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Author Topic: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?  (Read 5410 times)

tjjackson63

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Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« on: June 17, 2012, 05:37:21 PM »
Hello, I'm just a hobby photographer, a long ways from knowing everything I need to know.  I recently bought a used 24-70 from KEH with an Ex+ rating.  I was a little nervous about getting this lens because of what I've read about bad copies.  I'm still trying to figure out if I got a good one or not.  Some photos seem sharp some don't.  So, I don't know if it's me or the lens...or both.  Can I please get some insight with this?  I'll try to post a few different pics I recently took with this lens....

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Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« on: June 17, 2012, 05:37:21 PM »

tjjackson63

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 05:40:23 PM »
Pic 2

tjjackson63

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 05:46:57 PM »
pic 3

tjjackson63

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 05:49:50 PM »
pic 4...This is the one worries me the most.  I've had a couple turn out like this.  Kind of seems out of focus.  All of these ones are hand held.  I did adjust saturation a bit on the 1st one, pics 2, 3, and 4 are untouched.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 05:52:18 PM by tjjackson63 »

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 05:59:47 PM »
I've had five of the older 24-70mm L model, and while they were all right, just not spectacular.  The images you posted are a bit difficult, because we do not know where the AF point was, or the camera body settings.
 
I find FoCal is a good way to give a lens a good bit of testing for not only autofocus accuract, but consistency of autofocus.  You can also find out at which settings your lens is the sharpest.
 
The 24-70 does have way too much field of curvature, which on closeups with a wide aperture will mean out of focus edges, or if you focus toward the edge, the center will be soft.
 
For those with a crop body, you can get the 17-55mmL, but with FF, I'd get a new one locally, as it can take a few tries to get a really good one.  The field of curvature will not improve though, its in the design.

tjjackson63

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 06:12:56 PM »
I am using a crop sensor t2i.  I'm pretty sure I just used auto-focus, aimed at the crossbar on the bike.  I just checked the settings and it was:  55mm,  F7, 1/80th sec
Could that 1/80th handheld be the culprit in this photo?
Also, I went with the 24-70 over the 17-55 because I read alot about dust issues with that lens, and though I'm as careful as I can be, I'm a little clumsy, AND I change my lenses alot out on dirt roads and in the woods looking for wildlife.  I hope to some day have a Mark ii as a 2nd camera to carry around so I figured when that day comes my 24-70 can go on that one.

jordanbstead

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 06:27:56 PM »
Yes, it's user error.  All the photos are tack, save for the last one, shot at a slower shutter speed and at 55mm.  You were probably just moving around too much as you shot it. 

Know that as a base rule, whatever shutter speed you're shooting at should be a 1/x of whatever lens length you're at. This helps to combat camera shake. 

Example: If you're shooting with a 50mm lens, you'll need AT LEAST a shutter speed of 1/50th to get a sharp image with average camera shake.

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 06:27:56 PM »

Tammy

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 06:53:59 PM »
Yes, it's user error.  All the photos are tack, save for the last one, shot at a slower shutter speed and at 55mm.  You were probably just moving around too much as you shot it. 

Know that as a base rule, whatever shutter speed you're shooting at should be a 1/x of whatever lens length you're at. This helps to combat camera shake. 

Example: If you're shooting with a 50mm lens, you'll need AT LEAST a shutter speed of 1/50th to get a sharp image with average camera shake.

he is shooting with a crop so he should be shooting at 1/1.6x focal length.. if he has decent steady hands.. if not, 2x would be a good easy rule..
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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 07:38:27 PM »
http://www.canonrumors.com/tech-articles/how-to-test-a-lens/

When testing a lens you should use a steady tripod under controlled conditions.    I suggest using liveview AF on a stationary (inanimate) object; that red wall, from a distance, might be a decent test target.



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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 07:47:51 PM »
Yes, it's user error.  All the photos are tack, save for the last one, shot at a slower shutter speed and at 55mm.  You were probably just moving around too much as you shot it. 

Know that as a base rule, whatever shutter speed you're shooting at should be a 1/x of whatever lens length you're at. This helps to combat camera shake. 

Example: If you're shooting with a 50mm lens, you'll need AT LEAST a shutter speed of 1/50th to get a sharp image with average camera shake.

he is shooting with a crop so he should be shooting at 1/1.6x focal length.. if he has decent steady hands.. if not, 2x would be a good easy rule..

Yes, the old 1/effective focal length (1/1.6 X FL) was ok for 5mp sensors, but for 18mp sensors, double the minimum speed, for 50mm on a crop camera, try to use 1/160 or 1/200 sec to reduce motion blur.  To test a body, use a tripod, or a really high shutter speed, 1/640 or 1/1000 to pretty much eliminate motion as a factor.  you will be much happier when you get the shutter speed up. 
 
The 24-70mm L is very unbalanced on a crop body, so it gets more handheld movement than a better balanced lens.

Jettatore

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 08:04:58 PM »
I'd give it some more time before getting worried.  It appears that your lens is at least capable of taking sharp pictures.  For example the shot of the dear is sharp, as well the 'ear' of the woman you took a picture of is very sharp.  Are you using a focus region or a selected focus point?  The other shots could do with being a little sharper, the first image of the fence and flowers as well as the image of the bike should be sharper on that lens.  I have a copy of the 24-70, it's razor sharp throughout on both full frame and crop.

Higher shutter speeds, practicing steady hands, taking multiple pictures of the same image, practice focusing.  The advice above about using a tri-pod with a delayed 2 second shutter and shooting with various settings in live view is worth trying.  I don't see anything that jumps out as a problem with your lens, so do a bunch of tests, get good at it before you start worrying.  Also, just a basic note for you, if you are shooting wide open at 2.8 on a scene with objects at varying distances, only the objects in line with what you focused on (focal plane) are going to be in sharp focus, everything else will gradually recede out of focus, so you may want to pay attention to testing at higher f/numbers as well as faster shutter speeds.  Also, I would compliment your composition, the framing choices in all of your shots is quite good.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 08:11:45 PM by Jettatore »

imkev

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 09:37:29 PM »

I find FoCal is a good way to give a lens a good bit of testing for not only autofocus accuract, but consistency of autofocus.  You can also find out at which settings your lens is the sharpest.
 


Which version of FoCal would you recommend purchasing. I have a 5DII and a 7D that I woulld be using it on. Also is there anywhere state side we can get it, or is it only available on their website in the UK?

Thanks in advance for any input
5D2, 7D, T2i and way too many lenses.

rwmson

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 08:32:28 AM »
I believe it's only available online.
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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 08:32:28 AM »

tjjackson63

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2012, 11:02:31 PM »
Thank you all for your help!  Also, to Jettatore, thank you for the compliment on my composition.  : )

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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2012, 12:33:56 AM »
Thank you all for your help!  Also, to Jettatore, thank you for the compliment on my composition.  : )

Well, it's frustrating when you're doing DSLR photography.  Your picture doesn't look good and think of the myriad of things that could have gone wrong and you have to figure out which it is!! 

I personally don't think there is anything wrong with your lens.  Practice landscape shots with it.  Set your aperture to f/11 to f/22.  Your DOF will be so huge you can just change shutter speed for correct metering.  Then practice shallowing your DOF, on a tripod.  That's how I learn each of my lenses.  And it's fun!  8)
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Re: Did I get a bad lens...or user error?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2012, 12:33:56 AM »