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Author Topic: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF  (Read 6796 times)

scotty512

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F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« on: June 22, 2012, 04:51:13 AM »
Hi All

newbie to this forum and absolutely a newbie on the 5D MkIII, upgraded from the 40D

I am off to the F1 at Silverstone in July and was wondering if anyone can give me advice on what autofocus setting i should / shouldnt use on the 5D MkIII

and best choice of lens for this?

i have 70-200 F2.8 II
100-400 L
50 1.4
2 x extender II
24-105 F4 L

(btw I bought the camera for a 3 week trip to South America in April shooting, the falls, the glacier and tango nights, have to say it was absolutely amazing)
Did a friends wedding recently in some very low light and have been over all very impressed with the results
5D MkIII, 40D, 50 F1.4 100-400 L, 70-200 f2.8 L II, 24-105 f4 L, 2x converter, EF-S 10-22, EF-S 17-85

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F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« on: June 22, 2012, 04:51:13 AM »

TTMartin

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 06:54:11 AM »
Here is an Canon learning center article on the autofocus system
http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2011/1dx_af_pts_article.shtml

I shoot with the 7D, the focus systems are actually very similar.

I use the AF Point Expansion setting  and AI Servo mode for shooting motor sports.

I don't think I would mess with any tracking sensitivity/priority settings. Though you might want to read up on them, so if you have issues you know how you can address them.

edit: here is a complete Canon guide book on the 1DX/5D MkIII auto focus system:
http://downloads.canon.com/CDLC/EOS_1DX_AF_Guide_CDLC_Updated_June_2012.pdf

Enjoy the race!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 07:09:23 AM by TTMartin »
Tom

telephonic

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 09:19:46 AM »
Hi, you don't mind if I climb aboard, do you?I'm planning to go for a race, too! It will be the late September's Singapore GP (night race).

I'd like to know if F1/FIA/Organizer put limitation on which lens you can carry in.
I heard that the focal length is limited to 200mm (from our local forum, IIRC), but I could not see it in the T&C in regard camera/imaging devices.
I might missed the lines inadvertently, btw.

And a question, if I take my 200/2.8, would it be okay if I pair it with 2X extender? I mean, will the AF suffer terribly in my aged 20D? Thank you all, in advance.  :)
Trusty 20D, a lighter 200, a nifty fifty, and an old Sigma that won't work stopped down.

motorhead

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 09:45:45 AM »
Start practising using AI Servo now. The trick is to keep the AF point glued to exactly the same spot on the car at all times as you pan with it. Sounds impossible? Its not, but it needs practise.

Try to avoid fence posts and the backs of spectators heads suddenly dragging the focus from the real subject.

You will not get 100%, but the focus success rate should be high. 

risc32

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2012, 09:53:16 AM »
I set everything in the AF menu the day i got mine and haven't had the need to alter them yet. I use a single AF point, cross types only, and the standard AF operations settings as from the factory. It's really good, and nearly all errors are my fault. As for lenses, i would take a long and a wide, leave everything else at home. Be sure to mix it up with some wide shots taken though the fencing, try some panning. While i have a pretty sweet long lens setup i usually end up admiring the wide shots more.

bdunbar79

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2012, 10:57:04 AM »
Read the 5D Mark III autofocus manual.  There are settings that allow you to do what you want, ignoring objects that move in front of your target, and they work because I've tried them.  I think it's setting 2 in the AI Servo menu, if that's what you want to do.  The manual explains it all.
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scottkinfw

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 11:50:07 AM »
Probably a stupid comment, but be sure to slip the IS to mode 2 for panning.

Start practising using AI Servo now. The trick is to keep the AF point glued to exactly the same spot on the car at all times as you pan with it. Sounds impossible? Its not, but it needs practise.

Try to avoid fence posts and the backs of spectators heads suddenly dragging the focus from the real subject.

You will not get 100%, but the focus success rate should be high.
sek Cameras: 5D III, 5D II, EOS M  Lenses:  24-70 2.8 II IS, 24-105 f4L, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8 Flashes: 580 EX II600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT
Plus lots of stuff that just didn't work for me

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 11:50:07 AM »

TTMartin

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 12:10:35 PM »
Not stupid at all, a good reminder!

Probably a stupid comment, but be sure to slip the IS to mode 2 for panning.
Tom

risc32

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 03:49:14 PM »
Yeah, i've never fooled with the mode 2 setting on my 3002.8. mode 1 works really well for me. perhaps mode 2 would work even better, maybe i'll try it out sometime. When i owned a minolta 5d i never switched it's inbody IS system off, and the panning shots just worked. since my current kit works i never felt the need to look into mode 2 but your right, it might be better. somehow.

TTMartin

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 04:29:03 PM »
Yeah, i've never fooled with the mode 2 setting on my 3002.8. mode 1 works really well for me. perhaps mode 2 would work even better, maybe i'll try it out sometime. When i owned a minolta 5d i never switched it's inbody IS system off, and the panning shots just worked. since my current kit works i never felt the need to look into mode 2 but your right, it might be better. somehow.

There was a poster over on DPReview, that said he could actually feel the IS in mode 1 when he was panning, was not happy with his shots. Some lenses IS sense panning and don't do that. So, it depends on the lens and the IS. But, it's a good idea to use mode 2 when panning.
Tom

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 05:38:54 PM »
yep mode 2 for panning if you remember to flick the switch i am always forgetting with my 70-200 lol

THX723

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 10:53:07 PM »
 :) So happens I just came back from the Canadian F1 Grand Prix a couple weekends ago. Different tracks may have different rules, so please keep that in mind.

Some pointers for you:

We didn't have any issues entering, while proudly displaying our white giants: EF100-400, EF70-200 + 2x, and others in the bag. We also had with us monopods. Generally there's a tripod restriction, at least on race day, so we didn't tempt fate there nor did we care to lug any around.

Friday (practice)
This will be your best day to capture some great shots. Most people will not be in attendance, so you'll have plenty of room to maneuver and situate on the stand. Feel free to pan those long lenses with little risk of obstruction. Get the monopod out too.

Saturday (qualify)
Depending on the location of your grand stand (by popularity), it will be a fair day to shoot. It is likely to get really crowded before F1 qualifying session begins, making you realize just how good you had it the day before. So be ready for that.

Sunday (race)
Worse day to shoot. For one, you want to actually be watching the race not focusing on shooting. It will be insanely crowded (shoulder to shoulder). Panning shots less likely to pull off, due to the lack of clearance. We had a block of 5 seats reserved, so it was still manageable, but hardly ideal. I would not be comfortable waving the long lens, if sat right next to a stranger, merely out of respect.

I would highly recommend the use of monopod if you are looking to greatly increase your keeper rate for panning shots @ >200mm, although I really despite using one.

I personally used the 100-400 on day 1, 70-200+2x on day 2, and 70-200 on race day. If I had to choose only one, it'd been the 100-400L for the size (collapsible) and weight. The 70-200 (2.8L II) + 2x TC III combo felt like an anvil after a short time free-holding (no monopod). The AF performance and picture quality between the two 400mm setups were very comparable. Clearly the 200mm by itself is superior to either (AF & IQ), but at the expense of the extra reach.

AI-Servo mode is a no brainer for this type of shooting. My preference is to shoot using Zone AF (5th out of the 6 available modes) and set centered. Once locked on, 5D3 would pick up any slacks by actively select any of the 8 adjacent points within the zone. The zone is tight enough to not allowed focus to wonder off the intended subject. Works like a charm! This new AF system is really quite amazing. Even better than the 7D, that I had a while back. 5D2 ... not even in the same league.

I further tweaked the AF configuration as follows:

Tracking sensitivity = -1 (minimizes interference from fences, walls, poles, other cars, and people)
Acceleration/deceleration tracking =  0
AF point auto switching = 0 (minimizes unintended focus shift)

AI-Servo 1st Image Priority = focus biased
AI-Servo 2nd Image Priority = focus biased

You might tweak with them differently to suit your own shooting style.
So that's it for now. Let me know if you have any more questions. Enjoy Silverstone. It is a great track. Hoping Vettel wins!  ;D
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 07:48:16 PM by THX723 »

THX723

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 11:00:46 PM »
Here's a panning shot of Vettel.

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 11:00:46 PM »

Ayelike

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2012, 05:23:04 AM »
I can't wait to see the results you get from the 5D3 at the F1 so please post them on here when you get back.

As stupid as you might feel, go and practice by a main road and test the different AF Servo modes on the camera and get your panning technique right. There is a mode in the manual that says it's good for motor sport but you also might want to use the one that ignores objects passing through the shot - I think this basically slows the camera's reaction to big changes in focus presuming it's something your subject is passing behind.

A few years ago I took at 100-400mm to the F1 at Silverstone. It was before I had my 5D3 (obviously) and my mistake was to keep the aperture as wide as possible to keep ISO down and shutter speed up. The images came out a little soft so my advice would be to keep reviewing your shots and try different things - i.e. don't be afraid to play with aperture and shutter speed and let your ISO work out the exposure.

If you can get to the track early you should be able to have a good walk around to find a good vantage point. All the main spectator areas have high fencing between you and the cars (for obvious reasons) but there are a few places you can get a good view of the track by either getting high up or looking through the gaps in the fence the marshals use to get in and out of the circuit with recovery vehicle etc.

I know people have already mentioned the IS modes but also remember the switch that reduces the minimum focus distance. This really helps when taking shots through fences and the focus won't keep jumping between the fence and the car.

Most of all, enjoy the day! It's a fantastic spectacle and if you've not heard an F1 car before you better brace yourself. When I went to Silverstone I watched the first few laps without touching my camera just to enjoy the event before I then started snapping away. Keep the camera ready for any safety car periods, installation laps and after the race when the cars are going slower.

scotty512

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2012, 06:50:55 AM »
Hi Everyone

thanks for all the advice, and I will be trying sall of them out especially the stand at the side of the road to practise - obvious when you think about it but I certainly hadnt consider it ,so thanks :0)

I hope to get a few and will post back in a few weeks time

Cheers
scotty
5D MkIII, 40D, 50 F1.4 100-400 L, 70-200 f2.8 L II, 24-105 f4 L, 2x converter, EF-S 10-22, EF-S 17-85

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Re: F1 Silverstone - advice with the 5D MkIII AF
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2012, 06:50:55 AM »