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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 17 Dec 2012 (Monday) 16:40
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5D w/85 1.8?

 
TSchrief
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Dec 17, 2012 16:40 |  #1
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I purchased a used (duh!) 5D recently. I discovered quickly that it does not focus the 50 1.8 very well in low light, such as after dark in a large living room lit by 3 or 4 60W bulbs. It does not matter whether I use a flash with 'focus assist' or not. I just started playing with the 85 1.8 and am getting the same results. Both lenses seem to work (focus) fine in good light. I can take either of them outside, even in heavy clouds/overcast and get good results with my 5D. Both lenses work fine, in almost any light on my 60D. Is this normal behavior for the 5D? Is there an AF sensor I can clean, or something? I am using center-point only. This makes the camera just about unusable in poor lighting, even with a flash. Does my 5D have a problem, or am I spoiled by the 60D? Oh, it seems to work OK with my 24 2.8. And it works well, with all my lenses, outdoors.


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Dec 17, 2012 16:44 |  #2

Make sure you have the focus assist turned on in the custom function settings. The 50 1.8 is not a great focusing lens but the 85 is.




  
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TSchrief
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Dec 17, 2012 17:10 |  #3
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Thanks. I double checked just to be sure. It is on, and working.


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Dec 17, 2012 18:45 |  #4

Coming from a couple of 1D series and a 7D dslr the 5D's poor focusing in low light takes some getting used to. Just the nature of the beast from that old a tech I'm afraid, unless I'm missing something also.


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TSchrief
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Dec 17, 2012 18:59 |  #5
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Thorrulz wrote in post #15378980 (external link)
Coming from a couple of 1D series and a 7D dslr the 5D's poor focusing in low light takes some getting used to. Just the nature of the beast from that old a tech I'm afraid, unless I'm missing something also.

That is what I assumed. I know my 60D is hugely better (faster, more accurate) than my T1i was. And both of them are/were better than the 5D is. I was hoping maybe there was something I could clean to improve it, though. It is worse than 50% miss rate in low light. Part of it may be age, too. It does work OK in decent light, with center point only.


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npompei
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Dec 17, 2012 19:13 |  #6

Hmmmmm interesting because I have used the 5d at weddings with low light and while it's not quick it certainly does ok. Have any lenses other than the 50 and 85?


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Dec 17, 2012 19:30 |  #7

npompei wrote in post #15379110 (external link)
Hmmmmm interesting because I have used the 5d at weddings with low light and while it's not quick it certainly does ok. Have any lenses other than the 50 and 85?

I have a 50, 85 and 135L and the 5D performs the same with each lens. Outdoors is no problem, but once you come indoors in a more low contrast setting the camera struggles to attain proper focus.

Of course I bought mine for outdoor portraits and indoor studio work so I use mine 80% under those conditions. The t2i mostly for the rest.


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My sister, the professional baker and cake decorator once told me that my camera takes great pics. My reply was that I thought her oven baked great cakes.:lol:

  
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Dec 17, 2012 19:41 |  #8

This may be pointless to offer if you are that experienced, but are you giving it an edge? I have shot with the 5d forever, and you have to provide a contrasting edge to get the fast lock. The frame of glasses, the neckline/shirt area, airplane/sky, whatever...

If you are trying to focus on a bland surface in the low light, expect issues, i suppose. Much of photography is embracing your limits and mastering whatever challenge you are presented. Of course, some people just throw money at something as simple as a slow focus.

Personally, I was focusing on cinders on a campfire the other night, in super low light for a 4 second exposure at 2.8 on the 70-200IS and I had minimal issues. I think that your problem far from insurmountable. Anytime you push the limits of your gear expect a challenge.


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oklaiss
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Dec 17, 2012 19:56 |  #9

MikeMcL wrote in post #15379239 (external link)
This may be pointless to offer if you are that experienced, but are you giving it an edge? I have shot with the 5d forever, and you have to provide a contrasting edge to get the fast lock. The frame of glasses, the neckline/shirt area, airplane/sky, whatever...

This is very important regardless of the camera in low light situations


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Dec 17, 2012 20:02 |  #10

I understand completely what both of you are saying, and this is an example where if I am focusing on the eye of this high contrast snowman the 5D will not have any problems locking focus. On the flip side the 7D never needed as much contrast in the image to lock focus. It's a much more advance focusing system that's been refined for such a task when needed.

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D800 I Nikon 200 f2 VR 1 I Nikon 200 f2 ED AI-S I Nikon 135 f2 DC I Nikon 28-70 f/2.8 I Nikon 50 f/1.4G I Nikon 85 f/1.8G I Pentax 645D I SMC FA 645 75 F2.8 I SMC FA 645 45-85 F4.5 I SMC FA 645 200 F4
My sister, the professional baker and cake decorator once told me that my camera takes great pics. My reply was that I thought her oven baked great cakes.:lol:

  
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TSchrief
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Dec 18, 2012 05:54 |  #11
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I have a few days off work coming up. I will put up some OOF shots with nearly that kind of contrast. It seems the 50 1.8 is clearly worse. Followed by the 85 1.8. My 24 2.8 works OK. I have shot my 70-200, and 100-400L on the 5D. They do fine, but that is outdoors, in decent light. I broke down and got a 28-135 for it, too. It should be here today or tomorrow.


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TSchrief
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Dec 19, 2012 21:38 |  #12
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OK, this is really weird. I had some problems with my 5D this morning. I narrowed to down to, hopefully, the grip was somehow causing my problems. I took the grip off, mounted the 85 1.8 and the 50 1.8; no, not simultaneously. Both of them work fine without the grip. At night, in a dimly lit (2 60W bulbs) my 5D managed to lock focus on the black face of a black cat. After 95 or so OOF shots out of 100 with the grip, I took the grip off and it focuses just fine. I took 12 shots, including the black cat, and all were fine. I have another thread going 5Dc/ 50 1.8 where I lay out more details.

I don't understand it. But taking that grip off has solved numerous problems I was having with the 5D. I can live without it. Weird!


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Dec 19, 2012 21:46 |  #13

MikeMcL wrote in post #15379239 (external link)
This may be pointless to offer if you are that experienced, but are you giving it an edge? I have shot with the 5d forever, and you have to provide a contrasting edge to get the fast lock. The frame of glasses, the neckline/shirt area, airplane/sky, whatever...

If you are trying to focus on a bland surface in the low light, expect issues, i suppose. Much of photography is embracing your limits and mastering whatever challenge you are presented......

+1 on this also.

I've been using the 5D with 24-105 in dark wedding reception halls since 2006. Now I do use the flash with focus assist turned on and it is very good at achieving a focus lock..... not perfect 100% of the time, but I'm using it in extremely lousy light at this point. I also use center point AF. I don't have the grip so I can't offer up an experience on that.


I often run into simialr issues in dark churches during the processional. Again I am using the flash with focus assist.


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TSchrief
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Dec 19, 2012 21:57 |  #14
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Yes, I was using the focus assist from a flash gun, the 430EX II, I believe. That is OK, I expect to use flash/focus assist in such situations. I am just happy that everything (except the grip) is working well at this point.

Some of the problems that popped up with the 5D this morning: Nothing works but aperture and shutter speed dials. Turn it off/on. Works for a shot or two, then nothing works. OFF/ON. Seems to work but freezes with the mirror up and shutter open. OFF/ON. Took the grip off, now everything works fine.


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Dec 20, 2012 07:30 as a reply to  @ TSchrief's post |  #15

Sounds like your grip isn't providing sufficient voltage or something. Could be from corroded contacts somewhere. Even a slight, out of tolerance voltage can cause all kinds of crazy problems with electronics.




  
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5D w/85 1.8?
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