Canon Community Canon Community
 


Reply
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎02-10-2013

Mark II focusing problem with action shots

Hi Y'all,
I was wondering if y'all could look at a photo I took with my new Mark II and give your input. This is actually a problem that keeps happening. Canon seemed to think that it was a problem with the focusing system based off the information I provided and since I was still within my first month of owning the camera, Adorama sent out a new one.

The problem I'm having is this: when I am taking photos of my very active children, I am getting a lot of soft shots. For the life of me I can't figure out why. I use back button focus and am wondering if I might be using it wrong? I hold down the back button and track my subject(if I'm shooting an active child) or focus and recompose(if I'm shooting a senior who remains still and posed).

In this particular photo I used Al Servo and the info is as follows:
ss: 1/1250 (should be more than adequate)
f2.2 on my 85 mm 1.8 lens
ISO 200
spot metering

I never had this problem on my previous camera (Canon 60D). I am so frustrated to have this new camera and incur problems that I didn't use to have. Any thoughts on what in the world I'm doing wrong?

 

Some other people on other forums that I'm a member of have said that this is a common problem with the Mark II...is this true?  I'd hate to think that I just spent a lot of money on a camera that won't deliver basic action shots of my kids.

Thanks so much for your help with this!
Lynsey

IMG_2186_edited-1.jpg

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,341
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

I'm going to assume you meanthe 5D mark 2 (there is a 1D mark 2 & a 1Ds mark 2 also). which isn't really the best camera for action but it can do what you seem to be after once mastered. Use AI SERVO & center point AF & track the action (my personal choice is the normal shutter button but many prefer the rear AF button) BUT you'll need more DOF (depth of field) than f2.2 gives for a child. Raise the ISO to stay within a decent SS for the action but you shouldn't need more than 1/500 for a child unless they are running flat out.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Super Contributor
Posts: 222
Registered: ‎12-29-2012

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

[ Edited ]
Yip agree with cicopo, DoF might be the only problem here. Since your previous cameras was a 60D I'm assuming this is your first FF camera which has thinner DoF. If DoF is not the problem then the lens likely needs to be AFMA. Maybe the lens was OK on your 60D or maybe the slightly deeper DoF on a crop body masked any irregularities of the lens.

Take some test shots at different AVs at different distances using a tripod to see where focus begins. This will give you some better data when working Canon.

If you get nowhere send your camera and lens into Canon Support.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎02-10-2013

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

Thank you for your input.  I do use Servo with back button focus while tracking my subject.  I will use a smaller aperature and see if that helps.  I do need a camera that can handle chasing kids...I'm hoping I didn't make a big mistake buying the 5D Mark II.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎02-10-2013

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

I will say, I used the 70-300mm lens that came with the camera and that has a minimum aperature of f4 and it did the same thing on that lens too...not sure that the aperature is the problem.

Super Contributor
Posts: 222
Registered: ‎12-29-2012

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

Send it all into Canon Support and have it all checked out. That way you will know for sure. They should pay for shipping if it is under warranty (you may have to ask). The turn around time should be about 10 days. Take some sample jpgs and include them with notes. My experience with Canon Support has been very positive. I can only imagine how frustrating it is, good luck.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,341
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

[ Edited ]

Which 70-300? Does it have IS and if so did you turn it off? Panning a moving target with lenses that don't have 2 stage IS won't usually give good results. I'd test the lens(es) on a tripod to verify accurate AF shooting static targets before blaming them or the camera because it's just too easy to check them at home. The DOF on a FF camera makes a big difference PLUS shooting action takes practice. The sample I'm posting was shot this afternoon (I'm in Cozumel on vacation) at 1/800 in Tv mode & at f5.6 which is to high because I'd like to blur the background completely but doubt f4.0 will work but it's the widest I can go. (will be trying it) on a 1.3 crop body so I've got more trial & error to work on it.

The first sample has about 50% cropped away because I don't want to post a photo of the parents without their permission, and the second is a tighter crop & I'm pretty sure I could have shot this at 1/400-1/500 with similar results

 

INGR1035.JPG   

Spoiler
 

 

I don't know why but it won't allow me to add the tight crop, even in a second message & I've tried renaming it to see if that was the problem. Anyway it's relatively obvious a slightly slower shutter speed still would have froze the action 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎02-10-2013

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

I am most definitely open to the possibility that the results I'm getting are due to user error....I just don't understand why I never had this problem on my 60D.  I've been shooting action for several years now, so I'm not too terribly new to it.  I like to always keep my shutter speed at 300 or above to freeze the action.  Like you, I also like to blur out the background as much as possible so that my subject really pops out.  I may have been too wide open and not had as much room to maneuver with 2.2.  I still don't totally understand the DOF calculator and how to stay the appropriate distance from my subject....especially when said subject is a VERY active 2 year oldSmiley Happy  Can you tell me what you mean when you say that the DOF on a full frame camera is different?

To answer your question, the lens does have IS and I tried doing the same series of test shots with my son running across the yard with the IS on as well as off and got the same results.

 

Thanks for taking time to respond while in Cozumel on vacation...hope you are having a fabulous time.

 

Thanks again and I look forward to hearing back,

Lynsey

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,341
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

We always have a good time in Cozumel & so far the weather has been great. Here's the link to a DOF program that you can use to see the differences between a 1.6 crop body & a FF body plus to see just how shallow it might have been in your sample.

 

http://dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,341
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Mark II focusing problem with action shots

[ Edited ]

One other thing to verify is that you are in AI SERVO & not AI FOCUS. According to the manual both should meet your needs but based on several discussions I've read over the years AI Servo is the better setting every time.

 

If in fact you suspect focus problems this may be worth the time needed to read & absorb the ways to isolate it's cause.

 

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=857871

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

LIKE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Twitter WATCH US on YouTube CONNECT WITH US on Linkedin WATCH US on Vimeo FOLLOW US on Instagram SHOP CANON at the Canon Online Store
© Canon U.S.A., Inc.   |    Terms of Use   |    Privacy Statement