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Messages - justsomedude

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EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: June 13, 2011, 03:42:43 PM »
After experiencing various AF problems with my Tokina 11-16mm, I finally sent it in to THK Photo Products (Tokina's US servicer) in California for service/repair.  It looks like Tokina is quasi-acknowledging a compatibility issue with the 11-16mm lens and the 7D.  Here is the first response I received from the THK service representative in my email correspondence with him on June 13, 2011:

Quote from: THK Photo Products
In regards to the Tokina 11-16mm lens you sent in for repair, my technician has informed me that it was necessary to send your lens back to the factory in Japan.

We can offer you a replacement lens or arrange for a refund from the place of purchase.

After replying that I would love a replacement (as I truly love the lens), I asked the service rep if a replacement would definitely solve my problem - as I would like to avoid a repeat of the same AF issue.  Here is his response:

Quote from: THK Photo Products
Japan has found that when using this lens on the 7D, it works best when used in the Center Focus Mode. In the 19 point AF mode, the camera will automatically focus in on what ever is nearest in the frame, and this can cause soft images., However, when using the Center Focus Mode, the camera will focus in of the center of the subject without any problem.

We will replace the lens for you immediately.

However, it is not clear why my original lens would have to be sent back to Japan, unless there is some type of update required on earlier models of the 11-16mm to make it compatible with Center Focus Mode on the 7D.

Anyway, it looks like this should solve my OOF problems, and I'm looking forward to receiving the replacement lens (even if it means I can't use the other focus points).  I do love the Tokina 11-16mm, and am glad THK was prompt and responsive to my service request.

Hopefully others will find this information useful.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: June 04, 2011, 01:10:05 AM »
Nice shot. How'd you light it?

Thanks unfocused! 

This shot was lit with two off-camera speedlights triggered by the cheapie Yongnuo RF602 radio triggers

The main light was a Canon 580exII bounced off a white umbrella.  It was located just above and behind the camera position, about 4' off the gym floor.  The umbrella was angled at an approximate 45-degree down angle and aimed directly at the kettlebell/hand area. 

The side light was a Vivitar 285HV gelled red using the old DIY credit card gel holder trick (which only works on the Vivitars).  The speedlight was 90-degrees off the camera position, about five feet to the left of the kettlebell.  It was mounted on the Yongnuo radio shoe, which was attached to a Gorilla pod.   The flash head was no more than 18" off the floor, and aimed directly at the kettlebell - or just five-to-ten degrees to its left (into the image).

Sorry, but I don't remember the power settings on the speedlights.  I need to start taking better notes of my setups.  :/ 

Here's a graphical depiction:

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: June 03, 2011, 12:32:13 PM »
Cool. I would love to see the new results. :)

As promised, I'm posting a follow-up shot from my 7D with a 50mm f/1.8 lens after returning from Canon service.  Focus point was on the vertical part of the kettlebell handle, and auto-focus was used.  The hand and handle are all damn sharp.  This was shot at f/5 - in hindsight I should've stopped it down more to get the entire kettlebell in the DOF.  Oh well.  100ISO, with a very tiny amount of USM applied in post.

click for full-res

Sorry for the watermarks, but since I'm selling it as a stock image, I have to limit useage.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 24, 2011, 02:03:37 PM »
Thanks for the replies Neuro and Awin.  I have a few projects in the coming days, maybe I'll post up the results... in happier threads.


EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 24, 2011, 01:28:56 PM »
I've spent time thinking about your striping issue (banding) and since it's in a particular area, I would hate to think it's a bad sensor... I know they issued (a while ago) a firmware update that dealed with some banding issues, however if you have a fully up to date firmware, then I dont want to do the disservice and make suggestions without really looking at the camera and knowing the situation first hand. 

Fingers crossed and give us updates as you get your camera back.


Here is my latest, and hopefully final, post on this issue.  The 7D and 50mm arrived back from Canon yesterday, and both are performing well.  A few notes...

1) The 7D was reported to be totally within specification.  However, Canon did note in the service list that "electrical adjustments" were performed on the sensor.  In my first round of tests, the bright vertical band is totally gone.  So whatever the "electrical adjustments" were, it appears to have solved the problem.  I don't know how it can be "within spec" yet warrant "electrical adjustments", but whatever, it's working - so I'm not going to bitch about their reporting details.

2) Since the 7D was JUST in for the AF issue a month ago, I decided to send along my worst Canon performer for this round of service - the 50mm.  It turns out the AF board IN the lens was fried.  Canon replaced it free of charge.

3) As of now, all of my Canon lenses focus very well with my 7D, and I am now a very happy 7D owner.  The Tokina AF is still atrocious, and I have just packaged it for a trip out to THK in California.

This AF board issue leads me to wonder - am I frying my AF boards as a function of my own usage procedures?  I realize that it is considered VERY bad practice to swap lenses with a camera body powered ON.  However, the primary concerns with swapping a lens with a body in the ON position is attracting dust on a positively charged sensor (at least from what I could find).  The second biggest concern I could find through my searching seems to be limited reports of frying IS systems on high end IS lenses.  The least reported issue is frying an AF board (I actually found no reports of this issue due to hot-swapping lenses, so I guess I'm reporting it now). 

I know I am not the most diligent at turning OFF my body when swapping lenses, but I am thinking I may have fried the AF boards of my Tokina and 50mm by swapping my lenses out improperly.  What are your thoughts on this?

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 18, 2011, 07:05:22 PM »

Canon has had my 7D exactly one week, and I have not yet received a service update from them.  I actually see this as a good sign, because when they did their (in)famous "electrical adjustments to the AF assembly", the entire process - door to door - was ten days.  The fact that they've had it a week already indicates to me that they must be doing some serious work and/or investigating.  In my past dealings with their Irvine service facility, this is the longest I've gone without getting some type of automatic email update. 

Fingers crossed that they are working to get her in tip top shape!

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 16, 2011, 03:08:46 PM »
I see that the 2 images were taken with the 70-200 2.8... Does this banding show up in every picture with every lens in the same location?  OR, does it come up in a certain lens combination?  That's an interesting phenomenon.

So far I've only seen it with the 70-200, but then again, I haven't looked through enough photos yet to be sure.  Also, it's inconsistent even with the 70-200, and only appears with certain types of lighting.  Odd.  I'll dig some more into my archives and see what I can find.

Take a look to see if you can see it on any other images on other lenses... perhaps it could be a light leak with the lens but if it is with other lenses, then it could be with the sensor...

Boom... there it is with the 50mm.  Didn't take much searching in my 7D test archive to find one either.   Note, exposure and contrast have been modified to make the "band" stand out more. 

I'm finding that it's most obvious in any image that has consistent exposure (meaning little detail) along the right side of the frame.  So anything with sky, clouds, or as in this case a uniform wall, it becomes very apparent. 

Man, I just have to laugh at this point.  I really have no idea WTF is going on with Canon QC.  At this point I'm ready to just dropkick this 7D out the window, take the insurance money, and get a 5D.  This is getting f*cking ridiculous.  Although if I were smart, I'd learn my lesson and go to Nikon.  Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment.  :P

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 16, 2011, 12:08:08 PM »
I see that the 2 images were taken with the 70-200 2.8... Does this banding show up in every picture with every lens in the same location?  OR, does it come up in a certain lens combination?  That's an interesting phenomenon.

So far I've only seen it with the 70-200, but then again, I haven't looked through enough photos yet to be sure.  Also, it's inconsistent even with the 70-200, and only appears with certain types of lighting.  Odd.  I'll dig some more into my archives and see what I can find.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 16, 2011, 11:28:04 AM »
justsomedude... Just thinking about your tokina situation... The general rule of thumb has been, with 3rd party lenses, to go to camera stores and test several versions of the lens to get the sharpest because QC and repairs would be so troublesome, however in the terms of camera upgrade that gets thrown out of the water since it's pairing with a new camera. 

Awin and Neuro - thanks for the responses.  I don't think I'm going to kill myself over the Tokina clarity, it's just not worth it.  Once I get the 7D back and (hopefully) all my lenses check out OK, I'll give the Tokina one more visit to THK service.  If that doesn't fix it, off to the auction block she goes... maybe for a canon 17-55 EF-S, we'll see.

But one last item of concern:  what are your thoughts on the vertical "light" band I've been finding in some of my images (I forgot to mention it before)?   (warning - 51 MB file!)   (warning - 51 MB file!)

This is almost more troublesome than the damn focus issues!

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 15, 2011, 04:11:43 PM »

I've carefully examined all your examples and apart from random sharpness variations which I'd suggest are caused by hand holding the camera, they all seem reasonable. Certainly I have worse examples shot using Canon "L" glass handheld. It does not take much to just take that edge off. The only one I'd have reshot immediately would be the gym shot. 

Thanks for the critique, motorhead - it is much appreciated.  Although how can camera shake be entering in as a factor at 1/6400 of a second shutter speed (as was used in the pay phone photos)?  Also, every Tokina image was with a tripod - and the interior ones all used a remote shutter release cable.  You really would not have re-shot this one - where the focus point was the microwave clock?  >   To me that seems unacceptably blurred.  Sh*t, I can't even read the time on the clock.  But maybe my expectations of sharpness are too high? 

The bulk of my frustration is mainly coming from the change in performance from 40D to the 7D.  I even went back to my older Lightroom imports and found that I had far better consistency with focus shot-to-shot on the 40D with the same lenses than the 7D.  Perhaps I'm just seeing more "faults" due to the pixel density of the 7D? If that's the case, I guess I can learn to live with it.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 15, 2011, 01:39:20 PM »
Regarding the 11-16 tokina... dont get me wrong, i used to love tokina's... That was one of my favorite lenses out of college because they offered lenses I could afford on ebay with a small budget, especially on the wide end.  I haven't played with the lens you got so i cant speak for it, however you said you had great photos with it with the 40D and now you cant with the 7D?  While I doubt canon would be willing to adjust the tokina to meet the cameras sensor for optimum focus, that's a tough one.  If MA doesn't work for you... well lets put a hypothetical out there... is the OOF consistant...  Lets say you shot a similar scene over and over and over with that lens, is the area in focus (that you were intending to be OOF) is that scene consistantly in focus meaning the AF is working properly however with the combination of the sensor and the lens, it is outside the range of MA allotment?  Or is it sometimes front focusing, sometimes backfocusing, just all over the place?  I guess that would be the first place I'd check is the see the consistency of the focus issue.  In that case, i would have to say perhaps there is a possible fix...  If not and it's all over the place, I would have to say it's a compatibility issue. 

I hope to hear back from you regarding your issues.

Awin, thanks again for the detailed reply - your patience and help is MUCH appreciated.

So, some more detail...  the 50mm is the cheapie 1.8 (yes, I'm on a budget).  But even with that said, I really wouldn't expect such glaring inconsistencies in sequential photos.  Check the following full resolution samples (and note, all three are sequence photos, with a good pause between shots for reacquiring focus)...

These are all handheld images, One Shot focus, single shot "sequence" mode, with manually selected single point of focus (center point).  On the microwave images, the vertical black/white edge of the clock/panel was used as contrast line for focusing.  One could argue the slow-shutter speed was the problem, but the exact same issue appeared moments later when I took photos of a pay phone outside my window at blazing fast shutter speeds.  On the pay phone images, the text of the word "phone" in the pay phone booth was the area used for focus.  The lens is wide open on all shots where (yes, I know) the 1.8 performs poorest with "sharpness."  Still, this level of inconsistency seems outside the realm of "normal performance" for me.  Heck, if this IS indeed "normal" for the cheapie 1.8, please let me know, and maybe I just need to drop the dollar on the 1.4.  Thoughts?  Metadata is unedited and available if you choose to download the images.  Also - these exact images were sent to Canon on CD with the current service visit.

Now, on to the Tokina.  The performance actually IS somewhat front-focus consistent.  At 0-MF, the lens bumps infinity up a little bit, throwing everything beyond 4'-5' out of focus.  Everything within that distance is tack sharp.  Manual focus at infinity allows proper focus to be achieved.  Furthermore, adjusting MF to +20 seems to help... somewhat.  Performance is vastly improved with center-point focus, but the outer points are still bonkers.  Infinity focus is achieved for that center point (somewhat) consistently, which leads me to believe the Tokina is possibly outside the MF range.  Is this fixable?  Yet, the issue with the outer points leads me to believe a possible lens ID issue might also be at play.  Tokina samples are available at the same link above.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 15, 2011, 12:08:54 AM »
I dont know what happened since we last posted, however if you need to send equipment in to make sure it's fully up to par with Canon, great... however after that point, it may not be an equipment problem but a user problem if it still exists. ...As i've said in other posts, if you or anyone have questions, feel free to ask and or email me before giving up on a camera which may or may not be the problem.

Thanks for the detailed response Awin.  If my post seemed to be exuding frustration, it's because it was.  :)  I've just seen enough of the "you-just-don't-understand-the-ultra-advanced-7D-to-use-it-properly" comments strewn about the internet on this issue, and I have little to no patience for them; regardless of how "helpful" the poster's intent may be. With respect to additional details, I've sent the body back twice now.  The first service resulted in no change, while the second trip proved to establish consistent and tack sharp focus with my 2 kit lenses (28-135 and 18-55) and my L series 70-200 f/2.8 II. 

Curiously, the problems remain with my 50mm.  MF adjustments fix the problem, but, and this is where it gets really weird, for only a short period of time.  After a random time period (sometimes a few minutes, a few hours, or even a few days), the focus goes bonkers again.  I explained this to the Canon service tech., and he was baffled.  Now, both my 50mm and the 7D are at Canon Irvine (at this very moment) to try to get to the bottom of this.

The saddest  situation, however, is my Tokina 11-16mm.  No type of MF adjustments can fix this baby.  When paired with the 7D it is just a total nightmare.  Focus is sometimes spot on, and then sometimes totally out the window.  There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to if/when/where it will focus, and it's driven me to madness.  Selected points will "lock" focus with 100% consistency, it's just that the resultant photo is rarely actually "focused" (a total mish-mash of front/back focus).  After a visit to THK service in California, the lens returned with a note saying "no work required - meets all manufacturer specifications."  I even called and got to speak with a Tokina tech. directly who said the 11-16mm should have no issue pairing with the 7D.  I've sent this letter/info on to Canon with its latest service, but not the lens, since I'm sure they won't touch non-Canon lenses.  This is the same 11-16 that performed flawlessly on my 40D.  So, to me, this seems very very bizarre.

Anyway - that's where I'm at.  3 of 5 lenses are now great.  50mm is so-so, but unreliable enough to be useless on paid gigs.  Tokina 11-16mm is totally useless, and will probably be sold if there are no improvements after the latest 7D service visit. 

However, I am more hopeful now than I have been regarding my future with this body.  A recent shoot at a nearby racetrack with my 70-200 has really boosted my spirits.  Even at 160th with AIservo and panning, she grabbed focus superbly.   >>

Hopefully, all gets corrected in time.  I'm not bailing on Canon, or this body, just yet.  I'll keep you posted.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 13, 2011, 12:53:10 PM »
It's unfortunate to see this thread go down the similar path as those over at, which is an attitude of condescension and arrogance to those who complain of soft focus.  I'm truly amazed when I see posts pointing the blame at users who "haven't learned" how to use their 7D properly, "haven't read the manual", or are just simply too stupid for a "beast" such as the 7D after starting on a Rebel.  But when guys like Darwin Wiggett are reporting the exact same issue, it's hard for me to believe that he's a retard who has no idea how to use a camera.

This type of approach to users who clearly have repeatable problems with auto-focus is not only unhelpful, but says far more about those who are unable to provide legitimate advice, than those complaining of OOF images.  You get great images on your 7D?  Great, that doesn't mean everyone else with an AF problem is a moron. 

Tripod Focus Test, with remote shutter release >>  (note:  I never - ever - had this problem on my 40D).
Sample Gallery >>  (note:  Almost every image is focused on baby's eyelid, yet every image is clearly front focused 2-3 inches - especially at full res.  I used excessive clarity adjustments in some instances to try and hide the poor focus)

I have used a 10D, then a 40D, before ultimately upgrading to my 7D.  Never in my experience with digital cameras have I ever had to deal with so many non-keepers than I have with my 7D.  I shoot 99% of the time in full manual, custom preset, or aperture priority mode.  The bulk of my images are One Shot focus in the single shot shooting mode, with a manually selected single point of focus used (I just don't like the zone modes).  My 10D and 40D made tack sharp images using this approach, yet applying the same method to the 7D yields atrocious keeper rates.

I'd really be amazed that Canon would release a product that is so advanced that it takes a special person to learn how to use it.  That is simply a poor business model to implement.  "Yeah, we know most manufacturers sell products where you can open a camera box, put on a lens, select a manual focus point and shoot a sharp image - but - NAAAAH... we would NEVER want our camera to do THAT!"  I mean, do you really want me to believe that "typical" use of the 7D SHOULDN'T yield good results?  Come on.

PS:  I have a slew of sequential images that I submitted to Canon with my latest return to service.  Focus is all over the map in sequences of 6-8 shots, even with selected focus point on exact same subjcet - exact same distance from lens.  I'll post them when I get home tonight for review/comment.

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D focusing question??
« on: May 12, 2011, 05:41:16 PM »
The only thing I am concerned is sometimes it focuses great sometimes not. And then, I have to yet to get sharpest of images like I see on flickr or other forums with the same gear/settings.

Welcome to the world of the 7D.  See my post here.  And these articles here, and here, and here, and here.   Then cry when you realize you're outside of your return window.  But there's always warranty service if you want to start down that road.

Best of luck on your search for 7D sharp focus. 


EOS Bodies / Re: 7D Firmware 1.2.5 Posted Again
« on: May 12, 2011, 01:43:51 PM »
My 7D body arrived at Canon Irvine facility this morning at 10:22 am for another round of service.  I'll post up next week after I get her back.  Hopefully I'll have good news to report.

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