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Author Topic: real-world autofocus on 5d2  (Read 5224 times)

jeanluc

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real-world autofocus on 5d2
« on: October 29, 2012, 10:20:56 AM »
Hi everyone, long time reader, first time poster.

Firstly, I know how to use the search function and realize this type of thing has been discussed before......

I currently use a 50d and 7d with the following lenses: ef/s 10-22, 24-105L, 100l macro, 70-300L. I use the 50d for the landscape, walk-around type things and do my wildlife and other fast-moving things with the 7d. I am very happy with my coverage and results.

I plan on keeping 2 bodies, but am thinking of replacing the 50d not because there are issues but just because it is pretty much surpassed by a lot of offerings out there.

I really like the metal-type bodies, Like a lot of people, going full frame is appealing, but expensive.

Ideally I would love 5d mk3's, but that is not going to happen. If I was just going to have just one body, I would just get a 5d3, (especially with the new exposure bracketing!!) but the 7d is new and I like it.

With the recent price drop with the advent of the 5d3, the 5d2 however is affordable.

I have read the autofocus on the 5d3 is a lot better than the 5d2, which I expect as it is 4 years newer and costs twice as much.

What I am really after is a FF replacement for my 50d to do what it now does, walk around, landscapes, and inside stuff. It will meet some moving targets, but really thats what I am keeping the 7d for.

So, who here has a 5d2 and can tell me how good the autofocus REALLY is? If it is as good as my old 50d, then I can live with that, especially since if I go FF I will need either the 17-40L or the 16-35L anf the 5d2 + lens combo essentially equals the cost of the 5d3.

I realize the 6d will be out there some time, but by the time it is a well-known commodity i suspect new 5d2's may be hard to find. Plus, it doesn't look like the autofocus on the 6d is any better than the 5d2, and I like the build of the 5d series.

A friend who is a pro photographer is a long time 5d1 user, and just upgraded to the 5d2 due to the price drop. He mainly does studio work, but says he has shot sports of all things the the 5d2 and is happy with its performance.

Any help advice will help, thanks a lot!

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real-world autofocus on 5d2
« on: October 29, 2012, 10:20:56 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 11:00:14 AM »
So, who here has a 5d2 and can tell me how good the autofocus REALLY is? If it is as good as my old 50d, then I can live with that...

I don't have a 5DII anymore, but I did.  The center point AF on the 5DII will be as good as your 50D, and better in low light. The outer points of the 5DII will be worse, and the servo tracking will be worse, too.
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cpsico

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 11:40:29 AM »
The center point is golden all the time, the outer points need very good light. I would say its a wonderful bargain of a camera right now for people that don't need sports autofocus and dont mind the focus and recompose method.

jeanluc

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 11:45:06 AM »
Thanks for the info............right now I use focus and recompose all the time with the 50d, and have no complaints. I realize that the 5d2 and 3 are completely different, I guess I am mainly wondering if in going from 50d to 5d2 for the kind of use it will get makes sense,.........looking like it probably does...

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 11:47:29 AM »
Hi everyone, long time reader, first time poster.

Firstly, I know how to use the search function and realize this type of thing has been discussed before......

I currently use a 50d and 7d with the following lenses: ef/s 10-22, 24-105L, 100l macro, 70-300L. I use the 50d for the landscape, walk-around type things and do my wildlife and other fast-moving things with the 7d. I am very happy with my coverage and results.

I plan on keeping 2 bodies, but am thinking of replacing the 50d not because there are issues but just because it is pretty much surpassed by a lot of offerings out there.

I really like the metal-type bodies, Like a lot of people, going full frame is appealing, but expensive.

Ideally I would love 5d mk3's, but that is not going to happen. If I was just going to have just one body, I would just get a 5d3, (especially with the new exposure bracketing!!) but the 7d is new and I like it.

With the recent price drop with the advent of the 5d3, the 5d2 however is affordable.

I have read the autofocus on the 5d3 is a lot better than the 5d2, which I expect as it is 4 years newer and costs twice as much.

What I am really after is a FF replacement for my 50d to do what it now does, walk around, landscapes, and inside stuff. It will meet some moving targets, but really thats what I am keeping the 7d for.

So, who here has a 5d2 and can tell me how good the autofocus REALLY is? If it is as good as my old 50d, then I can live with that, especially since if I go FF I will need either the 17-40L or the 16-35L anf the 5d2 + lens combo essentially equals the cost of the 5d3.

I realize the 6d will be out there some time, but by the time it is a well-known commodity i suspect new 5d2's may be hard to find. Plus, it doesn't look like the autofocus on the 6d is any better than the 5d2, and I like the build of the 5d series.

A friend who is a pro photographer is a long time 5d1 user, and just upgraded to the 5d2 due to the price drop. He mainly does studio work, but says he has shot sports of all things the the 5d2 and is happy with its performance.

Any help advice will help, thanks a lot!

The only usable point on the 5D2 is the center point. The 5D3 is more of a cut down 1Dx than a 5D2 replacement.

marekjoz

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 11:51:31 AM »
I had 7d and 5d2, now only have 5d2. I wish 5d2's  AF could be better, but I can live with it, although significant amount of photos goes to trash anyway. Depending on the type of sports you intend to shoot, you can miss the lens reach rather than the difference in AF. Most of these sport photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marekjoz/collections/72157630780323252/ were made with 5d2 and AI servo, in most cases with center point AF
If you intend to change something regarding sport shooting, I'd advise to consider:
1. The required reach in relationship with lenses you have (you loose 1.6x of your current reach so check your 70-300 at 190 because it would be your maximum reach on FF)
2. Required ISO range in relationship with noise which the body generates and shutter speed you have to achieve in your lighting conditions
3. AF - in my opinion - is on the last place of importance considering above

The other thing is: do you have time after the event to edit and look through your photos to choose the best ones? 5d2 generates 20MB+ RAWs and going through 1000+ of them and looking for 50-200 best can be time consuming.
You need it for fun, print or web? Depending on the purpose your croping capabilities may differ a lot.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 11:53:40 AM by marekjoz »
flickr | youtube | 5D2, 50 F/1.4, 24-105 F/4 L IS, 300 F/4 L IS, x1.4 II

picturesbyme

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 12:19:45 PM »
the center is fine
once you get used to it shouldn't be a prob.
these guys were flying around... http://atlanticpicture.com/p446494716

and my keeper ratio was awesome.
also an older post: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=8806.msg159995#msg159995



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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 12:19:45 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 12:30:20 PM »
I have no issue with center point, but trying to use the 5D MK II AF for something coming toward you rapidly will be frustrating.
 
 

The Bad Duck

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 12:54:15 PM »
The AF of 5D2 is old and is its single biggest weak point. It was bad at the time of introduction as well and I have missed a lot of shots because of that. The AF is also the biggest selling point for an upgrad to mkIII for me (I am using the 5D mkII).

But, with practise and skill I no longer miss too many shots.
The centre AF is great, the outer not so good, but if you know what type of contrast the AF-points are looking for you can use put them on that kind of part of your picture and they will work rather good.
You can also use a flash in the hot shoe to get infra red guiding light, or use the modeling light if you are doing wireless TTL. I actually keep a head lamp in my flash bag to use when light gets low; both to help with focus but also to keep the models pupils small.

Also, most times when I have missed focus I have been shooting at f/2 or greater; where DOF is small and so a slight movement of me or my subject results in a missed shot. This is disturbing in yet another way - in low light you usually go for those big apetures, and in low light things show less contrast, making it harder for the AF to nail focus.

Also, with small DOF, when focusing and recomposing you take a big risk since it takes time and you also do some movement. This in itself can result in shots out of focus.

So, does the 5D mkII (and classic) have outdated, obsolete AF? Yes.
Does that really matter? Sometimes, yes. But improved skill and a lot of practise will take you a long way. But you are going to miss shots as you practise.

You will have problems with the AF of the 5D II if you:
- Plan on shooting sport/wildlife
- Plan on doing a lot of  low light, short DOF, no flash (you can as you probably know have the flash to not fire, just help you focus)

In other cases, you should be fine. I am.

jeanluc

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 02:12:55 PM »
Thanks for the help....from what I see, then center AF point in the 5d2 is a non-issue, the other ones aren't as good, and the IQ is good. It sounds like it will fit the bill for me.

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 03:30:35 PM »
I have the Mark II and don't plan on selling it. I don't yet have the Mark III but will likely pick one up in the future.

I have no issues with the 5D Mark II's autofocus capability and isn't quite sure what all the complains regarding its AF are about. While I don't yet have the Mark III to make comparisons,  everything that I have read has unanimously agreed and praised its vastly improved AF system. It's a major selling point for many that have upgraded. However, my Mark II continues to deliver beautiful, crisp images for me. I use center point focusing with back focusing to recompose and the technique is simple and natural.

Blurred images I have seen are generally a result of my incorrect settings – too low an ISO setting in dimlight which is easily fixed by pushing up the ISO to get a faster shutter speed for handholding. I rarely get blurred images. Most would fall in user's error and not in the fault of the camera. In my opinion, unless you're a professional pushing the limits shooting fast action or extreme lowlight, the Mark II is plenty of camera that can handle most situations. I've seen amazing images shot with the Mark II and even from the Rebel line and equally have seen bad images shot with the Mark III or 1D-X. In the end, I think it's really the skills of the photographer and rarely the fault of the camera. Sure, having the Mark III, a 1D-X or even a D800 certainly helps, but I also think exercising better shooting/focusing techniques will also vastly improve the final results of an image using any camera.

neuroanatomist

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 04:07:42 PM »
I have no issues with the 5D Mark II's autofocus capability and isn't quite sure what all the complains regarding its AF are about. ...However, my Mark II continues to deliver beautiful, crisp images for me. I use center point focusing with back focusing to recompose and the technique is simple and natural.

It depends on what you shoot, and with what lenses. One Shot with stationary subjects is fine. Shooting my toddler running toward me, the 5DII's AI Servo couldn't keep up (70-200 II, so it wasn't the lens). Focus-recompose with an 85L at f/1.2 is guaranteed back focus.
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CowGummy

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 04:08:11 PM »
I have the Mark II and don't plan on selling it. I don't yet have the Mark III but will likely pick one up in the future.

I have no issues with the 5D Mark II's autofocus capability and isn't quite sure what all the complains regarding its AF are about. While I don't yet have the Mark III to make comparisons,  everything that I have read has unanimously agreed and praised its vastly improved AF system. It's a major selling point for many that have upgraded. However, my Mark II continues to deliver beautiful, crisp images for me. I use center point focusing with back focusing to recompose and the technique is simple and natural.

Blurred images I have seen are generally a result of my incorrect settings – too low an ISO setting in dimlight which is easily fixed by pushing up the ISO to get a faster shutter speed for handholding. I rarely get blurred images. Most would fall in user's error and not in the fault of the camera. In my opinion, unless you're a professional pushing the limits shooting fast action or extreme lowlight, the Mark II is plenty of camera that can handle most situations. I've seen amazing images shot with the Mark II and even from the Rebel line and equally have seen bad images shot with the Mark III or 1D-X. In the end, I think it's really the skills of the photographer and rarely the fault of the camera. Sure, having the Mark III, a 1D-X or even a D800 certainly helps, but I also think exercising better shooting/focusing techniques will also vastly improve the final results of an image using any camera.

+1 Well said. Couldn't agree more.
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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 04:08:11 PM »

marekjoz

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 04:35:21 PM »
(...)

Blurred images I have seen are generally a result of my incorrect settings (...)

And this is very true. I have a brilliant  always working way to avoid any problems with focus:
1. Put 17-40 F/4
2. Set to 17mm
3. Set any aperture
4. Stay at least a few meters away from your subject

:D
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cayenne

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 04:35:51 PM »
<snip> I actually keep a head lamp in my flash bag to use when light gets low; both to help with focus but also to keep the models pupils small.

<snip>

Could you give a bit more detail with regards to the head lamp?

Is this one of those things like you take camping, where it is a LED lamp, that can be turned white or red (but visible) light?  Just curious how this works for you....would not the white or RED light mess with your photo?

Thanks in advance,

cayenne

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Re: real-world autofocus on 5d2
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 04:35:51 PM »