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Author Topic: New 5D mk ll...Issues?  (Read 3047 times)

Leopard Lupus

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New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« on: October 27, 2011, 03:03:43 AM »
Hello there!
I recently sold my Canon 60D to fund a refurbished 5D mk ll. It arrived today with 640 shutter actuations and absolutely no cosmetic flaws/dust.
Previously, I have only shot with crop sensors (besides my ol' Canon AE-1) mainly with my Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens. I mounted this lens on my 5D mk ll, and was impressed. After a few more shots I started to notice...
1) The DOF is incredibly thin. Love it!
2) Quite a few of the images are soft. I am manually focusing the majority of the time, and even tried AF. It still seems soft. The IQ seems comparable to my 60D which is not what I was expecting. The lens has always worked flawlessly for me, but something just seems off.
3) When I shoot in full auto, the ISO only reaches to 3200. When shooting manually, I am able to kick it up to 6400 (yes the noise is horrific) but why might this be?

Are there any recommendations as how to properly test a camera? This is the first time I have purchased anything but new from Canon.
Thanks in advance!

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New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« on: October 27, 2011, 03:03:43 AM »

ferdi

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Re: New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 03:58:59 AM »
1) Congratulations on your purchase!
2) Regarding the 50mm f/1.4, it just is a bit soft at wide apertures: http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=115. If you're looking for sharpness, I dare you to stop down to f/2 or f/2.8. No need to sharpen in post, I usually even soften it up.
3) Auto-ISO is 100-3200 and 200-6400 in highlight tone priority, so they advertised it as 100-6400.

There are some checklists out there for basic inspection, e.g. http://www.adidap.com/2006/11/18/10-things-to-test-before-buying-a-used-dslr/.
But for a true test you should just start using it.
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ianhar

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Re: New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 04:09:52 AM »
Because the dof on full frame is really thin it makes the sharp radius really small. Try stopping down to 1 or 2 stop down and see the result. It should be fine. Did you focus and recompose? This could add up to be another problem why the result seem soft. The focusing distance might have change as you recompose your shot.

Try googling focus and compose to find out more

bycostello

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Re: New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 04:19:28 AM »
could be your shutter speed or maybe needs calibrating?

neuroanatomist

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Re: New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 07:27:20 AM »
1) The DOF is incredibly thin. Love it!

Yep.  1.3-stops thinner, to be exact (i.e. if you set the aperture to f/2.2 on your 5DII, you'd get the same DoF if you framed a similar shot on your 60D af f/1.4).

2) Quite a few of the images are soft. I am manually focusing the majority of the time, and even tried AF. It still seems soft. The IQ seems comparable to my 60D which is not what I was expecting. The lens has always worked flawlessly for me, but something just seems off.

Three things going on here.  One is that the lens does have some halation at f/1.4-f/2 (a glow-like effect).  Two is that your autofocus might be off.  For the AF shots, you may need to perform an AF microadjustment (ideally with a tool like the LensAlign MkII or SpyderLensCal) - AFMA allows you to fine-tune the AF performance of a lens to a body, and is a very nice feature that the 60D lacks.  That's especially important for wide aperture lenses where the thin DoF reveals any small errors in focus.

But, you manually focus most of the time, so AF isn't the issue?  If you are using Live View at 10x to manually focus, then it's likely just slight lens softness at wide apertures.  But if you're focusing using the viewfinder, your focusing screen is the problem.  Stock focusing screens in all current cameras are laser microetched to be brighter with slow lenses (so they work better with consumer f/3.5-5.6 zooms).  A consequence of that microetching is that the DoF yo see in the viewfinder is equivalent to about f/2.5, even with a wider lens.  Try an experiment - normally when looking through the VF, the lens aperture is wide open, but when you use the DoF preview button between f/2.8 and a narrower aperture, in addition to seeing the true DoF you also notice the VF getting darker.  But with your 50/1.4, try holding the DoF preview button and adjusting the aperture from f/1.4 to f/2.5 - notice, the VF isn't getting any darker.  Nor is the DoF changing, because the VF won't show it.  So, you are manually focusing at f/1.4, but judging focus based on the deeper DoF of f/2.5 - meaning you might miss when you get the real DoF in your image.

The solution is the Canon Eg-S focusing screen, which is a matte screen that will show the true DoF of your fast lenses.  Great for MF with fast primes, but with an f/5.6 lens indoors, the VF will be really dim.

3) When I shoot in full auto, the ISO only reaches to 3200. When shooting manually, I am able to kick it up to 6400 (yes the noise is horrific) but why might this be?

The 60D has user-selectable max ISO for Auto ISO, previous cameras do not.  So, Auto runs from 100-3200 and there's nothing you can do to change the max (or the min directly, althoguh using HTP will up that to 200).
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Leopard Lupus

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Re: New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 11:24:04 PM »
Thank you all for the support and replies!
 I went to my local Canon retailer and discussed the issues with them as well, receiving the same advice. I then went out for a day of shooting and was able to achieve wonderful focus at the lens "sweet spot" with the assistance of the newly installed Canon Eg-S focus screen. Thank you for the recommendation, Neuroanatomist. IQ is where is should be and focus is spot-on!

neuroanatomist

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Re: New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 02:53:58 PM »
Glad that sorted your issue.  Happy shooting!
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Re: New 5D mk ll...Issues?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 02:53:58 PM »