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RF 70-200mm Blurry/Shaky Images

yourneighbor
Contributor

Hey there!

Random issue that cropped up recently. I've had my RF 70-200 for a couple of months now and have used it quite a bit, however it is still very very new to me. This is my first telephoto. I've noticed that when I take a photo at random the resulting image will be blurry/shaky looking. I shoot 98% on a tripod and thus use the tripod collar. It usually will happen when the shutter speed is 1 second or greater, in f/ 8-22 and when the histogram is leaning left, it seems to get better when shutter speed is <0.5 seconds, but not always.

I first started noticing this with leaves at 200mm. It looked like there was some camera movement. I chocked it up to the trees moving, but then I started noticing stationary items that cannot move also looked this way.

I've taken hundreds of shots to try to figure this out, but can't seem to form any really pattern to it. I'm hoping that it is just something simple or that I'm overlooking.

I have not had this issue with other lenses, I own a EF 16-35mm (with adapter) and an RF 50mm prime.

Camera is an EOS R.

Things I have tried but to no avail:

  • Both mechanical and electronic shutters (silent shutter) - I thought it was shutter shake
  • Various filters (on and off)
  • Tightening everything on the tripod down (including collar)
  • Changing types of ground that the tripod is on (hard or soft)
  • Firmware is up-to-date on both lens and camera
  • Happens in both AF and MF
  • Image Stabilizer is off
  • Focus limiter switch is always on full
  • Happens in One-shot and Servo 
  • Changing drive modes (usually single shooting or low continuous)
  • Touch shutter and shutter button
  • Continuous focus on and off

Photo examples that I took to try to show what this looks like:

First photo the words are doubling.

11canon 1.jpg22canon 2.jpgFV2A7969.33333.jpgcanon 3.jpg

AF was achieved on each photo. I really don't know, it's like the tripod or camera moved, but assure you it did not. These photos were taken today and yesterday in an attempt to document it. Hope it just something simple that has completely evaded me.

 

Thanks for looking πŸ˜ƒ I appreciate the feedback in advance.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

jaewoosong
Enthusiast

The main problem is the slow shutter and how you're triggering the shutter.

1) the slow shutter means that any movement of the camera may result in the double image, even though you're on a tripod.

2) when you press the shutter or press the touch shutter on the back of the screen, you are moving the camera a fraction which gets compounded by the telephoto lens.  what you are seeing is two stabilized images of you pressing the button and then the 2nd image after your finger is lifted off the camera. notice that the double image is slightly down consistently, this can be pressing the top shutter down or pressing the touch shutter forward (moving camera forward which will result in lens moving up/down).  The blur is consistent (see trash can and tree limbs pics)

if you weren't using a tripod the image would have just been blurry but the image is recording two distinct moments when the camera is moved ever so slightly.

the fix is to use a wireless trigger so that you don't touch the camera at all.  or use a faster shutter speed.

Another possible problem is cheap quality filters that is causing a ghost image.  Unless you're using high quality filters, cheap glass can cause a ghost image depending on the lighting hitting the filter at a certain angle.

edit: on second thought you are set to continuous focus, you should be using single shot focusing.  continuous focus will also compound the issue i described above as the focus is not "locked" to a single shot and may be adjusting with the slight movement of the camera.

View solution in original post

13 REPLIES 13

amfoto1
Whiz

Try leaving Image Stabilization turned on. If it's not needed, modern Canon lenses turn it off themselves. But if there is any movement, even from internal camera vibrations or a breeze, it can be effective counteracting them.

I see you're using an EOS R... which doesn't have in-body stabilization.

Also try using the self timer to delay shutter release so that you aren't touching the camera when the shutter fires. A 2 or 3 second delay is usually sufficient,, but longer delay will work too. Or, use a remote release (can be wired or wireless, depending upon what's available for your camera). 

Raise your ISO from 100... no need to take those shots at slow 1 second or 1.3 second shutter speeds. ISO 800, ISO 1600 would make for much faster shutter speeds and should be no problem for your camera.

Remove any and all filters to shoot without them. I've seen poor quality filters cause problems much like this. 

Frankly, it's entirely possible none of these things will help. It doesn't appear to be out of focus, but more like a ghost image causing the "softness". If you continue to see the problem, send the lens to Canon and have it checked. Include some sample images like you have here. Especially if you have other lenses where you aren't seeing the same problem, it's possible there's a misaligned element or other problem with the lens. 

***********


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2) some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & ZENFOLIO 

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated! I might be heading down the RMA road depending on the what is suggested here. I really want to trust this lens, I love the perspective it provides.

Looking at the images and EXIF data again, I'm convinced the problem is...

1. You have turned off IS.

2. You are using too low ISO, which is causing long exposures (1 second or more).

3. You are tripping the shutter by pressing the shutter release with your finger.

In spite of using the tripod, you are getting "shake blur" due to those combination of factors. Even though it is probably happening at all focal lengths, this will be most noticeable at the 200mm end of the zoom range, as you've indicated.

So get out there with the lens again... INCREASE YOUR ISO to something more reasonable that allows for FASTER SHUTTER SPEEDS and LEAVE IMAGE STABILIZATION turned on. Tripod is okay if you wish, but with fast enough shutter speeds you should be able to handhold shots with good results. Shooting under brighter conditions certainly would help.

OR... if you still want to use really low ISO (not that it serves much purpose) and long, slow shutter speeds... GET YOUR HANDS OFF THE CAMERA. Use a remote release... wired or wireless, whatever is available for your camera. You might even be able to use your phone. OR... you can simply use the self-timer to delay the shutter release a few seconds after you press the shutter release.

To get the results you want , depending upon the lighting conditions you may need to do a combination or all of the above at the same time... bumping up the ISO a little, speeding up the shutter a little, using the tripod and leaving IS on... while using a remote release or self-timer delay.

Ultimately, I suspect your lens is fine. It's your settings, methodology and technique that need work! 😊

***********


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2) some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & ZENFOLIO 

Hey Alan,

Jaewoosong said similar things.

"It's your settings, methodology and technique that need work!" I think you're absolutely right here. To me, photography is something that requires continuous learning, which is why I love it. 

I appreciate your feedback and honesty. I will be incorporating these changes into my outings and will definitely be using a delayed shutter more often! Cheers

 


 

Waddizzle
Legend

You need to use WAY, WAY more focal length if you are going to crop that far into the image.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

These images were taken specifically to try and document this problem. The crop was to satisfy the file size of the forum. I didn't want to lose detail of the issue by reducing the quality of the image, so I opted for a crop - relying more on the mp of the photo. These aren't images I'm taking to frame and put on the wall. lol

You are using Lightroom.  You can specify the maximum file size when you export to a JPG file.  This forum like 4.5MB, or smaller.  

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

You're right and I didn't change the export settings when exporting from Lightroom - because this is my first time posting here and blah. I think the images demonstrate the issue pretty clearly, with the appropriate info. I cropped in like MS image viewer not Lightroom.

jaewoosong
Enthusiast

The main problem is the slow shutter and how you're triggering the shutter.

1) the slow shutter means that any movement of the camera may result in the double image, even though you're on a tripod.

2) when you press the shutter or press the touch shutter on the back of the screen, you are moving the camera a fraction which gets compounded by the telephoto lens.  what you are seeing is two stabilized images of you pressing the button and then the 2nd image after your finger is lifted off the camera. notice that the double image is slightly down consistently, this can be pressing the top shutter down or pressing the touch shutter forward (moving camera forward which will result in lens moving up/down).  The blur is consistent (see trash can and tree limbs pics)

if you weren't using a tripod the image would have just been blurry but the image is recording two distinct moments when the camera is moved ever so slightly.

the fix is to use a wireless trigger so that you don't touch the camera at all.  or use a faster shutter speed.

Another possible problem is cheap quality filters that is causing a ghost image.  Unless you're using high quality filters, cheap glass can cause a ghost image depending on the lighting hitting the filter at a certain angle.

edit: on second thought you are set to continuous focus, you should be using single shot focusing.  continuous focus will also compound the issue i described above as the focus is not "locked" to a single shot and may be adjusting with the slight movement of the camera.

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