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When will canon fix the focus issues with the 70D?

Photogirl55
Apprentice

I was "T.H.I.S." close to buying the 70D.  I have read WAYYY too many posts about issues with the focusing on the 70D.  How is Canon handling the issue?  I would love to buy this camera, but not willing to gamble with that much money.

223 REPLIES 223

I think I found out in which case the 70D will fail : it's if you use a wide angle lens (roughly below 35 mm, depends on the lens).

 

There are several things that can improve your focus results :

- The first is being aware of how wide and where the focus sensitive areas are and that sometimes these focus sensitive areas are decentered.

- The second is that the camera seems to pick the brightest element in the focus sensitive area,

 

So with those two things in mid, be extra carrefull when framing your shot.

 

I recently found out that wide angles (that I often use because I'm on a crop sensor camera) simply don't work well beyond a few meters.

Unfortunately, this seems to be a known issue present in other dslr : http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/How_to/m_Mastering_Wide-Angle/m_Mastering_Wide-Angle.html

 

This isn't a design fault, it's a limitation of the phase detect system. It will also depend on the way the lens is manufactured. If you look at the focus scale of your lens, you will see that most of the time, compared to telephoto lens,  on a wide angle lens the amount of turn between 1 m and infinity is extremely small. So any errors from the AF system will result in very blurry pictures.

 

well, don't mean to be a wet blanket on your theory, but when canon had me test my camera, i used every lens I have, and at 2 or 3 different aperatures each. i tested with canon 50.. 1.8 mk2, canon 40mm 2.8 stm, canon 24mm 2.8 stm, canon 18-135 stm (at about 30 and at about 50mm, don't remember exactly), with the canon 24-105 L, and with the canon 70-300. (also tested with the sigma art series 18-35 but did not test with my tokina 11-16) I tested exactly per canon instructions, on a tripod, changing focus inbetween shots so the camera would be forced to refocus. every single viewfinder center square pic was out of focus, and in most cases far beyond the reach of micro adjust. (for the record, i was curious and also took the same pictures using the viewfinder with the other squares - those to the left, right, top, and bottom of the center square. better results then center square, but still not good.)

 

Why do you not believe that there was an issue, as reported by many thousands of users, but instead insist on blaming user error?  are you suggesting that canon cameras cannot be used  handheld with center focus below 35mm without risking having 100% of the pics out of focus? I was personally at the point where i would not take any pics except in live view for fear of out of focus or soft focus, which happened ALL the time with viewfinder center square.

 

I mean, if I am paying 1200 for a high end prosumer camera body and anywhere from 500 to 2500 per lens (I'm well over 7500 spent now) and yet cannot expect to get more then a very small percentage of pics taken with viewfinder at under 30mm in focus - that's silly. why not just admit there is an issue with some of the bodies?

I'm not blaming user error, I'm just telling you what I found and I must say that none of the old timers with full frame camera would have encountered a similar issue, because for them 24 mm is ultra wide...

 

I also have the 18-35 art and 24 1.4 from Sigma. Both lenses gave me bad results on a 70D. Except that, when exposed to similar situations, I obtained similar results on a 60D.

 

Of course at first I tried micro focus adjust like crazy, until I found out that wide angle lenses are problematic. I accepted that, moved to zone focus, and now my pictures are sharper.

Also, knowing that wide angle lenses don't play well with AF beyond several meters allowed me to mfa the lens more precisely. Before I would go as high as +20 on the 18-35 mm focused at infinity, now I found that I only needed +5 at 18mm and -1 at 35 mm. The best way to mfa on that Sigma lens is to get the sigma dock, aim at a black and white target at 2 meters, use liveview to manually focus on the target, and perform AF (use "AF quick" mode !) while looking at the distance scale, then adjust mfa to compensate.

If you have the occasion, you should try the lens on another body, you will see that in similar situation you will have focus issues with pictures not as sharp as Liveview.

 

Having said that I still find it strange that you have an issue 35 or 50 mm (I don't have fast zoom lens so can't test that with my gear). Maybe you should try what I said and also post a picture so I can see what you are speaking about (your facebook link doesn't work).


@Molybdo42 wrote:

 

I must say that none of the old timers with full frame camera would have encountered a similar issue, because for them 24 mm is ultra wide...


More made-up "facts"...

One thing, when you sent your camera to Canon, did you send the lenses with the body ?

 

Do you need to mfa on all your lenses or only on some lenses ?

 

How does focus behave at 20 meters and at both ends of the zoom range on your Canon lenses : 24-105, 70-300 and on the 18-135 stm ? (do the test during daylight aim at the brightest and most contrasted element visible with nothing in between the camera and the target, use center focus point)


@jeffandellie wrote:
 

Why do you not believe that there was an issue, as reported by many thousands of users

 

 

"Thousands of users"?

 

Heh! Seriously? What on Earth do you base that preposterous (made-up) figure on?


@jeffandellie wrote:

Exactly.... you have to wonder if he owns one, and even more, what his agenda is when so steadfastly sticks to the notion that all these issues are "user" problems. if .01 to .1 percent of the bodies have an issue - it's common manufacturing anomaly, but when you get the volume of these - in Germany it looks like 20 or 30 percent (I saw a comment on the number/%, but don't remember) then you have to admit there is an issue - and of course, the whole firmware thing is very fishy. why is there different versions of firmware 1.1.1???

here are links to the first two test pics i took that lead me to contact canon, who then had me take a series of photos as per their specific settings, which I did. These pics were taken on a tripod, no change in settings between except to change the focus, first in viewfinder center square, then in live view. (Hopefully this sight supports links)

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/jeffandellie/media_set?set=a.10204662252970438.1073741849.1059032902&type=3



The problem experienced in Germany was not that LiveView was sharper than the phase detect AF, which is perfectly normal if correctable by micro focus adjustment. But that after micro focus adjusting the center f/2.8 AF point, the remaining 18 f/5.6 AF phase detect AF points were out of focus. That was a real issue and appears to have been isolated to that group of cameras shipped to Germany.
As for your issue: You are using a 3rd party Sigma lens. Sigma lenses are known for their calibration issues. When I first purchased my Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 it required a +15 MFA on my 50D. When I got my 7D it required a +20 MFA, when Canon came out with Firmware 2.0 for the 7D my Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 was beyond the range of MFA adjustment on my 7D. I sent the lens to Sigma and the calibrated it for free under their 4 year warranty. When I got it back it required 0 MFA on my 7D and was also spot on with all my other Canon cameras.
First try and MFA adjust your lenses! I would suggest using the DotTune method. If after MFA your lenses at the wide and long end, all your lenses are beyond or near the end of the MFA range your camera needs to be sent into Canon for calibration.
If the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 is the only lens you are having issues with, I would suggest you send it to Sigma, or purchase the Sigma USB dock and calibrate it yourself.
Again, it is perfectly normal for LiveView focus to differ from your viewfinder's phase detect  AF system, provided it is correctable by micro focus adjustement. To help you understand please read this article by Roger Cicala at lensrentals.com - "This lens is soft" and other myths

 


@TTMartin wrote:


The problem experienced in Germany was not that LiveView was sharper than the phase detect AF, which is perfectly normal if correctable by micro focus adjustment. But that after micro focus adjusting the center f/2.8 AF point, the remaining 18 f/5.6 AF phase detect AF points were out of focus. That was a real issue and appears to have been isolated to that group of cameras shipped to Germany.
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Stop spreading BS misinformation.  A potn poll showed that well over 10% of the 70D's on that forum were having focus problems. Very few if any were german camera's. I know mine wasn't and it went into canon 3 times before they finally got it fixed. 
I dont know what you call an acceptable failure rate for a $1000.00 canera is, but any thing over 1% is HORRENDOUS. The 70D has been a problem body since it came out. MANY of the units have focus problems in phase detect mode with wider then 2.8 aperture and almost EVERY single one has the bounce flash issue. The only thing worse then the shoddy canon quality control is absolute refusal to admit ther is a problem and help the people who got shafted with one of the MANY bad copies.
I guaranty you that if you had one of those camera's in that 10%  you wouldnt be singing the "failure is normal" song.

 


@70Downer wrote:

@TTMartin wrote:

The problem experienced in Germany was not that LiveView was sharper than the phase detect AF, which is perfectly normal if correctable by micro focus adjustment. But that after micro focus adjusting the center f/2.8 AF point, the remaining 18 f/5.6 AF phase detect AF points were out of focus. That was a real issue and appears to have been isolated to that group of cameras shipped to Germany.
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Stop spreading BS misinformation.  A potn poll showed that well over 10% of the 70D's on that forum were having focus problems. Very few if any were german camera's. I know mine wasn't and it went into canon 3 times before they finally got it fixed. 
I dont know what you call an acceptable failure rate for a $1000.00 canera is, but any thing over 1% is HORRENDOUS. The 70D has been a problem body since it came out. MANY of the units have focus problems in phase detect mode with wider then 2.8 aperture and almost EVERY single one has the bounce flash issue. The only thing worse then the shoddy canon quality control is absolute refusal to admit ther is a problem and help the people who got shafted with one of the MANY bad copies.
I guaranty you that if you had one of those camera's in that 10%  you wouldnt be singing the "failure is normal" song.

 


You have to understand that 10% of people saying they have focus issues, does NOT mean that 10% of the cameras are deffective.

 

With in days of the 5Ds and 5Ds R being announced over on DPReview there were over 50 people who said they use to own it. There are a few beta testers over there, but, not 50.

 

There is a poster above who is convinced he has the center AF point issue reported in Germany with his 70D and 25-105 f/4L IS, 70-300, and 18-135 IS STM. I can say with absolute certainly that he does not have the center AF point issue reported in Germany when using those lenses.

 

An thus we have the dilemma of sorting out people with actual issues, like the poster whose calibration was so far off it was beyond the MFA range.

 

Those whose issue is the lens not the camera.

 

Those that just don't understand the AF system.

 

And those with malintent who just want to flame the fires.

 

Suddenly your 10% becomes a much, much smaller number.

 

I don't know the details of the issue you had with your camera. But, the issue is not as wide spread as you imagine. 

 

Oh and by the way, as for singing a different song if I had to micro focus adjust my lenses. I've had to MFA some of my lenses with every camera I own since purchasing my first Canon 50D with it  almost 7 years ago. Having to micro focus adjust does not mean a camera is defective.

 

 

@TTMartin : I don't understand why you want to limit the focus issue to that case in Germany.

 

The 70D simply has poor AF with fast wide angle lenses, same thing for the 7D.

Look at this forum http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=3100.0

One user of the 7D and Canon's 24mm 1.4 L, found out that his camera could only work well in certain lightning conditions.

 

If the main shooting style of the users complaining here is to do night photography with the 70D, then they will get very inconsistent results. Unfortunately no one warned them and, like I did, fell into the trap now I need to find a work around. But if your shooting style is to do daytime photography then you won't notice any issue.

 

According to the forum I cited, the best solution would be to go full frame : better QC (?), better lowlight performance, less need for ultrawide angle to obtain the same field of view.

 

@KeithR : this above is what I meant when saying "I must say that none of the old timers with full frame camera would have encountered a similar issue, because for them 24 mm is ultra wide". At night, on a full frame camera, I would mainly use a 35 or a 50mm , not a 24 or 30 mm...

 

For example : my Sigma 24 1.4 art focuses extremely well in broad sunlight. Strange thing is : It seems very inconsistent at dusk and gets better under street light, but I have to aim at very wide (at least 1/3 of the focus mark in VF) bright spots. Can the 70D AF be affected by stray light ?

Unfortunately I bought the 24 1.4 for nightime photography, and since in that situation I'm uncertain of it's performance (haven't clearly identified the ideal situation for AF to work), I end up doing manual or zone focus at night.

 

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