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First, Iím fairly certain that any irregularity in focus that Iím experience is operator idiocy though, Iím not certain. Second, Iíve only had this 7D since October and though Iíve shot around 8k frames thru it, I admit to still learning this camera. Finally, my standard for AF performance is the 1DIIn which I still use but wonít work in the low light action shots I am required to make. (I am the sports reporter/photographer for a small town newspaper.)
I shoot RAW, manual, never below ISO 1600 and generally at either 3200 (When using an 85mm f/1.8 or the 135mm f/2.0L) or 6400 when using a 70-200 f/2.8L or a 24-70 f/2.8L. Iím using spot metering, and AIServo. The field house I work in has truly abysmal lighting. Oh, I always have my thumb on the AF-ON button.
The cameras CFnIII settings are as follows: (1) AI servo speed - fast; (2) AI first/second - 0, AF priority; (3) AI servo AF tracking - 1, continuous AF; (4) Lens drive AF impossible - 0, focus search; (5) AF micro adjust - 2, by lens though I have done no micro-adjustment; (6) Select AF area selc mode - all are enabled; (10) Focus display in AI servo - 0, enable; (11) Af assist beam - 1, disable.
Four pictures follow with comments/questions here. (Sorry donít have external linking.)
#1 I had the AF point on the man with the rebound as he was in position and the leading rebounder. To my eye the only thing in focus here is the reflection of the field house lighting on the glass. (Nice stuff, huh?) (24-70 at f/2.8)
#2 Hard foul on #12, I was following him down court as he had stolen the ball and was on a break. To me the only thing in focus is the basket rim. (70-200, f/2.8)
#3 Fighting in the paint. I donít think anything is in focus and the action was not moving that fast towards me. (85mm at f/1.8.)
#4 Driving the lane. Itís harder to see in this JPEG, but in the original raw #11 is in clear focus, while #50 (with the ball) is slightly fuzzed. Again, I know I was focused on the man with the ball. (24-70 f/2.8)
As to why everything is shot wide open, it is the only way I can get a shutter speed fast enough stop action in this low light.
So, lack of practice/skill on my part? Inevitable result of always shooting wide open? Wrong settings on CFn III? Moron lose with too much camera? I canít do direct comparisons in this situation with my 1DIIn because of its ISO limitations but my memory is that I got better results. I do get quite a few good shots (the editor is very pleased with my work), but it seems like some of the best stuff is getting away.
Your thoughts greatly appreciate.
© OntheRez 2011
Canon EOS 7D 60 mm f/2.8 1/1000 sec 6400 ISO 0.0 EV