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R7 100-500 focus for birds in flight

brcefmn
Contributor

Hello. I’m using an R7 and 100-500 combo for birds and BIF. It works well except when trying to focus on birds in flight with a busy background. I have tried every combination of auto focus I can think of but can’t get camera to focus on bird. It jumps all over except on bird, even when subject is on focusing area.    

thanks

2 REPLIES 2

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

Could you post a sample of a bad image with a busy background?  Thanks!

What AF point(s) are you using.  Which AF Mode, One Shot or Servo, are you using?

The most likely cause of your issue is a perfect storm of camera settings.    If you have Eye AF or Animal AF enabled, then I would disable them.  Once disabled, the camera should be able to easily lock focus and track the closest subject to the camera, which is hopefully your bird in flight.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

johnrmoyer
Whiz
Whiz

I have the EOS R5 instead of R7, but I hope this might be helpful anyway. I expect that others will have better suggestions than mine but I hope you can use these as a starting point.

I use eye detection and animal priority, servo, face+tracking, lens drive when AF impossible on, initial servo pt for AF tracking to single point with that point in the center (but expanded might be better). I try to focus on a large high contrast object at about the same distance as the bird first. I have the EF 100-400 version 2 instead of the RF 100-500 and I find that setting the switch on the lens to mode 3 helps, but I do not know whether that is possible with your lens. I have these settings saved as C1 so that I can get back to them easily.

When closer to the bird, the camera is more likely to find the eye and focus on the eye.

If there is enough light, I use 1/3 stop less aperture than wide open.

Bald Eagle, Jan. 17, 2023, far away and cropped smallBald Eagle, Jan. 17, 2023, far away and cropped small

 

Great Blue Heron, Nov. 16, 2022, far way, cropped smallGreat Blue Heron, Nov. 16, 2022, far way, cropped small

 

size reduced to permit upload, Mallards Jan. 17, 2023, far away but I still startled themsize reduced to permit upload, Mallards Jan. 17, 2023, far away but I still startled them

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