MightyMike (and others) CIF with AF lens.

Started Aug 16, 2013 | Photos thread
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brandrx Forum Pro • Posts: 28,337
MightyMike (and others) CIF with AF lens.

Hi Mike and anyone eles that might interested,

The following is a "how-to" for using catch-in-focusing (CIF) with any autofocus lens that does not have, or does not work, with an AF/MF switch on the lens. In this "how-to" I used my Sigma 500mm f4.5 lens. I did not have time to sit around too long this morning, so the first two images are not in focus and are just to show that the method works.

Disclaimer: Press the lens lock button, as described below, at your own risk. I do not take any responsibility for you doing so.

Using a small peice of aluminum foil, short out the data pin on the camera. The data pin is the very bottom pin as you are looking into the camera. I use a small peice of scotch tape to hold the foil in place while I mount the lens. This will tell the camera that an autofocus lens is not attached. Note: You will be using Av or TAv mode and the aperture that the camera reads will most likely be wrong. For instance my Sigma 500/4.5 lens reads f1.2 when I have the edial set for wide open aperture. However, the exposure will be proper as if you had f4.5 reading in the camera. In the images I am posting I set the aperture to f1.8 which I think corresponds to f6.3. I could probably figure out which pins to put a peice of tape on to get the proper readings but I just don't want to do that at this time.

When you turn on the camera and if you have previously set SR to ON then it will ask you to enter the focal length. In the menu set your camera up for catch-in-focusing. Set the Auto Power Off to OFF. Set the Continuous Shooting to HI if shooting at birds (or hummingbirds) in flight. Set the Continuous Shooting to Lo if shooting at where a subject will be located in the future (such as a bird that will land on a branch). The reason I use Continuous Lo is because I don't know how long the future subject will remain and if you are on Continuous Hi you will have a whole lot more images to go through and most of them will be identical.

If you are going to be shooting at BIFs then you can use a locking wired remote switch. Lock the wired remote and put it in your shirt pocket. Point at the subject, press and hold the lens lock button as you manually focus your lens on the subject. This is so you don't try to turn the motor in the camera. The camera will only fire when focus is obtained. If it stops firing then just refocus until it starts firing again. I suggest that while you are walking around with the wired remote locked and in your shirt pocket that you manually focus your lens to infinity or minimum focus so that you don't get the camera firing if something comes into focus that you are not trying to get an image of.

If you are going to be shooting from a tripod at hummingbirds approaching a feeder, set your continuous shooting to HI. Pre-focus the lens (don't forget to press the lens lock button) in the area that the future hummingbird will be approaching. Press and lcok the wired remote. Sit back and wait. hopefully a hummingbird will come under the center focus point in the plane of focus and trigger the camera.

If you are going to be shooting at a future subject that will be in a certain place (hummingbird landing on a branch, bird on a rock, bird on a log, bird entering or leaving a nest, hole, etc., then set Continuous Shooting to HI. Pre-focus on the branch, rock, or area where the future subject will be. Then slightly move your lens pointing position (left, right, up, or down) so that the camera does not sense focus. Press and lock the wired remote. Now when that future subject comes into the frame, hopefully it will trigger the camera because it has come into focus. It will continue to fire as long as the subject remians. It will stop firing when the subject leaves. It will start firing again if another future subject comes into the frame under the center point and in the plane of focus. It will continue in like manner until you stop the procedure or the battery runs out.

I hope I explained that well enough to be understood.

Below are eight images that I took with the Sigma 500mm f4.5 lens using a couple of the methods described above. The first two images are not sharp but I just wanted to show that the method works. If I had sit there a bit longer I am sure I would have gotten a few sharp hummingbirds in flight images.



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Ron - 'We don't have time to go take pics this afternoon Carl.'
Carl - 'What do you mean? It will only take 1/1000s.'
'Keep your eyes looking forward. However, glance back now and then to see where you've come from. It will put a smile on your face.' ~ brandrx

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