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Author Topic: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus  (Read 57096 times)

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #165 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.)
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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #165 on: December 10, 2012, 02:39:42 PM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #166 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.
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dlleno

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #167 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"

Louis

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #168 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,

digital paradise

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #169 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.

dlleno

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #170 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? 

dlleno

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #171 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. 

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #171 on: December 11, 2012, 01:41:38 AM »

Marsu42

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #172 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?!

gilmorephoto

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #173 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.
5D3 | 24-70mm EF f2.8L II | 40mm EF f/2.8 | 100mm EF f/2.8L | 600EX-RT | ST-E3-RT

echelonphoto

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #174 on: December 12, 2012, 10:07:02 AM »

Dave_NYC

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #175 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.

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #176 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.
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jonathan7007

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #177 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

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #177 on: December 14, 2012, 01:16:22 PM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #178 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!!
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Dave_NYC

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #179 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.

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Re: 5D3 & 600ex-rt + AF assist beam = slower focus
« Reply #179 on: December 15, 2012, 12:31:45 PM »