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5D servo focus; new shots!

Phil Hawkins

New member
OK, I adjusted my aperture and increased the ISO to about 400, then 800. Started at f/5.6 and saw improvement, then went to f/9 and got more improvement. It wasn't perfect, but there were way more shots that had vastly improved focused than didn't.

I suppose the f2.8 is just too much for the 5D servo focus to pinpoint.

THanks for the responses...

Phil

First, not cropped or sharpened.




100% crop



MUCH improved!!


And...




and 100% crop (not as good as the first one but a vast improvement over what I was getting)

 
Last edited:

Tim Rogers

New member
Good information!

.....Thanks for sharing this Tar Heel. It's always been a dilemma for me whether to go higher ISO and stop down. You've demonstrated that at least with the 5D shooting fast action, it's the way to capture a sharper image. Your pics are very good. Maybe a faster fps and the 45 point AF system isn't all that imperative after all. Don't the rest of you guys get me wrong........I'd love to have a 1D Mark II N. But maybe the 5D is a good substitute if you're on a budget.
 
From the full-frames, it still looks like you aren't putting the center focus point on the area you want to be in focus (the face). I'd get rid of the expanded AF points for this type of subject and use center point only and concentrate on keeping that point continuously on the portion of the subject you want to be in focus.

Lee Jay
 

Daniel Harrison

pro member
Good to see they are getting better- great shots ! But I am with Lee Jay, it is still focussing on the bike - not the person. That is fine as I said as long as you stop down, if you want ultimate sharpness you are going to have to shoot with a different AF point.

Daniel
 

Phil Hawkins

New member
Daniel Harrison said:
Good to see they are getting better- great shots ! But I am with Lee Jay, it is still focussing on the bike - not the person. That is fine as I said as long as you stop down, if you want ultimate sharpness you are going to have to shoot with a different AF point.

Daniel
Daniel and Lee,

Yes, you are correct, but the problem with setting the focus point on the face is that you then have very sloppy composition, plus this is almost impossible to do with the action being as fast as it is. I put the focus point on the center of the bike and rider and follow it in my viewfinder for about 1 second with the shutter 1/2 way down to allow the AI Servo to do it's work, and then expose the image. Apparently, this is the best that can be gottten with a 5D. I see shots in the dirt bike magazines exposed tack sharp; and I know they do a lot of sharpening, (sometimes it's obvious,) but Kenny Jones and others must be using the 1series bodies that have much better AI Servo reaction.

While we are on that subject, I read in one magazine they are using the Olympus camera.

Phil
 

Daniel Harrison

pro member
Phil, while that is true, you do not have to use the middle af point. On my 1 series body the photos would still be front focussed on the bike unless I moved the af point. Of course having 45 of them to choose from might help :) try using a different AF point as an experiment.

But you are right, if you need to use the middle af point then all you can do is stop down

Daniel
 
Maybe focus with the center focus point, obtain a raw image with "sloppy" composition, and then re-frame or "crop" the image in DPP - the helmet will move off center, so you get a better composition (and still have the center focus point on the helmet). To this end, during shooting one needs to zoom such that more space is available in the raw image, i.e. more towards wide-angle. Depending on the print size, the 5D high pixel count gives much room for cropping. I think a very good sharp A4 print can be obtained with only a 75% crop of the original image.
 
Phil Hawkins said:
I see shots in the dirt bike magazines exposed tack sharp
Often the operators of these cameras are very experienced and trained in many racing situations: they'd do sharp photos even with a 30d and a good lens. Even more often the published sharp photos are the ones who benefitted of huge chance. It is very difficult to follow a moving subject and keeping the focus point fixed on it. A 1-series can help but if operator can't manage to keep the focus point fixed on subject the 1-series will be quicker to get off focus (than the 5D).

Panning is another technique difficult to master. And some apparently panned sharp photos are sometimes just pasting sharp objects over oily background. IMHO it's good to get inspiration from the published photos but I also think they're often post-processed.

Maybe using a 1-series will help your technique, or maybe you could help your 5d too, as one poster showed some sharp photos. I've seen even 20d/30d sharp racing photos.
 

John_Nevill

New member
petrescu said:
Panning is another technique difficult to master.
I've been trying to perfect this technique for months and finally got the hang of it here (resized to 1280x1024). The trick is to be very smooth on the pan and follow through after the shot.

This was done with a 20D and EF-S17-85 at 80mm, prefocused on tarmac and I adjusted the shutter speed down (1/320s) to overcome shake but not to freeze the action. Aperture was f5.6 with IS off, while ISO was set to 800 (overcast day). The only post processing was NR with small amount of USM.

BTW, the bike was travelling at ~80mph at Brands Hatch.
 

Ray West

New member
Hi John,

The trick is to be very smooth on the pan and follow through after the shot.
Just like clay pigeon shooting!!

Which reminds me of earlier attempts of mine with a Nikon P&S, where the shutter delay was so great I had to give it lead, too.

Best wishes,

Ray
 
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