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Author Topic: 7D focusing question??  (Read 38344 times)

marcm1

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7D focusing question??
« on: May 03, 2011, 11:16:59 PM »
I bought the camera when they first released them and also bought the 70-200 2.8 L lens non IS. I have tried micro focusing the lens but still get no sharp images from it. I also at times while taking pictures it will totally blur then after pushing the button down a couple of times it will refocus and seem to act fine. It is set up on the center focus and almost all pictures taken in manual mode. All I take is pictures of my daughters and some of their sports activites. Any ideas what I should look at doing as far as should I send it in for Canon to look at it? I have a friend who has a older 20D and it takes ALOT sharper images than this thing does. Any suggestions will help.

Thanks

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7D focusing question??
« on: May 03, 2011, 11:16:59 PM »

jepicard

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 12:32:39 AM »
Having experienced foucusing issues out of the box with a 24-70 + another friend with similar issues with a 70-200 2.8 V II, and a friend who recently sent his 7D and lenses in for servicing, cut to the chase and send in the lens and body especially if they are under warranty.

Service is remarkably fast and in the cases cited above, solved the focusing issues.

J

DockNorth

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 01:33:56 AM »
I am going to assume you know your way around the camera but...before we go to far lets check. Are you pushing the button down halfway before you take a picture to give it a chance to focus on the subject? If you are doing this and the lens is still not focusing or it is possibly hunting a lot (in good light and with a stable, non-moving object to focus on) then you need to send the camera and lens back for a check and adjustment.

Manufacturers have tolerances to allow for small differences in lens/camera combinations but the allowable tolerances are very small and unless you are specifically looking for focus issues - very closely - you will not notice any problems on a set that is within tolerances.

If you are doing everything right and it is not focusing on a repeatable basis then the camera/lens have issues.

K3nt

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2011, 01:44:43 AM »
Another thing to test is to enable the full 19 AF points and shoot in Full Auto mode. Can you get any sharp images that way? It is probably a silly test but...
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epsiloneri

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2011, 07:00:26 AM »
So many things could be wrong that it is very hard to help you in a forum short of you giving an extensive and detailed report. E.g.: Is it really AF that is poor, or is it something else? (motion blur, poor optics, too high expectations, etc.) Some things to consider:

* Is there a sharp focused point in the image that doesn't coincide with your intended location of focus?
* Are the 20D pictures actually sharper, or is it just that the pixel density of that camera is so much lower?
* Do you get sharp images if you use a tripod and focus with live view?

I'm not saying the AF isn't bad, it's just hard to judge without more info.

DRD photo

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2011, 07:55:37 AM »
I have a similar issue with my Canon 7D and a 70-200mm f4 L lens in which the lens will lock focus about 30% of the time on auto-focus. I have tried several different lighting situations and contrasting images, but the lens hunts back and forth too much and when it locks focus, it has back focused when it beeps to shoot. In manual mode trying to catch sports, or kids in action would produce blurred images because you would have to constantly move the focus ring manually to keep focus and that is not easy. The lens is under warranty so I am sending both the lens and the body in to be re-calibrated together. This is the only lens that I have had focusing issues with, but as a whole I shoot with the center point selected at the widest aperture, of if there is enough light I stop down a little to get a sharper image. oddly enough I have a sigma 150-500mm lens which I have had no focusing issues with my 7D. Hope this helps a little.

awinphoto

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2011, 10:09:27 AM »
marcm1,  It may be a silly question, however what shutter speed are you shooting at.  Keep in mind, with the 70-200, at 200, with no IS, the slowest you can handhold shoot is 1/200.  If you are shooting indoors, it can be difficult balancing fast shutter, aperture, and iso.  Also assuming you are shooting at high ISO and high shutter, what NR do you have your camera set at?  In any case, do you use a supplemental flash unit to add more light or just shoot as is available light?  It is easy for anyone to throw darts at the board and give advise without having a chance to be there to help you but either way, check those settings, shoot outdoors which may eliminate that low light situation JUST TO SEE if it is the lens or a camera setting.  IF the lens still cant handle plenty of light and all AF settings are reset as needed, then it's the lens.  If it works great outdoors or at least you can get a proper MA and good repeatable autofocus, then it's a light issue.  I hope this helps 
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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2011, 10:09:27 AM »

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 12:09:28 PM »
I bought the camera when they first released them and also bought the 70-200 2.8 L lens non IS. I have tried micro focusing the lens but still get no sharp images from it. I also at times while taking pictures it will totally blur then after pushing the button down a couple of times it will refocus and seem to act fine. It is set up on the center focus and almost all pictures taken in manual mode. All I take is pictures of my daughters and some of their sports activites. Any ideas what I should look at doing as far as should I send it in for Canon to look at it? I have a friend who has a older 20D and it takes ALOT sharper images than this thing does. Any suggestions will help.

Thanks

If I understand you correctly, You have owned the camera and lens for two years, so you know best what to expect of the lens.  If your other lenses do fine, and that one has troubles, sent it in for repair. 

marcm1

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 02:36:47 PM »
I do alot of cheerleading pictures of my girls and mostly all in manual and all above 500 speed, iso will vary due to lighting and aparture is usually in the 2.8 to 4 range, it's not that I have a  sharp area in one spot which is due to it focusing on a wrong aboject or something it will just go totally blurred inside my window I'm looking through when I depress the button 1/2 way while trying to get it focused on where I am aiming.

But I just shot some picutres of a friend daughter for prom and used this lens and a 15-85 lens inside and outside in shadows and in light and I have never gotten since I have owned this camera a true sharp crisp picture from anything, I have messed around with the lens on my tripod and microadjusted for the best picture which is a -2 on the lens. If I need to send it off then now is the time during my off season on my girls.

awinphoto

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2011, 03:33:51 PM »
Assuming there is plenty of light that you are able to use without dropping shutter speeds, and if you cant get focus on ANY lens as you said, I would suggest sending your lenses and camera into canon for them to take a look.  What focus mode do you use?  What setting is your NR set at?  If you cannot even micro-adjust, then I would be grasping at straws without physically seeing your camera and settings and troubleshooting in person.  Hopefully canon's techs can help.  Sorry to hear about your problems. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

steven63

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 03:41:14 PM »
You didn't state your camera knowledge so I'm not looking to offend you but try setting the camera on shutter priority and setting your shutter to at least 1/200th for action shots.  If you are shooting indoor in low light up your ISO to compensate (don't worry about the noise just try to see if you can get a focused shot).  Then set it to full auto and take another photo.  If those both come out blurry you've likely got a calibration issue.


marcm1

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 11:07:39 PM »
My camera knowledge is very new, this is the first dslr camera I have ever owned. I do up the ISO all the way to 6400 if needed in some lighting and sometimes it will be alot lower it depends on the light, I try to keep ISO low so to keep the noise down and play with the aperture usaully at 2.8 because it doesn't matter if the background is fuzzy because I'm shooting up close cheerleading pictures and I try not to drop below 500 shutter speed for the action shots as long as I can keep the meter in the middle at the bottom of the window. The NR is set to default I have never messed with it. I have only used my main settings and not wandered into changing any major settings in the camera so I won't mess anything up. I will look at camera tommorrow and see what the NR is set on. As before in earlyer post I usaully have just the center focus dot up because I'm trying to get one person in focus most of the time.

But even with setting it to auto I still don't get sharp pictures, they are always kind of soft as I would discribe them. I know different lenses need to have the micro adjustment set up for each lens to match it to the camera. I try to do alot of reading and look at the forum post before I attempt anything. 

I appreciate everyone's post and I hope I don't seem to stupid about this stuff just trying to learn as much as I can as I go by reading alot of stuff.

Thanks.

maharzan

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 03:59:02 AM »
Hi there,

I am so much on the same path. I am very new to photography. I bought 7D more than a year back because I heard its video capability (PAL/NTSC stuff) was very good. better than 5D MkII (at least the frame rates). I was looking to have a still camera with video capability back then as I was tired to carrying 2 cameras around (Still/Video). I never owned a DSLR as well so I just jumped in, risked by money to get a 7D. Who ever thinks, a 1800$ camera will have flaws??

I mainly used the camera for video and occasionally took photos. I was never professional so, all I did was manual focus, adjust aperture and shutter speed to I could get the meter to 0 (recommended exposure?). I always got soft image too and I blamed myself all this time as it was very difficult to focus. I mean, even if you feel its focused in the LCD or view finder, when you look into the computer, I always saw photos were out of focus.

Recently, I bought 35mm 1.4L Canon and videos / photos were soft with this lens too. Unfortunately, I live abroad and Canon warranty has already expired. I don't know what to do. I have learnt a lot during last 2 months as it was too much why a 1800$ camera isn't giving me sharp images as I see in flickr or other forums. I have been experimenting a lot but sometimes I feel like I get sharper images and sometimes it looks like its front focusing. At least when I shoot my MBP's keyboard, when I focus on say Y key, the focus is actually on the N key. I even did MA but then I just reset it to 0. I took several pictures outside and they seem good. I will still need to experiment more and practice focusing.

Anyway, the point is, can you post pictures of what you are getting? I might also take some pictures later and post. I am not sure what to do at this point. I can't take it to Canon for sure at least not without paying another 300-500 bucks. Any pointers is every helpful.

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 03:59:02 AM »

maharzan

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 04:10:08 AM »
Actually, can you do this? Get on a tripod, use 7D to picture same object and also use another camera you said, 20D and take a picture. I want to see how different they are. I am really considering getting another camera at this point. AF in 7D is complicated and even though they say its the best, who cares if a simple person cannot shoot a focused image. :)

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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 04:28:48 AM »
Are you using Ai Servo or One shot? If Ai Servo, what's your Custom Functions set up like? For instance, many people set the Sensitivity to +2 "to make it focus faster" this will only make your AF jump around and not track the subject at all.

The other thing often done wrong is using one single AF point with no assist-points, use surrounding points and sensitivty set to -1. Allow 0.5 second to lock and start tracking.
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Re: 7D focusing question??
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 04:28:48 AM »