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Blurry photos with 70-300 4/5.6 USM IS






The v1 of this lens is not known for exceptional image quality.  I own the v2.  I used it with my T6s (112-480MM) and on a trip to Russia on my 6D2.  This was at 300mm 600ft +.  Sky is washed out because I was there in the dead of winter.  It was 40* and raining.  This is what the camera and lens captured, no post editing.  My copy did pretty well. Non "L" glass and under $500.  Its not my 70-200 2.8 II, but its also half the weight and size.  I saw someone carrying a Lumix.  She was pretty envious of my images when we compared shots at the bar on the ship every evening.  Not sure how you spent $1800 on a T2i (9 yrs old) and EF 70-300?  You may want to consider what you are trying to compare here?  You can keep your Lumix (my opinion).  Maybe Canon is not for you.  I sure like mine.           



Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~6D2 (v1.1.1) Retired ~EF Trinity, others ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10/11 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra ~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

Mine are pretty sharp, too:

This is just out of the camera - no editing:







Which Lumix do you have? The micro 4/3 ?  

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Nice shot Rick.  Smiley Happy I am thinking of all the PSing I would do to it.  Great fun.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


There is nothing wrong with your Canon gear.  Nothing.




Your own photo demonstrates there is nothing wrong with your camera/lens combo. There is no evidence of back focusing in this shot.  Even if it is “very slight” as you say, it it not a “big problem”, or even a real problem.

You have been trying to compare Coke to Pepsi, when you have actually been comparing apples to oranges.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

@Robodot wrote:

maybe, maybe not, most of the reviews I have seen on this 70-300 lens (now that it has been out for a decade) are saying it is soft and blurry at 300mm as I am. When 2 lenses have the same issue, its not a bad copy it is a bad lens and the new one is worse.


as far as the 60 d is concerned, I wouldnt know, but i imagine if you put a $1500 lens on this body it  would be great. I just dont like blurry, soft shots, and if i have to spend another $1500 (which now brings it to $3000) to get that, i can get it with the Lumix for $500. 

Most consumer reviews are often written by people who have something bad to say.  Or, they think their gear is the best thing since they put bubbles into beer.  The reviews at B&H average over 4.5 out of 5.  Bad reviews are a distinct minority.


[EDIT]. If you want to take snapshots, then stick to your Lumix.  If you want to take photographs, use a DSLR.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

I just took a look at some review sites and this is what I found:


The webite reviews:
Average review 4.5 out of 5 for 702 user reviews website reviews:
Average review 4.25 out of 5


Ken Rockwell Review had no issues with focus


From these sites I cannot substantiate the view that reviewers see this lens as poor, far from it in fact.


Trying to figure out what is the issue here, apart from the OP's obvious sense of frustration, I wonder if the issue is to do with the fact the lens is not parafocal.  SO, my question is how do you focus on your target.  Do you focus then zoom in, or do you zoom and focus?

cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

To the v1's credit.  There are good reasons why this lens is still being sold.  There are a lot of folks out there using this lens who are very happy with it.  The length of time its been in production is proof of this. 


Thanks for the compliment Ernie.  Never stop learning from you, and.  all of you guys here!


Tronhard, I'm a zoom and then focus photographer.  This is how I learned 40 yrs ago.  On a shoot, composition, my mind is already calculating FOV, subject, exposure and what level of DOF I want to achieve before the camera makes it to eye level.


Cheers Guys!   

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~6D2 (v1.1.1) Retired ~EF Trinity, others ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10/11 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra ~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

Not really, and I have reset it many times, that was the only thing Canon could recommend when I first purchased it. Over the years I have tried changing some of the more advanced settings according to experts on you tube, things like using the back focus button etc. The only things I change are:

Live View Mode: Quick focus. ???????

photo review: off

sleep: 2 min


thats about it!”




Are you using Live View, or the viewfinder, to focus and take pictures?

"The right mouse button is your friend."