Canon 50D AF Microadjustment – Instructions/Tutorial

Next chapter in our ongoing 50D review:
Auto Focus (AF) Microadjustment

(Also known as C.Fn.III-7 fun-o-rama!)

I’ll fess up, one of the first things I did after getting my Canon 50D was to pop my EF 24-105 f4L IS in place, put the camera on a tripod, point the lens at the concentric circle AF Microadjustment target that seems to be making the rounds, and start trying to tweak my auto focus. I thought it would be quick and easy – and that I’d see great new sharpness from all of my shots… <chuckle>

Okay – so I didn’t think it was going to be that easy, but I didn’t have much luck in my first attempt.

The pattern I used, which I found by searching with good old Google, is posted later in this post. I found the first versions of it in this thread on openphotographyforums.com. I also found a page w/ a similar target (same pattern, different file size) on Northlight Images’ website here; but the instructions seemed a touch incomplete to me.  (As an FYI – I do think the Northlight page – the one linked to the word "here" – is worth reading – it is much shorter than the series of posts, responses, questions, etc. in the thread.)

Allow me to ‘splain – no – there is no time…
Allow me to sum up…

In short – you need to use a special target on an LCD based monitor (a printout will not work – it has to be shown on a LCD) – the test procedure counts on the interference between the LCD screen showing the pattern and the sensor to show as a pattern (called moiré – pronounced "mwah-ray") when the focus is sharp. Show the pattern at 100% on said monitor, set the camera for center AF point only, aim your camera square to the screen at the center of the pattern, turn on live view, get the most distinct interference pattern you can, turn off live view, and then watch the distance indicator window on your lens as you half press the shutter to have the AF focus on the screen. If the scale moves in the window, the AF Microadjustment is off… Make a tweak and then re-test. Oh – and be sure to do each lens individually, I’d be shocked (and would tell you to go out quick and buy a lottery ticket) if all your lenses came back the same correction…

Sounds pretty easy… but… I had just a few questions after reading the post I reference above:

  1. How far away should the camera be from monitor showing the target?
  2. What aperture should I shoot with?
  3. So, if the distance scale does move, which way do I need to "adjust" the lens? + or – ?
  4. Is the pattern test the best test?

The first attempts were admittedly rushed, and I had a hard time seeing any real difference, and I thought that zero adjustment was the best for the 3 or 4 lenses I tried… But I knew intuitively that couldn’t be the case, so I stopped that test, and got on with some other playing with my new camera that day.

After doing some shooting, the dead pixel testing with its discoveries/fix (doh! – been meaning to post that one – perhaps Thursday), and the shooting of an event behind me, it was time to get back to the AF Microadjustment.

So today I got things setup; and, being just a touch less rushed, I was able to refine my process just a bit (okay – quite a bit), and was soon seeing some results.

After reading through the long series of posts from the OPF, I was clearer on a few things. 1 – keep your lens zoomed to its maximum zoom level; and 2 – be sure to keep your aperture cranked as open as possible (smallest number your lens will shoot). This does two things – it ensures the shallowest depth of field, and it ensures the shallowest depth of field… (no – that wasn’t a typo, both actions minimize the DoF).

So having thought on this a bit since my first attempt, I figured that when the tiny pixels on my laptop’s high res but not huge screen combined with the finer resolution of the sensor on the 50D, and with the finer resolution on the camera’s screen, perhaps the moiré wasn’t the best test for the 50D AF Microadjustment. I quickly  created my own test pattern with one pixel wide lines in a grid, with a few of the lines either wider or a different color so you could tell where you were in the grid when zoomed in on live view. My thought was that I should use laptop monitor at a 45 degree angle to the camera, and I could then use the tight DoF and the snazzy new screen to pixel peep to see which individual pixels on the laptop monitor were out of focus relative to where the center point focus pipper was placed. I guessed it would work better than the tutorials which had been created for the 1D Mark III and 1Ds Mark III with their lower resolution screens.

To save details – nope – didn’t work so great for the short lenses, but did come in handy later… I found that the moiré works great for wide to medium lenses, and that my pattern worked better for longer lenses.

The Answers: (well – what worked for me at least)

Keep in mind that you should have the zoom at its maximum zoom – I had live view set to "Quick Mode" and never hit the "AF-On" button – I manually turned the focus ring. Oh yeah, and one shot AF with the center AF point selected.

1. How far away should the camera be from the monitor showing the target?
When testing wide to medium zoom (say, up to about 100 mm), I used the circular pattern and found that it helped to have the pattern come close to filling up the frame top to bottom. For my 24-105, it turned out to be about 50 inches from screen to where the sensor is in the camera (you know that little circle w/ the horizontal line through it that you see when looking down on the top of your camera? That horizontal line shows where the lens is focusing – the front of the sensor); for my 17-55 – about 30 inches; and something like 20 inches for the 10-22. When in live view, just ensure you see the interference pattern clearly – play around with the 5x and 10x live view if need be.

2.  What aperture should I shoot with?
Use the most wide open aperture (the smallest number) to minimize DoF.

3. So, if the distance scale does move, which way do I need to "adjust" the lens? + or – ?
I was a touch confused by the "Forward" and "Backward" labels on the adjustment screen. I then almost scratched a hole in my head trying to come up with a way to explain what they meant – I soon gave up and came up with how I got my head around it.

Seated behind the camera, I’d see the distinct pattern in live view; I’d turn off Live View then half press the shutter. If I saw (for example) the distance scale shift to the right as I looked down, that meant I had to turn the focus ring counter clockwise (or – ) to get the moire pattern back. If I saw the scale jump to the left, that meant I had to turn the focus ring clockwise (or + ) to get the pattern back. So I soon ignored the words on the adjustment menu, and just moved the pipper to the – or the + as needed.

4. Is the pattern test the best test?
Well – yes and no. I found that for my 10-22, 17-55, and 24-105 – the circular interference method worked the best; but when the longer lenses came out, my 70-200 (zoomed to 200 – remember – zoom to high end) and 100-400, I found that it took so little to shift the pattern, that I had difficulty getting a distinct pattern to be consistent. It might have been that I was testing in my kitchen and was running out of room to move the tripod away from the monitor, but I found using my target worked pretty darn well. Again – show the target at 100% view, but this time, turn the monitor on an angle so that it is about a 45 degree angle to the camera. Center the camera on the thick lines that cross in the center of the target. Now turn on live view, zoom to 10x and you should be able to manually focus so that the vertical line is sharp, with DoF fall-off to the left and right (assuming you pivoted the whole laptop on the counter/desk, if you tilted the monitor away – the horizontal line should be sharp w/ DoF fall-off above and below).  Now turn off Live View, half press the shutter to let the AF operate, and then turn Live View back on – zoom back to 10x… if the live view display has changed, you easily be able to see if the focus has shifted to a portion of the screen that is closer to you (if so, you would need to turn the focus ring clockwise, so add to the AF Adjustment) or if it is focused further away (you need to turn the focus ring counter-clockwise to get the center point back in focus, so subtract to the AF Adjustment).

A few pics w/ my target being used (click to enlarge):
Afm1_4 Afm2_2 Afm3_2
From left to right:
My setup;
the pipper on the crosshairs of my target;
this 10x zoom shows what it would look like if you needed to subtract correction.
micro adjustment, micro adj, nikon, 1D mark III, 1D mk III, 1Ds mark III, 1Ds mk III, sigma, tamron, micro-adjustment

Okay – so that’s it then? You betcha!
But wait – there’s more!
NOW how much would you pay?

For those who are interested in a longer winded version of the test… here goes… I’ll just try to bang this out as it is getting late and I do need to get some shut eye.

1. Be patient – take your time – don’t rush this – or you will get *very* frustrated. The moiré pattern’s changes as you barely nudge the focus ring can be VERY SUBTLE (in caps for irony’s sake) – so don’t do this after three espressos and a red bull.

2. Setup your camera on a very steady tripod. When you get to your longer lenses, you will notice any subtle movement is magnified greatly by the distance to the screen. (See step 1…) Ensure your camera is leveled.

3. Display your choice of target at 100% on a LCD display – I put my laptop on the kitchen counter.

4. Set the height of the center of your lens to be the same height as the center of the target you are using.

5. If you are using the moiré target, square up the camera to the screen – if you are using my target, angle the screen at about a 45 degree angle to the camera.

6. Set your Live View to quick mode, your aperture to wide open (lowest number), set AF to use only the center point, and set the distance between the camera and the target to the closer end of the focus range of the lens. As an example If your lens can focus at 1/2 meter, then move the camera to about 3/4 of a meter away from the target. The target should fill most of the height of the frame (you don’t want it too big – unless you are using my target). Some lenses that have IS (image stabilization) will sense if the camera (or lens) is mounted in a tripod, but to be sure – I suggest you turn it off manually to be sure.

7. Focus on the target in Live View – If you are using the circular pattern target, get the most moiré pattern you can (see the example images on this page from Nortlight-images.co.uk), or if you are using my target – focus on the intersection of the thick black lines (3 px wide) at the center of the target.

8. Turn off Live View, watch the focus distance scale in the window on your lens to see if it moves while you 1/2 press the shutter to activate the camera’s auto focus. remember which way the focus scale moved

9. If the focus distance scale didn’t move – you are done! (If this happened the first try – you might try steps 7-9 a few times to ensure that your precision in step 7 was accurate) You can also verify by going back into Live View and seeing if you see the same amount of moiré you did before. Or if you are using my scale, see if the thick line is still in focus properly.

If the scale did move – proceed to step 10

10. hit the "menu" button, index wheel over to the Custom Functions menu (the second from the end) and choose "C.Fn III: Autofocus/Drive", then choose 7 – AF Microadjustment, and ensure it is set to 2 – Adjust by lens.

11. If this is the first time AF Microadjusting this lens on this camera, hitting the "info" button below the LCD will "register" the lens and take you to the AF-Microadjust screen; if you’ve had this lens on before and adjusted it, or if you are looping through, making changes and checking, hitting the "info" button will allow you to "change" the microadjustment in the AF-Microadjustment screen.

12. Now – make an adjustment to the correction value. If it moved a lot, try adjusting the value by 10, if it moved a little, try 5. + or – ?  Well – if you are using the circular rings target:  If the distance scale shifted to the right – adjust in the minus ( – ) direction… If the distance scale shifted to the left, adjust in the plus ( + ) direction.  My Target: if the focus shifted to a portion of the pattern that is closer to you, adjust in the plus ( + ) direction… if it is focused on part of the pattern further away, adjust in the minus ( – ) direction.

13. Be sure to hit the "Set" button (the button in the center of the thumb-dial) to save your change!

13. Now go back up to step 7 and repeat the process until you do not see the focus ring shift.
nikon, sigma, tamron, micro adjustment, micro adj, 1D mark III, 1D mk III, 1Ds mark III, 1Ds mk III, micro-adjustment

Okay – that pretty much wraps it up…

Just as an illustration, here are the adjustments that my lenses needed:

Lens: Adj:
EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 -5
EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS +7
EF 24-105 f/4L IS -7
EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS -4
EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS + 1.4x TC +1
EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS + 2x TC -3
EF 100-400 f/3.5-5.6 L IS -4

Be sure to note that the camera does save separate micro adjustments when you are using TCs with your longer zooms. So there are three adjustments saved with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS, one by itself, one when using the 1.4x TC, and one when using the 2x TC. Pretty cool.

The Targets:

The moiré target from this thread at OPF:
Rings1 

My target – feel free to share early and often:
Wspafmtarget

Okay – I’m going to have to crater now – good night and thanks for reading!
micro adjustment, 1D mark III, 1D mk III, 1Ds mark III, 1Ds mk III, nikon, sigma, tamron, micro adj, micro-adjustment

Canon 50D File Sizes – Things to consider…

Well – shocking I know, but the files from the 50D are a wee bit large in size.

In shooting the test shots, I saw JPG file sizes between 5,408 KB to 11,511 KB; RAW file sizes ranged from 20,639 KB to 28,953 KB.  Then when you covert RAW to TIFF for testing… then the prizes really soar! 88,368 KB per 16 bit TIFF.

In looking over the files I shot for the job on Friday night, I racked up 10.2 GB in files, for only 526 photos.

Larger memory cards will be needed if you are looking to shoot any sort of event with any sort of coverage; but the other thing to consider will be the storage requirements for ongoing archival of images.

As I push the files for sale from that shoot on Friday up to my Shutterfly Pro Gallery, I’m realizing it will take markedly longer (you guessed it, by a factor of 50% or so) to get the files loaded.

You’ll need to be sure that whatever service you use for your image sales, that you know how this will affect your storage needs re: their limits for storage. You’ll not be able to keep as many on line at the same time if you do have a restriction.

Well – I need to finish the posting from Friday night – thanks for reading!

Really Right Stuff: BD50-L Under Development

Got word from the folks at Really Right Stuff that they are working on a revised L-bracket that will be specific to the 50D and will aslo fit the 40D:

to give you an update, I have been working on a custom plate for the 50D for the past week or so, called the B50D-L. It will retrofit to the 40D as well, tremendously improving door access and plug clearance.

The didn’t have a release date for the new bracket, but nice to know that one is on the way!

Thanks for reading!

Canon 50D – High ISO – RAW

Welcome to round two of the Canon 50D High ISO pixel-peep show…

In round two – we’ll be looking at what Canon’s Digital Photo Professional can do with the files from the 50D when compared to files from the 40D… the previous post looked at "standard" picture style JPGs w/ no noise reduction done in camera.  For this test, I used the RAW files (of the RAW+JPEG) that were shot for the test. These were also set w/ "standard" picture style, so they have sharpening set to 3. I’ll get into this later, but for those of you looking for the setup, read my previous post Canon 50D – High ISO – JPGs.

With the increase to 15.1 MP, (a jump of 50% in sensor resolution) there enters a larger degree of difficulty. Some sites have up-converted 40D images to the 50D size then cropped… This doesn’t make sense to me as you will now distort the 40D image. Others have down-converted the 50D image down to the 40D resolution and then they crop, but again – you may lose detail and hide (or magnify) issues w/ the 50D issue…

I’m going to leave the images posted at their orig resolution, so the 50D images (consistently on the bottom of the paired images) will appear slightly magnified. Just seemed this was the best route. This way you get 100% crops w/ zero scaling applied to either camera’s image.

For this test, the RAW files were opened in DPP, exported as 16 bit TIFFs, imported into PhotoShop CS3, pixel aligned manually (to avoid any "stacking" distortion from CS3), 100% cropped to match the JPG images, and then exported as JPGs as quality 100 files for posting to the site. Some might argue that I should drop the NR to zero on the RAW files, but I disagree – I want to show a canon baseline for NR. I know that lots of folks have their favorite methods of reducing noise – a combo of camera and software processing; a favorite plugin for your post processing software; whatever. While that may work for you – it may not be accessible to all. Since DPP comes with all Canon cameras, I figured this would be a good method.

Here is a baseline at 100 ISO:

01100isobaseline_3 

With that as a benchmark, here are the comparison images between matching ISOs. So 1600 and 3200 are no big deal – each is a valid setting on both cameras (tho you are really pushing the ISO on the 40D to get 3200 – thus the (H) in the LCD when you use it), but with 6400 and 12,800 (H1 and H2 on the 50D) there is no setting on the 40D to capture images at these ISOs. Since those ISOs don’t exist on the 40D, I’ve left the 3200 ISO (H) image in for comparison – I think this will give you a great way to look for the advertised improvements in the 50D images:

02raw1600_2

03raw3200_2

04raw6400_2

05raw12800_2

Okay – while looking at the higher ISO images, I noticed distinct over sharpening. While I’ve not had many problems with how the .jpg sharpening works on Canon images, their routines in RAW have never looked good to me. There seems to be a herringbone like pattern to the images. I usually use a sharpening of zero, so I went back into DPP and set sharpening to 0 and then re-exported (you’ve got to love RAW for that, no?). Here are those images – starting with a baseline with zero sharpening, then the higher ISOs:

Compare100sharp0

06raw01600_2

07raw03200_2

08raw06400_2

09raw012800_2   

As with the previous post – here are the images above, but sorted by camera. I’ve even included the low to mid ISOs as well…

From the 40D: RAW ISOs of 100-3200(h) with sharpness of 3; 1600 and 3200 (H) with sharpness of 0:

1040draws3_2

1140draws0_2

From the 50D: RAW ISOs 100 – 12800 (H2) sharpness of 3; and RAW ISOs 1600 – 12800 (H2) sharpness of 0:

1250draws3_3

1350draws0_3 

So there you have it. I think perhaps I’ve pummeled the pixel peeping to the proverbial pulp.

Thanks for reading!

Canon 50D – High ISO – JPGs

High ISO examination.

Seems simple enough, no?

No… actually it isn’t…

If it were just a smaller shift in resolutoin like the change from the 30D to the 40D – it would have been easier; just shoot matching sets of shots and review… easy.

With the increase to 15.1 MP, (a jump of 50% in sensor resolution) there enters a larger degree of difficulty. Some sites have up-converted 40D images to the 50D size then cropped… This doesn’t make sense to me as you will now distort the 40D image. Others have down-converted the 50D image down to the 40D resolution and then they crop, but again – you may lose detail and hide (or magnify) issues w/ the 50D issue…

For this first pass (and, the more I think about it, the other passes too) I’m going to leave the images posted at their orig resolution, so the 50D images (consistently on the bottom of the paired images) will appear slightly magnified. Just seemed this was the best route.

Okay – that aside – the setup I used was to put a random selection of itmes onto a wooden trivet propped up on my kitchen counter. I put a cap to the left and matched the angle of the trivet to match the angle of the front of the cap so there would be little DoF issues between focus on the cap stitching and the coins/trivet.  I setup my tripod and camera to shoot as square as I could to this, zoomed in to 105mm on my EF 24-105 f4L IS lens, and set both cameras at Manual, f5.6, and then adjusted ISO and shutter speed per image. I left my battery grip w/ L-bracket mounted in the tripod and swapped out bodies and lenses. A "photodisc" was used to set custom white balance for both cameras and I used live view (w/ manual focus) to focus, and a remote trigger to avoid camera shake. The cameras were set to save both .jpg and RAW files. This post only shows the JPGs. Picture style was set to "Standard" (essentially neutral w/ 3 for sharpening) on both cameras, and all noise reduction were set to off (not the default – this had me turn off the 50D default of "standard" in the "High ISO speed noise reduction" setting). To avoid unwanted tweaking – I avoided Lightroom and stuck with PhotoShop, and all images are saved out as JPG at 100 quality.

Here is an image of the setup:

Setup

Different items for dark texture (the cap and the piece of charcoal colored cardboard), fine detail (the grain in the wood), and shiny metal as that seems to be difficult to get.  I had thought to show examples from many areas, but practicality drove me to find one area that seemed to have a bit of each so I settled on this: (40D at top – 50D below):

Compare100

With that as a benchmark, here are the comparison images between matching ISOs. So 1600 and 3200 are no big deal – each is a valid setting on both cameras (tho you are really pushing the ISO on the 40D to get 3200 – thus the (H) in the LCD when you use it), but with 6400 and 12,800 (H1 and H2 on the 50D) there is no similar setting. Since those don’t exist, I’ve left the 3200 ISO image in for comparison:

Compare1600 

Compare3200

Compare6400

Compare12800

If figured that you may also want to see each camera’s test images next to each other:

40D 1600 and 3200(H):

40dhighiso

50D 1600 – 12,800 (H2):

50dhighiso

This brings a close to the jpg portion of our program… More postings as I’ve the chance to get the RAW files through DPP.

Thanks for reading!

Canon 50D vs. 40D – Screen

Okay – so one of the most obvious features – well – perhaps other than the extra 50% boost to image resolution – is the upgrade to the LCD monitor on the back of the camera.  The diagonal measurement remains the same – 3" – but there has been a bump from 230,000 pixels to 920,000 pixels.

In short – WOW. The main thing you see is a more continuous tone to the image, and when you zoom in, you can get a much better idea as to if your shot is sharp or not.

Again, you will need to pardon my louse P&S photography skills (or lack thereof) for these photos, but I’ll admit it – I was lazy and didn’t want to use the SLRs to shoot each other’s screens… the Casio P&S in Macro mode seemed to do the trick pretty well.  The one thing it did have problems with was showing the color in the screens. They both do show pretty accurate color – the images of the screens just don’t show it – again – chalk that up to me.

This first pair of photos is of the same jpg (from a 50D) shown on both screens. The differences in tonal display and most notably the shadows along the top and overall contrast was not as different. You should look more at the sharpness of the images – the detail on the front of the cap, and the coin detail as well. The top images is from the 40D – the lower image is from the 50D:

Screen1

Screen2

The display is just overall sharper and clearer – even before you zoom in.

The next pair of images are from my ISO tests (yes – they will be posted soon), showing the same image from both cameras – EF 24-105 f4L IS @ f5.6 for 1/2 second at 100 iso. The cameras both had their image enhancements turned off or to a basic setting. Picture style of "standard" on both, high ISO speed noise reduction off, and I had the Auto Lighting Optimizer turned off on the 50D. I had thought about using the same exact image for both tests for zoom in, but figured that the 40D can’t shoot a 15.1 MP jpg, to view a 15.1 MP jpg may exaggerate the 40D’s screen a bit. I decided I should use an image shot by the 40D to be more accurate.  Here I’ve zoomed in to look at both detail on the coin as well as the grain in the wood – again 40D on top, then the 50D below:

Screen03

Screen04

Again – just much sharper. The grain detail focus is very visible on the 50D while the 40D could either be in (as it was) or just a touch soft. You really can get close to pixel peeping – in fact, I was able to see the "hot" pixels on my sensor on the screen, once I knew to look for them. I’ll see if I can get a photo of that test .jpg off the screen when I post about the sensor reset I did.

So that was all well and good for .jpg files, but I don’t shoot .jpgs… I shoot pretty much exclusively in RAW – (gee – sounds like another post for the future).  The .jpg file is full res when saved to the card, while the RAW file has (I believe) a pair of embedded jpg images for use for preview (a thumbnail, and a higher res version). Would the camera be able to render out enough detail for this screen to show the same high level of resolution w/ a RAW file?

Again I went to the high ISO files and came back with the same spec – EF 24-105 f4L IS @ f5.6 for 1/2 second at 100 iso – but this time, the RAW file was the only version on the card (I shot the tests RAW+JPG). The 40D on top and the 50D below:

Screenr2   

Screenr1

Again – hands down – the 50D was much sharper and much more usable. You can also see how the anti reflective coating on the 50D screen kept the reflection of the casio from appearing, while you can see (in the left side of the upper image) the silver face of the casio reflecting in the image.

This new screen is definitely a huge upgrade from the 40D’s version, and makes the camera much more capable of checking for focus, and is much more usable during a shoot – it was much easier to see images in the varying lighting conditions out at the velodrome (the only shoot I’ve used the 50D on so far).

Thanks for reading!

Canon 50D and the Really Right Stuff 40D L-Bracket

Okay – I’ve a night of shooting photos at the velodrome now (tho – since I can’t use Lightroom to post process since the RAW utility by Adobe doesn’t support the 50D yet – it’ll take me longer in DPP – just haven’t been in there in so long – those’ll be posted in a few days).  Today I got out on the bike and hit the trails rather than stay in on a great day and geek with my camera.  Before heading out later, I figured I’d take care of the L-Bracket question.

For those not sure of what an L-Bracket is, the folks at Really Right Stuff (RRS) have summed it up pretty well here. Suffice to say – it makes working on a tripod much easier – especially if you need to switch between portrait and landscape during your shoot. With the digital cameras having all sorts of connections for data (USB), remote triggers, video out (regular and HDMI on the 50D) and so on, the bracket can get in the way of these connections. RRS did a great job w/ the 40D L-Bracket (with battery grip) and they left an opening big enough to open the rubber covers that keep dirt and moisture out of these connections. Here are some (yes – bad – from a P&S) pics of the setup on my 40D:

40d1

and showing how the remote shutter release cable connects:

40d2

** Point of clarification – this blog entry discusses the fit of the RRS 40D with battery grip L-Bracket on the 50D – this is NOT the RRS 50D specific L-Bracket – they have not produced one yet **

With the longer openings on the 50D, I was wondering if the opening on the bracket would be large enough to allow (like it does on the 40D) to open the covers with the plate in place. Unfortunately, it does not, as seen here, the covers extend under the aluminum and the edges are tucked under and can’t be opened:

50d1

The bracket connects to the battery grip (or camera body) with a hex bolt… easy to snug up when attaching, but you’ve got to have the hex wrench handy to take it off or put it on. With the bracket on the battery grip, you can use the thumbscrew that mounts the BG to the body to remove the BG and bracket together… if you just start the process of removing the body, you can open the panels and replace the BG – yielding this:

50d2

which allows for the shutter release connection to be made:

50d4 

Pic00041_2So I was back in business and ready to shoot the high ISO tests that should (hopefully) be posted on Sunday. I had emailed RRS on Friday, and they noted (very quickly – I might add – great customer support) that this L-Bracket’s mount has a slot setup, you can mount this a bit off-center, leaving a gap between the left side of the camera body and the bracket (picture courtesy Really Right Stuff). This should allow room for the doors to be opened and closed. This should work, but I’d rather keep it snugged into the "correct" position, it keeps the mark on the bracket – indicating center line of the lens – in the proper position.

The last question is if there will be room to connect a HDMI cable with the bracket in place. I don’t have any small format HDMI cables – so I’ve not been able to check. I’m guessing that it may also depend on how thick the plastic is around the connector that is used – so some may fit while others may not. Here is a photo showing the connections in the opening with the covers held back:

50d3

RRS may be able to modify the 40D bracket by squaring off the opening – allowing the HDMI connector to be used; but they may need bit more of a re-work if they want to allow for easy access for the connector openings. The hole you can see below the opening for the connectors is threaded, for mounting the bracket to wider more adjustable plates, etc.  Below that you can see another opening in the bracket, before the "L" bend. It may be there to support use for the wireless transmitter grip (Canon WFT-E3A – can see it here) I know that grip does have an Ethernet port on the end, so there may not be too much leeway to shift this threaded hole further away from the cable opening for the camera itself.  I guess we’ll see what the RRS folks come up with. But until then – I’m in like Flynn!

Thanks for reading!

The 50D has arrived!

Well – after minimal waiting (it did arrive a week earlier than expected avialability) my Canon EOS 50D has arrived.  It was difficult to not just tear into the box, throw a charged battery and CF card in, plunk a lens on the front, and start shooting. But knowing I had a pile of work to do at the office, I showed some restraint and only brought in my battery grip with the Really Right Stuff L bracket for the 40D still mounted… figured I could get the first answer I wanted answered out of the way early (would I need to get a new L bracket or not). At the same time, I’d not be distracted by the shiny new object in my office and thereby neglect the work I was getting paid to do whilst in the office…

The quick answer was what I expected – yes it fits, but no – the longer openings on the side of the 50D for the HDMI output are not accessible via the opening in the L-bracket for the 40D.  In the short term, tis easy enough to unscrew the battery grip, move the rubber seal back, and then re-mount the battery grip… much easier than finding the hex wrench to remove the L-bracket from the grip…

I’m a touch short on time, so more initial impressions will have to wait, but I did run into hot pixels (fixed), fun w/ high iso testing, and fiddlin’ with the AF Microadjustment for specific lenses…

Good stuff ahead.

Thanks for reading!