Some practice with the EF 200 f/2.8 L USM

SileNceR

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Thought I should get some practice with my new lens as this is the sort of stuff I plan on shooting with it - so arranged to meet a mate at a local kart track to take some shots. There were a couple of mini-moto racers there practicing when we arrived so I took some shots of those too.

























Comments and critique extremely welcome!
 

Alkusoittow

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Looks like it is miss focusing.
lol that's cuz it's a "fast" lens, meaning really large aperture, and really small DOF. I think I saw one or 2 pics where he was tracking and it might have gotten a little blurry.

I think for the most part, the clarity is amazing, right where it's supposed to be. Really nice lens!! I've been wanting to get a faster lens for a while now... Can I ask what kind of camera you're using? What kind of auto-focus mode do you use? Auto, or continuous?
 

ALXBWSCREW

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lol that's cuz it's a "fast" lens, meaning really large aperture, and really small DOF.
That doesn't mean the pictures cannot be sharp. The focus seems indeed to be a bit off in places. Don't try by any means to overcome this problem by oversharpening the pictures in PP, that will just ruin them.

Just keep practicing and try to get a tiny wiff of underexposure on such a bright day (-0.3 EV should be enough).
 
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SileNceR

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400D on AI Servo.

Want a 7D for a few reasons, a) 8FPS b) better AF setup and faster AF processing and c) focus micro-adjustment (which may not even be needed but i'd like to have a play to see)

DoN has the same camera/lens setup and I believe the same problem - the lens is quite capable of focusing fast enough but the camera can't quite predict a fast moving object as well as a higher series camera would. Also the 400d AI Servo mode tends to wander and overcorrect itself a little.

Thanks for the feedback and tips thus far, will try slight underexposure next time (assume that will help with the white on the kart blowing out too)

Actually to be fair to the camera, I think a lot of the earlier shots were fine but boring (high shutter speeds) but I'd have to take a more critical look at the ones I kept but didn't post (about 70 of 550)
 
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SileNceR

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I just took a close look at the original version of the second last shot, the problem appears to be that the camera is focused at the point the shutter button is pressed but the time it takes for the shutter to actually open means the kart is a good foot ahead of the focal point (and hence out of the in-focus area at f/3.2)
 

Alkusoittow

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Check your camera settings for Auto-Focus. My Sony has 3 modes: single (focus once when you half-press the shutter button), continuous (just keep focusing, whether shutter button half-depressed or not--great for sports and action shots), and auto (camera somehow knows which to pick?).

I never use auto, but I use continuous mode quite often!
 

SileNceR

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Set to AI Servo which is continuous autofocus (supposed to be both motion predictive and also supposed to pick the closest object to focus on) For most shots it seemed to be tracking the Kart O.K. but the prediction seemed to be a bit out when it was travelling towards/away from the camera (as evidenced by looking 1:1 at the pics) - i'm very interested to see if the prediction is any better with a camera like the 7D.

Obviously a 1D would be better for this but I don't have the money for a MkIV and I want video capabilities. From all reports the 5DII autofocus is nowhere near as good as that on the 7D (lots of 5DII owners complaining that the focus setup in use on the 7d should have been unveiled with/on the 5DII)
 

eroy2

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Ask Paddy, he's got the 40D and the 5D MkII at the track. The 7D will have some better options but equivalent caliber of shots I'm thinking.

I figure the problem with the 7D vs the 40D is quality of glass. From what I've seen, cheap glass is quite easy to see with the higher MP bodies. The 50D had the issue compared to the 40D. I've heard reviews that a 70-200 2.8IS mkI was considered somewhat flawed compared to the mk II version with a 7D. Who knows if its true?
 

otispunkmeyer

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400D on AI Servo.

Want a 7D for a few reasons, a) 8FPS b) better AF setup and faster AF processing and c) focus micro-adjustment (which may not even be needed but i'd like to have a play to see)

DoN has the same camera/lens setup and I believe the same problem - the lens is quite capable of focusing fast enough but the camera can't quite predict a fast moving object as well as a higher series camera would. Also the 400d AI Servo mode tends to wander and overcorrect itself a little.

Thanks for the feedback and tips thus far, will try slight underexposure next time (assume that will help with the white on the kart blowing out too)

Actually to be fair to the camera, I think a lot of the earlier shots were fine but boring (high shutter speeds) but I'd have to take a more critical look at the ones I kept but didn't post (about 70 of 550)
I just took a close look at the original version of the second last shot, the problem appears to be that the camera is focused at the point the shutter button is pressed but the time it takes for the shutter to actually open means the kart is a good foot ahead of the focal point (and hence out of the in-focus area at f/3.2)
AI Servo is your culptit IMO.... i know its designed to track your subjects and keep the focus locked on whatever focus point you've chosen, but between it and some shutter lag, i find it just doesnt work at all.

the number of shots that ive had come out completely out of focus using AIServo really amazes me. it just doesnt work and it gets completely befuzzled with water (i shoot swimming events mostly) splashing about and around my subject.

i find its much more reliable in one shot mode.... you just have to be quick and constantly re-prime the focus yourself with the shutter half-press. i still get some gash shots where the focus system just cant handle the wishy washy nature of pool water (probably due to barely any contrast) but i get more in focus shots that way.

saddly having beautiful 2.8 glass compounds the issue with its often tiny DoF
 
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