To the Canon Forum Community,
I am sending my Canon Mark III 1D to be examined by the Canon engineers in Lake Success, NY for the FIFTH time. Yes, the FIFTH time. Despite the fact that the engineers have found legitimate, technical problems with the AF Sensor (scroll down for the lengthy correspondence between myself and the Canon Representative that highlights the history of my camera), I continue to get the run-around. I've been told that Canon will not send me a new camera "just like that". I've been told that the best they can do is send me a refurbished model. I don't know what else to do. So I'm reaching out to this forum for help.
Here are the settings I use to shoot sports:
Manual (sometimes AV or TV depending on conditions) AI Servo, Rear Button Focus, Center AF point with inner 9 points assist.
C. Fn III (4:1 Continuous AF Track Priority)
C. Fn III (8:2 Enable - Surrounding Assist Point)
C. Fn III (9:1 Inner 9 points)
C. Fn IV (1:3 AE lock/metering + AF Start
C. Fn IV (2:1 AF-ON/AE lock button switch - Enable)
Am I doing something wrong? Would you recommend alternative settings for better results? What about micro-adjustments? If the AF sensor is not working properly on my camera, do my settings even matter?
At the end of this post, I have attached 2 photos that illustrate the soft-focus/out-of-focus problems I've been having.
Any advice, suggestions, feedback would be greatly appreciated.
My Letter to Canon:
It was a pleasure speaking with you earlier today. I sincerely hope we can achieve a resolution to this on-going auto focus problem with my Canon Mark III 1D. I will send you e-mails shortly with attachments of photos I took on 3/18/11 that will highlight the hit or miss nature of my camera.
As we discussed, my Canon Mark III was not focusing properly, causing me to take it to the Canon Factory Service Center in Jamesburg, NJ.
The first repair was completed on March 3rd, 2010 (Order Number: BL618731). The examination revealed: "Your product has been examined and it was found that the AF assembly was incorrect causing inaccurate auto focus from time to time. Replaced focus screen. All repaired and corresponding testing have been completed to Canon Factory standards. Firmware was updated to the latest version. Adjusted AE/AF basic."
The second repair was completed on September 21st, 2010 (Order Number: BL96422). The examination revealed: "Your product has been examined and it was found that the adjustment of the AF assembly was incorrect causing inaccurate auto focus from time to time. Replaced mirror/SH charge lever ass'y and shutter ass'y. All repaired and corresponding testing have been completed to Canon Factory standards. Firmware was updated to the latest version. Adjusted AE/AF basic."
The third repair was completed on December 6th, 2010 (Order Number: BM079662). The examination revealed: " Your product has been examined and it was found that the AF assembly was incorrect causing inaccurate auto focus from time to time. Replaced mirror box ass'y and others. All repaired and corresponding testing have been completed to Canon Factory standards. Firmware was updated to the latest version."
After speaking with you in January 2011, I sent my Canon Mark III 1D, as well as my 70-200mm f2.8 lens, to Lake Success, NY in order for the Canon engineers to evaluate the auto-focus problems. Below is the correspondence I received from you regarding my Canon Mark III 1D, dated 1/20/11:
Good Morning Ms. Ortiz,
I have gathered and noted below the evaluation results and resolution as
advised by Canons Camera Engineer. I see that your equipment was
returned to you this past Saturday. Per our previous conversation(s),
you are welcome to contact me when you have an opportunity to shoot more
It has been a pleasure assisting you and I hope to speak with you this
850K Greenbrier Cir.
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Ortiz 1D MK III
Evaluation Result; "We have checked the Ortiz EOS 1D Mark III. The
camera needs AF adjustment. Check of AF sensor output revealed that
the output of some of the AF sensors is on the edge of tolerance, in
particular some AF points at center".
Resolution; ADJUST AF SENSOR OUTPUT in the AUTO FOCUS FRONT FOCUS area
Electrical adjustments were carried out on the AF assembly and product
functions were confirmed.
For the EOS 1D Mark III the FSC performed adjustment of the AF sensors.
The difference from the previous repair is that they fine adjusted it
tighter within specification.
As for the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS we performed adjustment of the lens' AF
accuracy. This also was adjusted tighter within specification.
Example; Every adjustment has a target. Let's call that value "0".
Every adjustment has a tolerance. Let's say that tolerance is +/- 5.
So, the range of acceptable adjustment would be -5 to +5. If a unit
came in and the adjustment was at +4, it would be within specification.
If they then adjusted it to +2, it would be adjusted even closer to
specification, thus it was adjusted tighter.
Is it something that the customer is doing to take it out of adjustment?
It doesn't sound like it was out of adjustment. It sounds like they
just adjusted it tighter to the specification when it already was within
On Saturday, March 18th, 2011, I used the Canon Mark III 1D, along with my 70-200mm f2.8 to shoot my son's baseball game. Unfortunately, even after the latest adjustments by the Canon engineers, the same auto-focus problems persist. Several shots were out-of-focus, some were "soft" focus, etc. The camera is not performing the way it should, by my standards or by Canon's. I have been patient, understanding, and have done everything asked of me by Canon representatives. Words cannot express my continued frustration and disappointment.
I would like to remain a Canon loyalist. I would like to recommend Canon to my peers. Please give me reason to do so.