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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 29 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 12:32
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Tamron 70-300 VC: What's the Issue?

 
jt354
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Jan 29, 2014 12:32 |  #1

I recently purchased a Tamron 70-300 VC and have noticed that my copy produces very inconsistent results at 300mm.
In particular, I've been getting some results in broad daylight at f/8 that are just horrendous.
I can't tell whether this is an AF issue, technique, or just really bad VC implementation.

Both of the shots below were taken handheld with fast shutter speeds (1/500+) at f/8, 300mm with VC on.
The squirrel was basically stationary for each photo. What confuses me about the first photo is that *nothing* is in focus, suggesting camera shake.
I don't exactly have surgeon's hands, but 1/640 with VC should yield sharp images - and this and many others displayed the same grainy soft-focus effect.
The second shot is what I expect from this lens at 300mm - not perfect but reasonably sharp and certainly printable. What's going on here?

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Jan 29, 2014 12:55 |  #2

That first one is bad. I wonder if it could be caused by zoom creep? I have the same lens and I really like it. Fast to focus and the VC is probably the best of all of my lenses. If it's still in warranty I'd return it for a new one. Don't give up on this lens. It's a great lens for $350. Good luck with it.




  
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Ralph ­ III
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Jan 29, 2014 13:05 as a reply to  @ mnphotos's post |  #3

The first image is simply out of focus. It has nothing to do with blur as none is present. In fact, it looks very good minus being out of focus.

You should try using center focus only, especially with these type images, to insure precise focus. For whatever reason the lens never locked in on the squirrel. This is a focus issue and most likely user error.


Try using center focus point and if it continues then maybe you should consider there to be a lens issue. Also, don't use the VC when the lens it mounted on a tripod. That can cause issues as well.

Ralph


P.S. I had the same lens and it was stellar, even at 300mm.


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jt354
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Jan 29, 2014 13:15 |  #4

Ralph III wrote in post #16647471 (external link)
The first image is simply out of focus. It has nothing to do with blur as none is present. In fact, it looks very good minus being out of focus.

You should try using center focus only, especially with these type images, to insure precise focus. For whatever reason the lens never locked in on the squirrel. This is a focus issue and most likely user error.


Try using center focus point and if it continues then maybe you should consider there to be a lens issue.

Ralph

P.S. I had the same lens and it was stellar, even at 300mm.

For the first shot I did use center focus, AI servo with the back button on my 60D - the shutter button is set to meter only. I took a series of ~8 images, all had the same issue despite refocusing for each one. What I find strange is that there are elements of the image (branches, leaves, etc.) both behind and in front of the subject, and none of them are in focus. Unless there's severe front-focus going on here, idk what happened. Since I wear glasses and shoot a crop camera, I really can't confirm accurate focus using the viewfinder unfortunately. Also, I don't use VC on my tripod; I was just testing it out because the loud VC-on "click" and image jump in the viewfinder seemed strange to me. People say it's normal for this lens though.


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Ralph ­ III
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Jan 29, 2014 13:57 |  #5

jt354 wrote in post #16647500 (external link)
For the first shot I did use center focus, AI servo with the back button on my 60D - the shutter button is set to meter only. I took a series of ~8 images, all had the same issue despite refocusing for each one. What I find strange is that there are elements of the image (branches, leaves, etc.) both behind and in front of the subject, and none of them are in focus. Unless there's severe front-focus going on here, idk what happened. Since I wear glasses and shoot a crop camera, I really can't confirm accurate focus using the viewfinder unfortunately. Also, I don't use VC on my tripod; I was just testing it out because the loud VC-on "click" and image jump in the viewfinder seemed strange to me. People say it's normal for this lens though.

Jt354,
I don't quite understand your setup. First, I don't use the back button for focus so cannot speak in that regards. However, Al Servo mode could be part of your issues. Because it continually refocuses the lens automatically, even with the slightest of movement. It may also continuously refocus when having difficulty (lighting, contrast, etc). I'm not sure what you mean you "refocused' the lens each time when that would have been occurring automatically?

Anyhow, I used to shoot a lot of tennis tournaments and I never used Al Servo for a number of reasons; mostly because I learned that One Shot mode got me the highest percentage and sharpest images by far. Of course you have to refocus a lot but that's easy.

---------------

Try the following in good lighting, so you can maintain a higher shutter speed (1/250 +), using a fixed target.

1) Center Focus with One Shot mode. You should be getting sharp images hand held no matter with VC turned on.

I doubt it is a radical front or back focus issue because if that were the case, none of your images would ever been in focus including your second image.

2) Mount your camera on a tripod and take a picture at an extreme angle (45% or less) to a newpaper or magazine article, with use of a wide aperture and release cable or timer. Focus on one letter and then review the results. If the letters in front or back of your target letter are in better focus, then you may indeed have a front/back focus issue. You may want to try another test method as described and found HERE (external link).

Let us know the results and your exact setup...


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the ­ black ­ fox
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Jan 29, 2014 14:10 |  #6

sorry to have to say this but totally disregard the answers that you have been given above ,possibly due to the oversized images your initial text is hard to read .i only managed the full text on my i-pad the relevant bit is missing on a p.c .
your problem is pure and simply user error ,you state that your using a tripod ,and that you have the v.c switched on ,this IS whats causing your problem as the tripod and v.c are working against each other .if you have your camera and lens on a tripod you must switch off the v.c ..

i also fail to understand why your using a tripod in good light with a small lens like that anyway its simply not needed unless you suffer really bad shaking hands ..

for future reference v.c is usually only good up to around 1/750th of a sec anyway above that shutter speed you better off switching it off anyway as it has a derogatory effect on images .


changed systems to MFT olympus omd1-mkii with ver 3.01 firmware , panasonic /leica 100-400 , 50-200SWD , MMF.3 . EC.1.4tc, 12-60mm F2.8 . 30mm MFT macro ..

  
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Jan 29, 2014 14:15 |  #7

the black fox wrote in post #16647666 (external link)
sorry to have to say this but totally disregard the answers that you have been given above ,possibly due to the oversized images your initial text is hard to read .i only managed the full text on my i-pad the relevant bit is missing on a p.c .
your problem is pure and simply user error ,you state that your using a tripod ,and that you have the v.c switched on ,this IS whats causing your problem as the tripod and v.c are working against each other .if you have your camera and lens on a tripod you must switch off the v.c ..

i also fail to understand why your using a tripod in good light with a small lens like that anyway its simply not needed unless you suffer really bad shaking hands ..

for future reference v.c is usually only good up to around 1/750th of a sec anyway above that shutter speed you better off switching it off anyway as it has a derogatory effect on images .

This. When on tripod; turn VC off; you're likely seeing the shake from the lens hunting for vibration (and finding none). To the best of my knowledge it's a problem in all Canon lenses also; not unique to Tamron.


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Ralph ­ III
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Jan 29, 2014 14:24 |  #8

the black fox wrote in post #16647666 (external link)
sorry to have to say this but totally disregard the answers that you have been given above...

Well, I don't know what to make of that statement as the advise given has been good advice, which included turning off VC. You are mistaken in some regards though.

1) Have you ever owned the Tamron 70-300mm Di VC? I did for several years which included shooting many tennis tournaments with it.

2) VC may or may not be the issue here! a) I suggest turning it off because it is a waste of power when mounted on a tripod. He should eliminate that variable and test again to see what happens. b) VC isn't necessarily the issue because many lenses are not affected with VC on and mounted on tripod. Some lenses and even releases are though. c) In fact, there is a reported issue with the Tamron 70-300mm di VC in which some say it caused blur issues at speeds around 1/60 second. d) There is no derogatory "image" effect using VC above shutter speeds of 1/750! I don't know where you get that from. My rule was 1/1000 of a second btw, but it all depends on technique, as it's useless much above that and simply a waste of battery.

3) This could be a front/back focus issue. There is no way of knowing until he tests these things. The squirrel is sharp in the second image but the limb in front of him is even sharper!


He just needs to test these things but I agree, start with turning VC off. If that doesn't work try center focus with One Shot mode. If that doesn't work, then test for front/back focus issues....

Good luck,
Ralph


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jt354
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Jan 29, 2014 14:33 |  #9

the black fox wrote in post #16647666 (external link)
sorry to have to say this but totally disregard the answers that you have been given above ,possibly due to the oversized images your initial text is hard to read .i only managed the full text on my i-pad the relevant bit is missing on a p.c .
your problem is pure and simply user error ,you state that your using a tripod ,and that you have the v.c switched on ,this IS whats causing your problem as the tripod and v.c are working against each other .if you have your camera and lens on a tripod you must switch off the v.c ..

i also fail to understand why your using a tripod in good light with a small lens like that anyway its simply not needed unless you suffer really bad shaking hands ..

No idea what you're talking about with the first part there. Anyway, these shots were taken handheld, I had previously tested the VC function in 10X live view on a tripod because I was concerned it wasn't working properly. Having done that I'm still not sure it does work correctly.


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jt354
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Jan 29, 2014 14:39 |  #10

Ralph III wrote in post #16647626 (external link)
Jt354,
I don't quite understand your setup. First, I don't use the back button for focus so cannot speak in that regards. However, Al Servo mode could be part of your issues. Because it continually refocuses the lens automatically, even with the slightest of movement. It may also continuously refocus when having difficulty (lighting, contrast, etc). I'm not sure what you mean you "refocused' the lens each time when that would have been occurring automatically?

Anyhow, I used to shoot a lot of tennis tournaments and I never used Al Servo for a number of reasons; mostly because I learned that One Shot mode got me the highest percentage and sharpest images by far. Of course you have to refocus a lot but that's easy.

---------------

Try the following in good lighting, so you can maintain a higher shutter speed (1/250 +), using a fixed target.

1) Center Focus with One Shot mode. You should be getting sharp images hand held no matter with VC turned on.

I doubt it is a radical front or back focus issue because if that were the case, none of your images would ever been in focus including your second image.

2) Mount your camera on a tripod and take a picture at an extreme angle (45% or less) to a newpaper or magazine article, with use of a wide aperture and release cable or timer. Focus on one letter and then review the results. If the letters in front or back of your target letter are in better focus, then you may indeed have a front/back focus issue. You may want to try another test method as described and found HERE (external link).

Let us know the results and your exact setup...

Thanks for the advice. I will try one-shot autofocus and the makeshift test chart. What I meant by refocusing the image is that for each shot I centered the AF point on the subject, held the back AF-On button until the lens stopped hunting, then released the AF button and pressed the shutter. Although the lens was in Servo AF, half-pressing the shutter does not activate AF because of the way I have the buttons programmed.


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w0m
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Jan 29, 2014 15:36 |  #11

jt354 wrote in post #16647755 (external link)
Thanks for the advice. I will try one-shot autofocus and the makeshift test chart. What I meant by refocusing the image is that for each shot I centered the AF point on the subject, held the back AF-On button until the lens stopped hunting, then released the AF button and pressed the shutter. Although the lens was in Servo AF, half-pressing the shutter does not activate AF because of the way I have the buttons programmed.

Also; AI-Servo never locks focus it's continuous; put it in one-shot for this style of test and the AF will be more accurate.


[6D]

  
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ceegee
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Jan 29, 2014 15:42 |  #12

jt354 wrote in post #16647755 (external link)
What I meant by refocusing the image is that for each shot I centered the AF point on the subject, held the back AF-On button until the lens stopped hunting, then released the AF button and pressed the shutter.

I think this (the bit in red) might be your problem. AI-Servo doesn't lock focus, so when you release the focus button, you lose focus. It might work in one-shot mode, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't work in AI-Servo. In AI-Servo, I think you have to keep the focus button pressed until you take the shot.


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the ­ black ­ fox
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Jan 29, 2014 15:49 |  #13

its so hard to diagnose a problem from a few thousand miles away ,but i'll come back to what i said initially and without wanting to be rude ,imho its simply user error ,put your camera back to focus and shoot on the shutter button only ,a.i servo mode ,single centre point focus ,one shot if preferred ,till you get it right .hand hold it v.c on and make sure your shutter speed exceeds 1/500th sec and try it out .you cannot micro adjust a 60d anyway so that ones out of the window .initially try for something easy like a street sign etc then switch to animals once your confident .
i have a 60d as back up and would never attempt to use it the way your describing .please be patient as we are trying to help you

p.s ceegee above is totally correct in his post


changed systems to MFT olympus omd1-mkii with ver 3.01 firmware , panasonic /leica 100-400 , 50-200SWD , MMF.3 . EC.1.4tc, 12-60mm F2.8 . 30mm MFT macro ..

  
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Ralph ­ III
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Jan 29, 2014 16:43 as a reply to  @ the black fox's post |  #14

As first stated, it appears to be a simple user error.

His setup is perfectly fine with one exception; he is trying to use Al Servo mode in a situation that is terrible for that mode. There are way to many focus points near his subject which is also quite small. That is highly conducive to a lens which may end up focusing on the wrong area in Al Servo.

If you look at the second image, the branch immediately in front of the squirrel is in better focus than the squirrel itself. There can only be two plausible reasons for that.

1) He inadvertently missed focus on the squirrel and instead focused on a nearby tree limb. He could use his camera to check exactly where his focus points were if they are still on his card.

---otherwise---

2) He could indeed have a front/back focus issue. I think this is much less likely but it is something to test if he continues to have this issue.

Ralph


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Sirrith
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Jan 29, 2014 18:35 |  #15

There seems to be some camera shake in the first shot. That does not look like just OOF blur to me. You could have a problem with the VC unit. Do some more testing and see if you can reproduce the issue.


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Tamron 70-300 VC: What's the Issue?
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