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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 24 Dec 2013 (Tuesday) 22:22
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6d struggling with AF in backlit conditions

 
huntersdad
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Dec 24, 2013 22:22 |  #1

Tried taking some pictures of my daughter sitting in front of a window today that had a lot of sun coming in. Proper exposure was +2 stops. 6d really struggled to get any kind of focus lock and when it did, it was slightly off. Never had trouble before and I've shot some pictures of her in much lower light.

Anyone else have this issue?


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deanedward
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Dec 24, 2013 23:38 |  #2

Which AF point were you using?


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Nigi
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Dec 25, 2013 02:28 |  #3

It could be flare or relatively low contrast from strong backlight, did you tried to use the other lens? I mean that the weak chain was lenses not the camera maybe?
Did you tried the other camera?




  
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frankchn
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Dec 25, 2013 03:09 |  #4

Sample pictures would help as well.




  
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huntersdad
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Dec 25, 2013 14:41 |  #5

Didn't try another lens, just the 70-200. In retrospect, I'll bet it was too low contrast as the side I was focusing on was completely shaded. Looking over the pictures, I realized her blonde hair and skin tone were really almost the same, so while I could see the difference, the camera could not.

It happened with all the AF points, so one wasn't more at fault than any other.


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Dec 25, 2013 15:02 |  #6

Heya,

That happens with every camera really. Just focus a single point, on the edge of their face/head, so that you're grabbing the contrast line. Then recompose your frame up. Or use a flash with focus assist beam, and turn off the flash portion so it doesn't fire.

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moltengold
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Dec 25, 2013 19:05 |  #7

try to use the canon ef 50mm f/1.4 for kids with your 6D
I'm sure you will leave all the other lenses in the bag
if you don't have this lens rent it for some days


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JeffreyG
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Dec 25, 2013 21:02 |  #8

moltengold wrote in post #16553799 (external link)
try to use the canon ef 50mm f/1.4 for kids with your 6D
I'm sure you will leave all the other lenses in the bag
if you don't have this lens rent it for some days

My experience with the 50/1.4 is that this lens will hunt and miss focus in light levels / contrast situations where relatively slow aperture ring-USM equipped lenses lock right on. I hated the AF performance of the 50/1.4 in difficult situations most of the time.

I had one situation where the 50/1.4 was hunting like a mad bastard in low light. I tried giving it AF assist with a flash with little improvement.

Then I swapped it for the three-stop slower 24-105L which locked on for shot after shot with no problem.

The 50/1.4 is the reason I own the 50/1.2L.

For the OP, my experience with the 5D3 is that the focus system is awesome with the exception of backit situations and shooting through fences. My older 1D4 is only about on par with the 5D3 in most situations (slightly worse) but it kicks-ass in backlit and through-fence shooting. I don't know why, but your 6D may share this situation with the 5D3.


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nsaldanh
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Dec 26, 2013 07:44 |  #9

I have a 5D MKIII and it doesn't do very well in backlit situations. I've tried many lenses with similar poor results. My guess is that the lack of contrast impairs the autofocus system.




  
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tat3406
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Dec 26, 2013 21:11 |  #10

moltengold wrote in post #16553799 (external link)
try to use the canon ef 50mm f/1.4 for kids with your 6D
I'm sure you will leave all the other lenses in the bag
if you don't have this lens rent it for some days

EF 50mm f1.4 is not good in AF performance.

For OP, any sample of the backlit scene? which AF mode using?


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huntersdad
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Dec 26, 2013 21:30 as a reply to  @ tat3406's post |  #11

This was one of a handful where the focus locked.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


I tried using everything from the side of her face, to her hair to her nose. Just kept searching. Finally, it locked and I shot. Out of 15 minutes, I got 4 shots.

Yes, I am aware these are nothing spectacular, just some shots of my daughter. But she is MY daughter.

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tat3406
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Dec 26, 2013 23:56 |  #12

huntersdad wrote in post #16556211 (external link)
This was one of a handful where the focus locked.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


I tried using everything from the side of her face, to her hair to her nose. Just kept searching. Finally, it locked and I shot. Out of 15 minutes, I got 4 shots.

Yes, I am aware these are nothing spectacular, just some shots of my daughter. But she is MY daughter.


What the AF mode? one shot? what lens used?
My 6D can easily lock focus in this situation.


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Lowner
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Dec 27, 2013 02:57 |  #13

An easy point to use would have been the thing she is eating, high contrast. I would use that on the central AF point then recompose the image.


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tat3406
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Dec 27, 2013 03:43 |  #14

Lowner wrote in post #16556606 (external link)
An easy point to use would have been the thing she is eating, high contrast. I would use that on the central AF point then recompose the image.

Agree. AF mode: one shot, manual select one of the focus point will do.


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huntersdad
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Dec 27, 2013 07:22 |  #15

While I can't be absolutely certain, I am pretty sure I was in AL SERVO and I always pick the point. Because of the strong BL, I had to shoot this with +1-1.5 EC and by this point, I had gone back to center point.

I think in this shot, the camera did pick up the brownie she was eating.


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6d struggling with AF in backlit conditions
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