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Thread: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

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    Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    I would like to know if any member can help/advise me on the above combination while taking moving images. I fly birds of prey for a living and take pictures for our web site and am keen to improve my techniques and quality of pictures. I have been very frustrated for some time on the best way to get a crisp sharp image while the birds are in flight. I have tried AI Focus and AI Servo with center AF and 2.8 F and find the camera or lens just cant keep up with the focussing in flight. Over 40/50 yards the birds are not that fast and yet taking 4 or 5 in a sequence can result in all being out of focus except maybe the first taken which is a long way off! The best results so far gained have been by focussing on an object and sliding the control to MF and taking a picture as hopefully the bird flies through the focal point. Any thoughts comments advice would be warmly received. Rod
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 21st October 2009 at 09:43 PM.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Over 40/50 yards the birds are not that fast and yet taking 4 or 5 in a sequence can result in all being out of focus except maybe the first taken which is a long way off!
    Hi Rod,

    Reading the above, I am guessing they are flying towards you rather than you being able to pan as they fly past you at roughly the same distance? Is it possible to change that?

    That's a toughy for sure.

    Being a Nikon man, I'll await one of the many Canonites to answer.
    I'm not sure but is there something in the shooting modes that is (for max speed) freezing on first focus, rather than checking between each shot?
    Another possibility is how many focus points is it considering? too many, not enough?

    I'm waffling so I'll stop

    Cheers,

  3. #3
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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Thanks for reply Dave and yes they are flying very much towards me, a vital point I missed out in my question. I have not really tried anything else other than head on as prefer the image to be from that perspective. Birds in flight can be very 'flat' when panning from left to right. I await other interesting responses with eagerness. Rod

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Any thoughts comments advice would be warmly received. Rod
    Hi Rod,

    You're going to find that you're between "a rock and a hard place" I suspect. The 5D AF is very mediocre AF speed wise - what you're asking is far more in the realm of the likes of the 1D3 (which has a seperate high-speed CPU dedicated to AF). The only other thing that I can think of is to shoot at a higher ISO and smaller aperture to increase your depth of field (and get familiar with DoF zone / hyperfocal distances etc).

    Additionally, the 24-70 is far too short unless the birds are really close (at which point you'll have focus issues). I don't do a lot of BIF shots, but when I do I find even my 70-200/2.8L IS too short.

    There's no problem that money can't solve - but the likes of a 1D3 & something like EF100-400 don't come cheap (although the price of the 1D3 should drop now that the 1D4 has just been announced).

    Hope this helps!

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Thanks Colin for your thoughts, I have for some time thought the 5D was slow at focussing, I use the 24-70 for close up pictures and do appreciate I am asking a lot to get the 'perfect' picture. I do have some success which has always been through pre focussing and then locking onto MF. Would any of the Custom Functions help me? As this is an area I have never touched.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Thanks Colin for your thoughts, I have for some time thought the 5D was slow at focussing, I use the 24-70 for close up pictures and do appreciate I am asking a lot to get the 'perfect' picture. I do have some success which has always been through pre focussing and then locking onto MF. Would any of the Custom Functions help me? As this is an area I have never touched.
    Hi Rod,

    I'd be surprised if any CF changes helped. I lot of people refer to the 5D with great reverence, but the reality is that it's basically just a full frame version of the 20D - and that's pretty dated technology for "action" shots.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Hi Rod,
    I agree with Colin.I have a 5DII and a 50D.The 5Ds are very nice cameras,but not made for the action you want to capture.It can be done,but as you see, it's going to be hit and miss.The 50D smokes my 5DII in action shooting.If you don't want to lay out a lot of money and don't mind a crop body you could pick up a used 40D or 50D and a 70-200.
    Last edited by Jim B.; 22nd October 2009 at 11:18 AM.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I lot of people refer to the 5D with great reverence, but the reality is that it's basically just a full frame version of the 20D - and that's pretty dated technology for "action" shots.
    Don't be puttin down my new camera now! It's my baby!

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    Don't be puttin down my new camera now! It's my baby!
    Not at all -- the 5D and the 20D are both vintage classics!

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    If your talking about the 5dmk1 then i'll be quiet... lol... thought you were talking about the mk2.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    If your talking about the 5dmk1 then i'll be quiet... lol... thought you were talking about the mk2.
    Yeah - talking about the 5D, not 5D2 (still prefer my 1Ds3 thought )

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Thanks guys for your responses, I happen to have a EOS 20D and a Sigma 70-200 lens and have started to use them once again, not sure why I gave up on them but did and bought my 5D. Today I read a very interesting article about a 1d3 and 20d which can be found here at http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/article...rk3_review.htm

    Now I am not an expert, but I am getting the idea that for tracking and taking pictures of moving objects the 20 is probably as good as is available especially at the price! I have tried my 20 today and have decided to try a test against my 5 with a 300 prime, the sigma 70-200 and my 24-70. Then I can be sure even with my limited skills they will be tested under almost exactly same conditions.

    My Sigma lens after a burst of shots went into some sort of limp mode and had a darker view through lens and very much lower Shutter speed. This returned to normal after a while and then did exactly the same later after taking another burst of shots can any of you guys tell me why? what? is going on.

    Thanks for all your help

    Rod

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Hi Rod,

    Sounds like the aperture blades are sticking.It's stopping the lens down so you're going to get slower shutter speeds.Never had this happen to me.When it happens,does the camera display show a different f/stop than what you dialed in? Just curious

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Today I read a very interesting article about a 1d3 and 20d which can be found here at http://www.juzaphoto.com/eng/article...rk3_review.htm
    Hi Rod,

    There were many reviews / articles on the 1D3, especially relating to the AF performance - with the referenced Rob Galbraith article being the most popular. A number of issues were identified (and fixed) by Canon regarding the AF;

    - Sub-mirror alignment ("blue dot" fix) (affecting a range of serial numbers)

    - Firmware enhancements

    - and a later and more obscure issue relating to AF with AF points other than the centre one.

    The whole fiasco generated far more "heat" than it did "light" with every man and his dog having something (usually bad) to say about the camera -- the fact that the majority had never even seen the camera first hand (let alone ever used one) (or heaven forbid actually owned one!) never entered into the majority of the "discussions". The vast majority of those who actually owned one seemed to find that it's AF performance was it's greatest strength, not a weakness! MANY of the "issues" came from people who didn't know how to use it properly; it offered many configurable options never seen before (like servo sensitivity adjustments - AF assist point selection - AF / continuous shooting priorities etc) and using it IS different to using previous models (especially the bit of how you HAVE to acquire initial focus using the center AF point when in servo mode). Canon put out quite a few documents on using it which I often ended up sending to people who already had it.

    In the end that whole thing got so political and polarising that I simply told people who were thinking of investing to put aside any pre-conceptions and just try it for themselves; ALL of the ones that did that - that I know of - bought the camera, with several commenting to me afterwards ("what the "heck" was all the fuss about?").

    I've used it to photograph formula one boats coming towards me at over 100 mph - daughter on chair-o-plane rides where she was wizzing past so fast I couldn't identify her fast enough unless I followed her with my eyes from when she swung around the back - I've had collegue hang the camera (mine!) out the window of a moving car to catch the bridal car turning into a street - you name it - it was just fine

    So yeah - it very much like a Formula 1 car - takes a while to learn how to get the most out of it, but when you do, it's lethal!

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    So what I'm hearing is there is some secret document from Canon that says how to make the AF work perfectly every time........ you must share it with us...

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    So what I'm hearing is there is some secret document from Canon that says how to make the AF work perfectly every time........ you must share it with us...
    About 7 PDF documents that help people get the best out of the camera - your most welcome to them if you'd like.

    Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    (note - focus is on the face of my daughter on (the left) - lot's of motion blur (1/50th sec) - but flash freezes her - and her face is tack sharp. Bit of noise due to high ISO) - I'm having trouble timing the shots, but the 1D3 is nailing the shot nearly every time.

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    F1 Boat - at speed. 100% Crop - no Post Processing other than capture sharpening. Shot with Canon 1 Ds3 (not 1D3), but same AF Unit

    I think his knuckles look a bit white!

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Same boat - no crop (just to show no tricks!)

    Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Hi to all who have posted to my requests and a big thanks for your time and thoughts. My spirits are once again lifted to day when I put my 300 on to my 20 and got some very good defined pictures. I chose a snowy owl to practice on as knew she would add extra stress! I used both my 5 and 20 with the 3 lenses I have 24-70, 300 and a Sigma 70-200. I have kept the best of the bunch and they are all from the 300 combination with the 20, whooppeee success at last. So now its down to practice and skill rather than a poor choice of camera/lens.

    snowy-owl-002-20-52-35.jpg

    snowy-owl-003-20-52-35.jpg

    As to the Sigma and this 'problem' I will spend some time to try and find what is happening, I have been using P mode and left it to the camera. When the fault happens it is like a darker lens dropping down as in eye test. When left the camera returns to normal some time later. So not sure what is going on. The pictures taken with this condition then have very reduced shutter speed as though it was very low light.

    I am very pleased that the EOS 1D mark 3 is living up to its great promise to those who have spent the monetary commitment, maybe one day I can justify the expense for my hobby over the other expenses in life!

    All the best
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 23rd October 2009 at 11:11 PM. Reason: add owls inline

  20. #20
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    Re: Canon EOS 5D & EF 24-70

    Hi Rod,

    That's the ticket! Beautiful owl and very nice shots.

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