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Thread started 30 May 2013 (Thursday) 06:23
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Advice for Shooting AI Servo?

 
G.Fraser
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May 30, 2013 06:23 |  #1

Hi All,

I was hoping someone out there may be able to offer some advice as to how to shoot my little boy in AI Servo mode. I'm sure I must be doing something wrong with my settings as I rarely seem to get a properly in focus shot. As you can imagine, the little fella moves about a lot and I've tried using moderately fast shutter speeds with the lens closed down a bit, but I still seem to miss focus far too frequently.

I have seen so many stunning shots on here of birds in flight and dogs running towards the camera seemingly frozen in mid-air, but yet I can't seem to capture my son toddling towards me! I generally shoot architecture so I'm used to more static subjects :)

By the way I use a 5D MkIII and mostly my 24-70 MkII. Many thanks in advance for any advice and I'm looking forward to being able to exploit the 5D MkIIIs AF system a bit more!


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Zivnuska
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May 30, 2013 06:37 |  #2

1. A shutter speed of 1/640 or faster is ideal. Use 1/400 as an absolute minimum.

2. Try AF case 6. Little boys move erratically.

3. Back button focus is best but not mandatory. If you use the shutter button to focus, be sure you keep it depressed half-way to acquire focus and track. Push the button the rest of the way to release the shutter.

4. Try using the focus point plus 8 auxillary points. Keep the focus points centered on your son as much as possible. Practice.

Your wonderful gear should give great results once you get used to tracking objects. Post your results with the EXIF data if you still have trouble.

Phil


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G.Fraser
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May 30, 2013 06:51 |  #3

That's great, I'll give your tips a shot. Thanks so much for the reply!


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MikeWa
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Jun 01, 2013 20:33 |  #4

Take the little boy to the park or someplace where they have pigeons or gulls and practice some birds in flight. You will both have a fun time and it will give you a chance to try some different settings.
Mike


Mike...G9; 7D; 7D Mark II; EF-S 10-22mm; EF-S 18-135mm IS STM; EF 28-300mm F3.5-5.6L; EF 70-300mm IS USM; EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS-II; EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS; EXT 1.4-II & 2.0-III; The more I learn the less I know.

  
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halitime
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Jun 01, 2013 21:54 |  #5

Are you using Back Button Focus?


Gear List : 1D MK II n,Gripped XSi,70-200 f4,300 f4 IS,Canon 24-105 f4,35 f2 IS,EF 50 1.8 MK I,EF-S 10-22,Canon 1.4 II Extender,Canon 25mm Ext Tube,YN 468/460 II,RF 602's
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Franz-Olof
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Jun 02, 2013 03:18 |  #6

Very nice photos in your zenfolio Phil! I enjoyed a lot - also left a note;)

And once again I'm with you G.Frazer - same questions. Turning into BBF and more and more servo. Upping the shutter speed made a big difference for me so far. Now I'm wondering mostly which af cases to use and when... and also which focus point type. Have to try Phils suggestion with 9 points.


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Zivnuska
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Jun 02, 2013 09:05 as a reply to  @ Franz-Olof's post |  #7

Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate the note on zenfolio. :-) The "Selected Favorites" are some of my best stuff.

For those who are shooting sports or other types of photography where servo focus will be used extensively, changing to back button focus (BBF) is quite helpful. Getting used to the change will only take a few days and it will seem normal quite soon. Just stick to it 100% and don't go back and forth between techniques.

Case 1 is an excellent all around choice as an AF case choice. Start there and move to the other cases when Case 1 doesn't work well and the description of the other cases seem to be appropriate.

Choosing the focus point type will depend on the type of action you want to capture. Different situations require more or less coverage area to keep the focus points centered on the desired object. Skill and experience play a role as well. Practice. In my case, I generally prefer a small number of active points (1, 5, or 9) and rely on my ability to track the subject and keep the points centered. However, there are times when I want the camera to help track and use all those focus points. Don't be afraid to experiment and fail. As long as you learn, it all helps.

Phil


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lovemyram4x4
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Jun 02, 2013 13:06 |  #8

One thing that commonly confusing people is the tracking sensitivity. In most cases it's better to have it turned down not up. This setting sounds like like it will make it lock onto you subject better but it how sensitive it is to lock onto whatever the AF point is on. Now even this might sound good but the issue is let's say your tracking you son while he's running in the park and the AF point goes off him real quick or even maybe just to the edge of him, at this point it might try to grab focus on something in the background like the grass. Same thing for something that passes through the frame between you and the target, this is also one of the many things BBF is useful for as you can stop focusing until past the other object.




  
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G.Fraser
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Jun 02, 2013 13:49 |  #9

Thanks everyone for your replies, I have been away this weekend visiting my brother and his daughter, hence my original post was partly in preparation for this weekend :) Anyway, I'm just about to settle down to process my photos and I'm pretty confident I got quite a few 'keepers' using AI Servo! I think the key for this first step for me, was braving the higher ISOs enabling me to increase the shutter speed and also use narrower apertures. However, I will keep practising and keep in mind the great advice from this thread. My goal for this week is to set up back button focussing!

Thanks again for your help everyone!


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HLxDrummer
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Jun 02, 2013 15:03 |  #10

Don't mean to hijack but I have a question about what you guys are talking about with tracking. You can set the camera to use a certain number of points around your selected point and it will automatically change to follow your target? That is amazing.. I wish my 40D could do that!

OP: Good luck and let us know how it goes :)


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Advice for Shooting AI Servo?
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