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Author Topic: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4  (Read 3736 times)

Louis

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Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« on: May 02, 2012, 11:33:02 AM »
Hello guys, I dont normally post here, but knowing you are all experts makes me want too,

Ive been having a problem with my new lens, I didn't think I had this problem so bad until recently, now it's maybe my own paranoia, or I do have a problem, i'm not sure what to think really, I own a 5D Mark2 and my lens a Canon 24 1.4 II L Lens, I'm finding at 1.4 I have to take 5 or 6 images to achieve focus that in the hope 1 will have achieved good focus, I understand 1.4 is so shallow its going to be tough anyway and on a poor AF camera as the 5D2 i'm going to have problems, but I think this is just 2 soft, and allot of the time, the camera misses completely, I just don't get it, after spending so much money, i'm getting a but sick of Canon, and I maybe to blame, Now I use a center spot focus and lock and recompose, and this may be a problem, or not, I do think the camera used to lock focus better, is it possible a camera over time, lose focus, I have tried front and back focus tests on a tape measure, and the focus seems fine, I know I should stop down the lens slightly, but I don't see why I can get a semi sharp image at the right distance on 1.4, for that money I think you should be able too, last week, I took a picture of a friend at the side of his hair just on a grey bit above his ear, and it missed so much and I achieved focus on his forehead, I did more tests and the camera could not focus on hair, even though it was a good contrast for the camera, so I though maybe there's certain things canon sensors have trouble with, so today, I went for a walk with mum, to a forest to see the bluebells, it was a bad day, and nothing great to photograph, so I took some pretty crappy shots of a bluebell and noticed a ladybird on it, so i though ok this could be nice, anyway, this ladybird was moving very slowly and I have 1/1250 shutter, the first 2 where so bad, I could hardly believe my eyes, you can see the images here,

http://louis-amore.smugmug.com/Other/Test1/22755782_HxNbF7#!i=1825217841&k=WqLhrhB


you can hit a large size to see close enough,

what are your thoughts, you can see 2 pictures out of the 4 that are slightly okish, and 2 so badly off,


please visit my website, to understand this isn't user error , or in fact it maybe I have no idea

www.louisamore.com

what do you guys think,

for nearly 3500 pounds worth of kit, should I be getting results like this, Im so deeply unhappy, do i send my camera lens to canon to have a look, i'm not sure, or is this what u get for your money, I believe I would get a better result with a much cheaper micro 4/3rds camera,?

thanks for your time to any one who replies

Kindest regards

Louis


PS sorry for the typos im terrible at spelling 

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Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« on: May 02, 2012, 11:33:02 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 11:53:41 AM »
Four little letters.  A. F. M. A.  To expand on that a bit, you need to do an autofocus microadjustment.  Read more about it here (a writeup I posted sometime back).  Or, do as I currently do, and use Reikan FoCal.
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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 12:17:53 PM »
It looks like its front focusing.  You appear to be close, and front focus is normal near mfd.  If you are going to take all your images that close, do a AFMA at that distance.  You then might see issues at far away distances, but depth of filed might save you.
 
This has nothing to do with the complaint that the 5D MK II doesn't focus as well with other than the center point, where its supurb.

Louis

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 12:29:23 PM »
Thanks for your replies guys, would Reikan FoCal. be a good option to buy now? Im not sure how about these things, I've never used them, also, I take allot of landscape, but if Im going to go shallow, I will come in close, I don't want to adjust anything if it means Im going to mess with focus for far away subjects?

regards


Viggo

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 12:30:19 PM »
I had two copies and a customer at my shop tried two copies of the 24 L II that had "random focus". There was a batch that had focus problems.

The issue was as follows; camera tripodmounted, focused with One Shot, and it changed distance dramtically (a couple of feet) from one image to another. Completely at random. Out of 10 images I could have two, one or none sharp, I'm talking WAY off...

My third copy , once adjusted, have been just as stable as my other lenses.
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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 12:31:44 PM »
Reikan FoCal (Pro version) also comes with a 'Focus Consistency Test' that might be useful to you.
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Louis

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 12:52:22 PM »
I had two copies and a customer at my shop tried two copies of the 24 L II that had "random focus". There was a batch that had focus problems.

The issue was as follows; camera tripodmounted, focused with One Shot, and it changed distance dramtically (a couple of feet) from one image to another. Completely at random. Out of 10 images I could have two, one or none sharp, I'm talking WAY off...

My third copy , once adjusted, have been just as stable as my other lenses.

Viggo what did you use to adjust?

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 12:52:22 PM »

pdirestajr

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 01:40:22 PM »
I don't know, to me, this just looks like SUPER SHALLOW DOF where a slight body sway, breeze, or from recomposing is moving the subject out of the focal plane. And also wouldn't shooting completely wide open add just the slightest bit of softness to the image in addition to the sliver of DOF- resulting in a photo that looks OOF.

Have you tried the lens on a tripod photographing a static subject?
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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 01:45:41 PM »
I had two copies and a customer at my shop tried two copies of the 24 L II that had "random focus".

I'm always sceptical when people report these mysterious problems which caused them to go through 3 copies of the lens to find a good one, but I did experience something weird with my 24 II as well which got me thinking.

I was doing AFMA on all my cameras/lenses a couple of weeks ago, and everything was smooth sailing except 24 II. This lens just didn't play well with the 7D at all. 5DMk2 was absolutely fine, but on 7D I would adjust it perfectly, and then after taking a few additional pictures, I realized that AF was all over the place. Sometimes it was as I intended, and sometimes the focus was just way off (even though the camera was locked on a tripod). Eventually I gave up trying to configure it on 7D and decided to only use it on 5Dmk2.

I still don't know what the problem is, I don't really have time to figure it out, so I'm working around the problem for the time being.

helpful

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 02:06:17 PM »
Louis, I know exactly what you are talking about. Autofocus microadjustment will not reliably fix your problem, although that would be a great option for the 5D Mark III.

Even using the center point will not. The 5D Mark II has a problem with this particular lens in my experience. What will work is using lifeview autofocus (very slow) but that will nail the focus on still objects that the focus selector is centered on.

The lens itself has extremely sensitive and accurate autofocus, but the 5D2's phase-detection autofocus just rushes to an approximate focus  point and then leaves it there despite a slight mis-focus. Focusing on infinity and trying again will result in another slightly random focus shift. That's why you are needing to take a whole bunch of pictures in hopes of probably getting one that is sharp on the desired focal point.

Update: By the way, the same lens works fine with the 5D3 and my 7D cameras.
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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012, 02:17:37 PM »
Great photos on your website, Louis. This one is strikes me as better than many famous versions of Yosemite Falls:

http://www.louisamore.com/landscape/2.jpg

It looks like the ground at the bottom edge is "earth" and the falls are pouring from "heaven."
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vlad

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 02:25:45 PM »
It's hard to say exactly what exactly is wrong.  You said you were able to focus fine in a controlled environment (on a ruler).  Was that with autofocus?  The photos on your website are quite nice, so you know what you're doing, but I didn't see a lot of super shallow DOF shots.  1.4  is extremely shallow - misfocusing on the wrong part of a person's head is not at all uncommon even smaller apertures than that.  I bought this lens refurb from Canon and I shoot with a 5Dc, and it's quite sharp wide open (and amazingly sharp stopped down), but focus is tough to nail, especially at close distances.  Just breathing in and out can throw me out of focus.  I'd say shoot some more with it - controlled tests as well as regular shooting - and if it's indeed consistently off, send it in.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 02:51:47 PM by vlad »

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 03:00:16 PM »
The 24mm 1.4L II is notorious for having AF issues. I'm fortunate to never run into that AF issue.

Its entirely possible that you have a bad copy and if AFMA doesn't fix it. , you'll have to send it to canon for re-adjustment. Otherwise the 24mm 1.4L II is solid gold when it lands the shot @ 1.4 on your subject.

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 03:00:16 PM »

bp

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 03:07:36 PM »
I gave up trying to configure it on 7D and decided to only use it on 5Dmk2.
By the way, the same lens works fine with the 5D3 and my 7D cameras.

Wow - I'm not alone!  Weird that you two have had different experiences

I LOOOOOVE the 24II, but I also have had some very weird behavior on my 5D2.  AFMA never seemed to help, so I eventually reset it back to zero and just dealt with it as best I could (like others, I'd usually just take extra shots in case it decided to go wacky on me).  Thus far, I haven't had any of the same random misfocus issues on the 5D3. 
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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 03:08:45 PM »
Louis, I know exactly what you are talking about. Autofocus microadjustment will not reliably fix your problem, although that would be a great option for the 5D Mark III.

Even using the center point will not. The 5D Mark II has a problem with this particular lens in my experience. What will work is using lifeview autofocus (very slow) but that will nail the focus on still objects that the focus selector is centered on.

The lens itself has extremely sensitive and accurate autofocus, but the 5D2's phase-detection autofocus just rushes to an approximate focus  point and then leaves it there despite a slight mis-focus. Focusing on infinity and trying again will result in another slightly random focus shift. That's why you are needing to take a whole bunch of pictures in hopes of probably getting one that is sharp on the desired focal point.

Update: By the way, the same lens works fine with the 5D3 and my 7D cameras.

24L II works fine with my 5DII.

You shouldn't focus and recompose when shooting f/1.4.  The DOF is shallow enough that recomposing can result in OOF pictures.  Try shopping down the lens to f/2.8, 4.0 and 5.6 and see if the focus improves for a test target at a constant distance (center point).  Also try it with Live View.  My shots were blurry using phase detect Af but were sharp with Live View.  I had an issue with my 24L II where I was getting blurry pictures (center point) up to f/5.6 on multiple bodies.  I sent it in and Canon had to adjust the focus settings.  The 24L has worked fine after Canon adjusted its settings.  In your case, it might make sense for you to get in the body in as well.  Then they can adjust the lens more precisely without having you do all the AFMA on the body.

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Re: Trouble with my Canon 24.1.4 ii lens at 1.4
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 03:08:45 PM »