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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?...Hi all. Right, I take alot of photos of off-road R/C cars at a local track. I am using a ...
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Old 30-06-2006, 23:19   #1 (permalink)
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Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

Hi all.

Right, I take alot of photos of off-road R/C cars at a local track. I am using a Canon 300d with a Sigma 70-200 2.8 APO HSM but find that the focus speed is quite slow, I could pre-focus but then that does'nt always work because the buggys are normally flying in all directions, so I generally miss out on what could be potentially good shots.

My question is, if I was to buy a camera further up in the Canon range would the focus speed be increased by great amounts, if at all.

Thanks, Mark.
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Old 01-07-2006, 08:54   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

Hi Mark

I know Dod mentioned about focusing with this lens in this thread

I'll leave the Canon guys to give the definitive answer, but I would have thought the following was true :-

- Lens has a maximum speed it can focus in
- A newer camera may aid getting the focus correct 1st time, so less hunting & therefore overall time to get to correct focus.
- A newer camera may have a faster shoot rate per sec, meaning you could preset focus & fire off 4-5 shots in one go to get correct focus.

From a subject perspective I would imagine the cars are quite close to you, vs say Dod's shots of MotoX. That could be quite hard to track those cars knowing the speed they do. Do you have the AF area set down to a tight centre point , as I would think this would help matters ?

I did have a 300D about 3 years ago & found it a very capable camera, although I didn't try using it for fast moving objects.

Out of interest are the R/C cars electric or petrol ? I did a stint of indoor electric racing for a while when a kid & I know Steve did some electric offroad R/C racing also.
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:47   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

Not familier with your camera, but I know some have different focus modes including predictive focus tracking on my D70s. I have not tried it yet as most of my recent photography is of my six month old Grandson, and he does not move that quick

Can you use a smaller apature to increase the depth of field? I know this is not the ideal answer, but it might help, and in the circumstances it may not matter too much. You will obviously have to play with shutter speeds and asa settings.

It could simply be that the environment is not good for AF - that is fast movement and low contrast.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-07-2006, 16:09   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

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Originally Posted by Dave
Out of interest are the R/C cars electric or petrol ? I did a stint of indoor electric racing for a while when a kid & I know Steve did some electric offroad R/C racing also.
They are powered by nitro, and as you say, very quick. I think I will take some of the tips in this thread into account and see what I can come up with tomorrow!
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Old 01-07-2006, 16:54   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

Be good to see some shots. Probably best to try & find slowest corner, pre focus & get some sliding , grit being thrown up etc.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:43   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

I'd love to see your results with those little guys. I've never tried to shoot them but have seen them shift and they're quick. I think most folk would struggle to get decent shots.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:19   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

I have a 10D and a 30D, and the 30D does focus slightly more quickly, but I'm not sure if the difference would be all that much help. One drawback of the 300D is that you can't select AI Servo mode which is really what you need to track moving objects. The AI Focus makes up its own mind what to do, and by then the moment may have passed.

So the answer is a definite maybe. A new camera might help, but if the subject is moving very quickly you could still have a problem.
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:28   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

I have to agree with Silkstone here, I have been in a situation in the past where I was shooting with a 20D and someone else was using a 10D at the side of me, we were both photographing squirrels and every time I managed to get focus lock and release the shutter before the 10D user. The difference wasn’t massive but it was noticeable, I have no doubt that the 30D is probably slightly improved as well.

The thing that is likely to make a bigger difference for you is the lack of AI focus on the 300D. If you wish to unlock this feature then you can use one of the unofficial firmware upgrades that are available from around the web (unduchable springs to mind) but be aware that this is not Canon recommended and although it is likely that your 300D is now out of warrantee, using it and having an issue while flashing the camera would result in a cost for repair.
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:43   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Is my camera limiting the focus speed of my lens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BerraST
Hi all.

Right, I take alot of photos of off-road R/C cars at a local track. I am using a Canon 300d with a Sigma 70-200 2.8 APO HSM but find that the focus speed is quite slow, I could pre-focus but then that does'nt always work because the buggys are normally flying in all directions, so I generally miss out on what could be potentially good shots.

My question is, if I was to buy a camera further up in the Canon range would the focus speed be increased by great amounts, if at all.

Thanks, Mark.
It is probably the lens that is slowing you camera down. My camera is definatly faster with Canon lenses than with 3rd party lenses.

Last edited by Chris_Mitton; 10-07-2006 at 19:04.
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