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Posts: 16
Registered: ‎06-13-2018

Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets

Shooting first meet of the season yesterday, 6DMkII often got the water splashes in front of the backstroking or freestyling swimmers sharp. I was using AI Servo w center spot AF, 70-200, AV.  This (cropped) image is ISO 8000, 1/1000 at f3.5.  Reading this post, I guess... it's gonna happen sometimes...no magic wand for this? IMG_5854.jpg

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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets

Nice shot,very nice!  Smiley Happy

 

"This (cropped) image is ISO 8000, 1/1000 at f3.5."

I wonder if ISO 8000, 1/500 and f5.6 would have increased the DOF a bit? But it is a cool shot as is.  Good job.

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets


@CapeCodDan wrote:

Shooting first meet of the season yesterday, 6DMkII often got the water splashes in front of the backstroking or freestyling swimmers sharp. I was using AI Servo w center spot AF, 70-200, AV.  This (cropped) image is ISO 8000, 1/1000 at f3.5.  Reading this post, I guess... it's gonna happen sometimes...no magic wand for this? 


Nice shot.  This shows you what the camera is capable of doing.  But I think you may need to adjust your AF settings, too.

There are no magic wands for this.  It takes familiarity with the features of the camera, and some practice.  I agree with using AI Servo.  Does that mean you used also Continuous Drive shooting mode?  I agree with using the center AF point.  Does that mean you did NOT have any AF Assist points active?


The AF tracking system used in the 6D2 is nearly identical to that in the 7D2.  The primary difference is that the 7D2 can store six “Case Settings”, which are nothing more than presets for a few of the most critical AF settings that influence tracking behavior.  The AF settings allow you to set the camera to briefly ignore something that comes between your subject and the camera.  It will automatically pause tracking for a beat.

 

But, those AF tracking settings do not come into play until you activate some AF Assist points.  Using just the center AF point only allows for focus tracking.  It does not allow for tracking of moving subjects.  You need to learn how to activate AF tracking.  to activate AF tracking of a subject, then you need to use more than just the center AF point.  This was pointed out by someone in an earlier post on this thread regarding iTR facial tracking.

 

Your sample photo is a textbook example of the scenario that I described in my first post in this thread.  The camera is focusing on whatever is under the active AF point.  This behavior can be used to your advantage when tracking birds in flight, because more times than not, the closest subject under your active AF point is the BIF.

 

But, you have objects coming between your subject and the camera.  You need to track a subject, which the camera can do very well.  I suggest activating the Center Zone of AF points to be used as AF Assist points, but keep the center AF point as your manually selected starting point for AF tracking.  You may also want to activate the AF points display, so that you can watch the AF tracking in real time.

 

If you are not using Continuous Drive shooting mode, then I suggest that you do.  Not every captured frame will be a keeper.  But, if you had it going when you took your sample photo, then a later shot in the sequence would have been what you are looking for, a shot of the swimmer without water blocking the view and confusing the AF system.

As you experiment with AF settings, save them in a custom shooting mode.  When I am shooting action photography, I am using a custom shooting mode that I created.  I advise disabling the automatic update feature of a custom shooting mode, so that you do not lose what your settings when you are not shooting swimmers.  

 

If I want to do landscape photography, I can switch to M, and have One Shot AF mode and Single Shot drive mode.  If I want to shoot a bird in a tree, hidden among the branches, I switch to C1 custom shooting mode, which activates BBF with One Shot AF and Single Shot drive.  I use C2 to activate all AF points and Continuous drive mode for action photography.  This is what works for me.  You may want to use custom shooting modes differently, or even not at all.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets

I suppose it's a matter of what you're after. Artistically, one could argue that having the splashes in focus may be preferable to having the swimmer herself in focus, especially when (as in this case) the foam tends to obscure the swimmer anyway. But I can well understand that as a sports or event photographer, you may not see it exactly that way.  Smiley Wink

 

I'm a little puzzled by the magenta blotches in the left half of the frame. Are they genuine reflections or some sort of artifact? My experience is that that color doesn't appear in nature very often.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets


@RobertTheFat wrote:

 

I'm a little puzzled by the magenta blotches in the left half of the frame. Are they genuine reflections or some sort of artifact? My experience is that that color doesn't appear in nature very often.


It looks more red than magenta on my screens.  I never gave it a second thought.  It could be a scoreboard.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets

Yeah, red scoreboard lights reflecting in the water!

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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets

"...red scoreboard lights reflecting in the water!"

 

No problem for Photoshop.  What post editor do you use, BTW?

 

What I was referring to was a possible deeper DOF would have sharpened up the face a bit.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets

@Waddizzle, thanks for the very thorough response!  Yes I use high-speed continuous drive mode.

 

Swimming is a bit of a focusing challenge because you can’t continuously track the athlete moving toward you (as in basketball, soccer, football, etc) - because they are disappearing into the water, in fact there’s only brief moments when their heads are out of the water. I still used AI Servo figuring I could get two or three frames in each burst and keep them sharp.  I chose single-point AF figuring I can always keep their faces centered under the focus point, with the system (hopefully) disregarding the splashing water surrounding. I frame a bit loosely to, again, be able to later crop for good composition even though the face is in the center of the frame.

 

I do have my C.Fn II-1 moved to “locked on: -1” to better stay focused on the subject. I also have C.Fn II-5 moved to “shooting speed priority”.

 

I’m a bit confused about your use of “AF Assist” since that term is used in the manual only in reference to speedlites.   What I think you’re suggesting is to use zone AF instead of single-point AF, as that will better track the athlete as he/she moves?

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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets

I use Photoshop CC. Certainly DOF with 5.6 or smaller might have gotten the face better, but at the expense of movement which could have blurred the face right back! Not a huge deal with someone moving toward or away from you, but a big deal with subject moving across the frame of course. I'm depending on the camera getting the face sharp. I seem to recall a time when I had to manually focus every shot...😝
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Re: 5DMkIV AF Settings for Swim Meets

Dan,

Try bracketing.  You might get the best of the best with it. Your Mk IV does it almost effortlessly.

Sometimes folks go gonzo on the AF mode when just the very simplest one will work. One shot and center focus point is most likely the best.

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