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Canon EOS Full Frame for HD
All about using the Canon 1D X, 6D, 5D Mk. IV / Mk. III / Mk. II D-SLR for 4K and HD video recording.


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Old May 30th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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Auto Focus Problem

Now I'm sorry if this is here already, and I feel like a noob asking this.

Is there a way to enable auto focus in movie mode? I have been having this problem for a while. Whenever I shoot, I can get the subject in focus at first, but if they move at all the focus is totally off. Any fixes around this without having to do it manually? Thanks so much guys!

Jason

Last edited by Jason Linn; May 30th, 2009 at 10:57 AM. Reason: typo
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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #2
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Hi Jason:

Don't feel like a noob by asking logical questions. The answer is that basically auto focus on the 5D MKII is useless for shooting video, it responds too slowly to be of much use. You will need to learn to use manual focus.

Older manual focus AI and AIS Nikons and Zeiss F mount lenses have been very popular for video use on the 5D MKII as they have very smooth and linear manual focus mechanisms and are cheap to buy (well, not the Zeiss, but the Nikons are). You can, of course, also focus with the Canon lenses or D series Nikons but frankly their manual focus mechanisms are terrible in comparison because they were designed as auto focus lenses.

OTOH, manual focus lenses are kind of a pain when shooting stills, the Canon L series lenses would be ideal for stills because they focus so nicely. I may end up buying a few Canon lenses for still photography but for video, I feel that the Nikons are superior. Others feel differently.

Dan
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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:12 PM   #3
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Hi Jason:

Don't feel like a noob by asking logical questions. The answer is that basically auto focus on the 5D MKII is useless for shooting video, it responds too slowly to be of much use. You will need to learn to use manual focus.

Older manual focus AI and AIS Nikons and Zeiss F mount lenses have been very popular for video use on the 5D MKII as they have very smooth and linear manual focus mechanisms and are cheap to buy (well, not the Zeiss, but the Nikons are). You can, of course, also focus with the Canon lenses or D series Nikons but frankly their manual focus mechanisms are terrible in comparison because they were designed as auto focus lenses.

OTOH, manual focus lenses are kind of a pain when shooting stills, the Canon L series lenses would be ideal for stills because they focus so nicely. I may end up buying a few Canon lenses for still photography but for video, I feel that the Nikons are superior. Others feel differently.

Dan

Thanks! It seems weird to me that Nikon lenses can fit a Canon body? Is there an adapter that you need, or do they just work out of the box? I'm kind of a sharpness freak, so I might tend towards the L series. :)

Focus- That sucks. Even the cheapest piece of crap hi-8 cameras can autofocus. Oh well... I guess it's good to learn which way to rack the focus (while you are shooting!).
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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #4
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Jason, you can search the el-cheapo Nikon lens to Canon body adapter on Ebay. Just type the keyword 'Nikon EOS adapter'. Hope this helps!
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Old May 30th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jason Linn View Post
Focus- That sucks. Even the cheapest piece of crap hi-8 cameras can autofocus.
True - but even the autofocus on the most expensive cameras doesn't really know where you want to focus, so it's worth learning to use manual focus.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #6
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Jason:

I have been using the cheap $8.00 KAWA adapters, available on Ebay. They work great, I bought half a dozen of them and no complaints so far.

Dan
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Old May 30th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #7
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Now that manual control issues are fixed the best choice for video may well be the new Zeiss ZE lenses or AF Contax lenses adapted by Conurus to EOS mount. Both these options should give really nice manual focus and still do all the other camera functions apart from AF.

I'm hoping to try them out at some point.

Dan
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Old May 30th, 2009, 08:23 PM   #8
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Dan:

Is a Zeiss ZE the same as a Zeiss ZF, only with a native EOS mount?

Dan
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Old May 30th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #9
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Dan,

Yes it is, but importantly it focusses the correct way round, ie same as video camera lenses and Canon AF lenses. You don't need to reverse your brain or your follow focus to use it.

Having played with aperture control a bit more though I'm now thinking that having a rear lens aperture ring is the way forward, the real dial for aperture with Canon lenses won't be easy to use on any kind of rig.

Dan
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:13 PM   #10
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Since I am a Nikon shooter, I guess the direction has never bothered me, although I am used to doing it the "right" way when I was shooting a lot of S16.

Yes, I like having the aperture ring although with the Vari ND, I have been mainly shooting at F4 or 2.8 and adjusting exposure with the Vari ND. It is far smoother than any aperture ring on a still camera, it reminds me of the stopless aperture rings on cine lenses.

Dan
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #11
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Dan,

I'm a Nikon shooter too, but because I use Sony EX cameras as well I get confused so I'd rather all video focussing went the same way, then try to use AF when I do stills on the Nikon. I have a follow focus reversing gear but I'd like to be able to focus by hand the same way as well.

Like you I'm using a Vari ND (home brew in my case), but I still like having an aperture ring too. I'm actually thinking about getting some of my Nikon and Contax lenses de-clicked to allow for that smooth cine lens aperture feel.

The other Dan
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