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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 02 Aug 2013 (Friday) 04:53
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100L Macro, AF useless at macro distance?

 
pstyle1
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Aug 02, 2013 04:53 |  #1

I just got a brand new 100L Macro, but I can't for the life of me get it to AF at or close to minimum focus distance. All I get is focus hunting. Is that normal with this lens? Instead I put in on MF, set the focus distance manually, and move my head back and forth slightly to achieve focus.


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Aug 02, 2013 05:05 |  #2

A macro works best when in manual focus mode at those distances really, as we can never be rock solid still ourselves autofocus is pretty pointless.


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Canon ­ Bob
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Aug 02, 2013 06:29 as a reply to  @ Mike's post |  #3

It's normal Peyman....use manual focusing methods for anything 3 dimensional when you're at high magnifications.

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kin2son
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Aug 02, 2013 06:41 |  #4
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I think it really depends on what you are photographing...

For static subject, MF and rocking back and forth makes sense. However for things that moves such as bees in flight etc, my personal experience is you're better off relying on AF...


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Aug 02, 2013 07:38 |  #5

You do have the distance switch set appropriately, don't you? Had to ask.

Also, are you trying to focus on low contrast or no contrast areas? That will cause focus hunting to occur.

What focusing mode are you using?


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Aug 02, 2013 08:50 |  #6

Snafu beat me to it. If there is enough light and contrast, if the focus limiter is set to 0.3-0.5, if AF is set to one shot, and if you are not closer than MWD, AF should work. I use it on mine frequently. However, keep in mind that AF at these distances is tough. I haven't checked, but my impression is that it is slower at very close distances.


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howlin_mad
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Aug 02, 2013 10:17 |  #7

I have this lens and I find that even with the focus limiter set properly, AF still struggles to lock on at times when striving for maximum magnification. When going for 1:1, I generally turn the focus switch to MF and move the camera fore and aft in small increments to achieve focus. Your camera should indicate to you when you have achieved proper focus. This is the principle used by macro focusing rails but it is generally quite easy to do manually once you've practiced bracing yourself properly.

A gentle rocking motion back and forth will allow you to put the camera at the exact distance it should be to focus properly.


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ElectronGuru
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Aug 02, 2013 11:31 |  #8

pstyle1 wrote in post #16174785 (external link)
I can't for the life of me get it to AF at or close to minimum focus distance.

Seeing the title, I was all set to declare thin DOF, but agree with those above. If you're setup drifts even 1mm closer than MFD, AF will stall out. You must choose between having AF and achieving 1:1. AF needs you back enough to give it room to work. As you drift to and fro, it must focus to and fro, to account for your movements.

To test function, just use a tripod and move in close. It AF works when solid and under the MFD limit, the lens is not the issue. BTW, this happens with other lenses, but MFD has less importance with most. Get what you can in real life and crop the rest of the way.


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ben805
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Aug 02, 2013 22:07 |  #9

my 100L is very fast in AF and dead accurate at MFD, even with a stack of tubes it AF great. Make sure you don't use the spot AF on your 5D3 for macro from this lens, try the single AF or expand the AF points for a larger focus area.


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gasrocks
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Aug 03, 2013 11:56 |  #10

I know it has already been mentioned, but I'll add - MF only for macro.


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jimewall
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Aug 03, 2013 12:02 as a reply to  @ gasrocks's post |  #11

I too prefer to manually focus, but when I have used the AF it typically works the way I expect it should at macro distances.


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pstyle1
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Aug 05, 2013 01:39 |  #12

Thanks for the advice all.

Here is one of the first shots I took with the lens of my wife's ring. Focused manually :)

ISO 400, 1/200, f/4 (zero ambient pretty much), speedlight on ETTL camera right.

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wombatHorror
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Aug 05, 2013 02:31 |  #13

pstyle1 wrote in post #16174785 (external link)
I just got a brand new 100L Macro, but I can't for the life of me get it to AF at or close to minimum focus distance. All I get is focus hunting. Is that normal with this lens? Instead I put in on MF, set the focus distance manually, and move my head back and forth slightly to achieve focus.

What body? What lighting?

So long as it's day time or you provide it some lighting at night I find that the AF works super well for macro! (at least it did with my 7D, in particular, and 5D2 and now with my 5D3)

Sounds like you are either trying to use it in impossible conditions or that something is wrong.




  
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wombatHorror
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Aug 05, 2013 02:33 |  #14

Mike wrote in post #16174803 (external link)
A macro works best when in manual focus mode at those distances really, as we can never be rock solid still ourselves autofocus is pretty pointless.

Old wives tale. Not true at all. At least not these days. The Canon USM macros have very fast AI Servo performance in the macro range and recent bodies have special macro mode AI Servo or can be dialed to fast mode. AI Servo with a Canon USM macro and a decent body actually works extremely well (even with full extension tubes) and often better than manual focus (although not always, there are times when doing the old manual focusing for macro still works better, it depends). Try focusing on a flies eye on a leaf blowing randomly in the wind and AF tends to work even better than skilled practice with manual methods. Other cases too. And even for ones where rokcing works fine often AF works as well and it's more convenient and fun. But as I said, no doubt that sometimes going back to manual methods does work better.




  
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LV ­ Moose
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Aug 05, 2013 12:40 as a reply to  @ wombatHorror's post |  #15

I use AF on my 100L quite a bit at macro distances. No problem. Just make sure the distance switch is in the correct position.

If I'm trying to fill the frame as much as I can at precise MFD, then yeah, I'll use manual focus and just move the camera to achieve the best focus. But I'm using AF more and more, especially after switching from the 40D to the 5DIII.


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100L Macro, AF useless at macro distance?
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