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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 22 Oct 2018 (Monday) 09:11
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Slow AF with 7D + 100-400 II

 
David_MC
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Oct 22, 2018 09:11 |  #1

I recently purchased a refurbished 100-400 II from Canon and I have been quite impressed with it so far. I am using it on a 7D (first version) and noticed a huge increase in image quality over the Tamron 70-300 I used to use.

One thing I have noticed though is that the AF slows down a lot when I zoom in to past 300mm. At 100-200mm it's quite fast. Now once it locks focus it doesn't let go and adjusts quite fast and is consistent. It's just that it seems to take some time to get that initial lock or to go from MFD to infinity.

Is this quirk related to the lens, the old AF system on the 7D, or user error?


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Canon 7D Mark II, Canon Speedlite 430EX II, EF 100-400mm L II EF-S 18-135mm IS STM, EF 50mm 1.8, EF-S 24mm STM, EF-S 10-18mm IS STM

  
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chuckmiller
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Oct 22, 2018 11:07 |  #2

Do you have any way at all to try that lens on another body? Camera store, neighbor?


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David_MC
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Oct 22, 2018 11:12 as a reply to  @ chuckmiller's post |  #3

Unfortunately I do not. The 7D is my only body and the nearest camera store is 2 hours away.


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chuckmiller
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Oct 22, 2018 11:15 |  #4

I'm at the fire station today but I do have my bag with me. I'll put my 100-400ii on and try the shooting you described.


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ed ­ rader
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Oct 22, 2018 11:49 |  #5

I had the 7d but I didn't have the slowness. you mention MFD. are you using the focus limiter?


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David_MC
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Oct 22, 2018 12:14 as a reply to  @ ed rader's post |  #6

It's both with or without the focus limiter on. Although with the limiter on it is noticeably quicker.


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Snydremark
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Oct 22, 2018 13:42 |  #7

David_MC wrote in post #18734195 (external link)
It's both with or without the focus limiter on. Although with the limiter on it is noticeably quicker.

Probably user (expectation) error more than anything, but can't rule out an actual problem with just the info at hand. What AF mode are you using and what custom settings do you have applied to AF in the camera itself?

And to be clear, your comparison is the time it takes at 200/300 vs 400?


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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David_MC
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Oct 22, 2018 14:35 |  #8

Snydremark wrote in post #18734243 (external link)
Probably user (expectation) error more than anything, but can't rule out an actual problem with just the info at hand. What AF mode are you using and what custom settings do you have applied to AF in the camera itself?

And to be clear, your comparison is the time it takes at 200/300 vs 400?

Honestly your probably right about user error.
I am using AI Servo focus and comparing the 100/200 to 300/400 focal ranges. I will post my AF custom settings when I get home from work.


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Snydremark
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Oct 22, 2018 15:19 |  #9

David_MC wrote in post #18734293 (external link)
Honestly your probably right about user error.
I am using AI Servo focus and comparing the 100/200 to 300/400 focal ranges. I will post my AF custom settings when I get home from work.

Great; a few additional questions also:
Are you using focus on the shutter release or back button focus?
What are your testing conditions or setup?
Single, expansion, zone or All AF points?


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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David_MC
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Oct 22, 2018 15:25 as a reply to  @ Snydremark's post |  #10

Focus is set to the AF-On button on the back. I used single point AF and used the center AF point. The camera was mounted on a tripod outside and pointed up at the sky, set to the closest focus and allowed to rack from MFD to infinity. I also set it to infinity and held an object close to the lens and let it rack from infinity to MFD.


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Snydremark
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Oct 22, 2018 16:19 |  #11

David_MC wrote in post #18734324 (external link)
Focus is set to the AF-On button on the back. I used single point AF and used the center AF point. The camera was mounted on a tripod outside and pointed up at the sky, set to the closest focus and allowed to rack from MFD to infinity. I also set it to infinity and held an object close to the lens and let it rack from infinity to MFD.

"...held an object close to the lens..." - this very well may have contributed heavily to your issue. Depending on how close you actually were, you may have been at/inside of the lens' MFD. Try setting your subject out 10-30ft from the camera and redo that. Also, set to One Shot instead of Servo, since you get a solid "stop" there that doesn't happen in Servo.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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David_MC
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Post edited 4 months ago by David_MC.
     
Oct 22, 2018 16:56 |  #12

Snydremark wrote in post #18734382 (external link)
"...held an object close to the lens..." - this very well may have contributed heavily to your issue. Depending on how close you actually were, you may have been at/inside of the lens' MFD. Try setting your subject out 10-30ft from the camera and redo that. Also, set to One Shot instead of Servo, since you get a solid "stop" there that doesn't happen in Servo.

I moved an object further away and that seemed to help. I set it to oneshot instead of servo but that didn't make a noticable difference.

My autofocus c.Fn settings are as follows:
AI Servo Tracking Sensitivity: -1
AI Servo 1st/2nd img priority: AF Priority/Tracking Priority
AI Servo AF tracking method: Main Focus point priority
Lens drive when AF impossible: Focus search on
AF Microajustment: no changes made
Manual AF pt. selec. pattern: Continuous
VF display illumination: Auto
Display all AF points: Enable
Focus display in AI Servo/MF: Enable
AF-assist beam firing: Enable
Orientation linked AF point: Same for both vertic. /horiz.
Mirror Lockup: disable

All though it is looking a bit more like user error. :oops:


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Snydremark
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Oct 22, 2018 17:00 |  #13

David_MC wrote in post #18734425 (external link)
I moved an object further away and that seemed to help. I set it to oneshot instead of servo but that didn't make a noticable difference.

My autofocus c.Fn settings are as follows:
AI Servo Tracking Sensitivity: -1
AI Servo 1st/2nd img priority: AF Priority/Tracking Priority
AI Servo AF tracking method: Main Focus point priority
Lens drive when AF impossible: Focus search on
AF Microajustment: no changes made
Manual AF pt. selec. pattern: Continuous
VF display illumination: Auto
Display all AF points: Enable
Focus display in AI Servo/MF: Enable
AF-assist beam firing: Enable
Orientation linked AF point: Same for both vertic. /horiz.
Mirror Lockup: disable

All though it is looking a bit more like user error.

Fair; I didn't really expect the servo vs one shot to make an actual difference; it's just easier to tell when the camera thinks focus is locked since it hard stops the focus instead of "floating" it the way servo does. Those settings look normal and expected, so should be all good there.

The primary thing is that if you are actively touching the camera, unless you are Plastic Man, you can't hold your arm out in front of the lens far enough to be outside MFD while still operating the unit @400mm. Give it a few more tries and see if your results stay within your expectations; if not, just let us know what your further observations are and we'll see what we can guess :D


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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David_MC
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Oct 22, 2018 17:25 as a reply to  @ Snydremark's post |  #14

It seems to have been user error. Focusing from infinity or MFD to various trees ranging from 30 to 300 feet away showed that AF to be quick and snappy.


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Snydremark
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Oct 22, 2018 17:33 |  #15

David_MC wrote in post #18734446 (external link)
It seems to have been user error. Focusing from infinity or MFD to various trees ranging from 30 to 300 feet away showed that AF to be quick and snappy.

Glad to hear it; enjoy that sucker...it's one of my favorite tools to take out with me.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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Slow AF with 7D + 100-400 II
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