AF issues with 5Dmk4

Isaacheus

EOS RP
Jun 22, 2017
200
12
New Zealand
I have a friend who upgraded from previously using a 5dmk2 and 5dmk3 in April to the 5dmk4, loves the video focusing and found the sensor a worthwhile upgrade but has been struggling with the AF.

Canon ended up actually replacing the first body with another (af was properly malfunctioning) but with the replacement body, the af is still very inaccurate (although is an improvement on the previous body), with many of the shots seeming to come out soft/misfocused, using the OVF. In every case, the focus point has been directly on someone's eye and the focus seems to be a good few inches to the left and upwards. This was even the case in a newborn session with good consistent light and a completely asleep and still subject.

It seems to be the case for every lens we've tried, afma through the foCal software has helped the Sigma 35mm 1.4, but the tamron 24-70 2.8 g2 is still all over the place, as are the 50mm 1.8 stm and 135mm L.

I tried my 70-200mm f4 IS and 16-35 f4 IS and I consistently have issues with focus too, although these haven't been afma'd.

Live view focusing is excellent, and the lenses all work well on the 2x 6d and the previous 5dmk2/3 cameras. My own lenses (and the sigma) on my Sony a7r3 adapted are excellent.

Has anyone else had similar problems coming from 5dmk2 and mk3 cameras? It's not a case of one bad lens, and this is the first model camera that has given issues with af over a number of years. I would have hoped it was a big improvement but so far the only great thing is the video.
 
My first DSLR was a 5D2 which had terrible AI servo focus tracking (literally unusable) but pretty good one shot autofocus. I traded that in a got a 5D3 which had much better AI servo and also better single shot. I traded that in and now have two 5D4 bodies, both bought from Canon reburbished site. These are the best yet and AI servo works great. The 5D3 was pretty good but these are even better and I have never had any issues. In fact I don't recall anyone reporting issues like this either (unlike the 7D2 which a lot of people have focus issues with, including me - I used mine twice and sold it). Please note I have never used video mode or live view, but it seems like you said those were ok and your issue is with conventional still frame focus.
 

Act444

EOS 6D MK II
May 4, 2011
979
79
One of my 5D4s seems to have issues with the 70-200 2.8 II lens for some reason - AF just a bit off/inconsistent especially in low light - but I guess fortunately(?) the issue seems to be limited to that one lens. It is more or less fine with other lenses I've put on it (give or take some AFMA adjustment). Shooting AF servo with the tracking sensitivity set to -1 seems to improve the hit rate. I know the issue is not with the lens - it works fine on the other 5D4 body as well as the 5D3 I had before. (I have yet to put it on my 5DSR, and it's possible I never will.)

Generally speaking though, I have found the 5D4 AF to be a little steadier/more reliable than on the 5D3 I had prior.
 
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Larsskv

EOS 7D MK II
Jun 12, 2015
759
178
This sounds weird. My 5DIV focuses accurately with just about any Canon lens I have. In general, it is at apertures between f1.2 and f2 that the risk of bad focus is the highest, but for still subjects, I find the 5DIV to perform very well.

Canon f2.8 and f4 zoom lenses rarely miss focus.

When shooting in low light, the 5DIV will struggle a bit more to get perfect fous, unless you switch over to the seriously good live view dual pixel AF.

It sounds like the lightning hit twice at the same place, and that the replacement 5DIV was faulty as well.
 
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Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,200
166
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Isaacheus.
As you have FoCal did you try the af point consistency test, from memory this can be used to check points away from centre against the centre point to highlight out of alignment components.
I stopped trying to AFMA my Sigma lens after ages of trying and going back and forth, it was just too inconsistent, sometimes back focusing sometimes front focusing, rarely bang on! Tried with a dock and with in camera AFMA.

Cheers, Graham.
I have a friend who upgraded from previously using a 5dmk2 and 5dmk3 in April to the 5dmk4, loves the video focusing and found the sensor a worthwhile upgrade but has been struggling with the AF.

Canon ended up actually replacing the first body with another (af was properly malfunctioning) but with the replacement body, the af is still very inaccurate (although is an improvement on the previous body), with many of the shots seeming to come out soft/misfocused, using the OVF. In every case, the focus point has been directly on someone's eye and the focus seems to be a good few inches to the left and upwards. This was even the case in a newborn session with good consistent light and a completely asleep and still subject.

It seems to be the case for every lens we've tried, afma through the foCal software has helped the Sigma 35mm 1.4, but the tamron 24-70 2.8 g2 is still all over the place, as are the 50mm 1.8 stm and 135mm L.

I tried my 70-200mm f4 IS and 16-35 f4 IS and I consistently have issues with focus too, although these haven't been afma'd.

Live view focusing is excellent, and the lenses all work well on the 2x 6d and the previous 5dmk2/3 cameras. My own lenses (and the sigma) on my Sony a7r3 adapted are excellent.

Has anyone else had similar problems coming from 5dmk2 and mk3 cameras? It's not a case of one bad lens, and this is the first model camera that has given issues with af over a number of years. I would have hoped it was a big improvement but so far the only great thing is the video.
 
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Isaacheus

EOS RP
Jun 22, 2017
200
12
New Zealand
Thanks for all the replies - I've had a suggestion to check the focus point through DPP too, just to check where the camera thinks the focus point was.

It'll be a pain if it really is another camera issue. Wanted to check whether there were any known quirks, and/or run through a few checks to eliminate user error (although there's a good 10 years experience with canon cameras there) first, before sending it back to canon

@Valvebounce - the sigma seems to be the only lens that has actually behaved after AFMA, the canon lenses (50mm and 135mm) are giving the same problems still unfortunately. Will try the AF consistently test with foCal too
 

Isaacheus

EOS RP
Jun 22, 2017
200
12
New Zealand
Hi Isaacheus.
I was more thinking about the Tamron which you said was all over the shop, but then so are the Canon! :unsure::unsure:

Cheers, Graham.
Ah yeah, the tamron seems to be the worst offender, but the others are still problematic also.

I took the camera out for a day with my 70-200 and was quite disappointed with how few were in focus, far less than I get with my 6d in the same situation. I know that hasn't been afma'd on the 5dmk4 but it meant no keepers that I was happy with for the whole day. I want to say there would be a fair amount of user error in that with a somewhat unfamiliar camera but I was really struggling with the focus the whole time
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,421
674
Ah yeah, the tamron seems to be the worst offender, but the others are still problematic also.

I took the camera out for a day with my 70-200 and was quite disappointed with how few were in focus, far less than I get with my 6d in the same situation. I know that hasn't been afma'd on the 5dmk4 but it meant no keepers that I was happy with for the whole day. I want to say there would be a fair amount of user error in that with a somewhat unfamiliar camera but I was really struggling with the focus the whole time
For someone who knows photography like you, the camera should be behaving very well. Put it on a tripod, defocus the lens, and take a few tries doing that at different distances. It should be right on virtually all the time. If not, return it or ask for service, don't delay, the sooner you tell them of the issue, the better. If you wait, and they find damage, they may claim you damaged it. It could have been damaged in shipping, that happens more frequently than some believe. Roger Cicla has commented on that with customers receiving cameras with damage in shipping.
 
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