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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎06-07-2015
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Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

Recently I bought a new  70 - 300 Canon IS (not the L white one). I was clicking famingoes and  other waders. Used servo focus and one shot in aperture priority mode with a wide aperture. I was not too impressed by its sharpness especially at 300. The sharpness I get with my 18-135 STM is much better compared to the 300 especially when cropped . Since the investment is already made and I cannot exchange it also for another lens what is the best way out. How do I improve sharpness. At what tele does it give the best sharpness. Should I send it for a check. It is under warranty. What would be the best option if I were to sell it buy another one.

 

After I had problems I read on the net that the sharpness of this lens isn't good at all. I am wondering why does Canon still sell it or does not do something about it. Does not it have a reputation to save.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,030
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

[ Edited ]

I will take it as a given that you cannot return a new lens to where you purchased it.  What is the full, exact model number for the lens that you're talking about?

 

What camera are you using with the lens?  Some cameras have AFMA, Auto Focus Micro Adjustment.  Zoom lenses have long been known to sacrifice image quality for the convenience of mulitiple focal lengths, but they have gotten much better over the years, especially in the medium price range. 

 

Many zoom lenses perform better, and worse, at certain ranges of their focal lengths.  It is not uncommon for telephoto zooms to suffer a fall off in image quality at the top end of their zoom ranges.  However, you should not be seeing out of focus pictures.

 

If you are taking pictures handheld, try taking some from a sturdy tripod, just to see if camera shake is what you're seeing.  Also, make sure the Image Stabilization is turned on when using it handheld, and do not move the camera too quickly.

 

[EDIT]  Can you post a sample picture?

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,910
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

"... why does Canon still sell it or does not do something about it."

 

This is the lens you bought, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens?

Yes?  You have to remember Canon has a price point that it has to meet in order to satisfy most of its customers.  Most simply will not spend into the thousands for a tele lens.  Plus most want a full feature zoom that does as much as possible.  Hence the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens at a very reasonable price.

 

"Does not it have a reputation to save."

 

Yes they do. Both of the big two camera makers make a lens like this.  The Nikon version is the Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED Lens.  And it is in the same price point and performance category as your lens.  I am afraid this is as good as it gets unless you want to invest more money.

 

Now that said I am going to bet some of the issues your are seeing is user error or your technique.  The good part of that is, it can be corrected! A couple things to keep in mind. One a 300mm lens on your camera is going to show you what nearly a 500mm lens does on a 35mm film or full frame DSLR camera.  You are beginning to talk about some serious tele power.  And it brings along all its little issues with it. You need to hold the lens very steady at the long end.  You can google some proper holding techniques. It is also going to require a lot of light because you need the SS at or above 1/500 for best results.

Don't use AI-Servo right now.  Get to know the lens first.  Also select just the center focus point. Turn the others off.

 

Two things you said are going to bring out all the short comings of the lens quickly.  First, "...especially when cropped...". Cropping always pushes the envelope.  It will show every flaw.  And second, "...with a wide aperture...".  Any lens no matter the cost is not at its best wide open.  A stop or two down is where the sweet spot usually is.

 

So you can add don't shoot wide open and don't crop too much.  There are some other things you can do in post editing to help make the photos better.  What software do you use?

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎06-07-2015

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

Thanks Waddizzle and be 1. Sorry for being a little late in my reply. I am using a Canon 70D. All the pictures I clicked were on 1 shot focus with A1 Servo mode and IS at the 2 position. I am an amateur photographer who has been doing photography as a hobby. Possibility of not the steadiest hand cannot be ruled out. I am more worried about sharpness and not out of focus I am using the Canon software which came with camera. I will take your advice regarding not keeping the aperture widest and not cropping to much.

One last query do you think not taking photographs at the maximum Tele of 300 and clicking somewhere between 270-280 mm help.
Thanks a ton once again
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎06-07-2015

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

Sorry at the risk of sounding stupid how do I add attach a photo
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,030
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos


kpsanghvi wrote:
Sorry at the risk of sounding stupid how do I add attach a photo

When you are typing a reply into the textbox, you should see a row of icons at the top of the box.  Let your mouse hover over each one, and they tell you what each of them can do.  For example, the first one, the big black letter B, turns bold type on and off.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎06-07-2015

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

IMG_3673.JPG

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎06-07-2015

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

In continuing with discussion I have uploaded a test photo. Is this photo sharp enough for a 300 mm or not. (Do I need to get the lens checked)

 

Secondly how would one differentiate between a blurry photo due to inadequate focussing (lens fault) or inadequate sharpness  or blurriness due hand movement

 

I will try to upload some more photos

 

Regards and Thanks

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎06-07-2015

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

IMG_3733.JPG

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎06-07-2015

Re: Canon 70-300 mm IS USM blurry photos

IMG_3746.JPG

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