Canon Community Canon Community
 


Reply
Highlighted
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 972
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

You stated earlier that you have always had the distance switch set on infinity and not full.  If the switch is still in that position, then it can't focus on a remote 5 feet away because it is restricted from focusing closer than 3 meters with the switch set to restrict the range.

 

As a quick test, set the camera to Av (aperture priority) mode and set your aperture to f8.  While looking through the viewfinder, press the depth of field preview button and see if the viewfinder grows darker.  The aperture should be wide open when focusing and if the aperture blades got stuck in a slightly closed position then AF becomes slow to impossible.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
Highlighted
VIP
Posts: 9,670
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

I totally agree with Rodger.  If the distance switch is set to 3-meters to infinity, then it cannot focus on a subject that is only 5 feet away.  You can confirm or deny this behavior by switching to One Shot AF mode.  Set the switch to "Full", and observe the  Minimum Focusing Distance spec.  I think it right around 4.5 feet.  You're cutting it pretty close.

 

In One Shot AF mode, the focus lock ball in the viewfinder may flash and then turn steady for a focus lock.  When the camera cannot lock focus, then the focus lock ball will blink very rapidly.  As a general rule, anything blinking in the viewfinder is an alert that you have done something wrong and the camera needs your help to resolve it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
Highlighted
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎05-19-2020

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

That makes sense, thanks. I checked it at full and it does focus on the remote now. I also pushed the depth of field button and the viewfinder grew darker. What does that tell me exactly?

 

However, when I'm in the field, even yesterday with the woodpecker it was further than 3m away so I don't get why it wouldn't focus on the bird. Maybe there were too many shadows but the lens didn't have problems like that the first 6 months. 

Highlighted
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 972
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

The Depth of Field preview button steps the lens aperture down to the setting that will be used when actually taken the photo, otherwise the lens is left wide open for the brightest viewfinder display and best AF performance.  When you pressed the button and the display dimmed it shows that the aperture in the lens is behaving normally. 

 

The DoF preview button is a handy feature to use when you are trying to make sure that everything you want is in focus  (from front to back).  As the aperture is closed down, the depth of field increases and although the view grows darker in the viewfinder, you will be able to see what will and will not be in focus in the actual image.

 

How many AF points are you allowing the camera to use to achieve focus?  With telephoto lens, both for sports and for wildlife, I most commonly restrict AF to a single point and sometimes a single point with expansion.  Any chance you changed the AF point selection and that is causing the AF to now behave differently for you as it decides which AF points to use?  For birds in flight, you probably want to use a single point with expansion but for a perched bird I would try using a single AF point to see how that works for you.  The widest aperture with the 100-400 isn't fast enough to actuate the dual cross type sensors which provide the fastest and most accurate AF but that hasn't changed since you purchased the lens so that isn't the reason for a change in its focus performance.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
Highlighted
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎05-19-2020

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

I use single point expansion where there is 4 around it like a cross. I've previously used more and didn't like the obstructed view or the results. I've also previously used just single point but that just doesn't work very well when I'm trying to capture small songbirds.

 

I've used this for a while so I think it could be something in the camera settings I've changed and just forgotten about. Possibly something in the AF menu or the menu where there are 6 options with the tracking features.

 

Thanks for the replies Rodger

 

 

 

Highlighted
VIP
Posts: 12,547
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

"I've also previously used just single point but that just doesn't work very well when I'm trying to capture small songbirds."

 

Yes, yes it does and it is what you need to use. If you have a small bird and have other AF points available the lens may focus on a closer object (that's normal) and not the bird. Keep just the center point active, shut all the others off.

 

Here is what we should do.  First reset the camera, BTW, what camera are we using? Anyway reset it to factory. (Menus, tools, clear all settings and clear all custom settings)  Now set it to P mode, ISO 200, average WB.  Select to use just the center AF point. Do not mess with or set any other setting, only those I recommended.  Now make sure the lens is set to AF, full range and IS on. Double check.

 

Now go outside on a nice day and take random shots, Go to a park or some place nice. Don't shoot any birds just stuff, anything. If your camera/lens makes good shots, nice focus, exposure, there is nothing wrong with it or the lens.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Highlighted
VIP
Posts: 9,670
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

[ Edited ]

@canonbirds wrote:

I use single point expansion where there is 4 around it like a cross. I've previously used more and didn't like the obstructed view or the results. I've also previously used just single point but that just doesn't work very well when I'm trying to capture small songbirds.

 

I've used this for a while so I think it could be something in the camera settings I've changed and just forgotten about. Possibly something in the AF menu or the menu where there are 6 options with the tracking features.

 

Thanks for the replies Rodger

 

 

 


Exactly, losing track of setting changes is one reason why I have saved custom shooting modes for action and wildlife photography.  I have disabled the automatic update to the custom shooting mode settings.  You might consider this for your 7D2

 

I call C1 "bird on a branch" mode.  It uses just the center AF point, One Shot AF mode, Single Shot drive mode, and back button focus.  I use center weighted metering, too.  Pick your favorite shooting mode.  

 

I call C2 'action photography" mode.  It uses the center AF point as the starting point for tracking.  It uses AI Servo AF mode, Continuous drive mode.  I use the BBF button for [AF-OFF], though, instead of the more typical [AF-ON].  I use evaluative metering, but I may change it to center weighted average.

 

If you are only using the center AF point, or just the center and its' assist points, then the AF Case settings are moot and become totally meaningless.  The case settings only apply to AF tracking in Zone AF or with all AF points enabled.  If you are only using the center AF point, then you the photographer are doing 100% of the AF tracking, not the camera.

 

[EDIT]. One benefit of saving these custom shooting modes is that a standard camera reset does not clear them out.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
Highlighted
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎05-19-2020

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

I may try that at some point with the custom settings. I didn't realize the tracking menu was meaningless if you weren't using all 65 points, I guess that makes sense. 

 

I still feel like it may be a camera setting I changed at some point and just forgot because I have months and months of being out in the field with great, sharp pictures using AF expansion (4-point cross shape) on small birds, large birds, medium-sized birds, birds in flight, you name it, I've got it. 

 

It's a setting that's preventing me from autofocusing and I don't know what that is, or it's the lens. 

 

Thanks for the replies

Highlighted
VIP
Posts: 9,670
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working


@canonbirds wrote:

I may try that at some point with the custom settings. I didn't realize the tracking menu was meaningless if you weren't using all 65 points, I guess that makes sense. 

 

I still feel like it may be a camera setting I changed at some point and just forgot because I have months and months of being out in the field with great, sharp pictures using AF expansion (4-point cross shape) on small birds, large birds, medium-sized birds, birds in flight, you name it, I've got it. 

 

It's a setting that's preventing me from autofocusing and I don't know what that is, or it's the lens. 

 

Thanks for the replies


Follow Ernie's advice to reset the camera.  Some setting have their own reset.  The AF Case settings, Custom Shooting Modes, Custom Controls, and a couple of other topics have their own separate reset.

 

Speaking of Custom Controls, press the [AF-ON] button, just in case you set up BBF and have forgotten about. It.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
Highlighted
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 972
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Autofocus suddenly not working

The 7D Mark II may be different from the 1DX and 1DX II  where AF cases 1 through 4 are also applicable to single point AF with only 5 and 6 not applicable to a single AF point.  The 1DX III is a little different with only 4 cases but a lot more is done by the camera.  So check the AF guide for the 7D II to ascertain exactly what is happening/being modified as you step through the cases and whether you accidentally modified the settings for the case you are using.  To get around all of this I would first test AF in one shot mode so that AI servo and the various cases/modifications don't come into play.

 

Another option that is probably in the 7D II is how priority is biased for the first shot and then for subsequent shots in a burst mode where you can bias towards shutter release over focus or focus over shutter release.  If it is biased towards focus, it could increase lag before the shutter releases but it would NOT slow actual focus speed.  But if you go with shutter release priority, then it does increase the likelihood of getting more out of focus shots.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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