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Thread: 5D Mark 11 Focusing

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    Member Graeme Buckland's Avatar
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    5D Mark 11 Focusing

    Does anyone have any trouble with the auto focusing of the 5D Mark11? I seem to be getting hit and miss results, some shots sharp then the next shot of the same thing is soft.
    Canon 5D Mark 11
    Canon 30D
    Canon 50mm 1.8
    Canon 16-35 L series
    Canon 24-105 IS L series
    Canon 100-400 IS L series

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    Yes, unless light is good then the AF is very hit miss.

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    No trouble here. I can usually blame any focusing issues on user error. Mine hunts a bit in low light/low contrast situations sometimes, but that's to be expected I think.

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulman View Post
    No trouble here. I can usually blame any focusing issues on user error. Mine hunts a bit in low light/low contrast situations sometimes, but that's to be expected I think.
    I haven't had a problem so far, only had the machine about 12 months but haven't noticed a problem so far. I do get hit/miss because I only use the centre point for AF in sports and occasionally a player lifts an arm or turns his head and "wooshka" the focus goes straight through and locks onto the crowd on the other side of the ground...just another one for the bin!!!!
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    I only really have focus issues with mine if I'm using one of the outer focus points. Since I use the centre point and recompose most of the time, this isn't an issue, but can be quite annoying when shooting with wide apertures and using the outer points.

    It's a shame that Canon decided to hobble this body by using the same AF as the old 5D (and other 9 point AF Canon's in the mid-range). It's pretty much the only flaw in an otherwise very good camera.
    Dave

    http://www.degrootphotography.com.au/
    Canon EOS 1D MkIV | Canon EOS 5D MkII | Canon EOS 30D | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM | Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM | Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM | Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM | Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L & some non-L lenses.

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    I usually always select the optimal focus point to use (instead of auto) and I will get my focus where I need it then re-compose for my shot. I do this for just about every shot.

    If im on a tripod and I cant move the camera to get focus, I will bring out an L.E.D torch, or sit a canon speedlight in the hotshoe to help out my focus troubles.

    I dont think the focus performance of the 5D MK II is any less than any other camera I have used though. They all have these dramas.
    Brodie Butler (Perth, WA)
    Photographer / Filmmaker / Retoucher
    Canon & Elinchrom user

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    it depends on

    -which AF point
    -aperture of lens being used

    I didnt have a problem with my old 5D for any type of pro work, I only used centre point and nothing else, and I didnt shoot in near darkness also. As long as you use it to its strength and not its weakness, it is no 1D series when it comes to focusing accuracy/speed

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    Member darylcheshire's Avatar
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    My observations on my 5D Mk II is that the different focus points sometimes trigger on the wrong object, say, in the foreground. Often I change to the middle dot for more precise stuff. My first efforts when photographing from a carriage on the Puffy Billy result in the camera focussing on various passing branches rather than on the locomotive so I either used a centre dot or perhaps the dot nearest the side of the train so it ignores the branches.

    It can have problems in low light levels. Something you can try is use a Canon flash but have it not triggering. Then it uses the LED from the flash as the camera itself doesn't have a LED. I haven't got around to trying this but read about in in a forum.


    Often lenses are a factor but I think a majority of cases are user misunderstanding. Don't expect perfect accuracy in low light and sometimes you have to focus manually.

    I didn't see what lens you were using. A fast lens has very narrow depth of field and if the camera has focussed on the wrong thing it can throw out the focus and people say the lens is bad or it has backfocus problems. Again in low light levels, you might have to focus manually. Basically I say it's inaccurate at low light levels. I don't know if more expensive cameras do it any better. It also comes down to expectations.

    If you want to see angst, look at the 50mm f/1.2L reviews on the Fred Miranda forums (I like to read them but they are a bunch of whinging bastids). I think a lot of them don't understand the inaccuracy at low light levels and narrow DOF and complain about the lens. No wonder Canon discontinued the 50mm f/1.0, too much qq.

    I use a telephoto lens and it has a narrow depth of field. Sometimes the camera focusses on a twig or something. Then I focus manually. I don't blame the lens.

    On the weekend I was photographing koalas in trees. On AF the lens will focus on branches and twigs. Best to focus manually on the koala.

    Birds are a different story as they move quickly and I delete a lot of mis-focussed shots.

    if you want to diagnose misfocussed photos, run Zoombowser, select a photo, open it to edit (double click on photo) and click on the "Show Auto Focus Points" and the little red squares will show what it has focussed on. It helps me too. You can also see them in the camera when you play back the photos. You can turn them on or off in the camera's menu.

    Daryl.

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    I've had some issues using AF @2.8 with my 200mm on a 5D II but it may be a problem with the lens.
    Check out my new site - www.wattsgallery.com - feedback welcome

    Gear - Canon 5D, 40D, 10-22, 24-70 2.8L, 200 2.8L, 50 1.8, 430EXII

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    Member darylcheshire's Avatar
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    As I said earlier, I think the focussing issues of the Eos are related to how AF becomes inaccurate at low light levels. The P&S cameras shine a LED light at low light levels to increase the performance of AF. I think it's called the AF assist LED.

    My EOS cameras don't have a LED, I don't know if the others like the 400D or the 50D have a LED light.

    I did a little experiment after I read something on a forum. if you want to improve the low light AF performance, try using a Speedlight flash which has a LED light and set in the menu "Flash Does Not Fire". the speedlight then emits a dim red LED and it seems to stop the AF hunting.
    For this exercise I used the Old 5D and the 220 speedlight and the 24-70mm f/2.8L. I think you should be able to do this with any EOS and Speedlight combo. Again assuming you can disable the flash in your camera's menu.

    What I did was a quick little Mickey Mouse test and I don't know if this will work in the real world photos. I might try it later when I do some low light photography, use a non-firing flash to emit the AF assist LED.

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