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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,610
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons

With the 7D Mk II, I use AF point expansion for birds in flight with EF 100-400 IS II and the EF 1.4X extender III. While the 7D Mk II is limited to the center AF point, it allows spot AF, single point AF, and AF point expansion modes with that center point.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,533
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons


TTMartin wrote:
With the 7D Mk II, I use AF point expansion for birds in flight with EF 100-400 IS II and the EF 1.4X extender III. While the 7D Mk II is limited to the center AF point, it allows spot AF, single point AF, and AF point expansion modes with that center point.

I have had the best success doing the same thing, which does not mean I am good at BIF.  Something tells me I hever will be good at BIF.  As a subject moves, you should occasionally see some of the AF expansion points light up, as the subject moves out of the center of the frame.

 

What are your shutter speeds for BIF compared to your more stationary shots?  The higher your focal length, the faster your shutter speed will need to be cancel out camera motion.  While One Shot focusing is great for stationary shots.  Using AI Servo is almost a MUST for moving subjects, especially if the distance between you and the subject is changing.

 

What IS mode is the lens set to?  This setting can make a HUGE difference when it comes to sharpness.  Not unless you're shooting subjects moving in directions that are known ahead of time [like a passing race car], then I suggest sticking to Mode 1.  I would not recommend Modes 2 or 3 if you are not using AI Servo and continuous drive mode, either.

 

The AF tracking modes take some time to learn, and practice to master.  Don't forget to keep your BBF button depressed when shooting in AI Servo and continuous drive mode, if you have removed AF from the shutter button.  

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons

Waddizzle,

 

I do everything that you said in your response.  I generally shoot at 1/2000 for BIF.  I am in Mode 1 for IS.  I do use the AI Servo drive.  I do keep the shutter botton half-way to maintain the focusing as the bird moves.  The issue I have sometimes is that I can't pick up the bird in sharp focus or sometimes I have it and lose it.  This has been a problem sometimes when I didn't have the extender but it seemed worse with the extender although admittedly I only had one day with the extender to try it out.  I just thought the extender slowed down the autofocus with a lens that seemed to autofocus pretty quickly.  If I see the bird from relatively far off, I can focus on it.  It's when I see it suddenly and it's close, I can't always lock on it.  I think part of it is practice.  Anyway, I'll be using the extender over the next few weeks a lot so I'll report back when I know more about how to handle the extender.  Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,533
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons

"I do everything that you said in your response.  I generally shoot at 1/2000 for BIF.  I am in Mode 1 for IS.  I do use the AI Servo drive.  I do keep the shutter botton half-way to maintain the focusing as the bird moves.  The issue I have sometimes is that I can't pick up the bird in sharp focus or sometimes I have it and lose it.  "

 

If you are using BBF, then you need to keep the BBF button pressed, not the shutter.  Normally, focusing is removed from the shutter button when you set up BBF.

 

Tracking a bird in flight isn't easy.  I admit that I'm not good at it.  It takes lots of practice when you're using super telephoto focal lengths.  You need to know the habits of the bird, so that you can anticipate changes of direction, too.

 

I will usually get sharper photos using "One Shot" auto focusing, and taking advantage of Depth-Of-Field.  I have found AI Servo can be my ally just as easily as it can be my enemy.  It is very easy to lose tracking on your subject, and lock focus on the background. 

 

If you are using Lightroom, there is a plug-in that shows you active AF points.  It can also show you which AF points were selected, which points were active, and which points had locked focus.  I have found it very useful in documenting how well I can track a subject.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,610
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons

[ Edited ]

mjschocken wrote:

 

I do everything that you said in your response.  I generally shoot at 1/2000 for BIF.  I am in Mode 1 for IS.  I do use the AI Servo drive.  I do keep the shutter botton half-way to maintain the focusing as the bird moves.  The issue I have sometimes is that I can't pick up the bird in sharp focus or sometimes I have it and lose it.  This has been a problem sometimes when I didn't have the extender but it seemed worse with the extender although admittedly I only had one day with the extender to try it out.  I just thought the extender slowed down the autofocus with a lens that seemed to autofocus pretty quickly.  If I see the bird from relatively far off, I can focus on it.  It's when I see it suddenly and it's close, I can't always lock on it.  I think part of it is practice.  Anyway, I'll be using the extender over the next few weeks a lot so I'll report back when I know more about how to handle the extender.  Thanks for taking the time to respond.


Try using Mode 3 image stabilization. Using Mode 1 while moving the camera, to initially acquire focus or to track a moving subject actually fights against what you are trying to do.

 

edit: I do NOT use BBF,  instead I reprogram the AF ON button to AF OFF, so I can suspend focus temporarily. Like when a bird is behind branches) and I want to manually focus, or maintain focus on a particular spot. That way I only occasionally have to press both the shutter and another button, rather than most of the time pressing two buttons for the few times I want to suspend focus. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,533
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons


TTMartin wrote:

mjschocken wrote:

Waddizzle,

 

I do everything that you said in your response.  I generally shoot at 1/2000 for BIF.  I am in Mode 1 for IS.  I do use the AI Servo drive.  I do keep the shutter botton half-way to maintain the focusing as the bird moves.  The issue I have sometimes is that I can't pick up the bird in sharp focus or sometimes I have it and lose it.  This has been a problem sometimes when I didn't have the extender but it seemed worse with the extender although admittedly I only had one day with the extender to try it out.  I just thought the extender slowed down the autofocus with a lens that seemed to autofocus pretty quickly.  If I see the bird from relatively far off, I can focus on it.  It's when I see it suddenly and it's close, I can't always lock on it.  I think part of it is practice.  Anyway, I'll be using the extender over the next few weeks a lot so I'll report back when I know more about how to handle the extender.  Thanks for taking the time to respond.


Try using Mode 3 image stabilization. Using Mode 1 while moving the camera, to initially acquire focus or to track a moving subject actually fights against what you are trying to do.

 

edit: I do NOT use BBF,  instead I reprogram the AF ON button to AF OFF, so I can suspend focus temporarily. Like when a bird is behind branches) and I want to manually focus, or maintain focus on a particular spot. That way I only occasionally have to press both the shutter and another button, rather than most of the time pressing two buttons for the few times I want to suspend focus. 


As with many things, the exact opposite is true.  Using Mode 3 while not moving the camera fights against you, just as much as using Mode 1 when the camera is moving. 

 

If you are using AI Servo on quickly moving subjects, then use Mode 3, otherwise I use Mode 1 when am not moving the camera when I acquire focus, which is most of the time.  Mode 1 is designed for general camera shake, while Mode 3 is optimized for panning.

 

There is no one right way, or wrong way  What the camera is doing, what type of movement, when you press the shutter should determine which IS mode is best to use.  Another factor to consider is whether or not you are hand holding, or using some sort of support.  You have to anticipate your shooting conditions, and set the camera accordingly.

 

Most of the time I'm using a tripod.  Most of my subjects are stationary when I initially acquire focus.  I like to pre-focus whenever I can.  I try to keep shutter speed high enough, at least 1/1000, to minimize camera shake and movement, even if it means raising ISO to as high as 800.

 

 

 

As far as using, or not using, BBF goes, I suppose a lot of it comes from how you might hold the camera.  It's a personal choice, that you would have to make.  My left hand is under the camera, supporting its' weight from below.  BBF also gives my thumb something to do, besides brushing up against the <AE LOCK> button and causing a few bad exposures.  Smiley Very Happy

 

I'm not good at half pressing the shutter and moving the camera.  I tend to press the shutter all the way the moment I begin moving the camera.  This usually happens before I can acquire focus on the subject.  Also, I can take a photo faster with BBF than without it.  When I pre-focus, the shutter begins to fire the moment I press the shutter, instead of momentarily pausing to acquire focus before it fires the shutter.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,610
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons

[ Edited ]

I do use a Monopod, with a Manfrotto 234RC Tilt Head for Monopods, with Quick Release.

 

The Manfrotto 234RC is only rated for 4.5 lbs, but, unlike with a tripod, I never have the camera sitting on it unsupported. I use it for the quick release and it allows the camera to tilt upwards and downwards. Any rotation is done with the entire monopod. 

 

In conjunction with a OptecUSA sling strap, use the monopod as a hiking stick with the camera at my side. When I'm ready to shoot, I attach the camera to the monopod and shoot away. 

 

 

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons

I wanted to report back on the use of the 1.4X teleconverter added to my 100 - 400 mm telephoto zoom lens.  I'm attaching three images, a perched belted kingfisher, two burrowing owls and a wood stork coming in to land.  Note that all three images were taken at the maximum zoom, namely, 560 nm (with the extender).  One of the three images represents a bird in flight.  Admittedly, autofocus was slowed with the extender but I've kind of learned how to deal with it.  Harder to lock on a bird quickly with the extender particularly when the bird is closeby when I first recognize the photo opportunity.  Easier if I spot the bird somewhat far away and can prepare for it.  As for image quality, I think it's still pretty good as long as lighting is good.  As for specifications, I used a Canon EOS 80D, an EF 100 - 400 mm f/4,5 - 5,6 IS II USM zoom lens plus the 1.4X III extender.  Overall, I'm very happy with it and generally use it unless it's a cloudy day.  I also purchased a Canon Powershot SX60 for more reach but, frankly, I don't like it as much as my 400 mm zoom lens with the extender. It's terrible for birds in flight or for warblers moving quickly through a tree because autofocus is much slower than the 80D setup. Burrowing Owls in South Florida.jpgFemale Belted Kingfisher (3-21-2017).jpgWood Stork at Circle B.jpg

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,526
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Teleconverter Pros and Cons

As long as you are satisfied all is good.  Smiley Happy

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