Canon1DX Autofocus Help Request

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by pmastro1973, May 15, 2016.

  1. pmastro1973

    pmastro1973 TPF Noob!

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    Hello

    I've shot youth soccer for years with amateur level equipment but have wanted the quality of my photos to look more professional so upgraded my camera body and lens to a Canon 1DX and Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS USM lens (older ver. lens not the new one). I have a lot of blurry photos and most of them are not very sharp either. I am not sure how to correct the problem since I am new to this camera body. I read up on the case settings and recommendations quite a bit before the shoot but not sure how to correct the problem? I shot in Case 4, Tracking Sensitivity -1, Accel/decel. tracking 1, Af auto pt switching o. 8 point expanded center pt AF selection. AI Servo Continuous H. Using back AF button not shutter button for focusing. Image stabilizer was turned off on the lens. 10m-infinity setting. The lens seemed consistently slow to autofocus especially the further I got toward the other end of the field. I've tried increasing the Case parameters to +2 for emphasis on faster focus speed but with no better results. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


     

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  2. spiralout462

    spiralout462 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not sure "professional" equipment necessarily makes "professional" results.

    I'm sure you'll get it worked out. If not, I'll take that lens off your hands to relieve the frustration. ;)
     
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  3. pmastro1973

    pmastro1973 TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure it does either, which is why I am on here posting for advice from professionals.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    TPF is a a forum for beginner photographers, but there are a few pros and retired pros who post here.

    The 1Dx has a complex AF system, and sharp focus of action sports shots results from a combination of factors including camera AF system settings, lens quality, depth of field, exposure settings, use (or not) of a tripod/monopod, type of tripod head, handheld etc.

    So if you want help that is not broadly general you'll need to include more information about each shot you post for analysis.
    Like shutter speed, lens aperture, ISO, distance to point of focus, if the shot was hand held or the camera was on a mount.

    I would expect the lens you have to focus fairly quickly because it has a USM AF motor.

    When I shot action sports I had my long lens, a 200 -500 mm zoom lens, directly mounted on a monopod (no head) that was only extended enough to accommodate my shooting position.
    I was down on a knee and I had my opposite butt cheek parked on a Walkstool without it's legs extended.
    I shot from one or the other end line so the action moved towards or away from me so panning was minimized and I had a better chance of having faces, and their expressions, in my shots.

    For Canon camera specific information, like 1DX AF settings, check TPF's - Canon Cameras forum.
     
  5. pmastro1973

    pmastro1973 TPF Noob!

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    I was shooting with a monopod and no head. Shooting on the end of the field to the right of the goal.

    Continuous H(10fps)
    RAW
    ISO 200
    2.8
    1/2500
    Both Expand AF Area Surround & Expand AF Area were used during the shoot
    Case 4
    Tracking Sensitivity -1
    Accel/decel tracking +1
    AF pt auto switching 0
    AI Servo 1st & 2nd Image Priority both set @ equal
    Auto AF pt Sel:Eos iTR AF set to ON
    Lens Drive When AF Impossible: Continuous Focus Search ON
    Orientation Linked AF Pts: Pt Only
    AF Mode: Live Mode
     
  6. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure if you will be able to read this link but it is an article of Peter Read Miller about how he sets up his 1Dx for sports.
     
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  7. JacaRanda

    JacaRanda Hobbyist Birdographer

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    Which set of AF Expansion points were you using? I would suggest the 4 surrounding the center point. Large enough to put on the subjects head or the ball, but not so large that it would pick up something not wanted. You would be required to track well to keep those points on or real close to target.

    You may have this already, but the settings guide book pdf is at the bottom left of this page Canon1DX Autofocus Help Request
     
  8. pmastro1973

    pmastro1973 TPF Noob!

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    I'm not a professional nor do I think pro level equipment makes pro level photos. I am just trying to take better quality shots. Bad choice of wording using "professional" in reference to shots. I did read Peter Miller's article on the settings before the shoot and it was a great help. I noticed that I had my AF Mode set to Live View instead of Quick Mode as he suggested. Might have contributed to my problem? It seemed like the lens was continuously searching for focus especially at the other end of the field but even mid-field range. I was using primarily the 4 AF expansion points. I put the af points on the head and sometimes the chest area of the jersey.
     
  9. pmastro1973

    pmastro1973 TPF Noob!

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    I did go through the guide quite extensively. Thanks for mentioning it though, it really seemed to help a lot also. I say it seemed to help, but I still have soft non-sharp images?? I just can't figure out if it's an improper setting I've made either menu or af or just an issue like tracking related to poor technique on my part and/or a combination of both?
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Set your lens to the longer focus I used to use a 300 f2. 8 and it always worked better because shooting football you will never be shooting the 400 when they are 10m from you

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
  11. pmastro1973

    pmastro1973 TPF Noob!

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    Makes a lot of sense I will definitely try that. Thanks for the advice!!!
     
  12. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    I hardly ever used f/2.8.

    Point of focus distance has more effect on depth-of-field (DoF) than lens aperture does.
    You may have DoF so shallow that all three players in the photo you posted are not in the DoF.

    Your main problem may be an incomplete understanding of how to effectively control depth-of-field.
     
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