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Canon EOS 5D Mk.II - Making the Most of your Cameras Functionality - Custom Settings

By Steve Watson

If you are like me and an owner of a Canon Camera System for many years, you have probaby bought your 5D Mk.II and just carried on using it in the same way that you used all of your other Canon cameras. I love photography but I am am not big on sitting in dark corners and reading Operation Manuals. One potentially really useful Function on offer is the ability to preset and pretty much instantly recall up to three Custom Functions. If you look at the selection knob top left of your camera, you will see that the last three settings on the dial are labelled C3, C2 and C1.These three positions can be set up to cover generic shooting conditions E.G. C1 for Landscape, C2 for Street Photography and C3 for Wildlife Photography or Macro. I have found this helpful when out and about as a quick lens change and selection of C1, C2 or C3 is all that is required.

How to set up C1, C2 and C3:
(1) These can be set from any dial position but many of us have our cameras set to the Av position (Aperture Priority) as standard, so start here
(2) From the Av position, set all of the camera settings for the specific Zeiss lens that you are planning to use for that application. I only currently own one Zeiss lens, the Distagon T 21mm f/2.8 ZE, so I will use this as my example and set position C1 for use with this lens for taking Landscapes
(3) C1 for Landscape Photography: Aperture f/11, Exposure Compensation -2/3 EV and ISO 50 or Auto ISO if you prefer
(4) Now press the "Menu" button, top left on the back of your 5D Mk.II and using the small Selector Wheel top right and at the front of your camera, select the seventh icon from the left, it is a Spanner with three dots
(5) Using the large Thumb Nail Selector on the back of the camera, rotate it until you are at "Camera user setting". Press the centre "ok" button in the middle of the Thumb Nail Selector wheel. "Register" appears so now press "ok" a second time and using the large Selector Wheel, highlight the Mode Dial position that you want to store the settings at. Here it will be C1 for Landscape photography
(6) Now move the highlight rectangle to "ok" and press "ok". Job done. From now on, when ever you use position C1, these setiings will automatically be recalled. REMEMBER from C1, C2 or C3 you can instantly over rule any of the settings E.G. from C1, as now set up, with the camera "Awake", I can alter the Aperture or the ISO or Exposure Compensation to something else. ONCE THE CAMERA TURNS ITSELF OFF OR HIBERNATES THE ORIGINAL SETTINGS ARE RESTORED.

If you decide C2 will be for Street Photography and for use with your Planar T 85mm f/1.4 lens, then you might set the Aperture at f/2.8, Auto ISO (insurance against low light situations where the camera might shoot at too low a Shutter Speed) and +2/3 EV (expoure to the right) etc. etc.

My C3 position is set up for a Canon Telephoto Zoom for Wildlife Photography. Here I use an Aperture of f/7.1, +2/3 EV and Auto ISO to ensure the correct ISO to avoid camera shake. Set this as a Macro position for your Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2, if you like @ f/16-f/22, ISO 50 with your Ring Flash Synchronisation speed.

You will find that when out and about, a simple lens change is all that is required without having to fiddle with adjusting the camera for each type of photography. Hope this may help one or two of your.

Best regards

Stephen

Replies

Reply from Matt Macdonald on 07-17-10 9:33 PM
yes thanks for sharing this! I use a D700 but my brother uses the 5D Mark II and would like read this I'm sure. 5D Mark II is a wonderful camera I know.
Reply from Steve Watson on 07-16-10 10:34 AM
Thanks Z and JT. I am always happy to pass on any knowledge picked up along the way. Re: D700, it is an excellent camera (it was the 8 frames/second that it had to offer with the Battery Grip, that I was after) and I was tempted for a while, but I stood to loose so much money having to sell all my Canon lenses (the Camera shop offered such poor trade in prices) and start again, that I did not bother. Stephen
Reply from Jt on 07-16-10 9:17 AM
Thanks so much for your contribution. I am sure other Canon users will really appreciate this.
Reply from Zach Blake on 07-16-10 5:02 AM
What a great service you've volunteered, thank you. Nice contribution to the site.

I read it and I shoot a D700. Thanks for sharing!

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