Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Started Apr 12, 2018 | Discussions
Frustrated Writer Regular Member • Posts: 331
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

PWPhotography wrote:

I use FE 55 on A9 and A7r II, eye-AF works very reliably. I am sure you know how to use eye-AF function so it works under AF-C not AF-S and you press the button assigned for that function, right?

Same here - FE55 on A7Rii and now A7Riii works very well when in AF-C mode.

The only 'defect' is the lack of an on lens focus lock button that can be set to Eye-AF.

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usernamegoeshere New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

It looks like it could be focusing on the tips of the eye lashes, which almost align with the bridge.

Heard of it before (cited below) but haven't experienced it myself.

http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/07/sony-eye-af-explained/

OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Irvz wrote:

I had the same problem at first, it was because I was using single shot AF while trying to use eye AF. It would find the eye easy enough but it locked on at that point and when I went to press the shutter button I would move or the subject would move. Using cont. AF instead.made a world of difference lol

I have been using continuous focus the whole time.

That’s not it. Unfortunately.

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Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

PWPhotography wrote:

I use FE 55 on A9 and A7r II, eye-AF works very reliably. I am sure you know how to use eye-AF function so it works under AF-C not AF-S and you press the button assigned for that function, right?

Yes. I’ve been using eye AF for months now with great success on other cameras.

This camera just focuses on the nose even when it says it’s on the eye. It’s even in focus on the eye until you take the picture, then the focus moves. Even when “focus with shutter” is turned off. But that doesn’t matter because using a button for eye AF overrides the focus with shutter command.

Nothing has worked. I guess I’ll have to be returning the camera. Sucks because there are no replacements to be had.

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Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,431
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

usernamegoeshere wrote:

It looks like it could be focusing on the tips of the eye lashes, which almost align with the bridge.

Heard of it before (cited below) but haven't experienced it myself.

http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/07/sony-eye-af-explained/

I agree, that's definitely where the camera is focusing - the top eyelash to be precise. It is giving the false impression it's focusing on the bridge of the nose because that's in the same plane, like you say. The OP won't get this problem with his A6500 because with the APS-C sensor the greater DOF will make the eyeball in focus too. Likewise if he stops down with the A7iii. It's my belief that when the camera is using eye focus it is only using PDAF which may or may not be as precise as CDAF or a combination of both.

David

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Magnar W
Magnar W Senior Member • Posts: 4,033
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

mrbenji wrote:

I would guess the issue is your camera... I would hope it could be fixed by performing an AF Micro Adjust, but it could be a defect in your camera.

There is no micro asjustment for native FE mount lenses.

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OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

Horacecoker wrote:

usernamegoeshere wrote:

It looks like it could be focusing on the tips of the eye lashes, which almost align with the bridge.

Heard of it before (cited below) but haven't experienced it myself.

http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/07/sony-eye-af-explained/

I agree, that's definitely where the camera is focusing - the top eyelash to be precise. It is giving the false impression it's focusing on the bridge of the nose because that's in the same plane, like you say. The OP won't get this problem with his A6500 because with the APS-C sensor the greater DOF will make the eyeball in focus too. Likewise if he stops down with the A7iii. It's my belief that when the camera is using eye focus it is only using PDAF which may or may not be as precise as CDAF or a combination of both.

David

Hey David, can I send you some more sample shots? If so, you will be able to see pretty clearly that the only thing in focus is the top of the bridge of the nose.

I have now repeated this in at least 100 shots, and when it happens (which is at least 90% of the time) the eyes and eye lashes are not in focus at all.

Also of note is that if I use a small spot for focus the camera nails it almost every time. So eye AF is just malfunctioning for some reason.

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Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
Edgar_in_Indy
Edgar_in_Indy Regular Member • Posts: 354
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Any chance you could try another A7 III at a store with all the same settings, and same lens, to see if your body is behaving differently?

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Rey66
Rey66 Senior Member • Posts: 1,457
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

ATLshooter wrote:

Hey guys, so I upgraded from the A6500 to the A7iii. I'm very used to using eye autofocus. I'm using the A7iii with the 55mm Zeiss lens.

In my first day of testing, I've noticed that when I take pictures of subjects which are facing me, the camera will say it's focusing on their eye - but the focus ends up being directly on the bridge of their nose in between the eyes.

** The camera SAYS it's focusing on their eye, because when I review the photo and click the zoom button, it immediately goes to their eye. (the camera will automatically zoom to the spot which it thinks it focused on)

So the camera thinks it's focusing on the eye, yet almost 90% of the time it instead focuses on the bridge of the nose. I did not have this problem with the A6500. Also of note, is that when I'm seeing the picture being framed up, it does appear that the eye is in focus. But when I click the shutter button the focus ends up being on the nose.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is the camera faulty? Here's an example. It thinks it focused on the eye, yet the nose it what's in focus.

Here is a link to a sample of what the camera is doing. The lighting isn't challenging, the settings of the camera are 1/200 F2 iso 1000.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/139655841@N03/shares/gHiJp4

Thanks for any help you can provide. At this point I'm pretty disappointed. Especially because other than the eye autofocus, the camera is amazing. When using focus points the camera nails it almost every time and it is SO sharp. But I have to get the eye autofocus sorted because that's one of the main draws to this system.

Can you compare it with your a6500? same shot same distance. Did you try AF-C and AF-S and compare? It also could be focusing on the eye lashes since it is the nearest most focus part of the eye?

 Rey66's gear list:Rey66's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Sony a7R III Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.5 1-5x Macro Canon Extender EF 1.4x III +4 more
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Edgar_in_Indy wrote:

Any chance you could try another A7 III at a store with all the same settings, and same lens, to see if your body is behaving differently?

I wish! All the stores close to me are telling me it’s at least 3 weeks (and possibly longer) before they have any in store.

By that time I’ll be outside my return window with Best Buy.

I’m ordering the 85mm Zeiss Batis lens today to see if that changes anything. If not, then I’m taking the camera in for a refund and ordering it again whenever someone gets some in stock.

 ATLshooter's gear list:ATLshooter's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

Rey66 wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Hey guys, so I upgraded from the A6500 to the A7iii. I'm very used to using eye autofocus. I'm using the A7iii with the 55mm Zeiss lens.

In my first day of testing, I've noticed that when I take pictures of subjects which are facing me, the camera will say it's focusing on their eye - but the focus ends up being directly on the bridge of their nose in between the eyes.

** The camera SAYS it's focusing on their eye, because when I review the photo and click the zoom button, it immediately goes to their eye. (the camera will automatically zoom to the spot which it thinks it focused on)

So the camera thinks it's focusing on the eye, yet almost 90% of the time it instead focuses on the bridge of the nose. I did not have this problem with the A6500. Also of note, is that when I'm seeing the picture being framed up, it does appear that the eye is in focus. But when I click the shutter button the focus ends up being on the nose.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is the camera faulty? Here's an example. It thinks it focused on the eye, yet the nose it what's in focus.

Here is a link to a sample of what the camera is doing. The lighting isn't challenging, the settings of the camera are 1/200 F2 iso 1000.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/139655841@N03/shares/gHiJp4

Thanks for any help you can provide. At this point I'm pretty disappointed. Especially because other than the eye autofocus, the camera is amazing. When using focus points the camera nails it almost every time and it is SO sharp. But I have to get the eye autofocus sorted because that's one of the main draws to this system.

Can you compare it with your a6500? same shot same distance. Did you try AF-C and AF-S and compare? It also could be focusing on the eye lashes since it is the nearest most focus part of the eye?

Yes I tried it with A6500 last night. Same shot, same framing, same everything. The A6500 nails it almost every single time. While the 7iii fails almost 100% of the time.

Yet if I use the small spot focus on the eye, the 7iii accuracy improves drastically.

 ATLshooter's gear list:ATLshooter's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
Rey66
Rey66 Senior Member • Posts: 1,457
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

ATLshooter wrote:

Rey66 wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Hey guys, so I upgraded from the A6500 to the A7iii. I'm very used to using eye autofocus. I'm using the A7iii with the 55mm Zeiss lens.

In my first day of testing, I've noticed that when I take pictures of subjects which are facing me, the camera will say it's focusing on their eye - but the focus ends up being directly on the bridge of their nose in between the eyes.

** The camera SAYS it's focusing on their eye, because when I review the photo and click the zoom button, it immediately goes to their eye. (the camera will automatically zoom to the spot which it thinks it focused on)

So the camera thinks it's focusing on the eye, yet almost 90% of the time it instead focuses on the bridge of the nose. I did not have this problem with the A6500. Also of note, is that when I'm seeing the picture being framed up, it does appear that the eye is in focus. But when I click the shutter button the focus ends up being on the nose.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is the camera faulty? Here's an example. It thinks it focused on the eye, yet the nose it what's in focus.

Here is a link to a sample of what the camera is doing. The lighting isn't challenging, the settings of the camera are 1/200 F2 iso 1000.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/139655841@N03/shares/gHiJp4

Thanks for any help you can provide. At this point I'm pretty disappointed. Especially because other than the eye autofocus, the camera is amazing. When using focus points the camera nails it almost every time and it is SO sharp. But I have to get the eye autofocus sorted because that's one of the main draws to this system.

Can you compare it with your a6500? same shot same distance. Did you try AF-C and AF-S and compare? It also could be focusing on the eye lashes since it is the nearest most focus part of the eye?

Yes I tried it with A6500 last night. Same shot, same framing, same everything. The A6500 nails it almost every single time. While the 7iii fails almost 100% of the time.

Yet if I use the small spot focus on the eye, the 7iii accuracy improves drastically.

Are you using phase detect? or contrast? Maybe you found a bug and let Sony know..

 Rey66's gear list:Rey66's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Sony a7R III Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.5 1-5x Macro Canon Extender EF 1.4x III +4 more
Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,431
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

usernamegoeshere wrote:

It looks like it could be focusing on the tips of the eye lashes, which almost align with the bridge.

Heard of it before (cited below) but haven't experienced it myself.

http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/07/sony-eye-af-explained/

I agree, that's definitely where the camera is focusing - the top eyelash to be precise. It is giving the false impression it's focusing on the bridge of the nose because that's in the same plane, like you say. The OP won't get this problem with his A6500 because with the APS-C sensor the greater DOF will make the eyeball in focus too. Likewise if he stops down with the A7iii. It's my belief that when the camera is using eye focus it is only using PDAF which may or may not be as precise as CDAF or a combination of both.

David

Hey David, can I send you some more sample shots? If so, you will be able to see pretty clearly that the only thing in focus is the top of the bridge of the nose.

I have now repeated this in at least 100 shots, and when it happens (which is at least 90% of the time) the eyes and eye lashes are not in focus at all.

Also of note is that if I use a small spot for focus the camera nails it almost every time. So eye AF is just malfunctioning for some reason.

Yes please post full res images with exif then folk can make better judgments about this worrying problem which I personally don't think will go away with a fresh body. I have read in a review sometime, somewhere that if the depth of field is extremely narrow, eye focus nails the tip of the eyelash and not the eyeball.

A good test would be to move closer to your subject so that the eye focus box is contained within the eyeball. If it doesn't stay within the eyeball and the box or any part of it appears to want to stray onto the eyelid, there's you problem! It means eye focus relies on the eye area as a whole to know it is actually an eye, not just the eyeball itself. In this case it will focus on the closet object in the box - the tip of the eyelash! Difficult to explain in words but I think you will know what I mean. This problem is normally not apparent in most cases because DOF takes care of it. In your shooting scenario it doesn't.

David

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Sony RX100 III Sony RX10 IV Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 28mm F2
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

PWPhotography wrote:

I use FE 55 on A9 and A7r II, eye-AF works very reliably. I am sure you know how to use eye-AF function so it works under AF-C not AF-S and you press the button assigned for that function, right?

Yes, I’m quite clear on how to use eye AF. Been using it with great success for months and months now.

Always use it in af-c. Pretty sure that’s the only real way to use it. AF-s doesn’t even really work with eye af. And yes I’m using the correct button. I assigned the “af on” button to be eye af.

Regardless, I know the camera “thinks” it’s focusing on the eye because the green box appears on the eye. Also, these cameras automatically snap to where the camera focused when you zoom in on the imagine you took. So take a picture, look at it, and hit the zoom button. The camera will *always* zoom to the area that it focused on.

When my a7iii zooms in, it zooms in on the eye. Meaning the camera truly thinks it got the eye in focus. Yet the bridge of the nose is what’s actually on focus.

That discrepancy between what the camera thinks it focused on vs what actually happens is what makes Sony think my camera is faulty. If the camera just makes a mistake and moves the point of focus to the nose, I can understand that. But that’s not what’s happening and we know it thanks to the zoom function on these cameras. That info came straight from Sony yesterday. I was speaking with some higher level tech troubleshooter because of the strangeness of my issue. Spent about an hour on the phone with them trying multiple things including a complete reset and setup of the camera.

Nothing worked, obviously. So I’m waiting to hear back.

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Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Horacecoker wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

usernamegoeshere wrote:

It looks like it could be focusing on the tips of the eye lashes, which almost align with the bridge.

Heard of it before (cited below) but haven't experienced it myself.

http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/07/sony-eye-af-explained/

I agree, that's definitely where the camera is focusing - the top eyelash to be precise. It is giving the false impression it's focusing on the bridge of the nose because that's in the same plane, like you say. The OP won't get this problem with his A6500 because with the APS-C sensor the greater DOF will make the eyeball in focus too. Likewise if he stops down with the A7iii. It's my belief that when the camera is using eye focus it is only using PDAF which may or may not be as precise as CDAF or a combination of both.

David

Hey David, can I send you some more sample shots? If so, you will be able to see pretty clearly that the only thing in focus is the top of the bridge of the nose.

I have now repeated this in at least 100 shots, and when it happens (which is at least 90% of the time) the eyes and eye lashes are not in focus at all.

Also of note is that if I use a small spot for focus the camera nails it almost every time. So eye AF is just malfunctioning for some reason.

Yes please post full res images with exif then folk can make better judgments about this worrying problem which I personally don't think will go away with a fresh body. I have read in a review sometime, somewhere that if the depth of field is extremely narrow, eye focus nails the tip of the eyelash and not the eyeball.

A good test would be to move closer to your subject so that the eye focus box is contained within the eyeball. If it doesn't stay within the eyeball and the box or any part of it appears to want to stray onto the eyelid, there's you problem! It means eye focus relies on the eye area as a whole to know it is actually an eye, not just the eyeball itself. In this case it will focus on the closet object in the box - the tip of the eyelash! Difficult to explain in words but I think you will know what I mean. This problem is normally not apparent in most cases because DOF takes care of it. In your shooting scenario it doesn't.

David

Thanks for the reply. I will post links to the full res versions shortly.

What makes me think it’s not a DOF issue is the fact that I can use a small manual spot, and it nails the eye. Same settings, same everything. Taking the pics back to back.

Use eye AF and focus fails.

Immediately use small spot AF and it nails it.

If it was a dof issue wouldn’t the small spot have the same problems? I’m putting it right over the eye just like the eye af box, and they are even the same size boxes.

Regardless, it is a very strange issue. I am ordering an 85mm Zeiss Batis lens today to see if that makes any difference. I will report back with findings.

 ATLshooter's gear list:ATLshooter's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Rey66 wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Rey66 wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Hey guys, so I upgraded from the A6500 to the A7iii. I'm very used to using eye autofocus. I'm using the A7iii with the 55mm Zeiss lens.

In my first day of testing, I've noticed that when I take pictures of subjects which are facing me, the camera will say it's focusing on their eye - but the focus ends up being directly on the bridge of their nose in between the eyes.

** The camera SAYS it's focusing on their eye, because when I review the photo and click the zoom button, it immediately goes to their eye. (the camera will automatically zoom to the spot which it thinks it focused on)

So the camera thinks it's focusing on the eye, yet almost 90% of the time it instead focuses on the bridge of the nose. I did not have this problem with the A6500. Also of note, is that when I'm seeing the picture being framed up, it does appear that the eye is in focus. But when I click the shutter button the focus ends up being on the nose.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is the camera faulty? Here's an example. It thinks it focused on the eye, yet the nose it what's in focus.

Here is a link to a sample of what the camera is doing. The lighting isn't challenging, the settings of the camera are 1/200 F2 iso 1000.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/139655841@N03/shares/gHiJp4

Thanks for any help you can provide. At this point I'm pretty disappointed. Especially because other than the eye autofocus, the camera is amazing. When using focus points the camera nails it almost every time and it is SO sharp. But I have to get the eye autofocus sorted because that's one of the main draws to this system.

Can you compare it with your a6500? same shot same distance. Did you try AF-C and AF-S and compare? It also could be focusing on the eye lashes since it is the nearest most focus part of the eye?

Yes I tried it with A6500 last night. Same shot, same framing, same everything. The A6500 nails it almost every single time. While the 7iii fails almost 100% of the time.

Yet if I use the small spot focus on the eye, the 7iii accuracy improves drastically.

Are you using phase detect? or contrast? Maybe you found a bug and let Sony know..

Im not sure how to tell what type of focus points I’m using?

And yes Sony is aware of the issue and is currently replicating my setup to troubleshoot this. They have also escalated it to a higher level of tech support.

 ATLshooter's gear list:ATLshooter's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,431
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

usernamegoeshere wrote:

It looks like it could be focusing on the tips of the eye lashes, which almost align with the bridge.

Heard of it before (cited below) but haven't experienced it myself.

http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/07/sony-eye-af-explained/

I agree, that's definitely where the camera is focusing - the top eyelash to be precise. It is giving the false impression it's focusing on the bridge of the nose because that's in the same plane, like you say. The OP won't get this problem with his A6500 because with the APS-C sensor the greater DOF will make the eyeball in focus too. Likewise if he stops down with the A7iii. It's my belief that when the camera is using eye focus it is only using PDAF which may or may not be as precise as CDAF or a combination of both.

David

Hey David, can I send you some more sample shots? If so, you will be able to see pretty clearly that the only thing in focus is the top of the bridge of the nose.

I have now repeated this in at least 100 shots, and when it happens (which is at least 90% of the time) the eyes and eye lashes are not in focus at all.

Also of note is that if I use a small spot for focus the camera nails it almost every time. So eye AF is just malfunctioning for some reason.

Yes please post full res images with exif then folk can make better judgments about this worrying problem which I personally don't think will go away with a fresh body. I have read in a review sometime, somewhere that if the depth of field is extremely narrow, eye focus nails the tip of the eyelash and not the eyeball.

A good test would be to move closer to your subject so that the eye focus box is contained within the eyeball. If it doesn't stay within the eyeball and the box or any part of it appears to want to stray onto the eyelid, there's you problem! It means eye focus relies on the eye area as a whole to know it is actually an eye, not just the eyeball itself. In this case it will focus on the closet object in the box - the tip of the eyelash! Difficult to explain in words but I think you will know what I mean. This problem is normally not apparent in most cases because DOF takes care of it. In your shooting scenario it doesn't.

David

Thanks for the reply. I will post links to the full res versions shortly.

What makes me think it’s not a DOF issue is the fact that I can use a small manual spot, and it nails the eye. Same settings, same everything. Taking the pics back to back.

Use eye AF and focus fails.

Immediately use small spot AF and it nails it.

If it was a dof issue wouldn’t the small spot have the same problems? I’m putting it right over the eye just like the eye af box, and they are even the same size boxes.

Regardless, it is a very strange issue. I am ordering an 85mm Zeiss Batis lens today to see if that makes any difference. I will report back with findings.

When you are using small spot AF you are in control of exactly where you put the box. Not so in eye focus. It might look to be in the same place when you take the shot in eye focus as it is when you take the shot in small spot AF but is it? Is the box rock solid or is it always in slight motion? When you get a perfectly sharp eye pupil in spot AF it seems to me that nothing else on the face will be in focus because the DOF is so narrow - is that what you want? It will be interesting to see a full res image with the eyeball sharp.

A temporary fix for this problem is to move further away from the subject then crop. Both eyeball and eyelash should then be in focus.

David

 Horacecoker's gear list:Horacecoker's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony RX10 IV Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 28mm F2
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Horacecoker wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

usernamegoeshere wrote:

It looks like it could be focusing on the tips of the eye lashes, which almost align with the bridge.

Heard of it before (cited below) but haven't experienced it myself.

http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/07/sony-eye-af-explained/

I agree, that's definitely where the camera is focusing - the top eyelash to be precise. It is giving the false impression it's focusing on the bridge of the nose because that's in the same plane, like you say. The OP won't get this problem with his A6500 because with the APS-C sensor the greater DOF will make the eyeball in focus too. Likewise if he stops down with the A7iii. It's my belief that when the camera is using eye focus it is only using PDAF which may or may not be as precise as CDAF or a combination of both.

David

Hey David, can I send you some more sample shots? If so, you will be able to see pretty clearly that the only thing in focus is the top of the bridge of the nose.

I have now repeated this in at least 100 shots, and when it happens (which is at least 90% of the time) the eyes and eye lashes are not in focus at all.

Also of note is that if I use a small spot for focus the camera nails it almost every time. So eye AF is just malfunctioning for some reason.

Yes please post full res images with exif then folk can make better judgments about this worrying problem which I personally don't think will go away with a fresh body. I have read in a review sometime, somewhere that if the depth of field is extremely narrow, eye focus nails the tip of the eyelash and not the eyeball.

A good test would be to move closer to your subject so that the eye focus box is contained within the eyeball. If it doesn't stay within the eyeball and the box or any part of it appears to want to stray onto the eyelid, there's you problem! It means eye focus relies on the eye area as a whole to know it is actually an eye, not just the eyeball itself. In this case it will focus on the closet object in the box - the tip of the eyelash! Difficult to explain in words but I think you will know what I mean. This problem is normally not apparent in most cases because DOF takes care of it. In your shooting scenario it doesn't.

David

Thanks for the reply. I will post links to the full res versions shortly.

What makes me think it’s not a DOF issue is the fact that I can use a small manual spot, and it nails the eye. Same settings, same everything. Taking the pics back to back.

Use eye AF and focus fails.

Immediately use small spot AF and it nails it.

If it was a dof issue wouldn’t the small spot have the same problems? I’m putting it right over the eye just like the eye af box, and they are even the same size boxes.

Regardless, it is a very strange issue. I am ordering an 85mm Zeiss Batis lens today to see if that makes any difference. I will report back with findings.

When you are using small spot AF you are in control of exactly where you put the box. Not so in eye focus. It might look to be in the same place when you take the shot in eye focus as it is when you take the shot in small spot AF but is it? Is the box rock solid or is it always in slight motion? When you get a perfectly sharp eye pupil in spot AF it seems to me that nothing else on the face will be in focus because the DOF is so narrow - is that what you want? It will be interesting to see a full res image with the eyeball sharp.

A temporary fix for this problem is to move further away from the subject then crop. Both eyeball and eyelash should then be in focus.

David

Hey David, when I hit the shutter button the eye af box is solid and still. The eye even looks in focus on the screen. Then when I take the pic the focus instantly somehow jumps to the bridge of the nose. Almost every. single. time.  Frustrating to say the least.

I am about to set up and take a few pics to really illustrate what I mean. I will then link to the pics with a description of what I mean. On the pics where the focus misses, the focus is dead on the bridge of the nose. The eye lashes are more in focus than the pupil, but definitely not as sharp as the bridge of the nose.

On the images where the small spot AF grabs the eye, the pics are amazingly sharp and full of great detail. This camera is capable of amazing images which is why this is so disappointing for me. In overall image quality, it's a huge step up from my a6500 and even my full frame nikon.

 ATLshooter's gear list:ATLshooter's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,431
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

usernamegoeshere wrote:

It looks like it could be focusing on the tips of the eye lashes, which almost align with the bridge.

Heard of it before (cited below) but haven't experienced it myself.

http://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/03/07/sony-eye-af-explained/

I agree, that's definitely where the camera is focusing - the top eyelash to be precise. It is giving the false impression it's focusing on the bridge of the nose because that's in the same plane, like you say. The OP won't get this problem with his A6500 because with the APS-C sensor the greater DOF will make the eyeball in focus too. Likewise if he stops down with the A7iii. It's my belief that when the camera is using eye focus it is only using PDAF which may or may not be as precise as CDAF or a combination of both.

David

Hey David, can I send you some more sample shots? If so, you will be able to see pretty clearly that the only thing in focus is the top of the bridge of the nose.

I have now repeated this in at least 100 shots, and when it happens (which is at least 90% of the time) the eyes and eye lashes are not in focus at all.

Also of note is that if I use a small spot for focus the camera nails it almost every time. So eye AF is just malfunctioning for some reason.

Yes please post full res images with exif then folk can make better judgments about this worrying problem which I personally don't think will go away with a fresh body. I have read in a review sometime, somewhere that if the depth of field is extremely narrow, eye focus nails the tip of the eyelash and not the eyeball.

A good test would be to move closer to your subject so that the eye focus box is contained within the eyeball. If it doesn't stay within the eyeball and the box or any part of it appears to want to stray onto the eyelid, there's you problem! It means eye focus relies on the eye area as a whole to know it is actually an eye, not just the eyeball itself. In this case it will focus on the closet object in the box - the tip of the eyelash! Difficult to explain in words but I think you will know what I mean. This problem is normally not apparent in most cases because DOF takes care of it. In your shooting scenario it doesn't.

David

Thanks for the reply. I will post links to the full res versions shortly.

What makes me think it’s not a DOF issue is the fact that I can use a small manual spot, and it nails the eye. Same settings, same everything. Taking the pics back to back.

Use eye AF and focus fails.

Immediately use small spot AF and it nails it.

If it was a dof issue wouldn’t the small spot have the same problems? I’m putting it right over the eye just like the eye af box, and they are even the same size boxes.

Regardless, it is a very strange issue. I am ordering an 85mm Zeiss Batis lens today to see if that makes any difference. I will report back with findings.

When you are using small spot AF you are in control of exactly where you put the box. Not so in eye focus. It might look to be in the same place when you take the shot in eye focus as it is when you take the shot in small spot AF but is it? Is the box rock solid or is it always in slight motion? When you get a perfectly sharp eye pupil in spot AF it seems to me that nothing else on the face will be in focus because the DOF is so narrow - is that what you want? It will be interesting to see a full res image with the eyeball sharp.

A temporary fix for this problem is to move further away from the subject then crop. Both eyeball and eyelash should then be in focus.

David

Hey David, when I hit the shutter button the eye af box is solid and still. The eye even looks in focus on the screen. Then when I take the pic the focus instantly somehow jumps to the bridge of the nose. Almost every. single. time. Frustrating to say the least.

I am about to set up and take a few pics to really illustrate what I mean. I will then link to the pics with a description of what I mean. On the pics where the focus misses, the focus is dead on the bridge of the nose. The eye lashes are more in focus than the pupil, but definitely not as sharp as the bridge of the nose.

On the images where the small spot AF grabs the eye, the pics are amazingly sharp and full of great detail. This camera is capable of amazing images which is why this is so disappointing for me. In overall image quality, it's a huge step up from my a6500 and even my full frame nikon.

Right ho! I'll wait for the pics etc. Only thing I will say now is, if what I think is happening only the very tips on the top eyelashes will be in focus. The difficulty to see this is what's making you think the focus is jumping to the bridge of the nose because you can see sharp focus there more clearly. If your subject had longer (perhaps false) eyelashes it may even take the exact focus point away from the bridge of the nose?

David

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Sony RX100 III Sony RX10 IV Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 28mm F2
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

Ok, here are two shots. Please note: you can view the exif data down at the bottom. You can also download the full res versions to zoom up on and view on your desktop.

This first shot (click me for pic) shows what the camera can do while using the small spot focus. The focus is bang on the eyeball, and the reflection in the eyeball is even in focus.

This second shot (click me for pic) shows what eye af does almost 100% of the time. If you download the image and zoom up you will see that only the bridge of the nose is in focus. The eye lashes are definitely out of focus, and the eye brows are even slightly out of focus. Only the bridge of the nose is dead in focus.

Yet, when I snapped the pic the eye af box was solidly planted on her left eye (right on her pupil) and even appeared to be in focus on the live view.

I know these two pics are slightly different. I will be posting an exact replica shortly when I can get someone in front of the camera. But rest assured, the results are the same. I've already done it.

 ATLshooter's gear list:ATLshooter's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8
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