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EOS R AF not focusing consistently

MattLaverick
Contributor

Hi, 

 

Recently I have noticed that my EOS R is having trouble focusing.

I am using back button focus with AI servo but this also happens with the AF and metering bound to the shutter button.

Basically, if I have the camera to my eye and select my AF point then hit the focus button it regularly can't focus on an object. If I look at the live view and use the focus button it is the same problem, but if I tap the screen to focus, the camera focuses just fine.

I have tried finding more contrasting areas to focus, different AF modes, larger AF points and with and without back button focus.

I have also tried 3 different lenses and it seems to be the same in each.


Here is a video showing the problem:

 

Youtube link 

in the video I am in manual mode, using back button single point AF with the RF 24-105

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

garymak1
Enthusiast

I wanted to update some information here I found out from Canon.  This may have solve this perplexing issue.  I never heard back from Canon on this issue.  After rattling the cage repeatedly with Customer Support, I finally got a Level III (I didn't know there was such a level!) Tech Support person who called me.  Nice guy.  He understood the problem and offered to "figure it out" as the manual (neither RC-6 or any camera manual) says nothing.  He then got back to me the next day offered this simple solution:

 Be sure the camera is set to "AF One Shot" not "Servo AF." Simple.  So far, it seemed to work. Nowhere does Canon offer that short but critical piece of information.  Much thanks to the Level III technician for figuring it out. Makes sense.  A lot of time, effort and frustration wasted due to lack of a simple instruction from Canon. Again, thanks to the technician. (Even he noted "it should be in the instructions!")

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21 REPLIES 21

Yes, that is certainly the case depending on the setting to fire w/o focus being achieved.  But that still would suggest, again, that the problem is with the RC-6 trigger and the difference in timing with just pressing the shutter button. And so also suggest a problem with the R-series cameras, since this has not been a problem with any pre-R series Canon camera I've ever used.

I just happened to be reading this thread and Waddizzle's comment about using a remote with BBF enabled--it was an "aha moment" for me. I hardly ever use my remote but wasn't successful with it when I tried the other day and couldn't figure out why. Now I know--thank you!

Your welcome... I guess...I don't think I've helped except to point out the issue. Pleasekeep experimenting yourself and drop some of your findings here. As "Waddizzle" suggested, it is time to get Canon involved, and the more complaints and documentation we have, the better change of them taking notice and fixing it.

I'm searching this forum to see if anyone else is experiencing blurry photos using the R5. I purchased the camera in November and have been frustrated with how many blown shots I have had. I did lots of research, talked to Canon numerous times as well as other R5 owners. For the longest time, I thought it was me. The more I dug into this subject, I came across similar concerns. My go to lens is the 100-400 L II. I'll take a photo with focus point exactly on a bird's head/eye, only to look at the photo later and it's blurry. I first noticed this when taking photos of Marsh Hawks. When one would come relatively close, I would fire away. Settings are generally 1/3200, 1/4000, anywhere between 5.6-9 and ISO's under 2500. Again, focus point right on the bird. start cropping and totally blurry. Canon recommends sending the camera and the lens in, which I will do this week. Anyhow, just curious if others had similar issues. Thanks. Fran

Whoa! Wait! Hang on... don't send it in just yet!  You need to do some more experiments.  First, start with something static, "still life" if you will.  Move it around a bit.  If the auto focus is working fine, then it's probably not the camera, and it doesn't mean it's the user, either.

I'm using the EF 100-400 L II as well for the same purpose. To be honest, there are so many different settings on the R5 (and other high-end cameras) now, and frankly Canon does a very poor job of explaining in their manuals all the implications and ramifications of the settings, preferring to shove us off to "forums" and "FAQs" and YouTube videos to figure stuff out on our own...  

Just for example, there are so many permutations of AutoFocus settings X Focus area settings X Eye settings X people/animals Tracking Settings... just to name a few, you have to experiment.  Just manipulating all those  combinations of settings to the complete set will take you a long time.  Best thing is to make a spreadsheet and track it over time and see what gives the best results,  Then put those "best result settings" as one of your Custom (C1, C2 or C3) settings.  

Personally, I have found that eye focus settings work sometimes, and sometimes they are very flaky and bounce all over the place and cause many mis-focused shots.  I have found that the large vertical or large horizontal focus area settings can work equally well.  That’s what I find I’ve been using mostly.

AI Focus is also problematic.  (And combine that with eye focus setting and wow, your odds at the Blackjack tables in Vegas are probably better!) I've had much better luck with Single Shot Auto Focus.  

As far as SS - and this is just my personal opinion and everyone is welcome to another - unless you're shooting hummingbirds and want stop-action, you can probably gain some ISO speed by lowering to about 1/1600 or 1/2000.

I really recommend using your Custom setting, and then slowly tweaking it with the scientific method, i.e., change one variable at a time.  For quick access, set up the "change custom settings" in your custom menu for quick access.  

Hope that helps a little.

Gary, Thanks for the feedback. I will use your suggestions. I struggle when I'm shooting a bird far enough away that eye detection doesn't work, thus -- I miss shots. Blurry. Question? It appears that my photos are pretty good with close up shots, but shots farther away, they are blurry. When you use single shot AF, is that with or without Eye Detection? Not sure if you are interested, but I just posted 7 songbirds on my Facebook page, Fran Bires. Thought maybe you can take a peek and give me some feedback. Thanks for your reply. Fran

Hi, "franbires"-

 

Further to my previous, I went through and outlined all the combinations of settings you can have for tracking birds.  I’ve listed them below.  (There could even be some settings that impact this that I don’t know or overlooked.)  Info is tough to come by.  Also, some settings preclude others.  For example, if you Disable “Eye Selection”, then if  won’t let you select AF5 “Choose initial Servo AF point for eye detect.” The point is there are a lot:

 

AF1: 

AF Operation: 

 -One Shot AF

 -Servo AF*

 

Subject to detect:

 -People

 -Animals

 -Vehicles

 -None

 

Eye Detection:

Enable/ Disable

 

 

 Continuous AF:

 -Disable

 -Enable

 

 

IF Eye Detection “Enable” then:

AF5

- Choose Initial Servo AF point for “eye detect”

  - multiple options

- AF point for other configurations:

   - multiple options

 -Auto  

 

IF Servo AF, then

AF 3:

-Tracking “Cases” -1 -0 -1

AND

-Tracking Sensitivity 0-5

—Accel/Decel Tracking 0-5 or Auto

 

 

AF 4:

Switching to tracked Subjects: 0-1-2

 

AF 5:

Sensitivity for AF point select

 

 

So, there are all these to play around with. Confusing, huh?  That’s what I meant by “you have to play around.”

 

In my experience (and I'm still playing around) I’ve found that if you are up close a/o the subject takes up most of the frame and there’s not much else distracting around (say, a bald eagle on a tree branch with a sky background), then the “eye detect” will generally work better.  But you still have all the other variations, speed of tracking, how fast it changes, etc.  Also, as you mentioned, if the subject’s far away, and worse, moving, then the “eye detect” is going to have a hard time locking on and you’ll probably get a lot of misses.  Those cases might best be set to say, One Shot AF, and expand the AF point range a bit, like with [ ] setting (vertical or horizontal.)  I’ve had good luck with those getting medium size moving birds.  I did have good luck with 'eye detect' with flock of Canadian geese flying at about 20 feet above.  Those birds are big and they were close and the eye detect worked well in that situation.

 

Would love to take look at your shots, but sorry, I’m not on FB. You on Instagram or have a website?

Thanks for your input. I am in Instagram at franbiresphotography 

Franbires-  Sorry, I never saw the above instagram post info!  I just checked it out (what is it, 6 months later?) What a treasure trove of great wildlife images...! Great stuff! I've followed you.

garymak1
Enthusiast

I wanted to update some information here I found out from Canon.  This may have solve this perplexing issue.  I never heard back from Canon on this issue.  After rattling the cage repeatedly with Customer Support, I finally got a Level III (I didn't know there was such a level!) Tech Support person who called me.  Nice guy.  He understood the problem and offered to "figure it out" as the manual (neither RC-6 or any camera manual) says nothing.  He then got back to me the next day offered this simple solution:

 Be sure the camera is set to "AF One Shot" not "Servo AF." Simple.  So far, it seemed to work. Nowhere does Canon offer that short but critical piece of information.  Much thanks to the Level III technician for figuring it out. Makes sense.  A lot of time, effort and frustration wasted due to lack of a simple instruction from Canon. Again, thanks to the technician. (Even he noted "it should be in the instructions!")

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