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5DSr + Otus 85 NOT SHARP, Live View Problem - NOT HAPPY WITH CANON!


Let me 1st preface with saying about 10 posts down from this one, was my original from last week. Many people contributed help, for which I'm grateful. I still have the problem. I also want to say the 5DSr is new - less than 300 exposures on it. I have many Canon lenses, with many being "L". I am a member of Canon Pro Services, CPS. Using the 5DSr + the Zeiss OTUS 85mm, there's $9000 invested, with no satisfaction. Let me also add that for the 1st time since I'm 18, and that's over 40 yrs ago, I have ventured outside of the Canon system and bought a Fujifilm X-T2 + their 56mm 1.2, and I am in all ways astounded at what else apparently is out there. Quality, performance, functionality - superb. The best money and satisfaction right out of the box (at 1/3 the money of the Canon + Otus) I have ever spent in photography. And the sharpest images I have ever taken. Enough of that, because I think I'm finished with the Canon ride. 


To recap the problem - when using Live View for any lens attached, Canon or Zeiss, the lens automatically stops-down to say 5 or 5.6 or thereabouts. It can be stopped. When the picture is snapped, the lens opens up to whatever I set, say 1.4, makes the exposure, and the  returns to a stopped-down position - cannot be averted in ANY way. Exposure simulation enable, disable, or "during" makes no difference. What brought my attention to this was trying to discover why images viewed at 16X during live-liew, looking razor, razor sharp on the LCD using "the finest lens in photography", the Otus 85mm, result in soft, out-of-focus throwaways every time, regardless of lens. I made the posting last week addressing this problem.


People contributed lots of input - all to no avail. I called CPS phone tech support, and ABSOLUTELY no help there. I attended the Photo Expo show yesterday in NYC, spoke to the Canon techs at their booth + the techs they had there at the CPS booth - and no help there. Nobody's even really sure what the functionality is supposed to be. The only real help, or at least corroboration was had at the Zeiss booth, where a rep mounted the Otus 85 on a 5DSr, in Live-View, and it performed as it should - lens stayed wide open, until the exposure was made. So, my original suspician that there was something wrong with the camera seems true. Luckily is well within warranty, so Canon will be getting it back.


The reason I'm so annoyed at this is because I believe Canon has become the Microsoft of the photo world. They find it hard to support what they're putting out. They'd rather put customers through the ringer, than admit a problem. I did other searches..for the last 4 yrs or so, many people have had issues with Canon DSLR live-view. Now whether it's a defect 100% of the time, is probably not true either, but apparently either the systems are not designed/implemented well, or they can't be explained well enough to operate. People having real frustrations after spending good money with live-view systems either improperly designed or too flaky to operate without lots of heartache. No one on this board will accuse Canon of being the industry's most innovative company, but Canon will have to accept the fact they're the largest and are getting sloppy and complacent. I dread sending this Camera back, as I've read other such horror stories. They don't listen to their customers. And since the 5DS series has been released - NO firmware updates either.


If you're happy in all ways in the Canon eco-system, God bless you - but I believe it's the end of the road for me with Canon.

(And I won't even talk about waiting 4 years for the Mark III's successor, only to see a half-hearted attempt at what should have been a winner)


Hello @charleshansen


Sorry for bumping this topic, but I finally found someone with the exact same issue.
I have this issue too for several years. I even bought an R6, but the issue remains.

See my post here:


I've gone through the exact same steps as you: contacting Canon CPS with zero answers, contacting Zeiss who better understands how the Canon bodies work etc.


I made a video in which you can clearly see the aperture closing by itself:


Seems such a small thing to fix with firmware....

Can you tell me if you still have the issue or did you say goodbye to Canon?

Interesting behavior! You know what is funny though? People complain about the exact opposite behavior. They like how it is on Sony where the camera is stopped down to the selected aperture, or that you can choose that behavior. 


The reason why the Zeiss is out of focus is simple.. It is a flawed design. Going out of focus at different apertures is called focus shift. The point of focus shifts as the aperture changes. It is a type of spherical aberration.


Is it Canon's fault that Zeiss made a lens with spherical aberration? I dunno, you tell me.

Is it really a flawed design of Zeiss then? The Zeiss lens does not decide to close the aperture. The camera does.

User jeffbuzz on the fredmirana forum actually has a plausible explanation:
Yes, the behavior you describe certainly exists. The camera sensor has a base sensitivity. When illumination hitting the sensor is low, a camera can amplify the signal to boost the output to the viewfinder. This is just like you increasing the ISO setting. If the illumination is too high, there is nothing the camera hardware or software can do to reduce the signal below the base sensitivity. At that point it has to use the lens aperture to further limit incoming illumination to a point where the signal is within the range the sensor can accommodate. The camera is trying to emulate what your eye did when viewing through an optical viewfinder. If you point an SLR at the sun your eye's iris will close down.

I saw this automatic aperture closing much more with Fuji cameras. Likely this is due to them having a higher base ISO. I still see it on the Canon R5/R6 but it seems to require much brighter light to trigger. Probably because the sensor base ISO is lower on the Canon bodies. I also see it more frequently with brighter lenses. They are letting in much more light and the sensor will more easily become saturated requiring the aperture to be stopped down to prevent the signal from being totally washed out.

@Deathchant wrote:

Is it really a flawed design of Zeiss then? The Zeiss lens does not decide to close the aperture. The camera does.

That is hardly the point my friend. The unavoidable reality is that the big expensive Zeiss has a problem with focus shift, how terribly sad for owners of that lens. I guess you can try another next time, like the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L. BTW is it not actually cheaper?? Stick with Canon when it comes to your high end primes as there's a simple reason the Japanese took over the industry decades ago; they're just better at this stuff. Sorry.