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Author Topic: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere  (Read 2432 times)

Kingnog

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Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« on: April 30, 2012, 06:21:52 PM »
It's difficult to say if I always had this problem, but I just noticed it recently. Lens works fine for macro shots but everything else is soft. Here are some examples, all shot at high shutter speeds on my 7D and my XSi. Even the focus point is not in-focus. It is worst at f/2.8 and gets "OK" at f/8, but still worse than my 70-300mm IS USM.

I did not notice this until yesterday when 30 out of 30 shots had this hazy/out of focus look to them.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 10:19:19 AM by Kingnog »

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Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« on: April 30, 2012, 06:21:52 PM »

elflord

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 06:47:54 PM »
It's difficult to say if I always had this problem, but I just noticed it recently. Lens works fine for macro shots but everything else is soft. Here are some examples, all shot at high shutter speeds on my 7D and my XSi. Even the focus point is not in-focus. It is worst at f/2.8 and gets "OK" at f/8, but still worse than my 70-300mm IS USM.

Looks like it could be out of focus. Did you try manually focusing in live view to determine whether it's the AF or the optics ? If it's a focus problem, you could try microfocus-adjusting (since your body supports it) and see if you can get the longer shots to work without messing up your macro shots.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 07:11:45 PM »
I'd call that unacceptably soft.  Given your shutter speeds, it's unlikely to be motion blur or camera shake (especially the second shot at 1/640 s).  Could be the AF, could be the lens.  I'd suggest testing with Live View and manual focus (or autofocus in Live View, as long as you're not using the quick mode where the mirror flips up) and see if that's sharp, as elflord suggests.  If that works, you need AFMA on your 7D (XSi doesn't support it).  If it's still just as soft, I'd contact Canon Service.
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Kingnog

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 07:40:37 PM »
I'd call that unacceptably soft.  Given your shutter speeds, it's unlikely to be motion blur or camera shake (especially the second shot at 1/640 s).  Could be the AF, could be the lens.  I'd suggest testing with Live View and manual focus (or autofocus in Live View, as long as you're not using the quick mode where the mirror flips up) and see if that's sharp, as elflord suggests.  If that works, you need AFMA on your 7D (XSi doesn't support it).  If it's still just as soft, I'd contact Canon Service.

Looks like it could be out of focus. Did you try manually focusing in live view to determine whether it's the AF or the optics ? If it's a focus problem, you could try microfocus-adjusting (since your body supports it) and see if you can get the longer shots to work without messing up your macro shots.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to focus it even in live view mode. :(
How much would this sort of repair cost? What could even be wrong?

elflord

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 08:25:29 PM »

Unfortunately, I can't seem to focus it even in live view mode. :(
How much would this sort of repair cost? What could even be wrong?

If  you still get blurry images when you manually focus in live view ("zooming" in to 10x to make sure you're dead on), it's not the AF -- it's got to be something with the lens. If the lens is under warranty, the repair won't cost you anything.  I'd go to Canon's website and fill out their online repair form. They should be able to give you an estimate in a timely manner.

dmills

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 10:08:03 PM »
This may sound a little stupid, but I had this problem once, so it's worth checking. Look under the rear cap and make sure there isn't a big fingerprint or something on the rear element that's causing the blur. My wife often holds my camera lens as I'm changing, and once there was an inexplicable fingerprint there that screwed up a few shots until I looked and saw what was going on. Forgive me if you've already checked that, but also, if you're living in a place where it's getting warmer, moving from an air-conditioned environment to a more humid environment can give you fog on the lenses until it has a chance to equalize.
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knkedlaya

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 10:54:24 PM »
Could be problem with the autofocus precision. With my 7D and 100mmL combination AF is always soft, it never bothered me since I always use manual focus for macro. Manual focus gives me good results. I have observed this glowish effect with 50mm with 25mm extension tube till f4 or so and they vanish at smaller apertures(above f4), never seen this in my 100mm. Is it possible for you to post the best in the lot image you made at large aperture and in munual focus mode?
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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 10:54:24 PM »

Orion

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 11:41:02 PM »
If you look at the 2nd image, of the eyes, you will notice the reflection in her eyes is weird. . . . it's shape/diffraction makes it seem like one of the glass elements in your lens may be slightly off its intented position/angle, etc (the blur and 'diffraction' seem to have upward motion, instead of even blur or haloing. . .it's all shifted. . . and it is not the case that in the eye example, the eyes happen to be oveal shaped and causing the type of blur etc.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 11:44:04 PM by Orion »

Kingnog

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 12:57:35 AM »
Thanks for your help, everyone who responded. I'll see if I can get it repaired.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 10:18:22 AM by Kingnog »

Marsu42

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 03:23:36 AM »
Thanks for your help, everyone who responded. I'll see if I can get it repaired.

If it gets repaired and you re-test it: The lens' sharpness peaks at 6.3-7.1 (shoot macros here!) and gets softer below to a rather soft 2.8. Even when ok, a 100% crop @f2.8 with this lens will look no better than the trees you posted.



wockawocka

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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 06:32:04 AM »
I'd send it in. It'll be a three figure amount to fix.

That's assuming you've tried every conveivable configuration to test.
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Re: Is my Canon 100mm macro broken? Soft everywhere
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 07:39:15 AM »