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Cannot take ANY focused moving object photos using my new 1D X MKII and my EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L

LanceA
Enthusiast

First let me familiarize you with my back ground a bit.  I have enjoyed photography off and on for some time.  However, my previous camera was a 2003 Canon 10D.  I really decided to take a bit of a step up when purchasing a new 1D X MKII, the above listed lense as well an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L  II USM  lense.   I purchased a nice gimble, a shoulder rig, 4 large C-Fast cards, extra batteries, etc...

 

The 4K 60 FPS videos are spectacular through this setup (could do without the Motion JPEG Codec for sure), and the functionality is a breeze.

 

But I am far more interested in the still photography side of my Canon 1D X MKII and lenses.   I have read the ebtire manual several times and the on-line available AF setup guide from Canon.   My camera and both lenses, as well as my older Canon lenses, have no prblems when auto focusing on STILL objects, but as soon as there is movement such as a large water bird flying by my position, then I cannot get this camera to focus AT ALL.   I have no issues when maintaining the bird (as an example) in the focus area of the lense, then activating the back button focus while depressing the photo button.   Even at 14 frames per second I end up with zero shots in focus!   I have tried almost every AF area selection mode and all 6 of the Focus Cases  along with everything else that a very inexperienced novice such as I can think of.   I really hope that I am simply missing something that someone here can help me uncover.  I am so frustrated at this point that I am willing to pay someone who owns a similar setup to walk me through their 1D X MKII setup to hopefully get to the bottom of my issue.  Unfortunately I cannot find anyone in my area and we no longer have any camera shops around.

 

Thank you very much for you help and and understanding in advance.

 

Lance A.  

46 REPLIES 46

BTW, keep in mind the great shots you see here are not their first or beginner efforts.

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

Thank you again for adding to my limited knowledge base.  I will leave my telephoto on #3 IS.

 

I am very interested on your opinions about the quality and usable functionality of the 1.4X TC III extender?  I really like the potental of getting nearly a 600mm lens from my 10-400mm, but I am a bit concerned about losing clarity (although your photos are great) and the definate lose of one stop of light level.  Are you still able to attain good Auto Focusing with this extender in place?

 

Lance A.


@LanceA wrote:

Thank you again for adding to my limited knowledge base.  I will leave my telephoto on #3 IS.

 

I am very interested on your opinions about the quality and usable functionality of the 1.4X TC III extender?  I really like the potental of getting nearly a 600mm lens from my 10-400mm, but I am a bit concerned about losing clarity (although your photos are great) and the definate lose of one stop of light level.  Are you still able to attain good Auto Focusing with this extender in place?

 

Lance A.


Yes, your 1DX Mk II should have no trouble focusing with the the EF 100-400 L IS II and the 1.4X TC III. I pretty much leave the 1.4X TC III on my lens all the time. I'm using a 7D Mk II that does't have the low light performance of the 1DX Mk II and haven't found having to shoot at f/8 to be an issue.

Some more pics from the EF 100-400 L IS II with 1.4X TC III

 

A00A7360.jpg

 

A00A7887.jpg

 

A00A5858-2.jpg

 

A00A1697-3.jpg

 

A00A6106.jpg

 

 

Thank you very much for the information about the extender and my camera potentially working together.   I think that I will order the 1.4X soon.  Or, should I simply go a bit further and get the 2X extender ?   I had read several reviews saying that the 1.4 X was borderline capable with auto focus and that the 2X extender was inconsistent at best.  This is the only thing that has kept me away from these, what seemed to be no brainer, extenders for my Canon telephoto lens.   

 

How on Earth did you capture a Blue bird in flight?!  Your photos are absolutely amazing.   I would love to be able to use your settings for the attached photos to help me attain a better understanding of how to get it right.  

 

Thanks again for your help, patience and understanding.  I really need it.

 

 

Lance A.. 

If you think it will be moving fast freeze the action with a shutter speed around 1/1600 to 1/2500. What I do for my events is set my camera to Tv mode, aim into empty sky & find an ISO that puts the aperture in the f8 to f11 range & use exposure compensation to get the colours right, which on an overcast day can be as high as +2 stops. This is from yesterday's R/C event & it's doing around 200 MPH. (7D2 & Sigma 150-600)

 

7D2_8719.JPG

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."


@LanceA wrote:

Thank you very much for the information about the extender and my camera potentially working together.   I think that I will order the 1.4X soon.  Or, should I simply go a bit further and get the 2X extender ?   I had read several reviews saying that the 1.4 X was borderline capable with auto focus and that the 2X extender was inconsistent at best.  This is the only thing that has kept me away from these, what seemed to be no brainer, extenders for my Canon telephoto lens.   

 

How on Earth did you capture a Blue bird in flight?!  Your photos are absolutely amazing.   I would love to be able to use your settings for the attached photos to help me attain a better understanding of how to get it right.  

 

Thanks again for your help, patience and understanding.  I really need it.

 

 

Lance A.. 


No you do not want the 2X extender. 

 

And please there is a lot of information on the internet that is old outdated, and doesn't apply to your camera or lens. So when reading the internet please be sure it applicable to your newer top of the line camera and your latest generation lens. Your camera can autofocus with a lens with a maximum aperture of f/8 with no difficulty what so ever. The article I linked above about Mode 3 IS has good information about the IS system in your 100-400 L IS II lens (like leave IS on with using a tripod), and information about the 1.4X TC III.

 

For my settings I have our cameras preset with C1, C2 and C3 programmed. All just use Case 1 with 1st shot AF priority set to Focus, and 2nd shot AF priority also set to Focus

 

C1 is for birds set back behind branches sitting in a tree. It is set to AIServo center Spot focus, Manual exposure mode set to 1/800, f/4.5 (set with the 100-400 no extender widest angle, then it will use the maximum aperture available i.e. f/8 with using a 1.4X TC III at the long end), and Auto ISO.

 

C2 is my general usage setting, it works for most situations, I use AIServo center AF point with expansion points, shutter speed is increased to f/1250, f/4.5 (set as above), and Auto ISO.

 

C3 is for birds inflight, I use AIServo all point auto point selection mode with center point set as the starting point, shutter speed is increased to f/1600, f/4.5 (set as above), and Auto ISO.

 

As for getting unique photos like the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, it is simply a matter of getting out and shooting a lot.

 

I do wear subdued clothing (camo) and a boonie hat, believe it or not it camo is especially effective at busy park locations where there are normally a lot of people. You may get funny looks, but, you'll also get the shots. The birds have a comfort zone, when there are usually a lot of people in brightly colored clothing around it seems they don't even notice you in camo. Compare that to hiking in wilderness areas where your camo will just get you as close to a bird as someone with bright colored clothes gets in a park. An example of this was the Red-shouldered Hawk photo. I was at the Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary walking on the boardwalk with my camo, the hawk flew by me and landed about 25-50 feet away. I was able to take pictures and move slowly without his being concerned about my presence. Then someone with bright colored clothes showed up when they were about 150 feet away, the hawk took off and flew about 150 feet back from the boardwalk. I've seen examples of this time and time again. The Great Egret flying towards me is another example of this I was on the boardwalk at Celery Fields and a whole flock of birds gathered in front of me until someone with bright clothes showed up and they all scattered. 

 

Where in FL are you? If you are in SW Florida there are a number of great birding locations I can recommend. The kind where you are guaranteed to get at least one good shot. And speaking of getting one good shot, that is my goal when I go out to do bird photography. My goal isn't to come back with dozens of fantastic photos, instead my goal is to come back with one photo that makes someone say Wow. Sometimes I do get more, but, I'm happy if I only get one. Keeping realistic expectations keeps it interesting. 

A00A1628.jpg

I have not had the chance to read your reply yet (on Grill duty outside right now),  but I am in the Tampa area.

 

Lance A

"I think that I will order the 1.4X soon."

 

Lance,

Remember in photography there is no free lunch.  All lenses suffer something with the addition of a converter.  No way around it !   You give to get.  Some lenses work well with a 1.4x.  Most do not.  The second gen 100-400mil seems to be one that does.

 

Great photographs are as much technique as they are gear.  Note this sig by cicopo.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

He has displayed shots of RC planes (200 mph!) that rival anything you have seen in this thread.  He did it with lesser gear than what you have.  You are far better off learning what you have before adding any additional gear to the mix.

 

I don't know if you post edit but if you don't that is where you want to go next.  All great shots go through post. All the shots you have seen here went through post.  Lightroon or Photoshop or one of the lesser editors but whatever get one.  Learn it.

 

One more suggestion, shots like these are from strings of shots. Tens to hundreds, and one is selected as the one.  Your camera shoots very fast at 14 fps.

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

I could not agree more.

 

I have several post editing software.  However, I feel that to get where I will want to be, then I will probably want to purchase Photoshops' laest.    My desire to reach as far into the environment as possible via my 100-400mm lens stems from my current physical restrictions.   I am just unable to hike to get myself within the appropriate photo range and can use all of the help that I can get, within reason.  So, if the 1.4X, or 2X adaptor extender will get me a bit closser without spending  $10,000 + for a 600mm lens (plus it's added size and weight), then I am there.  

 

Lance A. 


@LanceA wrote:


My desire to reach as far into the environment as possible via my 100-400mm lens stems from my current physical restrictions.   I am just unable to hike to get myself within the appropriate photo range and can use all of the help that I can get, within reason.  So, if the 1.4X, or 2X adaptor extender will get me a bit closser without spending  $10,000 + for a 600mm lens (plus it's added size and weight), then I am there.  

 

Lance A. 


Lance, you don't have to be able to hike for miles to get good bird photos especially living in South West Florida.

 

This photo

 

A00A8938.jpg

 

Was taken from a boardwalk (see red asterisk) right across from the parking lot at Celery Fields, 6893 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240

 

Celery Fields text.jpg

 

Again subdued clothing is key. Picture of me on that very boardwalk. 

16835752_1465436850153770_7410195082188517031_o (1).jpg

 

Don't worry about the naysayers the 1.4X TC III will work pretty seamlessly with your 1DX Mk II and EF 100-400 L IS II. I'll be back down in SW FL after the Christmas Holidays. If you are still looking for some guidance then I'd be happy to meet you at Celery Fields or Fort De Soto for some one on one training.

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