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Author Topic: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it  (Read 61071 times)

CarlTN

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #90 on: December 04, 2013, 02:35:50 PM »
I think it can cover most of my shooting needs: landscape, travel/street, full body portraits.

I'd like to state the theory that there is a reason the seemingly boring 35mm is very popular on ff - for portraits 24mm already is very far from the "natural" look of the human eye, so for full body portraits a bit longer focal lengths and taking some steps back might give more pleasing results. Then again, for groups in tight spaces it isn't wide enough, even though my recent ff experience with the 17-40L is that 24mm already is really, really wide - but not wide enough for some landscapes mind you.

It would be very nice to get a "one does it all" prime, but for one lens I'd chose a zoom (standard or uwa) because the 6d already excels at low light, faster than f2.8 (16-35, 24-70) should be rarely essential.

Is this another one of those times where you're being more discouraging than encouraging?  I get accused of that, but frankly you're worse than me!

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #90 on: December 04, 2013, 02:35:50 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #91 on: December 04, 2013, 02:53:31 PM »
Glad to hear it!  How wide of a lens?

In the last days i persuaded myself that the 24L would be the perfect lens for me. 24mm should be wide enough for landscapes, and its large aperture will help a lot in low available light and open up interesting creative possibilities. I think it can cover most of my shooting needs: landscape, travel/street, full body portraits.

I've rented the Canon 24L, but only used it on my crop body at that time.  A couple of months ago I bought the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 to use on the 6D.  The image quality is not that far behind the Canon L, especially in the outer 50% of the image where it's probably as good or better than the Canon (certainly in the center it's not, but on the 6D I doubt there's a vast difference...noticeable but not vast).  In my opinion that particular Canon lens is priced kind of high, but it's a fine lens to own and use, and has superb contrast.  It definitely autofocuses more quickly, silently, consistently and accurately than the Sigma.  But the Sigma costs about 65% less, and it was well worth it to me.  I also prefer the color rendering of the Sigma.  Lately I've used the Canon 24-105L more than the Sigma, because that zoom range is pretty indispensable.  Closed down to f/6.3 or so, the Sigma is sharper at the borders than the Canon 24-105, at 24mm...and also the Sigma has less barrel distortion.  Another advantage the Sigma has, though, is macro photography.  Wide angle macro photography, can be astounding...it helps place the subject in context of its surroundings, where longer macro lenses isolate the subject too much for my taste a lot of the time.

The Sigma 20, 24, and 28 f/1.8 lenses have gotten a bad reputation.  I looked into it, looked at the reviews and tests, and decided the 24mm didn't deserve the bad reputation, at least optically.  Even the build quality is not as bad as the reviews would have you think.  The only real problem is the lack of silent autofocus, along with the innacurate AF...at least on my copy.  I've been able to work around it, using AFMA, for the most part.  If I was at an event though, I kind of agree with Marsu, that a zoom is preferable.  I would take my 24-105 without even thinking of anything else.

Sigma will likely offer an "Art" version at 24mm, probably an f/1.4.  However, I doubt it will have weather sealing (as their 35mm does not), and yet it will likely cost more than the 35mm, perhaps close to the Canon L that you have.  It might just be the sharpest 24mm ever made, though, given that the Sigma 35mm is.  My money would be spent on an "art" version of the 20mm fast prime, though, if they ever make one of those.  In the meantime, I am thinking more toward a Zeiss 18mm f/3.5. 

Sorry for getting long-winded there!  I look forward to seeing some of your images!  Btw, there's another thread about the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8.  Have a look at the carousel shots, they're quite lovely!  That lens is really the ultimate value for wide angle primes, at 1/10 the cost of the Zeiss 15mm, and very comparable resolution to it.  The colors and contrast don't compare, but the resolution does.  For $300 US, that's saying something!  It doesn't autofocus, though, and is too wide for group portraits unless you perform a lot of bending and squeezing in post editing, to keep the people toward the borders from looking obese!  You have to do that a little even at 24mm, as Marsu hints at, but only in the most critical framing situations.  This is due to rectilinear projection, or what I like to call rectilinear distortion.  For some reason people like to refer to barrel and pincushion as distortion, but not rectilinear.  However it certainly produces distortion in a photograph.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 03:05:35 PM by CarlTN »

Marsu42

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #92 on: December 04, 2013, 03:08:04 PM »
Is this another one of those times where you're being more discouraging than encouraging?

I'm encouraging people new to gas (gear acquirement syndrome) to carefully consider what to buy, and primes simply have usage limitations while zooms get better all the time...

I get accused of that, but frankly you're worse than me!

... probably I've got less money to invest than you, that's why I'm quite careful when spending it or advising other people to do so :-o

CarlTN

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #93 on: December 04, 2013, 03:14:51 PM »
Is this another one of those times where you're being more discouraging than encouraging?

I'm encouraging people new to gas (gear acquirement syndrome) to carefully consider what to buy, and primes simply have usage limitations while zooms get better all the time...

I get accused of that, but frankly you're worse than me!

... probably I've got less money to invest than you, that's why I'm quite careful when spending it or advising other people to do so :-o

Lordamercie, no I would say you likely have more to spend than I do.  I've gone into debt with some of my purchases, and am certainly planning to sell two of my lenses.  One is for sale now.  Quite the contrary, I try to encourage people to not spend too much...I even told him that I thought the 24mm L was overpriced, if you read my usual Tolstoy-esque diatribe above (and then memorize it, there's a test later! :P).  I would say the vast majority of people on here have more disposable income than I do at the present time, even the college or pre-college kids!  Then there are those who could afford to hire me to edit their photos, or even travel and take their photos for them...but they think they can do it better, so they won't!

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #94 on: December 05, 2013, 01:02:39 AM »
Well, the 6D has what is effectively a 1-point AF system.

A bit of an exaggeration...  I often use the outer focal points on my 6D.  Yes, the center point is much better, but the outer points are not bad in decent light.  I can nail shallow DOF with the outer points.
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Marsu42

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #95 on: December 05, 2013, 02:36:01 AM »
Well, the 6D has what is effectively a 1-point AF system.
A bit of an exaggeration...  I often use the outer focal points on my 6D.  Yes, the center point is much better, but the outer points are not bad in decent light.  I can nail shallow DOF with the outer points.
+1

-1 :-p ... you cannot nail the af with shallow dof and the 6d outer points *reliably* because they only have f5.6 precision, that's no opinion, that's a fact. Of course you will get lucky after a few tries, or the subjective shallow isn't really shallow like f2.8- or the subject was of a type that some variance isn't noticeable.

grahamclarkphoto

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #96 on: December 06, 2013, 02:22:01 AM »
I'm about to spend a significant (for my finances) amount of money ...

At first the AF on the 6D can be a bit confusing, but I think it can be distilled into one sentence and a chart: The Canon 6D has 11 AF points which may not cut it if you shoot fast action 80% of the time or more, but it locks in lower light than any Canon DSLR, and perhaps any DSLR on the market as of this post. If you often shoot in lowlight, landscapes, at night, star trail photography, time-lapse etc. the 6D's AF sensitivity is currently unmatched.

As a disclaimer I own the 5D Mark III and the 1DX and I shoot travel and landscape photography. I use ND filters and shoot in lowlight quite often, so the 6D is best for me at the moment. If I had to predict the future I'd say the revision of the 5D Mark III will have this -3EV, but until it does 6D wins on AF sensitivity.

Have a look:



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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #96 on: December 06, 2013, 02:22:01 AM »

Marsu42

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #97 on: December 06, 2013, 02:54:25 AM »
The Canon 6D has 11 AF points which may not cut it if you shoot fast action 80% of the time or more, but it locks in lower light than any Canon DSLR, and perhaps any DSLR on the market as of this post.

If you write it like that, it's almost entirely (10/11= 90%) wrong - the 6D only has -3LV on the center point and the other 10 points are not only non-cross, but only af up to an "astonishing" +0.5LV which is too low for general dim light shooting, esp. considering the 6d's iso capability. But I can understand the oversight, it's hard to believe Canon put something like this in a €1500 camera :-\

pensive tomato

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #98 on: December 06, 2013, 12:24:13 PM »
I was surprised to find that this thread is still going! I don't know how much is there to say about the 6D AF capabilities, sure it is the most limited (crippled if you will) overall AF system of Canon's current FF offerings. As many have said, you gotta try it and see if it fits your applications. There are plenty of scenarios underlining its limitations --right tool for the right job after all.

I agree that product differentiation played into decisions on what AF system to have in the 6D. I'm happy with the Canon system. So I'm positively surprised that the 6D can be had in the current US market for less than $1500. If we talk about price, then let's look at the cameras as a whole. The 6D offers IQ, ISO, and other features comparable to Canon FF cameras that are substantially more expensive. Of course, one can always ask for more , but provided it fits your needs, IMHO the 6D gives great value.
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CarlTN

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #99 on: December 06, 2013, 03:09:27 PM »
I was surprised to find that this thread is still going! I don't know how much is there to say about the 6D AF capabilities, sure it is the most limited (crippled if you will) overall AF system of Canon's current FF offerings. As many have said, you gotta try it and see if it fits your applications. There are plenty of scenarios underlining its limitations --right tool for the right job after all.

I agree that product differentiation played into decisions on what AF system to have in the 6D. I'm happy with the Canon system. So I'm positively surprised that the 6D can be had in the current US market for less than $1500. If we talk about price, then let's look at the cameras as a whole. The 6D offers IQ, ISO, and other features comparable to Canon FF cameras that are substantially more expensive. Of course, one can always ask for more , but provided it fits your needs, IMHO the 6D gives great value.

Agreed.  Hopefully the future 5D4 will match or exceed the S/N ratio of the 6D within the ISO range I constantly refer to.  If it does I will probably upgrade.  If it does not, then that will be a strike against upgrading to it, for me.   

jeffa4444

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #100 on: December 13, 2013, 06:24:55 AM »
We own a still camera rental business and Ive been privaliged to use the Canon and Nikon high end pro cameras along with all the best lenses. You can shoot charts, MTF, calibrate etc etc. fact is you never understand a tool or how to use it, maximise its potential and minimise its weaknesses until you have used it extensively. Many of the comments on this thread are "guess work" they have not reflected real world use. Since my previous post Ive used the Canon 5d MKIII its truly an awsome camera but does it give measurable better quality for landscape over the 6d? Frankly no. Most of the time landscape photographers manually focus or use the center spot in single shot mode as you want as much in focus as possible anyway (unless artistically you dont). The 6d is not a camera for sports or wildlife (unless that wildlife is static) but as a street photography camera or landscape camera for those where full frame is important but so is budget aside from the Nikon D610 or the new Sony A7 which are equally impressive cameras for their price the 6d will not disappoint or give any less sharp shots.
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Marsu42

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #101 on: December 13, 2013, 09:43:50 AM »
Many of the comments on this thread are "guess work" they have not reflected real world use. Since my previous post Ive used the Canon 5d MKIII its truly an awsome camera but does it give measurable better quality for landscape over the 6d? Frankly no.

I don't think anybody is debating if the 5d3 is useful over the 6d for landscape - except maybe the built-in raw hdr, the 6d only has jpeg and due to hilarious firmware crippling doesn't save the source files.

The 6d is not a camera for sports or wildlife (unless that wildlife is static) but as a street photography camera or landscape camera for those where full frame is important but so is budget aside from the Nikon D610 or the new Sony A7 which are equally impressive cameras for their price the 6d will not disappoint or give any less sharp shots.

In credit to Canon, I just picked up a 6d promo brochure at the local cps and they only market the 6d for landscape, though they do describe it as a capable 11 pt af system which doesn't quite hit the mark...

... what they don't do is recommend it for street photography as you just did, and for a reason. I often shoot (static) wildlife with it and with a f2.8 lens and no af expansion the 6d simply misses more for the "quick snap" shot type from the hip if you don't carefully af to a high-contrast part and then recompose.

CarlTN

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #102 on: December 15, 2013, 02:43:44 AM »
We own a still camera rental business and Ive been privaliged to use the Canon and Nikon high end pro cameras along with all the best lenses. You can shoot charts, MTF, calibrate etc etc. fact is you never understand a tool or how to use it, maximise its potential and minimise its weaknesses until you have used it extensively. Many of the comments on this thread are "guess work" they have not reflected real world use. Since my previous post Ive used the Canon 5d MKIII its truly an awsome camera but does it give measurable better quality for landscape over the 6d? Frankly no. Most of the time landscape photographers manually focus or use the center spot in single shot mode as you want as much in focus as possible anyway (unless artistically you dont). The 6d is not a camera for sports or wildlife (unless that wildlife is static) but as a street photography camera or landscape camera for those where full frame is important but so is budget aside from the Nikon D610 or the new Sony A7 which are equally impressive cameras for their price the 6d will not disappoint or give any less sharp shots.

The 6D can work quite well for wildlife in motion.  I've used mine extensively for this, besides landscape and still wildlife, so what I say is definitely the opposite of "guesswork."  I've also used it for aerial photography, shooting out the open window of a Cessna.  As has been shown at a couple of websites recently, the 6D's dynamic range, and especially its S/N ratio, in the ISO range between 1000 and 10,000, is a noticeable improvement over the Nikon D600 and D610.  If the A7 uses the same sensor and processing, its result would be the same as the D600 or 610.  Ergonomically the 6D is a good bit ahead of the Sony and especially the Nikon, as well.  Not to mention the 6D costs substantially less, especially at recent sale prices.  And let's face it, as a system Canon is without peer.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 02:45:36 AM by CarlTN »

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #102 on: December 15, 2013, 02:43:44 AM »

Marsu42

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #103 on: December 15, 2013, 03:51:52 AM »
The 6D can work quite well for wildlife in motion.  I've used mine extensively for this, besides landscape and still wildlife, so what I say is definitely the opposite of "guesswork."

Yes, *can* ... but most likely it won't. It's great you're happy with your 6d and are promoting it, I'm rather happy with mine esp. having saved €1200 vs. 5d3.

However the only situation when the 6d is appropriate for wildlife is in bright high-contrast (non-cross points) bright light (+0.5ev outer points) when all the 6d's af points cover the subject... the only situation I can imagine is an elephant running towards you. In all other cases, 6d & wildlife is a hit and miss game, you will of course get *some* good shots and can proudly post them as "6d wildlife", but you'll lose a lot because the af doesn't lock on.

CarlTN

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #104 on: December 15, 2013, 04:14:37 AM »
The 6D can work quite well for wildlife in motion.  I've used mine extensively for this, besides landscape and still wildlife, so what I say is definitely the opposite of "guesswork."

Yes, *can* ... but most likely it won't. It's great you're happy with your 6d and are promoting it, I'm rather happy with mine esp. having saved €1200 vs. 5d3.

However the only situation when the 6d is appropriate for wildlife is in bright high-contrast (non-cross points) bright light (+0.5ev outer points) when all the 6d's af points cover the subject... the only situation I can imagine is an elephant running towards you. In all other cases, 6d & wildlife is a hit and miss game, you will of course get *some* good shots and can proudly post them as "6d wildlife", but you'll lose a lot because the af doesn't lock on.

The AF does lock on especially in bright light, with center point only.  Just because it won't lock on and get 9 out of 10 shots in razor sharp focus in servo mode, with all points active, is no reason to say it can't lock on at all.  With center point, trust me it locks on.  In dim light in servo mode, especially with a lens faster than f/4, yes it will be more hit or miss...but that's not what you're saying.  You're saying in bright light it can't ever lock on regardless if it's with center point only, or with all points, and that's definitely false.  Center point is a lock...at least with mine.  Yours is probably just due to you :P...

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Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #104 on: December 15, 2013, 04:14:37 AM »