Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 30 Jun 2013 (Sunday) 03:32
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

soft 100-400

 
amfoto1
Cream of the Crop
10,251 posts
Likes: 84
Joined Aug 2007
Location: San Jose, California
     
Jun 30, 2013 10:29 as a reply to  @ post 16077462 |  #16

"authorised" ? In the US you almost always have to take it to Canon (actual manufacturing facility) because they don't sell parts to camera shops.

What in the world are you talking about?

Canon freely sells parts to anyone willing to pay for them, including independent and authorized repairers. Heck, you or I can call up their parts department and, so long as we know the part number and have a valid credit card, they'll sell and ship any part we wish to us as well.

It's Nikon who won't sell parts to anyone, forces everyone to use their factory repair facilities (and enjoy long waits, slow service and high repair prices). A memo went out last year, that Nikon was discontinuing parts sales to all independent repairers. I've seen the memo from Nikon, shared by some independent repairer acquaintances who had bought parts direct from Nikon in the past. Word came down later that non-factory, "authorized" shops also wouldn't be able to buy most items. I'm a little unclear if they mean only "authorized dealers" and some "authorized repairers" still have access to parts, or not.

But Canon is fine in this regard. There's no problem getting parts from them, if needed.

Besides, unless a part needs to be replaced due to excessive wear and tear or damage, a lens calibration is only a matter of making some adjustments. A quality independent or authorized repairer should have the proper tools and knowhow to test the lens and make the necessary adjustments.

OP,

Based upon cases here on POTN, by far the number one cause of "soft 100-400" complaints is filters. Even good ones. This lens does not like filters. Many people who have mistakenly put "protection filters" on their 100-400 - even the highest quality, multi-coated filters - then been pleasantly surprised how much better the lens is without any filter at all. The lens hood should be used because it might help a bit with focus accuracy and image qualities by reducing any flare, which can effect contrast and color saturation.

Fluourescent lighting is also generally a bad thing. Common household FL bulbs cycle on and off about 60X a second. This often causes metering errors and can mess with focus as well. There are "stabilized" FL bulbs specifically for photography, but they are much more expensive than household bulbs, and nowhere near as widely available.

As others have noted, 1/5 second is an awfully slow a shutter speed for testing. In fact, Canon posted a white paper that the 18MP cameras seem more subject to shake blur. They recommend using slightly higher than usual shutter speeds as much as possible. In addition, 1/5 second is a dangerous speed due to mirror shake. It's right smack in the middle of the range where vibrations caused by mirror slap can have an effect on image sharpness. Roughly from 1/30 or 1/15 to 2 seconds, one should lock up the mirror whenever possible. Live View gives the same effect (so long as you don't use "Quick Focus" in Live View). Shorter shutter speeds avoid the problem. Longer shutter speeds, too, because any vibration from the mirror is only a small portion of the overall exposure and unlikely to have much effect.

And, the 100-400 is one of the lenses that can't self-detect when it's solidly locked down on a tripod, doesn't turn off IS automatically when there is no movement of the lens, so you have to turn off IS manually. If you forget and leave it on, it will induce movement and cause blur. It usually causes a lot more blur effects than what's seen in your images, though.

Another thing that happens is dirty camera sensors. When was your 7D's sensor last cleaned? If one uses larger apertures most of the time, and depending upon what they are shooting and if "dust delete" is enabled, actual specks of dust might not be noticed in images. But an overall softness of images might be due to loss of fine detail, lowered resolution, due to crud on the camera's sensor. Of course, you might expect to see some effect with all your lenses, though it might be more obvious with one than with others.

And, have you Micro Focus Adjusted the lens? It could be that would help a lot, too. Cameras AF systems get out of calibration, too, over time and with use. MFA might correct for that, so long as the camera isn't too far off. If off more than MFA can correct, the camera might need servicing, too.

Testing a lens for sharpness, you want to eliminate as many variables as possible. Hence, good light, a solid tripod, with this particular lens IS turned off, a good target, a reasonable shutter speed, mirror lockup or Live View are all important. Also, if you are not testing focus accuracy, use Live View focusing... it's slow, so may not be as usable in the field. But it is the most accurate form of AF on these cameras. One Shot is pretty good, too. Don't use AI Servo, which is a continuous form of focus for moving subjects, but not as precise. On 7D, you should use Single Point or Spot Focus mode. The center point is best. Or, you can manually focus (though the 7D's viewfinder isn't very manual focus friendly, so you might need an anglefinder or need to use Live View highly magnified). Tests should be done at a variety of apertures, focus distances, and in the case of a zoom, different focal lengths. If you don't tend to use the lens at it's minimum focus distance, why test it there? Test it at more logical distances... the distances you use in real world shooting.

Of course, it can be a fault with the lens. Canon service or any other repairer might not get it right (they are human, after all). Plus with the lens travelling to and fro bouncing around in the back of a UPS or Fedex truck bad things can happen. However, as you can see, there are lots of opportunities for "user error", too.


Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
hania
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
919 posts
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Staffordshire, UK
     
Jun 30, 2013 12:18 |  #17

hollis_f wrote in post #16077742 (external link)
They have both. The Canon repair centre is based at Elstree. 3rd-party centres, in my limited experience, tend to vary in the extent to which they can handle the more complex problems.

I dunno if the same happens in the US, I'd guess it does, but over here it seems that Canon aren't keen on returning anything with 'Nothing wrong' on the service report. So they will put something along the lines of 'AF system recailibrated and rechecked. Adjustements carried out'. What that means is 'Nothing wrong. But we re-ran it though the calibration procedure and it was just the same as when it came in'.

This nearly always results in a satisfied customer. Of course, if the customer believes that shooting at 1/5s is a good idea when testing...!

sigh......I know I did a quick test (not very good)at that slow speed, but the tutor on the workshop also tested it - in real shooting conditions and was far from happy with the results.

no filter added at all.

image stabilisation turned off.

The lens went in with the 7D initially - as I had a contact problem on both - and work had been done on both.

Sorry I even mentioned I had problems.........

The Canon authorised centre replaced quite a few things (including the focusing module - whatever that is, iris, contacts etc or at least, charged me for them) - but I agree that the calibration probably only means - went out same as came in.......

anyway, this was NOT user error; anyway lens since disposed of , so probably a good idea to abandon this thread.


Gear List

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ed ­ rader
"I am not the final word"
Avatar
23,206 posts
Gallery: 4 photos
Likes: 488
Joined May 2005
Location: silicon valley
     
Jun 30, 2013 13:02 as a reply to  @ hania's post |  #18

any lens can be soft. some are just soft in the right hands.


http://instagram.com/e​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L F4 IS, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15 FE, sigma 14 f1.8 art, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L + markins Q20, gitzo GT 1545T + markins Q3T, gitzo GM4562

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
CyberDyneSystems
Admin (type T-2000)
Avatar
50,764 posts
Gallery: 177 photos
Likes: 7522
Joined Apr 2003
Location: Rhode Island USA
     
Jun 30, 2013 13:19 |  #19

You clearly have a bad lens. Sucks it did not come back in good shape the first trip. It needs to be sent to Canon directly.
Sometimes (unfortunately) we need to send things in multiple times, though it's not the rule. I had a Camera body once that went to Canon 4 times in one year. The 5th time they replaced, but it took a year to get to that point.

Did you buy it new? If so, repair or replacement should cost you nothing.


GEAR LIST
CDS' HOT LINKS
Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
CyberDyneSystems
Admin (type T-2000)
Avatar
50,764 posts
Gallery: 177 photos
Likes: 7522
Joined Apr 2003
Location: Rhode Island USA
     
Jun 30, 2013 13:25 |  #20

watt100 wrote in post #16077462 (external link)
"authorised" ? In the US you almost always have to take it to Canon (actual manufacturing facility) because they don't sell parts to camera shops.

They really do, in fact they are happy to sell parts to little old me, ( who dutifully uses this helpful service to turn damaged useless junk lenses into $6,000.00 500mm f/4L IS :) )

..let alone the Authorized service and repair shop down the road from me. In this shops case, they do a fantastic job of repair as well, and will fix a lot of the things Canon won't.


GEAR LIST
CDS' HOT LINKS
Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Lowner
"I'm the original idiot"
Avatar
12,924 posts
Likes: 13
Joined Jul 2007
Location: Salisbury, UK.
     
Jun 30, 2013 13:31 |  #21

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #16078149 (external link)
You clearly have a bad lens. Sucks it did not come back in good shape the first trip. It needs to be sent to Canon directly.

Just for information, here in the UK we deal with Canon via our local retailers. The unfortunate experience the OP had is not typical, but the method of sending in the equipment is pretty standard here.


Richard

http://rcb4344.zenfoli​o.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
hollis_f
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
10,649 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 85
Joined Jul 2007
Location: Sussex, UK
     
Jun 30, 2013 14:15 |  #22

Lowner wrote in post #16078176 (external link)
Just for information, here in the UK we deal with Canon via our local retailers.

You might, many don't. Anybody with CPS membership doesn't for a start.

Even before then I would use one of the repair centres to cut out the middle-man. If you use the retailer then youhave to suffer the long winded process of sending it to the retailer, waiting for them to send it to a repair centre, possibly waiting for them to send it to Elstree, waiting for it to get fixed, waiting for Elstree to send it to the repair centre, waiting for the repair centre to send it to the retailer, and, finally, waiting for the retailer to send it to you.

Much simpler to send it to Elstree directly.


Frank Hollis - Retired mass spectroscopist
Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll complain about the withdrawal of his free fish entitlement.
Gear Website (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Trumper
Senior Member
994 posts
Likes: 224
Joined May 2003
     
Jun 30, 2013 15:59 |  #23

hania wrote in post #16078033 (external link)
anyway lens since disposed of , so probably a good idea to abandon this thread.

That sounds ominous .Shame the problem couldn't be found and repaired.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
gjl711
"spouting off stupid things"
Avatar
55,613 posts
Likes: 2485
Joined Aug 2006
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
     
Jun 30, 2013 16:06 |  #24

Does the new owner have the same problem?


Not sure why, but call me JJ.
I used to hate math but then I realised decimals have a point.
.
::Flickr:: (external link)
::Gear::

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
flandog5
Member
49 posts
Joined Jun 2012
     
Jun 30, 2013 21:55 |  #25

yes, if using a filter, take it off. On my version it made all the difference




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

3,519 views & 0 likes for this thread
soft 100-400
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is dsk26894
1161 guests, 343 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.