Canon Digital Photography Forums  

Go Back   Canon Digital Photography Forums > 'Equipment Talk' section > Canon EOS Digital Cameras
Register Rules FAQ Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
Badgerballs
Member
 
Badgerballs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: East Sussex, England
Posts: 460
Default 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Which is the best for photographing aircraft flying i.e. airshows. I am using my 7D with an EF 70-200 2.8 IS II. Would I use AI Servo with Zone AF?
__________________
"Try shooting badgers, creep up in the dark, they hear the shutter, the flash goes off, they run, and what's the shot... "Badgerballs" !!!!
7D..G12..Sekonic L758-D, 2x600EX-RT, YN-E3-RT and a bag that's far too heavy.
Tip: Good photographers don't show their bad photos.

Badgerballs is offline   Reply With Quote
This ad block will go away when you log in as member
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
apersson850
Cream of the Crop
 
apersson850's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Traryd, Sweden
Posts: 10,527
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Depends a lot on the aircraft. If you can keep a single point on the aircraft, where you want it, it usually gives better precision. Zone AF may lead to getting the wingtip sharp but the fuselage soft, for example.

But if you are unable to maintain focus with a single point, then more points with associated higher risk for confusion is better than no point at all on the target.
__________________
Anders
apersson850 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
cutwater
Member
 
cutwater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: near Lake George, NY
Posts: 564
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

I shoot small planes at local private airports as they take off and land or do an overhead fly by.

I use single point, AI Servo and Continuous High Speed. I am pretty close to the planes so single point usually works.

Also, try using IS mode 2 on your lens when panning, it's supposed to only compensate for vertical shake.
__________________
| 5D Mark III | 5D Mark II | 7D | 24L II | 35L | 50 1.4 | 85 1.8 | 100 macro | 135L | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200L II | 70-300L | Speedlites |
cutwater is offline   Reply With Quote
This ad block will go away when you log in as member
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
Jim_T
Goldmember
 
Jim_T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Woodlands, MB, Canada
Posts: 3,205
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

I've photographed lots of planes at the local airport and at airshows with my 7D + 100-400L I've had great results just using a single AF point in one-shot mode.
Jim_T is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
TeamSpeed
Cream of the Crop
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Cow and Corn Country, Indiana
Posts: 24,874
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

I cannot remember what I used, but I think I would use single point with expansion turned on (AF Point Expansion), just in case I couldn't keep the primary point on target. I also would use AI Servo, just to be safe when aircraft do a fly over and the reduced distances reduces the DOF, however when planes are far off, your DOF is probably near infinity, and One Shot may work well too.

http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resou..._article.shtml
__________________
SL1 | 5D3 | 100L | 24-70L | 70-200L f2.8 IS | Σ 50-500 OS | Σ 50 1.4 | Tok 11-16 | 18-55 IS | 55-250 IS
Past Equipment | My Gallery | My Mini-Reviews
Resources For Sale: Focus Genie MicroAdjustment Chart | High ISO Denoiser Action

Last edited by TeamSpeed : 2 Weeks Ago at 08:49.
TeamSpeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
BigAl007
Goldmember
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Posts: 2,873
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Aviation is one of my favourite subjects. I do not have a 7D, so am not at all familiar with all of the possible settings. I would defiantly use AI Servo mode. When it comes to the number of points, I would probably use more than just the center spot. With my 50D I tend to use all points, which in AI Servo starts by locking on with the center point, and switches to other points is the center point loses focus.

I do not normally worry about the point on the aircraft that gets picked up. If the aircraft fills the frame enough that I would be worried about picking up a wingtip instead of the fuselage or cockpit then I'm unlikely to lose focus and have it switch all the way out to a wingtip. I also generally like to shoot around f/8, and often on a bright day, with propellor driven aircraft where I keep my maximum shutter speed as 1/160, even ISO 100 can call for values between f/11 and f/16. This normally gives me plenty of DoF, so if I am shooting something that is pretty small in the VF one of the AF points is likely to stay locked on.

Personally I think that you will struggle with shooting aircraft in flight with only a 200mm lens. Unless you are looking at airliners taking off and landing at an airport. I mostly shoot with 300mm and sometimes at airshows find 400mm can be too short. I have recently tried the Tamron 150-600mm and that range seems almost perfect.

Alan
__________________
My Flickr
BigAl007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
pknight
Goldmember
 
pknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Flyover Country
Posts: 2,010
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl007 View Post
Personally I think that you will struggle with shooting aircraft in flight with only a 200mm lens. Unless you are looking at airliners taking off and landing at an airport. I mostly shoot with 300mm and sometimes at airshows find 400mm can be too short. I have recently tried the Tamron 150-600mm and that range seems almost perfect.

Alan
Alan,
So the Tamron is working well for you with AI Servo tracking? A lot of people seem to slam it in that regard, though I'm not sure that some of them actually have the lens. I am heading to a wildlife preserve with mine this weekend, and am planning to try BIF at different focal lengths (400 and up) to really give it a test.
__________________
Digital EOS 7D + BG-E7 Canon: EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Life-Size Converter EF, Speedlite 430 EX, MR-14EX Ringlite
Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC
, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC
Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Kenko: 1.4x Pro 300 DG Teleconverter,
pknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
BigAl007
Goldmember
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Posts: 2,873
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

I only rented the big Tamron. I had no issues with AF on AI Servo with my 50D. I did have some issues with the IS system though. I tend to shoot at 1/160 quite a lot, and as the IS lacks a panning mode it caused a lot of issues with shots at those shutter speeds, with apparent problems with feedback vibration.

No issues though when shooting jets at 1/1000 or faster, even when panning. Apparently the lack of support for panning is a design feature brought about by doing 600mm. This seems to not be a problem for either of the two new Sigma 150-600's.

Alan
__________________
My Flickr
BigAl007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
amfoto1
Cream of the Crop
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Jose, California
Posts: 9,968
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

I'd "defiantly" () use AI Servo the time for airborne shots too!

I'd only use One Shot if the airplane were sitting parked on the ground.

Other than that, it depends...

If shooting fairly high in the sky, clear from and above the treeline and/or any other objects that might "distract" the camera's AF system, Zone Focus or even All Points might be usable.... Particularly if the sky is cloudless, solid overcast or any clouds are pretty distant and featureless.

Another risk of using any of the multi-point AF patterns is, as described by someone else above, the camera might focus on a portion of the subject that's closest to you, for example on a closer wingtip, instead of the fuselage, which can lead to the more distant parts of the subject being slightly soft.

This is more a concern if using a larger aperture. Stopping the lens down a bit can reduce risk of this happening, by increasing depth of field so that more of the subject is within acceptable focus. But it's also going to depend upon how much distance there is between you and the subject and the focal length of the lens. Shorter focal lengths make for greater depth of field.... and DOF is deeper at greater distances.

Otherwise and if at all possible I'd use Single Point (not Spot Focus), so that I can place the AF point right where I want it. You still have to watch DOF, but won't have to stop down as much if you are focusing on the fuselage, for example, to get both the nearer and the more distance wingtips also in focus.

For faster moving subjects, don't use the 7D's Spot (high precision/single point) Focus pattern. It's slower acquiring and tracking movement.

This might be an ideal opportunity to experiment with Back Button Focusing, if not already using it. You can control the AF better, when it's separated from the shutter release button and it's functions (Note: on 7D BBF is set up simply by unassigning AF from the shutter release button... it's already assigned to the AF-On button on the back of the camera. Optionally, it's possible to swap the functions of the AF-On and */AE-Lock buttons... I do this because the latter is larger and more prominent, so makes sense to me to use it for AF, which I do continuously on all shots, while AE-Lock is something I only occasionally do).

I would leave IS on (it can't hurt) and in Mode 1. Unless I were shooting low flyers against some sort of background that I wanted to "speed blur" by using a slower shutter speed, in which case IS Mode 2 or "Panning Mode" would be a better choice.

With propeller driven aircraft, you might want to experiment with different shutter speeds. Too fast a shutter might make shots look odd, with the propeller frozen. Some propeller blur usually looks more "normal", but too slow a shutter speed would make it virtually disappear. Exactly what works best will vary depending upon the speed of the propeller (rpm and diameter come into play) and distance from which you're shooting. So I'd suggest experimenting to see what you like best.

Oh, and by the way, watch your exposure shooting at airshows. It's usually very easy to underexpose the subject airplane(s), due to brightness of the sky behind them, particularly if shooting the shadowed side of your subject.

Last edited by amfoto1 : 2 Weeks Ago at 13:59.
amfoto1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
pknight
Goldmember
 
pknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Flyover Country
Posts: 2,010
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl007 View Post
I only rented the big Tamron. I had no issues with AF on AI Servo with my 50D. I did have some issues with the IS system though. I tend to shoot at 1/160 quite a lot, and as the IS lacks a panning mode it caused a lot of issues with shots at those shutter speeds, with apparent problems with feedback vibration.

No issues though when shooting jets at 1/1000 or faster, even when panning. Apparently the lack of support for panning is a design feature brought about by doing 600mm. This seems to not be a problem for either of the two new Sigma 150-600's.

Alan
Ah! We may have discussed this on another thread. I can't imagine going after BIF at 1/160, but I am curious and will try some panning at slow speeds to see what happens.
__________________
Digital EOS 7D + BG-E7 Canon: EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Life-Size Converter EF, Speedlite 430 EX, MR-14EX Ringlite
Tamron: SP 17-50mm f/2.8 DiII, AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC
, SP 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC
Sigma: 30mm f/1.4 DC Art Kenko: 1.4x Pro 300 DG Teleconverter,
pknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
archer1960
Goldmember
 
archer1960's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,651
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pknight View Post
Alan,
So the Tamron is working well for you with AI Servo tracking? A lot of people seem to slam it in that regard, though I'm not sure that some of them actually have the lens. I am heading to a wildlife preserve with mine this weekend, and am planning to try BIF at different focal lengths (400 and up) to really give it a test.
IIRC, most of the AI Servo issues with the Tamzooka were when it was mounted on a 7D. Apparently the Tamzooka's updated firmware fixed that for many people.
__________________
T1i (500D), SX50HS, A2E film body, Tamzooka (150-600), Tamron 18-270 VC, Canon FD 100 f/4.0 macro, Canon 24-105 f/4L,Canon EF 200 f/2.8LII, Canon 85 f/1.8, Tamron Adaptall 2 90mmf/2.5 Macro, Tokina 11-16, Canon EX-430 flash, Vivitar DF-383 flash, Astro-Tech AT6RC and Celestron NexStar 102 GT telescopes, various other semi-crappy manual lenses and stuff.
archer1960 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
BigAl007
Goldmember
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Posts: 2,873
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pknight View Post
Ah! We may have discussed this on another thread. I can't imagine going after BIF at 1/160, but I am curious and will try some panning at slow speeds to see what happens.
From my own experience, and information I got from the Tamron UK rep that I spoke to, it seems like the IS will cope reasonably well with shutter speeds at or above 1/320. Most of my shots that were at 1/160 or below had issues when I was swinging round at angular velocities of between about 3 to 6 degrees per second. The things with aircraft is that at either end of a pass they are coming/leaving with very little angular velocity. Its only while they are passing across almost in front of you that there is a large angular velocity. The slow shutter speed shots at the ends, where there was little apparent movement, except change of distance the lens was OK. With the shutter speeds up around 1/1000 or higher there were no problems with the IS at any point. At least when I did my part. The jets were also going much faster too, so passing with higher angular velocities. I did go into this on the Tamron 150-600 thread in the lens forum, whit pictures.

Alan
__________________
My Flickr
BigAl007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
apersson850
Cream of the Crop
 
apersson850's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Traryd, Sweden
Posts: 10,527
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amfoto1 View Post
I'd "defiantly" () use AI Servo the time for airborne shots too!
That's only for taking photos of an old Boulton Paul.
__________________
Anders
apersson850 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
BigAl007
Goldmember
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Posts: 2,873
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Definitely a Defiant :P


Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I by alan-evans, on Flickr

A really good design, a fighter with no forward firing guns!

Spell checkers are great, but sometimes very hard to use for those with Dyslexia. Mine is quite mild, and I can usually pick the correct choice from the list. My daughter on the other hand really struggles to be able to choose the correct word from the list, as they all pretty much look the same to her. She also has the problem of the text on the page/screen seeming to move about. She has been given glasses with a strong blue tint that really help her reading. Giving her about a 120% improvement in reading speed. So there is some hope for some suffers of this condition.
Oh and in my case no offence taken, although I could do with the gate.

Alan
__________________
My Flickr
BigAl007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
Snydremark
Cream of the Crop
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 15,167
Default Re: 7D Aircraft autofocus mode?

Single point AF, AI Servo w/ tracking sensitivity dialed down 1 to 2 notches in case I have to track it behind some plylons or a grandstand or two. Exposure in M or sometimes Tv, to be able to adjust shutter speed between jets and props and meter off of the sky behind the action if I'm lucky enough to be shooting with my back to the sun. If not, I'll meter off of something along the flightline that is backlit the same way the planes are going to be as they cross the stage.
__________________
- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (7D, 40D, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS, Tamron 150-600 f/5-6.3 Di VC, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Tamron 18-270 DiII PZD, 580EX II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."
Snydremark is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Autofocus darkens on 5D MK III? (Movie Mode) Jocce Canon EOS Digital Cameras 5 26th of June 2013 (Wed) 09:37
Autofocus: Quick mode or Live mode tonyq Canon EOS Digital Cameras 5 28th of November 2012 (Wed) 08:34
5D3 will only autofocus in Auto mode schlagle Canon EOS Digital Cameras 29 27th of July 2012 (Fri) 20:49
Autofocus the 7D in Movie mode? Brainstormer Digital Video 5 6th of February 2011 (Sun) 19:32
Autofocus mode whaa...? snapsniper Canon EOS Digital Cameras 9 19th of January 2005 (Wed) 19:40


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 19:28.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This forum is not affiliated with Canon in any way and is run as a free user helpsite by Pekka Saarinen, Helsinki Finland. You will need to register in order to be able to post messages. Cookies are required for registering and posting. HTML in messages is not allowed, plain website addresses are automatically made active by the board.