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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 11 Aug 2015 (Tuesday) 15:34
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mike_d
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Aug 11, 2015 15:34 |  #1

I have a Canon 100-400 (v1) and a 5DIII. When I attempt to shoot birds in flight, even against a blue sky with the AF set to let the camera choose the AF point, it loses focus easily.

Last time out, my settings were as follows:

Back button focus
AI servo
AF case 2 (my everyday setting)
IS mode 2
focus limiter set to 6.5 M - infinity
AF points set to "all" - I figured it would increase the chances of the bird falling under at least one AF point.

I have tried selecting the AF point manually on previous outings (what I usually do when shooting other subjects) but it doesn't seem to matter and its even harder to keep the bird under the AF point. Also, I have my camera set to only show X-type AF points, which results in a narrow 3x7 vertical strip with this lens. (I learned from my old 5D that line type AF points aren't too useful)

I know the 5DIII has a very good AF system, but being full frame, the points don't cover the whole viewfinder. So what direction would you steer me in?

* Crop sensor camera like 7D/7D2 for more AF point coverage (more reach too :-))
* Newer lens (100-400 II, newer generation Tamron/Sigma ~50 - ~600 zoom)
* Different AF settings on 5DIII
* Practice, practice, practice
* Other




  
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LV ­ Moose
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Aug 11, 2015 16:35 |  #2

I don't shoot a lot BIF, but check this out:

http://garyluhm.net …us-ai-servo-birds-flight/ (external link)


Moose

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mike_d
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Aug 11, 2015 17:02 |  #3

LV Moose wrote in post #17665260 (external link)
I don't shoot a lot BIF, but check this out:

http://garyluhm.net …us-ai-servo-birds-flight/ (external link)

Thanks. Good read.




  
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Sgt.
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Aug 12, 2015 05:17 |  #4

Try using af case 5 for tracking the birds.


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Larry ­ Johnson
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Aug 12, 2015 07:19 |  #5

mike_d wrote in post #17665182 (external link)
I have a Canon 100-400 (v1) and a 5DIII. When I attempt to shoot birds in flight, even against a blue sky with the AF set to let the camera choose the AF point, it loses focus easily.

Last time out, my settings were as follows:

Back button focus
AI servo
AF case 2 (my everyday setting)
IS mode 2
focus limiter set to 6.5 M - infinity
AF points set to "all" - I figured it would increase the chances of the bird falling under at least one AF point.

I have tried selecting the AF point manually on previous outings (what I usually do when shooting other subjects) but it doesn't seem to matter and its even harder to keep the bird under the AF point. Also, I have my camera set to only show X-type AF points, which results in a narrow 3x7 vertical strip with this lens. (I learned from my old 5D that line type AF points aren't too useful)

I know the 5DIII has a very good AF system, but being full frame, the points don't cover the whole viewfinder. So what direction would you steer me in?

* Crop sensor camera like 7D/7D2 for more AF point coverage (more reach too :-))
* Newer lens (100-400 II, newer generation Tamron/Sigma ~50 - ~600 zoom)
* Different AF settings on 5DIII
* Practice, practice, practice
* Other

Don't select so many AF points. Use ONE center point. With so many points selected your camera might focus on something other than the bird.


_______________
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Duane ­ N
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Aug 12, 2015 14:56 |  #6

Larry Johnson wrote in post #17665932 (external link)
Don't select so many AF points. Use ONE center point. With so many points selected your camera might focus on something other than the bird.

Pretty much what I would have suggested and also how distant are the birds you're trying to photograph in-flight?


www.3rdicreations.com (external link)

  
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mike_d
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Post edited over 3 years ago by mike_d.
     
Aug 12, 2015 18:47 |  #7

Duane N wrote in post #17666411 (external link)
Pretty much what I would have suggested and also how distant are the birds you're trying to photograph in-flight?

I'll try going back to single point AF. I'm not sure of the distance, but they're often pretty small when I try to start tracking them. Maybe they're too small and/or not sufficiently separated from the distant background for the AF to distinguish if I let the camera pick the AF point.




  
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Larry ­ Johnson
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Aug 12, 2015 19:04 |  #8

mike_d wrote in post #17666663 (external link)
I'll try going back to single point AF. I'm not sure of the distance, but they're often pretty small when I try to start tracking them. Maybe they're too small and/or not sufficiently separated from the distant background for the AF to distinguish if I let the camera pick the AF point.

Get on them early and only bump the focus when they become a blur. Don't hold down the back button continuously. Wait a second or two before shooting to fix focus and pan with them. Follow through.


_______________
Ain't Nature Grand!
Shooting 7D2 with Canon 400mm, f/5.6.
60D, canon 18-135 EFS, and 1.4 extender in the bag.
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Larry ­ Johnson
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Aug 12, 2015 19:20 |  #9

Also. This may help. I haven't read it in some time. Suspect most still applies.
http://www.digitalbird​photography.com/8.10.h​tml (external link)


_______________
Ain't Nature Grand!
Shooting 7D2 with Canon 400mm, f/5.6.
60D, canon 18-135 EFS, and 1.4 extender in the bag.
flickr (external link)

  
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DreDaze
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Aug 12, 2015 19:39 |  #10

if it's a blue sky background i like to use the center zone focus on my 70D...if it's a busy background i just use the single point...it does take a bit of practice to keep the bird in the center, but new gear isn't going to help you to solve that one...so in the end it's just more practice


Andre or Dre
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johnf3f
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Aug 13, 2015 15:56 |  #11

I don't use the 5D3 but the AF system on my 1DX is not too dissimilar in operation.
I use case 5 (for everything) and suggest that you use ceterpoint af with 4 or 8 expansion af points. Try to get the af point on the bird's head as cameras will usually focus on the closest point (of the subject) that is in the af area.
Turn your IS off. At the shutter speeds that you need for BIF IS is not effective and even mode 2 is quite likely to interfere with your AF tracking. Save you IS for when you can't get sufficient shutter speed for your focal length and stationery/slow moving subjects.


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

  
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MalVeauX
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Aug 13, 2015 16:06 |  #12

Heya,

I use an old 1DII, and I use center point with expansion around that center point (I have no fancy cases to select). I use the lower sensitivity setting for AI Servo so that it's less likely to lose tracking due to something else in the frame. I track from there.

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8692/17561113986_dea1b9a8bd_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/sKPi​nm  (external link) LE1M2608 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7690/17774119806_3bc6c4fb5d_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/t5D1​zu  (external link) LE1M2882 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Seems to work for me, and that's from in a moving kayak.

Very best,

My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
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mike_d
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Aug 18, 2015 17:57 |  #13

I went out again last weekend and used AF Case 5, center point, and 4 point expansion. This combined with using the focus button more sparingly definitely reduced the number of completely out of focus shots. I did keep the IS in mode 2 because it helped stabilize the viewfinder which made it easier to track targets. Thanks, all.




  
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