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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 18 Dec 2014 (Thursday) 14:07
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7d mark II my focus problem was me.

 
Wifuzzy
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Dec 18, 2014 14:07 |  #1

I thought I would share my 7DM2 focus story.

Some history. I just like taking pix. I had a Canon XSi body before this one and was happy with it. I started thinking about taking some pix at hockey games to maybe help pay for a camera upgrade. That's how I ended up with the 7DM2.

So I put on my 70-200 Tamron VC and away I go to the first game. Take about 600 pix and come home. I load up the pics in lightroom and maybe 20% of them are in focus..ish. At this point I am very sad. So I go to another game and take another 800 pix. Come back and same thing. Now I am a little mad. I want to pick up the phone and yell at someone.....like that will help. I decide to just walk away and come back to it another day.
The next day I started to look at the pix in lightroom. I zoom in and see that about 95% of them are in focus...just not what I want to be in focus. I use the center focus point for hockey. So I zoom in on the center of a picture and start skipping through them. It does not take long before I notice a pattern. If the first shoot in a burst is in on the player then for the most part the rest are also focused on the player. Now if I miss the first shot and happen to catch the boards like I seemed to have done allot. Then the rest of the burst was also in focus...just it stayed focused on the boards. It did not seem to matter if I was now focused on the player. It would not release focus on the boards.
So off to google I went. I started doing some reading about the different focus cases. And how they more or less work. I came to the conclusion that I either needed to get alot better in my aim and/or change the focusing system to be more forgiving. I went with the latter. I basically changed the focus to be a little more like a goldfish...short attention span. Now it will change focus much faster..so if I miss the first shot it will not lock onto that for the next 5 images.
So now my focus success rate is MUCH higher. Or a better way to put it..it is now as good as I am.
And the reason I am not saying what I changed in the case settings is so that the person who wants to do it goes out and reads before they start changing things. I think it is better to do a little learning on your own. You tend to remember more that way.

My camera now has no focus issues. And to be honest it never did. I just did not bother reading the manual before using the equipment.

Dallas




  
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frugivore
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Dec 18, 2014 15:59 |  #2

That's quite enlightening! The sticky about focus issues touches on this but I don't know if it covers focus tracking modes/settings.

In truth, most everything you need to know about your camera is in the manual. We just need to read it. Maybe we should designate a "POTN RTFM" day.




  
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DanC.Licks
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Dec 18, 2014 16:15 |  #3

RTFM is Right.... all 548 pages:lol: Not light reading, but from what I have seen, very clear and detailed. Definitely recommended reading!




  
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GregDunn
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Dec 18, 2014 17:57 |  #4

The focus cases (or individual settings on the 7D mk I) are crucial. It's taken me months to get my 7D and 5D mk III tweaked for sports photography. Amazingly, the more time I spent trying to understand the settings, the more shots I got in focus. And they're not the same for everyone! Some people actually need particular values set to opposite extremes based on their shooting style.

For example, I have to have tracking sensitivity set very low or else I will get focus on the background too often - regardless of the AF point switching speed. It's a consequence of having to jump from subject to subject with space between them before choosing one to capture, and the particular framing choices. Letting the camera switch too quickly caused it to grab the background when there was contrast - even when I tried to lift my thumb off the AF button, which should cause it to abort its tracking estimation. When I figured this out, the number of missed shots dropped by half. I ended up using Case 6 with tracking sensitivity set to lowest and expanded AF points. The 7D is set up similarly, except of course it doesn't offer cases.

There is no easy route to setting up AF for your particular sport except understanding the settings and making intelligent choices, then learning from the results. In my experience, the manual is terse but accurate; there are many sites which offer "canned" settings for different sports, but as often as not, they are specific to the shooter and will not necessarily work for you. Canon does a fairly good job of explaining what each AF setting does and internalizing them will pay dividends; you might get lucky and fit a preset case, or you might be eternally frustrated when screwy things happen.


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Dec 18, 2014 18:45 |  #5

It's very refreshing to see someone admitting that they didn't get it quite right and instead of just complaining/returning the item they got to know the capabilities of their gear and achieved success.
There are huge numbers of posts on the internet about AF issues with the 7D2 as well as those that rate the AF as one of - if not the best! It is a new toy with lots of new features and has to be learned. I am glad to hear that you patience has paid off.


Life is for living, cameras are to capture it (one day I will learn how!).

  
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seres
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Dec 18, 2014 19:30 |  #6

Yes, been there, done that... RTFM is usually the solution!


—Eric

  
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tat3406
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Dec 18, 2014 21:27 |  #7

RTM is the first thing when I get any tools. I had meet a lot of DSLR users that don't know how to change setting at menu setting!


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Wifuzzy
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Dec 19, 2014 09:17 |  #8

johnf3f wrote in post #17340445 (external link)
It's very refreshing to see someone admitting that they didn't get it quite right and instead of just complaining/returning the item they got to know the capabilities of their gear and achieved success.
There are huge numbers of posts on the internet about AF issues with the 7D2 as well as those that rate the AF as one of - if not the best! It is a new toy with lots of new features and has to be learned. I am glad to hear that you patience has paid off.

What got me in trouble , and I'm sure I am not alone. Is all the press the camera got for it's great AF. I had expectations. They revolved around point and shoot. And again, I'm sure I am not alone. I fell victim to pre-release press....shame on me...lol.




  
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digital ­ paradise
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Dec 19, 2014 14:45 |  #9

Since my days are probably numbered here anyway I may as well reply. Years of participation and I made one mistake by not being impressed by an image posted on another thread and now everyone is thinking I'm saying nothing is sharp.

I'm glad it worked for you. The focus system does 90% of the work for you with the algorithms, mechanics, etc and you can only tweak for the conditions.

To a few of the responses to the post is a at least it was focusing on something, be it the player or the boards which the OP adjusted to, which is part of the learning curve. There are veteran users that could not hit anything and sent it back. Canon replaced the AF assembly for one of the members. This is what the Focus issues to me was about in the first place but I doubt that matters now. I still don't think AF system is rocket science. If you keep it simple any user should be able to hit 80% of the general shooting very quickly and then you expand and learn using the more advanced features of the conditions you are shooting in.


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Dec 19, 2014 15:02 |  #10

Hey Dallas, thanks for manning up and posting that. took guts! :)

A tip for those that are new to or don't use the [AF-ON] button for focus. (back button)

It's called "pumping" and it is best used with the back focus button. If you are tracking the wrong thing, or focus is just not responding during tracking or a burst, pump that BBF and it forces the camera to start over. During the pumping of course you want to get the center AF point BACK ON THE SUBJECT.

Lastly, I am happy that I did not read a single reply that indicated people assumed that ALL 7D2 af problems were user related.
I would hope that this thread would not compel anyone to draw such a narrow minded insensitive conclusion.
At the bare minimum, if they do, they might want to spare us and keep it to themselves.


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Wifuzzy
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Dec 19, 2014 18:01 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #11

I should have mentioned that this was (in my case) I am sure some are having real hardware problems. Probably same kind of stuff happens in Nikon world also. I just was just falling victim to wood tick syndrome. You know...1 finds a wood tick and all of a sudden everyone feels something crawling. It's human nature.




  
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Rocky ­ Rhode
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Dec 19, 2014 19:08 |  #12

Words of advice from my father that I have fallen back on to solve most of life's problems.

"when all else fails, read the manual"


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Lowner
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Dec 20, 2014 04:58 as a reply to  @ Rocky Rhode's post |  #13

If Canon manuals were easier to understand, that would make sense. Sadly they are poorly written and almost impossible to understand.


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Dec 20, 2014 14:10 as a reply to  @ Lowner's post |  #14

And they leave things unsaid. Sometimes they create more questions than they answer.


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john ­ crossley
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Dec 20, 2014 14:26 |  #15

Canon did issue an EOS 7D Mark II AF-Setting Guidebook (external link)


Football is a very simple game. Twenty-two players chase a ball and Germany always win.

  
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