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A7R mk 3 autofocus voes

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arj View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A7R mk 3 autofocus voes
    Posted: 24 March 2022 at 01:40
So, finally on e-mount and got my first e-mount lens which is the marvelous 200-600mm Sony lens. Took it for some test spotting in LAX and then at an airshow here in Texas and have had some issues with the autofocus.

Mainly I noticed the camera has had some issues focusing well at objects coming fast at me (those damn warbirds!) but was doing much better once the planes passed me and were moving away. Any idea what autofocus setting I should use?

Was on AF-C, tried with and without lock on, tried AF settings from locked on (lvl 1) moderate (lvl 3) and responsive (lvl 5). Have not really seen a major difference in those so far. Switched to AF priority on the release which made it a bit better but still not where I would like it to have.
 



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Hobgoblin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hobgoblin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2022 at 07:18
If this is the A7riii and not the A7riiia what version of firmware does it have? There were firmware upgrades for the A7riii some time back which was supposed to upgrade the AF.
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Hezu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2022 at 07:36
Originally posted by Hobgoblin Hobgoblin wrote:

If this is the A7riii and not the A7riiia what version of firmware does it have? There were firmware upgrades for the A7riii some time back which was supposed to upgrade the AF.
I still have a feeling that despite the firmware updates, α7R III lags a nod behind in AF capabilities when compared with the newer cameras (and α9 that came little earlier) and this is most evident in fast action situations.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2022 at 08:50
You would think that at the distances involved DOF would cover minute focusing errors but with aircraft coming towards you ending out OOF but going aircraft ending up sharp (1/3 infront of the focusing point and 2/3 behind focusing point generally thought as being in DOF) could it just be shutter delay?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hobgoblin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2022 at 09:34
Originally posted by Hezu Hezu wrote:

Originally posted by Hobgoblin Hobgoblin wrote:

If this is the A7riii and not the A7riiia what version of firmware does it have? There were firmware upgrades for the A7riii some time back which was supposed to upgrade the AF.
I still have a feeling that despite the firmware updates, α7R III lags a nod behind in AF capabilities when compared with the newer cameras (and α9 that came little earlier) and this is most evident in fast action situations.


I don't doubt that the A7iv and a7riv have better autofocus as does the A9 but the OP has the A7riii and if it was bought used or is older stock it may not have been updated to the latest version which was supposed to improve AF.
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arj View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2022 at 13:15
Originally posted by Hobgoblin Hobgoblin wrote:

If this is the A7riii and not the A7riiia what version of firmware does it have? There were firmware upgrades for the A7riii some time back which was supposed to upgrade the AF.


Apologies, it is the A7RM3A. But as far I know that is basically the A7RM3 with upgrades to LCD and better battery life, no changes to AF as such.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2022 at 16:26
Maros,
I'm no expert at photographing jet aircraft, but I would expect it to be challenging for any camera and lens combo! Of course you need a very fast shutter speed and smaller aperture for more depth of field, but really I would not expect that aircraft to be that close so maybe they should be more towards infinity? Anyway the lens would also need to be able to focus quickly, which I would expect of that lens. Also the camera needs some vertical lines to lock on to. I'm sure there are members here that have experience here with jet aircraft and like I say, I don't. I shoot a lot of trains, and they are never that fast moving. I still have to remember t keep my shutter speed up. I use lock on flexible spot a lot. I know where the train is coming from and set the camera up to focus at the point. It will then lock on and track the train. I use the AF on button for focus (back button focus) and shoot in manual mode with auto ISO so that I have the shutter and aperture that I need. But I'm using the A7III not the "r".
Hopefully you get some input from others here that have the A7rIII and shoot aircraft. Let us know if you get this figured out. Have you watched any of Mark Galer's tutorials. He provides some good advise on settings for the A7III and A7rIII. I'm interested in what you find because I would like to eventually upgrade to an "r" series if the price is right.
Regards,
Kelly
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2022 at 17:46
Originally posted by Hezu Hezu wrote:

Originally posted by Hobgoblin Hobgoblin wrote:

If this is the A7riii and not the A7riiia what version of firmware does it have? There were firmware upgrades for the A7riii some time back which was supposed to upgrade the AF.
I still have a feeling that despite the firmware updates, α7R III lags a nod behind in AF capabilities when compared with the newer cameras (and α9 that came little earlier) and this is most evident in fast action situations.
AFAIK the A7r3 didn't get the Real Time Tracking AF system because the processor was not powerful enough - that is in line with what you say.

I would also look at the information by Mark Galer's tutorials like Kelly (AudioDoc) said.

Edited by addy landzaat - 24 March 2022 at 18:05
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Hobgoblin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hobgoblin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 March 2022 at 18:00
Originally posted by arj arj wrote:

Originally posted by Hobgoblin Hobgoblin wrote:

If this is the A7riii and not the A7riiia what version of firmware does it have? There were firmware upgrades for the A7riii some time back which was supposed to upgrade the AF.


Apologies, it is the A7RM3A. But as far I know that is basically the A7RM3 with upgrades to LCD and better battery life, no changes to AF as such.


OK then there is no upgrade as the A7riiia incorporated all the upgrades that had been released for the A7riii.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 March 2022 at 12:41
I know this isn't helpful, but AF on my A7iii is notably better than on my A7Riii. If action I'm turning to the former, for landscapes I'm turning to the latter.

In terms of settings though, I think you're right to use AF-C, but I would also use 'wide' AF zone. You could of course also use a narrower aperture to have a greater margin for error.
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arj View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2022 at 17:18
Using wide and stopping down to F10. In general the overall experience with the A7R3 is good and the keeper rate is high, but not so good when things start moving too fast around me.

Also, I noticed that disabling the OSS on the 200-600mm lens yields better results. Either the lens is overcompensating or just not performing better with OSS on. Tried all 3 modes, but just disabling OSS yields best results.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2022 at 17:42
And there you have it. Keep it below f/8 for the best results. At f/10 is only uses contrast detect AF, at f/8 and below it also uses phase detect AF.

It focuses stopped down, unlike DSLR/SLT's.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2022 at 19:00
If I remember correctly, the A7III will focus using phase detect at smaller apertures over f8, but the A7rIII won't. A7III was introduced after the A9 and inherited some of its AF performance. The A7rIII introduced at least a year earlier didn't have that and the AF points don't cover as much of the sensor. I think I have read that about turning of steady shot at very fast shutter speeds, but I have no experience with such fast speeds.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2022 at 19:59
Yes. A7, A7II, A7RII, and A7RIII phase-detect is limited to F8. So the 200-600 G on the 1.4X only allows phase-detect on the wide end. I am not sure about A7RIII but on some cameras you can change the aperture behavior during AF to allow the aperture to open more before the actual capture.

The A7III has phase-detect down to F11.

Edited by QuietOC - 29 March 2022 at 20:03
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