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7D mkII AF Settings Help

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  #1  
Old 06-02-15, 20:21
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Default 7D mkII AF Settings Help

HELP!

I've got a 7D mkII on test over the weekend & the range of AF settings is huge after the limited settings on my ageing 40D.

I've been down to the park this afternoon for a quick play without the benefit of the manual & tried taking photos of seagulls being fed by some of the locals using my 300mm f4 (you very quickly fill memory cards at 10fps ) and despite what is reckoned to be one of the best AF systems out there I had a disappointingly high out of focus rate.

I think the settings that I was using were
  • AI Servo
  • AF Characteristics - Case 2 (continue to track ignoring obstacles)
  • Initial AF point - auto
  • 65 pt automatic selection AF

There may be other settings that I haven't discovered yet

So what settings would anyone with experience of this camera's AF system (or the 5D mkIII or 1DX which I believe are similar) recommend?
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  #2  
Old 06-02-15, 23:31
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Clearly I don't know that camera but I would never use Initial AF - Auto - it will probably grab the first thing it can and then continue to "track ignoring obstacles" per the other setting.

I would try a centre single auto focus point. I only go to a pattern of AF points if I am definitely targeting BiFs against an uninterrupted sky background
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Old 07-02-15, 09:56
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Nigel is spot on regarding initial auto AF. This really serves no purpose whatsoever, as the camera will lock on to the first thing it sees. This is what Gary Fong did in his videos when he set out prove the MK11s focussing was rubbish.

I would suggest you stay initially with case 1 and expanded focus point then pan with the birds.

If you really want to use the full 65 point focus then make sure you set the initial focus point manually. I would also suggest that you configue the camera for back button focus.

I'm in an hell of a rush this morning, but later on today I will go into more detail if neccesary and provide a couple of links that will help you regarding the MK11s focusing capabilities.

Two weeks ago I was at the local motorcycle beach racing. I tried out the 10fps with auto tracking, but with initial focus being set manually, all frames were perfectly focused and locked on to my selected target. The only problem I've had since receiving the camera end of October was self inflicted.
Not sure if my problem was an age thing or not, but used similar shutter speeds as I would have done with the 7D, resulting a little camera shake. Since using much faster shutter speeds I've not had any problem.
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Old 08-02-15, 21:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfie View Post
I would also suggest that you configue the camera for back button focus.
Have to second the suggestion for Back Buttom Focus and setting up your custom function bottom. Though I am sure you know what that is, here is a guide for sake of completion:

LINK

It is hard to start first but becomes a must once you got hang of it.

Though AI servo as chosen by you correctly for a moving subject is the suggested way, it is hit or miss situation.
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Old 10-02-15, 17:11
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Thanks for the input guys. After reading your comments, a bit of research via youtube etc and some experimenting I tried again on Saturday with a much higher degree of success.

The biggest problem I found was that the camera was front focusing to a greater or lesser extent with all my lenses, added to the fact that my 300mm also has a tendency to front focus meant that I had to dial in +12 on the micro adjustment to correct it.

I also changed the AF settings to: -
  • Initial AF point - manual (centre point) as recommended by Nigel & Wolfie
  • AF Characteristics - Case 6 modified as recommended by Arthur Morris in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNAk3_Ao6QE at 4:08
  • AF pt selection to Zone (15 pt) or Large Zone (25pt)

Although I use back button focus all the time when I'm shooting portraits, I didn't set this up although its probably something I would have had a go at if I'd had more time.

Looking at my DoF app on my phone, shooting with a 300mm lens on a 1.6 crop at f4 at distances sometimes as close at 12 feet & up to 35/40 ft the DoF varies from teeny tiny ~1.5 inches to quite small ~10 inches so it gives an idea of the challenge that the focusing system has to deal with especially with seagulls wheeling all over the place.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Seaguls-2.jpg (121.7 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Seaguls-3.jpg (158.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Seaguls-4.jpg (140.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Seaguls-5.jpg (106.4 KB, 8 views)
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  #6  
Old 10-02-15, 18:54
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So have you bought it then
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  #7  
Old 10-02-15, 21:00
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So have you bought it then
No... well not yet. May be tempted at the show if there are some good discounts
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  #8  
Old 10-02-15, 22:10
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Pleased you're getting to grips with the MK11. I was going to post a series from Sunday on Flickr, but I'm having trouble logging on. I've been using Irista for a while now and can find no way of linking to Irista other than Facebook and Flickr. So instead of uploading all 12 images from the sequence I will just select 4 at random. All 12 photos were in focus with just one not quite sharp.

Harry

Not sure what happened but they uploaded out of sequence, as the forth image should be the first
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Owl1-5.jpg (151.2 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Owl1-11.jpg (130.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Owl1-13.jpg (130.7 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Owl1-2.jpg (141.0 KB, 11 views)

Last edited by wolfie; 10-02-15 at 22:13.
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  #9  
Old 14-12-15, 00:06
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Just to ask - did you go for this camera - I am thinking about it recently - have gone a couple of times to get it and then pulled back thinking it'd be too complicated, too heavy and too big for me, so I'd appreciate your opinion of what you decided on. I've lost a bit of my photography mo jo at the minute, so haven't been on this site for a while, because of a bit of a confidence hiccup!
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Old 23-12-15, 12:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marydoll View Post
Just to ask - did you go for this camera - I am thinking about it recently - have gone a couple of times to get it and then pulled back thinking it'd be too complicated, too heavy and too big for me, so I'd appreciate your opinion of what you decided on. I've lost a bit of my photography mo jo at the minute, so haven't been on this site for a while, because of a bit of a confidence hiccup!

Sorry if I answer as the question was not directed this way but just to keep this going:

Marydoll, your description best fits 1D line of Canon.
In reality 7D is not significantly bigger or heavier that other entry level Rebels etc but then all should be what best fits your hand and your need so definitely go to a shop that allow you hold one in your hand and play with. Or your better option might be to rent one for a weekend or week and see how it goes.
It surely is a very capable camera specially in term of speed and AFing, deferent to your current camera in every ways and each bottom is differently placed etc but these things are very easy to get master with, in no time.
If your eyes are on it and it doesn't hurt your budget, go for what your heart says!
Only don't forget to make a good bargain on it. I see a significant price drop here in USA market and there were some incredible recent Christmas deals. So don't hesitate to make some more allowance for bag, memory, battery etc. when a simple bargaining can bring them all.
Have fun and hope you get better responses here.
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