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Thread started 22 Jan 2012 (Sunday) 05:02
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Safe to stay in AI servo on a 5D2?

 
talbot_sunbeam
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Jan 23, 2012 12:21 |  #16

joonrhee wrote in post #13753773 (external link)
I'm exclusively always using AI Servo on both 5D2 and 1DIV. To me, there is absolutely no difference in focus accuracy. I just have the advantage of being able to shoot moving objects as well as static objects.

Yeah, that's what I think I'm going back to doing... makes sense for me.



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tdodd
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Jan 23, 2012 13:46 |  #17

joonrhee wrote in post #13753773 (external link)
I'm exclusively always using AI Servo on both 5D2 and 1DIV. To me, there is absolutely no difference in focus accuracy. I just have the advantage of being able to shoot moving objects as well as static objects.

You might want to take a look at the topic on this page - http://digitaljournali​st.org/issue0905/tech-tips.html (external link) - which says....

Q. In poor lighting, say an exposure of f/1.2, 1/15 to 1/30 second, at ISO 800 in evaluative metering with an EOS-1D Mark III, selecting the center AF point manually, I'm observing a fairly significant difference in the AF sensitivity between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF. In AI Servo mode, on an object with relatively decent contrast, the 1D Mark III is unable to lock focus. When I switch to One-Shot AF, the center AF point quite accurately focuses on the subject and gives a confirmation beep and I am able to capture the frame with extremely sharp accuracy handheld. It is almost as if in AI Servo mode, the AF sensitivity has suddenly switched "profiles" to a rather less sensitive "mode," so as to not be able to lock onto the subject in a fairly low-light situation, whereas One-Shot AF mode has absolutely no issues with that same situation and subject. Does my camera need to go back to Service or is the camera performing according to its design?

A. The light level you describe (ISO 800, 1/15 at f/1.2) is close to the threshold of the EOS-1D Mark III's low-light AF sensitivity. Without the use of flash under these lighting conditions, it would be very difficult to obtain sharp photos at f/1.2 unless the camera was steadied through use of a tripod, and also the camera's reflex mirror should be locked prior to exposure. Assuming that you're prepared to take those considerations into account, then your observation about the difference in focusing capability between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF for the EOS-1D Mark III is correct. Focus will lock on a subject with readable contrast in One-Shot AF, but AF will fail under the same lighting conditions in AI Servo AF. That is completely normal and to be expected. It's due to differences in the amount of time that light is allowed to accumulate on each pixel in the AF sensor. That period of time, which Canon does not disclose, is longer for One-Shot AF than it is for AI Servo AF, and the result is superior low-light performance for One-Shot AF. This is essentially the performance level that the EOS-1D Mark III is designed to offer in extremely low light, so there would be no benefit in sending the camera in for service on this issue.


I would be surprised if similar limits did not apply to other bodies too. Certainly I am a back button focuser and usually have the camera in AI Servo, but when I need fuss free focusing on a static subject in tricky conditions I tend as often as not to now switch to One Shot for extra security.




  
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anthony11
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Jan 23, 2012 13:51 |  #18
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tdodd wrote in post #13754311 (external link)
Certainly I am a back button focuser and usually have the camera in AI Servo, but when I need fuss free focusing on a static subject in tricky conditions I tend as often as not to now switch to One Shot for extra security.

What about an unpredictable subject in, say, 1/200 f/2 ISO 1600? AI Servo results with my 5D2, center point or otherwise, are often poor. Conditions: my son sitting on our living room couch.


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tdodd
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Jan 23, 2012 14:00 |  #19

anthony11 wrote in post #13754333 (external link)
What about an unpredictable subject in, say, 1/200 f/2 ISO 1600? AI Servo results with my 5D2, center point or otherwise, are often poor. Conditions: my son sitting on our living room couch.

Whatever works. You don't get much DOF at 85mm and f/2 on full frame. I would think that if someone is sitting on a couch they are not exactly leaping about, so if AI Servo is not working out, what have you got to lose by trying the alternative. Of course you need to locate the active focus point over an area of good contrast. An eye is a good choice. A cheek or forehead is not. If your DOF is very shallow (head shot for example) then focus/recompose would probably be an unwise option. Experiment.




  
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joonrhee
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Jan 23, 2012 14:37 |  #20

tdodd wrote in post #13754311 (external link)
You might want to take a look at the topic on this page - http://digitaljournali​st.org/issue0905/tech-tips.html (external link) - which says....



I would be surprised if similar limits did not apply to other bodies too. Certainly I am a back button focuser and usually have the camera in AI Servo, but when I need fuss free focusing on a static subject in tricky conditions I tend as often as not to now switch to One Shot for extra security.

I have to agree with you, as I did experience faster and more accurate focusing with one-shot under the extreme low light conditions, especially with the 1DIV. But I'm rarely shooting in those conditions, so I continue to have my cameras on AI Servo mode. :D


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talbot_sunbeam
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Jan 23, 2012 14:48 |  #21

Good info, thanks.

Ok, so in low light, one-shot is potentially more sensitive and *can* lock focus better in some circumstances - good to know...



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anthony11
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Jan 23, 2012 15:05 |  #22
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tdodd wrote in post #13754379 (external link)
Whatever works. You don't get much DOF at 85mm and f/2 on full frame. I would think that if someone is sitting on a couch they are not exactly leaping about

One would think so, but not always the case.

so if AI Servo is not working out, what have you got to lose by trying the alternative.

I plan to, but also have many inexplicable apparent failures in bright light.

Of course you need to locate the active focus point over an area of good contrast. An eye is a good choice.

I always try for an eye, but this proves to be rather difficult to track on a subject who isn't posing.

If your DOF is very shallow (head shot for example) then focus/recompose would probably be an unwise option. Experiment.

I *never* focus/recompose at any aperture. I don't see a point to it.


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sloanbj
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Nov 25, 2012 04:56 |  #23

Definitely back button focus and AI servo works best for 90% of situations. There is no disadvantage to this and it works great!


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anthony11
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Nov 25, 2012 08:19 |  #24
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sloanbj wrote in post #15286015 (external link)
Definitely back button focus and AI servo works best for 90% of situations.

Just Because? That isn't clear.

There is no disadvantage to this and it works great!

The disadvantages include having to fish around for a separate button and a less-steady hold of the body. The advantage is what? Other than a snug sense of superiority?


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Nov 25, 2012 08:57 |  #25

I used AI servo on my 5D2 most of the time I had it on BBF and found it easier that way. Now I have a 7D and 5D3 and they are both set to AI servo and BBF. I shoot mainly wildlife and aviation and the setup gives me the best results.


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HLxDrummer
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Nov 25, 2012 09:10 |  #26

Very interesting topic!

I shot in one shot when I can, simply because I get the focus confirmation. I don't have to wonder if it is in focus at my selected point or not, it tells me. That little beep really makes me feel good inside.

HOWEVER, a good point was brought up about the camera moving. If you have a very thin DOF and you use one shot with BBF and it takes a second for you to trigger the shutter, the subject could go OOF.

I would use servo all the time but I feel like it is a little slow to respond. I hear the focus motor going er-er-er and I feel like during those little breaks that if I pull the trigger that the shot will be OOF. Am I thinking about it too much?

Curious to see where this goes..


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Kaiser_photographer
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Nov 25, 2012 09:21 as a reply to  @ HLxDrummer's post |  #27

Started using BBF(Back Button Focusing) a year ago, just to see what was all the fuzz about.
Been using it on 5D2 and then started using it on my 7D as well. Great for using with Ai-Servo, let go off the button and recompose is like one shot AF, or just press to focus let go and shoot.
AI-servo on my 5D2 is good, as on all CANON cameras, at least for me, sometimes misfocused but was my error.


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Christina.DazzleByDesign
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Nov 25, 2012 09:24 |  #28

There are times when I find One Shot for COMPLETELY still subjects (like cars, statues, ornamental things) to result in a sharper image than the same image taken with ai servo. I chalked this up to being that on an inanimate subject, ai servo is looking for movement, so while the resulting image is still in focus and sharp, Ive found on pixel peeping levels that one shot has finer details. On PEOPLE I have rarely seen a difference in IQ between the two modes. I think due to the fact that even when standing still, people still move a little bit, enough for both one shot and ai servo to look the same.

In extreme low light, I find one-shot to be more accurate.


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Sovern
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Nov 25, 2012 12:47 |  #29
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I just switched from one shot to AI Servo today and to me AI Servo with * focus seems to make the most sense as even with portraiture small movements do happen and when shooting wide open these subtle movements can make the difference between a hit or a miss.

You can do everything you could do with one shot and better. You can focus in and quickly recompose and press that shutter and you don't have to worry about missing shots because the camera hasn't "locked on" yet.

Another tip I have to offer is to make sure you use center point only if you're shooting anything involving people whether they're moving or not as if you're using fast glass it will focus more accurately because the center point only "sees" f2.8 no manner what aperture you have your lens at as long as it's f2.8 or faster.

Using center point and recomposing with fast glass is going to result in more keepers than using the less accurate and less fast side points


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Nov 25, 2012 12:56 |  #30

I find the AI Servo mode more accurate for the reason described above. It takes a little getting used to (to abandon the comfort of the confirmation beep).


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Safe to stay in AI servo on a 5D2?
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