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BIRDS AS ART ON-LINE Bulletin #71 February 2, 2002

CORRECTION re: 500 f/4.5...
AF LESSON

Image Copyright 2002 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Greater Roadrunner, Tucson, AZ  
Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS lens, 2X II TC, EOS 1v.
Fuji Provia F-100 pushed one stop 
Evaluative metering at zero: 1/125 sec. at f/11
Central Sensor AI Servo AF with the sensor on the base of the bill
 

CORRECTION re: 500mm f/4.5 LENS... 

An e-mail from Bulletin Subscriber Grant Wilson with my response:

>Dear Art,

 >I believe you made a mistake when referring to the 500/4.5L lens with the 2x converter in your correspondence below.

 AM: You are most correct; thanks for refreshing my memory.

 >I have the 500/4.5L & can indeed autofocus with the 2x converter with my EOS 3 camera(central sensor only).

 AM: Yes, you are correct. I did know that, but forgot...   It will usually focus in bright light, but slowly at best.  If my memory serves me correctly (this time), it cannot focus in low light or in low contrast situations; it is simply faster then to  focus manually.  

Best, and thanks for catching my error.

 

AF LESSON

 

 
Image Copyright 2002 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Verdin, Tucson, AZ 
Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS lens, 2X II TC, EOS 1v.
Fuji Provia F 100 pushed one stop (at EI 200) 
Flash as main light.  Background exposure set manually at -1/3 stop; 1/60 sec. at f/11
Here, I used CF-4-3 to AF on the eye and recompose
 
An e-mail from Bulletin Subscriber Donald Barker with my response:
 
>Hi Art,
 
> I know you cannot answer all inquires,
 
AM: That is correct, but I do not mind answering fresh questions.
 
>but I really appreciate the hints you give us.
 
AM: Thanks for your kind words.
 
>My specific question is generated by some of the recent very close up (head shot) images, e.g.Brown Pelican and Masked Booby. Due to the very limited depth of field, I presume you focused manually to insure the eyes were in focus.
 
AM: That is incorrect.  Most times when doing head shots with the 2X TC the bird's eye will be somewhere in the middle of the frame, so I simply use AI Servo. 
 
>How often do you  focus manually?
 
AM: Rarely, usually when there is grass or twigs between myself and the subject.  
 
>How often do you use focus lock and recompose the image? 
 
AM: I sometimes use One Shot (which locks both focus and exposure), but more commonly use CF-4-3 which gives me all the benefits of One-Shot and of AI (artificial intelligence) Servo and allows full time manual focus override and does not have the main disadvantage of One Shot (you do not need to keep the shutter depressed.  Do note that CF-4-3 gives you real time exposure (vs "Exposure lock with One-Shot).
 
>I know that you dealt with some of this in your book, but I was interested in your recent practices and experiences.
 
AM: See my comments above.
 
>I may have developed the bad habit of using AI servo focus too much.
 
AM: You need to resist the temptation to use AI Servo if it forces you to become a compositional slave to the technology.... In other words, if the active sensor can hold sharp focus on a spot that gives you the composition that you want, then you are fine using AI Servo.  If not, you need to choose one of the other options: MF, CF-4-3, or One-Shot.
 
>I always want to be ready follow the subject and be ready for that action shot or take off/landing images of water fowl.  
 
AM: This is where CF-4-3 shines.... The duck is floating there, and you simply touch the star button to focus on the bird's eye.  He stays in the same spot, you make your images.  He floats a bit closer, refocus with the star button and continue.  He begins to take off, push and hold the star button with your thumb and you have AI Servo at your command.  (When using CF-4-3, be sure to have AF set on AI Servo (not One-Shot).
 
>But I have also noticed that AI servo mode sometimes has the lens continually hunting for focus.
 
AM: Yes, with 2X TCs, and in low contrast and low light situations, this will happen more often than not.  When doing head shots, I try to start AF on the bird's eye where there is generally more contrast.  Then I can pan slowly down to the booby's white neck, for example, and still hold focus (with AI Servo...)  In these situations, I try to use f/11 when possible. 
 
>Thanks

 



 

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