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6D Auto Focus


I have read several threads here on Auto Focus problems but none of the suggestions have worked for me.


I have an 8 month old Canon 6D that takes very sharp pictures in MANUAL mode.  I have 4 top shelf lens, 2 Canon and 2 Sigma, all less than 2 years old. My 6D really frustrated me this past week as I was in Iowa taking photos of deer and eagles along with a family Thanksgiving get together. Out of 200 photos, only 4 or 5 taken with Auto Focus were keepers. Most of the manual focus photos were at least in focus but with kids running around, dogs and other situations, manual focus is not optimum.


My 6D was a gift as my 20D is old and well used.  The 6D does not have a decent Manual Focus reference. It is not user friendly. Trying to quickly focus manually by trying to determine the sharpness on the view finder is not easy as my aging eyes detect. The split focus is sorely missed.


  Every lens I have seems to be a 1/32 turn of the focus ring off in Auto Focus.  I have a 20D that puts my 6D to shame when taking Auto Focus shots with the same lens.  My most used lens is a Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM.  On my 20D, I can swing around, snap, follow a bird in flight and snap again and have 2 perfectly focused pictures.  My 6D? I could take 20 in succession and not have one in focus.


I am close to sending this camera back in to Canon to have it checked but I know I am missing something in setting up the focus. It is sad when my wife takes a couple of pictures of the same scene with her cell phone and they put my pictures to shame. It is not from lack of experience as a photographer. I have had many Concert, Aircraft (in flight and on the ground) and Falconry pictures published in the past. Both film and digital.


" focus distance limiter"."  Not sure what that is.  Are you saying I was too close?  i've been closer to other objects with no issues (3-4ft)

@greg_a wrote:

" focus distance limiter"."  Not sure what that is.  Are you saying I was too close?  i've been closer to other objects with no issues (3-4ft)

It is a switch on the lens.  Your distance from the bird is close enough to the transition distance to warrant using full range mode.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

If you are talking about the focus distance selector, I doubt very much that this is the problem. Even if set to 3m to infinity he should have focus lock as he was further than 3 meters away from the subject. I always have my 100-400 II set to the 3m to infinity position.


Greg, did you get a focus confirm before firing?

Ah, that switch.  I also always leave it set to 1.8m and never had an issue.


Yes, I did get confirmation (beep and lock) of focus.  If you've never used the Focus_point Lightroom plugin its pretty nice (first image).  As you can see from the plugin, the camera registered the focus lock too.


The "only" thing I can think of was the Aperature and depth of feild.  even at that, something should be in focus.


PS.  Great forum and thanks for all the suggestions.






Is this an isolated incident or is this something that happens a lot? Is this lens new to you? If it happens consistently then I would say the lens is not properly focus calibrated. If that were the case then I would think every picture would look just like this one.


I can't see any reason why this would have happened.....all that you did before firing seems right and, in theory, you should have gotten good results.


If it's something that happens often I would call Canon.

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