Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Canon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Archive 2012 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight
  
 
rcm123
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


I have an EOS 7D an I would appreciate any input regarding the best auto focus mode to use to capture birds in flight. Using a 500 mm lens and a gimbal head I tried Single Point, but found it too difficult to keep the point on the bird. I tried AF Point Expansion, with a little better luck, but still too many shots out of focus. While I understand that part of the problem may be "operator error," at the end of the day, I wondered whether I should have used Zone Auto Focus (or some other mode)? Thanks.


Nov 13, 2012 at 04:37 PM
dgdg
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


Gary wrote a nice tutorial for the 5D III which is highly recommended.
He also has one for the 7D.

http://www.garyluhm.net/bio/tips_0310.html



Nov 13, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Mike K
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


As a start, you should make sure your are set up for back button AF and use AI servo for tracking. There is much more to it than this, but these two settings will get you the proper hardware set up with your 7D. Notice there are 3 pages to this tutorial

http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2011/backbutton_af_article.shtml

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2011/09/13/rear-focus-tutorial/

I presume your body lens does not need calibration as apparently this is fine for static subjects? If not, you may need to consider Micro adjust calibration.

For instruction on AI Servo, read your manual carefully. Using back button focus set your AF point to the center point, place your subject over this point and hold down the AF as you track your target. It should track. By separating the AF button from the shutter, you can simply mash down the AF without worrying about firing off pictures unintentionally. Go practice on cars driving by or moving pets, etc.

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2010/01/24/7d-image-quality-af-pattern-comment/

Mike K



Nov 13, 2012 at 07:51 PM
rcm123
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


DG and Mike: Thank you for your replies and the references you provided. I very much appreciate your advice.


Nov 13, 2012 at 09:27 PM
PetKal
Online
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


The best AF mode would be to drop that gimbal head and shoot them BIF birds with a hand held camera/lens.


Nov 13, 2012 at 09:36 PM
vsg28
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


Get a Bush Hawk: Spray and pray


Nov 13, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Shutterbug2006
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


vsg28 wrote:
Get a Bush Hawk: Spray and pray


I love my Bush Hawk!



Nov 13, 2012 at 09:39 PM
vsg28
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


That was one of my best investments into an accessory. I use it a lot for sport events as well.


Nov 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM
uz2work
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


PetKal wrote:
The best AF mode would be to drop that gimbal head and shoot them BIF birds with a hand held camera/lens.



I know that there are people who have been very successful shooting birds-in-flight off of a tripod, but doing so is something I've never been able to do.

With the tripod, the pivot point is about a foot in front of you. On the other hand, when you shoot hand held, you are the pivot point. Thus, when you are shooting hand held, you move your head in a natural way to find and follow the subject in the viewfinder. Finding and following the subject with a tripod and the pivot point out in front of you requires a much less natural movement. Further, when you are shooting hand held, following the action requires only simple rotation of your hips and shoulders. Following the action when shooting off of the tripod requires you to walk around the tripod. Whenever I've tried to shoot birds-in-flight from the tripod, not only do I have a much more difficult time accurately locking in the focus point, but I cannot keep up with the movement of the bird as I am frantically trying to move my body around the tripod, and, if I can't keep the focus point on the subject, I am not going to get in-focus shots regardless of how good the AF system on the camera is or regardless of what setting I'm using.

I commend those who are able to shoot birds-in-flight from a tripod, but they are able to do something that I have not been able to do.

Les



Nov 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM
PetKal
Online
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


uz2work wrote:
I commend those who are able to shoot birds-in-flight from a tripod, but they are able to do something that I have not been able to do.

Les


+1

Monopod: I have the same problem.



Nov 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



mitesh
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


PetKal wrote:
The best AF mode would be to drop that gimbal head and shoot them BIF birds with a hand held camera/lens.


+1

Regardless of whether you prefer tripod mounting or hand holding, tracking BIF will take continuous practice.

Keep in mind that your camera's ability to lock focus will also depend upon other factors such as light level, atmospheric conditions, distance to the subject, and lack of contrast between the subject and background. It may also help to set the focus limiter switch to prevent excessive lens drive. With regards to AF expansion, best results are obtained when you can initially lock focus using the center AF point.

Best of luck!



Nov 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Ian.Dobinson
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


Whole I can't pass judgement on the benefits or otherwise of gimbals / bush hawks etc. and will be the first to admit I can't shoot a BIF to save my life (well at least to the degree of the posters above)

I will say I have a 7D and have owned a mk2n , and will say that the ONLY area I found the 1 series to have a far superior AF performance was BIF. I find the 7D just can't hack it as well as the 1 series.

That said I normally favour the 9 point middle zone and have the AF change setting (the CF) set to slow so it doesn't jump to the background all the time .
I get lots of OOF ones but do get a few good in focus hits as well.

I also note that a while ago Peter mentioned he got a fairly low 'hit' rate for in focus keepers , so the knowledge that even a good BIF shooter has a low hit rate makes me tend to forgive my really low keeper rate as to be expected



Nov 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Sjjindra
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


I use(d) a 7D and now the 5DIII with either the 100-400 or 400 5.6 and find these effective for BIF. I recently purchased a blind and have been practicing using it for birds in my backyard. When I'm in the blind or on other occasions when not mobile, I made a bean bag that attaches to a tripod and use this. It provides some of the stability of the tripod (and arm relief) for stable objects and allows easily lifting off to follow a bird that takes off. The bean bag also helps alot when using extenders.

Either a 500 f4 or a 300 F2.8 is on my wish list for a future purchase.

Thanks
Steven


Edited on Nov 14, 2012 at 12:53 AM · View previous versions



Nov 13, 2012 at 11:25 PM
PetKal
Online
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
I also note that a while ago Peter mentioned he got a fairly low 'hit' rate for in focus keepers , so the knowledge that even a good BIF shooter has a low hit rate makes me tend to forgive my really low keeper rate as to be expected



Ian, I do get low keeper rate on head-on shots of this type......perhaps of the order of 10 %, no distracting background. With distracting background, my keeper rate with head-on pijun flight shots drops to about 1%.


Edited on Nov 14, 2012 at 04:01 AM · View previous versions



Nov 13, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Imagemaster
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


rcm123 wrote:
I have an EOS 7D an I would appreciate any input regarding the best auto focus mode to use to capture birds in flight. Using a 500 mm lens and a gimbal head I tried Single Point, but found it too difficult to keep the point on the bird. I tried AF Point Expansion, with a little better luck, but still too many shots out of focus. While I understand that part of the problem may be "operator error," at the end of the day, I wondered whether I should have used Zone Auto Focus (or some other mode)? Thanks.


Depends a lot on the background. With just plain background why not use all focus points? With a busy background, the fewer focus points the better (most of the time), as long as you can keep them on the bird.
Tripod works fine for big, slower-flying birds, but not for smaller ones flying erratically or over you.

Are you confirming that AF is locked on bird before pressing shutter button. Have you viewed on your computer what focus point was active when the image was taken?





  Canon EOS 7D    200-500mm lens    500mm    f/6.7    1/2000s    1600 ISO    +1.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 7D    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/10.0    1/2500s    800 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 7D    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/6.3    1/2500s    1600 ISO    +2.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 7D    EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens    400mm    f/11.0    1/2500s    1600 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 14, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Imagemaster
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


*




  Canon EOS 7D    EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens    400mm    f/7.1    1/3200s    800 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Nov 14, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Shutterbug2006
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


Nice shots Tony!


Nov 14, 2012 at 08:46 AM
Sjjindra
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


Tony
I particularly like the first image. The feather detail and position is great along with the exposure. It's not easy to get that just so, especially with a black bird (cormarant isn't it?).
Thanks
Steven



Nov 14, 2012 at 02:07 PM
dankopp
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


Sjjindra wrote:
Tony
I particularly like the first image. The feather detail and position is great along with the exposure. It's not easy to get that just so, especially with a black bird (cormarant isn't it?).
Thanks
Steven


I agree, that first one is special.



Nov 14, 2012 at 03:01 PM
rcm123
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Auto Focus for Birds in Flight


Tony, thanks for the tips you offered, I appreciate it. Your photos are great! By the way, what kind of bird is in photo #1?


Nov 14, 2012 at 03:22 PM
1
       2       end




FM Forums | Canon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password