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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-11-2015

I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp photo

Hello there,

I was hoping someone could help me with a problem that I am having with my 70D. I have had my camera for almost 6 months now and I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp photo with my camera in ANY kind of automatic mode. The ones I would consider passable where ones that I had to manually focus and even then there is only a 50/50 chace that I'll get any that I truely like.

My lens of choice is the 100-400L IS and yes I do know that with this lens I have to contend with camera shake. I almost always shoot hand held and I do know that  shooting this way it is much harder to get  shots that are in focus and I almost always shoot in Manual.

I have set the camera up to use the Center Point Focus and I have noticed that it will very rarely focus on that point. For example I will focus on the eye of a bird and the back of the head will be in moderate focus and the eye will be soft or blurry.

I previously had a T2i and I was getting wonderful results with that camera and I was so excited to get the 70D and see what I could accomplish with it. I have been really disappointed in the results so far.

I have no idea what I'm doing wrong with this camera and any help would be appreciated.

Examples below:

Image below was take with my T2i a few years ago and I'm very happy with this image.  400m at 1/1600 f/10  ISO 400. Slightly cropped. Taken on a bright, very sunny day. I was sitting on the ground and had the lens stabalized on my knees.

gatorland #1 1207a.jpg

 

 

Image below was taken with my 70D yesterday. Not so happy with this one. This image is an example of the image quality I get with this camera. Taken on a very bright, sunny day. This bird was slightly closer to me me than the one above. I was also sitting on the ground and had the lens stabalized on my knees. Not cropped. Straight out of the camera. 400m at 1/1000  f/7.1 with ISO 200.

dora 225.JPG

 

Any help on what I am doing wrong would be most appreciated. I really am having quite a time trying to get good phots with this camera. I wanted something better than just snapshot quality.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,044
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot

If anything, I like the 70D image better. The other one looks a bit oversharpened to me.

 

Unlike the T2i, your 70D has autofocus microadjustment capability. Be sure to calibrate your lens if you haven't already done so.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-11-2015

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot

Thank you very much for your reply.

The first image with the T2i is straight out of the camera. There was no sharpining done on the image, only a slight cropping. If you were to blow up the image you can see that the eye and feathers are in perfect sharpness and makes for a beautiful large image.

The one out of the 70D looks fine in the small image that they let me upload but, if you were to blow it up there really isn't any sharpness at all in eye area and feathers. Very soft and blurry and I would not be able to print this in anything larger than an 8 x 10. This is very distressing to me as large images are my staple.

As to calibrating my lens to the camera I have done so and this doesn't seem to help.

Thank you again for your help.

 

VIP
Posts: 11,528
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot

First and foremost, you can never compare two photos taken with different settings and cameras.  Even if the same lens is used on each. You will have to do a controlled test that eliminates all the varibles, including yourself.

I notice on photo was at f7 and the other at f10.  That alone makes a legitmate comparison impossibile.  The fact you were hand holding also makes it impossible.  And you said the distance wasn't the same.  See a pattern here?  No, becuae there isn't one.

 

Whether you do your sharpening in post or in the camera, it is done.  You should switch to RAW and do all sharpening in post. Leave the jpg for your cell phone.

 

I realize you can't make a good judgement the way you are trying to, but I undestand you can get a notion that something is wrong.  The camera can't misfocus from the center point by itself.  (Unless there is a malfunction that is.)

That has to be you.  When you pressed the shutter button, that is where you had it.

 

Do you controlled test and convince yourself, right or wrong but "correctly"!  The two cameras should produce very similar results.  They are very close to each other spec wise.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,939
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot

The 70D photo was using AI Servo; possibly not the best choice for a seemingly static bird (or at least moving across frame).

 

Also. focus point was basically off the subject.

 

Capture1.JPGCapture2.JPG

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC Classic
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎05-11-2015

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot

Thank you so very much Mr. Hoffman!

That was the information that I was looking for. Thank you so very much for your time in looking into my problem and answering my question.

Now I know what the answer is and can fix it!

 

 

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 767
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot

[ Edited ]

By any chance, do you have a "protection" filter on the lens for the second shot (70D), that wasn't on the first shot (T2i)?

 

The reason I ask is that the original 100-400mm is widely known to not "play well" with filters. Many users of the lens have found that even high quality filters on it can cause softer images. The lens can be quite a bit sharper without any filter.

 

This applies to the original version 100-400L only, not the Mark II version. I don't know of any similar issue with the newer version and filters (but it's likely to be sharper since the newer version now incorporates a fluorite element, where the original version didn't).

 

Also, almost any image needs some sharpening in post-processing. Especially when shooting JPEGs, all cameras do some sharpenting in due course of making an image. How much varies from model to model. But in-camera sharpening should be kept minimal. Final sharpening is best done in post-processing, once the image has been sized for it's particular use, and might be different depending upon usage. For example, an image being used to make a print needs different sharpening than an image to be displayed online.  And a 4x6 print needs different sharpening than an 11x14 print or a 20x30 print would need.

 

If you were shooting RAW files, the camera would set a "tag" as to how much sharpening is being called for by the camera's settings... but the sharpening isn't actually done to the image until the RAW file is processing into a JPEG or TIFF or PSD or PNG or whatever. In other words, with RAW you can still change the degree and type of sharpening to be applied.

 

The reason digital images need sharpening is because there is an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor. This actually deliberately slightly blurs the image. This is done to reduce or eliminate an undesirable optical effect called moiré (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moir%C3%A9_pattern). Images are then re-sharpened.... in the camera when you shoot JPEGs and have sharpening set, or in post-processing if shooting RAW files.

 

You can get cameras without an anti-alias filter or with a particularly weak one, or have the filter removed and replaced with a plain one to produce as sharp and detailed an image as possible. The new 5DS-R has no AA filter or an especially weak one, for example. The 60Da (version of the camera expecially for astrophotography) is another example.

 

However, if you were using those you would find the moiré issue a problem at times and it's generally better simply sharpening your images carefully yourself, once final use has been determined.  

 

***********
Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & PRINTROOM 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,044
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot


@jrhoffman75 wrote:

The 70D photo was using AI Servo; possibly not the best choice for a seemingly static bird (or at least moving across frame).

 

Also. focus point was basically off the subject.

 

Capture1.JPG


Indeed, the AF point is on the background, which is extremely unsharp. Doesn't this suggest that a manual adjustment was made after focus was achieved?

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,939
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot

He does catch the edge of the bird. I tried with my camera and it doesn't take much of the subject in the focus rectangle to get a lock.  Focus mode was AI Servo. I tried to manual focus with AI-S to change where sharp focus was and the lens goes crazy since it is always trying to focus using the selected point.

 

I consider the right side of the bird to be OK. I think if the focus was Single Shot and the focus point was on the eye it would be a fine shot.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC Classic
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-30-2015

Re: I am having issues wit the sharpness of my 70D. I have yet to be able to take a truly sharp phot


@RobertTheFat wrote:


Indeed, the AF point is on the background, which is extremely unsharp. Doesn't this suggest that a manual adjustment was made after focus was achieved?


Not necsnecessarily,  could one of be several things.

 

Actual sensor and focus areas are larger than the squares displayed.

 

Back button focus could have been used and OP focused and recrecomposed, releasing back button before recomposing. 

 

Or just a focus and recompose and AI Servo did not refocus on the background by the time the photo was taken.  Tracking sensitivity is set to -2, so focus would stay locked a little longer before it starts trying to refocus.  Typically I use back button focus with -2 tracking sensitivity on my 7D.  There is a lag for focus to jump to another object that interferes with the main subject I am tracking, which is what I want for some sports.

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