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Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

[ Edited ]

I've been fighting this for a while, and I'm pretty sure at this point it isn't me.  I have been fighting less than perfect focus with this camera since I picked it up. Both the lens and body have been to Canon and serviced to no help. But I for the life of me cannot seem to get razor sharp focus with my 28-135 IS USM it's better with my Tamron 100-300, and my old kit lens. Mt Canon 50mm 1.4 (old metal base) seems to be about the only lens I have that I can officially say I like the focus crispness. Got set up a few weeks ago on a beautiful morning in my favorite spot, and set up the tripod, my remote looking across a glass smooth lake to a grove of trees reflecting on it. I took pics in different modes, different speeds, manual and auto focus everyone just a hair out of focus.. very disappointed. A few would of been framers if the focus was good. 

 

So following a DIY using a row of batteries in place of the triangle focus tool, I set out again to micro adjist my lens. Well I did find it back focusing quiet a bit. So I did my best to get that sorted. But I found if I adjust my zoom it throws the focus out of whack again. It's front focusing if I zoom to say 135 mm. Canon said they checked the lens and it was good to go after replacing the focus motor in it. 

 

But since this seems to effect more than one lens in my back is there something bi am doing wrong or is this just a 7D thing? I was reading where the 7D seems to prefer the Canon L series lenses and I did borrow a friends very high end Zeiss 100mm and everything was tack sharp. So I'm back to either me, my settings, or my glass. I mainly shoot in manual mode as well. 

 

Any suggestions??

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Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

This is a common problem with the AF microadjustment available on early models, later cameras have a more complicated adjustment procedure where you can make a separate adjustment at the wide and tele ends of a zoom lens. With the early models you have to compromise.

Canon used to reccommend that you make the ajustment at the tele end although many people found that sometimes this doesn't work too well and found that adjusting the lens at mid zoom worked better.

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Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

"...looking across a glass smooth lake to a grove of trees reflecting on it."

 

I think you fell victim to what effects a lot of people, over thinking a simple problem. In that type shot it is an infinity situation.  The focus should not be a issue as the lens went to infinity. I would suggest you reset everything, even the focus adjustment back to default.

 

The Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM is one of my favorite lenses but it is not Canon's sharpest lens.  I had two 7D cameras and both preformed admirably with that lens. Made me a lot of money.

 

"...I did borrow a friends very high end Zeiss 100mm and everything was tack sharp."

 

Hardly a reasonably comparison but it proves the 7D is a good camera.

 

"Mt Canon 50mm 1.4 (old metal base) seems to be about the only lens I have that I can officially say I like the focus crispness"

 

Prime vs zoom.  That is to be expected.

 

Things that will help you.  If you have Photoshop you need to apply lens correction. In your edit procedures you need to add some sharpening. Use the unsharp mask filter (remember less is more here). You should be using Raw file format and do all the editing in post. If you don't use or have PS, the free from Canon DPP4 does the same things.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

[ Edited ]

Thanks evryone, this pic was when it was set to zero, my focus point was the trees, had more shots i did off hand, of some Birds, at the same zoom level, that were probably, 10 feet away that has the same issue, just abit out of focus.  This was taken in .jpg, as I still need to get the hang of shooting in .Raw and get a better CF Card so it saves a bit faster.. 

 

Both Shots were in One Shot Mode, Spot Auto Focus, Standard Style (3,0,0,0) Daylight WB, Evaluative Metering, and I tend to shoot a bit under 0 on the exposure meter. just a standard UV Filter on the lens..

 

Pics are unedited, straight off the card, I try and do minimal post processing, and use GIMP, not out enough anymore to warrant $10 a month for CC but need to reconsider it..

 

On a tripod, 1/500 sec. f/3.5 28mm, 100 ISO, with the 28-135mm IS USM..

 

Picture Lake

 

1/125 sec. f/5.6 100mm ISO 100 (freehand)

 

 

IMG_1150.JPG

 

 

 

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Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

First I think that is going to be about what you can get from that lens.  However, "just a standard UV Filter on the lens.." remove that filter.  This lens doesn't particularly like filters besides a UV filter is useless in the digital world. It can only hurt and never help or improve a shot.  Otherwise, do as I suggested, reset the 7D to default. Shoot Raw format. Convert in DPP4, no $10 a month fee and it works very well. Use lens correction and add a bit of unsharp mask.

 

When you use Raw, you set everything in post edit.  All the settings in your camera are null. They only serve to tell DPP4 how to display the image on the screen as all settings can be edited. You even get greater range on those settings. Plus, Raw is a nondestructive format. On the other hand a jpg is destroyed a little every time it is saved whether you change it or not.  Every edit or alteration deletes into from the file which can never be recovered. Matter of fact when your 7D saves the photo the very first time to the CF card it deletes info that can never be recovered or used.

 

On the bird it looks like you missed focus a bit.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

Thanks ebiggs1 point taken, I'll get better at shooting in raw. I did download the program and played with a few shots from the weekend and all looked better by turning up sharpness. That was about all I could do being that I shot in ..jpg.  As far as the bird that circles back to my original problem, focus was locked on the bird with spot focus, I was about 10 feet away. As these guys are pretty fearless of humans due to being hand fed (Canadian Grey Jay's) I probably took 30-40 shots as he preened himself. Even on the afterviee shot I could tell he was not in focus so I tried going full manual,  even shot one in full Auto (green box mode) to compare my settings to the cameras idea all were slightly out. And this was before I played with the micro adjustment bsk it's on zero on both of these. The lake shot even if you look closely the trees are out of focus the mountains are a bit, but my focus point was the trees. 

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Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

Well just take solace in the fact nobody gets every shot.  Not even the greatest with the greatest gear. Try the Raw and you'll be fine at least as good as it can be.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

[ Edited ]

I have never used a 7D Mark 1 but some Canon cameras like a lot of sharpening because of the aggressive low pass filter used in front of the sensor, my 1D Mark 2 required a lot of sharpening but not so much with the later bodies.  I also notice some color fringing in the mountain shot that will make it appear softer in some areas and will probably clean up quite a bit when you shoot in RAW and use Canon's digital lens optimizer (or the equivalent in other programs).

 

In the bird shot, it does look mildly front focused and unless you were using a tripod you were on the edge of having enough shutter speed to avoid some motion blur.

 

When shooting in RAW, resist the urge to over-sharpen which is something you will see too often.  Even in a sharp and properly focused photo, some elements will not appear as sharp because of their color and texture-that is how they also appear in real life.  So when sharpening, don't just pay attention to a part you feel needs more aggressive sharpening because you are then likely to over-sharpen getting a less than natural look and artifacts.

 

I have been stalking Mr. Woodpecker for days when he finally decided that I meant him no harm and he posed on the feeder for me about 30 feet away.  Parts of his down/feathers appear very sharp while others are less so and that is how he appears in real life.  This image was shot in RAW using the default standard picture setting and unsharp mask values and to my eye that is the proper sharpening level with this camera, lens, and subject but others would likely go for further enhancement of the sharpening and contrast control.

 

Rodger

 

2A8A4094.JPG

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

Thanks everyone, I adjusted things back, and set up Raw now, and did a few pics, opened them up in the Canon software and already happier. Found pretty much sliding the sharpening up to about 40% seems to solve the soft/ out of focus.  But I also cleaned all my lenses and carefully blew out the body.. even in low light shooting in Raw is so much more amazing, and the software like mentioned is crazy how much I can alter. 

 

Now the last question here I'm still using a fairly old 200x CF card. Any suggestions for a decent CF card? Now that I'm shooting in Raw 16 GB won't cut it in large format. 399 shots.. lol 

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Re: Canon 7Dmk1 and 28-135 IS USM Focus Blues

For your CF card, I would either buy from B&H photo (my preference) or buy it from a physical retail store (Walmart for example).  Counterfeit cards are very common and ordering online from the really big places often results in you getting one of these poor performing fakes.  It is very safe to order from B&H online but otherwise I would go with a local store.

 

I have long used San Disk as my card brand preference but Lexar should also be fine.  In the Sandisk line, the Extreme series is fine for your 7D but if you are looking at another camera that uses CF cards in the near future then the faster and only slightly more expensive Extreme Pro would be a better choice.

 

Rodger

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