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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Canon EOS-Mark II N
Eugene Harding, Photo Editor, Photographer
Fort Wayne | IN | U.S.A. | Posted: 10:17 AM on 03.26.06
->> Has anyone noticed other than me that the focus issue with the new Mark II N does not seem to have been solved? I noticed the other day while using the camera that is still hunts for the focus spot on many occassions. I was just curious if anyone else has had this issue as well? Also, I am thinking about buying a 20D or the new 30D as a backup camera. Has anyone seen any problems with the auto-focus on these two cameras?
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Paul Jordan, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 12:22 PM on 03.26.06
->> Eugene,

I have the Mark II N and the 20D as a 2nd body. Both have had the "hunt for focus" issues with the 400 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8 (both IS versions). At this point I live with it best I can.

Keep in mind the control sets are largely different between the above two bodies. If you are shooting at the same event with both, it's a bit of a pain to recall different setting sequences for each. When the time is right I'll move to a 2nd MKIIN body so I don't have to think twice before changing a setting.

Hope this helps,
P.
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Rodrigo Pena, Photographer
Palm Desert | CA | USA | Posted: 1:15 PM on 03.26.06
->> Hi Eugene, I have both the 20D and the Mark II N as well. Yes, I have noticed the focusing issue. One thing that really bothers me is that when I am shooting sports with the autofocus on AI SERVO, the lens tends to try to track constantly, even when the subject is standing still. I have also tried numerous different focusing points. If a subject is moving laterally, (not coming or going to me) then using the ONE SHOT mode works really well for me as long as I keep my focus point on the subject. For me the AI SERVO is hit and miss. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I have found that in bright light, the autofocus works better.

In all hosesty, I have only had the 20D for a short time and have not had time to develop a relationship with it. So far, it is slightly worse than the Mark II N. Like I said, I haven't given it a fair chance yet.

One thing that I have noticed with the Mark II N is that if you select the center square as your focusing point, the autofocus tracks better especially in AI SERVO mode.

I also noticed that when I shot Pro tennis this past weekend, I was using the 1.6x extender and the extender was too slow to keep up with the Pro athletes. When I took the extender off of my 400 2.8, my sharp focus photos increased dramatically. When I shot golf with the extender, the images were sharp. Thus slower moving objects seem to be fine with the extender. Even football, in most cases, seems to be ok with the extender.

I hope this helps, best wishes, Rodrigo Pena
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Pete Lorence, Photographer, Student/Intern
Loughborough | Leicestershire | UK | Posted: 5:12 PM on 03.26.06
->> If you have the MkIIn and the MkII side by side, you'll notice that the MkIIn hunts far less than the MkII, it's a dream to use in comparison!
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Andy Mead, Photographer, Photo Editor
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 6:16 PM on 03.26.06
->> Over the last year I used three different Mark IIs. They all had their own personalities. Two months ago, I purchased a Mark IIN. I have been nothing but impressed. I haven't had any of the hunting problems, nor the soft focus, or "tilt/shift" focus problems exhibited from time to time by the three Mark IIs I had access to.

One thing to be aware of, CF.20 - "AISERVO tracking sensitivity" is counterintuitive. It defines how aggressive the camera is at "finding focus". If you've got hunting problems, try setting it to 2 (Moderately slow) or even 1 (slow). The autofocus, itself, is unaffected - this setting just affects how sensitive the camera is to motion or objects crossing in front of what you've locked onto.
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Johnny Vy, Photographer, Student/Intern
San Gabriel | CA | USA | Posted: 8:33 PM on 03.26.06
->> Is everyone here using the shutter as a focus button, or the back button to focus? I am using the 20D with the custom function set to back button focus, and have not encountered any hunting problems.
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Robert Smith, Photographer
Brandon | MS | USA | Posted: 8:34 PM on 03.26.06
->> MY "N" doesn't hunt nearly as much as my 1st generation MKII. It does however front focus like a bandit and is at Canon Service as we speak!
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Eric Jones, Photographer
Greenville | NC | USA | Posted: 9:18 PM on 03.26.06
->> I've had my MKIIN for about a month now and I'm now keeping alot more shots than I did with the old MKII. With the old MKII I would have the rider pegged and the shots would come out soft or a little blurry. Now with the new MKIIN my shots have come back tack sharp. The tracking is dead on for me and couldn't be happier with the new camera. No problems as of yet.
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Brian Westerholt, Photographer
Kannapolis | NC | USA | Posted: 9:22 AM on 03.27.06
->> I purchased a Mark II N this past fall specifically for the lower noise at higher ISO's when shooting night soccer games for Wake Forest. I too have been disappointed with the focus on the MIIN. I have tried changing the CF 20 to slow as well as moderately slow. I have tried changing the AF points as well - I still find that there are far too many shots that are very soft. I should mention I am shooting mainly with a 400/2.8 IS lens. I thought it was me at first, but when I switch back to a 1D body I have no issues what so ever.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 10:32 AM on 03.27.06
->> Johny Vy, I use the back button for autofocusing. I find that it is just as important to tell be able to tell the camera when NOT to autofocus as it is to tell it when it should be autofocusing. When you are tracking a hockey player skating near the goal, for instance, sometimes the AF wants to lock onto the net instead of the skater (AF sensors just LOVE grids, so hockey nets, brick walls, or anything else with lots of right angles are prime targets). When I am tracking a player near the net and they are in focus I let go of the autofocus button if the net gets into the frame so that the AF sensor will not "choose" the net in favor of my intended target. I have found that knowing when NOT to autofocus has eliminated most of the backfocusing problems that I have had in the past. These "problems" were little more than the AF system doing what it was designed to do, hence a bit of "operator error."

Rodrigo, one thing to consider with the use of the teleconverter (we will assume a 1.4x converter for this example) is that you are effectively decreasing ambient light by one f-stop. From an exposure standpoint, it is easy to work around this by ajusting ISO or shutter speed. No problem! However, there is a catch: The light reaching your camera's AF sensors has also been reduced by one f-stop, and there is nothing you can do about it. For a slower moving sport like golf, the effect may not be noticed. However, for tennis this reduction in light reaching the AF sensors could be the culprit.
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 4:47 PM on 03.28.06
->> Eugene, I have the 10D, 20D, and 30D. I have soft focus issues when I shoot in Al Servo mode, so I changed it to Al Focus and it seems to be resolved. I also use the back button for focusing.

If you're thinking about the 20D or 30D for a back up, I would recommend the 30D since the price is very similar. I think you'll be much happier with it.

Cheers.

Jody
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Rodrigo Pena, Photographer
Palm Desert | CA | USA | Posted: 10:04 PM on 03.29.06
->> Michael, that sounds like an interesting hypothesis. I'll try a highter ISO next time. A collegue of mine also shared the exact same problem as myself. I'll have to ask what her ISO was. By the way, I was shooting at 400 ISO in daylight with the shutter speed around the 1/3200 of sec range and the aperture on f/2.8 (f/4 output) with a 400 f/2.8 lens. I'll try a higher f stop next time, but I was happier with the 400mm lens without the 1.4x at f/4.

I could hear the 1.4x hunting as it was looking for focus even when the focusing light was confirmed. Since the equipment is brand new, malfunction would be rare.

Yes, you are right about the 1.4x. I keep forgetting that I don't have my nikon 1.6x any more. Sorry.
Rodrigo
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James Lathrop, Photographer
rochester | ny | usa | Posted: 1:16 AM on 04.19.06
->> EUGENE, DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THAT 20D OR THE 30D THEY'RE JUNK AND THEYRE NOT PRO CAMERAS. THEYRE A POOR SUBSITUTE FOR THE MARK 2'S. GET YOURSELF A COUPLE OF CANON EOS 1D MARK 2'S AND USE THEM . I SHOOT SPORTS EVERY DAY AND 99.9 PERCENT OF MY ACTION SHOTS ARE TACK SHARP. I SHOOT AROUND 1500 IMAGES PER GAME TOO.ITS JUST A MATTER OF SHOOTING MORE AND GETTING USED TO YOUR EQUIPMENT. CHECK OUT MY PAGE AND YOULL SEE WHAT I MEAN. HOPE IT HELPS. REMEMBER THERES NO CAMERA OR OTHER EQUIPMENT THAT CAN REPLACE SHOOTING TIME WITH YOUR PRESENT GEAR. DONT WAIT FOR IT TO COME INTO FOCUS, JUST PUSH THE BUTTON DOWN AND HAVE FAITH THAT ITS GONNA DO WHAT ITS SUPPOSED TO. MIGHT USE THE CUSTOM CONTROLS TO LET YOUR THUMB CONTROL THE AF WHILE YOUR INDEX FINGER CONTROLS THE SHUTTER LIKE THE OTHER FELLAS TOLD YOU. THAT WAY YOURE NOT JUST PUTTING YOUR EGGS ALL IN ONE BASKET. IT TAKES A BIT OF PRACTICE BUT ITS WORTH IT IN THE LONG RUN. JAMES LATHROP
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Tony Sirgedas, Photographer
Pierce County | WA | USA | Posted: 2:47 AM on 04.19.06
->> I think I got lucky as mine seems to focus accurately and fast. The only time it doesn't is when I forget to turn AI-Servo off. Doesn't seem to matter whether focusing with the shutter or back button.
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Worth Canoy, Photographer
High Point | NC | USA | Posted: 1:52 PM on 04.19.06
->> I must be the most lucky Canon owner on earth.
I have never had any problem with my 1d bodies or my new Mark IIN bodies..focus or otherwise.
The MarkIIn's are in my opinion the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I agree with James...practice practice practice.
There is not a better camera out there!
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Willie Pavlinec, Photographer
Calgary | AB | Canada | Posted: 2:37 PM on 04.19.06
->> So far (fingers crossed) I haven't had any problems with my 1D or new Mark IIN. The focus is dead-on on the IIN and seems just as snappy as the old 1D. I couldn't be more pleased with it.
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Suzette Harrigal, Photographer
The Woodlands | TX | USA | Posted: 3:18 PM on 04.19.06
->> New MIIN, no back button focusing, tack sharpe nearly all the time(don't shoot hockey), except for pilot error. Left the 20D in the bag and keeper rate went way way up.
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Ashot Pogosyan, Photographer
Richardson | TX | USA | Posted: 4:23 PM on 04.19.06
->> Marrk II N is much better focusing then older models, as far as 20D as second body.. it is makes life much harder because of big diff in control between 2 bodies, sometimes we don't have that few sec to think...oooopss this is 20D not MarkII where is dat button :) if you can better keep same level cam, MarkII may be as second body and IIN as main. IMHO
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Arthur Spragg, Photographer
San Angelo | TX | USA | Posted: 5:44 PM on 04.19.06
->> I have to side with Worth and other positive replies on this one. We got new MkII N bodies and 400 f/2.8's in December, and have since photographed basketball, rodeo, softball, baseball and track indoors and out, flash and existing light without issue(s)... other than the usual operator error. The MkIIN is sharp, quick and solid consistently.
aws
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Eric Jones, Photographer
Greenville | NC | USA | Posted: 6:22 PM on 04.19.06
->> I posted about a month ago and I still have not had any problems with my IIN. I've shot close to 5,000 shots since then and couldn't be happier with the images. Sharp and clear.
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Ben Jenkins, Photographer
Geneva | IL | USA | Posted: 9:16 PM on 04.19.06
->> My IIN was in my hands for about a week before going back to B&H to hopefully be replaced. I couldn't shoot over 1000iso or I would get horrible banding marks across the frame and it would front focus every once in a while.

Really like my 5D though. No problems other than it's slower reaction as compared to a 1 series, and 1 major one---the LCD, while big, SUCKS in sunlight. I find it MUCH harder to judge exposure and nearly impossible to judge color when in any kind of sunlight. (compared to my old Nikon D2s).


-Ben
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Brian Schmidt, Student/Intern
Abilene | TX | USA | Posted: 1:34 AM on 04.20.06
->> I own a Mark II N and used to own a 20D, now I use a 20D as a backup, and absolutely love both cameras. Only recently have I experienced AF issues I often read about here and only while shooting baseball with an old 300mm, and not even all the time. For the most part though, I have had no problems, certainly no major problems, with either camera and I think that they are two amazing tools. My only problem is the noise on the Mark II at high ISO's... but that's another story entirely, and certainly easily worked around.
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Micheal Hall, Photographer
Sacramento | CA | USA | Posted: 11:41 PM on 04.23.06
->> How is the IIN in lower light?

Say, ISO 1600, f/1.8, 1/320th or so?

It's about this point that both of my original mkIIs start to get really finicky and not fire when I want them to.

The problem is easily 90% of my work is in light like this, so my mkIIs sit, unused, in spite of being incredible cameras in all other regards.

I finally shot in a venue with bright enough light make use of the camera and shooting with is was truly enjoyable.

I've held off on picking up on the IIn after doling out over $7K for two bodies that I don't use much.

However, our 1D bodies aren't getting any younger and 4 of the 6 need some sort of repair so I would like a good migration path.

Any comments on IIn shutter release performance at these light levels?

Regards,
Micheal
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Steven Mullensky, Photographer
Port Townsend | WA. | USA | Posted: 11:35 AM on 04.24.06
->> Michael:

I use my MkIIn in whatever available light there is. Highschool football and basketball venues are so dim I have to shoot at 3200 ISO and at 2.8 or 3.5 and not below 400 speed. I've always gotten the shot. I e-mail the files to the paper after I clean them up with PS CS2 and noise ninja. Of course, after the paper gets finished with them, they look like crap so I don't know why I bother. So I'd say the camera handles low light very well and I haven't missed any shots, that I know of, by shutter lag.

Steve
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Micheal Hall, Photographer
Sacramento | CA | USA | Posted: 1:42 PM on 04.24.06
->> Thanks Steven,

The mkII was a real disappointment to me, especially coming from the original 1D. My only issue was the camera simply not releasing when I wanted it to.

The 1D, under the same lighting conditions with the same lenses, performs much better.

I'm hoping the IIn is back up to 1D standards - if so, it truly would be an incredible camera.

Now you've got me thinking I should check it out ...

~Micheal
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 8:23 PM on 04.24.06
->> James, I hear what you're saying, and I would give my eye teeth for a 1dIIn, but it was the price that made my decision for me. Believe me, I fantasize about the 1dIIn and am patiently saving my pennies. That having been said, I can't complain about my cameras. They have served me well these past couple of years and for the most part, I have been happy with my choices (although I will admit to a serious case of camera envy!).


:~)

Jody
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Thread Title: Canon EOS-Mark II N
Thread Started By: Eugene Harding
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