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T5i Autofocus Not Accurate

avimoore
Apprentice

Hi, a little while ago I bought a new Rebel T5i from Best Buy with money recieved from a warrantied T2i. I havent been using the T5i as much as I used to use my T2i, so it took a little while to notice this issue. It seems that the autofocus on my T5i is not focusing on what it intends to. It seems to be truely in focus a little behind what the camera will beep saying is in focus. It is especially noticeable with my 50mm f1.8  with a narrow depth of field. I use single point autofocus and the camera will say it is focused on a certain point in the frame, but then the picture will always be slightly out of focus, with whatever is slightly behind the subject looking a bit sharper. Anybody else have this problem? I can take some test shots and upload them too. It makes all pictures slightly off with every lens, so it also exagerates finging and abberation and blurriness that I didnt have when using the same lenses on my T2i.

27 REPLIES 27

You have blundered onto one of the major annoyances of Canon's product line. Your camera needs autofocus microadjustment, which is a way to correct for slight mismatches between the focus calibration of the camera and one or more of its lenses. All of Canon's midrange and professional cameras currently have this feature, but Canon has resolutely resisted providing it on the Rebel series. So your choices are to 1) accept the situation and live with the fact that your kit isn't quite as sharp as it should be, 2) return the camera to Best Buy (if it isn't too late) and hope that its replacement will be better, or 3) send the camera and lenses to a Canon repair center for calibration.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

ScottyP
Authority

Yep. Camera is back focusing. Should be something you can fix yourself, and it would be if this were a 70d, 7d, or any of the full frame offerings.  Inexplicably however Canon thinks of autofocus micro adjustment as a luxury feature to be withheld from the entry level cameras rather than as a necessary basic feature that helps the user cope with Canon's manufacturing goofs. 

 

Maybe they will eventually change their thinking on this. Maybe they will develop a way for cameras to automatically perform AFMA as you shoot. Maybe not.

 

Mailing Canon your camera and lenses in cannot be much fun. Doing it again every time you buy a new lens seems like something that would make me reluctant to buy more lenses, which cannot be what Canon wants its customers to feel. 

 

 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?


@ScottyP wrote:

Yep. Camera is back focusing. Should be something you can fix yourself, and it would be if this were a 70d, 7d, or any of the full frame offerings.  Inexplicably however Canon thinks of autofocus micro adjustment as a luxury feature to be withheld from the entry level cameras rather than as a necessary basic feature that helps the user cope with Canon's manufacturing goofs. 

 

Maybe they will eventually change their thinking on this. Maybe they will develop a way for cameras to automatically perform AFMA as you shoot. Maybe not.

 

Mailing Canon your camera and lenses in cannot be much fun. Doing it again every time you buy a new lens seems like something that would make me reluctant to buy more lenses, which cannot be what Canon wants its customers to feel. 

 


Well, my response has been to swear off of Rebels - which, in my case, may or may not be what Canon wants to hear.

 

My wife's T2i, a particularly good camera for its time, has receded into the technological past. (And it's infuriating not to be able to use DPP4 to edit its pictures.) So I'd like to get her a new camera for Christmas. She'd really prefer one of the new Rebels for its lighter weight. But they don't have AFMA, so I'm trying to talk her into a 7D Mk II. If I succeed, I suppose Canon will be happy. If not, I'll probably keep lending her my spare 7D, which is what I've been doing lately.  Smiley Indifferent

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

A 70D is probably about as close to the weight of a Rebel as you can get and and still have AFMA.

 

A 7D II -- while a vastly higher performance camera -- will be noticeably heavier.  But perhaps if you also snuck in a comfy strap ... that might end the complaint about weight.  I find the weight complaint is more often actually a "comfort" complaint and I confess that the traditional neck strap isn't very comfortable to wear a camera for hours on end unless the camera is extremely light.  I find the sling straps to be especially comfortable.

 

Meanwhile back to the OP's request...

 

The lack of AFMA is annoying especially since the need for AFMA is to compensate for inaccurate factory calibration because the distance from the secondary mirror down to the focus points has to be the same as the distance to the imaging sensor in order for the photograph to be in accurate focus when the focusing sensors say it would be in focus.  

 

You can read this article:  http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths

 

You have some choices... you could try to return the camera and hope for one that is calibrated closer to your old camra (which may also not have been accurate but each lens has a tolerance and each camera has a tolerance so if you happen to have a lens AND a camera that are both off by amounts that work well together you will believe that the camera and lens are fine -- until you try to use the same lens with a different body or the same body with a different lens.  The issue mostly only shows up in lenses that have very shallow depth of field because lenses with larger depth of field wont reveal the issue.

 

When I shoot very shallow depth of field, you can switch to "live view".  Live view uses a completely different focus system and due to the way it works, it wont be subject to the focus adjustment errors.   When I shoot macro or food photgraphry I typically switch to manual focus anyway because it's too difficult to control the focus point and composition.

 

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

ebiggs1
Legend

Just pull back on the reins there cowboy!  How many lenses are we talking about?  You say all you current lenses are mis-focusing?

 

Although it is possible that several lenses can and wil be mis-focusing, it is unlikely. Especially all in the same direction?  You are talking a small percentage that even do.  Let alone all the lenses you have if it is more than two or three.  Most are fine by a large margin.  In your case the suggestion of returning the camera might be the best.

 

The average Rebel user is not into photography deep enough to do micro-adjusting so I see Canon's reasoning.  Correct or not. Putting a feature into a Rebel is going to be more to the video and wi-fi arena than micro focus adjustment.  That is where the Rebel user lives!

 

So, ITWM, I would return the camera or have it serviced. 

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

Thanks for all the feedback. It's really hard to tell with lenses that have a wide depth of field, but it still just seems like every one of my 5 lenses are less sharp thn they were on my T2i. (50m f1.8, 18-135 stm, 70-200 f2.8, 10-18, and a 6.5mm fisheye. They all just seem like junk lenses now, even at fairly high apertures. And I know they were all tacks sharp on my T2i.


@avimoore wrote:

Thanks for all the feedback. It's really hard to tell with lenses that have a wide depth of field, but it still just seems like every one of my 5 lenses are less sharp thn they were on my T2i. (50m f1.8, 18-135 stm, 70-200 f2.8, 10-18, and a 6.5mm fisheye. They all just seem like junk lenses now, even at fairly high apertures. And I know they were all tacks sharp on my T2i.


Not surprising. The T2i was one of the best Rebels.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

OK, so it really isn't "all" your lenses?  It is pretty hard to see mis-focus on a 10-18mm unless you are shooting really close to the subject and have an open aperture.  And you really can't mis-focus a 6.5mm fisheye.  Could you share a before and after photo for us to see?

 

The 50mm f1.8, version 1 was/is not a great lens in the first place so I am going to move on from it.  The 18-135mm and the 70-200mm should be pretty good with your new T5i.  What 70-200mm f2.8 do you have?  Is it the Canon brand?  If it is I can understand the possibilty of an issue.

 

I would consider sending it along with the 18-135mm to Canon and have them looked at.  Accept the others.

 

The T2i and the T3i and the T4i and the T5i are nearly the same camera.  The featuers are what got changed.  You are shooting the same sensor.  The processor is different but I can't imagine the IQ can be much different.

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

I too have a t5i and have had it too long that returning it is not an option.  I also have been noticing what looks to me like poor autofocus performance with the Canon 18-135.  I just brought the body and this lens in to a reasonably respected Canon-authorized repair center here in NYC, namely Chrysler Camera/Phototech on 36th St.    They say they don't see the focus error, and I don't think they're lying, they get great press about their work; and more importantly, they're not asking me for money to fix something they say is not broken.

 

So I'm mystified.  My shots, even when taken with flash, are looking a bit soft to me on both this lens and my Sigma 50.  Sigh.

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