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Author Topic: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?  (Read 13006 times)

FTb-n

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2012, 04:29:58 PM »
Yes, my 70-300 is non-L and maybe closer to the image quality of the OP's 55-250.

I also shoot ISO 2000-3200 for most indoor sports with the 70-200 MkII.  For skating, One Shot isn't enough.  AI Servo is a definate plus.  Noise Ninja does wonders for high ISO noise.  I've been happy with the dynamic range, but then I moved up from an XT.
5D3, 7D | 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 24-105 f4L IS, 35 f2 IS, 17-55 f2.8 IS, 40 f2.8...  |  PowerShot G16, S100

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2012, 04:29:58 PM »

pardus

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2012, 05:08:11 PM »
I am not sure how well the 60D AF works but should be able to take killer shots with that lens. On my 7D and 70-200 2.8L non-IS I get fantastic sports shots. Hand held, even indoors at an ice rink with horrible light at 200mm. I always shoot ai servio, Shutter priority ( 1/500th for movement directly at me or 1/1000 for side movement), outside during the day, you shouldn't have a lack of light and I would keep my iso at 100 and aperture between f2.8 and f8 depending what your shooting.

To figure out if it's you, your camera or your lens. go out to the park, bring a tripod, set your timer to 2 sec and snap some still life shots. Pick an object that is standing out on its own with some depth behind it like a player on a field would have. snap some shots and try your other lens. if that doesn't produce well something is wrong. I always shoot sports hand held and if your over 1/500th I don't think IS would help. make sure you relax when you shoot, take smooth breaths and don't get caught up in the action. Go shoot some kids that aren't yours and worry about getting the shot not if their going to catch the ball or not.

just my 2 cents.
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swampler

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2012, 05:18:46 PM »
Both of those are 1/400 at ISO 100. Crank that ISO up a bit, 1/800 at ISO 200 will be much better, but I'd even go 1/1600 at ISO 400. Won't be a problem with today's cameras.

Act444

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2012, 06:26:00 PM »
Quote
I have also shot figure skating events with the MkII on a 60D and learned that the 60D is a bit lacking in the focus tracking department.  Roughly 20% of my shots were OOF.  With the 7D, less than 5% are OOF.

that's about my experience...I used the same combo for a few skating shows, perhaps about a 70-80% keeper rate at the last show I went to. However, even out of the "keepers", many were not sharp, but remained usable after some PP sharpening in-house. I like to shoot in RAW so I don't fire bursts, but instead try to predict when the skater(s) do moves and time the shot right.

I have to say, though, that exceeded my expectations of the 60D AF. I still missed a few shots, but once I improved my technique a bit (faster shutter speeds, better/longer tracking) I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout. Still, a better AF system would really be nice...I guess I have one now in the 5D, with the caveat of loss of reach...

______________

Regarding the OP's shots, definitely need a faster shutter speed...but even then, it should not be THAT blurry. For sports one really has to use Servo mode, hold the camera firm and track the subject(s) one is interested in shooting. I've learned through experience that typically you can't just pick up the camera, point and shoot and hope for a sharp shot...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 06:30:17 PM by Act444 »

FTb-n

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2012, 08:11:23 PM »
With skating, timing is everything.  I don't rely on burst either.  Burst without timing is a good way to get a bunch of shots of a skater's backside during a spin.

Regarding the OP's focus question, try the Bob Atkins focus test.  If you have access to a second body, try it with both bodies.  If there is a focus issue, two bodies will help determine whether it's the lens or the body.

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/technical/focus_testing.html
5D3, 7D | 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 24-105 f4L IS, 35 f2 IS, 17-55 f2.8 IS, 40 f2.8...  |  PowerShot G16, S100

IIIHobbs

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2012, 08:55:13 PM »

The first two shots are Lightroom adjusted images adjusted from raw for the cloudy day with the 1/400 to 1/500th day.  The 2nd set are untouched jpegs from the sunny day with the cpl and up to 1/8000 of a second.  I was shooting in raw and I adjusted some of those, but not to the point where I was pleased with the result. 

So my query for yall is, is it me or is it my lens?

Seeing the 2nd Set would be helpful.

The images shared, as many have said already, are a result of the shutter speed is too slow. The rule of thumb you used is to reduce camera shake hand holding a lens, it has nothing to do with moving objects and the speed needed to freeze action. Sports require 1/1000 at a minimum, faster at times depending on what action it is you are trying to stop.

Post up the other examples.

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2012, 10:22:25 PM »
I am super duper happy with the lens for last several years.
I am not for a single moment implying that you do not know what you doing, but do carefully examine your technique, something must be amiss.
Do post when you figure out so we all can learn too.
Best wishes and regards.

Here is a photo I took a week ago.

That's not fair.  That is beautiful lighting on an interesting subject.  It would be difficult to mess that shot up. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2012, 10:22:25 PM »

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2012, 10:28:43 PM »
I really do not recommend getting a expensive wide aperture lens with a body that has no AFMA.  Narrow apertures usually hide focus inaccuracies in the depth of field, but its tough to hide front or back focus at f/2.8 or wider.  You can, of course use it at f/8, but I doubt if you want that.
The images appear to be back focused, were you using AI Servo?  Is the lens focusing accurately with a static object?  If accurate on a static object at f/2.8, then its either a issue with not using AI Servo, or not having the AF point on the eye or wherever you want the focus point to be.
You may need to send the lens and body to Canon to be calibrated, with the 60D, there is no other way when lens and body do not match.

Well, the 50D had microadjust... you can blame Canon for stripping that away.  I do have a second 70-200mm f/2.8L that I was going to sell so if this is back focused, then I might have better luck with the other.  I generally don't like testing my lenses with a ruler and lined paper, but I think that might be worth it to see which lens matches my 60D better. 

I didn't really get "lucky" at this game with the action coming towards me, so a ton of the shots are at a greater distance and the depth of field obviously wouldn't be quite as narrow if the subjects were closer. 

Unfortunately, the subject of these action shots are less than enthralling... but my question is still about the lens quality and no so much the quality of composition or the shot.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2012, 10:32:50 PM »
Joe, you're first shot has 'motion blur', despite shooting at 1/400s, perhaps 1/1,000s + panning with the action. The shutter speed is to freeze the action in the moment, but you're shooting handheld and you're arms are moving too. As others have said you need to use AI Servo mode and begin focusing about 2-3 seconds before you take your shot and roll with the action, whilst continuously shooting in hi-speed mode - that way you get some keepers.

The 1st pic is OOF down to you I'm afraid, nothing to do with camera or lens.

I did use AF servo... but the shot was ruined by me because I didn't move quickly enough to the main subject so it could lock onto and focus.  I accept that.  But I do trail my subject will 1/2 depressing the shutter so the servo can do its job... so that isn't really a technique that is foreign to me.  But I think a concern would be if I had made the move to the players quickly enough and the problem was with the gear.  I am willing to accept blame.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2012, 10:34:30 PM »
I recommend the use of a monopod to help steady your camera.  This is a tip I've read many times for use with the non-IS version of the 70-200s.

I'll use a monopod when I'm in doors... that's not an issue.  But for outdoor work, shooting at 1/5000 of a second should be more than sufficient. 

I actually used a monopod and a speedlite at a parade last week... I wasn't happy with those results either. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2012, 10:41:10 PM »
  Iso was between 320 and 640.  And my shutter speeds were 1/2000 and 1/8000 of a second.  And I'm still not happy with the result.  I've heard that the 70-200 is tack sharp between 70-135, and I have quite a few of the shots within that range, and I'm not blown away.

General recommendation: For movement use Tv mode with AutoISO and something like 1/3200s+ (the motion blur in your pictures is due to the way too slow 1/400s). But your motion blur sure looks tack sharp :-> ... you're purse really seems to be way ahead of your skills.

I've got a 60d, too, and this model is missing af micro adjustment - so do some tripod shots with a tilted inch ruler (google for details), focus some point @f2.8 and see if the af is indeed where it's supposed to be - otherwise you've got to have the lens adjusted, replace it (if possible) or get some camera model with afma. The 70-200/2.8 is really made for full frame, crop users might be more happy with the 70-300L unless you really really need the small depth of field and have to have a zoom at the same time.

Historically on a bright day like yesterday when I put it in Shutter priority, it will adjust my aperture which annoys me because I want the shallow depth of field.  So yesterday I shot in manual as I said... and I'm sure I overexposed some of the shots.  It's really the 2nd day that I REALLY went and shot with the lens, so I expect better results.  I'm thinking of shooting in aperture priority and setting the iso and then allowing the shutterspeed to vary (on a bright day).  In doors... that will be a tougher nut to crack. 

And I realize that the above shots aren't my best work... which is why I'm coming to yall.  I've taken much better shots with my 60D and my 100mm, so my skills aren't completely lacking, though I can appreciate that yall would jump to that conclusion based on what I initially showed you.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2012, 10:44:08 PM »
  Iso was between 320 and 640.  And my shutter speeds were 1/2000 and 1/8000 of a second.  And I'm still not happy with the result.  I've heard that the 70-200 is tack sharp between 70-135, and I have quite a few of the shots within that range, and I'm not blown away.

General recommendation: For movement use Tv mode with AutoISO and something like 1/3200s+ (the motion blur in your pictures is due to the way too slow 1/400s). But your motion blur sure looks tack sharp :-> ... you're purse really seems to be way ahead of your skills.

I've got a 60d, too, and this model is missing af micro adjustment - so do some tripod shots with a tilted inch ruler (google for details), focus some point @f2.8 and see if the af is indeed where it's supposed to be - otherwise you've got to have the lens adjusted, replace it (if possible) or get some camera model with afma. The 70-200/2.8 is really made for full frame, crop users might be more happy with the 70-300L unless you really really need the small depth of field and have to have a zoom at the same time.

And I am considering a jump into the full frame world.  I usually wind up shooting in darker venues (school plays, pageants, etc.) so I am quite drawn to the 5d mk ii and it's relative price, but I might wind up getting a mkiii over the mkii or 6D because I really don't like the lone cross af point.  I elected to get the 60D because it had 9 cross points and I can't see taking a step back when I'm taking an upgrade. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2012, 10:47:42 PM »
Pretty sure it's the lens...you have some brutal (and really unattractive) falloff/"vignetting" on the first shot. That's not normal unless something is really weird inside the lens.

Both of those shots are incredibly blurry relative to how well this lens can perform. The first has horrible motion blur; of course 1/focal length won't solve that if the subject is in motion. (And since you're using a 1.6 crop anyway and digital has twice the sharpness of film give-or-take, try 1/3.2(focal length) to get acceptable results at the very minimum unless you have very steady hands). The second shot is obviously focused wrong.

It's a myth that this lens is as sharp as a high end prime (wide open) or nearly as sharp as the newest zooms. The corners are soft at f2.8... But those are incredibly soft images, worse than what any lens alone should do. It might also be an issue of your AF not keeping up. Try shooting a still object from a tripod with liveview. If it's still soft (and you've got that wonky vignette) then something is up. Otherwise, it's user error.

I added the vignetting... to frame my ugly photo.  :(  I did use a faster shutter speed yesterday, but it still didn't quite remind me of how sharp my 100mm L prime is, and I realize prime v zoom is an argument that will never be won, but it still seemed to be a little lacking.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2012, 10:47:42 PM »

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2012, 10:54:31 PM »
Just my 2 cents but I would take some pics of non moving objects preferably on a tripod and then you can see how sharp your lens is.  These look like motion blur to me.  Also remember about depth of field wide open at 200mm depending on how close you are to the subject.

I'm aware of the shallowness of the depth of field... and that's what I'm going for.  Honestly, if I lose 60% of my shots because of the depth of field, but the 40% are practically unworldly because of the same depth of field... I'm willing to accept that. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2012, 10:58:53 PM »
I am not sure how well the 60D AF works but should be able to take killer shots with that lens. On my 7D and 70-200 2.8L non-IS I get fantastic sports shots. Hand held, even indoors at an ice rink with horrible light at 200mm. I always shoot ai servio, Shutter priority ( 1/500th for movement directly at me or 1/1000 for side movement), outside during the day, you shouldn't have a lack of light and I would keep my iso at 100 and aperture between f2.8 and f8 depending what your shooting.

To figure out if it's you, your camera or your lens. go out to the park, bring a tripod, set your timer to 2 sec and snap some still life shots. Pick an object that is standing out on its own with some depth behind it like a player on a field would have. snap some shots and try your other lens. if that doesn't produce well something is wrong. I always shoot sports hand held and if your over 1/500th I don't think IS would help. make sure you relax when you shoot, take smooth breaths and don't get caught up in the action. Go shoot some kids that aren't yours and worry about getting the shot not if their going to catch the ball or not.

just my 2 cents.

I know the 60D is getting a bad wrap in this thread, but it has been a solid performer for me with other lenses which is why I didn't really consider it to be a potential problem in this discussion. 

And for what it is worth, my daughter is a cheerleader... and after the first or second time hearing the same cheers, it is simply more entertaining to get to the sideline and take some shots of stranger's kids. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

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Re: I'm not impressed with my 70-200mm f/2.8L USM... so is it me or the lens?
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2012, 10:58:53 PM »