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Author Topic: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus  (Read 60856 times)

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #30 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....
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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2012, 09:04:23 AM »

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #31 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

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #32 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.

Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

Northstar

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #33 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

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..
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 02:23:48 PM by Northstar »
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Steven_urwin

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #34 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
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Northstar

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #35 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?
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #36 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

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.
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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2012, 05:02:01 PM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #37 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!!
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

Northstar

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #38 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. 
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #39 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
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

Northstar

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #40 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.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #41 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!

Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

Steven_urwin

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #42 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
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!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 07:28:38 PM by Steven_urwin »
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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2012, 07:24:27 PM »

risc32

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #43 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.

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #44 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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2012, 09:10:40 PM »