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Thread started 30 Dec 2011 (Friday) 02:25
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7D Focusing Questions

 
snowblower
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Dec 30, 2011 02:25 |  #1

I am seeking advice concerning issues I have been experiencing with my 7D and the auto-focusing system. I have had the camera for a little more than a year (has been fantastic) but recently for some unknown reason the majority of pictures I took were out of focus. About three weeks ago I sent the camera and one of the lenses (24-70 2.8f) to Canon in Irvine, CA. for repairs. The repair center sent my equipment back which cost me a couple hundred to fix the camera (out of warranty). The repair center also performed some major repairs to the lens (changed the motor, etc.) which thank goodness was still under warranty. When I received it back from Canon the focusing issue appeared to be worse than it was when it was originally sent in for repairs.

I am not a poster on this forum but do visit frequently as it provides great information. I reviewed several threads and came to the conclusion that I needed to try testing my lenses on another camera and also attempt to microfocus/calibrate these lenses with my 7D before I contacted Canon about the issues I was still experiencing. A co-worker has a brand new 60D which I used to test two of my lenses. The testing was performed with a tripod, IS off, handheld remote to activate the shutter, bla…bla…bla. Bottom line was the 24-70 and the 70-200 (2.8f IS II USM) were both tack sharp using his 60D. It was obvious that neither lens has focusing issues.

The next thing I did was to take my 7D with the same two lenses and performed similar tests to the ones I performed with the 60D (using tripod, etc.). After I performed the standard tests (majority of the shots were blurry) I also tried using “live view”, turned off the autofocus on each lens (along with IS) and proceeded to focus manually. The photos for both lenses in live view were slightly blurry at 4.5f with a shutter speed of 1/1250 but when I turned off the live view and used the 7D’s autofocus system the pictures at the same settings were definitely a lot more blurry.

I found a thread on this site that helped me with microfocusing the 7D so I followed this procedure with both lenses. When I finished the calibration, the focusing issues with the camera were substantially better but not fully corrected. It seemed that both lenses from 4.0f and smaller apertures would produce pictures that were sharp and in-focus almost 100% of the time. From 3.5f to 2.8f the pictures begin to degrade and by the time I use the 2.8f setting only about half of what I shot was in focus. The one thing that bothered me about the microfocusing outside of not completely cleaning up the focusing issue was with the final adjustment numbers. It appears the 24-70 is really out of whack compared to the numbers that were stated of what was to be expected in that microfocus thread on this forum. The 70-200 ended up at +2 (very reasonable) but the 24-70 ended up at -18.

So based on this information, here are my questions that hopefully one of you can help me with:

1. Should I expect a little blurriness which I am experiencing at 2.8f with this camera and lenses or should it be just as sharp at 2.8f as I am seeing at 4.0f?

2. Should the microfocusing on the 24-70 be that far off (-18) or do you think there is still something still wrong with the autofocus in the camera?

3. Why would I be able to get a sharper image with manually focusing the camera myself using live view over the autofocus system unless there is something still wrong with the autofocusing system in the camera?

My expectation with the money I paid for this camera and “L” lenses is that my photos should be tack sharp down to 2.8f. Can someone please tell me if my expectations are too high? One last thing is that I also have a 100-400 4.5f – 5.6f and calibrated it too. I didn’t spend nearly as much time with this lens as the two others but the microfocusing adjustment ended up at -7. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks - Mike


Canon 1D-X Mk II | Canon 1D-X | Canon 5DIII |Canon 8-15 F4L Fisheye | Canon 16-35 F2.8L | Canon 24-70 F2.8L II | Canon 35 F1.4L II | Canon 50 F1.2L | Canon 85 F1.2L II | Canon 70-200 F2.8L II IS | Canon 400 f2.8L | Canon 200-400 f4 IS Extender 1.4xL | Canon 800 F5.6L | Speed Light 600 EX II x6

  
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Mashimaro
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Dec 30, 2011 02:44 |  #2

Can you send the 7D back again and not pay for the repair this time around? Sound like it may be a camera issue?

The 24-70 at 2.8 may not be sharp at all focal ranges too.


Canon 5D4 / Sony A7R2 / Leica M240

  
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modchild
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Dec 30, 2011 06:25 |  #3

I would have a word with the repair centre and explain the problem again. I've not got a 24-70 but I do have a 70-200 L f4 and a 24-105 L f4 and a 100 L f2.8 and they are all sharp from wide open on my 7D. I've only ever had blurred photos when I've missed the focus point, or when I've had UV filters on the lenses it seems a bit soft. I've got 6 lenses and 2 cameras and never touched the microadjust for any of them.


EOS 5D MkIII, EOS 70D, EOS 650D, EOS M, Canon 24-70 f2.8L MkII, Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS MkII, Canon 100 f2.8L Macro, Canon 17-40 f4L IS, Canon 24-105 f4L IS, Canon 300 f4L IS, Canon 85 f1.8, Canon 50 f1.4, Canon 40 f2.8 STM, Canon 35 f2, Sigma 150-500 OS, Tamron 18-270 PZD, Tamron 28-300 VC, 580EX II Flash, Nissin Di866 MkII Flash, Sigma EM 140 Macro Flash and other bits.

  
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snyderman
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Dec 30, 2011 08:36 |  #4

Sounds like you've tested the 7D and are still experiencing focus issues. If you feel like trying one more test before sending it back to Canon, here's what I did before sending mine in.

Same setup: Tripod, at least 2-second timer to ensure the camera is stable before actuation. Choose a really high contrast target and tape it to a wall. I chose the back cover of a Golf Digest magazine which was a Titleist golf ball advert. Really sharp text, great color pop with lots of contrast. Tape it to wall and put a lot of light on it making sure no glare is present.

Setup camera at various apertures, a decent shutter speed, (1/160 or better) and at a reasonable distance for each lens. Set tripod to near level height as target you taped to wall. Point camera at image and obtain focus.

Next, you'll want to take a series of five shots of your target using the following method: defocus the lens lens then use the camera's autofocus (centerpoint only and one-shot focus mode) to establish focus. Repeat 4 more times.

Review images. Do you have 5 of 5 in perfect focus? Fewer than 5? All 5 OOF? Are they similarly OOF or randomly focused? If similarly OOF, try the microadjust again. If they are randomly in and out of focus, it's probably time to send your camera to Canon for a look see.

My 7D experienced what I'd call random focus. I listened to everybody here playing the 'user-error' card thinking it was me who couldn't focus the camera. Not so. Mine would focus brilliantly sometimes, but other times it would miss focus by 20' or more shooting HS basketball games! After performing the test above, I couldn't get a series of 5 shots consistently in or out of focus. Always got 1 or more in focus, but never 5 of 5.

Like you, my lenses were all over the place in terms of microadjust numbers. When I got the 7D repaired by Canon, I reset all the lenses to zero microadjust and focus was nearly perfect all the way around. I think my 70-200 f/2.8L stayed at zero, my 85mm f/1.8 at zero, my 50mm f/1.4 at +2 and the 135L same at +2.

If your 7D isn't focusing properly, there is a real good chance you got a copy similar to mine that experienced what I call the 'random focus' issues. Send it to Canon. They corrected mine to the point where my first test shoot upon return from Canon netted 24/25 perfect focuses shots.

Good luck and keep us posted.

dave


Canon 5D2 > 35L-85L-135L

  
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snowblower
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Dec 31, 2011 21:58 |  #5

snyderman wrote in post #13619785 (external link)
Sounds like you've tested the 7D and are still experiencing focus issues. If you feel like trying one more test before sending it back to Canon, here's what I did before sending mine in.

Same setup: Tripod, at least 2-second timer to ensure the camera is stable before actuation. Choose a really high contrast target and tape it to a wall. I chose the back cover of a Golf Digest magazine which was a Titleist golf ball advert. Really sharp text, great color pop with lots of contrast. Tape it to wall and put a lot of light on it making sure no glare is present.

Setup camera at various apertures, a decent shutter speed, (1/160 or better) and at a reasonable distance for each lens. Set tripod to near level height as target you taped to wall. Point camera at image and obtain focus.

Next, you'll want to take a series of five shots of your target using the following method: defocus the lens lens then use the camera's autofocus (centerpoint only and one-shot focus mode) to establish focus. Repeat 4 more times.

Review images. Do you have 5 of 5 in perfect focus? Fewer than 5? All 5 OOF? Are they similarly OOF or randomly focused? If similarly OOF, try the microadjust again. If they are randomly in and out of focus, it's probably time to send your camera to Canon for a look see.

My 7D experienced what I'd call random focus. I listened to everybody here playing the 'user-error' card thinking it was me who couldn't focus the camera. Not so. Mine would focus brilliantly sometimes, but other times it would miss focus by 20' or more shooting HS basketball games! After performing the test above, I couldn't get a series of 5 shots consistently in or out of focus. Always got 1 or more in focus, but never 5 of 5.

Like you, my lenses were all over the place in terms of microadjust numbers. When I got the 7D repaired by Canon, I reset all the lenses to zero microadjust and focus was nearly perfect all the way around. I think my 70-200 f/2.8L stayed at zero, my 85mm f/1.8 at zero, my 50mm f/1.4 at +2 and the 135L same at +2.

If your 7D isn't focusing properly, there is a real good chance you got a copy similar to mine that experienced what I call the 'random focus' issues. Send it to Canon. They corrected mine to the point where my first test shoot upon return from Canon netted 24/25 perfect focuses shots.

Good luck and keep us posted.

dave

Thanks Dave for the advice. I spent the entire day today messing with this and doing the test you suggested here. FYI, 5 of 5 shots ended up being oof @ f2.8. Matter of fact I did the same test on every stop up to f5.6 and had pretty much the same result. I had the same results with both the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and 24-70mm f/2.8. I can’t wait to get this issue resolved and have my 7D working again. It will be on its way to Canon in down in Irvine on Tuesday. I will be relentless until they get it fixed.

Mike


Canon 1D-X Mk II | Canon 1D-X | Canon 5DIII |Canon 8-15 F4L Fisheye | Canon 16-35 F2.8L | Canon 24-70 F2.8L II | Canon 35 F1.4L II | Canon 50 F1.2L | Canon 85 F1.2L II | Canon 70-200 F2.8L II IS | Canon 400 f2.8L | Canon 200-400 f4 IS Extender 1.4xL | Canon 800 F5.6L | Speed Light 600 EX II x6

  
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snyderman
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Dec 31, 2011 22:05 |  #6

snowblower wrote in post #13627627 (external link)
Thanks Dave for the advice. I spent the entire day today messing with this and doing the test you suggested here. FYI, 5 of 5 shots ended up being oof @ f2.8. Matter of fact I did the same test on every stop up to f5.6 and had pretty much the same result. I had the same results with both the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and 24-70mm f/2.8. I can’t wait to get this issue resolved and have my 7D working again. It will be on its way to Canon in down in Irvine on Tuesday. I will be relentless until they get it fixed.

Mike

Mike:

At some point, that's all you CAN do. Honestly, the sooner the better. Mine had a focus issue. Canon corrected it (NJ service center) and it was nothing short of perfect upon return.

Let's hope for a similar outcome on your 7D copy. It's really a great camera body, but some have experienced focus issues.

dave


Canon 5D2 > 35L-85L-135L

  
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kwando
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Dec 31, 2011 23:43 |  #7

Don't have a problem with mine and it was purchased used. I would send it back until they fix it.

Is there a database with 7d's that have focusing issues? Maybe it's a specific date range.


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firefighter4u
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Jan 01, 2012 00:24 |  #8

dave, when you contacted canon, did you just tell them that it had random focus issues? Did you have to send a lens with it? I seem to be experiencing the same problem. I performed a similar test and out of 5 shots, 3 were in focus 2 were not. It can't be all me.....


7D; 450D; Canon 50 1.4; 70-200 2.8L II; Tamron 17-50 2.8; Tamron 18-270 VC; Genesis 200; 430EX; YN 560II
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snyderman
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Jan 01, 2012 08:17 |  #9

firefighter4u wrote in post #13628027 (external link)
dave, when you contacted canon, did you just tell them that it had random focus issues? Did you have to send a lens with it? I seem to be experiencing the same problem. I performed a similar test and out of 5 shots, 3 were in focus 2 were not. It can't be all me.....

Yes. I contacted their customer service people, described the problem, got the ok to send in the camera and also two lenses that I was shooting basketball with at the time, an 85mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.4.

Included a writeup on exactly how I was using the camera and what I was experiencing along with a CD with about 30 images documenting the 'random' focus issues. Some of the shots were tracking a player and shooting 3 frames of a player with one in focus, one of the referee 20' behind the players sort of in focus, and one frame with nothing in focus.

Also provided 3 shots of players lining up to defend a free throw play showing that the focus might land 3' from focus square, maybe nowhere in the frame, or perhaps the scoring table (not really, but more in focus than where the square showed) BEHIND the players.

Camera was a mess. Sent to Canon NJ. Total time from shipping from home to return was only about a week, believe it or not. Canon also paid shipping both ways because the 7D was still in warranty period.

Do all the tests on yours. If it's still not achieving accurate focus consistently, call Canon customer service and see if they'll take a look. There have been several cases documented here where 7Ds experienced similar 'random focus' issues that mine displayed.

dave


Canon 5D2 > 35L-85L-135L

  
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firefighter4u
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Jan 01, 2012 09:43 |  #10

Dave - thanks for the info, you have been help.


7D; 450D; Canon 50 1.4; 70-200 2.8L II; Tamron 17-50 2.8; Tamron 18-270 VC; Genesis 200; 430EX; YN 560II
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