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Author Topic: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness  (Read 14894 times)

lynne

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5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« on: May 15, 2013, 05:28:29 AM »
Only had my Mark III a few weeks so still have a lot to learn. I've been trying to test the sharpness of my Canon 70-300mm DO lens and my new Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC. I've used a tripod with mirror lock-up and self-timer on all tests and repeatedly find a significant difference in sharpness between Live View and using the Viewfinder, Live view being the sharper of the two. Has anyone else experienced this and is it a cause for concern or normal? I'm finding it frustrating as live view is sometimes too slow or I might want to be more discrete. Should I send my Mark II (along with my Canon lens) to Canon for calibrating? I know that the shop where I bought it will not do a return or exchange and it appears fine in other respects. The Viewfinder is too soft for my liking. Any advice much appreciated.

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5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« on: May 15, 2013, 05:28:29 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 07:55:55 AM »
Sounds like you need to do an autofocus microadjustment (AFMA).

Info here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Photography-Tips/AF-Microadjustment-Tips.aspx

I'd recommend buying Reikan FoCal.
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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 02:13:24 PM »
Only had my Mark III a few weeks so still have a lot to learn.and repeatedly find a significant difference in sharpness between Live View and using the Viewfinder, Live view being the sharper of the two.The Viewfinder is too soft for my liking. Any advice much appreciated.
A Question:  Did you adjust the Diopter of your camera?  Its not clear if you are seeing a soft image when looking thru the viewfinder, or if you are referring to images captured using autofocus, or if you are manual focusing using the viewfinder.
To adjust your viewfinder Diopter, see the instructions are on page 43 of your manual.
 
If Images captured using autofocus are not as sharp as images captured using live focus, you need to fine Tune the autofocus for each of your lenses using the AFMA adjustment in your camera.
 
Many of us use a software tool called Reikan Focal to do this.  You can do it manually, but the results might be difficult to get right.

lynne

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 06:37:29 PM »
Thanks for the replies. No I haven't adjusted the Diopter but that wouldn't help as I mean the Viewfinder is capturing softer images using autofocus than Live View when I review my images on my big computer screen. I have not yet applied any AFMA as I thought this would not improve the disprecancy between Viewfinder and Live View but having just discovered that AFMA affects only the Viewfinder or Quick Mode and not Live View, this might be a way of reducing the difference in accuracy between the two. The difference is most noticeable on the wide end so might just require the wide end adjusting. Shouldn't really be necessary though ideally. Also I believe the recommended testing distance is 50x the focal length if possible?

Never used Reikan Focal. Can anyone tell me how much it is to buy and how difficult it is to use? How does it work? Think I should give it a try.

Does the fact that I can get reasonably sharp results via Live View mean the inaccuracy is down to my camera and not due to any fault with my lenses?

neuroanatomist

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 07:06:29 PM »
Shouldn't really be necessary though ideally. Also I believe the recommended testing distance is 50x the focal length if possible?

Never used Reikan Focal. Can anyone tell me how much it is to buy and how difficult it is to use? How does it work? Think I should give it a try.

Does the fact that I can get reasonably sharp results via Live View mean the inaccuracy is down to my camera and not due to any fault with my lenses?

Manufacturing tolerances for bodies and lenses make it necessary. Every hear of Canon Professional Services (CPS)?  One of the main reasons CPS was started was for pros to send their set of bodies/lenses in for focus calibration.  AFMA puts one way to do that into our hands.  It's not usually noticed with wide/normal/short tele consumer lenses - the narrow apertures mean a deep DoF that masks focus errors.  But with fast lenses, and long lenses with close subjects, the thin DoF (especially on FF) means small focus errors are easy to see.

FoCal is great.  http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/  Some tips are print the target with an ink jet (not laser) printer, have a good tripod on a stable surface, and lots of light (>10 EV reported by the test, and be sure it's sun or tungsten/halogen, not standard fluorescent or AC-powered LED lighting).

Could be body and lenses, each combo can be unique.  AFMA lets you adjust for each lens (and multiple copies of the same lens, with current bodies).
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 11:31:27 AM »
Thanks for the replies. No I haven't adjusted the Diopter but that wouldn't help as I mean the Viewfinder is capturing softer images using autofocus than Live View when I review my images on my big computer screen. I have not yet applied any AFMA as I thought this would not improve the disprecancy between Viewfinder and Live View but having just discovered that AFMA affects only the Viewfinder or Quick Mode and not Live View, this might be a way of reducing the difference in accuracy between the two. The difference is most noticeable on the wide end so might just require the wide end adjusting. Shouldn't really be necessary though ideally. Also I believe the recommended testing distance is 50x the focal length if possible?

Never used Reikan Focal. Can anyone tell me how much it is to buy and how difficult it is to use? How does it work? Think I should give it a try.

Does the fact that I can get reasonably sharp results via Live View mean the inaccuracy is down to my camera and not due to any fault with my lenses?

Generally, the way to quickly tell if you need to fine tune your lens autofocus is to compare live autofocus and phase detect autofocus.  Live Autofocus uses contrast detect which adjusts the focus to give the highest contrast image.  Its slow, but fairly accurate.
Phase detect is much faster, but slight errors in the camera body or lens can affect sharpness, and, if the body is in error one way, and the lens is in error the opposite way, then the errors add up.
 
This is a consistent issue with wide aperture and long telephoto lenses, and Sigma lenses seem to particularly generate a lot of complaints.
 
The first thing I do with a new camera body is to run the AFMA adjustment with all my lenses.  Each body is slightly different.
 
Neuro had it right!

supercc

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2013, 03:41:27 PM »
Hi there,

I have the same problem. After some tests, I also repeatedly find a significant difference in sharpness between Live View and using the Viewfinder, Live view being the sharper of the two. Of course during this test I used a tripod, the target picture is a stuffed animal placed parallel to the sensor of the camera. for this test I used the A+ mode, this where I saw the biggest difference between focus via view finder and via live view. the Camera choose those parameters : A = 2.2 / Speed 1/40 and the Iso 200

My equipement is a 5d markIII bought in May 2012, and the tested lens is a canon 50mm 1.4.
I tried with ambient light indour. Knowing that for example it is a little bit disturbing for the t2i who cannot be micro adjusted in my knowledge.

thank you


I try with the same tests with a t2i Body and the 50mm 1.4 , I get the same problem.

Let me know How you fix those problems
Canon 5D mark III - Canon 60D - Canon 50mm 1.4 - Canon 24mm 1.4L - Canon 100mm 2.8L - Canon speed lights 600EX-RT.

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2013, 03:41:27 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2013, 03:48:11 PM »
Hi there,

I have the same problem. After some tests, I also repeatedly find a significant difference in sharpness between Live View and using the Viewfinder, Live view being the sharper of the two. Of course during this test I used a tripod, the target picture is a stuffed animal placed parallel to the sensor of the camera. for this test I used the A+ mode, this where I saw the biggest difference between focus via view finder and via live view. the Camera choose those parameters : A = 2.2 / Speed 1/40 and the Iso 200

My equipement is a 5d markIII bought in May 2012, and the tested lens is a canon 50mm 1.4.
I tried with ambient light indour. Knowing that for example it is a little bit disturbing for the t2i who cannot be micro adjusted in my knowledge.

thank you


I try with the same tests with a t2i Body and the 50mm 1.4 , I get the same problem.

Let me know How you fix those problems

With the 5DIII, do an AF Microadjustment - I use Reikan FoCal.  With the T2i, send body+lens(es) to Canon or live with the slightly OOF images.  I won't buy a body without AFMA (a body with a separate PDAF sensor, that is - the EOS M doesn't need AFMA).
EOS 1D X, EOS M6, lots of lenses
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supercc

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2013, 04:00:43 PM »
Hi

Thank you very much for trying to help me.

I am afraid I do not understand your last sentence, can you develop ?
you said : I won't buy a body without AFMA (a body with a separate PDAF sensor, that is - the EOS M doesn't need AFMA).

And why when I do this test in Manual mode : view finder/live view focus, the difference of focus is very little comparate to the automatic mode.

I do not understand what the technical difference , focusing between the View finder and the live view.

Also I notice I do not have this problem when I attached the canon speed light 600ex-rt with the help of the IR beam focus.

Thanks you again for your help.

PS : Under my pseudo it says canon power shot G15, I do not have this camera, how can I change this?
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2013, 04:20:43 PM »
Hi

Thank you very much for trying to help me.

I am afraid I do not understand your last sentence, can you develop ?
you said : I won't buy a body without AFMA (a body with a separate PDAF sensor, that is - the EOS M doesn't need AFMA).

And why when I do this test in Manual mode : view finder/live view focus, the difference of focus is very little comparate to the automatic mode.

I do not understand what the technical difference , focusing between the View finder and the live view.

Also I notice I do not have this problem when I attached the canon speed light 600ex-rt with the help of the IR beam focus.

Thanks you again for your help.

PS : Under my pseudo it says canon power shot G15, I do not have this camera, how can I change this?

If your image is sharp when using a flash, it usually means that there was camera movement.  The flash lasts only about 1/10,000 sec, so it freezes the subject.  A 1/40 sec exposure can be affected by movement or vibration just due to pressing the shutter, but it does not seem likely based on your description.
 
Do the comparison in good light and be sure to set the lens to f/1.4 and a high shutter speed.  Take several test images of a flat target, like a brick wall, setting the lens to infinity between each shot.
Its normal that all images might not be exactly the same sharpness, so compare the best images taken with each method.  If the autofocus image using phase detect is not as sharp, then the autofocus can be adjusted using the autofocus micro adjust tool in the camera menu.  It the images are basically the same sharpness, then its just a matter of becoming more proficient with the camera.
 
If a T2i has the same issue, the lens can be adjusted by Canon, or the lens manufacturer.
 
Read the site information posts to explain why you are seeing thr G15.
 
Always do the tests at maximum aperture..

supercc

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2013, 04:33:19 PM »
Hi Again,

Like I said, I made my test in Auto mode, this is where I see the bigger differences in focus between view finder and live focusing.
I Also used a external shutter release, so the camera does not move. So basically I switch between the 2 modes, and I get always the same results constantly. Very sharp via live focus, OOF via the view finder.

Is it a known problem ?  IF I calibrate with the Micro adjustment system, will I be able to fix that problem easily?

Thank you very much for your HElp

Also considering the reican focus software, it is really usefull for my problem ?

what does mean :  (a body with a separate PDAF sensor, that is - the EOS M doesn't need AFMA).

Thank you
Canon 5D mark III - Canon 60D - Canon 50mm 1.4 - Canon 24mm 1.4L - Canon 100mm 2.8L - Canon speed lights 600EX-RT.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2013, 04:51:18 PM »
If the flash gives you sharper images, as stated that most likely means there's motion in your test. If Auto mode is picking a higher shutter speed than you're setting manually, that's the same root cause - motion.  Not all tripods are stable. Also, the mirror causes vibration, but you can avoid that with mirror lockup.  That's another reason live view can be sharper, depending on shutter speed (some shutter speeds are more sensitive to mirror slap).

I am afraid I do not understand your last sentence, can you develop ?
you said : I won't buy a body without AFMA (a body with a separate PDAF sensor, that is - the EOS M doesn't need AFMA).

I do not understand what the technical difference , focusing between the View finder and the live view.

When looking through the viewfinder, AF is performed by the phase detect AF (PDAF) sensor which sits at the bottom of the mirror box.  If that sensor is slightly out of alignment with the image sensor, you get front- or back-focus. AFMA corrects for that.  With live view, the mirror is up and the focusing is done with the image sensor itself (used to be contrast detect, but newer cameras have phase detect on the image sensor) - there's nothing to be misaligned. The EOS M is mirrorless, so like Live View on a dSLR the AF uses the image sensor, no need for AFMA.

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cocopop05

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2013, 06:51:15 PM »
I agree with others here, use AFMA.  I had the same issue and after adjusting my lens with AFMA, there is now no difference if I use live view or viewfinder.

If you want a free and immediate method for AMFA, use a point the camera at a real object and use the tethered method.  I use this method and it is very effective. 

See the link below:
http://ophrysphotography.co.uk/pages/tutoriallensmicroadjustment.htm


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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2013, 06:51:15 PM »

supercc

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2013, 12:02:49 AM »
Hi there,

Thank you everybody for all those directions. I studied the all night and try to digest all the infos that you sent me guys. I played a little bit with the AFMA, but not much success yet.

So the AFMA will only apply when I shout through the view finder, right ?

The AFMA won t apply through the live focus, right?

Also, is the AFMA settings apply when the camera is setup in A+ mode / fully automatic ?

I also noticed that the OOF does more occur when the shutter speed is faster because there is less light coming in. When I slower the shutter speed and put a the Aperture to 1.4, it helps for a better focusing.

But When I Focus on the Live view mode, it looks like the Focus is much much less affected in low light condition, I still get good results. Not sure why ?

Any suggestions?  thank you . :0)



Thank you
Cedric
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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2013, 12:23:39 AM »
Hi

the AFMA will not affect Live View, as when you are using Live view, you are seeing what actually appears on the sensor.  AFMA will afffect how the lens calibrates with the camera auto focus.  Also, when you open up the aperture (say 1.4) compared to when it is stopped down (say to 32), the wide open lens has way less depth of field so any error in focusing will be made much worse.  That is why when you adjust AFMA, you want to use the widest aperture (smallest number, fastest aperture) of the lens.  On the other hand, one could argue, that the faster the shutter speed would reduce the chance of vibration causing blurring the image.  That is how I understand it.

sek

Hi there,

Thank you everybody for all those directions. I studied the all night and try to digest all the infos that you sent me guys. I played a little bit with the AFMA, but not much success yet.

So the AFMA will only apply when I shout through the view finder, right ?

The AFMA won t apply through the live focus, right?

Also, is the AFMA settings apply when the camera is setup in A+ mode / fully automatic ?

I also noticed that the OOF does more occur when the shutter speed is faster because there is less light coming in. When I slower the shutter speed and put a the Aperture to 1.4, it helps for a better focusing.

But When I Focus on the Live view mode, it looks like the Focus is much much less affected in low light condition, I still get good results. Not sure why ?

Any suggestions?  thank you . :0)



Thank you
Cedric
Cameras: 1DXII,5D III, 5D II.  Lenses    24-70 2.8L II IS, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8.   Flashes: 600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT, 580 EX II.
Plus lots of stuff that just didn't work for me

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Re: 5D Mark III Live View v Viewfinder Sharpness
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2013, 12:23:39 AM »