December 15, 2017, 06:50:51 PM

Author Topic: Lens calibration question  (Read 12272 times)

Viggo

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2016, 06:36:49 AM »
Whilst on the subject of calibrating equipment...

Had a chat with a former Canon technician who said that Canon have what he termed 'master technicians'. These are the guys who train the gold level technicians that handle the major issues the average comsumer may encounter.

He went on to state that these are the same guys who calibrate review bodies and lenses for Canon's ambassadors and that got me thinking, are all Canon technicians able to calibrate a piece of equipment 100%?

No they are not capable at all. The first place I sent it to tried two times and then admitted they didn't really have the equipment or the skills. They shipped to a main service site in another country. And even they tried a few times. And it's not like I'm picky. The body shot twenty shots with 20 COMPLETELY different grades of sharp focus. 95% completely off and every 7-8 picture was good enough. How they didn't see this is beyond me. I even sent loads of examples, yet they cleared it and sent it back.
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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2016, 06:36:49 AM »

Sabaki

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2016, 07:47:34 AM »
Whilst on the subject of calibrating equipment...

Had a chat with a former Canon technician who said that Canon have what he termed 'master technicians'. These are the guys who train the gold level technicians that handle the major issues the average comsumer may encounter.

He went on to state that these are the same guys who calibrate review bodies and lenses for Canon's ambassadors and that got me thinking, are all Canon technicians able to calibrate a piece of equipment 100%?

No they are not capable at all. The first place I sent it to tried two times and then admitted they didn't really have the equipment or the skills. They shipped to a main service site in another country. And even they tried a few times. And it's not like I'm picky. The body shot twenty shots with 20 COMPLETELY different grades of sharp focus. 95% completely off and every 7-8 picture was good enough. How they didn't see this is beyond me. I even sent loads of examples, yet they cleared it and sent it back.

Ouch! You're not from South Africa by any chance are you?  :o
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Viggo

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2016, 07:57:35 AM »
Whilst on the subject of calibrating equipment...

Had a chat with a former Canon technician who said that Canon have what he termed 'master technicians'. These are the guys who train the gold level technicians that handle the major issues the average comsumer may encounter.

He went on to state that these are the same guys who calibrate review bodies and lenses for Canon's ambassadors and that got me thinking, are all Canon technicians able to calibrate a piece of equipment 100%?

No they are not capable at all. The first place I sent it to tried two times and then admitted they didn't really have the equipment or the skills. They shipped to a main service site in another country. And even they tried a few times. And it's not like I'm picky. The body shot twenty shots with 20 COMPLETELY different grades of sharp focus. 95% completely off and every 7-8 picture was good enough. How they didn't see this is beyond me. I even sent loads of examples, yet they cleared it and sent it back.

Ouch! You're not from South Africa by any chance are you?  :o

Haha, couldn't be further from it, in from Norway, but if it's like both there and here, it's not an isolated incident now is it.... Ouch, indeed...
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Mancubus

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2016, 12:04:12 PM »
Haha, couldn't be further from it, in from Norway, but if it's like both there and here, it's not an isolated incident now is it.... Ouch, indeed...

Even living in a top notch country you got this kind of service. Now try to imagine how hard it is for some of us in 3rd world countries (some with very weak consumer protection laws) to get something done properly.

Viggo

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2016, 03:23:11 PM »
Haha, couldn't be further from it, in from Norway, but if it's like both there and here, it's not an isolated incident now is it.... Ouch, indeed...

Even living in a top notch country you got this kind of service. Now try to imagine how hard it is for some of us in 3rd world countries (some with very weak consumer protection laws) to get something done properly.

A lot of brands should really step up and train people properly and provide the correct instruments to provide proper service indeed...
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Mancubus

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 02:13:20 PM »
Just an update here on my situation:

My 70-200 2.8 IS II is giving me slightly off focus in about 40% of the images and way off in about 20%. Very frustating because in a photoshoot I must make the same shot like 4-5 times just to be almost sure the eye will be in perfect focus at least in one shot (and sometimes it isn't!).

I tried with 2 different bodies, a 5D3 which was sent in to be calibrated with this lens last year and a new 80D. Both have the same inconsistency, but behave well with some other lenses I have.

I really don't want to be without my 5D3 this time, it takes too long and I got work to do. If I send just the 70-200 to Canon service, will they actually do anything or just tell me it's all working well? And if they do calibrate, how much am I expected to pay since warranty has already expired.

littleB

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 02:26:12 PM »
From my knowledge of Canon calibration, there are different tolerances for calibration, depending on lens.

Fast lenses (max aperture equal 2.8 or brighter) are to be focused within 1/3 DoF range around the focus target. Looks like the 2.8-sensitive AF point is required for this, too.

Slower lenses (slower than 2.8) are calibrated to be focused  within DoF.

They have a calibrated body with some service software, the body is used for lens calibration. My 24-70/2.8 mk1 was calibrared to be dead on at 50mm of zoom, but was a bit inaccurate at both ends of zoom range.

For bodies calibration,  they use a standard 50mm lens, also precisely calibrated.

Lens calibration can have two ways of adjustment: either some digital parameters are set to the lens (like sigma dock does), or mechanical adjustments are made. Sometimes technicians are lazy and do only electronic part of calibration.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 02:40:19 PM by littleB »

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 02:26:12 PM »

Mancubus

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 02:52:26 PM »
Sometimes technicians are lazy and do only electronic part of calibration.

That is exactly my fear here, if the lens needs some mechanical intervention and they neglect it, I will end up paying for nothing.

I'm really thinking about servicing it or not, I don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for some lazy service that won't solve my problem.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2017, 03:06:22 PM »
Just an update here on my situation:

My 70-200 2.8 IS II is giving me slightly off focus in about 40% of the images and way off in about 20%. Very frustating because in a photoshoot I must make the same shot like 4-5 times just to be almost sure the eye will be in perfect focus at least in one shot (and sometimes it isn't!).

I tried with 2 different bodies, a 5D3 which was sent in to be calibrated with this lens last year and a new 80D. Both have the same inconsistency, but behave well with some other lenses I have.

I really don't want to be without my 5D3 this time, it takes too long and I got work to do. If I send just the 70-200 to Canon service, will they actually do anything or just tell me it's all working well? And if they do calibrate, how much am I expected to pay since warranty has already expired.

Just send the lens in.  Mention exactly what you have posted about previous repair, and using it on two 5D MK III bodies and 80D, and getting inconsistent autofocus.  It really sounds like a mechanical lens issue to me, not a adjustment.

 If you are able, attempt to determine if the issue only happens at certain distances, for example, at ~ 8 ft as opposed to 20 ft.  You might look at distance info for the bad photos and see if the issue is distance related, which points more to a mechanical issue or binding.  That potentially would be a big help to Canon in finding the issue.

Canon will try to find the issue with the inconsistency, and then adjust it on a reference 5D MK III body.  It should come back perfect. There are several mechanical issues that could cause the issue.  If all of their test photos show consistent AF, there is little they can do.

If You happen to use Reikan Focal, there is a AF consistency test that can be run for each AF point that gives values that you could include when you send the lens in to Canon.  Focal does a lot more than just AFMA.  Try it with just the center point to see if it shows the issue.

https://www.reikanfocal.com/features.html#afc

"Autofocus Consistency How repeatable is your autofocus?
When you half-press that shutter button and your camera beeps, where is it really focusing?
The Autofocus Consistency test will automatically defocus and refocus a number of times and show you just how consistent the focus point is.
This tool can highlight camera and lens problems, including degradation of focus drive mechanism. Combined with the FoCal Comparison Database, you can know if you've got problems coming."
 

scottkinfw

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2017, 09:17:49 PM »
If you join CPS they may loan you a lens while yours is getting fixed?

sek

I have a 70-200 2.8 II IS, which had some focusing inconsistency with my 5d3 in the past (AFMA wouldn't solve it because it was randomly misfocusing).

I've sent them both to Canon and after a month it came back perfectly calibrated, nails focus all the time without need for any AFMA. However, my backup camera (a 100D or SL1) is hopeless with this lens, misses focus a lot of the time. It works well with my other lenses though.

It doesn't really bother me because I rarely use that body especially with that lens. I could send it to Canon for a month to calibrate but not with the lens (which I need for my work). Questions:

1- Can Canon do anything about my 100D calibration without me having to send in the lens as well?

2- If I buy a 5d4, I'm afraid it could have the same issue and I don't want to send it in for a month right after buying it. Since the 70-200 has been serviced and calibrated for my 5d3, will it also work perfectly with the 5d4 (assuming I don't buy a lemon)?
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.
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Mancubus

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 07:30:23 AM »
If you join CPS they may loan you a lens while yours is getting fixed?

sek

I don't meet the requirements for the gold CPS membership (which loans gear), it would require another 5D or 1D series and another L lenses for me to be eligible.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2017, 11:07:30 AM »
Canon does calibrate lenses. They can be damaged or knocked out of adjustment in shipping or in use. Always check them as soon as you get them. Third party lenses seem to be even more prone to being knocked out of alignment. The latest canon lenses are more robust and better packed but shippers can damage anything

The lenses come inside a plastic bag, with a very protective foam around it, and then a box. If you order online there will be an additional foam/bubble wrap and then another cardboard box. I know these lenses can take quite a beating, I'm pretty sure my lenses endure daily a lot more than a brand new lens that never left the box.

I don't think I could be rough enough to mess up the calibration of a brand new lens in the box without clearly damaging the box. I also believe that in the absolutely majority of cases, these new lens boxes are properly transported. My conclusion is: If a brand new lens is not focusing well, Canon didn't do a good job calibrating/testing it enough.

Your conclusion is wrong. Every lens and every camera is manufactured within certain tolerances. If you get a camera and lens at the edge of what Canon approves it might miss quite a bit when you put them together, if you then have a camera off in one end and the lens in the other end, suddenly they are bang on together. To compensate for this, you have the possibility to AFMA in the camera body.

If this is the case, either the tolerance is insufficient or I was extremely unlucky to have about half of the lenses and bodies I've ever had (about 10 lenses and 5 bodies) seriously misfocusing.



There is always a tolerance, nothing is perfect.  However, Canon sets the tolerance for lenses and the camera body such that even in the worst case, they meet the specification. 

No matter how well a lens is packed, there are some that arrive damaged.  Roger at Lens Rentals is able to document and track this because every lens is checked before shipping, but some arrive at the customer with AF accuracy being messed up.  Shipping takes a toll.

Mancubus

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2017, 06:07:55 AM »
No matter how well a lens is packed, there are some that arrive damaged.  Roger at Lens Rentals is able to document and track this because every lens is checked before shipping, but some arrive at the customer with AF accuracy being messed up.  Shipping takes a toll.

When shipping, the lens usually goes inside a case, which is heavily padded by itself and then surrounded with foam.

Unless the box takes a drop from the 3rd floor, I don't believe it can really mess up the AF. Isn't high end photography equipment supposed to be tough?

I bet these NatGeo photographers have to endure a lot of harsh conditions to get some of those nature shots, pretty sure the lenses and cameras take some bumps now and then, but they are still able to deliver tack sharp images.

I am starting to believe that only the people that "matter" have their equipment serviced the proper way, because the camera companies know they will lose significant reputation if they screw up. However, for the rest of us, we get mediocre service (depends on where you live). After all, if they don't fix my equipment properly (after a MONTH!) there is not much I can do besides ranting on the internet and having the equipment sent in again for another month.

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2017, 06:07:55 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2017, 11:20:45 AM »
No matter how well a lens is packed, there are some that arrive damaged.  Roger at Lens Rentals is able to document and track this because every lens is checked before shipping, but some arrive at the customer with AF accuracy being messed up.  Shipping takes a toll.

When shipping, the lens usually goes inside a case, which is heavily padded by itself and then surrounded with foam.

Unless the box takes a drop from the 3rd floor, I don't believe it can really mess up the AF. Isn't high end photography equipment supposed to be tough?

I bet these NatGeo photographers have to endure a lot of harsh conditions to get some of those nature shots, pretty sure the lenses and cameras take some bumps now and then, but they are still able to deliver tack sharp images.

I am starting to believe that only the people that "matter" have their equipment serviced the proper way, because the camera companies know they will lose significant reputation if they screw up. However, for the rest of us, we get mediocre service (depends on where you live). After all, if they don't fix my equipment properly (after a MONTH!) there is not much I can do besides ranting on the internet and having the equipment sent in again for another month.

The 70-200 is rugged, but they do not come in a hard case, and should not be shipped to Canon in their storage case, which is not a whole lot of protection from shipping.

Photographers normally ship their equipment by air in large hard cases, not by UPS like rental companies and ordinary people do.  So, if you ship it in a large case, go to the airport and have it sent by air freight, and have someone pick it up, there is less chance of damage.

My wife used to work in a Post Office.  She told me that when the boss was out, some of the men had contests kicking packages across the large room to try and land them in the hampers.  They kept trying until it went in.  Damage cam be accumulative, each of the many 10 ft drops a parcel goes thru can add or lossen parts until they are damaged.

Not every item shipped is damaged, but the percentage is higher than people want to believe.  I run a online business shipping sensitive electronics and use extreme packaging, but even so, a percentage get damaged.

drmikeinpdx

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2017, 12:17:34 PM »
I've sent a few lenses to Canon due to focus issues.  Typically, they try an "electronic adjustment" first and send it back to you.   If that doesn't work,  send it back, they will try it again and it still won't work right.  On the third attempt, they may give it to a tech who knows how to take the lens apart and fix things like loose zoom assemblies and decentered elements, which can't be fixed with electronic adjustments.

You really have to be persistent.

I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but the next time I send a lens in for the second time, I will include a note requesting that the lens be sent to a tech who knows how to fix mechanical problems.

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Re: Lens calibration question
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2017, 12:17:34 PM »