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Author Topic: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus  (Read 62571 times)

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #15 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!   :'(
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2012, 07:42:47 PM »

Louis

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #16 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".

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #17 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.

PVS

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #18 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.

risc32

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #19 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?

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #20 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?
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

Sycotek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #21 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.

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2012, 12:23:34 AM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #22 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.
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RayValdez360

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #23 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.

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #24 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.

kpk1

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #25 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.
5D2, Sigy 35/1.4

Mehmetski

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #26 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.

Northstar

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #27 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.
Sport Shooter

1dX and 5d3... 24-70 2.8ii, 70-200 2.8ii, 1.4xiii and 2xiii, 85, 40mm, 300 2.8L IS....430ex

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2012, 04:42:22 AM »

Viggo

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #28 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.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 05:24:58 AM by Viggo »
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #29 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.
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2012, 08:56:46 AM »