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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,251
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts


Edward1064 wrote:

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


I like this photo.  I don't think the background is as bad as you might think.  For better or for worse, the background is LOUD, and draws your attention.  I think the chaotic background contrasts nicely with the pocket of calm in the foreground.  The background is nearly monochromatic [tinged with yellow], while the foreground is full color, however appearing as black and white.  Overall, this is a very interesting photo, IMHO.  

 

 

Lenses can have varying number of internal elements, which suggests that they may achieve focus in different ways.  I have lenses the exhibit CA on objects outside the DOF, but not on objects within the DOF.  Objects behind the DOF are purple fringed, while those in front of the DOF are green fringed.

 

Canon "L" lenses do not seem to operate like I just described.  They seem to exhibit OOF characteristics that seems to me to be closer to that of the human eye.  Objects outside of the DOF become more and more "smeared" the further they are from the plane of focus.  Objects can become so OOF that they may seem to become less and less opaque.  I am near sighted, and when I remove my eyeglasses, your background is similar to what I see, or used to see in my younger days.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 8,027
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

"...the background is LOUD, and draws your attention."

 

That is the problem.  Ugly BG!  IMHO, of course.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,771
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

[ Edited ]

Easy enough to fix just using global settings in Lightroom even with just the JPG.

original (3).jpg

Crop, Desaturate Yellow and Orange, add some Post Crop Vignette 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,771
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

Great Egret, Corkscrew Swamp Sancuary, Naples, FL, March 4, 2017

EOS 7D Mk II w/ EF 100-400 L IS II + 1.4X TC III

A00A1801.jpg

560mm 1/1250, f/8, ISO 1250

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,251
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts


ebiggs1 wrote:

"...the background is LOUD, and draws your attention."

 

That is the problem.  Ugly BG!  IMHO, of course.


To each his own.  I like the shots for the reasons I have already stated.  The bird has found a safe zone amidst the chaos.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,251
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts


TTMartin wrote:

Easy enough to fix just using global settings in Lightroom even with just the JPG.

original (3).jpg

Crop, Desaturate Yellow and Orange, add some Post Crop Vignette 

 


That's one way to hide it.  It might look better without the vignette, though.  If only there were some way to swap the color channels to make the background green, instead of yellow.

 

Then again, the bird could be easily cut out of the shot, and placed on top of a different background altogether.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 8,027
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

"That's one way to hide it."

 

Exactly.  It is still ugly just not as noticeably so.

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

I finally got some time to do a little comparative testing with different scenarios you all suggested.

 

The accompanying photo is the first one I shot with no filter and IS-off (400mm, f/5.6, 1/320; the branch in focus was about 10 feet away.)  So filter and IS are not the cause of the echoes.  

 

I did find the echoes are more prominant at full bore ... which is what I'm usually using since it's usually difficult to get close to wildlife.  Other than that, I couldn't find any correlation between camera / lens settings and the artifacts.

 

Any other suggestions on possible causes will be welcomed.

 

 

branches.jpeg

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,251
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

[ Edited ]

Maybe your lens is defective.  I cannot remember if you had Canon check it out.  Your distortion is most definitely worse than what I get.  And, ditto for Tom, although his shots have very different backgrounds.  He's not picking birds out among branches in the shots that he posted on this thread.

 

Personally, I did find that changing the the filter and shooting mode made a noticeable difference.  The lens did seem to perform as well with a UV filter, in my very unscientific shot examples.  I have a few more than what I posted, but I also deleted nearly all of the bad ones. 

 

The shot below is typical of what I get with mine when there are branches in the background.  The sun kept chasing in and out behind clouds that day, and there was a passing thunderstorm, too.

 

7D Mark II, 1/125, f5.6, ISO 1600, 400mm

 

3D8A0273.JPG

 

You mention that the branch is only 10 feet away, which I am sure is a ballpark guess.  The MFD on the lens is 3.2ft/97.54cm.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 827
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: 100-400 USM II artifacts

I'd like to see the same shots using other lenses.  I think given the same background, most lenses will end up having atrocious unpleasant looking backgrounds like the ones you show.

 

Personally I think your problem is mostly the unfortunate choices of backgrounds and don't tell me that you can't ever avoid them. You don't live in some other places that have worse or better backgrounds than the rest of us.  I think you should move on and accept a certain number of pictures that look "not so good" and move on.

 

I've had shots with terrible background like this even with my 600mm f/4L lens.  I've learned to either avoid cluttered background or learned to live with them.

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