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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Mark IV focusing!!!
Lori Shepler, Photographer
los angeles | ca | | Posted: 6:10 PM on 11.06.10
->> Is anyone else having problems with the Mark IV auto focusing? It doesn't seem to work well with stationary objects at times and doesn't seem really great with action either. Canon said to micro-adjust my lenses to the camera and that would fix everything. I have heard from other photogs that the new 70-200 will work better. Also have heard that it focuses better at 3.2 instead of 2.8.....frustration is setting in with this new,expensive camera...
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Felipe Dana, Photographer
Rio de Janeiro | RJ | Brazil | Posted: 7:15 PM on 11.06.10
->> no problems with mine...

also the camera won't focus any better at 3.2 instead of 2.8.. the only thing that can improve (very) little by closing 1/3 of a stop is sharpness.. but that's related to the lens.
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Felipe Dana, Photographer
Rio de Janeiro | RJ | Brazil | Posted: 7:20 PM on 11.06.10
->> .. or depth of field.. that may improve less than tack sharp images but not a good solution definitively
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Cecil Copeland, Photographer
Marietta (Atlanta) | Ga | USA | Posted: 7:24 PM on 11.06.10
->> Lori ....
I sympathize with you ....
I had the same feelings about my Mark IV when I first got one ...
But aside from the micro-adjustment for any lens, I found that it's getting the camera's set of focusing parameters set up for how you shoot that made me happy with the camera. For the first two weeks that I had the new Mark IV, I was frustrated every time I used it .... but after spending some time tweaking the settings, that frustration has gone away and now I'm very happy with this body. I'm now to the point that I know that any focusing misses or errors belong to me, not the body and not the lens .....
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:29 AM on 11.07.10
->> Beating the proverbial dead horse further in the ss.com message board ...

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-10048-10484
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Mike Nelson, Photographer
Puyallup | WA | | Posted: 12:31 AM on 11.07.10
->> There's a bunch of great articles filled with info right here. I did a quick search and found these for you to take a look at.

Peter Read Miller shares his Canon EOS-1D Mark IV secrets

(I have mine set this way when shooting football, saved as a custom set)
http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/2371

Great Article from Canon CPS Europe in PDF
http://cpn.canon-europe.com/files/product/cameras/eos1d_mark_iv/1d_mark_iv_...

There's several different ways to go about the Micro Adjustment of your lens. I used the following product

http://www.lensalign.com/

Now I know if my images aren't Tac sharp it's not my gear, it's pilot error.

Hope that helps

Mike
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:46 AM on 11.07.10
->> There is a big different in being "sharp" and a camera's (and lens) ability to acquire and maintain focus tracking.

(I've been testing the new Spyder Lenscal with 5 different camera bodies and a dozen lenses --- it works like the Lens Align --- with very interesting results.)

While micro-adjustment can help in sharpening up a camera and lens combination, I think a lot of the frustration is in AF track performance.

The acknowledged issues with Canon's cameras AF on stationary subjects and performance in sunny, hot conditions I've not read any concrete fixes for all of that.

There are lots of people obviously very happy with their Canon cameras ... and some obviously not.

As they say: YMMV.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 2:00 PM on 11.07.10
->> My Mark IV is nothing short of awesome...but we've been down this road before.....
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David Boily, Photographer
Montreal | QC | Canada | Posted: 2:50 PM on 11.07.10
->> I have Mark IIIs but was using our pool Mark IV for a short track speed skating event recently. I could not track a skater for S#%t. 1 out of 5 was usable if that. Luckily I had a Mark III with me and went back to it. It made 4 of 5 in focus. I had a 300mm f2.8 on it. My boss told me that Canon said you have to adjust your camera depending on the event you are shooting. That sounds like BS to me and if it is true is rediculous. I don't have time to dive into menus and settings for each assignment. The Mark II worked fine! Is there a Macro adjustment feature on the camera? Because that one was WAY off.
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Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 2:58 PM on 11.07.10
->> I was having the same issue wit ha canon MKIII and a 7D. I was told that I needed to send the cameras in and get them calibrated by Canon. I purchased the Spyder lenscal and calibrated the lens to the camera as per the instructions. I will have to admit I am having more shots in focus that I was getting before I used the Lenscal. Its not alot of money and its not that hard to do. I just made sure I had a couple of other set of eyes around to look at the images after shooting them to make sure eveerything was right.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 4:22 PM on 11.07.10
->> But the question really is, should you have to send in your camera for calibration and all these micro adjusments?? What happened to just pulling the camera out of the box putting on a lens and shooting with great results? remember those days?? I am glad I have not had these focusing issues with the equipment I shoot with.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 5:03 PM on 11.07.10
->> Lori-
What problems are you having? Is it focus tracking, front/back-focusing, or struggling to acquire focus? Is it having this problem in certain lighting scenarios? If it's always soft, and it's not front or back-focusing, it's not the camera, it's the lens, and a soft lens will kill good autofocus.
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Salisbury | NC | USA | Posted: 5:32 PM on 11.07.10
->> Louis:

I could not agree with you more. I was forced to send my Mark IV back with Err 20 issues and had to fall back on my old 20D. It gave me better focus consistency than either the Mark IV or 7D have done so far, and I've never had to screw around with calibration BS with it.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 6:21 PM on 11.07.10
->> Louis, you echoed my sentiments word by word!! That is EXACTLY how I feel.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 6:29 PM on 11.07.10
->> Louis-
Try shooting at JPEG-small-smooth on your mark IV. Suddenly, everything will be sharp, even if it wasn't at full-size.

When you go back to shooting at 4MP or less like with original 1d's, or your average film cameras do, it suddenly doesn't make that much of a difference because sensor resolution is the limiting factor.
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Randy Vanderveen, Photographer
Grande Prairie | AB | Canada | Posted: 6:43 PM on 11.07.10
->> Lori. I had the same problem and finally ended up sending the camera in (under warranty) as it progressively got worse. The camera was fixed, with the problem being noted as out of position. It didn't say exactly what was out of position but I have to say it works better now then it did. It still needed some micro adjustment but it is much better than it was initially.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 8:30 PM on 11.07.10
->> I feel sorry for Canon owners.. I really do. No good excuse.

I hope all of you and Canon get this worked out.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 1:50 AM on 11.08.10
->> I am just expressing my feelings that a Major Camera Maker can not produce a camera that focuses sharp right out of the box. different settings, use micro adjustment settings for so and so. Send it in for calibration??really?? on a new camera??
Is it really too much to ask that the darn camera focuses sharply right out of the box??

Just so there is no confusion I do not shoot Canon, but I feel your pain and am tired of the excuses...Just get it right you professional camera makers.
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Primoz Jeroncic, Photographer
Kranj | SI | Slovenia | Posted: 9:34 AM on 11.08.10
->> Mk4 is different thing then any of previous 1d bodies were. This means it doesn't work perfect (or even good) for everything with same settings. With previous bodies I set custom functions once, and keep them like that forever. With mk4 things are different. Settings for skiing (for example), are totally different then settings for basketball. And with wrong settings, camera really feels like it wouldn't focus properly. Once you figure your settings for particular sport, you get body which is by far superior then any others till now (at least in my opinion).
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 10:23 AM on 11.08.10
->> Primoz - can you give an example of what you set differently between the two sports you mentioned?
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Steve Violette, Photographer
Gulf Breeze | FL | USA | Posted: 11:47 AM on 11.08.10
->> +1 on Israel comments. I have tried this and seen exactly what he is talking about. I'll also echo Primroz's comments - the sensitivity seems so high on the new Mark IV's that they do require custom functions to be dialed in for each type of shooting.

Steve
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James Broome, Photographer
Tampa | FL | US | Posted: 12:38 PM on 11.08.10
->> I suffered through a bit of this with my MkIV and the older non-IS 300/2.8. It wasn't until I tried the newer 300/2.8 IS that I had great success. My guess is that the newer bodies aren't *as* compatible with the older lenses as Canon would like you to think. The MkIV's ability to lock focus and track moving subjects is outstanding for me with this setup.
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Salisbury | NC | USA | Posted: 6:39 PM on 11.08.10
->> James:

I'm glad to see someone address this. I've been wondering the same thing.

Typical Canon, to not tell you up front that you also need new lenses to make the new camera work right.
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Danny Munson, Photographer
San Dimas | Ca | United States | Posted: 10:26 PM on 11.08.10
->> I feel sorry for you Nikon shooters. MIV is so advanced it knows the difference between soccer, football, cycling......etc

I think it is a bunch off BS also that you have to change your setting for each sport. How about just magically having the thing behind my focus point appear, and stay, in focus when I hit the shutter button. Where is the CFn for that? I guess I haven't found the right combination of custom functions yet but I'm less then impressed with my MIV.

When is the MV being released?
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 12:07 AM on 11.09.10
->> I'm still kind of amazed people are okay with Canon telling them to send their entire brand new lens and camera kit in for "calibration", otherwise Canon makes no guarantees about the parts working correctly together.

What a stupid thing. It would like Sony asking you to send your new DVD player in for calibration along with your entire disc collection.

What are you supposed to do when you buy a new lens? Pack the whole mess up and send it back in?

...and you pay how many thousands of dollars for this privilege?
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 12:14 AM on 11.09.10
->> It's not like Nikon is any different... It's the nature of calibrating something to less than the width of a human hair... There's pretty wide variability with each manufacturer; you just have to send it in until it works well.

http://www.google.com/search?q=nikon+autofocus+d3+sucks

http://www.google.com/search?q=fix+d3+autofocus+-d300
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:31 AM on 11.09.10
->> Israel,

I have four D3's and One D3s and several lenses and I have never had to send any of my bodies and lenses back to NPS to have them calibrated and matched to each other!! Furthermore, I have never had to calibrate and Micro Adjust any of my bodies to any of my lenses... I wouldn't trust crap you read on most forums, I trust my own experiences and what folks like you guys say here. Most folks here know what they are doing and talking about.

Your first link shows DPR Posts and Ken Rockwell Posts!!

You know who that is right?? A guy that says that most of the stuff on his site is total BS and he writes it to amuse his dog!!

Your second link is mostly DPR stuff too!!

Why don't you ask those of us that have used the D3 system for the past 2-3 years??

We can give you good feedback. The good and the bad...

Y
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 1:38 AM on 11.09.10
->> I'm going to leave the flamewar to someone else. It's unproductive. Lori, if you have any questions or need some help, please ask.
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Lori Shepler, Photographer
los angeles | ca | | Posted: 2:19 AM on 11.09.10
->> Hey Everyone,
I used the settings that AP uses for their Mark IV's at the Galaxy game last night and I must say it was a lot better. On the bad side,the time it took for the camera to lock in the focus was slower than I like it. Maybe I can tweek that too and have it go in to focus quicker.
It doesn't seem right that you would have to buy expensive newer lenses or micro-adjust each lens to the camera. I'm hoping that since I've had it for a couple months I will soon start to see what a $5000 camera should do and that is perform up to the highest standards and have the majority of frames in focus. I will say that at least most of the stationary frames were in focus this time. :)
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Thomas Ciszek, Photographer
Edison | NJ | USA | Posted: 9:30 AM on 11.09.10
->> Lori...
Perhaps you could share those settings. It would be great to see what worked for you. Thanks..

Tom
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 10:09 AM on 11.09.10
->> There's pretty wide variability with each manufacturer; you just have to send it in until it works well.

No, you don't, not with well-made equipment with proper QC. In my day job I routinely work with professional video equipment with interchangeable lenses and parts and we NEVER have to send cameras and lenses in for "calibration". We buy a camera from one manufacturer, a lens from another, bolt the two together using a standard mount and they work great, first time. Set backfocus (takes all of about a minute) and you're done. The tolerances on this gear are every bit as precise as you will find in DSLR hardware - if anything it's MORE precise because you're frequently dealing with smaller chip sizes - and they get it right. And I'm not talking about $100,000 HD studio cameras - I'm talking about $15k ENG rigs - very similar system prices to what you'll find in DSLR land. But since in the video world it's far more common to have different manufacturers making the lens vs. the body, the calibration out the door has to be far more precise to guarantee proper interaction.

Why you're seeing such variability is probably because the manufacturer uses loose QC tolerances. You'd do that because it's more profitable. For example, if a bench tech only has to calibrate a lens or body within 10% of spec, they can handle more lenses/bodies per hour. If they have to tighten up and get within 2%, there's a lot more tweaking, which takes more time. Looser tolerances mean the line can produce more product per day, which cuts down on labor costs for a run. When you make a large number of cameras and lenses, it's a significant savings.

You can see how a business would analyze this to find the sweet spot for profitability. For example, if you shoot for a target of 10% out the door, that means within the 0-10% range you'll have a forth of them will end up with 0% to 2.5% error, which would be acceptable to most people. In the middle out to 7.5% is grey - some will be okay with it, some won't. Above 7.5% you'll probably see returns, but you can roll the dice and see how many and adjust accordingly. These numbers are made up and when you stack with another product coming off of a different line, they change a bit. But it's quantifiable, and easy to do for a big company.

That's why you see this "good lens/bad lens" phenomenon. Sometimes you get one that was close, sometimes you don't. If you run QC loose and accept that some people will not be happy, it's an easy fix (for the manufacturer anyway) to make it right if people complain. Technically you're not selling a bad product, so you really can't get into trouble. You're just selling a product that statistically might not be as good as it can be for some people. So you address that part of your customer base with "you're special" marketing hype.

Stop drinking the punch and tell them you want your gear to work correctly when you buy it. If you accept the "oooooh it's so precise you have to have a technician precision calibrate it because YOU'RE SPECIAL" hype, it'll never change.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 3:14 PM on 11.09.10
->> How do the Canon cameras know what sport I am shooting?
That is a very good question? Anybody have any idea?
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Philip Johnson, Photographer
Garland | TX | USA | Posted: 3:39 PM on 11.09.10
->> Go back and look at the link Mike Nelson posted from CPS Europe in PDF. There was a PDF like this for the MKIII and it was very useful.

It's not about a sport, but how people will be moving and reacting for what you will be shooting. They just use sports in the examples.

You're no longer working with a camera you are working with a computer. Change one setting and it will change how other settings down the line work.

You can no longer just pull the camera out of the box and shoot. You need to spend time reading the manual and learning how everything works together.
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Rick Osentoski, Photographer
Martin | OH | United States | Posted: 4:40 PM on 11.09.10
->> As posted previously the focus settings are important to the tracking performance of the Mark IV. I have not had any issues with it this football season that I cannot contribute to operator error.

I have set up a gallery that shows what it can do with the right settings.

http://ozdigitalstudio.photoshelter.com/gallery/tracking/g0000msstbggervy

The PDF posted above is a great starting point.

Is it perfect no, but is anything.
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Dennis Lee, Photographer
Fairfield | CA | USA | Posted: 3:07 AM on 11.18.10
->> I've had the MarkIV since March and hadn't realize any issues shooting basketball and baseball. I've experienced the focusing issue while shooting football and tried out Peter Read Miller's suggestions which seems to be a little better. Still would like the out of box experience like my MarkIIN.
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Salisbury | NC | USA | Posted: 9:25 AM on 11.18.10
->> I agree with Dennis. Give me the Mk IV's ISOs in the Mark IIn body. My IIn was a rock -- great AF sharness, never an error message.
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Lori Shepler, Photographer
los angeles | ca | | Posted: 2:23 PM on 11.18.10
->> Well I am still trying to figure out what is going on. It worked better at a night soccer game but when I shot some hoops it wasn't good. Players in the center of the frame aren't always in focus. It seems to be focusing on the floor in front of them. I took my lens and camera in to CPS yesterday so am hoping there is something wrong with my lens!
I'm going to have to use my 7D's for now since they seem to be a lot more reliable than the Mark IV. Not happy with this situation at all :(
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Rich Obrey, Photographer
Gorham | ME | USA | Posted: 2:48 PM on 11.18.10
->> -- when are they coming out with the Mark V? --



I just bought a Mark IV this week, so my guess is "Tuesday."


-
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Monty Rand, Photographer
Bangor | ME | USA | Posted: 3:17 PM on 11.18.10
->> I was shooting T&I stuff the other night with a 70-200 and it was hit or miss. A majority of the images were soft. Then, you'd get one that was razor sharp. I had to laugh, but it's no joke. My camera is good about 80% of the time. It's better than the MKIII, but it should be better.
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Salisbury | NC | USA | Posted: 3:31 PM on 11.18.10
->> Rick:

Can you share more detail about which tracking settings were used with which images in your gallery?
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Douglas Young, Photographer
Mission/McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 8:43 PM on 11.18.10
->> There are any number of variables with all the different CFs on the MK IV, but for me, it boiled down to using either one of two settings - either I used the surrounding assist points or I turned them off and used one focus point only.

For football, basketball and other sports where there are lots of moving bodies in the frame, I turn off the assist points. For sports like baseball where you often have one subject or there are not a lot of bodies in the frame, using the assist points helps me get focus faster.

YMMV
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Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 11:37 PM on 03.15.11
->> I too am experiencing difficulties with my Mark IV tracking focus. I originally set my custom functions to what PRM had his MArk IV bodies at. I shot a few non-sports related assignments at first as was surprised to see a good number of photos out of focus. The subjects weren't moving.

Then I shot a gymnastics meet. Everything looked pretty good on the LCD screen, but when I got back to view the images on my computer, I was really disappointed on the number of OOF images. My Mark IIn performed much better. I was shooting at 5000 iso, 1/800, f2.

Then, I attempted to shoot a boys scouts pinewood derby race. None, and I mean none of the photos were in focus when I tried to track the cars down the race track. This is what I get for a $4800 camera. Pathetic.

Just for fun, I tested out the AF tracking with my son. I'd have him run at me. Literally, 8 of 10 images were OOF.

I also noticed that the AF tracking was slow when I just looked around a room. The AF would take awhile to switch focus on a different object.

So, what do I do? Any suggestions (besides switching to Nikon). If I had the money, I would.
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Rick Yeatts, Photographer
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 12:59 AM on 03.22.11
->> Mine has been working like champ and couldn't be happier till Saturday afternoon at an Arena Football game. The focus became slow. By Saturday night soccer match it really went spastic. Focus point not working, only focusing on the background not the subject, Once focused on a stationary subject it would change to another point. I should know the answer from CPS by Thursday afternoon. Will keep you posted.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 1:10 AM on 03.22.11
->> I've used six different mark IV bodies...several from CPS and then the ones we have...none..not one problem with auto focus
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 3:37 AM on 03.22.11
->> Liddy --- You'll need every bit of your Canon AF Karma at the Honda Center (aka The Pond) this weekend.

That place is the darkest "pro" arena I have ever shot in. Truly horrible...

We were talking about it the other day ...maybe Anaheim has screwed in all of the light bulbs or turned them all on to make the place more appealing to the Sacto Kings...
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 8:41 AM on 03.22.11
->> I've been shooting with the IV for a little over a year
now and switching the AF point expansion depending on the
sport really helps. I'll sometimes change the tracking
sensitivity to fast to help me with sports like volleyball.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 10:05 AM on 03.22.11
->> Note to self .... buy used cameras from Chuck Liddy. :)
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:56 AM on 03.22.11
->> thanks bertster....leverone told me the same thing....maybe I'll get a crew from disneyland to come in and put up some portable lights! 8)
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Scott Evans, Photographer
Bay Village | OH | USA | Posted: 12:00 PM on 03.22.11
->> Danny...and you tease me about my outdated gear : ). Sure my MkII seems like a point and shoot compared to the IV but then again, you don't see many threads trashing it either. Old school baby!
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Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 5:34 PM on 03.29.11
->> I guess I'll close out this thread. After running some tests with my Mark IV, I came to the conclusion that it was the combination of this body with an older 70-200/2.8 non-IS lens that was the problem. I tried the Mark Iv with the new version II of this lens, and the focus tracking is amazing; 19 out of 20 images in focus during a burst.

This is a little frustrating though, since in order to take advantage of the abilities of the Mark IV, you have to upgrade your gear. What stinks is that there aren't replacements for many of the lenses out there, in particularly the 135/f2, which also performed poorly in my auto focus tests. My older lenses performed perfectly well when attached to Mark IIn bodies.

sigh!
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