Canon 6D can't do birds

Started Feb 13, 2013 | Discussions
Spad16
Spad16 Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Canon 6D can't do birds
1

Well I'd give it a gold, I completely love this camera, when I was out today I got 14 keepers, which is about 7 times as many as with the 40D on the same kind of session. Most of these are also against a difficult background,  I kept the 1.4 teleconverter on mostly, but even had a try with the 2X teleconverter, and it did autofocus too, something I thought was imposssible. Lens is the 400/5.6

Herring gull

Another herring gull

Yet another herring gull

Finally a herring gull

This one was taken with the 2x teleconverter

Three youngsters

Mr Mallard fooling around

Mrs Mallard in a hurry

Hope you like them

/Neil

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Scorehound
Scorehound Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

It depends on what the scene is. At 4.5 FPS and 11 pt AF we can't expect miracles. The 6D isn't being touted as an AF Servo wizard, so there are limitations with it. But your photos don't look bad considering. The 5D mkII was worse in AF points and continuous shutter speed and it was one of the most popular cameras in the world. Stick to the 6D's strengths and it will be a power performer.

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John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 19,139
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds
5

Spad16 wrote:

Well I'd give it a gold, I completely love this camera, when I was out today I got 14 keepers, which is about 7 times as many as with the 40D on the same kind of session. Most of these are also against a difficult background, I kept the 1.4 teleconverter on mostly, but even had a try with the 2X teleconverter, and it did autofocus too, something I thought was imposssible. Lens is the 400/5.6

Your gulls are blurred because your shutter speed is too slow.  1/320 doesn't cut it for BIFs.  Gulls require less speed than many other birds, but I would still go to 1/500 or 1/640.

You have what is alleged to be the 2nd best DSLR for high ISO; don't skimp on your shutter speed!

Even with my 7D, I'd use 1/800 in M mode.

Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

John Sheehy wrote:

Spad16 wrote:

Well I'd give it a gold, I completely love this camera, when I was out today I got 14 keepers, which is about 7 times as many as with the 40D on the same kind of session. Most of these are also against a difficult background, I kept the 1.4 teleconverter on mostly, but even had a try with the 2X teleconverter, and it did autofocus too, something I thought was imposssible. Lens is the 400/5.6

Your gulls are blurred because your shutter speed is too slow. 1/320 doesn't cut it for BIFs. Gulls require less speed than many other birds, but I would still go to 1/500 or 1/640.

You have what is alleged to be the 2nd best DSLR for high ISO; don't skimp on your shutter speed!

Even with my 7D, I'd use 1/800 in M mode.

If they are blurred then it escapes me. I think they're fine..

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ASR45
ASR45 Forum Pro • Posts: 36,578
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

Nice.  

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Alan.
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samwang New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

Were you use EF 400 F5.6L lens with 1.4X teleconveter?  If you do,Do you know the limit to the AF with teeleconveter?

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sam

samwang New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

If you do ,though it is have the AF function,but Due to it is the cirtical state for AF,the Ability for aoto focus will drop greatly.
sam

Spad16
OP Spad16 Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

Yes, I am using the non-reporting Tamron 1.4 Telececonverter with the Ef 400/5.6. How do you mean about the limit? If you mean the limit for which lenses Canon will allow with a teleconverter, then it doesn’t apply for non-reporting teleconverters, since the camera doesn’t know it’s there.

/Neil

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Spad16
OP Spad16 Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

The wings are certainly blurred, but shouldn’t they be?  How blurred should wings be? On propeller aeroplanes it’s important to keep shutter speed low, to get a nice propeller blur I’m thinking maybe a bird will look more attractive with some wing blur?

But I do agree with you, they are only fairly sharp, and I know I could have done better.   I haveC2 program mode set for birds in flight,  and instead of setting it to f6.3 as I’ve had I set it on the 40D,I went up to to f7.1 because I was worried about too little depth of focus. I realize this was amistake, DoF didn’t matter much on birds in flight on the 40D, and it doesn’t matter on the 6D either.

I should probably have taken off the TC when the birds were closer, that would have got shutter speed down to 1/600 or so, but in the heat of the moment I didn’t think of it.

Thanks for good advice

/Neil

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Spad16
OP Spad16 Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

Thanks, but I'm afraid he's right, perhaps not blurred, but they could have been sharper.

/Neil

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billythek Veteran Member • Posts: 5,260
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

Looks like some people missed the sarcasm.  I've taken action pictures with the 5D2, like the one below.  Still, I'd rather be using the 5D3 to do it.



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- Bill

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robbert100 Contributing Member • Posts: 545
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

Hi Spad,

Thank you for your helpfull information. Could you provide us with some insight about the decrease of focussing speed using the TC versus not using it.

Best regards,

Rob

www.geckophoto.zenfolio.com

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Christoph Stephan
Christoph Stephan Veteran Member • Posts: 4,132
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

Spad16 wrote:

Thanks, but I'm afraid he's right, perhaps not blurred, but they could have been sharper.

/Neil

Pics tend to appear less sharp on dpreview than they do in Canon Zoom Browser. However, it is not only the shutter speed here. In the picutre "Three youngsters it is more of a depth of field issue - the gull furthest away is sharp, the closest gull is already out of focus.

A problem I encounter frequenctly in telephoto, even when stopped down to f8-9 - the tail or wing is sharp, the eye is not.

However, otherwise very nice pics - thanks to the OP for posting.

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Spad16
OP Spad16 Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds
1

Yes I realize now that my attempt at irony was rather unclear! Sorry about that. I was getting a bit tired of being told how useless the 6D autofocus is. Obviously I’d prefer the 5D3 autofocus too, but it costs a good deal more, and is heavier. Great photo of the acrobats.

/Neil

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Spad16
OP Spad16 Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Teleconverter performance

I can’t quantify exactly how much worse the 1.4 TC  makes the 400/5.6. I’d say very little with the 6D. When taking these photos I completely forgot I had the TC on, focusing was very fast. The 6D with 1.4 TC felt “almost” like the 40D without, and the 6D with 2XTC felt “almost” like the 40D with 1.4TC. I write “almost” deliberately, because I think I’m exaggerating a little. What I feel very sure about, is that the TC performance on the 6D is an enormous improvement compared to the 40D, where the 2X TC wouldn’t do autofocus at all.

/Neil

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ASR45
ASR45 Forum Pro • Posts: 36,578
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

billythek wrote:

Looks like some people missed the sarcasm. I've taken action pictures with the 5D2, like the one below. Still, I'd rather be using the 5D3 to do it.

Good action shot.  

Would be excellent if you managed to get the leap frogger totally in shot with his feet, but hey proves it works.  



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- Bill

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Einstein333
Einstein333 Senior Member • Posts: 1,840
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

The real challenge for a AF system are the birds flying in your direction or away from you. Try to catch one of those with an off center AF point of the 6D! Good luck!

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Spad16
OP Spad16 Senior Member • Posts: 1,179
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds
1

I think I got plenty of those yesterday, I just didn't bother with them, as I don't think they look so nice. I've never thought of them as more difficult? I'll look for some like that to post.

/Neil

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Picturenaut
Picturenaut Regular Member • Posts: 330
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds
1

Spad16 wrote:

Well I'd give it a gold, I completely love this camera, when I was out today I got 14 keepers, which is about 7 times as many as with the 40D on the same kind of session. Most of these are also against a difficult background, I kept the 1.4 teleconverter on mostly, but even had a try with the 2X teleconverter, and it did autofocus too, something I thought was imposssible. Lens is the 400/5.6

Nice BIF shots! I am not surprised. I managed to get quite good keepers with the center AF of my old 50D with a 400/5.6 (love this sharp and quick little supertele, too). The more sensitive center AF of the 6D should do an even much better job.

Today I shoot BIF with a 5D3 and a 7D. Their sophisticated AF systems give you more freedom in framing the flying bird, and the 5D3's superb snappy AF system allows you to use a more critical shallow DOF (the 7D's one is not that reliable). But as we can see here a skilled photographer has no problem to shoot really nice bird pictures with a 6D.

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Picturenaut

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billythek Veteran Member • Posts: 5,260
Re: Canon 6D can't do birds

ASR45 wrote:

billythek wrote:

Looks like some people missed the sarcasm. I've taken action pictures with the 5D2, like the one below. Still, I'd rather be using the 5D3 to do it.

Good action shot.

Would be excellent if you managed to get the leap frogger totally in shot with his feet, but hey proves it works.




Yeah, I was bummed at that, too.  I only had one chance at it.  I wish I had framed it a little wider.  I do have other pics in the sequence that have him totally in the frame, though.

- Bill

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