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Canon 100 X 400 4.5 5.6 L IS 11 USM + 1.4 Mark 11 Extender - Focusing Isues

Rsharman
Contributor

I have just bought this lense to use with my 7d Mark 11 camera and am experiencing problems with focusing at 60/70 yards at 400 with extender. I use AI Servo for birds in flight. F8 - 11. Speed between 500 and 3200. IS0 Auto max 3200. Tracking case 1. It seems to be better at slow rather than fast speeds! Pretty good up to 40 yards using One Shot Mode. I use Centre spot or Extended Cross - can't expand further using using extender. Have not changed Microadjustments. I shoot hand held - birds in flight don't stay still! Have tried all 3 stablizer settings. I have been quite experenced and had good results up to now using my 300mm prime lense. I purchases the 100 X 400 with Extender to obtain better reach as I am missing some shots - very disappointed so far!!Any advice would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

 

Richard Sharman

27 REPLIES 27


Rsharman wrote:

I have just bought this lense to use with my 7d Mark 11 camera and am experiencing problems with focusing at 60/70 yards at 400 with extender. I use AI Servo for birds in flight. F8 - 11. Speed between 500 and 3200. IS0 Auto max 3200. Tracking case 1. It seems to be better at slow rather than fast speeds! Pretty good up to 40 yards using One Shot Mode. I use Centre spot or Extended Cross - can't expand further using using extender. Have not changed Microadjustments. I shoot hand held - birds in flight don't stay still! Have tried all 3 stablizer settings. I have been quite experenced and had good results up to now using my 300mm prime lense. I purchases the 100 X 400 with Extender to obtain better reach as I am missing some shots - very disappointed so far!!Any advice would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

 

Richard Sharman


The 1.4 extender costs you a full stop of aperture, so at the long end (400 mm) you're trying to focus through an f/8 lens. IIRC, the 7D2 has at most one AF point (the center one) that works at f/8. And if you can use only one AF point, AI Servo isn't going to be very effective.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Hi Bob - thanks for your prompt response. Using the Mark 111 extender I can use centre point focus or Extended Cross with Centre point, so I should get some benefit from AI Servo I think.

Thanks


@Rsharman wrote:

Hi Bob - thanks for your prompt response. Using the Mark 111 extender I can use centre point focus or Extended Cross with Centre point, so I should get some benefit from AI Servo I think.

Thanks


I assume that you are in continuous shooting mode.  Check your settings for continuous shooting.  Is it shutter priority, or focus priority?  I always use focus priority, even if it slows down FPS.  What's the point of a high frame rate if the shots are out of focus?

Also, the AF speed of the combo is slower when using the extender.  I have had better success with Case 2, where the sensitivity and tracking are at a minimum, when using the extender.  

 

I usually use IS mode 2 on the lens for tracking sports like baseball and football.  It also seems to work for when the occasional bird might fly overhead, too.  Of course, your focus mode switch would be set to 3m to inifinity.

Again, try the lens without the extender.  

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

Thanks Waddizzle for your detailed suggestions. Yes I do use continuous mode and I also use Priority set to Focus on shot 1 and on shot 2. This has worked well using my 300mm.  I have only used Case 1 so I will definitely try Case 2 as suggested. I will try this with IS Mode 2. Yes I am set 3m to Infinity.

 

thanks

Richard


@RobertTheFat wrote:

@Rsharman wrote:

 

 

Richard Sharman


The 1.4 extender costs you a full stop of aperture, so at the long end (400 mm) you're trying to focus through an f/8 lens. IIRC, the 7D2 has at most one AF point (the center one) that works at f/8. And if you can use only one AF point, AI Servo isn't going to be very effective.


I agree with Bob, to a point.  AI Servo will still be effective, but it will just be much harder to use. 

I have found that I get better success by prefocusing on a zone ... which is next to impossible to do with BIF...but  I am mostly shooting sports, where you can predict where the next shot is most likely to be.  And, I do not just prefocus, I use BBF to keep the shutter from refocusing when I press the shutter.

You may have a bad copy of the lens, but it is unlikely that is the case.  The one time I had a bad "L" lens it was because the box had been opened, and the weather sealing ring on the lens mount had been removed.  The lens rattled when it was mounted to the camera because the rubber ring was missing.  I do not buy big ticket items from Big Blue Box stores, anymore.

 

[EDIT]  When using the extender, I also use quiet continuous shooting mode, which slows down the frame rate, and gives the camera more time to analyze focus.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

I think the lense is good as I have some very nice, in focus birds in flight at about 30/40 yards and also one shot staionary shots. It's when I am shooting at 400 + extender. I will try continuous in silent mode and also try with Case 2 tracking with IS 2

 

I will keep you both posted. I need some sun to give it a fair chance at 60 /70 yards - weather is appauling here at the moment.

 

Thanks to You both for your advise. 

 

Regards

 

richard

I read this thread with some interest.  For one thing I am not a fan of using tel-cons at all.  Much preferring one of the 150-600mil super zooms over the 100-400mm.

This is puzzling to me.

" Pretty good up to 40 yards using One Shot Mode" "I have some very nice, in focus birds in flight at about 30/40 yards""...give it a fair chance at 60 /70 yards"

 

What does the distance have to do with it?  It should make it easier to get an acceptably sharp photo. The DOF will become larger.  What do you intend on doing with your photos?  Are you doing excessive cropping for instance?  If so the loss of resolution might be what you are noticing as OOF shots.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Hi ebiggs1

 

Thanks for your comments. I agree the DOF becomes larger but even so images at 60/70 yards are poor quality. I have not cropped at all. I have simply viewed them in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. Those taken at less than 40 yards or as One Shot seem pretty good. It appears to be something to do with AI Servo use. I will try Case 2 tracking and trial the underlying settings. 

I also have Image Priority set to Focus on first and second shots.

 

Thanks


@Rsharman wrote:

Hi ebiggs1

 

Thanks for your comments. I agree the DOF becomes larger but even so images at 60/70 yards are poor quality. I have not cropped at all. I have simply viewed them in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. Those taken at less than 40 yards or as One Shot seem pretty good. It appears to be something to do with AI Servo use. I will try Case 2 tracking and trial the underlying settings. 

I also have Image Priority set to Focus on first and second shots.

 

Thanks


You will be trying this without the extender.  Right?  Do you know that the lens is operating correctly? 

 

If not, you need to slow down, and take a series of test shots without the extender at varying distances, in both One Shot mode and AI Servo mode.

 

BTW, this particular seems to not perform as well when used with a UV filter.  I had focus issues until I switched to a Clear one.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."
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