October 01, 2014, 03:33:09 PM

Author Topic: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action  (Read 14049 times)

Northstar

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2014, 03:00:42 PM »

I have unfortunately never had the opportunity to try the EF 500/4.5 but I'm pretty sure that it is a great lens. It's particularly nice to see that such 'old' glass is still working nicely with modern cameras (apart from the lens drive when AF impossible problem you mentioned), it makes me confident that I'll be using my 500LII for many years to come.
I'd like to see some of your images if you can provide a link. Thank you for your input!

Currently I do not show much on the web (I should do more, my job eats lots of time). But here is a little selection of images I shot with my vintage EF 500/4.5 (made in 1995). Hope you enjoy it. Fortunately I am quite used to non-IS lenses so I am able to shoot it frequently hand-held. Such vintage glass works quite nicely with modern DSLRs, I enjoy in particular using it with my 5D3 (only 2x TC doesn't allow AF).

wow...great shots justacanonuser!  especially like #2 in your first post.  keep'm coming :D
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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2014, 03:00:42 PM »

justaCanonuser

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2014, 03:19:33 PM »
wow...great shots justacanonuser!  especially like #2 in your first post.  keep'm coming :D

Thx, Northstar  :D
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cervantes

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2014, 12:37:45 AM »
When using a selected AF point and a registered AF point, my preference is to assign one to AF-ON and the other to the * button, so I can remove AF from the trigger button completely.

I wasn't aware that this was possible. Maybe this should be called the 'dual back button AF' technique from now on!  8)
Tried it on the weekend but returned to focusing by shutter button again since I'm used to that, but I'm sure this is going to be useful for some people, especially those who usually only use back button AF!

Thanks for your input!

cervantes

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2014, 12:53:49 AM »
Possibly the most informative article I've had the pleasure to read on CR, very much appreciated.

I can see how your set up suggestions will/should help well in my Wildlife Photography, again, Thank You Cervantes.

Thank you very much for your kind words, I'm glad I could help.

cervantes

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2014, 01:13:38 AM »
Currently I do not show much on the web (I should do more, my job eats lots of time). But here is a little selection of images I shot with my vintage EF 500/4.5 (made in 1995). Hope you enjoy it. Fortunately I am quite used to non-IS lenses so I am able to shoot it frequently hand-held. Such vintage glass works quite nicely with modern DSLRs, I enjoy in particular using it with my 5D3 (only 2x TC doesn't allow AF).
Cervantes: here a few more BIFs for you I shot with my old EF 500/4.5. Atlantic puffins are hard to catch, they are small, appear quite suddenly and dart with about 80 km/h. I am often really impressed how well my 5D3 manages to focus this lens - even its 1st generation USM drive isn't as fast as modern USM drives.   

The 500 4.5 seems to be every bit as spectacular as I imagined it to be. The images have the same look as from my 500LII - and I't is even a bit lighter than mine.
Fantastic shots by the way! Where did you shoot the puffins? Puffins are on my to-do list but I don't know where to find any as close to central europe as possible.

justaCanonuser

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2014, 03:14:37 AM »
The 500 4.5 seems to be every bit as spectacular as I imagined it to be. The images have the same look as from my 500LII - and I't is even a bit lighter than mine.
Fantastic shots by the way! Where did you shoot the puffins? Puffins are on my to-do list but I don't know where to find any as close to central europe as possible.
Canon made impressively good tele lenses already decades ago. Btw there is one lens with about the same specs on the market, the Sigma 500/4.5 (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/500mm-f45-ex-dg-apo-hsm). My wife has bought one for her Nikon gear after she read two of those rare supertele lab reviews in two German photozines which showed that the current Nikkor 500/4 VR optically underperformes this Sigma lens (and Canon's 500/4 Mark I) in resolution wide open. She wanted best possible IQ for Nikon available in the 500mm prime league, so she decided to forget about the comfort of image stabilization and save a lot of money with the optically superior Sigma. We shoot a lot together, so it is interesting to see how her and my lens perform side by side. The Sigma's modern HSM drive is a bit faster, it is sharper in the close-up range plus offers 4 m closest distance (the old Canon: 5 m). Besides those differences both lenses have very similar IQ, sharp with a nice bokeh (in most situations).

Pretty sure that you will enjoy your EF 500/4 II for many years, this is a dream lens according to what I've seen and read on the web. And if you once really would decide to sell it, another good news is that the prices of used Canon superteles are extremely stable so you won't have to face much losses. I've got my 500/4.5 some years ago for 2.8 k€, and just recently I've seen a rare copy offered for about the same fixed price on e-bay.

Re puffins I try to send you a direct message.
 


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JorritJ

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #51 on: February 17, 2014, 03:57:37 AM »
Many thanks to the author of the article, I have definitely learned some new tricks with my 5Dm3. Completely coincidentally I started practising with bird shots a few days ago (with my zoom lenses though), as pretty much by accident I captured a couple of really nice BIF shots last year, and thought I might be time to train that as a skill.

As others in this thread, I am also thoroughly annoyed by the Spot AF metering of the 5Dm3. It just doesn't really work all that well, especially compared to other cameras. A dark bird against an overcast sky will always result in a dark bird with a grey sky (instead of a properly exposed bird against a bright sky), regardless of any setting I can find. I've noticed the problem dozens of times when city shooting as well. For comparison, both the older 50D and the newer 70D do a much better job selecting the right exposure in similar circumstances. You just can't trust the Spot AF metering on the 5Dm3. If anyone has a working solution or process for this that doesn't involve having the manually adjust settings repeatedly through the shooting session, I'd be happy to hear it.

As for auto ISO, this is quite likely my biggest gripe with the 5Dm3. It is fantastic to be able to limit the ISO to 100-800, but the fastest shutter speed limit configurable is 1/250. With a tele attached for normal shooting I'd already prefer a shutter of 1/500 at ISO 200 vs 1/250 at 100. For action shots, 1/1000 or 1/1600 is needed. You can emulate that a little by raising the minimum ISO to 400 (if the light circumstances are correct), but that is not always ideal (and 400 is the highest minimum value you can set).

Almost every time I use the 5Dm3, I hit one or both of these issues, and at least the latter is easily fixable with a software update - I guess Canon expects me to buy the 1D X for that basic feature. Luckily neither has caused me to miss the money shot so far, but that's a question of when, not if. Canon being the EA of electronics though, I don't expect either issue to be fixed without buying their newest (also artificially limited) camera model for the price of several small cars.

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #51 on: February 17, 2014, 03:57:37 AM »

East Wind Photography

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #52 on: February 17, 2014, 09:13:05 AM »
Many thanks to the author of the article, I have definitely learned some new tricks with my 5Dm3. Completely coincidentally I started practising with bird shots a few days ago (with my zoom lenses though), as pretty much by accident I captured a couple of really nice BIF shots last year, and thought I might be time to train that as a skill.

As others in this thread, I am also thoroughly annoyed by the Spot AF metering of the 5Dm3. It just doesn't really work all that well, especially compared to other cameras. A dark bird against an overcast sky will always result in a dark bird with a grey sky (instead of a properly exposed bird against a bright sky), regardless of any setting I can find. I've noticed the problem dozens of times when city shooting as well. For comparison, both the older 50D and the newer 70D do a much better job selecting the right exposure in similar circumstances. You just can't trust the Spot AF metering on the 5Dm3. If anyone has a working solution or process for this that doesn't involve having the manually adjust settings repeatedly through the shooting session, I'd be happy to hear it.

As for auto ISO, this is quite likely my biggest gripe with the 5Dm3. It is fantastic to be able to limit the ISO to 100-800, but the fastest shutter speed limit configurable is 1/250. With a tele attached for normal shooting I'd already prefer a shutter of 1/500 at ISO 200 vs 1/250 at 100. For action shots, 1/1000 or 1/1600 is needed. You can emulate that a little by raising the minimum ISO to 400 (if the light circumstances are correct), but that is not always ideal (and 400 is the highest minimum value you can set).

Almost every time I use the 5Dm3, I hit one or both of these issues, and at least the latter is easily fixable with a software update - I guess Canon expects me to buy the 1D X for that basic feature. Luckily neither has caused me to miss the money shot so far, but that's a question of when, not if. Canon being the EA of electronics though, I don't expect either issue to be fixed without buying their newest (also artificially limited) camera model for the price of several small cars.


Interesting you have an issue with spot metering.  I  have issues on the exact opposite end of the spectrum...spot metering often overexposes too much or results in a slower shutter speed...too slow for the BIF shots.  Perhaps the issue you are having is due to the object not beig large enough in the fov.  Spot is not an exact spot but does tape away from the center.  Unless the subject is large enough it will meter on the background.  Also note that the 5d3 spot meter does not follow the af point.  It is always on the center.  The 1dx will follow the af point.

Regarding auto iso... I find this mostly useless for all practical shots except for photos of the family.  It could be a viable option on the 1dx for those shooting sports.  I prefer to control the iq of the image based on what i am shooting.  Fix the iso for the type of shot i am using and use Av mostly.  I use the dial on the back to quickly compensate for backlighting or to expose to the right using the histogram. 

I generally dont use spot metering except for portraits or where subjects are at least 50% of the frame.


tron

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #53 on: February 17, 2014, 09:48:14 AM »
Fastest shutter speed limit 1/250 with no exposure compensation for auto iso is simply a joke. So in my 5D3, I use Av with/without exp compensation and I choose ISO in advance.

However, I will give the Tv auto iso trick a test. Not perfect but interesting none the less....


JorritJ

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2014, 04:58:49 PM »
Interesting you have an issue with spot metering.  I  have issues on the exact opposite end of the spectrum...spot metering often overexposes too much or results in a slower shutter speed...too slow for the BIF shots.  Perhaps the issue you are having is due to the object not beig large enough in the fov.  Spot is not an exact spot but does tape away from the center.  Unless the subject is large enough it will meter on the background.  Also note that the 5d3 spot meter does not follow the af point.  It is always on the center.  The 1dx will follow the af point.

Usually when I have an issue with spot it underexposes, but I've seen it overexpose as well. The point is, in my experience spot metering is plain less reliable on the 5Dm3 than it is on the other cameras I own, regardless of the purpose of the shot (family, birding, city trip, ...)

Quote
Regarding auto iso... I find this mostly useless for all practical shots except for photos of the family.  It could be a viable option on the 1dx for those shooting sports.  I prefer to control the iq of the image based on what i am shooting.  Fix the iso for the type of shot i am using and use Av mostly.  I use the dial on the back to quickly compensate for backlighting or to expose to the right using the histogram.

Imagine a camera where you could program an exact range for aperture, shutterspeed, and ISO, with individual and directional priorities, and one of them on 'breakout' incase your selection cannot be satisfied.

So you could set:

First Priority: Aperture: 8.0-11.0, prefer <
Second Priority: Shutterspeed: 1500-2000, prefer >, breakout
Last Priority: ISO: 100-400, prefer <

So it would try to get f/8 1/2000 ISO 100, ideally.

If there is not enough light to satisfy f/8 1/1500 ISO 400, only then would it go for a slower shutterspeed than 1/1500. If there would be too much light (unlikely in this example), it'll go up to f/11 1/2000 ISO 100 before selecting a faster shutterspeed.

Heck, you could configure steps, so if (in this example) a breakout is necessary, if the shutterspeed goes slower than 1/500, then another ISO step up might be warranted.

This should be fairly easily possible in firmware (for Canon), it's not that far beyond the current AE mode + auto ISO/shutterspeed settings if you get down to the nitty gritty. Or maybe my mind just wondered off ...

eyeland

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #55 on: February 18, 2014, 10:23:08 AM »
Nice thread and thanks alot for the nice article Cervantes!
 - as for the Dual backbutton zone technique + thumbcontroller switch, I am mindblown :D
+1 to the prayer for EC in M mode, such a badly needed feature...
I wonder if this kind of setting falls within the Magic lantern realm?


EDIT!!: Turns out that EC-AutoISO-M DOES fall within the ML realm to some extend:)
http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=8688.0
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 07:24:05 AM by eyeland »
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apersson850

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2014, 06:58:55 PM »
Yes, the same method works with 7D as well. The other trick, switching between zone and all-points focusing does not, however, as far as I can tell.
The 7D supports programming the depth of field preview button to switch from one AF setup to another. Thus you can use Zone AF and then immediately go to all points active by just holding that button.
When using a super telephoto, holding a button near the bayonet may not be physically possible, but then you may have an AF stop button on the lens, and that can also be programmed to perform this task.

Regarding the trick:
I tried it on the 1DX, and it works there too. Saving an AF point as a registered point while in all 61 points mode will recall that whole mode, if you set AF-ON or * to focus using the registered point. It works if you save the point in 61 point mode while being in One Shot AF too, even in spite of the fact that there's no actual point specified in that case. But also in One Shot AF will focusing with AF-ON and a registered point bring back 61 point mode, and that's regardless of which of the other AF point selection modes you start from (from spot to zone).

I don't see why auto ISO would be a bad thing? Sure it affects image quality, but shooting action with the wrong shutter speed affects the image much more. You can also combine that with another emergency exit, and set the camera to automatically take actions you'd have to do manually anyway.

Say for example that you are shooting some action on a sunny day. You want 1/1000 s for the motion blur (or lack of) you like and f/5.6 to get a reasonable depth of field at the focal length you are using. Let's also assume that your lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, which you consider using, if light is vanishing.
Now to use 1/1000 s and f/5.6 in sunshine requires ISO 100, but you can accept ISO up to 6400, should you need it.

So set the camera to Tv with 1/1000 s, set auto ISO range to 100-6400 and set safety shift to Tv/Av.
The camera will now use 1/1000 s with ISO 100 and vary the aperture as needed, as long as it's bright enough for at least f/2.8. If it gets darker, the camera will as the next action increase ISO up to 6400. If that's not enough either, it will start making the exposure time longer than 1/1000 s.
It's your choice how you want to prioritize higher ISO vs. slower shutter speed.

The first implementation of orientation linked AF points (came on the 7D) does indeed store both the point and the AF point selection mode for each orientation. Thus if you store AF points differently for the different orientation, all with single point AF, that's what you get. But if you then go to single point assisted in horizontal orientation, you'll still have the single point in vertical. As of today, only the 1DX allows you to select a mode where only the AF point location will be orientation dependent, but changing the AF point selection mode in one orientation will immediately copy that to the other two orientations as well.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 07:18:11 PM by apersson850 »

justaCanonuser

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2014, 03:33:47 AM »
As for auto ISO, this is quite likely my biggest gripe with the 5Dm3. It is fantastic to be able to limit the ISO to 100-800, but the fastest shutter speed limit configurable is 1/250. With a tele attached for normal shooting I'd already prefer a shutter of 1/500 at ISO 200 vs 1/250 at 100. For action shots, 1/1000 or 1/1600 is needed. You can emulate that a little by raising the minimum ISO to 400 (if the light circumstances are correct), but that is not always ideal (and 400 is the highest minimum value you can set).

I cannot confirm this, I do use ISO limit settings in Auto ISO, too. The only explanation is that your ISO 800 limit didn't allow for more than 1/250 s because it was just too dark or something is wrong with the communication between your camera and your lens. Btw a 5D3 doesn't really require an ISO 800 limit, up to ISO 3200 it produces very good quality. ISO 800 is a critical limit when using a quite noisy 7D.
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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2014, 03:33:47 AM »

apersson850

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2014, 06:12:49 PM »
You're talking about something else. The reference was to the maximum exposure time setting, where the settable range on all cameras supporting this function is 1 s to 1/250 s, except for the 1DX, where the latter limit is 1/8000 s. The lower ISO setting can be set to pretty much anything on a 1DX, except the very highest value. Isn't it the same on the 5D Mark III, really?

climber

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2014, 02:10:29 PM »
Hi.

Tomorrow I'll shoot some action and I'd like to ask for some advice. Not BIF, but kayak competition (slalom). I suppose you imagine how does it look like.

I'd like to ask, if you recommend to shoot in single shot or continious mode? if the latter, then in which mode - high burst (6 fps) or low burst (3 fps).  BTW, I'm using 5D mkIII.

And what should be an appropriate shutter time to freeze the motion? OK, it depends if subject goes toward me or pass me. I think, I'll shoot them coming toward me. But OK, I can experiment and check what time is necessary to freeze it.

I'm more interested about burst mode. I don't want to have million pictures and half of them soft, because AF wasn't able to refocus between each shot in 6 fps mode.

Thanks

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2014, 02:10:29 PM »