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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

[ Edited ]

Waddizzle wrote:
Tom, what sort of lens filter do you use, if any, on the 100-400?  In addition to changing some settings, I replaced the UV filter with a less costly B+W clear filter, and now all of my backgrounds are beautiful.  The lens has a learning curve, IMHO.

[link removed per forum guidelines]
I agree a cheap filter could be causing the issue too. Either that or it has something to do with the post processing.
And to a certain extent you have to 'get the shot'. No lens can eliminate forground clutter. In some of the other shots it just looks like the background was sharpened in post processing.
Since the lens has already been to Canon once, I would lean towards working to eliminate all factors on the user side before blaming the lens.

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,565
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

Tom,

That is the same B+W filter that I use on all of my "L" lenses.  On the 100-400, I had been using a Tiffany 77nn UV 16 filter, which works fine on my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.  I think the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM just doesn't like UV filters.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,541
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

"The ugly bokeh is typical of this lens."

 

Most of those shots prove it.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-28-2017

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts.  Looks like I came to the right place to ask about this.  I didn't expect so many replies or such quick turn around.  Much appreciated.

 

@ Bob: The camera and lens have never been dropped or mishandled in any way.  The artifacts were showing up right after I received the lens.  All but one of the sample photos (sapsucker - 1/800, f/9) were all taken without the 1.4x (which is a Canon III), but the artifacts show up with the 1.4x on as well.

 

@ Waddizzle:  Nice photos.  I can see a touch of echo in your second photo (branch along right margin) but it is minor compared to what I'm getting and doesn't spoil the shot.  Your bokeh also looks smoother than mine.  I've tried different shutter speeds and I haven't found a correlation with the echoes.  The sample shots range from 1/250 (elegant trogon-f/5.6 and goshawk-f/6.3) to 1/1600 (rose-throated becard-f/5.6, hoping to catch it in flight).  The ground doves were at 1/1000 f/5.6 and the brown thrasher was at 1/500 f/5.  

 

I use back-button focus as well ... which helps in other ways but doesn't get rid of the artifacts.  MF isn't really an option since many of my subjects move around quickly and are hard to get in focus even with AF.  IS-off usually isn't an option since my hand isn't that steady and animals are most active in low-light conditions ... so with IS off I'd have to push up the shutter speed which would require unacceptably high ISO.  Not sure how an IS problem would produce echoes.  However, I'll do some on/off comparisons and see if it resolves the issue.

 

@ ebiggs1:  I generally use One Shot and IS (no tripod).  I haven't messed with the focus adjustment since it seems good as is.  I do use a Hoya Fusion UV filter (over $100) to protect the front lens surface since I'm often bushwhacking off trail.  It has an anti-reflective coating with near 100% transmissivity so I don't think it could be causing the echoes.  However, I'll take some comparison shots with it on/off and see if that reveals anything.

 

@ diverhank:  There's no way for me to avoid busy backgrounds given where most of my subjects are found.  The two Canon photographers I mentioned in my original post are both dedicated bird photographers who take most of their images in the same kinds of habitats (forests, brush, shrubs, grasses, etc.) but haven't experienced the same kinds of echoes ... though both told me they have had disappointing bokehs at time.  This is why I wondered whether my lens is defective.  

 

@TTMartin.  Also nice photos.  The echoes in my shots are present pre-processing; if I use sharpening at all it is very little.  Just to give 2 examples, other than a little exposure adjustment, the two images below have no sharpening or other processing, yet they both show 2-3 echos on branches, etc.  

 

With the 1.4x, I don't think I've ever obtained images with the quality of your first two shots, but I'm strictly hand-held.  In any event, your bokeh looks smoother than what I'm getting and I don't see any hint of echo artifacts in yours.  Were those taken with a 100-400-II?

 

Goshawk.jpegSapsucker.jpeg

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts


 

@TTMartin.  Also nice photos.  The echoes in my shots are present pre-processing; if I use sharpening at all it is very little.  Just to give 2 examples, other than a little exposure adjustment, the two images below have no sharpening or other processing, yet they both show 2-3 echos on branches, etc.  

 

With the 1.4x, I don't think I've ever obtained images with the quality of your first two shots, but I'm strictly hand-held.  In any event, your bokeh looks smoother than what I'm getting and I don't see any hint of echo artifacts in yours.  Were those taken with a 100-400-II?

 

 


 

Yes, all of the photos I posted were taken with the EF 100-400 L IS II on a 7D Mk II.

 

I would start by trying no filter, or switching out the the filter we use. I'll PM you the link.

 

I don't use BBF, but, instead leave the focus on the shutter button and reprogram the AF-ON button, to work as AF-OFF that way I can suspend focus the few times I need to. Where most of the time I want continous AIServo focus.

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts


TTMartin wrote:

I would start by trying no filter, or switching out the the filter we use. I'll PM you the link.

 

 

 


Filter causing issues with the EF 100-400 bokeh isn't a known issue.

 

Just Google search 'using a uv filter with ef 100-400 bad bokeh' it gives dozens of results.

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-28-2017

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

Thanks for the additional insights.

 

I'll start by doing comparisons wiith and without filter.  Hope that's the problem because it's an easy fix and, apart from the echo/bokeh problems, I like my 7D-100-400 setup.  

 

If it's the filter, I won't buy Hoya ever again.  Bought their filter with the best anti-reflective coating specifically to prevent problems like this ... which is why I didn't suspect it could be the culpret.

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,541
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

Just remove the filter and try it.  Pretty easy wat to see if it is the filter.

 

If you check some of the birder web sites you will find most folks complain about ugly BG and boken from this lens.  If you like shooting birds you really need to join one of them anyway.  Lots of good info there.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,565
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts


JeffD wrote:

Thanks for the additional insights.

 

I'll start by doing comparisons wiith and without filter.  Hope that's the problem because it's an easy fix and, apart from the echo/bokeh problems, I like my 7D-100-400 setup.  

 

If it's the filter, I won't buy Hoya ever again.  Bought their filter with the best anti-reflective coating specifically to prevent problems like this ... which is why I didn't suspect it could be the culpret.

 


Good idea.  Never buy Hoya again.  Buy the B+W 77mm XS-Pro Clear MRC-Nano 007 Filter

 

I have never had the ugly background with my 7D Mark II, but I have seen it with my 6D.

 

I like to use BBF because I am no good at holding the shutter button half depressed.  I guess I do the exact opposite of what Tom does.  He likes to turn AF off.  I like to turn AF on.  To each his own.  You might like BBF, or you might not.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎01-04-2013

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

JeffD and all,

 

Your artifacts are interesting to me, and I try to image (without success) what could cause them.  The background objects are brought to a focus in front of the sensor, and the light rays then diverge before they hit the sensor.

 

I have used a 60D and Canon 100-400 mm zoom for about 3 years now, and your post reminded me of a photo I took a couple of years ago.  It has terrible bokeh, by chance, and was my first training of the importance of this characteristic.  I dug it out, and am including it.  It has the type of background that would bring out your artifacts: large grasses.  But the out-of-focus grasses do not have that multiple-edge look yours have.  

 

My setup: 60D, Canon 100-400 mm original lens, Hoya UV filter for lens protection

 

I think that this would be a good question for a Canon engineer.  These lenses are complicated affairs, and someone who has experience in their design and testing might be required to get to the bottom of your issue.  If it were my lens, I think that I would push Canon pretty hard to either fix or replace my lens.  Aftre all, their reputation depends on it.

 

Edward1064Belted Kingfisher

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