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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 18 Apr 2013 (Thursday) 14:56
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My Rebel XS AF System Sucks..

 
Jan ­ Jasinski
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Apr 18, 2013 14:56 |  #1

Hi,

I took some bird pictures yesterday in rather poor light with the 400 f/5.6L and had some ok pictures but also many many that were soft or oof.

I was shooting with a mix of One Shot and AI Servo, depending if the birds were moving or not.

I shot this at 1/640, ISO 800 f/5.6 on Av mode. I am very disappointed because it would have been a great picture but nothing seems to be in focus! This happened for the sequence of shots I did (1.5fps RAW) in total 3 shots for the flyby:

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And a zoomed in look on LR4:
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If anyone could advise me on anything I can do about my issue, it's been like this for a bit, even with my 10-22 or 70-200 it doesn't AF at all or misses. Perhaps it's time to upgrade to a 7D or even FF?

Thanks

5D IV | 6D | 16-35L | 35 f/2.0 | 100-400L II | 1.4x III | 15 f/2.8
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Jon_Doh
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Apr 18, 2013 15:18 |  #2

Your camera should autofocus just fine. Was the lens you were using stabilized? What was your technique for taking the shots? Did you keep your finger pressed halfway on the shutter button as you followed the bird to keep the focus going?

Many years ago I shot a dolphin with a Rebel and the servo kept the moving target perfectly in focus.

How does it focus on stationary objects?


I use a Kodak Brownie

  
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Jan ­ Jasinski
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Apr 18, 2013 15:26 |  #3

Jon_Doh wrote in post #15842463 (external link)
Your camera should autofocus just fine. Was the lens you were using stabilized? What was your technique for taking the shots? Did you keep your finger pressed halfway on the shutter button as you followed the bird to keep the focus going?

Many years ago I shot a dolphin with a Rebel and the servo kept the moving target perfectly in focus.

How does it focus on stationary objects?

No the 400L isn't stabilized but I don't think that's the issue. I track the birds while pressing the really slow shutter. It doesn't AF sometimes on landscape either, or yesterday I was taking pictures of someone and the 70-200 just wouldn't focus at all with all possible settings..
I'm thinking of upgrading to a 1D3 soon.

Here is an example of a sharp pic I got yesterday.


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5D IV | 6D | 16-35L | 35 f/2.0 | 100-400L II | 1.4x III | 15 f/2.8
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Mavgirl
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Apr 18, 2013 15:45 as a reply to  @ Jan Jasinski's post |  #4

On the first two there are parts of the water that are clearly in focus. Looks like it was where the bird might have been when it was still in the water.


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Cassiedup
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Apr 18, 2013 15:46 as a reply to  @ Jan Jasinski's post |  #5

With a 400mm lens on a crop body and at a shutter speed of 1/640 you are unfortunately going to battle getting sharp pictures of a static subject nevermind the shots you attempted, both camera blur from your movements and movement blur from the subject itself is going to take it's toll.


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mckinleypics
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Apr 18, 2013 15:49 |  #6

A camera upgrade wouldn't be a bad idea. I used to have the XS. Great little starter camera but it certainly doesn't do action shots like a more capable body. The lens is obviously not the issue. Technique maybe, but it sounds like you had all the settings right. You've got a couple of lenses there that would shine with a better body.


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Jan ­ Jasinski
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Apr 18, 2013 16:38 |  #7

It's not the speed issue, i've gotten sharper at lower speeds than 1/640.
I wouldn't think it would be technique as i've tried every possible setting on my camera and similar issues always occur at each outing.


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joeblack2022
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Apr 18, 2013 16:48 |  #8

Jan, looking at your Flickr page you have some really great BIF shots - but I did notice they seem to be all taken in good light. Based on them I don't think it's a technique issue. I can't comment on low-light AF performance on the Xs or the 400/5.6 as I've never used either.

But the only way to know for sure if the Xs is failing is to test with a different body in the same conditions.


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jackerin
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Apr 18, 2013 16:57 |  #9

I have a love-hate relationship with my 1000D (as it's called here). I have found AF to be incredibly inconsistent with large-aperture lenses where my 40D does just fine. It was completely atrocious with the 50mm f/1.8. For now I have just resolved to using smaller aperture lenses on it (which seems to work fine) and shoot it to the bones.

So yeah, I'm in the "get a new body"-camp.


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Jan ­ Jasinski
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Apr 18, 2013 17:47 |  #10

joeblack2022 wrote in post #15842761 (external link)
Jan, looking at your Flickr page you have some really great BIF shots - but I did notice they seem to be all taken in good light. Based on them I don't think it's a technique issue. I can't comment on low-light AF performance on the Xs or the 400/5.6 as I've never used either.

But the only way to know for sure if the Xs is failing is to test with a different body in the same conditions.

Thank you!
The most recent bif were taken with a friend's 7D, although all shot with AI Focus (my mistake) they were still pretty good and a lot better hit rate.

jackerin wrote in post #15842781 (external link)
I have a love-hate relationship with my 1000D (as it's called here). I have found AF to be incredibly inconsistent with large-aperture lenses where my 40D does just fine. It was completely atrocious with the 50mm f/1.8. For now I have just resolved to using smaller aperture lenses on it (which seems to work fine) and shoot it to the bones.

So yeah, I'm in the "get a new body"-camp.

I'm pretty much fed up with it with all my lenses :P It just can't do the job...


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Pagman
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Apr 18, 2013 18:34 as a reply to  @ Jan Jasinski's post |  #11

Jan, get a 30d cheap Infact very cheap, and probably better focus than 1000d aswel, same centre focus as 40/50/60 so aslong as you are at f5.6 or larger with your lens then the focusing should'nt be a problem...

P.


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Jan ­ Jasinski
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Apr 18, 2013 20:37 |  #12

Pagman wrote in post #15843081 (external link)
Jan, get a 30d cheap Infact very cheap, and probably better focus than 1000d aswel, same centre focus as 40/50/60 so aslong as you are at f5.6 or larger with your lens then the focusing should'nt be a problem...

P.

Thanks for the suggestion, although I want something newer in technology. The 1D3 is a great body despite being fairly old. We'll see..


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Pagman
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Apr 18, 2013 20:48 |  #13

Jan Jasinski wrote in post #15843438 (external link)
Thanks for the suggestion, although I want something newer in technology. The 1D3 is a great body despite being fairly old. We'll see..

Did you want to go full frame? I personaly would miss the crop factor giving us that slight zoom edge.

P.


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MikeFairbanks
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Apr 18, 2013 20:56 |  #14

The XS can take good shots.

IMAGE: http://fairbanksfamily.smugmug.com/Sports/Michael-Anthony-Fairbanks/i-mfsxfXQ/0/XL/Machado%20Cutback-XL.jpg


Heck, this thing even got some plumber's crack.

IMAGE: http://fairbanksfamily.smugmug.com/Sports/Michael-Anthony-Fairbanks/i-Hwqf7Gz/0/XL/IMG_6426-XL.jpg

Thank you. bw!

  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Apr 18, 2013 21:47 as a reply to  @ MikeFairbanks's post |  #15

those are good shots of the surfers.

outside of the 1/1250 vs 1/640 SS, one key difference is the angle of view of the lens and it's effect on DOF.

http://www.dofmaster.c​om/dofjs.html (external link)

same camera, 1000D, same f/#, 5.6, in both examples:

200mm

Subject distance 150 ft

Depth of field
Near limit 133.7 ft
Far limit 170.9 ft
Total 37.3 ft

In front of subject 16.3 ft (44%)
Behind subject 20.9 ft (56%)

Hyperfocal distance 1221.7 ft
Circle of confusion 0.019 mm

400mm

Subject distance 150 ft

Depth of field
Near limit 145.6 ft
Far limit 154.7 ft
Total 9.14 ft

In front of subject 4.43 ft (48%)
Behind subject 4.71 ft (52%)

Hyperfocal distance 4885.3 ft
Circle of confusion 0.019 mm

i'm a little surprised AI didn't keep up a little better. as already mentioned, the water behind the bird, and even the tail feathers are in focus.

looks like it's time to start thinking a about new body.

edit: well shucks, i read misread the exif data on the surf pics and thought they were shot at 200mm. either way i think the goose is approaching the camera faster than the surfers.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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