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 Post subject: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:28 pm
Posts: 17
Hi all

I was at my kids bday party today trying to take some pics. Was however almost impossible as before I'd focused on him he'd gone and the shot was out of focus.
My question is is this because I'm just slow! Or is the camera body or lense not quick enough for the situation.?
I was using a 60d with the 24-105 f4 lense and it was in a hall with moderate lighting.

Would a better camera body (70d, 6d or 5dmk3) work better or a better lense?

I do quite a bit of photography in these situations so don't want to miss anything.

All help and advice appreciated .

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:10 am 
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What did your exposure meter read? Or if you don't remember, what does the histogram look like? And what ISO and shutter speed did you use?

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Sorry don't remember the exposure but the histogram on the majority of shots is to the left. Most shots were iso 1600-3200. Most were 1/100


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:01 pm
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tbh you'd probably be better with a 50mm F1.8 lens, even if it means cropping in for slightly more distant/outdoor shots, or maybe a 35mm if you're usually shooting pretty close.
Depending how fast things are moving, around 1/250th sec should be ok for kids playing.

Another thing to consider is an external flashgun. (there are plenty of cheaper ones than the Canon own brand)

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Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:34 am 
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kickers wrote:
the histogram on the majority of shots is to the left.

That would indicate underexposure, and underexposure could affect AF speed.

Oh, and I should also confirm: you were using the viewfinder, right? Not the LCD/"Live View".

Since I can understand why you wouldn't want to increase ISO above 3200 or slow your shutter below 1/100, you're left with getting a brighter lens. You might want to have a look at some of the constant f2.8 zooms mentioned in the "Best All-Purpose Lens Canon 60D" thread. Or, as Carlos suggested, use an f2.0 (or faster) prime and "zoom with your feet" and/or crop in post.

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:28 pm
Posts: 17
Thanks for your advice Carlos and Maestro.

Yes I was using the viewfinder. Ill take a look at the thread.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:28 pm
Posts: 17
So if you could have one of these three combinations which would you go with? And would any of them improve the issue i had the other day at the kids party?

1. 5d Mk3
2. 6d with 24-70 f2.8ii
3. 24-70 f2.8ii with my current 60d and selling the 24-105 f4.

My current equipment is 60d with 24-105mm f4 and 70-200mm f2.8ii

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:22 pm 
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Anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 5:58 pm 
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Location: United Kingdom
How far does the exposure meter go to the left?

Depending on how far left it goes, going for the f/2.8 lens may not be enough and it may have undesired results since you'll have a reduced depth of field.

The 6D with the 24-70mm f/2.8 on paper could be the best option as the body has the best autofocus at low exposure (with at least an f/2.8 lens) though AFAIK, that's only applicable to the centre AF point.

As oldCarlos said, an external flash could be the least expensive solution and the most effective.

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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 7:37 pm 
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So for a faster auto-focus, I would recommend changing your focus points from all inclusive to just a single point.
I would test that to see if you get the focus speed you want before you pay for any upgrades.

Also, if you post some pictures, we may be able to give you better advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 2:47 am 
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kickers wrote:
would any of them improve the issue i had the other day at the kids party?

Yes and no.

Per Gordon's review, the 6D has "a single cross-type point at the centre that's sensitive down to -3EV". Whereas, per Canon Europe, the 60D maxes ... minis? ... out at 0 EV. So the 6D will autofocus in lower light, but the end result will still be an underexposed picture. So unless you want an underexposed picture, you'd probably be better off with a faster lens. Of course, how much faster depends on how much light there was/will be. i.e. how underexposed the pictures you took were.

But FWIW, I haven't had any AF issues with my 70D when shooting live bands in dimly lit bars as long as I use a suitably fast lens. Having said all of that, an easy way for you to see if f2.8 would be fast enough would be to take a few pics under the same lighting conditions with your constant f2.8 lens. Actually, you wouldn't even need to take any pics, just check your exposure meter. (And maybe half-press the shutter to test/verify AF speed.)

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 3:16 pm 
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In case it was not already mentioned in a previous reply, remember to use AI Servo when shooting moving subjects!

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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:47 pm 
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The issue as I understand it is:
kickers wrote:
I'd focused on him he'd gone and the shot was out of focus.


For most people, when they think of speed, they think of autofocus speed. When most photographers think of speed, they think of how much light is let in.
If you can post a picture of your issue, you will probably get a lot better/clearer advice on what to do.

kickers wrote:
Most shots were iso 1600-3200. Most were 1/100


From what I can tell, you probably have both issues at once compounding the problem. 1/100 shutter speed is not really fast. If you go faster, you let in less light. However, if you child is energetic enough, it does not matter how much light you let in if you are not using a faster shutter speed. I would recommend trying the sports option on the camera. If the pictures are too dark, but they are in focus, then I would recommend looking into getting a lens that lets in more light or a flash.

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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX Macro

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Canon 430EX II
Opteka 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm extension tubes
Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 for OM System


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 Post subject: Re: Slow AF or slow me!
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 12:20 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
kickers, here is a few things I have learnt when chasing kids around.

Get down to their level, get your knees dirty.
Practice outside with good light, AI Servo, single focus points on a contrasting surface like t shirt or their face.
Suggested setting iso 200 to 800 depending on light with your 24-105 at f4

Inside is a different ball game , even with primes lenses at 1.8 the camera will struggle, lack of light and subsequent low shutter speed, poorer af performance.
Some of this can be easily fixed with an external flash, and in av mode set the shutter to be as fast as your flash synch speed can go, see custom settings exposure flash.

But in the end the 60D ( same as my 7D ) with whatever lens, is nowhere near as confident in low light like the 6D. I get better results with the 6D and a lens at f5.6 lens than the 7D with the sigma 30 at 1.4. The 6D in comparison can see in the dark. I just leave it in iso auto and have raised the limit so that it goes to iso25600 and it just deals with it.

But don`t dismiss the 60D , the better you get extracting the best from it, the easier you will find it with the 6D or any other upgrade.

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