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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-01-2019

Canon 80D Blurry Focus

Hi all! I'm at my wits end here and hoping someone can help me. I bought a new Canon 80D in February and can't seem to get tack-sharp photos or video. I'll put a link to a video sample here so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about. This was shot with face-tracking autofocus, f/2.8, 400 ISO and 200 shutter speed with the Sigma 35mm F/1.4 lens. Does anyone know what I can do to fix this?

https://meganacuna.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/35mm-test.mp4

 

Here's a photo with a similar problem. If you zoom in on my face you can see that it's pretty blurry.

IMG_3106.JPG

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 901
Registered: ‎11-19-2017

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

[ Edited ]

Greetings,

I didn't watch your video, just looked at your image.

 

The Sigma 35mm f1.4 is a great wide angle lens and can work well paired with your 80D giving you a 56mm equivlent focal length.

 

Shooting conditions - day the shot was taken.  The image is slightly overexposed.  Your ISO and aperature settings were not optimal for the conditions.  The increased ISO affects the overall brightness of the photo.  Your aperature at f2.8 is low (nearly wide open) and coupled with the increase in brightness is the reason why the sky, foliage, grass, your dress and skin tone looks washed out.  Your shutter speed is just fast enough to freeze action, but in conjunction with the low aperature (excessive light) could cause some blur.  If the person holding the camera wasn't steady, this too could contribute to blur.

 

f2.8 won't put very much in focus.  The DOF will be extremely shallow and nothing in front or in back of the subject will be sharp. 

 

Here's what you might have done depending on desired results:

 

ISO 100, f4~6.3, shutter 1/250 or more.  This is going to give you a soft, dreamy look with better shadows and definition.

 

Need more DOF

 

ISO 200-400, f8~11, shutter 1/500.  This will give you about 3~5 ft of sharp focus infront and in back of your main subject.

To use a higher f stop 16 or above, you'd have to bump the ISO up and bring your shutter back down.  This would give maximum DOF (foreground) subject (background) and contrast.  But a slow shutter would not be suited for movement.  Probably better for a landscape shot.  

 

Learning the fundamentals of the exposure triangle (shutter, ISO, aperature) will help you improve the quality of your images and allow you to quickly evaluate and decide the best settings for the shooting conditions.  You always want to control one or more legs of the triangle for best results, or at the very least, pick the one which is most important to you and control it. 

 

I'm not here to be critical of your image.  Its very good, but I can see what you are referring to.  With the above in mind, you can try some different techniques which might help with your desired results.

  

 

     

Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2 (f/w 1.0.4) ~16-35mm f2.8L II, 50 f1.8 STM, 85 prime USM, 70-200 f2.8L IS II ~70-300 USM II ~Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Art (f/w 2.02)
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VIP
Posts: 8,168
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

I am seeing 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 200, 35mm in the EXIF data.  What AF point did you use for focus?  What focusing mode and shooting mode did you use?

 

I do not think the ISO is too high.  The 80D can capture great images at ISO 1600.  The sky is blown out, but the subject is well exposed.  If you are not using the default metering mode of Evaluative Metering, I suggest that you do.  I do not see anything wrong with the f/2.8 aperture.  Aperture is a matter of personal preference, as long as you understand Depth Of Field.

 

I think your 1/250 shutter speed is quite a bit on the low side for what appears to be a moving subject.  Even so, the subject is in pretty good focus.  When shooting moving subjects, such as sports photography, I like a shutter speed of at least 1/800.  When professional models pose, they move and freeze, move and freeze, move and freeze, over and over for a photographer.

 

As far as focus goes, I think it is pretty good.  You are using a moderately wide angle lens, so do not expect to be able to zoom in on the face and count eyelashes.  The shot looks good at 100% zoom on my display, which means one pixel in the photo is reproduced as one pixel on my display, or at a 1:1 ratio.

 

How could this shot be improved?  Use a faster shutter speed for the moving subject.  The 35mm focal length will give you great looking snapshots, which I think this photo is.  A longer focal length, 50-100mm, will give you more “classic” looking portraits.

 

 

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 11,200
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

"The DOF will be extremely shallow and nothing in front or in back of the subject will be sharp."

 

I disagree with that. A 35mm lens will have sufficient DOF even at f2.8 for a sharp photograph at what appears to be around 10-12 feet from you(?) the subject. IE it is approx. 2 1/2 to 3 feet easily enough. However I agree it isn't the choice aperture for that shot unless it is for effect.  I would have chosen f8. ISO 400 is fine, I use ISO 200 for most general daytime shots. Any SS above 1/100 can stop most non-action people.  Certainly a person walking. In this case, though, I would have used Av set to f8 or f5.6 and ISO 200.  Let the camera do it's thing with SS. No face tracking.

 

Is this lens the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens?  I can personally state this is one of the sharpest lenses made. Period. Case closed. One is on my 1DX as we speak!  So, why are you having an issue with it as I gather you see this on all your shots? Kiddo, the next 'test' is to try the lens on a different camera and your camera with a different lens. First and foremost do a full camera reset to factory default settings. Menus under tools. Clear all settings and all custom settings, too.

 

I assume you, the subject (?) is walking towards the camera/lens?  That is a difficult job for the AF even walking. I would turn off face tracking and do it myself.  Keep in mind if you hold down the SS button 1/2 down the camera will stop focusing, though.

 

You need to do the lens and camera test to help determine where the issue is.  If we find all is well with them, then we can dissect your shooting techniques.  OK?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 11,200
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

[ Edited ]

"How could this shot be improved? "

 

This is putting the cart before the horse. Let's make sure we are dealing with fully working camera/lens gear combo as the OP states it is all shots.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-01-2019

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

Forgive me for being so new to this, but do you have any resources on how to conduct a lens/camera test?
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-01-2019

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

@shadowsports as I mentioned in the original post, I’m the subject of the photo, so I wasn’t in charge of the settings. I’m aware of how all the basic settings work (my husband shot the image and he is not as familiar) and purposefully chose a slightly overexposed image to make sure you could see what I’m talking about. If you were to watch the video, you could see that there is clearly an issue with the autofocus that needs to be dealt with even when the image is not over-exposed. If you could provide any insights based on the full issue I described in the original post it would be much appreciated.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-01-2019

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

@ebiggs1 Thank you hahaha! I didn’t take the shot (since I’m the subject) so I’m just looking for gear and settings advice at the moment. My husband is definitely not a professional photographer hahaha
VIP
Posts: 11,200
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

"I’m aware of how all the basic settings work (my husband ... purposefully chose a slightly overexposed image to make sure you could see what I’m talking about."

 

That has nothing to do with how sharp the lens /camera is.  Maybe how pleasing it is but not sharpness.

Let me get this 'clear', all or almost all your shoots are not real sharp. Not simply this one  or just some?  You do need to get another lens and another camera. This will eliminate either as the problem.  Is the Siggy 35mil your only lens? Perhaps you got the kit lens with it that you can try.  All you need to do is shoot the things you normally shoot using both lenses. Is one very much better than the other? Perhaps you have a neighbor that has a Rebel or other Canon camera you can try the lens on.  Barring that do you have a local camera shop? They will likely let you try or even a local Best Buy. Most of these stores are pretty nice because they see you as a future customer. Maybe you even purchased your camera there?

 

My first impression of your shot was camera motion or shake.  Was hubby moving, too, as you were walking?  I am going to go watch your vids.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 11,200
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon 80D Blurry Focus

OK, I watched to vid several times.  I had the wife watch too.  First she is a pretty girl. Neither of us think it is bad. Perhaps a little soft but that has a lot to do with two things besides camera/lens.  The monitor and the viewing distance.  Are you maybe being a little too critical?

 

It looks like you were using a tripod. That's good. How about posting another sample (a still) with the highest resolution the forum allows and let me put it in PS where I can judge better.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
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