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Author Topic: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?  (Read 3119 times)

Trevor

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Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« on: September 17, 2012, 12:33:40 PM »
I'm going to a Canon/Calumet promo evening at the London Fashion Week, where I get the chance to shoot a couple of catwalk shows ... what would you recommend  for the autofocus configuration? I'm imagining that I'll shoot in AI Servo mode with a combination of:

Either: Zone AF ( keep sharpness on the nearest subject) or
Automatic AF point selection (use the entire 61-point AF area)

Either: AF Configuration: Case 2 (Continue to track subjects, ignoring possible obstacles)
or Case 3 (Instantly focus on subjects suddenly entering AF Points)

AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus Priority
AI Servo 2nd image priority: Equal Priority

As far as lenses go, I imagine a 70-200mm will be first choice, and I'll probably take a second body with a 24-70mm for any wider opportunities ...

All advice gratefully received :) I'll be using 5D3 bodies, but I believe the configuration options are the same on the 1DX


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Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« on: September 17, 2012, 12:33:40 PM »

Richard Lane

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 02:26:31 PM »
Hi Trevor,

Let me first mention that I've never shot a fashion show before, heck I don't even think I've been to a fashion show before, but I have seen them on TV.  :)

I do shoot a lot sports and action though!  I have a 7D, MKIV and 1DX and mostly shoot in AI Servo over 90% of the time.

Lets go over a few points first.  AI Servo works well in low light but it suffers in very low light with low contrast targets, so hopefully Canon will make sure that the show will be lit up adequately, so as not to embarrass all of their Canon Shooters there.  If AI Servo fails then I would switch to One Shot and just keep re-locking focus on your target prior to each shutter press, however you could still use high FPS though.

Ideally, Zone and Automatic focus should work, however Canon doesn't live in an ideal world.  Therefore, I would recommend not letting the Camera select the AF points for you.  I would recommend to manually select Single point focus with either 4 expansion points or 8 surrounding points.  Also, do not use spot AF.  You should aim your AF point array for a contrasting point on the model, like a hairline, neckline, or contrasting clothing.  You should move your AF points around for composition which allows the model room to walk into the frame.  So, if the model is walking from right to left  than start your AF point at the 1/3 point from the right side of the frame and move your AF points around as you see fit.  I would also register an AF point that corresponds to portrait (vertical) framing as you'll frequently be shooting in vertical, especially when the model poses at the end of the runway.  I'm not a big fan of face detection either, because personally I wouldn't trust it.   If you do experiment with zone AF, then make sure you select the smallest zone AF choice.  I would never use 61 pt. detection in such a busy and cluttered setting.

I think case 3 will be too aggressive and twitchy for this fashion show. After-all, it is designed for a subject that quickly enters the frame, per Canon's example, " An Alpine Skier bursting over a hill and suddenly appearing in your viewfinder or at the end of a bike race when you want to quickly switch from one cyclist to the other. Hardly sounds like a model walking down the runway. :)  The tracking sensitivity and Accel/decel is also too high in case 3 and if one model crosses in front of the other than your focus point will jump to the new model that you're not tracking.

I would go with either case 1 or case 2.  Case 2 will ignore obstructions slightly longer than case 1, since case 2 is less sensitive.  Also note that tracking sensitivity doesn't mean that it will take any longer to acquire a new target.  All you have to do is release your finger from the AF button and re-lock on your new subject and case 1 and case 2 will focus just as quickly.

The 24-70 and 70-200 should work well, unless you have faster primes.  You may also want to bring a flash if you have one.  I also agree with your default 1st and 2nd image priorities.

You should also use Manual WB.  I would shoot in manual mode for this and set your SS and aperture and use Auto ISO, just check your histogram to see that your exposures are adequate, if not select a wider aperture or adjust accordingly.  I would also try to achieve a SS of at least 1/500 if possible, or you'll start introducing motion blur.

Good Luck,
Rich
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 06:07:08 PM by Richard Lane »

ippikiokami

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 03:48:09 PM »
Spot AF Around the center of the model or the face.
Standard AF Profile
1/400-640

F. Whatever gives you the right exposure
AI Servo
ISO if you are using a 5d3 or 1dx you should be able to figure this out.
Monopod
White Balance usually tungsten or daylight
No flash please
Don't put it on high speed please unless you want a million shots of the same thing.

Thank me after
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 03:51:39 PM by ippikiokami »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 04:18:59 PM »
Spot AF Around the center of the model or the face.
Standard AF Profile
1/400-640

F. Whatever gives you the right exposure
AI Servo
ISO if you are using a 5d3 or 1dx you should be able to figure this out.
Monopod
White Balance usually tungsten or daylight
No flash please
Don't put it on high speed please unless you want a million shots of the same thing.

Thank me after

+1

Trevor

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 04:32:14 AM »
Guys, thanks for taking the time to post this advice! Much appreciated ...

I will be putting much of it into practice tomorrow evening :)

Richard Lane

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 08:40:44 AM »
For a proper runway shot, it's important to shoot the model while she has both feet on the ground (that's the opposite for action/sports shots) so higher FPS will give you a better a chance at that objective.  There's also a lot of other good pointers in the link below, so take a look:

http://jpgmag.com/stories/16419/

You may also want to check out these threads regarding the problem with Spot Af in low light with AI Servo.  Canon does not recommend Spot AF for moving subjects, nor do they recommend Spot AF in low light, and apparently for very good reason, since it doesn't perform too well in those situations.

AI Servo also has a hard time with low contrast subjects, so if you can focus on the eye, that's always the best spot to focus, but if the AF is not locking on the eye, then choose a higher contrast point as I mentioned above.

Here's some more tips regarding your AF configuration:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=8949.msg161683#msg161683

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=7820.0

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=8629.0

Good Luck and have great time!  8)

Rich
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 08:49:54 AM by Richard Lane »

Trevor

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 11:16:32 AM »
How the shoot went ... (advice taken onboard)

ISO: 800
Exp Manual: f5.0  1/500
WB Manual: 3000K
AI Servo - Case 1 / Single Point with 4 Expansion points
No monopod or flash

I've put some of them on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorsmeaton/sets/72157631643186497/

Thanks again for the advice - very useful, and I really enjoyed the evening :)

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 11:16:32 AM »

Richard Lane

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2012, 09:48:22 PM »
Hey Trevor,

Thanks for posting the results.  I love the shots, they look great!!

Rich

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2012, 09:53:41 PM »
You did great!!
2 x 1DX
Big Ten, GLIAC, NCAC

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Re: Best 5dIII (or 1DX) focus config for catwalk fashion?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2012, 09:53:41 PM »