October 23, 2014, 07:33:03 AM

Author Topic: What am I doing wrong???  (Read 6556 times)

AmbientLight

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 08:39:33 AM »
I would like to suggest manual selection of a focus point, but not the central focus point. Instead I suggest to select a focus point so that it ends up right on one of the toddler's eyes.

Then you can test focussing with a series of shots. Don't fire off quick shots, but wait for focus confirmation. With a 5D Mark III you should get pretty good and consistent results using this method unless of course your lens focussing is way off, which I suspect is happening to you.

You can quickly verify autofocus accuracy by focussing your 50mm f1.4 lens and other lenses on a static area with sufficient detail to allow checking autofocus. A stretch of tarmac in good light will do. If you try AFMA you should check how much your corrected autofocus results will vary. If you can achieve some autofocus reliability you can return to shooting the pictures you want.

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 08:39:33 AM »

Puddel

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2013, 08:46:05 AM »
The first thing i thinking of is,  We press the shutter button 1/2 way down to gain focus and ligth metering to get a good picture. If your portrait or you move your head and camera 10mm before you press the shutter button the rest 1/2 way down your picture is out of focus with f/1,4- 1,8
Try to be quicker on your shoot, and dont let your subject get out of focus after you have locked your fokus whit 1/2 way shutterbutton.
p.s hope you understand my crappy English (im from Norway:-)

TexPhoto

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2013, 11:20:37 AM »
If you are not shooting AI Servo, try it.  Kids and sports demand fast focus. 

babiesphotos

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 02:08:20 PM »
Thanks for answer everyone!

There were couple of useful advices/suggestions. Like one with trying case 6 (I used case 4 until now), and that maybe delay in firing after half press is possibly responsible, and suggestion to go for really high shutter speed, use M mode and auto-ISO, also comments on the closer focusing distance are spot on, most of the problems are at the close focusing distance. Comments on 50 1.4 being hit and miss also accurate, seems to be one of the worst offenders I have, though I can make any lens miss, easy...

Most of other things I tried and knew. Summary of answers:
- I don't think camera is a lemon, it must be the owner :), as I had the same situation with 5d mkii
- I never let camera choose focus points. I mostly use one point, central point most of the time. I use servo when kids are on the move, or if I don't need to recompose at all. MY DOF button is configured to switch mode while being pressed, so I liberally move btw. one shot and servo. Obviously, I'm not quite a beginner, and still so many misses.
- I aim to place my chosen point on the eyeball, absolutely ALWAYS.
- I did AFMA some of my lenses, though it's possible I didn't do it well
- I'll take exception with analysis that elbow is sharp on the first picture. When I look at 100%, I don't see real focus anywhere. No clean fiber. Not that 100% matters, I was just trying to figure out what happened.
- I do get quite a few keepers, and my percentage of good shots is maybe 50% for (rental) 24-70L II to 20-30% for 50 1.4. Maybe that's to be expected? But where I'm getting annoyed is that many times kids do stop for a second and still many of those pictures are to me inexplicably smudged.

Look, couple more examples, any theories are welcome:
1 - just slightly annoyingly unsharp.
2 - There is nothing truly in focus. Yeah, it looks like sweather is in focus, but not true. Check third picture to see how sharp it looks like. Much better, right, so it makes me think it's not only OOF issue, but camera shake?
3 - this one is sharp
Perhaps I should have chosen something more obvious, but this is 24-70 II, pinnacle of lenses right now, and it does seem better, i.e. keeper percentage is higher, and unsharp pictures are less unsharp. (English is my second langauge, so please no jokes :)

Dantana

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 03:18:12 PM »
The other posters have some great suggestions and you should give them a try, but when I look at these shots and read your original post, it makes me think of one thing:

You have no DOF and you are shooting a moving child. I'd say that's a huge part of your problem. I know that we all love the separation you get with a shallow DOF shooting wide open, but there are limits to what makes sense. I'd try stopping down a couple stops and see what you get.

I don't think you are seeing blur from the motion as much as the subject moving through the focus point.
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robbymack

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2013, 03:44:59 PM »
I don't think it's the camera, more so your exposure choices. At f1.4 you have so small a dof (especially at near mfd) most kids won't stay still long enough to stay in it. When I shoot my kids the 5diii custom mode is set to f4 1/125 and auto ISO and ai servo. The 5diii files can take a cranking of the ISO and at 1/125 most anything outside of running will be frozen. It also doubles as the default mode for my wife when she picks up the camera so she doesn't have to fiddle.

babiesphotos

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2013, 04:28:53 PM »
first, third picture is not that sharp to my taste.  taking a look at the third picture, it seems like that you focused and re-composed on that image?  as if you did, please quit doing that with apeture of 1.4 unless you are standing far away from subject.

Hey, I'm grateful for offer of help, but kinda not liking that you made assumption these are pictures I care about (otherwise, why critique?). I guess my ego is too big, eh? :). And I do know that f4 or f5.6 is miles easier to work with than f1.4.

These pics are just a showcase of a problem. Picture 3 HAS a plane of sharp focus, picture 2 doesn't! Where did the focus go? What caused smudginess? Why are they not ALL like attached one? That's what I'm wondering about.

Some of my pictures I like, not necessarily all sharp :) are at babiesphotos.ca

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2013, 04:28:53 PM »

Viggo

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2013, 04:36:29 PM »
The 5d3 is capable of shooting thin dof and moving kids. The problem might be that it is on the edge of what's impossible AND you have to struggle with the not-canon's-best AF of the 50mm f1.4.

Try the same settings outside and see if more light helps, I'm sure it will.

What you should try, since you say when the kids stop suddenly and it's "Still" oof, that is my experience to, if your AF is set up to respond to fast erratic action, when the subject stops the AF is still in top gear wanting to hit action.

First off, get your AF-start off the shutterbutton and onto the AF-ON button on the back, that way you can, for example, shoot off a few shots of a sequence, track away and shoot off a few more without the AF having to find your subject every time you push and release the shutter.

Then, and this I'm not 100% sure you can do on the 5d3, but I think you can; Select the AE lock button to recall settings and set those settings to fast action with expansion points, case 6 etc. And the AF-ON button to engage "normal" case 1 AF with single point. That way you can just move your thumb 5mm and change the behaviour of the camera COMPLETELY and get all shots focused, even if your kid runs and jumps or suddenly sits down having a sip of his juicebox. Trust me, I know one set up doesn't work with kids, you need to take advantage of EVERYTHING the 5d3 offers, and again, practice, practice, practice.
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ishdakuteb

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2013, 04:41:35 PM »
first, third picture is not that sharp to my taste.  taking a look at the third picture, it seems like that you focused and re-composed on that image?  as if you did, please quit doing that with apeture of 1.4 unless you are standing far away from subject.

Hey, I'm grateful for offer of help, but kinda not liking that you made assumption these are pictures I care about (otherwise, why critique?). I guess my ego is too big, eh? :). And I do know that f4 or f5.6 is miles easier to work with than f1.4.

These pics are just a showcase of a problem. Picture 3 HAS a plane of sharp focus, picture 2 doesn't! Where did the focus go? What caused smudginess? Why are they not ALL like attached one? That's what I'm wondering about.

Some of my pictures I like, not necessarily all sharp :) are at babiesphotos.ca

true... your liking image does not need to be sharp.  it is about the moment.  sorry about mis-understood your question.  however, i am going to delete that post so it is not going bother you...

babiesphotos

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2013, 04:43:02 PM »
The 5d3 is capable of shooting thin dof and moving kids. The problem might be that it is on the edge of what's impossible AND you have to struggle with the not-canon's-best AF of the 50mm f1.4.

Try the same settings outside and see if more light helps, I'm sure it will.

What you should try, since you say when the kids stop suddenly and it's "Still" oof, that is my experience to, if your AF is set up to respond to fast erratic action, when the subject stops the AF is still in top gear wanting to hit action.

First off, get your AF-start off the shutterbutton and onto the AF-ON button on the back, that way you can, for example, shoot off a few shots of a sequence, track away and shoot off a few more without the AF having to find your subject every time you push and release the shutter.

Then, and this I'm not 100% sure you can do on the 5d3, but I think you can; Select the AE lock button to recall settings and set those settings to fast action with expansion points, case 6 etc. And the AF-ON button to engage "normal" case 1 AF with single point. That way you can just move your thumb 5mm and change the behaviour of the camera COMPLETELY and get all shots focused, even if your kid runs and jumps or suddenly sits down having a sip of his juicebox. Trust me, I know one set up doesn't work with kids, you need to take advantage of EVERYTHING the 5d3 offers, and again, practice, practice, practice.

Huge thanks!

Eli

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2013, 04:48:57 PM »
- I never let camera choose focus points. I mostly use one point, central point most of the time. I use servo when kids are on the move, or if I don't need to recompose at all. MY DOF button is configured to switch mode while being pressed, so I liberally move btw. one shot and servo.

And try get out of the habit of focus & recompose, just move the selected AF point via the joysticky thing, takes same amount of time as focus & recompose and you'll be able to keep it on Servo mode.
Also set it on continuous shooting and fire off multiple shots to increase your hit rate.

Viggo

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2013, 04:50:40 PM »
The 5d3 is capable of shooting thin dof and moving kids. The problem might be that it is on the edge of what's impossible AND you have to struggle with the not-canon's-best AF of the 50mm f1.4.

Try the same settings outside and see if more light helps, I'm sure it will.

What you should try, since you say when the kids stop suddenly and it's "Still" oof, that is my experience to, if your AF is set up to respond to fast erratic action, when the subject stops the AF is still in top gear wanting to hit action.

First off, get your AF-start off the shutterbutton and onto the AF-ON button on the back, that way you can, for example, shoot off a few shots of a sequence, track away and shoot off a few more without the AF having to find your subject every time you push and release the shutter.

Then, and this I'm not 100% sure you can do on the 5d3, but I think you can; Select the AE lock button to recall settings and set those settings to fast action with expansion points, case 6 etc. And the AF-ON button to engage "normal" case 1 AF with single point. That way you can just move your thumb 5mm and change the behaviour of the camera COMPLETELY and get all shots focused, even if your kid runs and jumps or suddenly sits down having a sip of his juicebox. Trust me, I know one set up doesn't work with kids, you need to take advantage of EVERYTHING the 5d3 offers, and again, practice, practice, practice.

Huge thanks!

No problem, I have struggled with all of this myself and have gotten great tips here at CR and worked out a few solutions of my own, because toddlers are the worst to keep up with, and yes we want shallow DOF!  ;D
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

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Re: What am I doing wrong???
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2013, 04:50:40 PM »