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Messages - MSP

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I've owned both the Canon 1.4x II and 1.4x III extenders and there's virtually no difference in IQ. If you don't plan on buying a new generation super telephoto lens in the foreseeable future then find a used version II for around $200. At around half of the version III's price it's a much better bang for your buck and fairly easy to resell if you ever decide to upgrade.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: EF 400 f/4 DO IS II
« on: April 15, 2013, 01:19:41 AM »
Around $2k more than the current model sounds about right. I think there's a solid market for an updated version with the new 3 mode IS system IF they can improve the IQ, especially the bokeh. The images I've seen from the 400 DO are crisp where they're focused but have a strange, choppy bokeh, kind like the OOF areas when using a 2x extender. A 4lb, 400mm f4 with big white IQ and updated IS would be a sweet lens for a traveling sports/wildlife photographer.

$2398 on B & H for the 6D + 24-105 + 70-300.  So the question is, is the 70-300 worth $200?  I have plans to buy either the 70-200 F4 IS or 70-300L.  I might just do this deal and re-sell the 70-300 non L.  It'll depend on how Amazon handles it, since I bought the kit for $2329 a week ago.

You can probably get between $300-$350 on CraigsList for the non-L 70-300 IS depending on your local market. You might get a bit more on FM or eBay if it's new and unopened. There are a lot of them for sale but if you're patient it'll get you at least $300. I can't speak to how good of a lens it is since I've never actually taken one out of the box. I'll stick with a 70-200 + extenders.

Technical Support / Re: Possible 7D Autofocus Issues
« on: March 09, 2013, 03:21:55 AM »
I've had the new 7D for a couple of weeks now and after firing off around 1400 shots, I'm MUCH happier with the AF performance. It doesn't magically hit focus 100% of the time but it's performing as well as I expect a $1000 body to perform. Most of the misses can be explained by something I did wrong, poor contrast or being just a difficult situation for AF. The other 7D body just seemed erratic, missed focus on a high percentage of shots and just didn't feel right. What threw me off was the inconsistency of the issues. In the end, I'm glad I exchanged it and feel like the 7D I have now is now a reliable camera. Thanks everyone for your input.

I'm attaching a few shots from the new body. The first two were taken with a 70-200 2.8 IS II + 1.4x II and the other two were with the 70-200 + 2x III (IIRC). They're all cropped to some degree.

Technical Support / Re: Possible 7D Autofocus Issues
« on: February 10, 2013, 11:29:10 PM »
@Neuro - I used an oil painting of a landscape on a white wall for test 1 of my posted results (it has varied light/dark colors and the lens didn't struggle to lock focus). I also did a comparison with the 35mm 1.4 and the 50mm 1.8 with a cardboard package from 3M sandpaper. I'll attach a few pictures showing what I'm considering OOF and sharp(ish). It may not be the greatest test but I'm getting AF miss rates similar to my subjective experiences when taking non-test photos. EXIF data should be intact on the cropped images.

After the initial tests that I posted, but before doing the 35mm and 50mm comparison test, I reset everything possible on the camera. I pulled out both batteries (C1616 and LP-E6) for about an hour, cleared all custom functions, reset all camera settings, etc. If there's a specific way to do a full factory reset I'd like to know how. The test results were about the same with AF missing badly 60-80% of the shots.

I've decided to exchange the body for a new one rather than send it to Canon. The AF seems off with all of my lenses but not consistent enough to fix with AFMA (although I confess I haven't tried).

Thanks everyone for your help. This is a great forum.

Technical Support / Re: Possible 7D Autofocus Issues
« on: February 10, 2013, 07:12:42 PM »
Thank you all for the quick responses.

@DCM1024 - I almost always use Single-Point AF or Spot AF in One-Shot mode. I occasionally switch to AI Servo but I expect more misses with a moving subject so I'm focusing on One-Shot AF issues here (no pun intended). Besides the AF modes, are there any specific settings that you've found significantly alter your AF hit/miss percentages with still subjects? I've gone through all of the camera's settings including the Custom Functions and don't see anything that would result in the AF inconsistencies I'm experiencing.

@Mt Spokane - I've definitely had some blurry shots that I can attribute to camera shake and/or shutter speeds that are too low but I think I can differentiate those from AF misses fairly well. There's definitely a bit of an adjustment with the 10MP jump that requires better technique but after doing the test you recommended I'm leaning towards returning/exchanging the camera. Results are below.

@CharlieB - I'm glad you got your camera working well. Your problem sounds a lot like what I'm struggling with. I haven't found that any specific lens is worse than the others, they're all inconsistent.

Here are the results of my tests (w/35mm @f1.4, Shutter >1/100,  ~15 feet from the wall on a solid tripod using a shutter release cable):

Test 1:

Tack sharp: 1/10
Fairly sharp: 1/10
Slightly OOF: 2/10
Significantly OOF: 6/10

Test 2:

Tack sharp: 1/10
Fairly sharp: 4/10
Slightly OOF: 4/10
Significantly OOF: 1/10

Test 3:

Tack sharp: 0/10
Fairly sharp: 4/10
Slightly OOF: 2/10
Significantly OOF: 4/10

In total around 11/30 images were in focus, without being extremely critical. I would only consider 2/30 images tack sharp. Some the images that are OOF aren't even in the neighborhood of the focal point. A 37% AF hit rate while shooting on a tripod with a shutter release cable isn't acceptable to me for a $1000 body.


Technical Support / Possible 7D Autofocus Issues
« on: February 09, 2013, 09:20:00 PM »

This is my first post but I've checked out the CR many times and seen some high quality advice and insights so I'm hoping that some experienced 7D users can help me out.

My experience: I learned to shoot on a fully manual Minolta with a 50mm f1.7 over fifteen years ago and I've been shooting with a 30D for the last five years, maybe longer. I bought the 7D in mid-January 2013 and I've watched several hours of video tutorials, read some 3rd party books and read up on the AF system and custom functions to fill in any knowledge gaps from the 30D to 7D jump. In total I've taken around a thousand shots with the 7D (not a lot really, it's been a slow month with a lot of cold days...).

The problem: The 7D AF system that I've heard so many good things about has been utterly disappointing. I'm missing focus at least 75% of the time on still subjects and slow moving subjects that my 30D never struggled with. I haven't used AI Servo enough to judge whether it performs any better or worse than One Shot focus. The problem has been consistently inconsistent so I haven't been able to tweak the AFMA to compensate. I mainly use Single Point AF and Spot AF and will lock focus but then end up with blurry subjects even with good lighting and good contrast. There doesn't seem to be a consistent back or front focus, it just seems to randomly miss, often to a large degree. To be clear I'm not focusing and recomposing with a shallow DOF causing the focal plane to shift; the misses are happening even with smaller apertures. I've also had issues with AF "hunting" for several seconds when lighting is adequate (minimal focal distance and settings haven't been the issue, and it has happened with CFn III-4/Focus Search turned on and off). I've switched between full manual, shutter priority and aperture priority and the AF misses have happened regardless of what mode I'm in and what lens I'm using. The AF has been poor when shooting handheld, on a tripod and with a monopod. I mainly shoot with a 35mm f1.4L and 70-200mm f2.8L IS II but I have a 50mm f1.8 and 180mm f3.5L that have also had AF issues with the 7D (I don't count the AF hunting on the 180mm as a problem since that can happen with any body). I find it hard to believe that the lenses are the problem, they all seem fine on the 30D.

So now I can't help but wonder if I'm just lacking good technique (not impossible), if the AF on my new 7D isn't working correctly, if there's a setting I'm missing somewhere that could be the culprit or if my expectations are just too high. I can post my Custom Function settings if it's necessary but I've reviewed each and every one of them and can't imagine they're causing the AF to miss focus like it is. I've tried different combinations of shutter speeds (particularly with the 70-200mm), apertures and ISO/exposure settings and can't find any rhyme or reason as to why the focus works when it works or why it misses as it does most of the time.

One more bit worth noting is that the AF point appears in the correct place when reviewing photos, so it is registering and supposedly locking focus on that point. Also worth noting is that I can still return or exchange the camera within the next week.

Is my miss rate typical? Do I suck at focusing? Is this camera a lemon? Is the AF this inconsistent with most 7D's? Should I exchange it? Should I get a refund and go back to the 30D? Should I get a refund and drop the extra coin for a 5D Mark III?

Any advice would be appreciated. Just ask if you want and additional or more specific info. Thanks!

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