7D II AF questions

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Mike-G New Member • Posts: 17
7D II AF questions

First I'd like to extend a belated thank you to those who gave me some great advice on upgrading my 7D/70-300mm combination (https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4345509). I ended up getting a 7D II and a 400mm f/5.6 -- both used.

I've shot thousands of pictures with this combination since early February and really like both the camera and the lens. Unfortunately I have a horribly low keeper rate for birds flying directly at me and situations where I'm shooting at birds higher than 45 degrees or so from the horizon. The latter I can probably chalk up to shooter error, but the former really has me scratching my head.

I don't think I have any crippling equipment issues (bad lens or body). I've been mostly using Case 2 for AF and have tried all AF areas except for 65 point. Some examples from Zone and Large Zone:

Please pardon the big crop on this one...I'm still pretty new and struggle with swallows up close:

4 point expansion (also cropped...hawks hate that big white barrel I guess):

A couple with Single Point Spot:

Unfortunately I deleted all of my out of focus shots, but I'll be glad to share them after my next shooting opportunity.

I know that a lot of people have varying levels of success with different AF Cases and AF point selections. I'm not using my C1-C3 settings for anything right now. What combination of settings would you recommend trying for focus on birds/other objects travelling directly at me?

There was a great older thread between Zeee, Black Grouse and Distinctly Average  (among others) about some of this, but for the life of me I can't find it.

I'm still pretty new to photography, so I might be missing a painfully obvious solution the rest of you might already know.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
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