Further Discussions


9:17:41 AM, Saturday, May 24, 2008 (GMT)

nimnar wrote:

>How much was the 'buy it now' price?
> I ask because when I get a 'bargain' on something I know in advance
> that I might have problems. Other than what you write, I've heard
> good things about Profeel camera. But I only buy from B&H.
> Nimnar

To be honest, I was totally unaware of the rash of issues with the 1Ds3.

As described in the summary, even on the 1D3, while I had heard of focus issue Canon did a good job of suppression as I thought it was done and over with.

It is only through this firsthand experience that I now conclude the problem is not just in the mis-assembly of some cameras but fundamental to the flawed design.

I had an inkling to this even relatively early on after trying the first body:


The need to restrict oneself to just the central AF point in AI Servo AF admitted to even among the ardent supporters of the 1D3 tells all. I know it's hard to think straight after you just put down $4000-$8000 for a camera. But if people would get out of bed with Canon long enough to smell the coffee it'll dawn on them how utterly stupid this restriction is. (Look at the broad you just got out of bed with when you're more sober.) Does it say anywhere in both cameras', 1D3 and 1Ds3, manuals and white papers that AI Servo AF should be restricted to the central AF detector? Yes, this happens automatically when lens max aperture is f/8 and larger but smaller than f/5.6. But as the make-do's will tell you, all you're left with in actual use for it to work at all is the central AF point even with your $12K 400/2.8L.

I address why using just the central AF point is a serious issue. Why tests restricting so just to accommodate the 1D3/1Ds3 are so retarded as performed by Prophotohome or whatever discussed in an earlier thread. They were congratulating themselves for getting 1 out of 3 frames in focus and proclaiming the 1Ds3 king of AF while turning off other AF points in the Nikon D3 and similarly restricting it to the central AF point. Talk about the blind leading the blinds.

As I earlier remarked, the best way to describe this situation is with the fable The Emperor's New Clothes.


While people go around making total fools of themselves discussing this and that fine incredible, invisible threads of the emperor's new clothes that only the smart can see, read the manual, micro focus adjustment, custom functions this and that, the plain reality to anyone with any sense is that there is nothing there.

I suspect that the "root cause" in the automatic multipoint AF selection debacle is the bad scheme, hardware and software, that fails to properly give weight to the likely subject of interest. In the past this meant dumbly the center. By expanding the AF area but without the proper control to make it work you end up with the reported erratic hay-wired behavior with multipoint AI Servo AF.

Can some of this be fixed or are we looking at a Mark IV in a hurry? Apparently it's not as simple as a new algorithm hence firmware. There must be aspects of the hardware, the detectors and their positions, that make consistent returns from an algorithm under different lights difficult or impossible. It maybe indeed the brightness of the scene, the high temperature expansion, the glittering and reflections that the AF detectors react to and then your focus is in lala-land.


As I said before in one of the earlier threads, if Canon could really fix it without changing the design, it would already happen. It's been a year since the 1D3.


So to answer your question, there is no bargain here around this price point. I paid $7330 with first shipping. More with return shippings of two bodies.

The lowest price on Amazon Market Place now is $7500+$8.49 shipping. If I use my Amazon CC I would be paying $7275+$8.49 because I get 3% back. If I use my $550 worth of accumulated Amazon gift certificates, I would be paying $7500-$550x0.97+$8.49 or $6749.99. But with the various defects floating around and even the cherry one operable with just the central focus point in AI Servo AF, it ain't worth it.

And what I have written about Profeel here were strictly reproductions of verbatim communications. People could draw their own conclusions. (The threads have been deleted by whoever.)

I summarize my dealings with Profeel also in the 1Ds3 summary, and anybody who read the verbatim communications here before they were deleted can tell you that they are accurate summary of the communications.

All I can say is learn from others' experience and purchase your equipment from dealers who have liberal return policies.

We are the unpaid QC for the mass produced products of today.



3:57:09 PM, Monday, May 26, 2008 (GMT)

tcphoto1 wrote:
> After looking at your website, I get the impression that you are a
> cronic complainer. You did mention the Tamron lens that you tested
> the 1DsIII with that went back multiple times and was eventually
> replaced.


Whether I am a chronic complainer as you said is besides the point. Don't focus on the people, focus on the issues. Ever heard the saying small men talk about people...?

The Tamron 28-85/2.8 was used to illustrate that non-existent QC isn't unique to Canon. Although at this price point and what the flagship model represents...

If you have not heard of the potential quality of that lens and the rarity of a good copy, you need to bring yourself up to speed and be thankful of having read it here so you don't look so out of it.

In my experience, I tried three copies from two dealers and then tried sending one to Tamron Repair. The lens came back even worse off. The second time it came back scratched and with a retainer ring broken. The third time Tamron replaced it with one they went through stock and found a good copy.

Here on this board another poster recounted of going through several copies of the 70-200/4L IS.

Like I said, lots of people don't test their lenses and enjoy blissful ignorance.

But that is no point for a discussion.

>You put quite an effort into convincing us that all 1DsIII
> bodies have the same AF issues as the 1DIII. In fact, your's is the
> first I've heard to have a problem.

Thank you, it seemed I did bring this to the attention of all. Rob Galbraith subsequently confirmed.

>One question, I thought the 1DIII
> was geared toward Sports/Wildlife photography, why would you buy a
> 1DsIII to shoot pelicans in flight?

Actually, I didn't attempt to purchase the 1Ds3 with the intention to shoot bif exclusively. I do all kinds of photography.

The 1D3 is pointless to me. Cropped frame, only 10MP, etc. Being familiar with the science of optics, and having shot Kodachrome for years, I knew that 35mm is capable of 20+MP effective as limited by optical resolution/diffraction. Click on my profile and look for a thread "DPReview Just Tested Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VR" or something to that effect.

I used the 1Ds3 for bif because it was the camera I was interested in and attempted to own. It's capable of 5 FPS. As stated in the summary, that is enough for action sequence shot. Yes, more could be better as necessary. But 5 FPS will get you to the ground floor.

Then you should educate yourself to the now established fact that the two cameras share the same AF subsystem. (White Paper, etc.) One website even proclaimed the 1Ds3's AF superior to the 1D3's and even the D3's with several people here harping it as fact.

Looking through your links you're a "food photographer" according to your blog. So all this doesn't really apply to you. But as stated, I do all kinds of photography.

>If there was a problem, why not
> let the Dealer exchange to another until you found an acceptable
> copy?

Unfortunately, two threads which continued and replaced this thread have been deleted by the complainers so you are not getting a logical continuation here.

And the answer as to why I no longer pursue the 1Ds3 is the summary:


>BTW, as a potential Client, posting a scathing review about a
> piece of gear would certainly prevent me from hiring you to shoot
> anything.

The situation here is the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome. Somebody has to point it out and stop the nonsense. Years ago I had to similarly step up to the plate and point out the obvious fact that the original Epson archival inkset was horrible. Epson had ads out on the 5000 quoting this and that famous photogs saying that the outputs were the best they'd ever seen. What a load of you know what. If a forum that was supposed to be for truth and accurate information couldn't appreciate that then it was useless to discuss anything else, there would be no integrity to the discussion.

Frankly, I can only speak for myself. I would be infinitely thankful to have read what I wrote so that at least I would have an idea as to what I might encounter with the 1Ds3.

>Perhaps a blog or separate website would be better. And
> yes, most Retailer charge 15% for returned goods.
> --
> http://www.tcphoto.org
> http://web.mac.com/tcphoto1/iWeb/Fashion/Fashion.html
> http://tcphoto1.blogspot.com/

This thread is the oldest of several.

The action had already moved on.



5:10:30 PM, Monday, May 26, 2008 (GMT)

John W Peterson wrote:
> It has been interesting to read the detailed reviews of the autofocus
> successes and failures with the 1DIII and the 1DsIII. As you know, it
> has been generally reported that the AF system seems to work more
> reliably in the 1DsIII then it's lower MP brother, but many have
> argued that this apparent difference may relate at least partially to
> the choice of subject matter, focus modes used and speed of shooting.
> My own report of excellent autofocus with the 1DsIII, using a
> non-moving model, shot in studio or location, with single-shot AF
> selected, using the center AF point more then 60% of the time may
> mean little to a sports shooter working at 10fps under fading late
> afternoon sun.

> Yet i suspect that your test sytem here - that of AF tracking of a
> bird in flight (bif) adds another level of difficulty for any AF
> system, beyond that which the sport shooter is facing.

That is correct due to the size of the target and the distance involved (i.e., a jet would look just as small in the frame but the distance would be much greater).

> Consider the AF challenges faced by the AF system in tracking the
> BIF. The animal is moving accross the image, say from left to right,
> at the same time that it's wings are beating in a complicate (not
> just up-down) fashion. This imposes a complex problem to an
> predictive AF tracking system that is going to try to predict where
> the subject / focus point move to next.

In this case with only one center focus point, it would be aimed at the head of the bird and not the wings. You can't aim on the wing even if you wanted to, like you can't aim for particular position of the fan blade while it's moving.

When the bird is further away where the head itself is the body and the wiggling wings, then also they are treated as one within the same distant focus zone.

If the multi focus point option had been functional, one would also expect that the algorithm would be predictive according to the shortening focus as the subject comes closer. Wing flaps do not translate into the series of data at all, i.e., spurious.

But as alluded, be they cars with no moving features, persons with flagging limbs or flapping birds, 1D3's owners have to make do with just the center focus point for AI Servo to not go wild.

>The situation is made worse
> by hand holding the camera, which imposes an added measure of
> complexity on the apparent subject movement within the frame.

If you look at the sequences, the subject was held in the center of the frame and not all over the place.

> Additionally, whereas the e.g. basketball player has a certain
> significant level of detail for our camera to lock onto (facial
> detail, lettering on jersey etc), the birds in your images are
> adorned in relatively homogenously colored feathers that offer little
> detail for any camera AF system to lock onto.

That is precisely my argument why using just the central AF point is not ideal. In the summary I pointed out that it could fall on the white of a t shirt or the brown of a pelican, no edge.

> If we were to try to capture these scenes in manual focus, we would
> likely focus on the few defining characteristics of these animals,
> their eyes and beeks. The eyes especially are tiny little points
> within these scenes and offer little hope of discovery to even a
> massively-multipoint AF system.

Au contraire, once the bird gets closer to make out defining features, multiple points would allow detection of the steady features like the eyes or the beak somewhere in the wider focusing field. If you imagine there might not be enough then imagine what happens to just one in this case!


> So when we see any 'experiment" or method to test or study how a
> system works, such as the AF system in the 1DsIII, we have to
> consider what part of the results relate to the underlying 'thing'
> that we are studying and to what degree the results are a consequence
> of our test method. in this situation, I suspect that some
> significant part of the results relate to the latter.

As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I hope I have shown why not having multiple focus point in AI Servo AF is not the no big deal apologists are rallying around.

And the pudding is hardly an experiment for its own sake but meant for eating. I should like to do bif photography with reasonable satisfaction. In focus is just one aspect of the desired capture.

As mentioned in an earlier reply here, your mileage will vary according to how you drive. For those here who manually focus the camera with an adapted lens, the AF is obviously not an issue. So by degree, how you use the AF will define your experience with the camera. Aside from the various defects and having to send it in multiple times for repair, that is.

> The only things that I would suggest, and I presume that you have
> tried / am trying these. would be to use a faster tele, mounted on a
> tri or monopod, with single AF point selected. The faster lens should
> allow more light to reach the AF sensor, and the camera mount should
> reduce the level of apparent subject motion.

You missed an earlier thread where I addressed here that light is not the issue:


The point of an f/2.8 lens, if one can afford it, is to allow the sole central AF point to regain vertical detection capability. An f/4 lens will not get you there. So there is only the 400/2.8L for similar bif photography, which you'll have to stop down anyway for some DOF.

Then you're still dealing with having just the one AF point that can fall on nothing.

As pointed to in the summary, if AF detection works best with edges the big capability gain is to be had with multiple AF points. Not to mention the freedom of framing which allows the photographer to become an artist.

One can throw big money at the 400/2.8L and still gets only 400mm just for the camera to maybe work a little better, or one can wait for a redesigned AF with contrast detection added.


[Correction: I just remembered that f/4 lens will gain vertical detection for center AF in the center focus point only AI Servo Focus. But the single point AF is an insurmountable issue of hit or miss, either falls on a feature or lost in the flat of the subject.]


5:50:25 AM, Monday, May 26, 2008 (GMT)


PTamborini wrote:
> Thanks for sharing your problem with the 1DsIII.
> I have similar problems, very rarely sharp pictures, no matter what
> AF-mode (in contrast to that the pictures are very sharp in manual
> mode),
> so yes, I think at least some copies have a real AF-problem.
> For the moment the camera is at Canon-Center; let's see how it will
> come back.
> Cheers
> --
> pt


Well, I'm trying to look into any evidence supporting claims to the contrary that some other copies do not behave like the two I examined did, ie, otherwise fine, perfect, etc. Which I take to imply that they can use multi point in AI Servo and such, directly contradicting my findings and other 1D3 owners who find it necessary to limit it to center point only.

That is why I'm starting to look at other posters' websites to see what they do with their cameras.

If someone can post sequences say of frame filling bif where the camera succeeds in holding focus the whole time, even with just the center AF point, it will provide some counterevidence.

Good luck with the 'repair.'

I shall still follow your and others' experience with interest.

But I think we're looking at new models soon with redesigned AF subsystem.



6:39:16 PM, Monday, May 26, 2008 (GMT)


PTamborini wrote:
> Well, I fear very much your damn right; I think Canon tried to do
> something very good (a very fast and accurate AF-system), and by
> redesigning the whole thing they made it very unstable and
> unpredictable in behaviour (a bit like redesigning a F-18 military
> plane by cutting the wings to half to have a faster moving plane;
> unfortunately, such a plane beside responding faster would also be
> very instable).
> I fear that in 2 years the whole Mark III series (D and Ds) will be
> in very bad memory to many who bought this "design-lemon" (a bit like
> the Ford Edsel), especially compared to the than-available cameras.
> In 20 Years it will then be very good to have such a camera, since I
> guess foto-museums will be very glad to get this "historic
> instrument".
> Cheers
> --
> pt


I am just as dismayed by Canon's apparent utter lack of quality control in the supposed topline flagship statement camera costing nearly the price of a car.

In my summary I recounted some kind of noise visible as diagonal striation in the out of focus areas and otherwise generally adding grain to the image.

This was copy one that was replaced by copy two.

Copy two as it turned out had a significantly misaligned view finder.

Then recalling that at first copy one's AF would not focus the Tamron 28-85/2.8 that was working just fine on a Rebel XT.

Yes, when I got the Tamron from Tamron Repair I really had no hope, didn't even take it out of the shipping package for six months nor test it subsequently on the 5D. Strapped it on an XT for utilitarian record shooting.

Convinced that the horrible multi point AF in AI Servo had to be a malfunction I sent back the first copy which was a good thing. Or I would end up with files ruined by the striation noise which I would best guess as interference from the AI Servo AF.



10:48:14 PM, Monday, May 26, 2008 (GMT)

astirusty wrote: 
> It really bothers me that we are seeing multiple 1Ds-Mk3s reported
> with lubricant or grease on the mirrors and imaging sensor cover
> plates (IR filter). That is something so easy to spot, it should
> never get past a basic factory check. Along the same lines are the
> reports that people are once again seeing viewfinder misalignment
> problems, a problem that should have resulted in an additional
> quality check.

> With regards to the multiple bad copies and returns, I am beginning
> to believe these bad copies are being "recycled" as new copies. In
> the hopes that the bad copies can be "dumped" on some photographer,
> somewhere. At first, I didn't believe that would be possible, but
> when I read all the Canon Fanboys brow-beating photographers with
> problems, it is easy to see how a less technical photographer could
> be berated into thinking they are the problem.


This was on the back of my mind.

You could see it in my communication with Profeel.

While I asked David Burns IF these might be rejects, it's something else for me to conclude 100% that they were.

For one thing the two bodies were of recent manufacture, with the latest serial numbers, each body made just the month before the receipts.

On the other hand I was brow beat by statements such as I would have to send it in to Canon myself, they never had ANY problem with the Mark IIIs and NEVER had a return.

Such total lack of sympathy and the singular drive for profit from the first response of demanding 10% restocking fee certainly puts them in a doubtful light when receiving two bad copies in a row.

Still I take care not to accuse real persons and entities unless proven to my mind beyond doubt.

It's unfortunate that the other two threads where I reproduced the communications sans further remarks so people could help me to assess the situation were deleted.

But anybody familiar with the filing scheme of the 1Ds3, please look at file labeling shown in the summary.

The first copy I used the CF card, and the files started with _B5A, such as in the first illustration, the sandpipers, _B5A0137.CR2.

The second copy I used a 4GB SD card as I found it to be faster than my 4GB CF card. And the files started with 3R4R, such as 3R4R0122.CR2.

Perhaps the above has some significance?




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