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my 400mm 5.6 wont focus sharp

colin333
Occasional Contributor

Hi Guys

Appreciate any help here

I have my camera  (5d mkiv) set up on tripod and trigger with my 400mm lens. It is set up as one shot with the center focusing point. I take a picture in live view at 25m and it is pin sharp, however when i use normal position it is not as sharp, I have gone thru the micro settings from -10 to +10 but still cannot get it as sharp as live view. Any suggestions would be most welcome

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

"If focus is all over the place (there is no trend) ..."

 

It sounds like it is simple mis-focus.  If it is we don't want to make a simple problem into a difficult one. One fact I see often is the better or more expensive cameras that have focus adjustment need it the least. Lower end cameras that could benefit form it don't have it. I think a more controlled test is warranted here. A lot of people jump into AFMA when it isn't the problem only to make things worse.

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

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@colin333 wrote:

I know that but as I said I just thought it was interesting that it came up different. The changes i made was to the microadjustment


Of course, you should get the same ISO value whether you use Live View or the viewfinder.  But, if the viewfinder were left uncovered when you measured the exposure, then that could explain the difference in ISO values.  

The metering sensor is at the top of the viewfinder.  Under normal shooting conditions, your face covers the viewfinder, which cuts off stray light from entering the viewfinder and reaching the sensor.  

 

When the camera is on a tripod, the viewfinder is frequently left uncovered.  The 1D series of bodies have a little curtain that you can flip into place, which blocks the viewfinder for just this reason.  You do not have to rely on the top LCD to read the exposure, though.

 

You can see the metering info when the camera is on a tripod by pressing [INFO] until you see the Quick Menu display.  If the shutter is not set to blank the. LCD, half pressing the shutter will allow you to see a dynamic of exposure prior to taking a shot.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

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27 REPLIES 27

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

"... it is pin sharp..."

 

This tells you it is not the lens or camera.  That means you need to look elsewhere for the issue. 

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


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"... it is pin sharp..."

 

This tells you it is not the lens or camera.  That means you need to look elsewhere for the issue. 


When you focus using Live View you are looking at excatgly what the sensor is recording. If its in focus in Live View it will be in focus in the digital file.

 

When you are focusing through the view finder you are indirectly focusing the lens; you cannot actually see whether it is in focus or not.

 

If its "pin sharp" in Live View but not when you use the "normal" AF system it means there is a problem in the phase-detection AF system "flowpath". It could be badly out of adjustment or damaged, so that camera repair is necessary, or it could just need autofocus micro adjustment "AFMA". 

 

https://cdn.static-bl.com/images/manual/Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide.pdf

 

 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

colin333
Occasional Contributor

It is a brand new camera so I hope that isnt the issue. Could it be the mirror action that is sending it slighty out

With only one lens and camera yo cannot isolate the problem. Need to get an additional item and then see what happens.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

"This tells you it is not the lens or camera.  That means you need to look elsewhere for the issue."

 

My intention was to confirm the lens and camera can be "pin sharp".  That is why I suggested the OP look "elsewhere".

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

kvbarkley
Honored Contributor

You need something like an AlignRite - or a yardstick at 45 degrees - to tell *where* it is focusing.

 

If it is severly front/back focusing, you can send it to Canon to be calibrated with your camera.

 

Does it Focus OK with other lenses?

colin333
Occasional Contributor

i have not tried it with other lens, but will do - thank you

TCampbell
Esteemed Contributor

You mentioned using center focusing point and getting a sharp result.

 

But then you said "i use normal position it is not as sharp".

 

What's "normal" position?

 

Are you referring to a different focus mode?  Different focus points?

 

In "One Shot" mode the system only focuses until it achieves focus... then stops focusing.  If anything moves after it achieved a focus lock, it does not re-focus unless you force it.  In "AI Servo" mode it will continuously track focus.

 

As for focus points... if you force it to use a specific AF point, then that's the point it will use (you can also use AF point expansion or surround modes to increase the area, but again... it will stick to that cluster of points).

 

If you start to give the camera more freedom ... zone focus or allow all AF points... then the camera uses some rules to decide how to choose a focus point.

 

In typical One-Shot mode (if all AF points are active), it will typically try to find the AF point that can achieve focus at the CLOSEST focus distance to the camera.    This means you would want to make sure there is are no focus points located on anything in the scene which is closer than your intended subject.

 

In AI Servo mode it will follow the rules based on the intelligent Tracking & Recognition system (iTR).  You can do things such as set an initial point of interest and then select the "case" rule for how it should behave when trying to follow that subject around the frame and it will do its best to keep up.  It will typically highlight (with a few squares) the points that are being tracked so you know what it thinks it is focused on.  There are also rules about how it should behave when doing a burst of shots.    Note that iTR is only active in viewfinder mode (not available if doing live-view) and also you must be using either zone-AF, large-zone-AF, or full auto-AF (all points active).  It is not available if using spot, single-point, AF-expansion, or AF-surround modes.

 

If single-point AF nails focus for you... then my guess is when you say "normal position" you are letting the camera pick the AF point and when that happens, it has different rules to decide which AF point should be used.  This isn't a big deal if you know the rules.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

colin333
Occasional Contributor

sorry for not explaining myself better.

 

So I took a picture of a static object with small lettering on at a distance of about 25m. the 1st picture was taken in live view. This was sharp and lettering was crisp.

 

I then took a picture through the view finder with the single center focus point selected, it was in one shot mode. this produced a picture with blurred lettering.

 

I went 10 points both negative and positive microadjustment, I did get a slightly more foccused lettering but not as good as I got in live view