a (fashion) shooter

more tests…and notes on lighting

by on Feb.17, 2009, under cameras

(I was trying to get off of this testing phase on this blog. and back to lighting, but I am still testing…)

In trying a third Canon 5D Mark II body today, it focuses better with the outer AF points, but they are still no good for full figure shots where the target is far off. Lots of out of focus ones. 


On a positive note, the outer AF points seem to work ok for waist-up shots. And the color on this one is FAR better than my other 5D2 bodies.


(If the skin tones look a little funny, that’s because they are. The model is going to Japan tomorrow, where they insist that the models be as pale as possible. So she’s been hiding from the sun ;-) And thus, copius amounts of spray-on tan were applied.)


Still, if I were shooting something critical and could not be tethered to a computer to check focus, I would not use this camera! The auto focus is just too dodgy on far away objects, even using the center point. Tis a pity.


p.s. Dear Canon: Isn’t the one-shot AF mode supposed to only take the shot when it’s achieved focus at the selected AF point? IF so, maybe part of this problem could be resolved with a firmare fix: make it so that in one-shot AF mode the camera actually does not take the shot if the image is out of focus. Would this work, or can the camera just not tell that the image is not in focus?

**notes on the lighting setup for the above shots will follow shortly**

10 comments for this entry:
  1. Ken

    Ron thanks for highlighting this issue, I alkways tend to stand back with new equipment ….. these days nothing seems to fly first time. On the occasions I shoot people I find the most annoying part of the auto focus in the 5D is the layout of the points. There is never an auto focus point where I want it … high up to the right or left. If ever you can get Canons ear and you find the same as I do please beat the hell out of them. For me the 5D RAW processed in PS with the raw set to higher than 12mp ( 17 works quite well ) will have to do.

  2. mike

    It seemed pretty clear that you were done with the 5DII after your last post about it… why go back for a 3rd run? It just doesn’t seem cut out for the work you do. I was just a bit surprised to find yet another post about the 5dII… bring on the lighting stuff :D

  3. AFS

    Hey guys, the only reason I am at it again is that my dealer was convinced that I had had bad luck.
    Mike, today I am writing a lighting article about the 5D2 shots I just posted here and some others…stay tuned.

  4. sanjay narayan

    i have been shooting with the 5dII for the past one and a half months and had to microadjust my 85/1.2 to get good focus…24-105, 50/1.8 and 50/1.4 are fine…needed no microadjust on my 1ds mark3…no other issues with the 5dII

  5. stiksandstones

    I can’t believe the problems you are having, so weird. Maybe its an east coast batch of cameras?

  6. andreab

    Hei Ron, nice shots as usual.

    The highlights are really nice and there is a tangible improvement from the older 5D.


  7. AFS

    Indeed, the highlights are very nice (like the 1Ds3) which is one reason why I was interested in this camera in the first place. They look good. I think all but the last two shots above have HTP enabled, by the way.

  8. Ken

    I have been shooting with a 5D for the last couple of years and am on the fence about picking up a mkII…

    The 5D and 5DII are supposed to have the same AF and, from your experience, it sounds like they are. My conclusion about the 5D is that the outer AF points are worthless; I use the center point exclusively with focus and recompose. I find center point focusing with the 5D to be twitchy but something you can learn. The center AF point is bigger than it appears in the view finder and can often pick up something you don’t intend it to. The classic problem I see is that it will focus on an eyebrow rather than an eye. Depending on the DoF, sometimes that is good and sometimes that is bad. When I really want to focus on the eye, I pull the focus point down on to the cheek a bit so it can’t see the eyebrow and then it’ll pick up the high contrast of the eye and focus as I want it to.

    As for focus reliability, for me it seems to vary by lens. My 135/2, 50/1.4 and 35/1.4 are very consistent performers on the 5D even in close at f/2. However, the 85/1.8 and 200/2.8 are much less reliable and I find myself continually second guessing the focus with those lenses.

    As for low light focusing, I find that the 5D does well down to about EV5@ISO100. Below that, it gets slow and, at times, reluctant.

    Over the last few years I have learned to live with the 5D AF. I am not exactly happy with it, but I can make it work. As much as there are a number of features in the 5DII I would really like to have, it is hard to upgrade when it means another few years of the same AF issues. Sadly the 1DsIII is out of my price range so here I sit, on the fence, waiting for something to make up my mind…

  9. Eric

    **notes on the lighting setup for the above shots will follow shortly**


  10. A Fashion Shooter tries 3rd 5D mk ii « Planet5D Blog

    […] different 5D mk iis and decided he couldn’t get images that were in focus. Now, he’s trying out his third 5D mk ii and seems happier – tho isn’t totally […]

Leave a Reply

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...