing on a lot of images I shot recently with my 5Dc I am still blown away with the quality that comes out of that camera.  And they didn't cost $3000+ to make!

Depending on what I discover with the second copy of the 5D3 body when I receive it hopefully next week, I guess the 6D may become the 'last hope' Canon camera for significant low light AF performance.  And if the 6D DOES focus significantly faster and better than the 5D3, I think we are going to see a lot of pissed off 5D3 owners!  I don't even want to think about what the 1DX owners will do!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 13, 2012, 03:26:32 AM
I do not understand why it takes so long for the focus indicator to light, but since I get in-focus shots quickly by just holding and pressing the shutter, thats what I do.

This thread is getting a little confusion because the title is about af assist but now it's about low light af in general... the fix "just full-press the shutter" is valid for shots with flash and af assist, too?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Mehmetski on November 13, 2012, 05:23:05 AM
Yeah some people are mixing up the issue at hand here.
The AF of the 5D3 is outstanding, even in super low light (near darkness) situations. It hits fast and accurate!
BUT, if you use a flash with the AF assist beam on in low light situations. It sucks. And that is the problem, which is quite frustrating.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Subtas on November 13, 2012, 05:55:02 AM
I did notice those problems with my 5D3 and a 580EXII flash. It just takes too long to focus.

I tried 580EXII with my 7D and noticed that the assist beam was bigger, lighter.. well, there is really a difference in the beam.

I think if you try to focus on further (and by further I mean about 3 meters) the assist beam it's not so effective. I say this because I tried to focus on a close object in an almost dark environment and it was ok.

Let's hope Canon fix this.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Rob on November 13, 2012, 06:03:19 AM
I have been considering trading one of my 5D mark 2's for a Mark 3 lately, but im definitely not going to pull the trigger on it for a while after reading all these problems, as I use my 580 flash extensively at my Weddings and I foresee this really annoying me. I wonder if 1Dx owners are experiencing this problem as well?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 13, 2012, 07:31:40 AM
Thanks for spending time on this Northstar!  I'm looking forward to receiving the replacement camera and hopefully seeing better performance.  It helps to have someone else to compare with.

Since I shoot in both normal indoor and darker indoor/outdoor areas using my older cameras, esp the old trusty 5Dc, I'm comparing to those with regard to what is already normal for me and achievable with older technology.  If the 5D3 can't improve on that in the same circumstances or performs worse, than I have to assume either the camera is faulty, everyone is lying or it has a design flaw.  What else can I assume, right?  I suspect a little bit of everything is possible.  I know how to manage my expectations, but what I (and others) have experienced sounds ridiculous.

I've already got the good glass.  Canon marketing, various reviews and some other individuals attest that the 5D3 is a miracle camera.  So I guess I just want the miracle dammit!   ???

Thanks again!

You must have had a bad copy...again, theses shots I took were 25 minutes after sunset and it was almost pitch dark out....no problems locking on focus in "available low light shooting"   



Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Mehmetski on November 13, 2012, 08:18:48 AM
Thanks for spending time on this Northstar!  I'm looking forward to receiving the replacement camera and hopefully seeing better performance.  It helps to have someone else to compare with.

Since I shoot in both normal indoor and darker indoor/outdoor areas using my older cameras, esp the old trusty 5Dc, I'm comparing to those with regard to what is already normal for me and achievable with older technology.  If the 5D3 can't improve on that in the same circumstances or performs worse, than I have to assume either the camera is faulty, everyone is lying or it has a design flaw.  What else can I assume, right?  I suspect a little bit of everything is possible.  I know how to manage my expectations, but what I (and others) have experienced sounds ridiculous.

I've already got the good glass.  Canon marketing, various reviews and some other individuals attest that the 5D3 is a miracle camera.  So I guess I just want the miracle dammit!   ???

Thanks again!

You must have had a bad copy...again, theses shots I took we're 25 minutes after sunset and it was almost pitch dark out....no problems locking on focus in "available low light shooting"


I disagree. I don't think it is a bad copy or malfunctioning body. A lot of 5D3 users have this phenomenon shooting in certain conditions (Nightclubs, dark wedding receptions etc where flash is required). Shooting in low light without flash is not the problem at all, in fact this works perfect. Fast, accurate and very responsive and a hell of fun! The problem is locking focus with the AF assist Beam with the Speedlights attached in low light situations. That is where the "lag" happens, even with a fast lens!

Now compare this with the AF system of the 5D2. This ancient AF was practically blind on that body in dark situations without the flash AF Assist. Engage the AF Assist and it became a fast focusing eagle in pitch black situations. The 5D3 just can't do this with its "Pro-AF" and that's where the frustration comes from.

Another factor should be taken in account with this AF Assist problem on the 5D3. Distance. When you are really close to the subject the lag is not very noticeable (around 1m). When the distance is somewhere in the "portrait" range than you'll notice it. Moving subjects can make a difference as well. But in comparison the 5D2 is much much faster in the same conditions.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 13, 2012, 12:29:21 PM
I did notice those problems with my 5D3 and a 580EXII flash. It just takes too long to focus.

The really surprising issue is that even with the new 600rt flash which is the same product generation this problem seems to occur - and Canon adjusted the af assist to match the 1dx/5d3 af spread, so if they didn't fix it then they probably simply aren't able to.

Since this is an issue affecting many pros it would be nice to get some first-hand information from Canon, their pro support is said to be good and responsive to the customers?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 13, 2012, 02:09:34 PM
Yeah some people are mixing up the issue at hand here.
The AF of the 5D3 is outstanding, even in super low light (near darkness) situations. It hits fast and accurate!
BUT, if you use a flash with the AF assist beam on in low light situations. It sucks. And that is the problem, which is quite frustrating.

The low/available light AF Lock has never been fast enough for me, regardless of whether or not the AF Assist is enabled/disabled or the flash is present or not.  So I thought that might be relevant to the topic even if it didn't match the hypothesis or original poster's results exactly.  Sorry if it took the thread off topic.  I thought slow AF Lock malfunction was the underlying topic and the AF Assist beam setting was the fix.  So I addressed the problem and noted the fix didn't work for me.  Therefore, AF is somewhat broken for me, and that's how the topic drifted.  Sorry.  Whatever the case, I got enough consensus to determine I should try returning my copy and hope for a better copy next week.  So thanks for that everyone!

And I find it disconcerting that the fix for bad low light AF performance is to disable a key feature to trick the camera into working correctly.  Who goes to a dark shooting environment with no flash attached so they will have a better chance of pictures being in focus but possibly too dark to use?  So now instead of having the subjects wait 3-4 seconds for the AF Lock to work with the flash attached, I have to have them wait even longer while I detach or attach the flash and fumble with it or change a menu setting before I can take the shot.  Hmm.  Sounds like a great work around to me.  Thanks Canon!  I guess the reality is that we're back to manual focus again.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 13, 2012, 02:53:25 PM
Sorry.  Whatever the case, I got enough consensus to determine I should try returning my copy and hope for a better copy next week.

I am amazed that this issue pops up now after so much time - maybe people are just now realizing that it's the camera's and not their fault? In any case I don't understand why switching 5d3 copies should solve anything, either the firmware/camera/flash-combination has broken low-light af or it hasn't. Go, 6d, go :-p

So now instead of having the subjects wait 3-4 seconds for the AF Lock to work with the flash attached, I have to have them wait even longer while I detach or attach the flash and fumble with it or change a menu setting before I can take the shot.

I guess turning the flash off should suffice - isn't it? Maybe even turning off the af assist feature in camera and disabling the flash to fire (on the 600rt, that's a dedicated button).
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: zim on November 13, 2012, 03:51:39 PM
There is no way low light AF assist focus accuracy wouldn’t be part of a new camera’s field UAT

I’d love to see the paperwork from the in field testers of this camera.

were/did they
a) completely incompetent
b) yes men
c) report accurately basic issues and were ignored

I wonder if some of them frequent this web site but can’t say anything  :-X
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 13, 2012, 03:55:04 PM
There is no way low light AF assist focus accuracy wouldn’t be part of a new camera’s field UAT
Maybe low light af capability is just opposed to many smaller af points and there's nothing Canon can do about it, though they are aware of the problem. That's why this information from Chuck Westfall on the 6d is interesting - see http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/25/hands-on-with-the-canon-6d-an-affordable-full-frame-with-wi-fi-on-board (http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/25/hands-on-with-the-canon-6d-an-affordable-full-frame-with-wi-fi-on-board)

Quote
The 6D may only have one center cross-type AF point, compared to the 41 cross-type points on the 5D3′s AF system, but Westfall actually said that AF speed on the 6D could potentially outperform the 5D3 in low-light situations using that single cross-type. Westfall said that the 6D should be on par with the 5D3 at lower ISOs, but should outperform at higher ISOs, thanks to larger pixels on the full-frame sensor.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 14, 2012, 09:06:01 AM
Sorry.  Whatever the case, I got enough consensus to determine I should try returning my copy and hope for a better copy next week.

I am amazed that this issue pops up now after so much time - maybe people are just now realizing that it's the camera's and not their fault? In any case I don't understand why switching 5d3 copies should solve anything, either the firmware/camera/flash-combination has broken low-light af or it hasn't. Go, 6d, go :-p

So now instead of having the subjects wait 3-4 seconds for the AF Lock to work with the flash attached, I have to have them wait even longer while I detach or attach the flash and fumble with it or change a menu setting before I can take the shot.

I guess turning the flash off should suffice - isn't it? Maybe even turning off the af assist feature in camera and disabling the flash to fire (on the 600rt, that's a dedicated button).

Don't be amazed.  The issue will continue to pop up until it doesn't exist.  I am switching copies because others seem to not have the problem to the extent I think I do.  After using the 2nd copy, I'll decide whether or not to dump the 5D3 or keep it.  And I totally agree, the 6D very well might be the fix, esp for what I do.  I was going to buy the 6D in the first place but got a great deal on the 5D3 so I figured why not?  It's 'new camera time' either way.  I turn my flash on/off all the time.  I was referring to the comments that spoke to physically removing the flash instead of just powering it off to fix the problem.  And I disabled the AF Assist right away after I read that fix.  Not much of a change for me, still poor low light AF Lock.  I work hard to be objective and not let the fancy new camera convince me that it must just be me.  It's just a tool.  I like to think I'm the one with the brain, as scary as that sounds.

As much as I like some of the features of the 5D3, I actually hope the 6D is better for me, I'll save several hundred dollars and probably make a profit on selling my 5D3 because of the good deal I got.  (For me, the camera isn't bling, it's the next accidentally broken expensive tool I might have to replace someday.)  I just hope the 6D isn't delayed over and over like Canon is so well known for.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 14, 2012, 09:34:24 AM
There is no way low light AF assist focus accuracy wouldn’t be part of a new camera’s field UAT

I’d love to see the paperwork from the in field testers of this camera.

were/did they
a) completely incompetent
b) yes men
c) report accurately basic issues and were ignored

I wonder if some of them frequent this web site but can’t say anything  :-X

First, real quick, what is UAT?  I'm missing it, sorry.  Thanks.

So would I!!  I think this all the time!  Every time I ask the question, "Gee, did anyone actually use this piece of sht when they were designing it???" with regard to many things I've owned over the years, not just cameras.  I think that's the reason cameras are so good for the most part, they are very heavily tested and used to determine what features, ergonomics, etc will actually work best.  A lot more so than just about any other item I buy.

Whoever is granted the chance to beta test pre-release cameras I'm sure are buried in NDAs and I'm sure they are more than competent to perform the task.  They submit their findings and Canon does what they want with them.  It can't be any other way.  I'm sure the competition would love to get pre-release copies and would pay well for them.  So the beta testers are likely very good, very loyal and very discreet.

IMO, there is no way Canon doesn't know about every microscopic detail of this camera as the development proceeds.  At the end of the day they released it as it is (after they probably delayed as long as they could) and assume they can continue to fix and improve it after that time with the public's real world testing as a further guide.  Canon is likely working with concurrent development timelines of products, not individual product development.  We are part of that timeline.  This is why I prefer to wait 6-9 months before I buy a new camera, I don't want to be part of the initial bleeding edge beta testing for Canon and pay the high release price for the privilege.  At the end of the day, Canon is a business out to make money, not make perfect cameras.  When they reach a certain point in the development timeline, it's time to release, period.  Because they lose money every week they delay.  I'm not saying they didn't delay release, I'm saying eventually they can't delay any longer and if the problems can't be fixed, they'll try to fix them later and let us use them as-is until that time.  They are NOT going to scrap the entire project or delay indefinitely just because it doesn't work like we think it should.  They probably went too far in development of the AF system to turn back when they realized the low light AF wasn't what they expected from the design.  So, quick(!), take that other design we were working on and create the 6D!!  And if I'm right, buying a 6D at release time will hopefully result in fewer bugs than usual because the tech in it has already been tested to death in the 5D3 and 1DX and it was merely tweaked and modified in the 6D and put in a different shell.  In 6 months, we might be saying that the serious wedding photographer should carry both the 6D for low light and the 5D3 for all other IQ stuff.  Fingers crossed....
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 14, 2012, 09:42:21 AM
First, real quick, what is UAT? 

UAT = user acceptance testing.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Rob on November 14, 2012, 11:24:37 AM
How do you find your 1Dx in low light with a flashgun attached neuro?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 14, 2012, 12:06:25 PM
First, real quick, what is UAT? 

UAT = user acceptance testing.

Ahh, thanks.  Technical term!  :)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 15, 2012, 07:17:58 AM
I don't want this thread to slip, its super important, i want it back up to the top of the page, I really hope it gets read by everyone
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: zim on November 15, 2012, 08:34:09 AM
Sorry about the acronym Rusty, normally I hate them ‘cos I don’t know what half of them mean myself  ;D

I have to admit when I wrote that I was kind of angry/frustrated and was thinking it might just flush someone out into saying what actually goes on. One reflection that’s silly and never going to happen.

The reason for the frustration is simply that I have for some time been planning on getting a 5D3 next April/May time it simply ticks all the boxes for me and one of the first and important uses will be a wedding evening reception. Exactly the sort of event I thought this camera was built to excel at. Ah well at least time is still on my side, there may be a fix and I can just use what I’ve got now anyway if needs be.

Louis - why not start a thread on the new Canon forum, you may get a bigger ball rolling there? I’m not a pro so don’t have any weigh or real reason to complain that’s business related.

I hope I’m right in thinking that issues big enough to be affecting business raised by pros are addressed by Canon as a priority!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 15, 2012, 09:41:56 AM
Hey zim, not sure what acronym you mean but everything's cool here!  I feel your frustration, a $3000+ camera that is heavily marketed to do something well should indeed do that something well, esp after we waited extra time for the camera to be released.  It's a wonderful camera for all other uses.  I wouldn't hold my breath for the low light fix.  Start considering what YOU can do to work around it.  I am hoping that the 6D is Canon's hail mary throw to the end zone to address the 5D3 low light issue.

I think this is a problem we are going to see more often as DSLRs are being designed to be both still picture cameras and video devices.  I hate that Canon has taken this path.  It's a compromise that drags down the still picture performance while also hampering the video performance.  I wonder if this dual use design challenge is partly to blame for the low light issue.

Canon:  Just give me a highest possible quality still picture camera with NO video!  I don't use it, I don't need it and I'm trying to understand why it even exists on a pro level camera.  Photographers are NOT videographers and vice versa.  And those that are, typically will buy the tool that is best for each craft.  They don't crave one-device fits-all solutions.  I've taken some shaky video with my 60D and it sucks.  So what if you can use EF lenses on the thing?  The DSLR body design is terrible for video so to make it work, tons of money must be spent on all kinds of contraptions to fix the problems that video camcorder (pro and consumer) makers solved years ago with dedicated HD camcorders that still make better video with AF and stereo sound.  IMO, adding video to DSLRs was done to sell more cameras to consumers wanting to move up from point and shoot cameras, not answer any urgent need from photographers and it's a real shame.  It's a novelty feature that is likely hurting, not helping the primary use of the camera which is taking still images, not video.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: bigjonny on November 15, 2012, 10:41:16 AM
Ever thought of buying a 'Blad ;)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: bigjonny on November 15, 2012, 10:44:59 AM
I have to add, that i fing the Mk3 IS fully optimised for my still photography needs. I can't think of ANYTHING that is wrong with the camera for stills. It is perfect for me, and shooting weddings I think it's fair to say that I put my cameras through a wide range of conditions and they take quite a punding. No issues for me. Not sure what else you want from a camera, but for me, they do the job PERFECTLY. If they didn't I'd spend more and buy something, even non-canon, that does the job better. I think some folks get stuck in nit-picking the slightest little issue, instead of actually shooting images and learnign to adapt. Compared to cameras of years ago, the current line up ROCKS.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 15, 2012, 03:21:13 PM
Hey zim, not sure what acronym you mean but everything's cool here!  I feel your frustration, a $3000+ camera that is heavily marketed to do something well should indeed do that something well, esp after we waited extra time for the camera to be released.  It's a wonderful camera for all other uses.  I wouldn't hold my breath for the low light fix.  Start considering what YOU can do to work around it.  I am hoping that the 6D is Canon's hail mary throw to the end zone to address the 5D3 low light issue.

I think this is a problem we are going to see more often as DSLRs are being designed to be both still picture cameras and video devices.  I hate that Canon has taken this path.  It's a compromise that drags down the still picture performance while also hampering the video performance.  I wonder if this dual use design challenge is partly to blame for the low light issue.

Canon:  Just give me a highest possible quality still picture camera with NO video!  I don't use it, I don't need it and I'm trying to understand why it even exists on a pro level camera.  Photographers are NOT videographers and vice versa.  And those that are, typically will buy the tool that is best for each craft.  They don't crave one-device fits-all solutions.  I've taken some shaky video with my 60D and it sucks.  So what if you can use EF lenses on the thing?  The DSLR body design is terrible for video so to make it work, tons of money must be spent on all kinds of contraptions to fix the problems that video camcorder (pro and consumer) makers solved years ago with dedicated HD camcorders that still make better video with AF and stereo sound.  IMO, adding video to DSLRs was done to sell more cameras to consumers wanting to move up from point and shoot cameras, not answer any urgent need from photographers and it's a real shame.  It's a novelty feature that is likely hurting, not helping the primary use of the camera which is taking still images, not video.

totally and completely agree rustmeister...one beer for you!  now you only owe me one ;)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 15, 2012, 03:26:22 PM
totally and completely agree rustmeister...one beer for you!  now you only owe me one ;)

Glad to hear it!  See my other post.  I started another thread on the idea to see if anyone else thinks it's logical.  And if we keep the beer thing going, eventually they may add it to the forum.   :D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 16, 2012, 06:47:12 AM
@Zim what new Canon forum?

:)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: zim on November 16, 2012, 08:03:26 AM
@Zim what new Canon forum?

:)


http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10912.0;topicseen (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10912.0;topicseen)

Enjoy!!   :)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 16, 2012, 09:37:09 AM
Thanks I have posted, a New thread about the known problem,

please help in making this known on that forum also,

here is the link

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/Camera/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/m-p/2277#U2277 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/Camera/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/m-p/2277#U2277)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on November 16, 2012, 02:16:24 PM
I have shot several more weddings since I originally started the post and I still have the problem but have found ways to "live" with it.  First, I shoot with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, the 50mm 1.2L and the 24mm 1.4L and both the 50mm and 24mm seem benefit (or at least are not negatively affected) from the AF assist.  The 50mm just plain sucks in low light though so there isn't much helping it.  However, the 70-200 has serious problems with the AF assist beam so I just turn it off when I use it and I almost forget there is a problem.  I simply added the AF-assist enable/disable to MY MENU so I can access it quickly when I need to.  The flash still works fine I just doesn't use the AF-assist.  Just as long as I focus on an area that has some contrast I am fine even if it is really dark.  I usually focus on a white shirt collar or another area that has contrast.  At 2.8 if you focus on the shirt color the face almost always falls into focus as well.  I have also adjusted the setting towards release priority instead of focus priority and I find that really helps me get a shot quickly.  It seems that the camera does focus quickly but sometimes it just hesitates a little before it confirms with the red light.  Overall I am very happy with the camera I am just so frustrated that the AF assist beam makes focusing a lot worse with some lenses.   I am also frustrated that CPS says they have never heard of the problem which means they are lying to me.   
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on November 19, 2012, 01:39:39 PM
Just joined this forum because of this particular discussion. Just bought a 5d3 and used it this weekend at reception. Boy...this thing is bad when using single point af and flash , even in decent light. Had to wait seconds
for the focus confirmation. Lucky I still have my mark2's to take over. Does Canon deliberately cripple their cameras so you will run out and purchase the newest one next year?

We have to communicate this to the corporation...this has to end!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 19, 2012, 02:05:09 PM
Just joined this forum because of this particular discussion. Just bought a 5d3 and used it this weekend at reception. Boy...this thing is bad when using single point af and flash

The fix supposedly is not to wait for the af confirmation, but just press the shutter with release priority because the camera has finished focusing way before it confirms it (see the posts above for the original post of this method).

Does this method work for you? It's interesting to me because that would really be a reason to get the cheaper 6d over the 5d3 for me, esp. if Canon doesn't ack this problem or comes up with a firmware fix.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on November 19, 2012, 03:58:22 PM
Not of specific relevance to the thread, but, I recently got some 600EX-RT's and because of this thread I tried the AF assist beam with my 1Ds MkIII and my slowest focusing lens, the 100mm IS L Macro with the limiter switch to full range. This is normally an invitation to hunt for what seems like several seconds as it racks from infinity to MFD and back.

 So I went into a completely dark room with a popcorn ceiling and couldn't believe how fast the AF was! MUCH faster than in normal light even when I started the focus at MFD or infinity, I also tried selecting edge points on the AF, all shots were perfectly focused too, seriously, it focused like the 70-200 f2.8IS in normal light, practically instantly.

So that means it is the 5d3 with any kind of AF assist beam that is causing the issue. That is so frustrating because the camera is great in so many ways and this almost ruins it. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on November 19, 2012, 04:05:45 PM
That fix is not acceptable...if you set to release priority...you get oof images half the time....so that really defeats
the reason for buying a camera with supposedly better af....what a farce!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 19, 2012, 04:34:23 PM
That fix is not acceptable...if you set to release priority...you get oof images half the time....so that really defeats
the reason for buying a camera with supposedly better af....what a farce!

Actually that was exactly my thought when I read it, but since I don't own a 5d3 (yet) and just am trying to figure out if to get a 6d instead it's hard to say if people are either protective of their expensive investment or - the other side - overcompensating and bashing it because of disappointment. Unfortunately this issue is not something I can test myself in a photo store, so I have to rely on owner's opinions.

The other problem is to define "low light" because nowadays photogs aren't running around with light meters anymore, so that's another cause for the contradicting opinions on how serious this is (with or without af assist).

Last not least, Canon ignoring this either means it's a non-issue silently fixed in the next fw or a really serious problem :-p
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on November 19, 2012, 05:03:48 PM
Actually....the 6d seems to have this same problem...just saw a thread on it. I guess Canon fixed one thing and
broke another (the response to focus assist infrared). I just did and extreme test....took both cameras into the
bathroom and turned off all the lights...total darkness. Use flash and the 24-105....the mark 2 focused just about
as fast as you could shoot and even on a totally flat wall...no contrast. The mark3 hesitated all over the place and
half the shots were oof.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 19, 2012, 05:26:38 PM
Actually....the 6d seems to have this same problem...just saw a thread on it. I guess Canon fixed one thing and
broke another (the response to focus assist infrared).

Can you give the link to the 6d thread?

I wonder if the 6d could really have the same problem given the fact that it uses nearly the same af as the 5d (minus some af assist points, plus better center low light af). I'm ok if it doesn't af in my bathroom, but it should be able to do dark meetings/receptions :->

Btw: Did you use a 600rt for your test? What af mode (single point/all/...)?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on November 19, 2012, 05:33:21 PM
The thread is right in this same forum
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on November 19, 2012, 05:34:03 PM
Sorry....it was the 600D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on November 19, 2012, 07:30:35 PM
The flash I used in the test was the 600 rt. Yes, my toilet paper was perfectly sharp with 5d2
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 19, 2012, 07:38:35 PM
Happens on the 1DX too...
They didn't care tbh - it's not a problem apparently.

Not on my 1D X.  One flash of the AF assist lamp, then the AF confirm beep happens immediately (and the focus is accurate).  Does that in low light with a low contrast subject, does it in a pitch black room with the camera pointed at a blank white wall.  Works with the center AF point selected, works with an edge AF point selected (only difference is the center point just projects a thin, vertical red strip whereas with an off-center point the full grid is projected).  Same behavior, same fast AF lock with the assist lamp on both a 600EX-RT and a 430EX II.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 19, 2012, 08:22:51 PM
This problem is so huge, Im surprised that so many people have not come forward with this problem, 100s of photographers are being paid to shoot jobs in low light and I am certain they use a 5D3 also, maybe Canon does know about this problem and may address it soon, I really hope they do, as It worries me to even accept a job now because of this
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on November 20, 2012, 08:58:34 AM
Happens on the 1DX too...
They didn't care tbh - it's not a problem apparently.

Not on my 1D X.  One flash of the AF assist lamp, then the AF confirm beep happens immediately (and the focus is accurate).  Does that in low light with a low contrast subject, does it in a pitch black room with the camera pointed at a blank white wall.  Works with the center AF point selected, works with an edge AF point selected (only difference is the center point just projects a thin, vertical red strip whereas with an off-center point the full grid is projected).  Same behavior, same fast AF lock with the assist lamp on both a 600EX-RT and a 430EX II.

Do you happen to have a 5D3 as well that you could test?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 20, 2012, 09:15:21 AM
Do you happen to have a 5D3 as well that you could test?

Sorry, no.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Area256 on November 20, 2012, 10:43:55 AM
I have a 60D and 580EX II, and I have the same problem (focus takes 2-3 seconds and often misses with AF assist).  I don't understand why this happens, but judging by the comments here it's a common issue for Canon.  The "fix" is fairly simple: disable the AF assist light and aim for high contrast areas on your subject.  Even with the 60D's more basic AF, I've never had a serious problem in dark halls, as long as I pick good spots. Was hoping they would fix this for the 5D3 and 600ex-rt, but sounds like we are still stuck using non-assisted AF.  Since I don't have a firmware update to fix this, I assume it won't happen with the 5D3.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 20, 2012, 11:24:29 AM
I have a 60D and 580EX II, and I have the same problem (focus takes 2-3 seconds and often misses with AF assist).

Ok, now it's getting really strange - at least with my 60d and the 70-300L & 100L the camera near focuses instantly without hunting with the af assist beams of the 430ex2 and 600rt. It takes just a little longer than in good light because it beams, focuses, beams again and does the final focus. If your 60d hunts then there's definitely something wrong with your setup.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: nubu on November 20, 2012, 11:34:31 AM
After reading this post I checked my 5DIII and the 600ex flash together with the 24-105 lens and had no problems to quickly focus in completely dark rooms even at structureless walls by the help of the assist pattern... I have no idea what is wrong with your systems... I was trying both single central point as well as all points available.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Shawn L on November 20, 2012, 11:36:03 AM
With different people seeing different things with the same platform, I wonder if someone who has it working (on say a 5DIII or 1DX) would be okay with posting their camera's config file. Others could (after saving their own config to restore later) load the "working" config to see if it works on their camera, too.

That would at least eliminate/confirm it being a configuration issue.

Shawn L.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 20, 2012, 01:29:01 PM
With different people seeing different things with the same platform, I wonder if someone who has it working (on say a 5DIII or 1DX) would be okay with posting their camera's config file.

Has to be a 1D X, right?  The 5DIII doesn't have the ability to save/load settings from a memory card.  If someone having this problem on a 1D X wants to try, PM me and I'll send you a .CSD file.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Shawn L on November 20, 2012, 01:31:39 PM
Has to be a 1D X, right?  The 5DIII doesn't have the ability to save/load settings from a memory card.  If someone having this problem on a 1D X wants to try, PM me and I'll send you a .CSD file.

I defer to you as I simply don't know :)

Shawn L.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Caleb Luke on November 20, 2012, 01:37:48 PM
Interesting read indeed. I have a few 600rt's and both bodies, I am going to test side-by-side to see if I can replicate.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 20, 2012, 01:38:54 PM
Interesting read indeed. I have a few 600rt's and both bodies, I am going to test side-by-side to see if I can replicate.

Thanks!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 20, 2012, 01:55:42 PM
Interesting read indeed. I have a few 600rt's and both bodies, I am going to test side-by-side to see if I can replicate.

... and please test some lens & af setting configurations in different lighting conditions and object distances if you have the time :-p - there is definitely some FUD about this issue but even considering that there are enough "serious" reports it cannot be dismissed as imaginary.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: kasperj on November 20, 2012, 03:40:10 PM
This issue is a strange one..... I have tested a 5DIII (paired with a 24-70 MII) with the 600rt in a very dark indoor environment and found it to be equally fast (or slow) in acquiring and confirming focus on either single or multiple focus points with and without the aid of the assist beam.

I have one of the first produced 5DMIII's with the light leak (6th digit is 1)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on November 20, 2012, 04:12:07 PM
This issue is a strange one..... I have tested a 5DIII (paired with a 24-70 MII) with the 600rt in a very dark indoor environment and found it to be equally fast (or slow) in acquiring and confirming focus on either single or multiple focus points with and without the aid of the assist beam.

I have one of the first produced 5DMIII's with the light leak (6th digit is 1)

Do you have any other lenses you could test?  My 70-200 f/2.8L IS II is the one that gives me issues.  My 24mm 1.4L does just about the same with or without the AF assist beam.  With the 70-200 there is a very noticeable difference.   
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: kasperj on November 20, 2012, 04:43:00 PM
I don't own the 70-200, but just tested again with a 16-35 II and a 85 1.2 II. If there is a difference I am not able to detect it. The focus acquisition with the 85 was perhaps even slower than normal with the focus beam, but not by a consistent margin.

I have only tested using the AF back button in single shot mode
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Area256 on November 21, 2012, 01:06:56 AM
I have a 60D and 580EX II, and I have the same problem (focus takes 2-3 seconds and often misses with AF assist).

Ok, now it's getting really strange - at least with my 60d and the 70-300L & 100L the camera near focuses instantly without hunting with the af assist beams of the 430ex2 and 600rt. It takes just a little longer than in good light because it beams, focuses, beams again and does the final focus. If your 60d hunts then there's definitely something wrong with your setup.

Found the problem (at least in my case). It turns out that my 580EX II has some wiggle room in the hot shoe, and was misaligned for interacting with my selected AF point.  I had to turn off all the lights in my room, and look really closely to see the issue.  Adjusting the flash a little in the shoe fixed the problem.  I wounder if maybe some of the users here are experiencing this same issue? 

Try going into a dark room, and focusing on a white wall, you should be able to see if the beam hits in the location of your selected AF point.  If not, there is a misalignment with your flash.   This could explain why some, but not all, members are seeing the problem on the 5D3.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Mehmetski on November 21, 2012, 03:10:12 AM
Distance is a major factor on the issue. Close distance focus won't show hardly any lag with the 5dII+Speedlite AF Assist combo. The issue start to show somewhere around 1.5 to 2  meters from the subject, get 0.5 meters further away and you'll see it consistently lagging.

If the subject is moving than the lag is almost unbearable. Spontaneous quick shots are near impossible. Even with the 24-70 II
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 21, 2012, 05:14:54 AM
If the subject is moving than the lag is almost unbearable. Spontaneous quick shots are near impossible. Even with the 24-70 II

Um, I don't believe it's in the product announcement that the 5d3 can track moving objects  far away in the dark with af assist? Though it should work on static objects in the 2m range, it certainly does on the 60d.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Mehmetski on November 21, 2012, 05:36:28 AM
If the subject is moving than the lag is almost unbearable. Spontaneous quick shots are near impossible. Even with the 24-70 II

Um, I don't believe it's in the product announcement that the 5d3 can track moving objects  far away in the dark with af assist? Though it should work on static objects in the 2m range, it certainly does on the 60d.

That's true. Just to avoid the confusion, the last sentence is more a general statement for the problem and not so much with the distance. With that said, I had no problems with this before with the 5DII or the 40D where even moving subjects were locked almost instantly with AF assist beam in the dark.


Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on November 21, 2012, 09:58:33 AM
OK....so many of us now know there is a REAL problem here.  How do we go about notifying Canon and getting
them to fix it.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 21, 2012, 10:21:09 AM
OK....so many of us now know there is a REAL problem here.  How do we go about notifying Canon and getting
them to fix it.

Try to definitively document the issue.  Call them.

When there were only two of us discussing the 1D X AFMA bug, I called Canon, they'd never heard of the issue and couldn't replicate it. They asked me to send my camera in. Instead, I documented the problem with a video, and sent that to them.  More people called.  Less than a month later, a firmware update (v1.0.6) fixed the problem.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Mehmetski on November 21, 2012, 10:25:09 AM
OK....so many of us now know there is a REAL problem here.  How do we go about notifying Canon and getting
them to fix it.

I already send an e-mail to CPS. I talked about it on the phone with Canon and also send them an e-mail. Twice in two weeks. Still no response.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 21, 2012, 03:22:14 PM
OK....so many of us now know there is a REAL problem here.  How do we go about notifying Canon and getting
them to fix it.

I already send an e-mail to CPS. I talked about it on the phone with Canon and also send them an e-mail. Twice in two weeks. Still no response.

Interesting, the main thing dont give up talking about it, the moment you do, it will never get fixed
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 21, 2012, 05:46:00 PM
UPDATE:  I've received the replacement 5D3 and will report back after I've used it a bit to compare to the first body I had trouble with.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: cpsico on November 21, 2012, 06:53:49 PM
I am sure this has been discussed before but I just can't figure out why the 5D3 focuses so slowly when the AF assist is enabled on my flash.  Many times I have been at a wedding reception and I get frustrated with very slow focusing issues related to the AF assist beam.  I have messed around with turning it on and off and there is a very noticeable difference.  For example with my 70-200 as long as I find an area of some contrast it will focus almost instantly even dark situations.  As soon as I turn it on it sometimes takes a full second or two to lock focus.  I remember my 5D2 having improved focus with the AF assist from the 580exII.  Is it a flash issue or a camera issue?  I know there are a lot of you who have the same problems.  Anyone find any solutions?  Most of the time I don't need the AF assist but when it is pitch black and I need it it would be nice if I could focus a little faster.  I just don't understand how the AF can be so great in almost all situations except this one area.  Of course when I call CPS they claim they have never heard of an issue.     
I was wondering how the camera was set up to shoot, was it in one shot mode or AI servo? Ps have you tried using center point only? I am interested in this set up myself but now am a little unsure i want to until the issue is solved.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on November 22, 2012, 03:05:11 AM
I am sure this has been discussed before but I just can't figure out why the 5D3 focuses so slowly when the AF assist is enabled on my flash.  Many times I have been at a wedding reception and I get frustrated with very slow focusing issues related to the AF assist beam.  I have messed around with turning it on and off and there is a very noticeable difference.  For example with my 70-200 as long as I find an area of some contrast it will focus almost instantly even dark situations.  As soon as I turn it on it sometimes takes a full second or two to lock focus.  I remember my 5D2 having improved focus with the AF assist from the 580exII.  Is it a flash issue or a camera issue?  I know there are a lot of you who have the same problems.  Anyone find any solutions?  Most of the time I don't need the AF assist but when it is pitch black and I need it it would be nice if I could focus a little faster.  I just don't understand how the AF can be so great in almost all situations except this one area.  Of course when I call CPS they claim they have never heard of an issue.     
I was wondering how the camera was set up to shoot, was it in one shot mode or AI servo? Ps have you tried using center point only? I am interested in this set up myself but now am a little unsure i want to until the issue is solved.

The AF assist only works with one shot.  I usually use the center point if it is really dark because it works a little better.  I would still get the 5D3 and a few 600ex-rt flashes if I were you.  They work great considering this one issue which is frustrating but you can work around it fairly easily.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 22, 2012, 03:06:53 AM
UPDATE:  I've received the replacement 5D3 and will report back after I've used it a bit to compare to the first body I had trouble with.

Curious to hear about your experience with the second body.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: kpk1 on November 22, 2012, 05:58:53 AM
I am sure this has been discussed before but I just can't figure out why the 5D3 focuses so slowly when the AF assist is enabled on my flash.  Many times I have been at a wedding reception and I get frustrated with very slow focusing issues related to the AF assist beam.  I have messed around with turning it on and off and there is a very noticeable difference.  For example with my 70-200 as long as I find an area of some contrast it will focus almost instantly even dark situations.  As soon as I turn it on it sometimes takes a full second or two to lock focus.  I remember my 5D2 having improved focus with the AF assist from the 580exII.  Is it a flash issue or a camera issue?  I know there are a lot of you who have the same problems.  Anyone find any solutions?  Most of the time I don't need the AF assist but when it is pitch black and I need it it would be nice if I could focus a little faster.  I just don't understand how the AF can be so great in almost all situations except this one area.  Of course when I call CPS they claim they have never heard of an issue.     
I was wondering how the camera was set up to shoot, was it in one shot mode or AI servo? Ps have you tried using center point only? I am interested in this set up myself but now am a little unsure i want to until the issue is solved.

The AF assist only works with one shot.  I usually use the center point if it is really dark because it works a little better.  I would still get the 5D3 and a few 600ex-rt flashes if I were you.  They work great considering this one issue which is frustrating but you can work around it fairly easily.
I'm not so impressed when it comes to low light focusing. The 5D2 still does faster.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: youngjediboy on November 22, 2012, 06:29:26 AM
OMG, I knew I wasn't just imagining this problem!
I also upgraded from 5D2 and 580ex to 5D3 and 600ex-rt and have noticed it focuses noticeably slower now.

Before the AF assist beam would just fire and the focus would lock right away, now sometimes it locks but sometimes it would hunt a while before locking. Some upgrade right?

As I sold both my old body and flash to upgrade I can't go back to test and figure out if it's the 5D3 or the 600ex-rt that's causing this slower performance.

Has anyone had any news?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: gilmorephoto on November 22, 2012, 10:28:21 AM
I did a quick test with 600EX and 430EX II on both T1i and 5D3 in dark room. Both flashes on T1i are responsive on center point (never used others).  Switching to 5D3, I get inconsistent results with both flashes.  I tried every focus mode, and aside from being laggy overall, the best mode for both flashes seemed to be area zone (perhaps because you limit the area it has to try to find focus and you are not picky about what in that zone you want vs. spot or spot with assists.). Disappointed and going to try and properly document to raise the issue with Canon.

Happy Thanksgiving. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 22, 2012, 12:34:57 PM
I did a quick test with 600EX and 430EX II on both T1i and 5D3 in dark room. Both flashes on T1i are responsive on center point (never used others).  Switching to 5D3, I get inconsistent results with both flashes.  I tried every focus mode, and aside from being laggy overall, the best mode for both flashes seemed to be area zone (perhaps because you limit the area it has to try to find focus and you are not picky about what in that zone you want vs. spot or spot with assists.). Disappointed and going to try and properly document to raise the issue with Canon.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Gilmore...did you notice if the red AF beam was brighter/stronger with the T1i compared to the 5d3?  ( the red beam itself as it appears on the subject)

It seems that a few people have posted that they don't have issues with the 5d3 and yongnuo flash, and also that the AF beam is much brighter on the 5d3 yongnuo combo.  I'm just wondering if the beam itself is weaker for some reason when paired with the 5d3.

Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: gilmorephoto on November 22, 2012, 01:33:42 PM
Not that I noticed, but I wasn't looking for that.  Will check again when I have both bodies on Sunday.

The 600EX does send out a different pattern depending on which focus setting. FWIW.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: youngjediboy on November 22, 2012, 11:08:38 PM
I did a quick test with 600EX and 430EX II on both T1i and 5D3 in dark room. Both flashes on T1i are responsive on center point (never used others).  Switching to 5D3, I get inconsistent results with both flashes.  I tried every focus mode, and aside from being laggy overall, the best mode for both flashes seemed to be area zone (perhaps because you limit the area it has to try to find focus and you are not picky about what in that zone you want vs. spot or spot with assists.). Disappointed and going to try and properly document to raise the issue with Canon.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I also felt pretty disappointed after upgrading! Otherwise I love pretty much everything else about the 5D3. Hopefully Canon can provide a fix for this soon...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 23, 2012, 12:28:28 PM
Gilmore...did you notice if the red AF beam was brighter/stronger with the T1i compared to the 5d3?  ( the red beam itself as it appears on the subject)

It seems that a few people have posted that they don't have issues with the 5d3 and yongnuo flash, and also that the AF beam is much brighter on the 5d3 yongnuo combo.  I'm just wondering if the beam itself is weaker for some reason when paired with the 5d3.
[/quote]

This is really interesting, I actually thought this, I am not sure, but I remember when I was doing nightclub photography with my 5D2 the beam seemed alot brighter, I maybe just imagining it, but when I last did a job with the 5D3 and 430ex ii I did think to myself the beam seems weaker, I cant confirm it, but it really did feel this way
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on November 24, 2012, 02:12:34 PM
I have been following this with great interest. Just picked up a 5D3 about a month ago and a 600 last week. Have yet to shoot an event. This morning I walked around the house in near dark rooms and tried centre and outer focus points. Most of the time I thought it was pretty quick.

There were a few times it took a little longer than a second but never failed to AF in both centre or outer focus points. Only outer failure was about 20ft to target. I actually did check the wiggle in the foot and when I twist the flash to the right the beam is centred to the centre AF point. To the left it is off centre but still catches the beam.

I just did some more tests in semi dark rooms. The beam at distance was not all that bright and it sure does expand in width at 15-20ft as opposed to 5 feet.

Out of the manual               



Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 24, 2012, 03:46:41 PM
I just did some more tests in semi dark rooms. The beam at distance was not all that bright and it sure does expand in width at 15-20ft as opposed to 5 feet.

That makes sense - the brighter 580ex-type beam is widened on the 600rt+5d3 to cover all af points, but at range gets weaker thus generating the af lag. That would also explain why some people in this thread reported the 70-200/2.8 to be esp. bad at af'ing - it has the highest lens catergory, uses the most af points and has the highest precision, it could just be that the tradeoff is that it would needs even more af beam light to do it properly with af assist?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 24, 2012, 04:25:48 PM
Just tried the 70-200/2.8L IS II on the 1D X with the 600EX-RT.  Still locks very quickly, albeit a little more slowly than in a brightly lit room (low-contrast subject, approximately 0.6-0.8 s in good light, 0.8-1.1 s in dim light with the AF assist).

For those having the long lag, what's happening?  Repeated AF assist lamp firing, lens hunting back and forth, or just sitting there?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 24, 2012, 04:44:07 PM
When I have some time, I'll compare the "beam" strength of the 5d3 with my 1dx at a couple different distances.

Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on November 24, 2012, 04:44:56 PM
I have yet to test my 7D with my 600. Too busy playing with the 600 and ST-E3-RT. I will and post results. By the way I answered this thread at Canon Forums under the name "digital". I think there was a link in this thread.     

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/Speedlites/Canon-600EX-RT/m-p/951#U951 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/Speedlites/Canon-600EX-RT/m-p/951#U951)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on November 24, 2012, 04:46:24 PM
When I have some time, I'll compare the "beam" strength of the 5d3 with my 1dx at a couple different distances.

That will be helpful. Curious about a conclusion to this. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 24, 2012, 05:07:33 PM
Just tried the 70-200/2.8L IS II on the 1D X with the 600EX-RT.  Still locks very quickly

I'm obviously talking from the top of my head here (but we're all speculating, and this issue is important to me concerning which ff to get) ... but the 1dx has simply more raw computing power, so maybe it just can calculate the af quicker even though there is less information to work with (weaker af beam)? Or it really is a broken firmware on the 5d3 which will be fixed asap.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 24, 2012, 05:16:04 PM
I'm obviously talking from the top of my head here (but we're all speculating, and this issue is important to me concerning which ff to get) ... but the 1dx has simply more raw computing power, so maybe it just can calculate the af quicker even though there is less information to work with (weaker af beam)?

Could be.  The reason I asked about what is going on during the lag is that very dim light slows metering down (it's why the 7D can only do 4 fps in near-dark, instead of the normal 8 fps).  The 5DIII has the same metering sensor as the 7D, but the 1D X is different. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on November 24, 2012, 10:37:38 PM
Just tried the 70-200/2.8L IS II on the 1D X with the 600EX-RT.  Still locks very quickly, albeit a little more slowly than in a brightly lit room (low-contrast subject, approximately 0.6-0.8 s in good light, 0.8-1.1 s in dim light with the AF assist).

For those having the long lag, what's happening?  Repeated AF assist lamp firing, lens hunting back and forth, or just sitting there?

For me the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II without the AF assist will focus in almost an instant even in very low light as long as there is an area of some kind of contrast.  For example at wedding receptions when I am photographing the first dances as long as I can focus on where the white shirt meets the grooms neck then I am fine.  I also feel really comfortable using AI servo to track the bride and groom entering a very dark reception (so dark I may not be able to see a lot with my own eyes).  Again as long as there is some contrast where maybe the white vest meets the black jacket.  Now that is great but what if I accidentally slip off an area of contrast and my focus point hits a the dark flat area of the tux?  When that happens the lens hunts way out of focus and it takes me a few seconds to recover. In that time I may miss something I really need to get like a smile or a kiss on the cheek.  I have tried expanding the point so the surrounding areas are active as well but I found that causes a lot more hunting.  One point works the best for me.  Now when I used to shoot with the 5D2 I seem to remember being able to focus anywhere because the AF assist would work and it didn't matter if I focused on an area of contrast.  That is why I would like the AF assit to work better with the 5D3.  When I use the 5D3 the AF assit lamp will flash 3 times usually before the focus will lock and blink red.  Now most of the time it focuses much faster than the red confirmation but you really can't trust it all of the time.  I would say 90% of the time that area will be in focus before the red confirmation but it may be the time you really need that it will be slightly out of focus.  The AF assist flashing 3 full times before focus is way too long in my opinion especially since it was better than that in the past with the 5D2.  There has to be a reason and I just want to know why.  If there is a trade off because the AF points are smaller I can live with that and like I said before I have learned to work with what I have but part of me feels like I shouldn't have to. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: johnnyjohnny on November 26, 2012, 03:43:27 AM
throwing my 2 cents in as i wouldn't even be on this thread if i hadn't noticed a serious intermittent lag, sometimes it just didn't, in red light autofocus confirm...even in decent light. i googled the problem and this was the most impressive documentation and discussion of the issue that i am having.

specifically, there is no real hunting, just a stoppage, or NON focusing...this was happening ever 30 or more shots sometimes for no apparent reason. i noticed mentions of rebooting camera, taking out battery, the latter which i did non my first shoot and it briefly fixed problem.

today was my second use of the 5Diii and i noticed this problem of intermitten non focusing or lag with a tamron 24-70mm 2.8 VC which performed pretty darn good in this dept. on my t2i in very low light. in fact there was NEVER a lag...on the t2i there would be hunting, not much at all...but when there was at least i knew something was going on...the the 5Diii i know nothing (like sgt shultz)...no idea what's going on except that nothing is.

SO, i've tried the fixes suggested, i.e. shutting off af assist beam (tho i was using no flash), and switching af points to include not just the very center, and not even just the extended cross of one box each way, but a full single box ring around the mid af point...if confusing this means all the little boxes in the middle circle.

have it on release priority vs. focus (which seems not to make much diff)...and have noticed i can fully depress shutter without waiting for light confirm of af and the picture will be taken, tho i haven't checked on how in-focus it is.

all this seems to have helped a bit in focusing on low lit spots up to 2 meters around my apt...i've gotten a few complete lags sitting here doing this, but mainly it focuses as quick as with the very good autofocusing t2i...sometimes a less than a sec. lag...but what i hate is that nothing happens...no hunting, just a stall until the af confirm light comes on.

i got the camera for low light street photography of spontaneous journalistic type photography and this problem is a stake in the heart of that work when it happens. it doesn't happen a huge amount of the time but enough that i googled it, and clearly worse than the lowly t2i, which was good in this dept....

i'm very much hoping this is a firmware fixable issue as i've had the camera about 2 months before really using in the field, and have missed any samy's camera return windows...while the camera has full extended coverage, i obviously don't wish to be sending this anywhere...the issue has resolved a bit with the very appreciated info here, but still can be said to exist from some apt shooting tonight...i'd at least like some of you who know canon and problems and issues of this sort, that yes dorothy, there is a santa claus and that he's gonna get canon to fix this through firmware...quick...or at least a lot quicker than my 5Diii autofocuses
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on November 26, 2012, 09:12:13 AM
I am still following this discussn. I would like to explain how I focus using the the Mark2...which I still have in
my quiver. I do weddings and bar mitzvahs and have to photograph fairly quick action...I always used the one
shot mode and center focus point. In the case of a wedding couple entering the venue...it usually happens pretty
quickly...so I would always pre  focus on a spot and be ready for the first shot...I would then continually refocus
on the couple using the shutter button as they moved toward me while zooming out my 24-105 lens or my
17-40 (in a smaller venue). Rarely would any of these shots be out of focus...my main problem was having my
flash recycle fast enough to keep up with me. I just did a shot of a young boy running toward me at a golf resort
and having him jump in the air several times for an effect. I used the mark2, one shot, center point with my
70-200 2.8 is. The shot is so sharp on him that I am making a banner 28" by 72"...his whole body only takes
up maybe 12" of space in the shot....every feauture in his face and body are tack sharp....I shot at f4. I would be very hesitant to try this with my mark3...probably would have to use ai focus and make sure I keep that point on the subject.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 27, 2012, 01:35:49 AM
UPDATE:  I've received the replacement 5D3 and will report back after I've used it a bit to compare to the first body I had trouble with.

Curious to hear about your experience with the second body.

OK, I've used the camera a few times now but I didn't do much low light until tonight.

VerdictThis 2nd 5D3 body AF WORKS.  Totally different experience.  It works as I think it should.  If the last camera worked like this camera, I likely never would have visited this thread for more than casual curiosity.

I've done nothing scientific or really anything different than the last camera.  I just set the menu settings the same as my other cameras and used it like I use any camera.  I used a 24-70 f/2.8L lens tonight.  I also tried a 24-105 f/4L.  Both worked virtually the same with regard to AF Lock in low light.

Didn't matter...
-  ... what setting the AF Assist light was set to (either OFF or ON)
-  ... whether a flash was attached or not
-  ... whether the flash was turned on or not
-  ... if it was a Canon flash or a Sunpak RD2000
-  ... if I hold a beer in one hand, hold the camera steady with both hands, or balance the beer on top.

I...
-  ... Shot outside in dark front yard.
-  ... Shot indoors available, dim and candle light.
-  ... Shot the cat in dim room with 40W lamp distant backlight.  (Because Northstar can't have all the fun with his front yard dog!)
-  ... Shot a black rolly cart in the almost dark foyer (the Canon body contained inside cart is in focus, camera hand set on stair rail, 6 sec exposure, used 580EX-II AF Assist light)

The camera focused as I would expect in all cases.  Nothing took longer than 2/3 sec except the almost dark rolling cart, it took about 1 sec with the AF Assist lamp on a 580EX-II flash.  No ridiculous and maddening focus hunting.

If I try to get AF Lock in a semi-dark environment with AF Assist = OFF, the camera will either refuse to try (Focus Hunt = Off) or never AF Lock (Focus Hunt = On) which I consider normal.  If I then turn on the AF Assist, it focuses in 1/2 - 1sec.  I've also noticed that the AF Lock/Hunt/Red AF point red blink doesn't even happen if the focus hasn't changed.  I wish it would still blink anyway.

So far this is only a few hundred shots in to this body.  Some have complained that their camera started off fine and then suddenly got worse.  All I know is it works better and gives a much better result than the 1st body and I am glad I exchanged it!

Thanks to this forum for helping me conclude that there are some folks that have had no problems and others that have exp. similar problems.  I was pretty doubtful I would get a better replacement body but so far, I think I did!

Here are some small JPGs straight out of the camera SD slot, no changes whatsoever.  Candlelight, 40W lamp in background and then very dark foyer using AF Assist lamp and then flash fired.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: hammy on November 27, 2012, 02:32:12 AM
1Dx / 85 1.2L 2  + 600ex rt - i had a difficulty getting focus in low light at a park. My images turned out to be blurry zoomed in . I thought to myself this will be horrible for low light wedding dances , etc .  Trying to take pictures with kids running around in low light  is extremely difficult. Wished it has IS
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on November 27, 2012, 02:50:16 AM
VerdictThis 2nd 5D3 replacement body AF WORKS.

But I understand it's your 1st replacement, but 2nd 5d3 body :-> ? ... anyway, things tend to get more confusing with more data w/o a scientific approach, and the latter is hard to achieve in these cases.

To sum it up: If what you're writing is correct, that means your 600rt is working fine but for the 5d3 this means the possibility of broken hardware: either randomly, semi-randomly by timebomb (deterioration of some part) or systematically (that's what you get as an early adopter :-p ... but maybe people should post their rough serial# and purchase date).

I fear to work this out we need someone with a broken and a working 5d3 camera body at the same time or at least shooting the exact same situations and memorizing/noting what the exact difference is with what lenses, lighting conditions and focal distances :-\

Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 27, 2012, 05:56:34 AM
Quote
OK, I've used the camera a few times now but I didn't do much low light until tonight.

VerdictThis 2nd 5D3 replacement body AF WORKS.  Totally different experience.  It works as I think it should.  If the last camera worked like this camera, I likely never would have visited this thread for more than casual curiosity.

I've done nothing scientific or really anything different than the last camera.  I just set the menu settings the same as my other cameras and used it like I use any camera.  I used a 24-70 f/2.8L lens tonight.  I also tried a 24-105 f/4L.  Both worked virtually the same with regard to AF Lock in low light.

Didn't matter...
-  ... what setting the AF Assist light was set to (either OFF or ON)
-  ... whether a flash was attached or not
-  ... whether the flash was turned on or not
-  ... if it was a Canon flash or a Sunpak RD2000
-  ... if I hold a beer in one hand, hold the camera steady with both hands, or balance the beer on top.

I...
-  ... Shot outside in dark front yard.
-  ... Shot indoors available, dim and candle light.
-  ... Shot the cat in dim room with 40W lamp distant backlight.  (Because Northstar can't have all the fun with his front yard dog!)
-  ... Shot a black rolly cart in the almost dark foyer (the Canon body contained inside cart is in focus, camera hand set on stair rail, 6 sec exposure, used 580EX-II AF Assist light)

The camera focused as I would expect in all cases.  Nothing took longer than 2/3 sec except the almost dark rolling cart, it took about 1 sec with the AF Assist lamp on a 580EX-II flash.  No ridiculous and maddening focus hunting.

If I try to get AF Lock in a semi-dark environment with AF Assist = OFF, the camera will either refuse to try (Focus Hunt = Off) or never AF Lock (Focus Hunt = On) which I consider normal.  If I then turn on the AF Assist, it focuses in 1/2 - 1sec.  I've also noticed that the AF Lock/Hunt/Red AF point red blink doesn't even happen if the focus hasn't changed.  I wish it would still blink anyway.

So far this is only a few hundred shots in to this body.  Some have complained that their camera started off fine and then suddenly got worse.  All I know is it works better and gives a much better result than the 1st body and I am glad I exchanged it!

Thanks to this forum for helping me conclude that there are some folks that have had no problems and others that have exp. similar problems.  I was pretty doubtful I would get a better replacement body but so far, I think I did!

Here are some small JPGs straight out of the camera SD slot, no changes whatsoever.  Candlelight, 40W lamp in background and then very dark foyer using AF Assist lamp and then flash fired.
[/quote]

Rusty...that's good to hear!  Your experience is precisely why I never buy refurbished items. ( your original camera will eventually be sold as refurbished and someone else will inherit the problem)

I'm curious, do you have image stabilization turned on or off when you shoot with beer in hand?  ;)

Enjoy your new camera!

PS...the shot of the roller cart is truly a work of art and a masterpiece ;D

Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on November 27, 2012, 06:33:06 AM
 I remember reading in this post from a couple people that their AF would hunt and then just "give up" and never acquire focus in poor available light.  For those of you that posted this, try checking your AF setting "lens drive when AF is impossible" and make sure it is set to "ON"

I mention this because when I first bought my 5d3 I had inadvertently turned this setting to OFF (or it came that way as a default, I'm not sure)  and I paid the price later when I was in a low light situation and my 5d3 would just give up and quit focusing....took me a while to go through the settings and figure out that this setting was the issue.  The key here is that it only became an issue when I was in poor light.






Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 27, 2012, 08:24:28 AM
VerdictThis 2nd 5D3 replacement body AF WORKS.

But I understand it's your 1st replacement, but 2nd 5d3 body :-> ? ... anyway, things tend to get more confusing with more data w/o a scientific approach, and the latter is hard to achieve in these cases.

To sum it up: If what you're writing is correct, that means your 600rt is working fine but for the 5d3 this means the possibility of broken hardware: either randomly, semi-randomly by timebomb (deterioration of some part) or systematically (that's what you get as an early adopter :-p ... but maybe people should post their rough serial# and purchase date).

I fear to work this out we need someone with a broken and a working 5d3 camera body at the same time or at least shooting the exact same situations and memorizing/noting what the exact difference is with what lenses, lighting conditions and focal distances :-\

Thanks Marsu42, I removed the 'replacement' term, it was late and that was confusing.  I only have a 580EX-II, not a 600rt.  I agree, my experience seems to indicate poor QA, bad parts or a combination of the two.  I held out hope because some have reported no problems.  I'll definitely keep watching and report my continued use experience.  And yes, I've been too busy to do anything extremely precise or methodical but this body definitely works like one would expect.  I'm still not totally blown away by the low light focus w/o AF Assist but at least it now works better than my other (older) cameras which wasn't the case before.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 27, 2012, 08:31:36 AM
I remember reading in this post from a couple people that their AF would hunt and then just "give up" and never acquire focus in poor available light.  For those of you that posted this, try checking your AF setting "lens drive when AF is impossible" and make sure it is set to "ON"

I mention this because when I first bought my 5d3 I had inadvertently turned this setting to OFF (or it came that way as a default, I'm not sure)  and I paid the price later when I was in a low light situation and my 5d3 would just give up and quit focusing....took me a while to go through the settings and figure out that this setting was the issue.  The key here is that it only became an issue when I was in poor light.

Since I just got mine, I think it was ON by default and I turned it OFF.  I noticed immediately.  I turned it back ON because I want to know when the camera is trying to focus.  It seems that when the focus point hasn't changed (in any situation), the 5D3 doesn't try to refocus and the focus point doesn't blink red.  So I want to know when it does try and if it can't focus, I want to know that too (by hunting) whereas if the AF Hunting is OFF, it does nothing so you don't know the difference.  Yeah, that sentence is a little weird but I think you get my drift.   :P
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 27, 2012, 08:40:03 AM
Rusty...that's good to hear!  Your experience is precisely why I never buy refurbished items. ( your original camera will eventually be sold as refurbished and someone else will inherit the problem)

I'm curious, do you have image stabilization turned on or off when you shoot with beer in hand?  ;)

Enjoy your new camera!

PS...the shot of the roller cart is truly a work of art and a masterpiece ;D

Thanks Northstar!  Yes, I feel a little better about my purchase.  But I still want to know how much better or worse the 6D is in low light compared to the 5D3.

As for using IS with beer in hand...  You know how IS works.  It's not me moving, it's everything else!  IS just doesn't help in that case!!   :D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on November 27, 2012, 12:14:07 PM
Guys amazing news! Canon have responded!

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277) 

Please join the Canon forums, I posted the issue up there for Canon to see it was a major problem and they have replied!

this is great, please do your best in explaining the problem, so we can get a fix!!

:)


Louis
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on November 27, 2012, 11:34:53 PM
That is good news. At least there was a response.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 27, 2012, 11:58:42 PM
Yes, it is good news.  Sort of.  So many months after the release date, I would like to see Canon stop asking what people think is wrong and just admit there is a serious problem, they are working on it and then announce a fix.  The specifics they are asking for are irrelevant and a little insulting.  (Lenses, etc sure didn't matter on my camera's problem.)  Gathering this data is a lot of work on our part.  And it's already documented on several forums in detail.  Why can't they take a couple hours and read for themselves?  My low light AF was broken.  Period.  Just like many others have described.  I don't care if they just say they found a QA problem, a bunch of drunken assembly workers or a batch bad of components.  Just explain the problem (or not), fix the problem and let's move on.  Anything else sounds like stonewalling while they take in profit.  You really can't tell me that they are that clueless about every aspect of this camera before and after it was RTM'd in early 2012.

The camera I had showed defective low light AF.  It was unmistakable.  Thank goodness I returned it in time and received another one in exchange that so far seems to be good and a compliment to the Canon line.  The fact that the low light AF works so well in this 2nd camera is a testament to the fact that the first one I had was faulty.  I'm sorry about anyone who is dealing with the AF problem I had with my 1st camera on their camera that can't be exchanged!

Thanks again for everyone's comments, support and honest feedback about their camera.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on November 28, 2012, 12:23:04 AM
I just added 3 posts under digital. The last 3.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on December 02, 2012, 11:26:38 AM
There is another thread on this here. This is interesting.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10706.45 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10706.45)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 03, 2012, 11:28:48 AM
Let's keep bugging them until they do something....this is ridiculous!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 03, 2012, 11:34:53 AM
Esp since my only reason for the mk3 over the mk2 was the autofocus....there is not a single other upgrade on the
new camera that is essential for me....the files still have horrible shadow noise if you underexpose even a little.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: ScottyP on December 03, 2012, 02:35:50 PM
Yes, it is good news.  Sort of.  So many months after the release date, I would like to see Canon stop asking what people think is wrong and just admit there is a serious problem, they are working on it and then announce a fix.  The specifics they are asking for are irrelevant and a little insulting.  (Lenses, etc sure didn't matter on my camera's problem.)  Gathering this data is a lot of work on our part.  And it's already documented on several forums in detail.  Why can't they take a couple hours and read for themselves?  My low light AF was broken.  Period.  Just like many others have described.  I don't care if they just say they found a QA problem, a bunch of drunken assembly workers or a batch bad of components.  Just explain the problem (or not), fix the problem and let's move on.  Anything else sounds like stonewalling while they take in profit.  You really can't tell me that they are that clueless about every aspect of this camera before and after it was RTM'd in early 2012.

The camera I had showed defective low light AF.  It was unmistakable.  Thank goodness I returned it in time and received another one in exchange that so far seems to be good and a compliment to the Canon line.  The fact that the low light AF works so well in this 2nd camera is a testament to the fact that the first one I had was faulty.  I'm sorry about anyone who is dealing with the AF problem I had with my 1st camera on their camera that can't be exchanged!

Thanks again for everyone's comments, support and honest feedback about their camera.

Interesting note about Canon's forum:  There is a list of the most highly rated ("kudos") posts.  I went in and gave KUDOS to all the postings in that thread, and it was enough to fill 4 of the top 5 posts with the thread about 5D3 + 600 exrt = slower focus. 
 ;) If anyone else wants to go give KUDOS to the postings and replies on that thread, it will keep it "front page news" on the Canon forum.  ;)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on December 03, 2012, 03:31:48 PM
;) If anyone else wants to go give KUDOS to the postings and replies on that thread, it will keep it "front page news" on the Canon forum. ;)

If you did that, you should have come across this message: "Kudos Flood: You have exceeded the limit of 10 kudoed messages per minute." ... so just select the 10 messages that make the most sense to you. I think Canon should react to this issue, and even though I don't have a 5d3 yet I think it is ok to bump the thread for all you posh 5d3 owners :->
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: ScottyP on December 03, 2012, 04:14:48 PM
;) If anyone else wants to go give KUDOS to the postings and replies on that thread, it will keep it "front page news" on the Canon forum. ;)

If you did that, you should have come across this message: "Kudos Flood: You have exceeded the limit of 10 kudoed messages per minute." ... so just select the 10 messages that make the most sense to you. I think Canon should react to this issue, and even though I don't have a 5d3 yet I think it is ok to bump the thread for all you posh 5d3 owners :->

I think I missed getting over-Kudoed by dumb luck.  I kudoed several slowly as I read it over the weekend, then I went back later Sunday and handed out the rest, and again this afternoon.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 03, 2012, 05:07:04 PM
Private by Design:

"r, so don't underexpose a little, that is what exposure compensation is for.

With regards the 5D MkIII and low light/AF assist beam performance, I will be at a function tonight where I will be able to compare it to my 1Ds MkIII and I intend to take a couple of 600EX-RT's just because of this thread. Sure I will only get to use one camera, but I am wondering at what EV people are starting to get issues, lets face it, one persons extreme low light is another persons bright! Lets pin down EV first."

This kind of post is uncalled for as well as being rude and ignorant! Anybody who shoots events knows you can't nail your exposure everytime...sometimes ettl really underexposes randomly...btw, I use ex comp constantly during a day's shoot...invariably the shot you want the most turns out to be off. Shooting manually is
no solution either as you car deally with constantly moving subjects. Please stick to the topic at hand....a real
issue which many of us are experiencing.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on December 03, 2012, 06:16:26 PM
I am sorry you took offense to that, but exposure has always been the number one skill of a photographer

Indeed, and another skill has been to deal with the limitation of equipment - and given a constantly changing high dr scene and a limited dr sensor I'd rather underexpose than end up with blown highlights. But I know seasoned photogs say you just need experience and then take one shot .. but somehow I am still doubtful, because one of these guys recently told me he never needs to crop his shots because he always frames them perfectly in the vf. With a prime. Without moving a step. Yeah, right - sounds like spreading fishermens' tales to me.

Now, echelonphoto, at what EV are you having specific problems with your 5D MkIII and 600EX-RT?

To post something on topic: Since few people nowadays run around with lightmeters (shame, what happened to the good ol' ways?) the "Light Value" data is inside the files, you can get the information for example using exiftool. Or just send the raw to Canon ... the subject distance is in there, too and multiple other data that might matter.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on December 04, 2012, 02:52:51 AM
Interesting, my experience has been quite the opposite with regards Canon RAW files, I find over exposure very easy to recover but under exposure will hurt you, Nikon RAW files are completely the other way around

Interesting about Nikon (though I know they use the "active d lighting" vs canon's htp). You are certainly correct that Canon raw files have great potential for highlight recovery, I do it all the time and that's because I shoot raw, but of course only up to a point. But my experience with outdoors action scenes shooting against the sun @high iso (= low dr) is that when downsizing for web you can always get around low shadow resolution, but clipped highlights stay clipped highlights.

All cameras have a lightmeter, all you need to know is the aperture, shutter speed, and iso to work out the EV.

But not as precise as the data in the file which has one decimal place ... and I think the lv value in the file might not be biased by your selected metering (spot, ...), but I have to admit that I don't know that for sure. Plus as I wrote above the file has the subject distance which seems to be vital to the problem.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on December 04, 2012, 10:13:16 AM
But still nobody who is having a problem is posting EV information!

Or how slow exactly "slow" is in seconds :-p ... but really it shouldn't be that hard for Canon to reproduce if they set their mind on it ... or they already have and discovered they won't be able to fix it? Anyway, I hope the matter gets cleared up before I finally decide if to get the 6d or 5d3 :-o

On the subject of distance information, I have found it to be wildly off on many occasions

On the newer lenses 70-300L and 100L it's indeed precise, at least for the shots I had a look at.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 05, 2012, 01:39:23 PM
privateby design.....

     Just coming back to this thread...lets not get off about how to properly expose a file...it is really off topic.....I
can tell you in a specific case....I took a candid of two women...one caucasian and on very dark afroamerican...the
caucasian was properly exposed....the other way under....bringing here back up left an incredible amount of noise...this was with flash at iso 400. I also know that there are noise problems at lower isos even with proper
exposure.

            Anyhow....the focusing problem with AF assist occurs at almost any ev....I haven't verified this in bright
sunlight yet....but I was shooting headshots at a local hospital yesterday in bright interior lighting....now I use
my 600 rt's in group mode with 4 lights total....the commander light being on the camera. I have shut off the flash from the commander...but kept the af light....thing would hunt to focus on person's face using one of the
cross sensors in the vertical quadrant (upper right in viewfinder). When I shut of the af assist...it was definitely
faster, but not as fast as my Mark2, which I had with me to compare.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 05, 2012, 02:17:24 PM
privateby design.....

     Just coming back to this thread...lets not get off about how to properly expose a file...it is really off topic.....I
can tell you in a specific case....I took a candid of two women...one caucasian and on very dark afroamerican...the
caucasian was properly exposed....the other way under....bringing here back up left an incredible amount of noise...this was with flash at iso 400. I also know that there are noise problems at lower isos even with proper
exposure.

            Anyhow....the focusing problem with AF assist occurs at almost any ev....I haven't verified this in bright
sunlight yet....but I was shooting headshots at a local hospital yesterday in bright interior lighting....now I use
my 600 rt's in group mode with 4 lights total....the commander light being on the camera. I have shut off the flash from the commander...but kept the af light....thing would hunt to focus on person's face using one of the
cross sensors in the vertical quadrant (upper right in viewfinder). When I shut of the af assist...it was definitely
faster, but not as fast as my Mark2, which I had with me to compare.

Sounds like what I was dealing with.  I couldn't get focus lock in regular indoor room light for several seconds.  It was a joke... on me.  After I returned the camera for dealer exchange for a new replacement (not a refurb), the AF problem seems to be gone.  I was really worried that Canon had somehow totally screwed up the AF design but I guess there are just a lot of cameras out there with this AF problem that likely isn't a design problem, it's a QA problem on the assembly line(?).  I guess.

As time moves forward, there seem to be TWO SIDES...
-  Those that  DON'T HAVE AF PROBLEMS and
-  Those that  DO HAVE AF PROBLEMS.

I feel like I thankfully moved from the DO to the DON'T side.  Don't waste time trying to fix it yourself or work around it.  See what Canon will do for you and let us know how it goes!!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 05, 2012, 05:01:12 PM
thanks RustyTheGeek that is really good to know
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 05, 2012, 05:25:23 PM
thanks RustyTheGeek that is really good to know

I appreciate your thanks dlleno.  No offense but honestly, this is really bad to know.  :(

I wish this thread didn't even exist and I had all the hours back in my life that I spent trying to figure this out and dealing with it.  I'm sure the others feel the same way.  It is a relief that it came to a positive end though.  Thanks to this forum, I was able to return it for exchange instead of having to wait and wait dealing with a warranty repair.  If I (we) can help someone else come to the same conclusion, that's good.   :)

Cheers!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 05, 2012, 05:39:46 PM
I'm tracking you  -- this is bad for the aparent QC during manufacturing, but outstanding information re:  how to resolve this.  I suspect the story is not ended yet though - Canon technical support told me that the AF assist beam is not supported with this combination (5D3 and 600ex), and one wonders why that would be and what unofficial or official result will come about.  Maybe they fixed it silently without acknowledging the issue.   

So, to bring clarity:  you're saying your 5D3 uses the AF assist beam just fine with half-pressed shutter, or that it focuses great in low light when you press the shutter all the way down. 

now then, bring me up to speed or refer me to a previous post I've overlooked:  What was it about this forum that enabled the "return" versus repair option? 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on December 05, 2012, 05:45:42 PM
Canon technical support told me that the AF assist beam is not supported with this combination (5D3 and 600ex)

?! ... the af assist on the 600 flash is esp. made to work with the 5d3/1dx af - so what combination are you talking about?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 05, 2012, 05:54:15 PM
dlleno - Go back in this thread to page 9 and you'll see the update I posted about how the replacement 5D3 AF seems to be working for me now.  Look back further and you'll see several posts by me and others discussing the problem before that.

Marsu42 - my guess is that perhaps dlleno spoke with a misinformed tech rep.  Who knows?  I find that statement hard to believe as well.  For that matter, how can any fairly recent/decent Canon brand flash be 'not supported' on a Canon camera?  If new Canon flash units (worth $600 each) aren't supported on Canon cameras (worth $3500), then I guess I'll just go buy cheap Chinese knockoffs that likely work better anyway!!  Dammit.  So there!   :o
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on December 08, 2012, 10:07:24 AM
I said I would compare my 5d3 with 430exii  VS 1dx with same 430exii in very low light....

Bottom line, the 430exii didn't work on the 5d3.  In a very dark basement, it couldn't/wouldn't acquire focus...several OOF shots later I put the 1dx on with the same flash.  It worked like a charm, not a single problem....took maybe 1/2 sec to acquire focus in the exact same dark basement.....used the 24-105 for both.

One thing I noticed is that the AF beam didn't even work on the 5d3.  I have noticed this "random" issue in the past where the beam works/or doesn't work for no apparent reason with the 5d3.

So there's my simple and quick test.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 08, 2012, 08:03:21 PM
So I wonder what it actual problem is??  Is it firmware, hardware or those drunk assembly line workers again, turning capacitor #651-A (and sometimes B!) around on every 5th AF board just to screw with us?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 10, 2012, 10:17:57 AM
Shot with both my mark2 and mark3 at an event yesterday....the mark 3 actually caused me to miss shots..when I switched to the mk2...all was well....this is in a fairly dark venue using multiple 600 rts and focus
assist. I tried various settings with the mark3...one shot with and w/o af assist, ai servo using multiple points,
my conclusion is I can't count on the mk 3 for important stuff just yet.

Here's an interesting post on this forum...he comes to the same conclusion I did....the mk3 focus seems to be
a 2 step process.

 http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11414.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11414.0)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 10, 2012, 11:16:58 AM
perhaps  the n-step retry/credence process that accomplishes the extraordinary AF consistency, repeatability and accuracy of the 5D3 (producing very low std deviations in Roger's tests)  is also what consumes the additional time in low light.  sounds like a firmware issue to me;  If the feedback loop cannot be tuned for greater speed in low  light, then provide a CF or AF configruation giving user the choice to reliquish some of that extraordinary repeatability in low light to acheive greater AF speed.  Hard to imagine that the 6D aparent superiority in this regard is intentional.   
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: gilmorephoto on December 10, 2012, 01:45:31 PM
I have not had a chance to follow-up on the T1i and 5D3 comparisons from a while back, but ...
I did shot again this weekend with 5D3 and 600EX at night and it was an exercise in frustration to say the least.  Here is what I observed:

1.  As noted by someone else previously, distance plays a big roll in the AF Assist beam effectiveness.  I was shooting outside in a town square, very low light, 100mm L, trying to get my wife and son shoulder up with a bit a of Xmas tree lights in the background.  At the distance necessary to make that framing possible the focus assist was virtually useless, not locking at all or shooting completely OOF shots.  This was not remedied by the suggestion of not waiting for focus confirm and just pressing the shutter release button all the way (it would get me OOF shots when it would actually fire). Turning the flash off resulted in a focused pictures (not instantly, but acceptable given the low light).  I did not have my T1i handy to compare but I did not have this problem shooting the same shots in the same square, at the same time of night, with the 430EX II and the T1i.  (Not scientific, I know but there it is...)

2.  At closer distances, the focus assist worked but slowly.  I would get the shots in focus but I missed the moment because of the hesitation.  This was maddening to say the least.  Here I am with $5K worth of camera kit and I could not get a decent shot that would have been possible with a lot less. 

I continue to be disheartened and hope that the issue is identified, a fix is possible, and that it will be release within the next few months.  I'm kind of gutted right now.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 10, 2012, 02:28:25 PM
Thanks Gilmore,

      Please post this also at the Canon forum....http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277. (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277.) We need to get them moving on this. I have gone back to using my Mark 2 as primary because
I really can't trust the Mk3. Its embarrassing that people with little point and shoot cameras are capturing the action better than I am.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 10, 2012, 02:33:05 PM
dlleno,

   I think there is some credence to your argument. I just hope that if they do the firmware, we do not lose accuracy to any great degree. The mark 2 is pretty well 99% accuracy when using the center spot with af
assist...so this should be doable with the new camera. I am so confident at receptions with the old camera that
I frequent just point the camera at a group of people I want to capture without even looking thru the viewfinder.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 10, 2012, 02:39:42 PM
Yep.  I've been there gilmorephoto and echelonphoto!  Again, my 'AF Lock sucks in Low Light' issue seemed to improve/go away when I exchanged my new 5D3 for another but I need to shoot more in low light to further confirm and flesh this out more.  And I would love it if it turned out to be a firmware improvement thing. 

However, I just ordered an eBay steal deal on a 6D for $1899 from theimagingworld (fingers crossed) and I will try to informally compare the two bodies (5D3 vs. 6D) after it arrives.  Oh, and I don't plan on divulging what I think "0" EV is either!!  I'm going to use completely subjective comparisons like 'better', 'worse' and maybe even 'pudding' or 'furry'.  So there!   ;)  (And just in case, please know I am kidding around because that 0 EV thing on the other post really did teach me a lot about EV and sharing informal test results with this forum.)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 10, 2012, 02:41:55 PM
dlleno,

   I think there is some credence to your argument. I just hope that if they do the firmware, we do not lose accuracy to any great degree. The mark 2 is pretty well 99% accuracy when using the center spot with af
assist...so this should be doable with the new camera. I am so confident at receptions with the old camera that
I frequent just point the camera at a group of people I want to capture without even looking thru the viewfinder.

IMO, that's the way it SHOULD BE with a new $3000 camera.  High confidence in the results and be able to just point in the general direction over your head sometimes and expect a decent in focus picture.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 10, 2012, 04:23:37 PM
dlleno,

   I think there is some credence to your argument. I just hope that if they do the firmware, we do not lose accuracy to any great degree. The mark 2 is pretty well 99% accuracy when using the center spot with af
assist...so this should be doable with the new camera. I am so confident at receptions with the old camera that
I frequent just point the camera at a group of people I want to capture without even looking thru the viewfinder.

IMO, that's the way it SHOULD BE with a new $3000 camera.  High confidence in the results and be able to just point in the general direction over your head sometimes and expect a decent in focus picture.

no question about that, and given the choice one would tend to choose "the 5D3 way",  at least I would.  But when this extraordinary accuracy interferes with speed of capture results that are deemed to be superior in some situations with a "lesser"  camera, then the $3000 camera needs to allow the photographer some flexibility and the choice to configure a "6D mode"  -- I'm assuming of course that the emperical evidence here passes muster and that the 6D really does focus faster than the 5D3 in the same light within the EV specifications of both.  Such an option would allow the 5D3 user to relinquish some AF accuracy to obtain better AF speed so that the shot doens't "get away".  perhaps a custom configuration "low light AF speed"
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on December 10, 2012, 07:48:26 PM
Lets just really hope Canon are reading all these posts on a few Forums now, I honestly pray for a fix, as I am wondered to be offered a job, where I will be dependent on the 5D3 and my 430EX2,
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on December 11, 2012, 01:10:30 AM

Canon technical support told me that the AF assist beam is not supported with this combination (5D3 and 600ex)

I'm still trying to get over this. I may have to call Canon myself.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 11, 2012, 01:31:11 AM

Canon technical support told me that the AF assist beam is not supported with this combination (5D3 and 600ex)

I'm still trying to get over this. I may have to call Canon myself.

well it just doesn't make sense to me either - this must be an error of some kind as I can't imagine that the 5D3 does not support the latest flash systems and AF assist beams.  please do give Canon a call and tell us what information they reveal;  hopefully your experience will make better sense than what they told me!   My honest guess is that there is official support but no official recognition of the problem as described here by several.  Just a personal opinion, but  I'm expecting the issue to quietly go away or get better in a firmware release and/or combination with newer production models -- The astonishing thing is that per RustyTheGeek, the issue got better when he exchanged his 5D3 for a new one - -THAT suggests a hardware/quality type issue. 

This is sure something of great interest to a lot of folks;  I hope we can get to the bottom of it.  Has anyone tried the warranty/repair avenue, i.e. ask Canon to specifically address the low light AF assist beam performance and have them test against the 5D2 for example, or 6D? 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 11, 2012, 01:41:38 AM
However, I just ordered an eBay steal deal on a 6D for $1899 from theimagingworld (fingers crossed) and I will try to informally compare the two bodies (5D3 vs. 6D) after it arrives.  Oh, and I don't plan on divulging what I think "0" EV is either!!  I'm going to use completely subjective comparisons like 'better', 'worse' and maybe even 'pudding' or 'furry'.  So there!   ;)  (And just in case, please know I am kidding around because that 0 EV thing on the other post really did teach me a lot about EV and sharing informal test results with this forum.)

fantastic.  even without getting fancy you should be able to achieve EV -1 for example with "good enough" accuracy.  while the exposure meter itself can't be trusted at those levels, you can emperically determine if you are close to EV -1, for example  If proper exposure (without flash)  requires a 15 second shutter at f/2.8 at ISO 100,  or 4 seconds f/2.8 at ISO 400.  (thats EV -1). Then when you put the flash gun on, you are still asking the system to AF in -1EV light, which should utilize the AF assist beam and fire the flash. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on December 11, 2012, 03:33:57 AM
(And just in case, please know I am kidding around because that 0 EV thing on the other post really did teach me a lot about EV and sharing informal test results with this forum.)

But to really hit -3ev it has to be at 73°F/23°C :-) ... at least what the Canon specs say, obviously the low light capability changes with the temperature?!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: gilmorephoto on December 11, 2012, 12:23:56 PM
Yep.  I've been there gilmorephoto and echelonphoto!  Again, my 'AF Lock sucks in Low Light' issue seemed to improve/go away when I exchanged my new 5D3 for another but I need to shoot more in low light to further confirm and flesh this out more.  And I would love it if it turned out to be a firmware improvement thing. 

Thanks Rusty--please confirm when you can that the new camera is better/fixed/different.  Was it a straight-swap or did you send it back to Canon for service?  (I apologize if this way already stated).  I am not able to return my camera (out of the exchange period), and would be reluctant to do so if I could because the body need very little AFMA so all my lens work well on both it and T1i. That said I might have to send it back to Canon over the holidays.  Thanks again.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 12, 2012, 10:07:02 AM
New post on this issue:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11566.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11566.0)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Dave_NYC on December 12, 2012, 07:26:19 PM
There is discussion on another thread that suggests the Yongnuo YN565 spits out an AF Assist beam that makes the 5D3 AF more reliable at very low light venues than the Canon 580EXII & 600EX-RT. One poster put up images of the bright Yongnuo AF Assist beam projected on his ceiling, and said that with the Yongnuo YN565 his 7D will focus in pitch darkness. This is interesting enough to look into a bit further. My guess is that it depends a little on what you're trying to focus on. Any real-world feedback on this?

Like others I have been professionally embarrassed by the glacial speed of getting an AF lock with 5D3 & 580EXII at low light venues. If the Yongnuo YN565 does in fact offer a solution, I'll get a couple of them just for extreme low light functions. The YN565 has a side benefit of being able to accept external power sources. Bizarrely, the newer YN568EX which supports HSS doesn't have a plug for external batteries. Go figure...

-PW

I got one of the recent bigvalue 5D Mark III cameras (moved up from a 60D, so I'm still trying to digest the manual), and around the same time bought a pair of YN622C triggers and a YN568EX flash specifically for shooting in very dark bars and venues in and around NYC. I was getting a little worried reading about all the AF problems.

I can definitely confirm the AF assist the 622C on top of the camera puts out has me achieving focus lock (turned on my focus beeps so I could hear it) in a near pitch black room in a second or less with a 50mm II 1.8 lens.  My Tamron 24 - 70 2.8 VC gives a similar response, maybe just a tad slower than my nifty. The AF pattern seems to be similar to a YN565 flash af assist I saw on another thread (a pattern of vertical and horizontal stripes within a circular area). 

Attaching just the YN568EX as on camera flash netted similar results, though it was a little slower than the NY622C. Still, longest time to focus beep was a little over 1 second in a near pitch black room. It has the same kind of patterning - a collection of vertical and horizontal stripes within a circular area).

This was done using center point AF on the camera. If anyone wants to know how a particular AF point (and\or point mode) responds on the 622 or the 568, let me know.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 14, 2012, 12:08:12 AM
Yep.  I've been there gilmorephoto and echelonphoto!  Again, my 'AF Lock sucks in Low Light' issue seemed to improve/go away when I exchanged my new 5D3 for another but I need to shoot more in low light to further confirm and flesh this out more.  And I would love it if it turned out to be a firmware improvement thing. 

Thanks Rusty--please confirm when you can that the new camera is better/fixed/different.  Was it a straight-swap or did you send it back to Canon for service?  (I apologize if this way already stated).  I am not able to return my camera (out of the exchange period), and would be reluctant to do so if I could because the body need very little AFMA so all my lens work well on both it and T1i. That said I might have to send it back to Canon over the holidays.  Thanks again.

Yes, new camera is better/fixed/different.  It was a straight swap.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jonathan7007 on December 14, 2012, 01:16:22 PM
NY, thanks for offering another real-world comparison. I didn't know any way the 622 triggers could assist in focusing. Was there another flash pointing at the subject during use f the trigger Was that extra flash also "painting" the area with focus-assist-light?

...and re: Canon tech telling a pro user the 600RT focus assist is NOT compatible with the 5Dmk3 is truly disturbing. I often cite Canon support to others as a reason to buy their gear. (People ask me at functions about their purchase of different/better gear, etc.) I have had a few inconsistent answers from the Virginia center but nothing as amazing as this assertion.)

I have a 5Dmk3 that I sent in to the California service operation this past summer because I lost shots due to slow focus without flash (assignment: dress rehearsal under stage lighting. Focus delay with 70-200 f2.8 v2 even when using lit part of face or collar, etc.) Canon wrote that they could not recreate my probem.

I am way past any exchange window.
jonathan7007
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 14, 2012, 11:17:50 PM
Well, perhaps you could purchase a new 5D3 now during the sales/rebates, compare the two bodies and sell the one that isn't ideal for you.  Yes, it would cost a little in the "exchange" but it might be worth it if you ended up with a camera that worked better.  At this time, you might be able to get a great deal on another 5D3 and sell the other after New Year's and depending on the market, you might come out even.  And just in case, make sure before you do anything, reset this camera back to default settings and make sure the problem doesn't go away after that.

Good Luck!!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Dave_NYC on December 15, 2012, 12:31:45 PM
NY, thanks for offering another real-world comparison. I didn't know any way the 622 triggers could assist in focusing. Was there another flash pointing at the subject during use f the trigger Was that extra flash also "painting" the area with focus-assist-light?

No worries.

The 622 trigger on top of the camera puts out an AF assist red light pattern automatically in low light (similar to the pixel kings). I tried the 622 as the only AF light first (though the 568ex flash was on a 2nd trigger, and firing, only the AF on the 622 on camera was lit).  I then put just the 568ex on top of the camera (no triggers) and it put out a similar AF pattern from the flash itself.   The flash did not prefire at all - when I did these tests in a dark room I was locking focus that quick just on the red AF assist light the 622 was putting out.

I did not try the setup of having a 622 on camera, the 568ex on the 2nd 622 trigger, and then firing just flash, off camera 622, or any combination of the three. I am curious whether that can be done, because it would be useful to not setup an airstrike directly in someone's eyeballs. It's considerably less blinding when up a bit at a 45 degree angle on a bracket, but you'd have to get the pattern it puts out directly in the selected AF points.  I'm testing my Tamron 24 - 70 extensively this weekend before my return window runs out but I'll try playing around with the 622 and 568ex combination to see if it offers that flexibility. I'm new to the 622/568 and the 5D Mk III (just got all three this week) but if I can muddle through the question, I'll see if it can do that (and how it functions), and post reproducible info if I have it.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Dave_NYC on December 15, 2012, 12:58:13 PM
I have a 5Dmk3 that I sent in to the California service operation this past summer because I lost shots due to slow focus without flash (assignment: dress rehearsal under stage lighting. Focus delay with 70-200 f2.8 v2 even when using lit part of face or collar, etc.) Canon wrote that they could not recreate my probem.

Actually, just realized there would be a caveat for this particular situation (where you are not using flash which would overwhelm the red AF assist light from the 622) - you would have to half press to focus lock then take the shot, because until the camera has focus lock in low light, the 622 will put out the AF assist red light pattern, and if you do a full press only that red pattern will probably end up in your shots.

The good news is if you wanted to go that route, that is what I was testing - I was getting half press "beep" focus lock on just the AF assist the 622c puts out in typically a second or less. Just don't hit the button all the way straight off the bat or you might get a lot of jokes about incoming airstrikes...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: gilmorephoto on December 16, 2012, 04:55:04 PM
I finally had a chance to compare both my bodies (5D3 and T1i) with two flashes (600EX and 430EX II).  I used the 40mm f2.8 for both (at first) with center point selected to keep things as consistent as possible. I shot into my walk-in closet, so it was dark enough to trigger the AF Assist light but with the door open so some ambient light would trickle in.  I turn the focus confirmation beep back on to have another indicator of when the camera thought it was focused and when it fired. I tried both camera with both flashes.  I did not time anything with a watch because if it's close enough not to be able to tell the is a significant difference, I really would not be bother which one is technically faster. That said, here are my observations:

5D3--regardless which flash used, the body had the marked hesitation that I mentioned earlier. This is not just a little shutter lag--this is a full second or two, the moment is gone, I didn't get anything and, if I did, it is not in focus.  This is beyond annoying, this is failure when mission critical.  There was no perceptibly meaningful difference between the flashes, so this lead me to believe it's the way the body acquires focus.  I noted the two or three step confirmation process someone noted earlier. This was the behavior no matter which focus point or AF method was selected (excluding SERVO).

T1i--press, shoot.  find another spot, press, shoot.  repeat, repeat.  All in focus, all virtually instantaneous and at worse considerably better than the best attempts with 5D3.  If anything, 600EX performed better than 430 EX II (thank goodness for that) on this body. This is what I was expecting from the 5D3 and it's not even close.  (I repeated the test with my 15-85mm zoom and the results were consistent regardless of the focal length and aperture setting).

I'm now even more convinced it's a serious with the 5D3 and not the flash.  There is no way my T1i (which I still love) could/should outperform the 5D3 under these circumstances, especially given the type of photography the 5D3 is geared toward.

I'll repost this on the Canon forum.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 17, 2012, 11:25:43 AM
nice test gilmorephoto. emperically, very strong evidence that the 5D3 AF is not very good at utilizing the AF assist beam at least in the factory 'out of box' configuration.   By they way --  for a reality check  EV -1 is enough light to see where you are walking... and within the 5D3's ability to focus by itself without the AF beam.  With flash on board, the camera should be able to utilize the AF asset beam in  total darkness. 

the fact that a modern camera takes several second to acheive focus  using the flash AF assist beam  is rather astonishing to me.    I have tested the lowly 40D in this situation with the 580 EX ii  (70-200 f/2.8 and 17-55 f/2.8), and find that this body utilizes the AF assist beam quite handily, and acceptably acheives AF in total darkenss.   But then, the 40D AF center point isn't as precise as that of the 5D3 -- it may "see" more of the AF assist beam!

is there a geometry problem here - I mean is the AF system so precise that the AF assist beam doesn't nail the exact location of the center AF point?   is the hot shoe manufacturing dimmentional tolerances such that one camera will aim the flash better than another?  Has anyone mounted the flash off camera or at various distances and experimented with this?

If geometery is unrelated to this issue, then perhaps the AF sampling rate of the 5D3 does not live well with the pulse rate of the AF assist beam
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 18, 2012, 12:05:22 PM
Just did an evening engagement shoot at Longwood Gardens . Mrk3 really struggled with focus in low light...using
my af assist...600 rt and 70-200 f4 is lens...sometimes would not acquire focus at all...usually at a distance of about 20 ft. Didn't have my mark2 to compare...but this is really not what Iwould call improved AF. If I turned
off af assist...did not focus at all. this is using the center spot one shot af.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 18, 2012, 12:14:47 PM
echelonphoto:  can you be more specific:  what level of light were you shooting in (tell us the ISO ,shutter, and apertuture) -- did you capture any (even out of focus) photos where the EXIF data would reveal this information?

if you put your 5D2 side by side with the 5D3 perhaps you could capture some photos (without flash or AF assist) and we could know what levels of light we are talking about.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: emko on December 18, 2012, 12:36:34 PM
has canon said anything about this yet?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 18, 2012, 12:41:37 PM
has canon said anything about this yet?

no.  In fact, we have one example, cited on this forum, where Canon repair indicated that they could not reproduce the problem. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: teedidy on December 18, 2012, 02:07:48 PM
Hi Everyone, First post so forgive me if some (or all) of this is redundant.

I have (and love) a 5D3 and few points I have not seen anyone make yet.

One: The assist beam only turns on when single shot af is used. AI focus does not trigger the beam. (DOF button reprogrammed to switch from AI to single shot af)

Secondly I have some older flashes 580ex (not II) and 430ex (not II). Both of these work extremely well as an assist beam for focusing. (Better then the yongnuo 622 since they adjust the pattern based on where the assist point is located). In complete darkness (bathroom, no lights, door shut) I achieve focus effectively fast using either of the 3 above assist beams. With both the 430ex and 580ex the size and shape of the pattern changes depending on what AF points I am using.

Thanks everyone. Keep up the good work!

-T
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on December 18, 2012, 02:31:12 PM
wow teedidy that is extraordinarily different results than folks using 580 ex ii and 600 ex-rt.  so perhaps we ARE talking about a marriage problem between the AF system and the AF assist beam supplied by the newer flashes.   
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 18, 2012, 03:36:16 PM
One: The assist beam only turns on when single shot af is used. AI focus does not trigger the beam. (DOF button reprogrammed to switch from AI to single shot af)

It doesn't work in AI Servo, so I suppose it makes sense that it would not work in AI Focus, either (although I never used the latter, and now it's not even an option on my most-used camera).
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: gilmorephoto on December 18, 2012, 07:57:27 PM
I believe AI Focus DOES trigger the beam, but let me triple-check tonight. I recall switching through the three options (One Shot, AI Foucs, and Servo) to determine that Servo (and only Servo) did not generate beam but I could have been mistaken.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on December 18, 2012, 11:35:55 PM
AI Focus does. AI Servo does not. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on December 19, 2012, 09:54:11 PM
Post #85

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277/page/9 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277/page/9)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 19, 2012, 10:18:52 PM
That's good to see, Canon says they are listening, in the forums at least.  After months (or years) of testing and then 9 months on the market, I really wish they had a little more to offer.  But something's better than nothing I guess.

Thanks for the heads up!!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on December 21, 2012, 12:09:37 PM
I sent in my 5D3 for a new shutter and I specifically complained about the AF assist beam causing slower focus.  They did not admit there is a problem and after I got my camera back I looked through what they had done and they mentioned that they made electrical adjustments on the AF.  I finally used it at a darkish event and at times I thought it was significantly better but after using it for two hours I came to the conclusion that it has the same old problem.  I went around and found about 50 different places where the camera would focus instantly without the AF assist on my 70-200.  I would then immediately switch the AF assist back and and try to take the same exact shot and noticed a significant lag (sometimes a second).  After it is dark enough where AF is not possible then the AF assist is a benefit to me even if it does take over a second or two to focus so I would just like to keep it on.  Instead I am turning it on and off several times during an event and it is a waste of time and not very efficient.   
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 27, 2012, 12:13:29 PM
There is another post on this forum that refers to AF problems in low light 6d vs Mk3

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11851.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11851.0)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on December 31, 2012, 03:01:56 PM
Looks like this thread is winding down....i am still longing for a solution...photographed a party
last week...used the mark2 and Mark3 about 1/2 each...using the 2 for the higher action shots.
I really love the sharpness and smoothness of the Mark3 file...skin tones are very nice on this
camera compared to the Mark2....so maybe they need to bring back the mk2 af...so I can get the
most out of this camera.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on December 31, 2012, 04:50:39 PM
Simply put, the 6D outperforms the 5D3 for low light focusing.  It's as if we need a "6.5D" to combine the 6D AF and the 5D3 AF to gain the best of both worlds.  Geez.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on January 02, 2013, 04:19:26 PM
I think its all a big conspiracy
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on January 05, 2013, 01:42:54 PM
Canon gave the mark 3 ability to shoot noislessly in low light and an absolutely excellent radio controlled
flash system....but dropped the ball with this af problem....that's Canon for you ...one step forward and then
two steps backwards....I guess they can fix this on the Mk4 and dupe more people into spending money.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 05, 2013, 03:07:31 PM
Simply put, the 6D outperforms the 5D3 for low light focusing.

Having neither access to a 5d3 or 6d, but wanting to decide for one sooner or later it's rather difficult because it's very fuzzy what "low light" is (few people posting state their lens, object distance + shutter&aperture) - and how fast either camera focuses with af assist disabled in lower light.

On the one hand, I am amazed how many people have this problem w/o an official Canon confirmation, on the other hand if the issue is really as severe as it appears to be for "5d3-like" situations there should be an even larger outcry - or Canon really changed something on the latest hardware?

Summing it up, I understand this is an important issue for lower-light shooting like events and receptions where even the up to -2lv 5d3 needs the af beam, and there is no solution in sight except probably using non-Canon flashes, correct?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 05, 2013, 03:45:16 PM
Simply put, the 6D outperforms the 5D3 for low light focusing.

Having neither access to a 5d3 or 6d, but wanting to decide for one sooner or later it's rather difficult because it's very fuzzy what "low light" is (few people posting state their lens, object distance + shutter&aperture) - and how fast either camera focuses with af assist disabled in lower light.

On the one hand, I am amazed how many people have this problem w/o an official Canon confirmation, on the other hand if the issue is really as severe as it appears to be for "5d3-like" situations there should be an even larger outcry - or Canon really changed something on the latest hardware?

Summing it up, I understand this is an important issue for lower-light shooting like events and receptions where even the up to -2lv 5d3 needs the af beam, and there is no solution in sight except probably using non-Canon flashes, correct?

It's a frustrating issue for the reasons you state.  It's a moving target kind of intermittent problem because it seems like some folks have dealt with it in a big way, others aren't sure (or don't use or care about low light shooting) and still others don't see any problem whatsoever and seem to think the low light AF works better than anything they've ever seen.  I had a major problem with it myself, exchanged the camera and I now think it merely works OK, it's not a total show stopper anymore but it doesn't blow me away either.

I would suggest you rent or borrow both the 5D3 and the 6D and see for yourself based on how/what you shoot.  For me, I wouldn't have paid much attention to the 6D if the 5D3 had worked as well as I thought it should have in low light.  Focus hunting and missing shots doesn't  = 'working well'  to me.  As things stand at this point in time, my use bears out that the 6D works better in low light.  YMMV.

As for using non-Canon flashes, setting tweaks, etc I can't give you a good opinion because none of it matters in my use.  The functionality was the same in general no matter how I tried to help the problem.  I guess the AF Assist from a Yongnou 622C helps a little but I don't use AF Assist so it doesn't matter to me.  (I do have the 622C units, they are pretty neat but the beam cluster is a bit off center.)  The small SunPak RD2000 flash I have used for years doesn't have AF Assist, won't work with the 622C and I'm not going to start using a big flash just to gain the AF Assist beam that I never needed in the past with my 5Dc.  Plus, I don't like distracting people with flashing things in low light.  If you read my numerous posts earlier in this thread, I don't want to trade the embarrassment of poor AF delays for the embarrassment of flashing distractions in low light.  Just what I want in a church service, flashing patterns on the pastor, alter and front of the sanctuary.  (Now that I have a silent shutter!)

Sorry for the length.  Feel free to share your thoughts and experience and contact me if you like.  Good Luck! 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: steliosk on January 05, 2013, 03:47:18 PM
i face the same problem in 600D, while in older cameras such as 450D and 350D the af works ULTRA FAST.

600d + ex 580 II assist beam = slower focus

terrible lag on focus while the assist beam lits.
looks like the assist beam is litting a bit less in 600D rather than 350D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 05, 2013, 04:08:51 PM
Sorry for the length.  Feel free to share your thoughts and experience and contact me if you like.  Good Luck!

Many thanks for summing it up from a user's perspective, that rather concludes it for me - the 5d3 is very expensive for me anyway, I'd rather get another lens (like 17-40L + filter) and some accessories for the price difference to the 6d, and apart from the 5d3 af assist problem the 5d3/1dx isn't tuned for the most of the lenses I use (100L, 17-40L, 70-300L).  Still a pity the 6d is so underspeced and I don't need the gimmicks, but then again no one prevents me from buying the 5d4 in 2015 if I ever go pro...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: cocopop05 on January 05, 2013, 04:57:07 PM
Sorry for the length.  Feel free to share your thoughts and experience and contact me if you like.  Good Luck!

Many thanks for summing it up from a user's perspective, that rather concludes it for me - the 5d3 is very expensive for me anyway, I'd rather get another lens (like 17-40L + filter) and some accessories for the price difference to the 6d, and apart from the 5d3 af assist problem the 5d3/1dx isn't tuned for the most of the lenses I use (100L, 17-40L, 70-300L).  Still a pity the 6d is so underspeced and I don't need the gimmicks, but then again no one prevents me from buying the 5d4 in 2015 if I ever go pro...

Forgive my ignorance, I am quite new to photography.  I would like to understand how the 5D3/1DX are not tuned for those L lenses?  And can the camera's settings tune the camera to those lenses?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 05, 2013, 05:38:04 PM
Forgive my ignorance, I am quite new to photography.  I would like to understand how the 5D3/1DX are not tuned for those L lenses?  And can the camera's settings tune the camera to those lenses?

This is rather ot, but fyi: Download the manual, look under "lens groups" - the full potential of the 1dx/5d3 af is with few lenses (like the 70-200/2.8is2, 24-70ii) and the af spread and precision (double cross, cross, ...) degrades in lower lens groups. This is constantly missed by many 5d3 reviews, it's a shame that reviewers don't deem it necessary to flip through the manual. The lens groups are fixed and not settable in firmware, and it'll stay that way because of the lens' hardware - i.e. that's why the 24-70mk1 is in a lower group than the mk2.

Of course the 5d3 has a much more stellar af even with my lenses than the disappointing 6d af system, and the newer lenses like the 70-300L are much more precise in contrast to the 6d (see the lensrentals review on the 6d af) - but with f4 it's not the full potential, and precision matters most with large apertures (or macro, which is a problem for me on the 60d).

Imho the 5d1/1dx is meant for the current f2.8 zooms and expensive primes, while the 6d is "anti-tuned" for it because all outer points have no f2.8-precision and the center point has non-cross precision for f2.8 (it's a horizontal overlay over the f4 cross) - thanks, Canon... see also a neighbor thread mentioned above about 100L vs 200L on 5d3 in lower light.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on January 09, 2013, 10:52:46 AM
thats all very good....but what good are cross sensors if they take 2 secs to acheive focus in low light situations?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: sanj on January 09, 2013, 11:37:49 AM
thats all very good....but what good are cross sensors if they take 2 secs to acheive focus in low light situations?

+1
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: echelonphoto on January 11, 2013, 10:55:23 AM
The most important camera feature for any pro is consistency and reliability.....all the rest is froth! Everyone call
Canon about the fact that we are being embarrassed on the job.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: AudioGlenn on January 12, 2013, 03:32:56 AM
I can't seem to duplicate this issue.  My 5d mk3 and 600 ex-rt work just fine in almost total darkness with the AF assist beam firing.  It locks focus faster with the beam than without it.  i tried focusing on my solid black surround sound speakers in total darkness and everything works just fine.  maybe I'm just lucky.

for those of you with issues, i wish you luck in finding a solution.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on January 12, 2013, 10:56:50 AM
Have you used it in a live situation yet? Dark venue like a wedding reception or another event.   
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: AudioGlenn on January 13, 2013, 04:09:40 PM
no i haven't but i think a pitch black room with no lights on in the middle of the night is pretty much the same thing as far as lighting conditions go. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 13, 2013, 05:17:44 PM
no i haven't but i think a pitch black room with no lights on in the middle of the night is pretty much the same thing as far as lighting conditions go.

From what I read the distance of the object lit by the af assist seems to have a significant impact on the focusing ability, next to the lens used... and your "pitch black" setup might sound like a worst case scenario, but not that's necessarily true because in real life the camera has to deal with varying combinations of af and real light.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: AudioGlenn on January 15, 2013, 04:36:05 AM
no i haven't but i think a pitch black room with no lights on in the middle of the night is pretty much the same thing as far as lighting conditions go.

From what I read the distance of the object lit by the af assist seems to have a significant impact on the focusing ability, next to the lens used... and your "pitch black" setup might sound like a worst case scenario, but not that's necessarily true because in real life the camera has to deal with varying combinations of af and real light.

good point.  I was focusing on something about 5 ft in front me.  I was able to see the AF beam through the camera because it was so dark and the red really stood out.... and yes, when I say pitch black, I mean pitch black.  no street lights shining in through a window... nothing.  pitch BLACK.

so anyways, i tested again with as much distance as I could in the same room... the longest dimension of the room is about 30 feet so I just pointed at the wall 30 ft away, even though i couldn't see a damn thing, waited for focus, and shot.... AF worked fine, like I was in a well lit room.  the wall was far enough away that I sure as hell couldn't see the AF beam on it.  Focus was fine.

I have other thoughts on variables that might be tripping people up:

1) what lenses are we having issues with?  I used both the 24-70 2.8 II and the 70-200 2.8 IS II... both at 2.8 when I did my "testing".  Maybe f/4 lenses are having a harder time seeing the AF beam in low light. 

2) Also, would the color/pattern of what you are focusing on in low light contribute to the camera having a hard time.  For example, if the subject was RED in color, or even had something with red tones in it, maybe there wasn't enough contrast between the subject and the AF beam from the 600.

3) Maybe the problem is in the speed lights and not the 5D mk3.  Low batteries maybe?  maybe without fresh batteries, the AF assist beam isn't bright enough.  or maybe some of the new 600 ex-rt units (remember those are new too) have issues

I'm just trying to find a way to re-create the issue that people are having.  There's obviously enough of a problem (or two) with this combo that a lot of people are noticing a significantly slower focus speed.  I for one cannot re-create the problem.  I swear, it's just about as fast as if i was focusing in broad daylight. 

Can any of the other people who have the issue reply with the lenses they've used, the subject/color they're shooting, and try it with different speed lights with fresh batteries?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: AudioGlenn on January 15, 2013, 04:39:39 AM
Have you used it in a live situation yet? Dark venue like a wedding reception or another event.

Also, I just realized that I shot at my cousin's wedding on 12/30/12 with my gear.  It wasn't a paid gig for me so it didn't come to mind when I replied.  I just shot for fun while the hired photographer did the actual work.

yes it was dark on the dance floor. yes, I used my mk3 and 600 (and an addtl of camera flash).  No, I didn't feel any lag in the AF.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on January 15, 2013, 04:32:42 PM
no i haven't but i think a pitch black room with no lights on in the middle of the night is pretty much the same thing as far as lighting conditions go.

From what I read the distance of the object lit by the af assist seems to have a significant impact on the focusing ability, next to the lens used... and your "pitch black" setup might sound like a worst case scenario, but not that's necessarily true because in real life the camera has to deal with varying combinations of af and real light.

good point.  I was focusing on something about 5 ft in front me.  I was able to see the AF beam through the camera because it was so dark and the red really stood out.... and yes, when I say pitch black, I mean pitch black.  no street lights shining in through a window... nothing.  pitch BLACK.

so anyways, i tested again with as much distance as I could in the same room... the longest dimension of the room is about 30 feet so I just pointed at the wall 30 ft away, even though i couldn't see a damn thing, waited for focus, and shot.... AF worked fine, like I was in a well lit room.  the wall was far enough away that I sure as hell couldn't see the AF beam on it.  Focus was fine.

I have other thoughts on variables that might be tripping people up:

1) what lenses are we having issues with?  I used both the 24-70 2.8 II and the 70-200 2.8 IS II... both at 2.8 when I did my "testing".  Maybe f/4 lenses are having a harder time seeing the AF beam in low light. 

2) Also, would the color/pattern of what you are focusing on in low light contribute to the camera having a hard time.  For example, if the subject was RED in color, or even had something with red tones in it, maybe there wasn't enough contrast between the subject and the AF beam from the 600.

3) Maybe the problem is in the speed lights and not the 5D mk3.  Low batteries maybe?  maybe without fresh batteries, the AF assist beam isn't bright enough.  or maybe some of the new 600 ex-rt units (remember those are new too) have issues

I'm just trying to find a way to re-create the issue that people are having.  There's obviously enough of a problem (or two) with this combo that a lot of people are noticing a significantly slower focus speed.  I for one cannot re-create the problem.  I swear, it's just about as fast as if i was focusing in broad daylight. 

Can any of the other people who have the issue reply with the lenses they've used, the subject/color they're shooting, and try it with different speed lights with fresh batteries?

I use the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and it is the lens I have the most issues with.  I have shot 20+ weddings with that lenes two 5D3s and 3 600ex flashes.  I have been in a lot of different lighting conditions.  What I don't like is that the AF assist beam makes focus worse in most cases.  When it is very dark or even black then the AF assist helps and I don't have as many issues.  I have found that there are surfaces that absorb more light that make the af assist almost useless.  For example if the bride and groom are dancing then I focus on lighter areas like her dress or faces.  If I miss and focus on a black tux then there is not hope for the AF assist it is just absorbed by the tux.  My problem is that when it is dark but not very dark the lens and camera focus better without the AF assist.  I have done it a 100 times where I have attempted focus and the AF assist beam will blink 3 full times before I can get a focus lock.  When I turn off the AF assist beam the camera focuses instantly on the same thing in the same light.  These lighting conditions are frustrating because it can range to light enough for no AF assist to pitch black and needing the AF assist in seconds and I am stuck messing with my settings and turning on the AF assist for 10-15 seconds.  In that time I may have missed something important.  Instead I would like to keep it on all of the time instead of switching it on and off.  If I leave it on all of the time I am stuck with the frustrating 2-3 AF assist blinks while the camera locks focus.  I have found a way around that where I have set the camera up to release priority instead of focus priority so it will allow me to take the picture before the red confirmation blink. 90% of the times those shots are in focus but there is always a chance it isn't and I am afraid that I may miss something important especially at a wedding if I rely on it to be focused before it says it is.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on January 16, 2013, 06:12:48 PM
Hello All,

Please remember to post your findings onto this link also, http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277) Its Canons forum, so far we have had Canon respond twice, the more we help them look into this, the more we may get a solution,

all the best

Louis
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 16, 2013, 06:52:09 PM
Hello All,

Please remember to post your findings onto this link also, http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277) Its Canons forum, so far we have had Canon respond twice, the more we help them look into this, the more we may get a solution,

all the best

Louis

Considering the amount of posts and information that is already here in this thread and several other threads, what do you think the chances are that someone from Canon that is reading the posts on the Canon forum might simply click over and read  the CR threads if the links are posted on their forum?  Just sayin'...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 16, 2013, 07:06:43 PM
Considering the amount of posts and information that is already here in this thread and several other threads, what do you think the chances are that someone from Canon that is reading the posts on the Canon forum might simply click over and read  the CR threads if the links are posted on their forum?  Just sayin'...

Personally I doubt the really important people who could actually fix things (i.e. the Japanese devs) read the US Canon forum either - with the lack of easy reproducibility some really important photog or tester would have to step on their toes so they actually try to provoke the problem, otherwise the "don't ask, don't tell" solution comes to mind... some mod in the Canon forum writing some comforting words imho doesn't mean anything.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 16, 2013, 07:26:06 PM
Agreed.  As long as Canon sees strong sales numbers and plenty of good press for the 5D3, I'll be amazed if this is addressed in any major way.  If there was some bad press and sales were off, heads would be rolling and 5D3 repairs would be a priority.  I'm afraid it's likely that simple.  I would love to be wrong and see some major changes in the next firmware release!!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 16, 2013, 07:50:59 PM
I would love to be wrong and see some major changes in the next firmware release!!

The next 5d3 firmware release is scheduled for sometime in April (2013 afaik :-)) - maybe they'll do a silent fix by then, let's wait and see ... but I've decided to save the €1000 and get a 6d anyway, so for me it's more like general interest in Canon reacting or not.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: ScottyP on January 16, 2013, 08:59:23 PM
I would love to be wrong and see some major changes in the next firmware release!!

The next 5d3 firmware release is scheduled for sometime in April (2013 afaik :-)) - maybe they'll do a silent fix by then, let's wait and see ... but I've decided to save the €1000 and get a 6d anyway, so for me it's more like general interest in Canon reacting or not.

That's what I ended up doing, and mostly for this low light focus issue. 
The IQ is great, and I have not noticed any hardship at all from not having 200 AF points.  This thing will grab focus (with a nice red square and a cheerful beep) of scenes where it is so dark that the actual image is 99% black even with ISO cranked up to 10k. 
I also used a portion of the savings to scoop up an EF 85mm f/1.8 which I am really enjoying too.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 16, 2013, 09:11:10 PM
I also used a portion of the savings to scoop up an EF 85mm f/1.8 which I am really enjoying too.

Well, this is off topic, but I'm putting the saved money into a 17-40L, a flash bracket/diffuser and nd + polarizer filters that are incredibly expensive for 82mm - after long considerations that should result in better (at least more versatile) pictures than getting the most shiny camera body which is like burning cash.

But I wish everyone with a 5d3 luck solving this problem, if Canon should really ignore things like this and get away it's not good for any Canon shooter.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 16, 2013, 10:02:16 PM
Well, I sorta did it all.  I waited years for the 5D3, bypassed the 5D2 and still love the 5D anyway.  I built up my lens collection and other needed accessories.  I took a gillion pictures and honed my skills.  I waited until a great deal on a 5D3 popped in Nov and got one.  Promptly exchanged it for another to get better but not mind blowing low light AF.  Got a 6D in Dec for another killer deal and now have much improved low light AF.  For shooting the swim team, the 5D3 is still better, higher frame rate, etc.  But otherwise, (and partly the reason I said all this) I plan to wait until the next firmware release and then sell the 5D3 if there isn't a big improvement.  If the 5D3 blows me away I'll sell the 6D.  Either way I'll know a lot about both bodies by then and in the meantime, I'm probably going to start selling a few other things.  This whole experience with the 5D3 has made me re-think how much I'm spending on this hobby and along with the sky high lens prices coming out lately, my "circuit breaker" is starting to trip.  Time to dial back and concentrate on taking pictures again, not on spending money and talking about it.  Know what I mean?

On the topic of selling, I sure wish CR would start a "market section" for members to buy/sell.  eBay is way too risky now to sell stuff.  Way too many scammers out there now using eBay and PayPal Buyer Protection to basically steal honest sellers stuff.  But I digress....
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on January 16, 2013, 10:21:32 PM
Hello All,

Please remember to post your findings onto this link also, http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277) Its Canons forum, so far we have had Canon respond twice, the more we help them look into this, the more we may get a solution,

all the best

Louis

Considering the amount of posts and information that is already here in this thread and several other threads, what do you think the chances are that someone from Canon that is reading the posts on the Canon forum might simply click over and read  the CR threads if the links are posted on their forum?  Just sayin'...

I think a major issue is this has been basically ignored at both DPreview and Fred Miranda. DPreview has surprised me as they usually latch on to these things like a Pit Bull. Big players in online forums with little noise so far. Does not help this cause.   
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: verysimplejason on January 16, 2013, 10:24:01 PM
I hope 5D mark IV or 6D mark II will combine the best features of 6D and 5D3.   8)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on January 17, 2013, 01:10:44 AM
I have yet to test this in the real world but will be getting a chance soon. I was very happy with my 5D2 but wanted the pro AF the 5D3 offered. If I run into this there won't be a 5D4 in my future.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 17, 2013, 02:13:06 AM
Time to dial back and concentrate on taking pictures again, not on spending money and talking about it.  Know what I mean?

Absolutely, esp. since a camera body the item to loose value fastest. But since I'm hoping to get some money out of this sooner or later, I'm even more pressed to get alleged "pro" equipment though I start to realize that for 90% of the shots the photog/postprocessing really makes the difference save some specialized settings like sports where precise tracking is most important. And I've come to evaluate non-"core" equipment (i.e. next to body+lenses) as more important, and that has also to be paid.

I think a major issue is this has been basically ignored at both DPreview and Fred Miranda. DPreview has surprised me as they usually latch on to these things like a Pit Bull.

My only explanation is that for the bug to show some less likely circumstances have to meet, like maybe some lens/distance/ambient light combinations while many other people maybe either shoot in good light (no af assist neeeded) or in pitch black darkness (af assist seems to work)? Not everyone shoots weddings or low light events...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 17, 2013, 08:54:14 AM
That's a good point Marsu42.  Using a DSLR as a non-pro in a party or wedding setting is rare.  It draws a lot of attention and even most pros don't feel like lugging a big DSLR when socializing or attending most functions where the light is in the range that is most conducive to the AF problem.  It's awkward to say the least.  So the problem goes either undiscovered or misunderstood.  IMO, it's wedding photographers, ironically the market segment Canon supposedly designed this camera for most of all, who will experience the problem the most.  All I can say is good luck!  If I primarily shot weddings, the 6D would be my main body or at least be a second body hanging to the side for the reception.  If I shot sports, then the 5D3 or many other bodies would be the way to go.  For me, the whole point of buying the 5D3 after waiting so long and skipping the 5D2 was to have a superior body to do it all and then some.  I still don't feel like I quite got that or I wouldn't have even considered, much less purchased, the 6D.  And unfortunately, the 6D fps is a bit slow for sports.  Maybe Magic Lantern will release a firmware that gives back the higher fps.  Oh well, time to go get some work done...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 17, 2013, 12:39:43 PM
Maybe Magic Lantern will release a firmware that gives back the higher fps.

Very unlikely, Canon has surely designed the camera so that the hard specs cannot be easily circumvented - and the 6d port of ml has still trouble with the memory design of the 6d, so let's wait and see how it turns out at all. But I guess the 6d *could* do more fps, maybe Canon does a fw update in 2016 like recently on the 7d :->
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on January 18, 2013, 10:28:11 PM
Post # 115 from Canon Forums.

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277/page/12 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/td-p/2277/page/12)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: AudioGlenn on January 21, 2013, 02:49:28 AM
So I've been doing some further testing.  I can create a situation on my mk3 and 600 ex-rt where I can notice a much less snappy AF lock.  I was not able to re-create the lag when trying to focus in a very dark (almost black) setting.  Maybe, that's where I messed up in my prior testing.  Maybe a completely black environment creates enough contrast between the environment and the red focus assist beam to allow focus whereas a dimly lit situation is lit just enough to give the camera trouble focusing because it can't really see the red AF assist beam as well.

I'm able to notice a significant lag when the ambient light is dim (proper exposure in camera at f/2.8, 1/50, ISO 5000). 

Seems to me like I would just turn the beam OFF when I notice the ambient light is about at this level.  Am I still over simplifying the issue?  I get that pros need their focus to be snappy to catch those moments.  Wouldn't that mean a few test shots in the environment first to gauge the settings required....including wether or not to turn the AF assist beam on/off?

Maybe I don't understand the depth of the issue because I'm not coming from a 5D mk2 where the focus is supposed to be faster.  That said, I'm an engineer by trade.  We are trouble shooters by nature.  It seems like there's a pretty easy fix for this (just based off of what I've been able to test).  If this really is an issue for a shooter,  just turn the beam off when you feel like it's slowing you down.  Does ambient light in a reception hall or your venues change constantly for you guys?  Isn't this just a matter of your experience telling you how your camera should be set to capture moments?  I'm not trying to be condescending.  promise.   I still don't understand what the big deal is. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 21, 2013, 11:07:44 AM
I'm able to notice a significant lag when the ambient light is dim (proper exposure in camera at f/2.8, 1/50, ISO 5000). 

Doh, this is probably just the lv range for dark receptions and so on where the 5d3 should excel?

I still don't understand what the big deal is.

If the problematic range is easy to identify maybe a workaround is feasible if there is enough time, but is sounds like it's not the lv range but also the focusing distance and the lens model used. Next to that, the af assist on a €3000 camera should probably just work.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on January 22, 2013, 03:36:18 PM
So I've been doing some further testing.  I can create a situation on my mk3 and 600 ex-rt where I can notice a much less snappy AF lock.  I was not able to re-create the lag when trying to focus in a very dark (almost black) setting.  Maybe, that's where I messed up in my prior testing.  Maybe a completely black environment creates enough contrast between the environment and the red focus assist beam to allow focus whereas a dimly lit situation is lit just enough to give the camera trouble focusing because it can't really see the red AF assist beam as well.

I'm able to notice a significant lag when the ambient light is dim (proper exposure in camera at f/2.8, 1/50, ISO 5000). 

Seems to me like I would just turn the beam OFF when I notice the ambient light is about at this level.  Am I still over simplifying the issue?  I get that pros need their focus to be snappy to catch those moments.  Wouldn't that mean a few test shots in the environment first to gauge the settings required....including wether or not to turn the AF assist beam on/off?

Maybe I don't understand the depth of the issue because I'm not coming from a 5D mk2 where the focus is supposed to be faster.  That said, I'm an engineer by trade.  We are trouble shooters by nature.  It seems like there's a pretty easy fix for this (just based off of what I've been able to test).  If this really is an issue for a shooter,  just turn the beam off when you feel like it's slowing you down.  Does ambient light in a reception hall or your venues change constantly for you guys?  Isn't this just a matter of your experience telling you how your camera should be set to capture moments?  I'm not trying to be condescending.  promise.   I still don't understand what the big deal is.

You are right the issue is occurs in very dim but not supper dark situations.  I shoot wedding receptions all of the time and the lighting changes constantly.  It happens during grand entrances and first dances all of the time.  You get set up for certain light and all of the sudden lights go off completely.  I always ask in advance to try to plan for those instances but they often happen without warning.  Different parts of a reception hall are also lit differently or facing different ways.  For example shooting with or against the DJ's lights.  I switch it on and off all of the time and have it registered on my menue settings so I can get to it quickly.  The problem is it still takes 5-10 seconds to do that and there are times you can't waste that time.  The bride and groom in a grand entrance and you loose 5-10 seconds and you may miss everything or most of it.  It is a pain to have to switch it on and off and I can't figure out why I need to.  If Canon gave me a reason then I could live with it but they don't even acknowledge there is a problem. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on January 22, 2013, 04:39:46 PM
You are right the issue is occurs in very dim but not supper dark situations.

Maybe that's really the reason Canon screwed up and still cannot reproduce the problem - they see af assist as a tool for shooting in pitch black conditions as the 5d3 af should be able to copy with just "low light" on its own? And probably the focus lag in dim light wasn't seen as a problem since the condition was considered to be unlikely.

However looking at the problems pro photogs have indicates the 5d3 testing with the new 600rt flash that was *made* to work with the 5d3 af spread was not good enough...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on January 22, 2013, 05:01:56 PM
I'm able to notice a significant lag when the ambient light is dim (proper exposure in camera at f/2.8, 1/50, ISO 5000). 

Doh, this is probably just the lv range for dark receptions and so on where the 5d3 should excel?


moreover, this is several stops above the minimum AF sensitivity in the published specifications.  are you guys depending on all AF or just the cross type points?  is there something about the subject (the white dress perhaps) that the sensor is tripping over?  obviously it can't be the lack of light...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: AudioGlenn on January 24, 2013, 02:44:58 PM
Next to that, the af assist on a €3000 camera should probably just work.

point taken... you're absolutely right on that one.  Big deal indeed.  =)

On a side note, I'm going to the NAMM convention this week.  I'll be testing more there with and without AF assist beam.  I am actually very concerned about this issue.  I don't want to find out I can't do something in the middle of an important shoot, hence all the testing beforehand on my end.  I'll continue to post any new findings if I come across more data/ideas that will make our jobs easier.

Thanks to all who are contributing to the discussion here
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: zim on January 24, 2013, 04:58:31 PM
Maybe that's really the reason Canon screwed up and still cannot reproduce the problem - they see af assist as a tool for shooting in pitch black conditions as the 5d3 af should be able to copy with just "low light" on its own? And probably the focus lag in dim light wasn't seen as a problem since the condition was considered to be unlikely.

This sounds like a very plausible explanation to me, could even be described as a feature, but then why is it taking Canon so long to just say so?

Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on January 24, 2013, 05:17:15 PM
just from reading the interactions over on the Canon site, I can only suggest that they know about the problem but still studying the details and forming their response, i.e. will they ignore, will they fix silently, etc. 

just my opinion, based on the Canon response so far, is that they are in "keep their attention but delay until we figure out what to say" mode.  Three different Canon reps have dropped in once, only to say "we're here".  Perhaps the strongest point over there was to quote the Cannonusa.com description that 5D3 was ideal for weddings.   Hope that gets their attention. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 24, 2013, 05:46:08 PM
I still contend (as I mentioned way back) that Canon knows more about the 5D3 than probably any other camera.  It's supposed to be their "big deal" camera designed for everyone and destined to follow the 5D2 in rocking the world of every pro and enthusiast that has a high credit limit.  They took their time developing and testing all the prototypes with pro beta testers in every situation.  I think they know and have known every strength and weakness of this camera since it was in early beta.  The fact that we are experiencing what they likely knew all along is somewhat meaningless to them and they probably plan to respond when they have something they think is considered progress on the problem and what we would like to hear.  In fact, if a firmware update can fix or improve the problem, the future April firmware date may be a deadline to keep the engineers engaged and motivated to fix the problem (among others).

Of course, this is all just an assumption on my part but I really have a hard time believing that Canon is so clueless about their own cameras that they need a user forum to explain the limits and flaws of something they designed, built and extensively tested (for years) themselves.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on January 24, 2013, 07:15:21 PM
I still contend (as I mentioned way back) that Canon knows more about the 5D3 than probably any other camera.  It's supposed to be their "big deal" camera designed for everyone and destined to follow the 5D2 in rocking the world of every pro and enthusiast that has a high credit limit.  They took their time developing and testing all the prototypes with pro beta testers in every situation.  I think they know and have known every strength and weakness of this camera since it was in early beta.  The fact that we are experiencing what they likely knew all along is somewhat meaningless to them and they probably plan to respond when they have something they think is considered progress on the problem and what we would like to hear.  In fact, if a firmware update can fix or improve the problem, the future April firmware date may be a deadline to keep the engineers engaged and motivated to fix the problem (among others).

Of course, this is all just an assumption on my part but I really have a hard time believing that Canon is so clueless about their own cameras that they need a user forum to explain the limits and flaws of something they designed, built and extensively tested (for years) themselves.

i agree rustbuster...your reasoning makes sense to me.  as you say, it's nearly impossible to believe they didn't do some basic testing with the flash in lower light situations...they must have, so they do know.   it's a bit like the nikon d800 where they have the "green screen"....how the hell did nikon just let that go to market, but they did...they knew and they did anyway.  hard to comprehend the way these companies operate sometimes.   

where do we stand on those beers? ;D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on January 24, 2013, 07:50:32 PM
that would certainly explain the silent stall strategy, and the assumption that togs would be satisfied with a AF lock time measured in seconds, perhaps in exchange for extraordinary repeatability and accuracy.  in fact, to the extent this is true, the implication is that such AF performance can be adjusted via firmware.  i.e.  perhaps offer the user a choice of low light AF performance that woudl give up accuracy for speed.  Such a move might come relatively silently in an firmware release "giving the user more choices for exceptional AF peformance" for example.  Indeed, the problematic use cases I've read about appear to target light levels well above the minimum sensitivity of the AF system itself. 

The only fly in that soup theory is the experience of obtaining an improvement with a different body.   THAT suggests a hardware, parts, or build  quality control in the  manufacturing process that is silently corrected. 

Also , the fact that teh 6D performs much better aparently in the same light levels well within the 5D3 spec means that they know.  oh yes by now I agree that they know becasue the 6D does not have this disease.  of course, it does not have the same AF system and has never been offered as having the same accuracy.  just my opinion ,which is worth what you paid for it of course, is that it is Canon's oversight and "ah hah" moment to discover a specif  use case in which the lesser camera wipes the floor of the greater camera, and where a portion of the user community sees this and does not like it. 

As unusual as it might seem, it is also possible for a specific use case to be left un accounted for in the 5D3 test suite, and the qualification prior to release to production might have been hasty, we don't really know.  Its new territory for Canon to have built the worlds most advanced AF system and maybe this is really just a booboo. 

I do acknowlege however that it would be highly unusual for Canon to acknowledge the issue directly, perfering instead to decide from their armchairs that all is well and fix this in the 5D4 :D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on February 05, 2013, 10:12:16 AM
very encouraging update on this issue;  Canon has acknowledged the problem and planning a firmware fix!

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/m-p/13547/highlight/false#M1486 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/m-p/13547/highlight/false#M1486)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Louis on February 05, 2013, 10:15:42 AM
So chuffed after all this time :) well done all
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on February 05, 2013, 10:19:49 AM
yea that was quite a coincidence -- after seeing a rather direct and precisely worded discription of how disapointing the Canon engagement was, all of a sudden a new rep comes in with the good news.  very encouraging indeed!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on February 05, 2013, 10:24:23 AM
very encouraging update on this issue

Better than no reaction, though I'd like to note that the Canon rep was writing about developing and "enhancing", maybe that's just corporate sugar-coated writing style, but chose not to simply state that the 5d3 will be brought to the same af assist speed than the older models with the next fw update :-o
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: tron on February 05, 2013, 11:41:19 AM
So now are you optimistic? Do you think they will include the fix this April ?  (or the next one ?  ::) )
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on February 05, 2013, 11:51:08 AM
well.... just parsing through what we know and what we do not know - the encouraging part is that Canon has, in a sponsored forum, acknowledged the issue and committed to address it with a firmware fix.  timing wasn't discussed nor committed to, but this is significant progress.  For Canon to publically state their recognition of this issue, and their approach to make it better, is extraordinary. 

So to say if one is encouraged or optimistic I would say yes there is sufficient evidence to be so.  April is just around the corner, so the next step will be validation and field reaction.  then we will know whether or not to remain optimistic or not!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: tron on February 05, 2013, 12:10:04 PM
As long as they will post an official announcement and not only a post in a forum, its OK I guess...
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on February 05, 2013, 12:42:00 PM
very encouraging update on this issue

Better than no reaction, though I'd like to note that the Canon rep was writing about developing and "enhancing", maybe that's just corporate sugar-coated writing style, but chose not to simply state that the 5d3 will be brought to the same af assist speed than the older models with the next fw update :-o

I think its appropriate to question, indeed.  Corporate speak is very carefully worded and sometimes we must parse and interpret  ...  here's my read:

"enhancing"  means "yup we see the problem, oops our bad,  we know how to fix it, but we're not calling it a fix because that would imply that we agreed there was a problem in the first place -- so we're casting this as an enhancment so that people see that we are responsive to the issue,  while we enhance the loyalty of that portion of the installed base who doesn't know or care about it."

As for any commitment to bring the 5d3 af assist speed up to that of older models;  I wouldn't expect them to publish any such goal, even if they do it.  Since this is a rumor site I hope its cool if I postulate:

1.We know that the 5D3 AF system itself is uber capable compared to the others against which it is being compared for AF speed.  AF accuracy, especially is a key benefit of the 5D3 and  I suggest this is accomplished by a more sophisticated closed loop feedback mechanism that requires perhaps additional cycles to converge on "success" with some retry-credence ruleset.  This means many variables, including the lens, hardware performance, algorithm design and the code implimentation itself, contribute to the overall performance.   

2.  there may some algorithmic tuning or even coding errors that can be addressed to improve AF speed, and this appears to be the case.  That aside, there is still an implied trade-off between accuracy and speed (imho) for such a capable AF system.  IF Canon can provide both speed and accuracy, all the better of course, but if there remains a trade-off perhaps they will provide a choice, i.e. a custom setting that helps define the AF behavior in low light. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: zim on February 05, 2013, 02:55:09 PM
well.... just parsing through what we know and what we do not know - the encouraging part is that Canon has, in a sponsored forum, acknowledged the issue and committed to address it with a firmware fix.  timing wasn't discussed nor committed to, but this is significant progress.  For Canon to publically state their recognition of this issue, and their approach to make it better, is extraordinary. 

So to say if one is encouraged or optimistic I would say yes there is sufficient evidence to be so.  April is just around the corner, so the next step will be validation and field reaction.  then we will know whether or not to remain optimistic or not!

I agree, it also strikes me as quite a shift in corporate attitude towards customer engagement. In this day and age I don't think 'extraordinary' is too strong a word.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on February 05, 2013, 04:03:12 PM
I agree, it also strikes me as quite a shift in corporate attitude towards customer engagement. In this day and age I don't think 'extraordinary' is too strong a word.

in fact, a "shift in attitude" occured on that very site in that very thread.  Originally, the Canon engagement was basically to help the minions use their cameras correctly.  Perhaps a nice corporate strategy, to be sure.  but then it became clear it the problem was not about minions using their cameras incorrectly, and all of a sudden the communication stopped.  Canon went dark side of the moon, people started voicing their interpretations as to why, and Canon was left staring as a dear in headlights, as it were (my interpretation).  a couple of reps came in at different times to repeat the std talking points but nothing really happened.  Even a moderator came in and repeated the same thing -- all these comments spaced far enough apart to create great anxiety. 

then another moderator came in to announce that a fix (ok, 'enhancement') was in the works.  Suddenly, the conversation shifted from  "help the minions use their cameras' to 'fix the minions cameras' :D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Capnbooboo on February 07, 2013, 01:10:42 AM
im happy with my YONGNUO yn 568 ex, cheaper, does a great job, my friend has the 600ex and i get the job done first, end of story
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: zim on February 07, 2013, 08:02:52 AM
im happy with my YONGNUO yn 568 ex, cheaper, does a great job, my friend has the 600ex and i get the job done first, end of story

Maybe all the Canon testers used YONGNUO's  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Steven_urwin on February 07, 2013, 09:02:07 AM
Fix is on the way :)

From Canon:

Hi all, we have an important update on this topic. Thanks again for your feedback on our Forum.
 
Canon has confirmed that, depending upon the shooting conditions, it may take slightly longer for the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X digital SLR cameras to acquire focus when using the Speedlite's AF Assist Beam, compared with that of the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS-1D Mark IV digital SLR cameras using the Speedlite's AF Assist Beam. We are developing a firmware update to enhance the focusing feature for the EOS 5D Mark III and the EOS-1D X. The schedule for release of this firmware update will be announced shortly.

http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/m-p/13107#M1450 (http://forums.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/5D3-AF-assist-beam-slower-focus/m-p/13107#M1450)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: dlleno on February 07, 2013, 10:59:50 AM
yep -- post #243 one page and two days back
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on February 09, 2013, 10:03:20 PM
I honestly thought there would't be an answer to this issue.  I am so happy that there will be a solution.  I just hope the solution works.  I wonder if this thread made any difference in their action.  I would like t to think so.  I hope so. 
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on February 10, 2013, 01:07:18 AM
Canon may read these forums but I never see them in here. They reply in the Canon Forums. Every little bit helps.
     
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: tron on February 11, 2013, 08:40:13 AM
im happy with my YONGNUO yn 568 ex, cheaper, does a great job, my friend has the 600ex and i get the job done first, end of story

Maybe all the Canon testers used YONGNUO's  ;D ;D ;D
;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on February 20, 2013, 01:19:54 PM
http://usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer?pageKeyCode=prdAdvDetail&docId=0901e024807f5f70 (http://usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer?pageKeyCode=prdAdvDetail&docId=0901e024807f5f70)
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: awinphoto on February 20, 2013, 05:42:36 PM
This service notification e-mail contains important information about your EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR/EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera. Please note that product service announcement e-mails contain advisory or informational content that may be critical to the proper operation of your product, including safety, update, and instructional messages. Please carefully review the information in this e-mail as it relates to your Canon product.

Thank you for using Canon products.

Affected Products
EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera
EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera

Details
Depending upon the shooting conditions, it may take slightly longer for the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X digital SLR cameras to acquire focus when using the Speedlite's AF Assist Beam, compared with that of the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS-1D Mark IV digital SLR cameras using the Speedlite's AF Assist Beam.

We are developing a solution to enhance the focusing feature for the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X and plan to release a firmware update based on following estimated schedule:

EOS 5D Mark III: (estimated) Late April, 2013
EOS-1D X: (estimated) Late May, 2013
Support
This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

Thank you,
Canon Customer Support Center
Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Contact Information for Inquiries:
Canon Customer Support Center
Phone: 1-800-OK-CANON
1-800-652-2666
TTD: 1-866-251-3752
E-mail: carecenter@cits.canon.com
For additional support options: www.usa.canon.com/support (http://www.usa.canon.com/support)

Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Marsu42 on February 20, 2013, 05:59:03 PM
http://usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer?pageKeyCode=prdAdvDetail&docId=0901e024807f5f70 (http://usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer?pageKeyCode=prdAdvDetail&docId=0901e024807f5f70)

Good news that Canon acknowledges the problem (no, the people who reported this obviously were not paranoid) and even promises to fix it - though we still have to see how the fix turns out and if it's the same on 1dx/5d3 (remember the af servo indicator...).

And imho still underwhelming for Canon to take a year for this while they marketed the 5d3 as ideal for shooting in just the problematic the circumstances, but better late than never :-o
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on May 07, 2013, 04:40:34 PM
Things have really changed since I started this post a few months ago.  I was very frustrated at the time and not I couldn't be more satisfied.  I just used both of my 5D3s at a wedding last Saturday and they both have the firmware update.  I shot 2,700 pictures with at least 1000 being in a very dark fast moving reception and I nailed just about every shot I took.  There is a huge difference in the focus speed with the AF assist beam now.  It once caused the focus to slow way down and now it speeds it up drastically.  My 50mm 1.2 used to say in my bag because it would simply not focus in the dark.  I used the heck out of it and shot at 1.2 most of the time with most being keepers.  When I use the 24-70 f/2.8L II, I feel like I am cheating because it focuses on whatever I want instantly.  I am very happy!
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Northstar on May 08, 2013, 10:45:50 AM
Things have really changed since I started this post a few months ago.  I was very frustrated at the time and not I couldn't be more satisfied.  I just used both of my 5D3s at a wedding last Saturday and they both have the firmware update.  I shot 2,700 pictures with at least 1000 being in a very dark fast moving reception and I nailed just about every shot I took.  There is a huge difference in the focus speed with the AF assist beam now.  It once caused the focus to slow way down and now it speeds it up drastically.  My 50mm 1.2 used to say in my bag because it would simply not focus in the dark.  I used the heck out of it and shot at 1.2 most of the time with most being keepers.  When I use the 24-70 f/2.8L II, I feel like I am cheating because it focuses on whatever I want instantly.  I am very happy!


good to hear....i haven't done the update yet and have been waiting to see if anybody was having problems after updating....sounds like you're saying "go ahead and update" right?
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: digital paradise on May 08, 2013, 05:23:06 PM
I have not heard of any. Regarding this post I have yet to read a negative remark. The AF assist beam is much improved now.   
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: Skulker on May 08, 2013, 05:57:19 PM
Things have really changed since I started this post a few months ago.  I was very frustrated at the time and not I couldn't be more satisfied.  I just used both of my 5D3s at a wedding last Saturday and they both have the firmware update.  I shot 2,700 pictures with at least 1000 being in a very dark fast moving reception and I nailed just about every shot I took.  There is a huge difference in the focus speed with the AF assist beam now.  It once caused the focus to slow way down and now it speeds it up drastically.  My 50mm 1.2 used to say in my bag because it would simply not focus in the dark.  I used the heck out of it and shot at 1.2 most of the time with most being keepers.  When I use the 24-70 f/2.8L II, I feel like I am cheating because it focuses on whatever I want instantly.  I am very happy!

Good news and thanks for the feed back, I don't use it much but it was really slow.
Title: Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
Post by: jaayres20 on May 09, 2013, 09:07:31 AM
Things have really changed since I started this post a few months ago.  I was very frustrated at the time and not I couldn't be more satisfied.  I just used both of my 5D3s at a wedding last Saturday and they both have the firmware update.  I shot 2,700 pictures with at least 1000 being in a very dark fast moving reception and I nailed just about every shot I took.  There is a huge difference in the focus speed with the AF assist beam now.  It once caused the focus to slow way down and now it speeds it up drastically.  My 50mm 1.2 used to say in my bag because it would simply not focus in the dark.  I used the heck out of it and shot at 1.2 most of the time with most being keepers.  When I use the 24-70 f/2.8L II, I feel like I am cheating because it focuses on whatever I want instantly.  I am very happy!


good to hear....i haven't done the update yet and have been waiting to see if anybody was having problems after updating....sounds like you're saying "go ahead and update" right?

I would update immediately.  Especially if you use the AF assist beam at all.