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Thread started 29 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 12:32
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Tamron 70-300 VC: What's the Issue?

 
EOS5DC
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Jan 29, 2014 20:03 |  #16
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I disagree with Ralph. That first shot is bad because the camera or VC was moving when the shutter was open. It may or may not have been perfectly focused. It is impossible to judge focus when the entire frame suffers from such heavy motion blur. As mentioned, NO VC on the tripod.


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bogeypro
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Jan 29, 2014 20:19 as a reply to  @ post 16648306 |  #17

I was thinking you might have been within the minimum focal distance of 1.5m (approx. 59 inches) of the Tamron but I doubt you could get that close to a squirrel.

I find that this lens usually delivers results far above its pay grade .... well .... price point.




  
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Frodge
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Jan 29, 2014 22:44 |  #18

I have the lens. I find it phenomenal. The images you posted look nothing like the pictures I've taken wih my copy and my 60d. Vc needs to be off on a tripod as stated in the manual. Your hands are either shaking from he look of those pictures, or you have a horrendous copy of this lens. Let's put it this way. When I first mounted this lens and went to the park with it, I was astonished at how good the images were when I started chimping.


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Equipment: Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 40mm 2.8, Tamron 17-50 2.8 XR Di, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8, Tamron 70-300VC / T3I and 60D

  
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mnphotos
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Jan 30, 2014 07:22 |  #19

bogeypro wrote in post #16648535 (external link)
...

I find that this lens usually delivers results far above its pay grade .... well .... price point.


+1 on this comment.




  
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clarnibass
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Jan 30, 2014 10:45 |  #20

Hmm... a few things.

The first photo is difficult to say for sure but looks like out of focus and blur from the camera. At least part of the photo look like they have that.

Yes, the VC "click" and the viewfinder jump are normal.

1/500 at 300mm can result in camera blur with or without VC... sometimes. Sometimes it can be fine with or without VC... so hard to say.

Your second photo looks to be in very strong, harsh light making the target very good and contrasty.
The first photo looks to be in relatively weaker flat light, making the target much less contrasty and worse for AF.
Whether that made a difference in this case or not is difficult to say.

I can't think of why the VC would be problematic depending on AF, so try many more photos using the same parameters that you used in the problem photos, but using good AF targets. Use the same method for AF too.


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spur
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Jan 30, 2014 14:08 |  #21

Ralph III wrote in post #16647709 (external link)
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.
Good luck,
Ralph


One very good reason to use VC above 750, 1000 or any other # you pull out of your hat is that it holds the image in the view finder steady so you can get the composition you want. Otherwise the image in the view finder is jumping around. I don't consider that a waste of battery, battery power is the least of my concerns when out shooting.




  
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jt354
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Jan 30, 2014 16:37 |  #22

Went out to the park today and shot a few photos of my dog, squirrels, birds, etc. Used back button focus on One-shot, VC off for the most part, f/5.6 and ISO between 400 and 800 (cloudy day). The photos came out better in general, though a number of them were back-focused. I think some of those can be attributed to the subject running towards me and the 60D's mediocre predictive AF. I also shot some newsprint using a tripod as Ralph suggested, looked spot on to me. I wonder if the VC mechanism is defective? Anyone have experience with Tamron warranty service?


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ceegee
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Jan 30, 2014 17:16 |  #23

jt354 wrote in post #16650880 (external link)
Went out to the park today and shot a few photos of my dog, squirrels, birds, etc. Used back button focus on One-shot, VC off for the most part, f/5.6 and ISO between 400 and 800 (cloudy day). The photos came out better in general, though a number of them were back-focused. I think some of those can be attributed to the subject running towards me and the 60D's mediocre predictive AF. I also shot some newsprint using a tripod as Ralph suggested, looked spot on to me. I wonder if the VC mechanism is defective? Anyone have experience with Tamron warranty service?

If you use one-shot mode with a subject that's moving towards you, the image is going to appear back-focused because the subject will have moved after focus is locked. If your subject is moving, you need to be in servo mode to allow the camera to keep focusing. And if you're in servo mode, you need to keep the focus button pressed down all the time; you can't focus, then release, then take the shot, because servo mode doesn't lock focus.

It's my understanding that "predictive autofocus" is another name for AI-Servo mode. You don't get predictive autofocus in one-shot mode. In one-shot, the camera focuses, locks focus and takes the shot.

Honestly, the lens sounds like it's performing as it should. This seems to be a technique issue that should be resolved fairly easily.


Gear: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4, Canon 24-105L f4, Canon 70-300L, Canon 60 macro f/2.8, Speedlite 580 EXII, 2x AB800

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jt354
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Jan 30, 2014 18:30 |  #24

ceegee wrote in post #16650979 (external link)
If you use one-shot mode with a subject that's moving towards you, the image is going to appear back-focused because the subject will have moved after focus is locked. If your subject is moving, you need to be in servo mode to allow the camera to keep focusing. And if you're in servo mode, you need to keep the focus button pressed down all the time; you can't focus, then release, then take the shot, because servo mode doesn't lock focus.

So what AF mode should I use if the subject is currently stationary but might potentially move (e.g. a squirrel on a tree limb)? I always thought focusing in AI servo then releasing would have the same effect as focusing in One-shot, with the added benefit of being able to keep the focus button held down to adjust focus if the subject starts moving. By using AI servo, I wouldn't have to re-press the button to change focus if the subject moves, but I also didn't think I lost anything by using servo on a stationary subject. Or is that what "AI Focus" is for?


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Gear: Canon 60D / Canon G12 / Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 / Canon 35mm f/2 IS / Canon 85mm f/1.8 / Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 / Speedlite 430 EXII / Slik 700DX legs / Cullmann MB6 head

  
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ceegee
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Jan 30, 2014 18:53 |  #25

jt354 wrote in post #16651124 (external link)
So what AF mode should I use if the subject is currently stationary but might potentially move (e.g. a squirrel on a tree limb)? I always thought focusing in AI servo then releasing would have the same effect as focusing in One-shot, with the added benefit of being able to keep the focus button held down to adjust focus if the subject starts moving. By using AI servo, I wouldn't have to re-press the button to change focus if the subject moves, but I also didn't think I lost anything by using servo on a stationary subject. Or is that what "AI Focus" is for?

You can use AI servo for stationary subjects, provided you hold down the focus button all the time. In AI servo, focus never locks, so if you release the button you simply lose focus; it doesn't function in the same way as one-shot. If your subject might move, it's better to use AI servo than one-shot. Just hold the focus button down all the time; don't release it. If you keep your focus point on your subject, and hold the focus button down all the time, you should maintain good focus even if the subject moves.

In AI servo, remember that if your focus point moves off the subject, then so will your focus. For example, if the squirrel runs behind a branch, the camera will focus temporarily on the branch, until you get your focus point back onto the squirrel.

AI focus is theoretically made for situations where a stationary subject might move, but it's not as good as AI servo.

I do a lot of dog photography, and for outdoor sessions I almost always use AI servo.


Gear: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4, Canon 24-105L f4, Canon 70-300L, Canon 60 macro f/2.8, Speedlite 580 EXII, 2x AB800

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Lbsimon
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Jan 30, 2014 22:04 |  #26

jt354 wrote in post #16650880 (external link)
Went out to the park today and shot a few photos of my dog, squirrels, birds, etc. Used back button focus on One-shot, VC off for the most part, f/5.6 and ISO between 400 and 800 (cloudy day). The photos came out better in general, though a number of them were back-focused. I think some of those can be attributed to the subject running towards me and the 60D's mediocre predictive AF. I also shot some newsprint using a tripod as Ralph suggested, looked spot on to me. I wonder if the VC mechanism is defective? Anyone have experience with Tamron warranty service?

Tamron warranty service is outstanding. I had my 70-300 sent to them three times, until I figured the issue was with the camera rather than with the lens. Very fast, free shipping, immediate attention. The third time it was the VP who worked on the lens, they wanted to make me happy.




  
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Ralph ­ III
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Jan 31, 2014 00:10 |  #27

EOS5DC wrote in post #16648501 (external link)
I disagree with Ralph. That first shot is bad because the camera or VC was moving when the shutter was open. It may or may not have been perfectly focused...

Well I disagree with your disagreeing with me! :)

***Seriously though***

1) I don't see any motion blur in that first image whatsoever. Look at ANY edge within that image, they are all crisp! In particular, look at the tree edges and the outline of the squirrels eyes. Those edges are very sharp with absolutely no bleed over from other objects. That wouldn't be the case with "motion blur". You'd have very wide, maybe multiple edges, with bleed over (blending) of all objects edges.

In fact, his technique and the VC seem to have done a very good job given it was hand held at 300mm.

IMHO, the issue is simply an issue of missed focus due to setup (Al Servo).

2) Now look at the second image of the squirrel. The squirrel still isn't in perfect focus!

The limb in front of the squirrel is actually in better focus and you cannot blame that on "motion blur" or a "VC" issue. He again has simply missed his focus point and most likely due to setup.


God Bless,
Ralph


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clarnibass
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Jan 31, 2014 00:33 |  #28

jt354 wrote in post #16651124 (external link)
I always thought focusing in AI servo then releasing would have the same effect as focusing in One-shot, with the added benefit of being able to keep the focus button held down to adjust focus if the subject starts moving. By using AI servo, I wouldn't have to re-press the button to change focus if the subject moves, but I also didn't think I lost anything by using servo on a stationary subject. Or is that what "AI Focus" is for?

Basically yes, using the Servo means you can AF, then let go of the AF button, to use it essentially as 1-shot AF. This is to avoid slight changes to focus if you see you have the focus you want, as opposed to keeping the button pressed, which means focus can keep changing slightly.
You can keep the button pressed, or re-press the button, to focus on the moving target.

If you got some back focused photos of a dog running or even walking towards you, that's completely normal. It is extremely rare to get 100% focused photos even for a walking dog and even with a much faster lens than this one. It's a relatively small aperture lens (more at the long end, which I assume you used?) and the AF, although not especially slow, is not very fast. This means a likely higher % of out of focus photos of moving targets than with a faster AF lens (e.g. the 300mm f/4 or f/2.8 primes).
In short a % (even a high %) of out of focus photos in this situation is normal.

I just thought of a couple of other possiblities.

If you used AF like you described before, with the back button and then letting go, then taking the photo...
Depending on camera, lens and maybe mode, the back button AF usually doesn't activate the VC. Maybe it's possible that by focusing, then activating VC ruins the focus? I have no idea and it's likely that ti doesn't, but maybe it's a possibility?

Another thing is (maybe more likely), the VC needs a (short) moment to work. If you AF using the shutter button then most of the time the VC is already working by the time the lens has focused, so no issue most of the time.
Maybe you are presing the shutter button to take the photo and the VC doesn't have enough time to work, causing the issue?

By the way I now see that I had to scroll and missed the squirl in the second photo. It is obvious that both focus and shutter/VC was good in that photo. The camera/lens can't automatically focus on the squirl through the more contrasty branches, so it chose them as the best contrast in the AF area and focused on them. If you used Servo it's possible that some of the time the focus was on the squirl.


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Ralph ­ III
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Jan 31, 2014 01:36 |  #29

jt354 wrote in post #16650880 (external link)
Went out to the park today and shot a few photos of my dog, squirrels, birds, etc. Used back button focus on One-shot, VC off for the most part, f/5.6 and ISO between 400 and 800 (cloudy day). The photos came out better in general, though a number of them were back-focused. I think some of those can be attributed to the subject running towards me and the 60D's mediocre predictive AF. I also shot some newsprint using a tripod as Ralph suggested, looked spot on to me. I wonder if the VC mechanism is defective? Anyone have experience with Tamron warranty service?

JT354. You're simply frustrating yourself and determined the lens is at fault when everything you've done thus far to me, suggests user error!

1) I realize you tested for front/back focus issues but that was a much lesser concern. You're primary goal should have been to simply insure the lens was focusing properly with use of a stationary object. Did you test such while using VC handheld? Did you test such while mounted on a tripod with VC off?

You did say your lens was "spot on" with the front/back focus test though and that is good. However, you need to test focus at different zoom ranges.

2) Why did you take images without use of your VC in the park? You then inquire whether you have a "VC" issue?

Again, all this seems to be user error and a lack of understanding.

a) Al Servo works great, as long as your subject can easily be isolated and tracked. A small squirrel in and amongst limbs, with questionable contrast, may prove difficult for this setup. On the other hand, Al Servo or Al Focus would be preferable for a dog in an open yard or park.

b) One Shot is best for stationary objects but it can be useful in other situations as well....

I most often used One Shot for tennis because you cannot re-compose between Doubles Players, as it will focus on the background. It's fine for Singles Players but even then you can have a few issues. Mostly, I'm a tennis player as well so my timing in getting any particular shot is impeccable. One Shot allowed me to get the highest percentage of sharp images, for various reasons, and that was the technique I developed.

Ex) I know most tennis players will slow and split step for a volley. Just as they do such I focus (face/head) and then get the volley shot. Whereas, Al Servo might have picked up on the racket or body movement as they made the shot, resulting in focus issues.

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

*If your subject is constantly moving but easily tractable, then then use Al Servo or Al Focus.

*If your subject is primarily stationary or minimal movement, then use One Shot mode or Al Focus.

*Always use your VC unless mounted on a Tripod or shooting at extreme high shutters. I will clarify the latter in the next post...

God Bless,
Ralph


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Ralph ­ III
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Jan 31, 2014 09:00 |  #30

spur wrote in post #16650506 (external link)
One very good reason to use VC above 750, 1000 or any other # you pull out of your hat is that it holds the image in the view finder steady so you can get the composition you want. Otherwise the image in the view finder is jumping around. I don't consider that a waste of battery, battery power is the least of my concerns when out shooting.

You're absolutely correct Spur! I was making a statement in regards to using IS on a tripod though.

I did state it wasn't much good above 1/1000 but you left off my qualifying statement which was "...My rule was 1/1000 of a second btw, but it all depends on technique..."

So let me clarify: IS serves no purpose with higher shutter speeds (1/1000 +) because the fast shutter speed is going to "freeze" or "stop" any minor shake anyhow. It does however have the single benefit of steadying the subject in the viewfinder as you correctly note.

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

Again, it all depends on technique and what you're shooting because it can also be a detriment.

I always turned the IS "off" on my Tamron 70-300 di VC when shooting at high shutter speeds and tennis tournaments, which is what I mostly used it for, for several reasons.

1) It was a waste of power and that was something to be concerned with when taking a 1,000 photos or more each day of a tournament, with a tight schedule.

2) The Tamron 70-300 di VC was awesome but it takes a second to "lock in" when initially activated. That can cause missed shots with constant re-composing as I did for tennis. This wasn't an issue with my Canon 15-85mm because it is faster and didn't have the lock-in "jerk" as the Tammy.

3) I relied on technique or a monopod in keeping my subject steady in the viewfinder, so that wasn't an issue with tennis.


I do however use VC or IS in most other instances, no matter the shutter speed, because it is invaluable.


Take care,
Ralph


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