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View Full Version : Motor Sport-AI servo Predictive AF, auto or center AF point?


T_O_M
2nd of August 2004 (Mon), 07:39
When shooting motor sport with my 10D I use AI servo with automatic (7 point) AF point. A lot of people use center only, the manual says in Predictive AF using 7 point AF the camera will focus on the centre first and change points if the subject moves away from the center. I have a question about this, does the camera allways go into Predictive AF when using AI servo?

Cadwell
2nd of August 2004 (Mon), 07:57
Dunno.... but I generally use only the centre AF point for head on, rear and angled shots. The only time I use all 7 AF points is for close range panning shots.

That's what I have found works for me.

Murph7355
2nd of August 2004 (Mon), 08:02
I *think* it does.

I'm still experimenting with the best way for me, but am finding rapidly that Cadwell's way is the one that works more often for me too...

Cadwell
2nd of August 2004 (Mon), 08:48
The other important thing to note is that with AI servo you need to give the focusing system a second or so to settle. If you just aim and fire it will be out of focus. You need to track the car for about a second and then shoot.

Canuck
2nd of August 2004 (Mon), 09:54
I have found that I can't stand AF, I do far better MF. It just seems to me that I can't seem to get it as sharp on AF, shooting anything, hence I stick to MF.

Mark Kemp
2nd of August 2004 (Mon), 12:18
The AF on my D30 is supposed to be slower than 10Ds and 1D mk2s. I don't know, I have never tried either seriously so I can't comment. I hope that mk2s are better because I am planning to get one sometime soon.

I do a fair bit of motorsports and nearly always use servo AF and rely on it because I am busy framing and following the action and panning and stuff. I get a fair number of well focussed shots but not all. I only have 3 AF points and which I use depends on what I am trying to shoot. For a single car I will use the middle or back point only. For multiple car shots I usually try to get a fairly small aperture to keep them all sharp and get all three AF points over a car at once. This is much harder, but you sometimes get very good shots when it works. Of course I am an amateur and I can afford a lot more duff shots than pros.

There is one good piece of advice, before the cars come into shot, focus on the track at about where you want to pick them up, that way AF has a shorter distance to go and locks on faster.

I think you also must expect a fair number of poorly focussed shots, no matter what equipment or techniques you use. Tracking a moving target and keeping focus and decent framing etc etc is just plain tricky! But thats what makes it fun :)

Mayk
2nd of August 2004 (Mon), 16:32
I shoot both ALMS and GARRA sports car races and have been trying to figure out the best process for sharp pics....for the most part, I find using MF is the best way, as the amount of "delete...enter...delete...enter" finger dance on the keyboard happens more often with AF...even when I prefocus on the part of the track...mostly for head on or going away shots....pan shots are ok......

Do any 10D owners use the "sports setting"?

KM

IndyJeff
2nd of August 2004 (Mon), 20:13
I have a D60 and have used the sports setting. One thing I did notice it drains a battery pretty quick.

For head on shots, focus on part of the track and shoot the car as it approaches that spot. Typically you will have one out of focus, one soft, one sharp, one soft and one more out of focus. Trouble with doing that with anything that shoots 3FPS is you are counting on a bit of luck to have the car at the right spot as when the shutter releases.

I quit using the al servo shooting races as I think it slows down the FPS.

Cadwell
3rd of August 2004 (Tue), 01:40
:lol:

What's fascinating about this thread is that we all seem to have come up with different techniques to get the same result. It just goes to show that there is no "right" way of doing things - just what works for you.

As far as "sports mode" goes, no I never use it. It doesn't give me enough control. I will either shoot in TV or AV depending on what I am trying to achieve. I never use full manual at a race track because the lighting is too variable and there simply isn't time to make adjustments without missing shots.

T_O_M
3rd of August 2004 (Tue), 03:26
Sorry I should have mentioned I use TV or AV and I am talking about panning. I do get good results. It seems know one really knows if the camera does go into Predictive AF when using AI servo, automatic AF (7 point on 10D) all the time.

adamsti
3rd of August 2004 (Tue), 10:27
I just don't understand the MF thing. Canon probably spent millons, and thousands of hours trying to develop this stuff, yet some still MF. I understand the need with the 10D at times since it will only AF to f/5.6, but if you have a mkII and use MF?????

It's only my opinion (and we know what opinions are like), but if I spend $1500, or $4500 on a DSLR, I'm damn sure going to use AF to capture fast moving action. If you want MF, use an AE-1.

Let the blasting begin!!!! :D :D :D

Sisteron
12th of May 2007 (Sat), 08:08
This subject has been on my mind all week.Rallying is the biggest part of my motorsport work and I use AI servo as it gives me more shots per subject.

It's nice to see that I'm not alone in the field when it comes to having shots out of focus.After focusing my next worry is ISO settings as use manual settings.

W3C
12th of May 2007 (Sat), 08:10
When I am on shooting cars, bike etc etc I always use centre AF.

PeteDyer
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 16:14
Sorry all, i can see that this thread is reallly old!

I'm having the same dilemma.

At the moment i mainy shoot in MF, but im wondering with my current set up (350D + 70-300 Sigma) would I be asking to much of the camera if I was to use AF?

Thanks
Pete

Gordon S.
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 20:51
I've shot lots and lots of motorsports photos with a 350D and a 70-200 f4 using Servo+centre point. Worked great!

I'm very interested to see Cadwell saying he uses Tv/Av modes for shooting. I spent a lot of time weaning myself off the automatic modes because I never liked how the camera picked exposures, particularly when cars come in all variety of colors and headlights throw the whole equation out of wack. Just the way I do it though.

fitzhughsmith
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 21:22
I usually use the lower left focus point (I shoot front the infield) and set it on the front left tire when panning. I get more centered photos that way and the closest car is usually always in focus.

texaskev
26th of August 2008 (Tue), 00:32
I have found that I can't stand AF, I do far better MF. It just seems to me that I can't seem to get it as sharp on AF, shooting anything, hence I stick to MF.

Forgive me, I don't shoot the 10D. But how do you shoot sports in MF?!

Cadwell
26th of August 2008 (Tue), 07:50
It is probably not worth paying too much attention to, or querying how and why people did things 4 years ago on cameras that they (probably) no longer use. Technique varies to suit the capabilities or limitations of the equipment.

PeteDyer
26th of August 2008 (Tue), 13:54
Thanks for the feedback, think i'll go for it this weekend!

Cadwell
26th of August 2008 (Tue), 18:43
Sorry all, i can see that this thread is reallly old!

I'm having the same dilemma.

At the moment i mainy shoot in MF, but im wondering with my current set up (350D + 70-300 Sigma) would I be asking to much of the camera if I was to use AF?

Thanks
Pete

To answer your question, the camera's AIServo AF system would be up to accurately tracking a fast moving race car but I doubt whether the focus motor on the Sigma 70-300mm will be. If you had a lens with Canon USM (ring-type) or Sigma HSM then it would do fine.

PeteDyer
27th of August 2008 (Wed), 16:18
Thanks Cadwell, think thats the main problem with the budget lens, the Canon USM lens are pretty highly priced for something that is always probably going to be a hobby at best. I reckon i'll try half the race with MF and give AF a shot with the rest!

Pete