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Archive 2013 · Auto Focus Help
  
 
MaxPollock
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Auto Focus Help


Hi,
So I just upgraded from a 20d to a 7d.
On my 20d I only used the center auto focus point when i was shooting sports. The results were okay.
But now that I am using a 7d I was wondering if it was okay to keep all of the auto focus points selected while shooting sports?
Thanks



Jun 16, 2013 at 02:27 PM
skycolt
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Auto Focus Help


For birds flying in the clear sky it will work, but under most circumstances the camera can't decide which is the subject you want to focus on.


Jun 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Photon
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Auto Focus Help


For sports I would suggest setting it to zone AF and choosing the center zone.


Jun 16, 2013 at 02:41 PM
schlotz
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Auto Focus Help


All AF points? Nope I would start by using the center only and then expand if necessary to get more consistant results. Note: the more you shoot high action the more consistant you will become at keeping the focus on the intended player thus getting more sharp "keepers". The body is one piece of this equation the other is the glass. What are you using and what sport(s) are you shooting?

Matt



Jun 16, 2013 at 03:03 PM
MaxPollock
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Auto Focus Help


I am mainly shooting surfing and soccer. And the lens are 70-200 f4 and 400 f5.6


Jun 16, 2013 at 03:49 PM
dwweiche
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Auto Focus Help


Matt's got it. Shoot in Servo, center point only, for most consistent performance. If you have trouble keeping the single center point on target, enable expansion points.

Personally I never use zone or "all points" unless I hand my camera to someone taking a picture of me. Much more likely for a stranger to get me in focus with center zone versus me trying to explain how to focus and recompose or select other AF points with the joystick...



Jun 16, 2013 at 03:59 PM
msalvetti
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Auto Focus Help


Definitely center point or center point expanded. For soccer, you could adjust the point up one notch to focus more on the upper torso.

Some really neat features on the 7D, including the ability to use a different focus point for horizontal and vertical shooting. You can also set the joystick to move the focus point around - I can't remember if the 20D allowed that.

I would stay away from zone or all 19 points, especially for soccer. Both of those modes will always focus on the closest object in the viewfinder. In a crowd of players you could easily lose focus on your subject. If you are using single point or single point expanded, and you can keep it on your subject, focus will stay on that subject and not grab a closer player in the frame.

The 7D will also let you adjust how quickly the AF will try to lock onto a new subject that cuts in front. If you select "slow", the AF will be more likely to ignore a temporary crossing object, like a referee.

Mark



Jun 16, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Auto Focus Help


the 2 modes I use most on my 7D are the middle zone which gives you a big 9 point square to aim with. this is good for quick upto the eye and hit shots, but you can expect to get times when it chooses the wrong point and focuses on something you didnt want.
or the middle point with a point on each side (5 point cross) . this works if you can get a consistant aim with the middle point .

Im using the 5 popint more now than the 9 point square. probably due to having a 120-300 with OS as the OS is helping keep on target more, when I had /have no IS/OS lenses on I find the 9 point square a benifit .

but I will say that as good as the 7D af is over the old 40D i had its not as good as the old Mk2n i had for a while . the gaps in the AF points are still quite big . But I only really notice this when shooting BIF (which im crap at



Jun 16, 2013 at 04:06 PM
 

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Depp
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Auto Focus Help


I sent the video's in the link below to my daughter who was struggling recently with auto focus for fast moving subjects. Canon's Rudy Winston who used to be a sports photographer, before being hired by Canon, does a good job in this B+H Photo vid, and I consider it one of the best vids on the subject.

A Look at The Canon Autofocus System

As Rudy says in the video, start with the center (then if necessary let one of the outer focus points pic up the subject) or start with a single outer point, especially with those bodies that have cross hatch outer focus points.

A few guidelines for initial settings for the 7D, subject to change according to your preferences....some like setting the AI servo tracking sensitivity from -2 to +1; depending on the subject and speed, and once they become accustomed to the body...you'll have to see what works best for you. BTW, I use the * button to start and operate AF... And have the AF On button set to handle AE Lock... This is because button closer to where my thumb naturally is for AF operation, and the AE Lock is only needed occasionally...also because older bodies, either do not have the AF On button at all or lack it among the secondary controls on the vertical battery grip, so you have to use * for AF with those models. So I just have it set to use * for focus operation consistently across all the models I use. If only using one camera, in this case the 7D that has both AF On and * buttons on both the body and the grip, use them set up whichever way you prefer.

C.Fn III: Autofocus Drive
1 - AI Servo tracking Sensitivity: Set to -1
2 - AI Servo 1st/2nd img priority - Set to 0 - AF priority/Tracking Priority
3 - AI Servo Tracking Method - Set to 0 - Main Focus point priority (that way the camera focuses on what you want, not what it wants)
4 - Lens Drive when AF impossible - Set to 0
5 - AF Microadjustment - Set to 0 (Most people have said this is ineffective. Even the manual says it needs to be done on location where you are shooting to do any good.)
6 - AF area select mode - I have single point w/expansion selected and single point. Been shooting mostly on single point w/expansion for sports.
7 - AF Manual pt. selection pattern - Set to 1 (Continuous)
8 - VF display illumination - set to 1 (Enable)
9 - Display all AF points - Set to 0
10 - Focus Display in AI Servo/MF - Set to 0
11 - AF-assist beam firing - set to 2 (Enable to external flash only)
12 - Orientation linked AF point - Set to 0
13 - Mirror lockup - Set to 0 (Disable)

C.FN IV: Operations/Others

Shutter button is set to Meter only
AF-ON button is turned OFF (too easy to hit accidentally)
AE lock button (*) is set for metering and AF Start

The following PDF though for the 1D3 which has a different custom function menu settings, are a good guideline for settings of various sports.
Guide to AI servo and AF custom functions

The Canon 1D4 has an excellent AI Servo Custom Function Guide as well. A lot of insight can be gained reading it...40D, 50D, 7D, 5D3 and 1D/1Ds series shooters would do well to examine it.
1D4 Guide to AI servo and AF Custom Functions

Edited on Jun 17, 2013 at 02:50 AM · View previous versions



Jun 16, 2013 at 04:28 PM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Auto Focus Help


Hey Boomer,

Great links, thank you, having just picked up a 7D and am thinking on a 1D3 or 1Ds3, all the info will be of much help. I've watched a few B&H productions and so far they have been wonderful. I'll read up on the other info as well, great post

Jerry



Jun 16, 2013 at 08:22 PM
MaxPollock
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Auto Focus Help


Thanks for all of the help guys!!


Jun 16, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Depp
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Auto Focus Help


Your welcome....Jerry, your right many of the B+H and Adorama vids are invaluable.

BTW Jerry doing a road trip down the coast in another week or so. Stop and see my daughter in Napa Valley, do some shooting in the Bay Area and America's Cup venue. Then down to Santa Cruz.... Just talked with my son who is doing the trip with me, and he talked of driving further down to Laguna Beach to see a friend. He's going to call and see if the friend still living there or back in Santa Barbara with her folks. So...if we're in the neighborhood, may stop by and say hi. Will keep you posted once we firm up this trip. May leave as soon as next Monday, so there's a possibility, may be that far south in about two weeks.



Jun 17, 2013 at 02:30 AM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Auto Focus Help


Depp wrote:
Your welcome....Jerry, your right many of the B+H and Adorama vids are invaluable.

BTW Jerry doing a road trip down the coast in another week or so. Stop and see my daughter in Napa Valley, do some shooting in the Bay Area and America's Cup venue. Then down to Santa Cruz.... Just talked with my son who is doing the trip with me, and he talked of driving further down to Laguna Beach to see a friend. He's going to call and see if the friend still living there or back in Santa Barbara with her folks. So...if we're in the
...Show more

Hi Boomer, sounds like a nice trip, the bay area and seeing the AC races should be fantastic, those cats are huge and getting some action shots with them tacking would be fantastic; I've been following all the action, watched much of the early races down San Diego way...great sailing. I'll send you a PM, it would be great to meet up. You'll love the Napa area, lots to enjoy and shoot, it's a beautiful place to visit...the wine ain't bad either. Keep me posted



Jun 17, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Depp
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Auto Focus Help


Will do...hope to spend a couple days shooting the AC venue. Would be nice if we came further down to Southern Cal to meet up.

My daughter who is a sailor, has been urging me to come back down again for the AC Finals in September, probably the second and third week. My daughter and her finance will probably want us to taste a few different wines, even though they know I prefer beer.



Jun 17, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Auto Focus Help


Depp wrote:
Shutter button is set to Meter only
AF-ON button is turned OFF (too easy to hit accidentally)
AE lock button (*) is set for metering and AF Start



I disagree about AF ON being too easy to hit. I use it for a different registered AF point location or AF point type. I may use it for an off-centre point, or I may use it to quickly swap from expanded AF to spot AF. I also have mapped the DoF button to allow me to employ custom AF settings, such as use Automatic AF point selection, with slower tracking sensitivity for example. I only have this set in a custom C1-C3 mode, so I still have my normal DoF button when shooting in a normal mode like Av, Tv or M.



Jun 17, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Depp
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Auto Focus Help


Quite all right and "subject to change according to your preferences", also many like to use AF On button for switching to registered auto focus point....the bottom line is becoming familiar with various functions, settings and uses of the back buttons, as well as familiar by feel of the position of back buttons.... because for certain types of shooting, using the back buttons makes precise AF shooting much easier.

A good companion video to Rudy's AF video is the Getting a Grip on Custom Functions AF begins at 39:35...Orientation linked AF point at 1:32:30....Switch to Registered AF point at 1:33:39....AI Servo tracking sensitivity at 1:35:50....AI Servo 1st/2nd image priority at 1:39:40...AI Servo AF tracking method at 1:41:25.....7D specific at 1:44:15.



Jun 17, 2013 at 03:42 AM





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