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Soft/Blurry Images from R5


Hi, new member here. 

I am an aviation photographer, shooting from an R5 with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8 ii mounted on the Canon RF-EF adapter. I have been working on getting slower shutter speed to get a blurry background, but I have noticed that some of the shots seem out of focus, despite the focal point being on the object itself. I'm running on AI Servo focus with continuous focus on, 0'3" shutter speed, f/2.8, ISO A at 200. One of my friends said it could possibly be the object being too far away, which is about 1000ft/320m. Any ideas how to fix? 


Here are some of the shots that are "focused" but out of focus



The plane you want in focus is moving, correct? And you’re panning the camera while taking the shot?


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Correct. The plane was moving, at about 20mph/30kmh, and I was panning. 


You are using a very slow shutter speed, probably slower than needed which makes it difficult for the image stabilizer to do its best work added to the difficulty of creating a good panning shot with background blur.  You want shutter speed just slow enough to provide blur of the stationary background with IS set for panning stabilization.  Then it is a matter of PERFECTLY syncing your pan speed to that of the moving object and that need for perfection becomes tighter with slower shutter speeds.

In terms of technique, start panning before you begin capturing images to sync your speed with the object and continue panning after you release the button.  It is much like a golf stroke where the entire motion is critical, not just the point of contact with the ball.  Take a series of photos on burst and you should have a few keepers.

I got bored during the pandemic and worked a little with panning shots of my daughter.  This was part of a series captured with a Canon 1DX III and EF 200 f2 @ f6.3, 1/60, ISO 100 with IS enabled set for panning.  I captured two seconds worth of frames at high speed and about 20% of them were what I considered sufficiently sharp.  This was purely for practice because with the 200 f2, I could have easily used a fast shutter speed and achieved the same background blur via setting the lens wide open to use its narrow depth of field at the shooting distance in this photo.

Keep in mind that it is very common to have additional loss of detail in shooting situations like yours where there is a big temperature differential between the evening air and the daytime heat still rising from the tarmac. 



EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Interesting. What is odd is as I was going through some shots I did before, it seemed like when I used the built in cropping for the R5 at 1.6x, it seemed to have sharper images. Maybe the object is too small in the full frame being 1000ft/300m away? It did not have as much as struggle with object near for sure despite the same shutter speed, but 200mm usually is enough for shots during the day too, which makes everything kind of confusing...