July 23, 2014, 02:12:01 AM

Author Topic: Can we all send a complaint to Canon to fix the AF-Assist focusing on the 5D3?  (Read 21995 times)

digital paradise

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I am a wedding photographer and have shot 25 weddings and receptions this year with the 5D3 and 600ex.  I started a thread about this issue about a month ago and I finally sent my camera in to Canon to get the shutter replaced and the light leak issue resolved and I specifically complained about it the AF assist beam.  When they sent it back they mentioned they made some "electrical adjustments" to the shutter and AF.  They never acknowledged there was a problem or said that they did anything to fix it.  I haven't shot a wedding since then so I haven't gotten a chance to really test it out yet but I did some quick tests and sometimes there appears to be some improvement.  Other times it still seems slow.  I don't think there is a way to know until I shoot a wedding again.  I do think it is interesting they didn't even acknowledge there was a problem and always say it is the first they have heard of the issue.

Yeah they are probably told to say that until they figure out what is going on. Even if they do a recall would probably be too expensive if firmware can't fix it so they may never say yes it is an issue. We will have to keep up to date on your findings and posts.  Only a few times I can remember a recall.

At Canon Forums but one person sent it in an Canon told them it was due to dust in AF sensor. When it came back it made little difference.   
 
Thanks for your help. 

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scottkinfw

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I have gotten that vague statement when I sent lenses and bodies for calibration, only to be disappointed in the field.

My advice, put the camera through all its paces before it really counts so you are not disappointed too.

sek

I am a wedding photographer and have shot 25 weddings and receptions this year with the 5D3 and 600ex.  I started a thread about this issue about a month ago and I finally sent my camera in to Canon to get the shutter replaced and the light leak issue resolved and I specifically complained about it the AF assist beam.  When they sent it back they mentioned they made some "electrical adjustments" to the shutter and AF.  They never acknowledged there was a problem or said that they did anything to fix it.  I haven't shot a wedding since then so I haven't gotten a chance to really test it out yet but I did some quick tests and sometimes there appears to be some improvement.  Other times it still seems slow.  I don't think there is a way to know until I shoot a wedding again.  I do think it is interesting they didn't even acknowledge there was a problem and always say it is the first they have heard of the issue.

Yeah they are probably told to say that until they figure out what is going on. Even if they do a recall would probably be too expensive if firmware can't fix it so they may never say yes it is an issue. We will have to keep up to date on your findings and posts.  Only a few times I can remember a recall.

At Canon Forums but one person sent it in an Canon told them it was due to dust in AF sensor. When it came back it made little difference.   
 
Thanks for your help.
sek
Cameras: 5D III, 5D II, 50D Lenses:  24-70 208 II, 24-105 f4L, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 400 5.6L, 600EX-RT, ST-E3-RT

dlleno

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I am a wedding photographer and have shot 25 weddings and receptions this year with the 5D3 and 600ex.  I started a thread about this issue about a month ago and I finally sent my camera in to Canon to get the shutter replaced and the light leak issue resolved and I specifically complained about it the AF assist beam.  When they sent it back they mentioned they made some "electrical adjustments" to the shutter and AF.  They never acknowledged there was a problem or said that they did anything to fix it.  I haven't shot a wedding since then so I haven't gotten a chance to really test it out yet but I did some quick tests and sometimes there appears to be some improvement.  Other times it still seems slow.  I don't think there is a way to know until I shoot a wedding again.  I do think it is interesting they didn't even acknowledge there was a problem and always say it is the first they have heard of the issue.

this is expected and I doubt we will see any traction on this topic until and unless someone gives a very specific test case to Canon that can be reproducable, and insists that Canon acknowlege that one camera performs better than another.  As long as there is one single 5D3 that you send in, they will always obfuscate the issue and say all is performing to specifications.  they can say that because they will run some standard set of diagnostics, performed by technicians who follow procedure, and the diagnostic says "all specifications are met". 

instead, someone needs to send in a 5D3 and a 6D, describe in great detail how to reproduce the problem, and then insist on an explanation. I realize thats a tall order (nobody wants to part with two camera bodies for two weeks...) but it might be necessary.

Even if, at some level within the organization, Canon recognizes the problem, it will likely be addressed silently with new production hardware and/or firmware fix that will not be documented.  just my opinion

Brendon

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I too have seen this issue but get around it 99% of the time by using servo focus.  With moving subjects at wedding receptions, this is often the better approach anyway.  You certainly have to move the autofocus point around and can't recompose once locked.  This seems to work better with my sigma 50mm 1.4 than it does with the 70-200 presumably because of the extra light at max aperture. 

My personal opinion is that using servo in this fashion is still much better than the hit or miss focus of my 50d even with the assist light.  It was like rolling the dice with the 50d when focusing with the 50 1.4.

In summary...this issue is painful, but not a showstopper for wedding photography. 

digital paradise

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I too have seen this issue but get around it 99% of the time by using servo focus.  With moving subjects at wedding receptions, this is often the better approach anyway.  You certainly have to move the autofocus point around and can't recompose once locked.  This seems to work better with my sigma 50mm 1.4 than it does with the 70-200 presumably because of the extra light at max aperture. 

My personal opinion is that using servo in this fashion is still much better than the hit or miss focus of my 50d even with the assist light.  It was like rolling the dice with the 50d when focusing with the 50 1.4.

In summary...this issue is painful, but not a showstopper for wedding photography.


You must mean AI Focus. The assist beam does not work in AI Servo. I never use AI Focus.
 
Wonder how that works? I guess when the subject is stationary it works but when the system detects the subject in motion it does not? I'll have to check my cameras manual.         

This is from this site   http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index3.html

An important thing to remember is that the AF assist light works only if your camera is in One-shot mode - it will not illuminate in AI Servo or in any icon AE mode which employs AI Servo, such as the Sports mode. This is because the camera is constantly focussing and refocussing when in AI Servo mode, in order to track subject motion.

Louis

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Guys remember designing a work around isn't the way forward, There shouldn't be a need to have to work around a problem that basically should not exist in the first place, Im worried that the problem may start to become overshadowed by "what we all can do instead" I really am hoping for this tread to get heard, its a real problem and I do not believe for a moment it only happens in certain cameras (ie other 5D3's don't have this problem) its a problem with the 5D3 itself and needs to be addressed,

I would like to say thanks to everyone that has of course offered help in ideas making it easier while we wait for answers, but let us not forget the true problem exists and needs to be fixed,

Louis

digital paradise

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Guys remember designing a work around isn't the way forward, There shouldn't be a need to have to work around a problem that basically should not exist in the first place, Im worried that the problem may start to become overshadowed by "what we all can do instead" I really am hoping for this tread to get heard, its a real problem and I do not believe for a moment it only happens in certain cameras (ie other 5D3's don't have this problem) its a problem with the 5D3 itself and needs to be addressed,

I would like to say thanks to everyone that has of course offered help in ideas making it easier while we wait for answers, but let us not forget the true problem exists and needs to be fixed,

Louis

Amen. Band-Aids are never the solution. It is not our responsibility to solve this.   

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dlleno

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Guys remember designing a work around isn't the way forward, There shouldn't be a need to have to work around a problem that basically should not exist in the first place, Im worried that the problem may start to become overshadowed by "what we all can do instead" I really am hoping for this tread to get heard, its a real problem and I do not believe for a moment it only happens in certain cameras (ie other 5D3's don't have this problem) its a problem with the 5D3 itself and needs to be addressed,

I would like to say thanks to everyone that has of course offered help in ideas making it easier while we wait for answers, but let us not forget the true problem exists and needs to be fixed,

Louis

good comments Louis. my only contribution, having read most of the threads on this topic is that there does appear to be two problems that are being confused with each other. 

1.  A problem where some cameras appear to perform better than others:  Low light AF performance without flash or AF-assist.  I see a lack of consistency in the test descriptions (standard, normalized EV is trivial to find and express but no one has done it)  and no clear repeatable result saying that the AF system on a statistically significant number of 5D3s does not perform " in a way that is commensurate with the photo set-up, subject movement and required shutter speeds that would be associated with taking the picture in that amount of light, and when the camera is used as it has been marketed"  RustyTheGeek has shown that his replacement 5D3 performs better than the one he originally purchased, for example.  This to me is mfg QC.

2.  A problem where none of the 5D3s described here perform well, and even some 1DX contributors have described similar behavior:   Utilization of the AF-assist.  Here the amount of ambient light shouldn't matter -- you should be able to walk into a dark closet, close the door, and take photos of a mouse running across the floor  in pitch black darkeness.   At reasonble subject distances, the AF system should use the assist beam!   Frankly, given the information posted here I'm suspicious of a marriage problem between the AF system and the nature of the AF beam itself, its width pattern, pulse duty cycle, frequency;  something.  The common denominator here is the 61 point AF system shared (largely) between 1DX and 5D3.   Its like the AF R&D team and the Speedlite R&D  team don't know each other, or one doesn't consult the other, because something is fishy here.   The AF system needs to be tweeked so that it can see and utilize the beam, for pete's sake.  This is what makes me suspicous that Canon can fix this problem with a firmware update. THey just have gone dark side of the moon because they know the problem to exist and are planning their response to it.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 12:08:27 PM by dlleno »

ScottyP

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@dlleno

I I think you are right about Canon" planning its response" but probably only in the sense that there must be a chalkboard somewhere with notes about 5D4.
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dlleno

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@dlleno

I I think you are right about Canon" planning its response" but probably only in the sense that there must be a chalkboard somewhere with notes about 5D4.

lol you and I both hope you are wrong of course :D  Only market pressure has the ability to modify Canon arrogance.   Maybe they will discontinue the 5D2 and sell the 5D4 along side the 5D3 for another $1,000. 

gilmorephoto

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REPOST from another thread for your reference:

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 cameras with both flashes.  I did not time anything with a watch because if it's close enough not to be able to tell there is a significant difference, I really would not be bothered 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/elsewhere. 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 on the T1i 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.
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Louis

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Yea I saw this, at least where being heard

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Louis

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Merry Christmas all,

Don't go quiet on the matter, because Canon have shown interest, worst thing you can do,

Happy Holidays, remember to report your Focusing issues

Louis

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Despite what page 77 of the manual says about using the center single AF point, Canon Pro Services techs are now telling users to use AF point expansion with surrounding points or Zone AF.  I'm using the AF point expansion and doing somewhat better, but it is a pain to have to switch out of single AF point.

Another thing I'm finding is that my 580ex works better with the 5D3, and I clearly see that the 580ex grid of red lines is brighter and denser than the 600ex when compared on a wall.

A firmware update fixing the sluggish performance with single AF (and the slightly better but still relatively pokey with AF point expansion) would be a lot of help!

My 60D with center AF point and the 580ex is lightening fast to achieve AF.   Yes, I'm steamed.

Also, how about a small flash the size of the 270ex that has AF assist AND triggers the freaking speedlites?
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 09:21:27 AM by YuengLinger »

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