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Author Topic: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low  (Read 7957 times)

Flo1111

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5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« on: December 30, 2012, 02:45:37 AM »
Hello,

I have a 5d III and the 300mm 2.8 II.
According to test this combination should crate fantastic sharp photos, but I have really big problem that to get sharp pictures.

I normally use the center focus point as single focus point.
I realized that objets that are more than 10 - 15 meters away the hit rate is very low.
I did go through the AF menu from A-Z but I found no solution. AFMA made everything only worse.

I attached one picture of many, that are all no really sharp. ISO 100, 2.8 1/4000

Does anyone of you has similar problems. With my other lenses I never had such problems (70-200 2.8 II, 24-105 4, ...)

Thank you.

Best Regards,
Flo

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5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« on: December 30, 2012, 02:45:37 AM »

AlanF

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 03:30:15 AM »
There is a firmware upgrade for the lens that has to be done by Canon.  My lens improved its focus reproducibility after the upgrade.  The hit rate is now close to 100% on my 7D, and that includes using 1.4 and 2xTC IIs, shot with centre spot focus.
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 06:19:38 AM »
Use a smaller aperture as well.  Your depth of field is extremely small at f2.8 with that lens.  At ISO 100 if you are shooting at 1/4000 sec there is no need to shoot wide open.  Assuming that that image is not cropped then your DOF on is only a couple of inches.  If you shoot at f/7.1 or f/8 you would have more of the subject in sharper focus.

On a static subject like that to freeze motion and eliminate camera shake issues you really only need a SS of 1/500.

The firmware update is a good suggestion as well.

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 06:56:48 AM »
Yikes ! I'd rather have been using a 500mm on a crop body with 2x extender  :P

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 09:02:12 AM »
Hello,

I have a 5d III and the 300mm 2.8 II.
According to test this combination should crate fantastic sharp photos, but I have really big problem that to get sharp pictures.

I normally use the center focus point as single focus point.
I realized that objets that are more than 10 - 15 meters away the hit rate is very low.
I did go through the AF menu from A-Z but I found no solution. AFMA made everything only worse.

I attached one picture of many, that are all no really sharp. ISO 100, 2.8 1/4000



Thank you.

Best Regards,
Flo

Hello Flo!
Thank you for adding this one photo.
The quality of light seems to be mostly left-sided-front-light that gives less contrast to your exposure.
As also mentioned by an other forumposter the dept-of-field is really thin using a 300mm with wide-open f/2.8 on a full-frame-camera.
If you examine your photo you can follow WHERE the focus are locked - look at the cliff and the dry-vegetation and tree branches and grass.

If this was my photo I would have photographed it in .CR2 (RAW) and then doing sharpening in DPP and maybe making other adjustments in order to get a out the most of this photo of the "Lion-King!"
What I have experienced is that my .CR2-files directly from 5DMKIII are dramatically sharpened by simple small adjustments using Canons own DPP.
Maybe you could try to re-adjust your wild-life photographing!
Also how do you point your AUTOFOCUS and do you LOCK the focus for example on the eye of the animals?

Be sure that your focus-lock-point is absolutely placed on the critical area of your main subject in your exposure. And maybe also do a re-exposure even a as a second exposure of the same view in order to have your Keeper when you examine your files at home after your photo-sessions - the memory cards do have a lot of space today! :-)
Your equipement are really really high-quality and should not make you disappointed!
How about a calibration-check at the Canon´s own service for both your DSLR with the particular lens together and yes to upgrade the lens to its latest updated firm-ware!
I really wish you Flo the very best solution for your excellent combination of equipement!

Happy New Year 2013!

All the Best!
/Charl


Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun!

East Wind Photography

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 09:31:45 AM »
First thing you need to do is get your lens and camera up to the latest firmware.  The lens has to be sent back to canon for the fw upgrade but I would say its mandatory.  The image does look like the camera has front focused quite a bit.  The front face of the rock seems pretty good.   Overall I agree with others that a little post sharpening in DPP or photoshop would fix this image right up.  At ISO 100 you can sharpen quite a bit and lot lose IQ.

Regarding DOF,  that lens should be tack sharp wide open regardless.  Stopping down some can help mask focus errors.  Camera AF systems have improved but accuracy is not 100%.  When you can stop down a little, do it to improve your keeper rate.  I still have to shoot 6 shots or so and pick the sharpest one out of the batch.

Regardless of that the image here should be much more in focus.  Send the camera and lens back to canon and let them iron it out.  For those of us that are nit picky about focus there is a great tool called Reikan FoCal which will allow you to do your own focus calibration.  I use it with all of my lenses and it works quite well.  The pro version gives you nice charts and reports as well as the ability to run aperture sharpness tests so you will know at what aperture produces the highest resolution.

You have a great set up.  I'm sure the fw fix will take care of the problem as it addresses some AF issues.

Hello,

I have a 5d III and the 300mm 2.8 II.
According to test this combination should crate fantastic sharp photos, but I have really big problem that to get sharp pictures.

I normally use the center focus point as single focus point.
I realized that objets that are more than 10 - 15 meters away the hit rate is very low.
I did go through the AF menu from A-Z but I found no solution. AFMA made everything only worse.

I attached one picture of many, that are all no really sharp. ISO 100, 2.8 1/4000

Does anyone of you has similar problems. With my other lenses I never had such problems (70-200 2.8 II, 24-105 4, ...)

Thank you.

Best Regards,
Flo

Flo1111

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 09:34:53 AM »
Thank you AlanF. I have already the update to Firmware 1.1.1.
On the 5D III I also have the newest firmware 1.1.3 too.

@ZoeEnPhos. Thank you very very much for so many useful hints and suggestions.

Just for your information:
I did do today several test shots just out of my windows (open window). With tripod, with out tripod (deactivated IS) and with f2.8 or f5.6 or f8.
But only 1 of 10 shots in Lightroom with 1:1 or 2:1 did look fine for me. f5.6 or f8 did not improve anything.
I hope you can still recognize that the photo 7006 is much sharper than the 7018.
I would say from 60 tries 5 0r 6 are like 7006 the other are like 7018.
---- forgot, the focus was in the middle on the black ground part with the letters.

Perhaps it is really my own fault.  :-[

On the other side I am lucky, because I have two Canon service center in the city  :) where I can let check the lens and the cam.

Thank you very much for your help and happy new year to you all.
Flo
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 09:43:50 AM by Flo1111 »

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 09:34:53 AM »

Flo1111

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 09:38:03 AM »
@East Wind Photography. thank you very much for your advices.

I am really happy about the great help here in the forum . Thank you.  :)

Bye
Flo

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 10:17:04 AM »
AFMA made everything only worse.

How did you perform AFMA?
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infared

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 10:55:21 AM »
This is ALL great advise East Wind for Flo. You covered it all and I bet there is a solution within your suggestions.
For those that are suggesting that Flo stop down his aperture that is certainly not warranted for this image if all equipment is operating correctly and the focus point is on the lion's head...
Having to stop down defeats the purpose of spending all of that money on a 2.8 lens in the first place?
This shot should be fine at 2.8 at this distance with a sharp subject an the rest of the image going soft, calling your attention to the king!

 
First thing you need to do is get your lens and camera up to the latest firmware.  The lens has to be sent back to canon for the fw upgrade but I would say its mandatory.  The image does look like the camera has front focused quite a bit.  The front face of the rock seems pretty good.   Overall I agree with others that a little post sharpening in DPP or photoshop would fix this image right up.  At ISO 100 you can sharpen quite a bit and lot lose IQ.

Regarding DOF,  that lens should be tack sharp wide open regardless.  Stopping down some can help mask focus errors.  Camera AF systems have improved but accuracy is not 100%.  When you can stop down a little, do it to improve your keeper rate.  I still have to shoot 6 shots or so and pick the sharpest one out of the batch.

Regardless of that the image here should be much more in focus.  Send the camera and lens back to canon and let them iron it out.  For those of us that are nit picky about focus there is a great tool called Reikan FoCal which will allow you to do your own focus calibration.  I use it with all of my lenses and it works quite well.  The pro version gives you nice charts and reports as well as the ability to run aperture sharpness tests so you will know at what aperture produces the highest resolution.

You have a great set up.  I'm sure the fw fix will take care of the problem as it addresses some AF issues.

Hello,

I have a 5d III and the 300mm 2.8 II.
According to test this combination should crate fantastic sharp photos, but I have really big problem that to get sharp pictures.

I normally use the center focus point as single focus point.
I realized that objets that are more than 10 - 15 meters away the hit rate is very low.
I did go through the AF menu from A-Z but I found no solution. AFMA made everything only worse.

I attached one picture of many, that are all no really sharp. ISO 100, 2.8 1/4000

Does anyone of you has similar problems. With my other lenses I never had such problems (70-200 2.8 II, 24-105 4, ...)

Thank you.

Best Regards,
Flo
5D Mark III, Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, Canon 17mm f/4L TS-E, Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS, 21mm f/2.8 Zeiss, Sigma 35mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro,70-200mm f/2.8L IS II...1.4x converter III, and some other stuff.....

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Re: 5D III and *** 70-200 F2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low too
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 12:07:36 PM »
Hi,
I'd like to hijack this thread. I have the same problem IMHO with a 5D MKIII and a 70-200 F2:8 L IS II USM that I just bought. I have the feeling that I never get the sharpness that I expected when using AF so this may be just a problem of mine. I've posted a few times on CR about my problems, so I wanted some feedback before sending the Camera and Lens to Canon for checking out
I shot about 100 pics using AI Servo today of my Dog Dave, and our lodger Timmy. Most of them the dogs were walking slowly or trotting, so no high speed motion. Light was good, and I guessed that 1/500th should do, and I was using Timer priority. Spot metering. Using Case 1 AF as the dogs are pretty predictable. Zone AF.
As I had the same problems yesterday I did an AFMA on the lens yesterday evening, but I saw no improvement today.
As stated here already,  I too expect this lens to perform OK at 2.8.
FW was at 1.1.2 for these pictures, but I just updated to 1.1.3 just in case.
So looking at this example IMHO I still have a serious back-focus problem on this lens.
Anything else wrong with my setting?

Cheers Brian


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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 12:09:33 PM »
Shipping body and lens to Canon will be expensive (meaning shipping + insurance on $10K of gear, the service would be free).  Before taking that step, I'd definitely try a proper AFMA, assuming you haven't done one (by 'proper' I mean Reikan FoCal, LensAlign, SpyderLensCal, not a DIY setup or taking random shots then tweaking the setting and trying again).  The lion shot looks front focused, as does the 'soft' shot from your window.  My interpretation is that the sharp shot from your window is actually a miss on correct focus, not a hit, according to the AF system.  Phase AF isn't perfect - depending on the subject features, contrast, and lighting, a 10% rate of misses is not unreasonable.  That percent is higher on lower end bodies, lower on the 1-series, but misses do occur. With a properly calibrated system, the average of a whole bunch of shots is right at the correct focal plane.  In your case, the average (your 54-55 shots) is centered away from the correct focal plane, and an occasional miss randomly hits correct focus.  That's the situation that AFMA is designed to correct.  But again, a proper AFMA method is required.
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AlanF

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 04:14:39 PM »
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/07/autofocus-reality-part-3a-canon-lenses
The above link reports tests of the 300mm f/2.8 II on the 5D III as part of a larger series of very interesting measurements.  That combo should be superb.  What is the focus like in live view and in live view plus manual?
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 04:14:39 PM »

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2012, 07:12:18 PM »
Use a smaller aperture as well.  Your depth of field is extremely small at f2.8 with that lens.  At ISO 100 if you are shooting at 1/4000 sec there is no need to shoot wide open.  Assuming that that image is not cropped then your DOF on is only a couple of inches.  If you shoot at f/7.1 or f/8 you would have more of the subject in sharper focus.

On a static subject like that to freeze motion and eliminate camera shake issues you really only need a SS of 1/500.

The firmware update is a good suggestion as well.

Good comments here but just to b precise, the dof  wide open at 10meters distance is about 7 inches using a dof  calculator.  No room for error, to be sure.

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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 07:15:11 PM »
What's interesting is I've shot 300 f/2.8L I IS with a 5D Mark III and 1DX at f/2.8 and it never missed focus during fast action sports.  I think there might be something really wrong here.
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Re: 5D III and 300 2.8 II hit rate for sharp pictures very low
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 07:15:11 PM »