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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 12176 times)

keemikpoiss

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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 #45 on: October 16, 2012, 03:30:44 AM »
In regards to your thoughts on moving up to full frame, here is a pair of shots that reflect my experience going from 50D to 5D3 with 70-200 f/2.8L II when shooting outdoors sports at distances comparable to yours.

The first shot is with 50D, using f/3.2 @70 mm, 1/1000, ISO 100, using tripod and "one shot" focusing. This looks pretty average in sharpness among the kid soccer pictures that I got with this setup last year.  I did manage to get a few sharp ones, but this shall be attributed to good luck rather than a great skill.  I did not find Al Servo on 50D that useful ... focus switched to something else too often.

The second shot is one of the very first with 5D3, using f/3.2 @168 mm, 1/2000, ISO 640, also tripod but now "Al Servo" focusing.  My rate of sharp soccer images is still not particularly high, but the ones that are nicely in focus are much better than anything I got with 50D.  Beside better autofocusing, I feel more at ease in pushing up ISO, enabling faster shooting.  For example, the second goalie shot was taken at 8 AM and the sun was not exactly cooperating with illuminating the subject.  BTW, both all taken as single shots rather than continuous shooting.

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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 #45 on: October 16, 2012, 03:30:44 AM »

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 #46 on: October 16, 2012, 06:46:32 AM »
In regards to your thoughts on moving up to full frame, here is a pair of shots that reflect my experience going from 50D to 5D3 with 70-200 f/2.8L II when shooting outdoors sports at distances comparable to yours.

The first shot is with 50D, using f/3.2 @70 mm, 1/1000, ISO 100, using tripod and "one shot" focusing. This looks pretty average in sharpness among the kid soccer pictures that I got with this setup last year.  I did manage to get a few sharp ones, but this shall be attributed to good luck rather than a great skill.  I did not find Al Servo on 50D that useful ... focus switched to something else too often.

The second shot is one of the very first with 5D3, using f/3.2 @168 mm, 1/2000, ISO 640, also tripod but now "Al Servo" focusing.  My rate of sharp soccer images is still not particularly high, but the ones that are nicely in focus are much better than anything I got with 50D.  Beside better autofocusing, I feel more at ease in pushing up ISO, enabling faster shooting.  For example, the second goalie shot was taken at 8 AM and the sun was not exactly cooperating with illuminating the subject.  BTW, both all taken as single shots rather than continuous shooting.

i'm not moving up any time soon.  I have to same not only my pennies, but my nickels a well...  I think I'd probably be willing to considering an intermediary step going with the 5d mkii presuming I get a solid price on it, and then seeing if I like the full frame lifestyle.  I really think I would miss the reach of the crop sensor for sports, so I'm mulling over having two bodies, but that would probably just annoy the wife.
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->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

tron

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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 #47 on: October 16, 2012, 06:59:59 AM »
The first shot is with 50D, using f/3.2 @70 mm, 1/1000, ISO 100, using tripod and "one shot" focusing. This looks pretty average in sharpness among the kid soccer pictures that I got with this setup last year.  I did manage to get a few sharp ones, but this shall be attributed to good luck rather than a great skill.  I did not find Al Servo on 50D that useful ... focus switched to something else too often.
In the first shoot it seems that the focus lock was behind the subject.

pixyl

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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 #48 on: October 16, 2012, 08:48:37 AM »
In regards to your thoughts on moving up to full frame, here is a pair of shots that reflect my experience going from 50D to 5D3 with 70-200 f/2.8L II when shooting outdoors sports at distances comparable to yours.

I also have a 50D and I'm not particularly happy with sharpness either. I really should give AF microadjustment a go but haven't gotten round to it yet -seems like a time consuming task.
I upgraded from a Rebel XT (350D) about a year ago and had the same issues with that camera, so I suppose it's got more to do with my technique than anything else. Regarding lenses I have a 70-200 f/4L (non-IS version) which I find considerably better in the IQ and build department than my Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5, and because of that a greater joy to use, but with a bit too much reach for normal day to day use. I would probably use it more with a FF body.Still, I don't find it "tack sharp" as I had hoped for.

So is the consensus that the 50D autofocus is so-so? And how does the 70-200 f/4L compare to the f/2.8L version in terms of IQ/sharpness?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 09:33:09 AM by pixyl »
50D w/BG-E2 | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 70-200 f/4L | 35 f/2 | Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 | 580EX II | 430EX

tiger82

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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 #49 on: October 16, 2012, 09:10:01 AM »
When I started with my 70-200mm IS f/2.8, I tended to shoot wide open and lack of DOF really affected the quality of my  sports shots.  I experimented with closing my aperture and the difference was noticeable.  Shooting shutter priority helped a bit as I got the action plus maximized my DOF to get more of the action in the frame.  Too much DOF cluttered the frame, though,  Just my experience.....
1D4 with 70-200 IS f/2.8L, 5D2 with 24-70 f/2.8L

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 #50 on: October 16, 2012, 09:43:42 AM »
I believe the last football game of the year is this week.  Maybe I'll take both of my 70-200's for a spin and see if one is sharper on my body than the other.
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->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

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 #51 on: October 16, 2012, 10:57:07 AM »
The additional images are helpful.

In the shot where the ball carier is coming towards us, the grass just behind the player is in focus. Your AI is capturing the area where they were and then as you depress the shutter, they are closer and slightly out of focus. Using a smaller aperature will help over come this issue.

Similarily, but for different reasons, in the shot with player 13, the grass just slightly beyond the player is in focus. I believe that your AI is averaging here and giving this result.

As for the shots with your 100mm, it's no surprise that the 100 Macro kills on sharpness when compared with the 70-200 zoom; like the 135 f2L, it just is that much better.

I sold my 70-200 f2.8L IS when moving to FF earlier this year, replacing it with a 135 f2L and 300 f4L IS. The 300 has since been replaced by a 300 f2.8L IS. I do have the 100 f2.8L Macro on my Christmas list (love those shots you shared).
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 11:05:15 AM by 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 #51 on: October 16, 2012, 10:57:07 AM »

friedmud

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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 #52 on: October 16, 2012, 01:00:40 PM »
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. 

This is exactly why Nikon cameras have proper Auto ISO capabilities.

Even on cheap Nikon bodies you can do this:

1.  Set the camera to Av and f/4.0 (or whatever you want)
2.  Set a minimum shutter speed to catch the action that you want (like 1/1600).  On mos. cameras you can also set this as a multiplier of your focal length.
3.  Leave it on Auto ISO

This lets you do exactly what you want:  have the DoF you want while keeping the shutter speed you need.  If a football player runs into the light and the camera pegs out at ISO 100 it can increase the shutter speed above your minimum.  If a player runs into the shade the ISO will automatically be increased to keep the shutter speed above your minimum.

It works very well in my limited experience.

j1jenkins

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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 #53 on: October 16, 2012, 01:34:13 PM »
The one question I have is that are you shooting at 2.8 or are you opening it up to 3.5 or 4.0.  Depth of field at close distances is very thin at 2.8.  If you shoot 135mm @ F2.8, your DOF at 10 feet is a little over 3 inches.  At 20 feet, you get 1ft 1in.  I have the 5dmkiii and I shoot my son's baseball games at 4.0 and iso range of 200-400 with aperture priority to handle the shutter speed.  It works fantastic!  The only other comment I have is that the AFMA has brought new life to my lenses.  I had the 40D without AFMA and now with the 5dmkiii, I have tuned my lenses so things are sharp.  Given that the smallest of tolerances can affect the overall shot we generate, I have come to believe this is a necessary feature for me. 

I'm always learning and by no means a know it all.  I just shot some individual shots for the baseball team and botched several with the flash fill and washed the whole image out.  It's a fun hobby to play with and learn as we go. 

dmsphoto

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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 #54 on: October 16, 2012, 02:33:14 PM »
FWIW I felt my copy of the 70-200 2.8IS V1 was soft wide open.  I was never impressed given the lens reputation.  I bought the V2 of this lens and that IS tack sharp wide open through out the zoom range.  Absolutely love it.  To me V1 and V2 are night and day.

It was mentioned about the AFMA, now that we have it, it is tough using an older body (1D MKII in my case) because I know the sharpness could be better (among other things).

I have been using 5D MKII and a 7D...7D for sports mostly.  But I recently got a 1DX...the AF system is 100x's better.  There are shots I'd be mad I missed (w/7D) because the AF could not keep up...now with the 1DX it is usually me who  can't keep up.

I realize the 1DX may not be in everyones budget, but after using it, it truly is a whole different class of camera.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 03:08:43 PM by dmsphoto »
1DX, 5DMKII, 7D, 1DMKII, 400/2.8IS, 300/2.8IS, 200/2IS, 135/2, 85/1.2II, 24TS/E MKII, 70-200/2.8IS MKII, 24-105IS, 17-35, 8-15 Fisheye

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 #55 on: October 17, 2012, 10:57:08 AM »
I'm seriously considering selling both 70-200's and then get the 135.  Does anyone mind not having is on the 135? 

The extra stop of light should come in handy when i shoot my daughter playing basketball.
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->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

JaxPhotographer

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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 #56 on: October 17, 2012, 11:49:26 AM »
After reading the posts associated with your problem with the 70-200L IS, I can share that I had similar problems when I first added my 7D a few years ago. I originally had a 10D and it was spot on with the 70-200L IS. When I got the 7D i was dealing with major back focus (-11@70mm and -16@200mm) and was quite disappointed until I figured out I how to do Auto-Focus Micro Adjustment. That solved everything after a couple months of frustration. The 70-200 was also back focusing on my newer 5DIII, though not as severely as the 7D but this time I went immediately to my FoCal and fixed the AFMA and it is super sharp now that the AF is tuned.

As someone else suggested, sending your body and lenses in for calibration is probably your best option since it does not offer AFMA. If you don't and choose to replace your lenses, you have no guaranty that you won't have the problem again even with a different focal length lense.
5DMKIII | 7D | 16-35L f/2.8 II | 24-105L f4 | 70-200L f/2.8 IS I&II | 50 f/1.8 | 85 f/1.2 II |1.4x & 2x Ext | 100mm f/2.8L IS | MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite | 2x600EX-RT | ST-E3-RT | 430EX Speedlite | Sekonic L-758DR | Induro CT314 Tripod | Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 dp  |

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 #57 on: October 17, 2012, 08:16:16 PM »
So with all the discussion about back focusing... I decided to do a little testing.  The center focal point is ON the hole in the middle of the ruler.  Two shots (obviously the ones with more bokeh) are at f/2.8 and the other two shots are at f/8.
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->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

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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 #57 on: October 17, 2012, 08:16:16 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 #58 on: October 17, 2012, 08:19:07 PM »
Oh, and these were tripod mounted with a 2 second delay after the shutter was depressed.  So human error really should be eliminated. 
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->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

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 #59 on: October 17, 2012, 08:41:12 PM »
After reading the posts associated with your problem with the 70-200L IS, I can share that I had similar problems when I first added my 7D a few years ago. I originally had a 10D and it was spot on with the 70-200L IS. When I got the 7D i was dealing with major back focus (-11@70mm and -16@200mm) and was quite disappointed until I figured out I how to do Auto-Focus Micro Adjustment. That solved everything after a couple months of frustration. The 70-200 was also back focusing on my newer 5DIII, though not as severely as the 7D but this time I went immediately to my FoCal and fixed the AFMA and it is super sharp now that the AF is tuned.

As someone else suggested, sending your body and lenses in for calibration is probably your best option since it does not offer AFMA. If you don't and choose to replace your lenses, you have no guaranty that you won't have the problem again even with a different focal length lense.

These kids I'm shooting are about 15+ feet away, so I wind up going from about 100 to 200 and then I wind up cropping the photo... so sure I have a shallow depth of field, but I guess I just refuse to believe that it is so shallow as to affect my perception about them.  It's frustrating.  Thanks for all of yall's help, but I usually don't keep lenses that long.  I buy them at a great price and then inevitably sell them about a year later at a profit, so it doesn't quite seem worth it to me to pay Canon to optimize something I will probably keep for less than 6 months.  It's frustrating.
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->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

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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 #59 on: October 17, 2012, 08:41:12 PM »