1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 300mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS

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tvstaff
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1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 300mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
8 months ago

I'm using a 1DX and using AF cases 3-4&5 with a 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II on setting 3 with IS on and I'm having a hell of a hard time noting any differences in results with cases 3-4or5.

I'm switching between Zone and Spot using Center as well as Evaluative metering shooting at 12fps.

Are the differences supposed to be so subtle? I'm trying to optimize for kitesurfing shots http://tony6454.wix.com/aruba-kitesurfing#!kiteboarding/ckra like these before I get to an event and I just can't seem to see a real difference.

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Thank you!

TV

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Blake Cook
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 300mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

Surfing is a pretty simple AF issue. AF should be pretty good in any mode.  What sort of keeper rate are you getting?

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tvstaff
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 300mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to Blake Cook, 8 months ago

Blake Cook wrote:

Surfing is a pretty simple AF issue. AF should be pretty good in any mode. What sort of keeper rate are you getting?

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Blake in Vancouver
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Hi Blake,

About 85-90% based on distance on very fast moving acrobatics. I need to raise that this year!!!

Thanks for writing

Tony

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rebel99
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 300mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

tvstaff wrote:

I'm using a 1DX and using AF cases 3-4&5 with a 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II on setting 3 with IS on and I'm having a hell of a hard time noting any differences in results with cases 3-4or5.

I'm switching between Zone and Spot using Center as well as Evaluative metering shooting at 12fps.

Are the differences supposed to be so subtle? I'm trying to optimize for kitesurfing shots http://tony6454.wix.com/aruba-kitesurfing#!kiteboarding/ckra like these before I get to an event and I just can't seem to see a real difference.

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Thank you!

TV

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same thing here TV. i usually use center point focusing as default but like you, i really don't see much of a difference. i do small bird shooting on the branches of trees which makes the focusing in 1Dx and 1D4 very difficult and equally confusing. keepers percentage take a big hit. i am using my 300mm f2.8II with 2.0xIII tc almost all the time, focusing gets very frustrating for me some times, no matter what setting i use.

cheers.

p.s. you have some real nice shots on your website, by the way your shots seem a bit tight, though, is that because of cropping or short distance from your subjects? thanks.

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tvstaff
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 300mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to rebel99, 8 months ago

rebel99 wrote:

tvstaff wrote:

I'm using a 1DX and using AF cases 3-4&5 with a 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II on setting 3 with IS on and I'm having a hell of a hard time noting any differences in results with cases 3-4or5.

I'm switching between Zone and Spot using Center as well as Evaluative metering shooting at 12fps.

Are the differences supposed to be so subtle? I'm trying to optimize for kitesurfing shots http://tony6454.wix.com/aruba-kitesurfing#!kiteboarding/ckra like these before I get to an event and I just can't seem to see a real difference.

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Thank you!

TV

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same thing here TV. i usually use center point focusing as default but like you, i really don't see much of a difference. i do small bird shooting on the branches of trees which makes the focusing in 1Dx and 1D4 very difficult and equally confusing. keepers percentage take a big hit. i am using my 300mm f2.8II with 2.0xIII tc almost all the time, focusing gets very frustrating for me some times, no matter what setting i use.

rebel, thanks for writing, glad it's not just me. I tried my TC 1.4III with the 2.8 300mm IS USM II and it slowed down focus considerably trying to follow the kitesurfers from launching on the water into the air and back down to the water. I had to take the TC off.

cheers.

p.s. you have some real nice shots on your website, by the way your shots seem a bit tight, though, is that because of cropping or short distance from your subjects? thanks.

"That cropping" for a lot of the surfers, kitesurfing equipment, beach tennis and fashion models is by request. For myself on the fashion model portraits I studied Annie Leibovitz http://followpics.co/annie-leibovitz/ and http://www.andrewsmithgallery.com/images/leibovitz_am/fullsize/al_1464.jpg and Kristina Taraina http://i.imgur.com/Q4mR2.jpg and others too and like the style at times. It's not traditional... and.. at times it shakes "the norm" and brings out other parts of the body. Lips, eyes even breasts when done rights. And needless to say the athletes want to see their faces and the sports equipment manufacturers and sponsors  want you to see their logos and names especially when they are held near or by a provocative subject.

As for the 1DX AF Cases 3-4-5, short of getting Chuck Westfall to hit the beach with me... I'm really stumped as to how to tweak and optimize these for my particular sport .  The demands of focus, back lighting, extreme changes in movement and direction are challenging.  Makes me respect BIF people a lot.  I need to perfect this before June.

Best regards,

Tony

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riknash
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 30g0mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

I'm using a 1DX and using AF cases 3-4&5 with a 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II on setting 3 with IS on and I'm having a hell of a hard time noting any differences in results with cases 3-4or5.

I'm switching between Zone and Spot using Center as well as Evaluative metering shooting at 12fps.

Are the differences supposed to be so subtle? I'm trying to optimize for kitesurfing shots http://tony6454.wix.com/aruba-kitesurfing#!kiteboarding/ckra like these before I get to an event and I just can't seem to see a real difference.

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Thank you!

TV

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To use only single point on a 1DX seems a bit limiting. The focus accuracy becomes very dependant on the shooters skills and much less on the tech in the camera. The case numbers won't help much if you give the single af point bad data by not having the point on the precise desited location at each shutter click. You really need to understand the motion dynamics of the subject when trying to track with a single point.
Be familiar with what the case numbers are adjusting to learn how they will be best set for the sport . Naturally, using a wider DOF helps keep the important parts of the subject in focus.
I was pleasantly surprised to try all point AF the other day and observed some decent af tracking on a bird. In your shooting scenario I would think that such a mode might also work as there wouldn't be a lot of extraneous contrasty objects near the subject except for kite lines. Since the subject is quite large over the starting af sensor, it should easily track the subject. Possibly the wet shiny water on the subject creates some challenges with the AF.

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tvstaff
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 30g0mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to riknash, 8 months ago

I'm using a 1DX and using AF cases 3-4&5 with a 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II on setting 3 with IS on and I'm having a hell of a hard time noting any differences in results with cases 3-4or5.

I'm switching between Zone and Spot using Center as well as Evaluative metering shooting at 12fps.

Are the differences supposed to be so subtle? I'm trying to optimize for kitesurfing shots http://tony6454.wix.com/aruba-kitesurfing#!kiteboarding/ckra like these before I get to an event and I just can't seem to see a real difference.

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Thank you!

TV

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To use only single point on a 1DX seems a bit limiting. The focus accuracy becomes very dependant on the shooters skills and much less on the tech in the camera. The case numbers won't help much if you give the single af point bad data by not having the point on the precise desited location at each shutter click. You really need to understand the motion dynamics of the subject when trying to track with a single point.
Be familiar with what the case numbers are adjusting to learn how they will be best set for the sport . Naturally, using a wider DOF helps keep the important parts of the subject in focus.
I was pleasantly surprised to try all point AF the other day and observed some decent af tracking on a bird. In your shooting scenario I would think that such a mode might also work as there wouldn't be a lot of extraneous contrasty objects near the subject except for kite lines. Since the subject is quite large over the starting af sensor, it should easily track the subject. Possibly the wet shiny water on the subject creates some challenges with the AF.

Hi Riknash, water does play a key role as I have to shoot through it. Being that I know the sport well helps and with single shot I have some of my best shots ever. My issue is learning to tweak 3,4&5. This is key
Thank you!
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TimR32225
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 30g0mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to riknash, 8 months ago

riknash wrote:

I'm using a 1DX and using AF cases 3-4&5 with a 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II on setting 3 with IS on and I'm having a hell of a hard time noting any differences in results with cases 3-4or5.

I'm switching between Zone and Spot using Center as well as Evaluative metering shooting at 12fps.

Are the differences supposed to be so subtle? I'm trying to optimize for kitesurfing shots http://tony6454.wix.com/aruba-kitesurfing#!kiteboarding/ckra like these before I get to an event and I just can't seem to see a real difference.

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Thank you!

TV

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To use only single point on a 1DX seems a bit limiting. The focus accuracy becomes very dependant on the shooters skills and much less on the tech in the camera. The case numbers won't help much if you give the single af point bad data by not having the point on the precise desited location at each shutter click. You really need to understand the motion dynamics of the subject when trying to track with a single point.

IMHO a single point may or may not be limiting. I don't shoot kite surfing but I can imagine the biggest problem would likely be the water spray fooling the autofocus. For that, you may consider tweaking whatever case you use to delay the switching of the autofocus to an intervening object (the water spray). If you do that, it should buy time after a spray starts to get in the way of the shot and allow you to momentarily retain sharp focus on your main subject (in spite of the spray). This would be my approach as it works well for photographing moving wildlife and birds in flight. With birds in flight it helps by delaying the switching if you momentarily move the focus point(s) off the subject.

You may also try a single point surrounded by 4 points (above, below, left and right) in the cross pattern. This might give you a little more wiggle room tracking the subject without increasing the likelihood that your autofocus switches to another object. I would think the combination of these two adjustments might give you good results.

Good Luck!

Last August in Alaska I waited over an hour for a perched eagle to take flight in waning light, hoping to get a decent flight shot. I constantly metered the changing light in the light rain and was at +2 in manual exposure before it finally happened. When the eagle took off, I fired a burst of 37 frames with the 1DX and 500 f4, and ended up with 35 tack sharp images. And the two misses were not the fault of the camera because they were the last 2 frames in the series as the bird flew over my head and off the focus sensors I was tracking it with. If my memory serves me correctly, I was using the cross pattern at that time, which is my usual norm for birds in flight. Below is one of those frames.

The most similar thing to kite surfing I have photographed would be breaching whales, that throw off a lot of water spray as they emerge from the surface of the water. The approach I described above also works well in that situation. You can see some examples on my photo blog at the link below if you care to:

http://timrucciphotography.blogspot.com/

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tvstaff
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 30g0mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to TimR32225, 8 months ago

TimR32225 wrote:

riknash wrote:

I'm using a 1DX and using AF cases 3-4&5 with a 300mm f/2.8 IS USM II on setting 3 with IS on and I'm having a hell of a hard time noting any differences in results with cases 3-4or5.

I'm switching between Zone and Spot using Center as well as Evaluative metering shooting at 12fps.

Are the differences supposed to be so subtle? I'm trying to optimize for kitesurfing shots http://tony6454.wix.com/aruba-kitesurfing#!kiteboarding/ckra like these before I get to an event and I just can't seem to see a real difference.

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Thank you!

TV

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To use only single point on a 1DX seems a bit limiting. The focus accuracy becomes very dependant on the shooters skills and much less on the tech in the camera. The case numbers won't help much if you give the single af point bad data by not having the point on the precise desited location at each shutter click. You really need to understand the motion dynamics of the subject when trying to track with a single point.

IMHO a single point may or may not be limiting. I don't shoot kite surfing but I can imagine the biggest problem would likely be the water spray fooling the autofocus. For that, you may consider tweaking whatever case you use to delay the switching of the autofocus to an intervening object (the water spray). If you do that, it should buy time after a spray starts to get in the way of the shot and allow you to momentarily retain sharp focus on your main subject (in spite of the spray). This would be my approach as it works well for photographing moving wildlife and birds in flight. With birds in flight it helps by delaying the switching if you momentarily move the focus point(s) off the subject.

You may also try a single point surrounded by 4 points (above, below, left and right) in the cross pattern. This might give you a little more wiggle room tracking the subject without increasing the likelihood that your autofocus switches to another object. I would think the combination of these two adjustments might give you good results.

Good Luck!

Last August in Alaska I waited over an hour for a perched eagle to take flight in waning light, hoping to get a decent flight shot. I constantly metered the changing light in the light rain and was at +2 in manual exposure before it finally happened. When the eagle took off, I fired a burst of 37 frames with the 1DX and 500 f4, and ended up with 35 tack sharp images. And the two misses were not the fault of the camera because they were the last 2 frames in the series as the bird flew over my head and off the focus sensors I was tracking it with. If my memory serves me correctly, I was using the cross pattern at that time, which is my usual norm for birds in flight. Below is one of those frames.

The most similar thing to kite surfing I have photographed would be breaching whales, that throw off a lot of water spray as they emerge from the surface of the water. The approach I described above also works well in that situation. You can see some examples on my photo blog at the link below if you care to:

http://timrucciphotography.blogspot.com/

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Tim,

Thanks for writing.

First off.. nice shot!

I tried case 2 for that specific reason as it was supposed to stay with the surfers if an object intervened.   The water splash can be difficult at times in size and depth and the 1DX will hunt.  I can set the next shots after focus away from focus but the 1DX needs something . On another forum a poster said I should get away from my 2.8 addiction, raise my ISO to get the 1/2500 to 1/4500 I like and go to 5.6 to improve DOF if my AF is off a bit. I think above 5.6 I'll lose too many cross-points.  Fast moving objects are never easy but when you add water and extreme back-lighting it's perplexing at times.  I see others work in the tight crop shots I like and I can see how they too struggle with this.

I saw a man yesterday with a Canon 300C and he said to ditch the 1DX get a 300C and just pull out the frames I want.  I told him that was cheating

Best regards,

Tony

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fpix
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 30g0mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

@tvstaff:

Just some notes after quickly reading this topic, A little bit tough, but I hope you will not be angry.

  • Case 5 AF makes no sense with Center AF point only. Case 5 has "AF pt auto switching" at 1 (0..2), but since you have only one AF point activated there is nothing to be switched... With only Center AF activated Case 5 = Case 1. This is valid when the user does not alter the default settings of each Case.
  • Spot AF is not recommended to be used in action photography when you usually are in AI Servo. RTFM! Your camera deserves it
  • The Tracking sensitivity setting is about how quickly the camera reacts when a new object suddenly obstructs the active focus point. -2 if you want the camera to react with maximum delay ("camera, please don't change focus!") till +2 ("camera, please do change focus asap!"). You may change pertinent Case or adjust this setting depending of what you expect to see in the viewfinder.
  • The "Accel./decel. tracking" refers to subjects which accelerate decelerate more (2) or less (0). Remember, this is more about subjects coming to the camera or getting away from it. Because if subject accelerates / decelerates parallel to the camera you usually track it and thus you may end having only low accel/decel subjects in the viewfinder. Again, you may change pertinent Case or adjust this setting depending of what you expect to see in the viewfinder.
  • Shooting above f/5,6 you do NOT loose any AF, nor cross, double-cross or not-cross. I will let you study why.

This being said, to get those very nice shots (congrats!) I would start with Zone AF 1+4 or 1+8 in AI-Servo with Case 6, maybe tweaking Tracking sensitivity towards lower end. Other tweaks may be necessary depending on field situation. It is hard to "measure" which is best. Just look carefully in the viewfinder during focusing and you will observe how the camera tracks the subject; further tweaks may be needed until you reach optimum result.

But anyhow, you have very nice shots on your site, which means at least your camera is performing stellar With any Case.

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tvstaff
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 30g0mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to fpix, 8 months ago

@tvstaff:

Just some notes after quickly reading this topic, A little bit tough, but I hope you will not be angry.

  • Case 5 AF makes no sense with Center AF point only. Case 5 has "AF pt auto switching" at 1 (0..2), but since you have only one AF point activated there is nothing to be switched... With only Center AF activated Case 5 = Case 1. This is valid when the user does not alter the default settings of each Case.
  • Spot AF is not recommended to be used in action photography when you usually are in AI Servo. RTFM! Your camera deserves it
  • The Tracking sensitivity setting is about how quickly the camera reacts when a new object suddenly obstructs the active focus point. -2 if you want the camera to react with maximum delay ("camera, please don't change focus!") till +2 ("camera, please do change focus asap!"). You may change pertinent Case or adjust this setting depending of what you expect to see in the viewfinder.
  • The "Accel./decel. tracking" refers to subjects which accelerate decelerate more (2) or less (0). Remember, this is more about subjects coming to the camera or getting away from it. Because if subject accelerates / decelerates parallel to the camera you usually track it and thus you may end having only low accel/decel subjects in the viewfinder. Again, you may change pertinent Case or adjust this setting depending of what you expect to see in the viewfinder.
  • Shooting above f/5,6 you do NOT loose any AF, nor cross, double-cross or not-cross. I will let you study why.

This being said, to get those very nice shots (congrats!) I would start with Zone AF 1+4 or 1+8 in AI-Servo with Case 6, maybe tweaking Tracking sensitivity towards lower end. Other tweaks may be necessary depending on field situation. It is hard to "measure" which is best. Just look carefully in the viewfinder during focusing and you will observe how the camera tracks the subject; further tweaks may be needed until you reach optimum result.

But anyhow, you have very nice shots on your site, which means at least your camera is performing stellar With any Case.

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Cristi@fpix.ro

Thanks for writing! Best shots on my site are zone, case 2, with lens in mode 2 all using group A lenses in Servo, 12fps with center metering. Others believe it or not single shot OUT of AI Servo at 1/4500 are amazing.

Throw in water as opposed to a building backdrop and the hit rate goes down. The water is a SOB.

1dx has 41 cross points up to f/8 with my f2.8 is usm ii 300 & 400mm lenses as per my understanding. I only shoot with the 41 cross points I get much higher rates. f8 kills the light, have to push iso to get 2500 min. to freeze, noise too much at higher iso for large display and retail store posters.

Expanded and zone best for fast movers.

When using zone and expand 4 in cases 3,4,5 I'm still not seeing much difference.

but again, when water is heavy it's luck of the draw.

I'll play with 6 and see what happens. Thank you!!!! I read article that said case 6 was buggy. Did not want to risk but based on your comment I'll try

Thank you!
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What, you want 100% keepers?
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

tvstaff wrote:

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Those case things are just starting points and if you look at what is different about them it is very subtle. Pick one and tweak it. You are the one that has to do most of the work regardless of what case you have chosen or how many focus points you have active. It's all about your tracking skill and how smooth you are period. I have no tips. I don't think you need any.

85% to 90% is pretty good for moving subjects. Keep after it. If you do get to 100% keepers, you might be in a class of your own.

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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 300mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

The cases are just names for different settings of the three sliders. Yes, case 3&4 differ by just 1 tick on one slider. Case 4&5 differ by 1 tick on 2 sliders.

How are you going about testing these cases, anyway? How do you simulate kite surfing conditions in New York?

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tvstaff
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Re: What, you want 100% keepers?
In reply to Schwany, 8 months ago

Schwany wrote:

tvstaff wrote:

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Those case things are just starting points and if you look at what is different about them it is very subtle. Pick one and tweak it. You are the one that has to do most of the work regardless of what case you have chosen or how many focus points you have active. It's all about your tracking skill and how smooth you are period. I have no tips. I don't think you need any.

85% to 90% is pretty good for moving subjects. Keep after it. If you do get to 100% keepers, you might be in a class of your own.

Well then I'll be in good class with people like you my friend!

b/r

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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 300mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to billythek, 8 months ago

billythek wrote:

The cases are just names for different settings of the three sliders. Yes, case 3&4 differ by just 1 tick on one slider. Case 4&5 differ by 1 tick on 2 sliders.

How are you going about testing these cases, anyway? How do you simulate kite surfing conditions in New York?

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- Bill

Bill,

I LOVE YOU!!!

This is a huge issue for me. I've got nothing even close here this time of year and shooting skateboarders and gymnastics is nothing like dealing with the water or backlighting

I just booked an extra 2 weeks before Hi-Winds to make sure that lighting and all my concerns here will be tweaked and fixed.   I'll have two 1DX's, and a 7D. The best I can do here is wait for the weather to warm up a bit and head to Long Island and New Jersey for an additional week of shooting before I leave

Guess I'll just have to move to Aruba!

Tony

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Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
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Lee's Law of Autofocus...
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

The more difficult the subject, the lower the keeper rate.

Many of us blame the camera when what we're trying to do is impossible!

Try AF on a car coming towards you. A car is a big subject.

Now try a runner's face. A small subject, moving erratically.

Now try a runner coming towards you and sweeping past... an order of magnitude more difficult.

Now try a fast flying bird going through trees....

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rbarta
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Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 30g0mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

tvstaff wrote:

1dx has 41 cross points up to f/8 with my f2.8 is usm ii 300 & 400mm lenses as per my understanding.

Lenses that are able to use the 41 cross points can use them at every aperture.

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Schwany
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Re: What, you want 100% keepers?
In reply to tvstaff, 8 months ago

tvstaff wrote:

Schwany wrote:

tvstaff wrote:

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Those case things are just starting points and if you look at what is different about them it is very subtle. Pick one and tweak it. You are the one that has to do most of the work regardless of what case you have chosen or how many focus points you have active. It's all about your tracking skill and how smooth you are period. I have no tips. I don't think you need any.

85% to 90% is pretty good for moving subjects. Keep after it. If you do get to 100% keepers, you might be in a class of your own.

Well then I'll be in good class with people like you my friend!

You are already doing much better than I do. They don't have a class for my skill level. It's so bad it can't be measured. Seriously, you're already way over my head in the keepers department.

b/r

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Feel Always Humble - "FAH" - You'll Learn More

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riknash
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Re: What, you want 100% keepers?
In reply to Schwany, 8 months ago

tvstaff wrote:

Am I expecting too much thinking that cases 3-4&5 are so vastly different?

Those case things are just starting points and if you look at what is different about them it is very subtle. Pick one and tweak it. You are the one that has to do most of the work regardless of what case you have chosen or how many focus points you have active. It's all about your tracking skill and how smooth you are period. I have no tips. I don't think you need any.

85% to 90% is pretty good for moving subjects. Keep after it. If you do get to 100% keepers, you might be in a class of your own.

I have difficulty with kingfishers and paltry when they are coming out of the water. I imagine whatever technique and settings used successfully for that would be similar for kite sail boarding. ... Anyone?

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riknash
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Re: What, you want 100% keepers?
In reply to riknash, 8 months ago

Osprey

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