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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2015
Accepted Solution

7D Mark II focus Problems

Hello Canon Forums,

 

I have the 7D Mark II for a while now, but I still have annoying problems with the autofocus.

 

I usually shoot People, and while a very little percentage of the pictures are stunningly sharp (it looks like they coud crunch into fragments every second Smiley Very Happy ), 90% of them are not. They are okisch, but the AF very often does not hit where I want it to.

I updated to firmware 1.04 a while ago - didnt help.

My lenses are:

Canon 50mm 1.8

Tamron 70-200 2,8

Tamron 24-70 2.8

 

I have the same problem with all lenses.

I am not sure whether it is the camera - or me.

 

Usually I set the AF point using the joystick to make it point at one eye of the person.

My AF settings are:

 

Case 1 - but it seems that doesnt matter

 

Lens electronic MF -> on

AF-assist beam firering on

one shot priority -> full focus

 

I already did micro adjustment - didnt help a lot.

 

Also I am usin the single square as AF mode (not the square within the square).

 

Has anybody had the same problem or some Idea how I get my AF to hit better?

 

Thanks!,

soomon

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,972
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

Lens electronic MF -> on

AF-assist beam firering on

one shot priority -> full focus'

 

Does that say that you have selected "MF" mode on lens "AF/MF" switch?  If so, try "AF" mode, for Auto-Focus.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 10,996
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

Most likely you are missing your focus point.  Turn off all the focus points except the center one and use it to focus on the eye.

Second you may have to shallow DOF and that is just the way it is.  The three lenses you have can have pretty thin DOF if you open them up too much.  Put the lenses back into AF.  Set the camera to "P" for professional. Smiley Happy  Now try again.

They are all very good and should be as sharp as can be had with your 7D Mk II.

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2015

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

no the lens is switched to AF.

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2015

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

yes they  have shallow DOF. thats why I have them.

my problem is not the shallow DOF.

the problem is that for some reason, the focus is not where I want it to.

it's in front or behind the eyes, although I select the focus point that points on the eye and then let the camera focus on it. at least I think I am doing that. obviously, something is wrong Smiley Very Happy

As I said I dont see any consistency in the front/backfocus in anyway...

I'll try the center focus point and then recomposing for a while to see if it really is an AF problem, although I guess I am doing something wrong and just dont know what...

VIP
Posts: 10,996
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

"I'll try the center focus point ..."

 

Yes do!  I don't think you are focusing on what you think you are.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Super Contributor
Posts: 246
Registered: ‎11-11-2012

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

If you are an experienced shooter and if it back and front focuses MFA will not help you. if you have tried everything and it does not work properly send it in for servicing.  It is a complex camera but only as complicated as you make it for yourself. Keep things simple and go with factory settings to start with. If my wife wife can take tack sharp pictures and she only knows where the shutter button is than anyone can.. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,805
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

I'll give you the same advice I give to everyone who says they have an issue with focus accuracy.

 

You have to eliminate the variables -- the reasons why focus might not be sharp which could be attributed to use error -- so that it's just the camera focus system being tested.

 

For that, you'll need to use a focus test chart and a tripod.  I use a commercially produced chart called the "LensCal" (by DataColor) but there's also the "LensAlign" tool.  There's a software calibration tool called "Reikan FoCal" which captures the shots and does the analysis for you.  And lastly, there's Jeffrey Friedl's free focus test chart (downloadable from the internet here):  http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/focus-chart

 

For all of these, your camera will NEED to be on a tripod.  You cannot trust a hand-held test because your body may move slightly forward or backward after locking focus which would invalidate the test.  

 

You are also shooting a focus-test chart instead of a normal subject.  There are a lot of reasons why you cannot be sure exactly what point the camera used to lock focus when using ordinary subjects.  Since a focus test chart is designed to get the camera to focus at one particular point, you know what camera used for focus.  The test charts also offer a way to determine (with repeatability) if the camera and lens are actually front focusing or rear-focusing (consistently vs. randomly) and by how much.  

 

If the camera & lens are consistently missing focus, but nearly always in the same direction and by the same amont, then that's a simple focus calibration adjustment (that's why your camera has an Auto-Focus Micro-Adjustment feature).  If, on the other hand, the camera is missing focusing randomly, then it usually means you've got some sloppy gear backlash in the lens and the lens needs service.

 

When I run focus tests, I deliberately de-focus the lens and re-shoot the target many times to force the camera to move the focus motor each time -- to bring the target to focus.  For the first half-dozen shots, I run the focus in so that the camera has to run focus outward to lock focus.  For the next half-dozen shots, I run the focus out toward infinity so that the camera has to run the focus in to lock focus.  I do this because it's possible to see gear backlash in one direction more than another (e.g. it's possible that in one direction the camera might usually get accurate focus, but in the other direction it might usually miss focus.)

 

Again, you have to use a stationary high-contrast focus test chart.  You have to use a tripod.  You have to give the camera plenty of light.  You have to eliminate every possible variable for why the camera might miss focus due to human error, target contrast, inadequate lighting, etc. etc. so that in the end, the only reason why the camera & lens could possibly miss focus would be a problem in the focus system itself (e.g. something you can correct via AFMA adjustment or the lens needs service.)

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-18-2019

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

I am starting some research. Again. I found out after I got the camera that it would not focus at the DOF I was auto focusing on. It was always either too deep or too shallow (don't recall which it is). After reading up on it I found out that that particular camera had to be micro adjusted to each lens that was put on it. WTF?! I have tried a couple of times to do that but get frustrated very quickly for one reason or another. I believe this was Canon's way of saying, "You're using 3rd party lenses (Sigma, Tamron) more than ours? Then FU! Adjust your own lenses! It is ridiculous with all the smarts and electronics in camera now. I mean. your 60D, my 60D most any other cameras adjust automatically to each and every lens used. Pisses me off!

 

Should be a recall!

 

The 7D MkII was sent from the factory with a built-in defect!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,972
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: 7D Mark II focus Problems

That’s unfortunate.
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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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