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

Started Apr 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP tvstaff Senior Member • Posts: 2,044
Re: 1DX af cases 3-4-5 w/2.8 30g0mm IS USM II - Setting 3 w/IS

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!


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

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:


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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 <ROFL>. 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,


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 tvstaff's gear list:tvstaff's gear list
Canon EOS-1D X Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM +22 more
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