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Author Topic: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3  (Read 4819 times)

Rellum

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Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« on: March 09, 2013, 01:53:00 AM »
I have just bought (still not arrived in my hand) a 1Dx & a 5D3 camera & the new 400 f2.8. My personal passion is photographing birds in flight, but I am a rank amateur. I have read, very carefully, the Canon AF setting guide book but am still uncertain on one big question - what is the best area selection mode to set up on the cameras to ensure that the focus grabs the subject (bird in flight) & thereafter continues to track it accurately. Do I set up a single point AF or do I use the auto selection of 61points. My feelings are that the single point AF will allow focus capture of the bird, especially when there is a lot of background clutter, more easily but thereafter keeping the single focus point on the bird is a real challenge, especially with the heavy 400 2.8. The auto selection of 61 points that, from my understanding of the handbook, allows the AF to shift to any of the other 60 points if the original focus point that captured & locked the focus moves off the bird, seems like the perfect answer. However, the auto selection is fine when focusing on a bird in clear blue sky, it should easily achieve focus lock against the uncluttered background. My question is how will it pick up & focus lock & track a fast flying bird against a cluttered background. Opinions from the experts out there would be really appreciated.

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Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« on: March 09, 2013, 01:53:00 AM »

charlesa

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 02:27:20 AM »
You will have to find a custom setting which fits your needs, but shooting wildlife and sports, you use the 61 points but I have one preset point set on a rule of thirds grid where I usually compose images to fall back on.

RMC33

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 02:39:14 AM »
400 may be a bit short.. but you will love it. I don't do much birding but the majority of my sports shooting is 61point auto, case 2 with accel/decel set to 1 and point switch to 0 for skiing. Kayaking I use Case 2 with the slider all the way over to locked on with accel/decel to 2 and switching to 1.

For AI servo I run first image focus, 2nd equal priority speed/focus. I usually keep it on cross points only (most sensitive). I hear ITR is good for BIF as well but I have not had a chance to test if on is better then off.

Case 6 is the best for BIF is my understanding.

bdunbar79

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 12:11:22 PM »
I used to use Cases 1, 2, and 5 on my 1DX.  Out of 450 shots per game, I'd get a keepr rate of about 75%, albeit in high burst mode.  I then changed to Case 6 for basketball and Wednesday out of 453 shots, 6 were out of focus, the rest I could have technically kept.  I just use one of the center vertical AF points and use Case 6 and I don't miss anything. 
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Alex

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 12:51:27 PM »
This is worth having a look at http://www.garyluhm.net/bio/tips_0512.html Helped me out when I was at the IBPC trying to track a Red Kite going through trees...

400 may be a bit short.. but you will love it. I don't do much birding but the majority of my sports shooting is 61point auto, case 2 with accel/decel set to 1 and point switch to 0 for skiing. Kayaking I use Case 2 with the slider all the way over to locked on with accel/decel to 2 and switching to 1.

I think depending on the distance a 400mm will be more than enough... Normally I end up using my 70-200 2.8 mk2 and sometimes 200mm can be too much... I've used my 400mm 2.8 mk2 and 600mm 4 mk2 for birds in flight, It takes a lot of practice with the 600mm...

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 11:37:25 PM »
This is worth having a look at http://www.garyluhm.net/bio/tips_0512.html Helped me out when I was at the IBPC trying to track a Red Kite going through trees...

400 may be a bit short.. but you will love it. I don't do much birding but the majority of my sports shooting is 61point auto, case 2 with accel/decel set to 1 and point switch to 0 for skiing. Kayaking I use Case 2 with the slider all the way over to locked on with accel/decel to 2 and switching to 1.

I think depending on the distance a 400mm will be more than enough... Normally I end up using my 70-200 2.8 mk2 and sometimes 200mm can be too much... I've used my 400mm 2.8 mk2 and 600mm 4 mk2 for birds in flight, It takes a lot of practice with the 600mm...

Great shot.  One question - there seems to be something trailing from the feet of the bird.  Was this a captive bird and we are seeing the tether?  Does not take away from the great, just wondering.

bdunbar79

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 11:55:07 PM »
Just to be clear, I would NOT use the 61 AF points for sports.  The closest player is NOT the player you necessarily want to be in focus.
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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 11:55:07 PM »

RMC33

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 12:30:53 AM »
Just to be clear, I would NOT use the 61 AF points for sports.  The closest player is NOT the player you necessarily want to be in focus.

Depends on the sport really. I shoot 61 for anything that I am moving with the subject and have more then just AF to worry about: skiing along with an athlete in a park or half-pipe setting, following a kayaker while shooting from a raft through rapids, Mogul skiing (rapid left to right movement) or downhill skiing while shooting at either tight gate corners or near the finish line.


Other then that.. I agree 100%.

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 12:35:27 AM »
This is worth having a look at http://www.garyluhm.net/bio/tips_0512.html Helped me out when I was at the IBPC trying to track a Red Kite going through trees...

400 may be a bit short.. but you will love it. I don't do much birding but the majority of my sports shooting is 61point auto, case 2 with accel/decel set to 1 and point switch to 0 for skiing. Kayaking I use Case 2 with the slider all the way over to locked on with accel/decel to 2 and switching to 1.

I think depending on the distance a 400mm will be more than enough... Normally I end up using my 70-200 2.8 mk2 and sometimes 200mm can be too much... I've used my 400mm 2.8 mk2 and 600mm 4 mk2 for birds in flight, It takes a lot of practice with the 600mm...

That's a lovely shot :)
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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 07:40:18 AM »
Thank you guys... The shot was taken in Newent England at a place called the International centre for birds of prey... I am fortunate that my girlfriend works there so I get to see a bit more than the general public.

The wire that you see trailing is the telemetry, basic GPS if the bird was to fly off and do it's own thing...

Just to be clear, I would NOT use the 61 AF points for sports.  The closest player is NOT the player you necessarily want to be in focus.

I agree with RMC33 it depends on the subject and what AF Mode your in... The 61 point is so handy when your trying to track birds in flight that can easily do 80mph +

bdunbar79

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 11:32:04 AM »
Thank you guys... The shot was taken in Newent England at a place called the International centre for birds of prey... I am fortunate that my girlfriend works there so I get to see a bit more than the general public.

The wire that you see trailing is the telemetry, basic GPS if the bird was to fly off and do it's own thing...

Just to be clear, I would NOT use the 61 AF points for sports.  The closest player is NOT the player you necessarily want to be in focus.

I agree with RMC33 it depends on the subject and what AF Mode your in... The 61 point is so handy when your trying to track birds in flight that can easily do 80mph +

Which is why I specifically said sports.  Try using 61-point in basketball or soccer, lol.
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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2013, 11:39:47 AM »
Which is why I specifically said sports.  Try using 61-point in basketball or soccer, lol.

Have you tried the iTR feature of the 1D X in AI Servo (which requires 61-pt auto or zone AF)?
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bdunbar79

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 11:41:14 AM »
Which is why I specifically said sports.  Try using 61-point in basketball or soccer, lol.

Have you tried the iTR feature of the 1D X in AI Servo (which requires 61-pt auto or zone AF)?

Yeah, but all the players have faces, so...by the time you get the AF point where you want it, it's too late and the action is gone.  Especially in low light where the AF point just won't go where you want it.
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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2013, 11:41:14 AM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2013, 11:49:40 AM »
As an aside, the iTR feature I would consider another "skill" especially in tight situations like a big play in soccer or basketball, so to get this to work well would require learning and perfecting another skill, much like typical sports shooting is, where you need to learn how to get the AF point where you want it quickly.  Not being that great at iTR, whether it itself works well or not, I could not afford to practice with so far because I just haven't been in a situation yet where I can practice and have a lot of misses.  It is certainly a feature I really, really want to learn to use well since it's a big feature on the 1DX. 
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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 12:47:49 PM »
case 1 & case 6 work petty good for me on birds.
AF points  It comes down to how much is filling your view finder small fast birds you need all 61 hawks & eagles 50/70yrds I use 9/12 things that fill the frame 1
hope this helps
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 12:49:37 PM by gary samples »

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Re: Autofocus modes for 1DX & 5D3
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 12:47:49 PM »