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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-26-2015

Problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2.8 lens.

Good morning. I just got the new 7D Mark II in November as an upgrade to my 40D. I am having a problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2.8 lens which has been consistently sharp for landscape on my 40D. The 7D Mark II takes fabulous close in photos and nice sharp photos out to about 15 feet, but when I pull back to get, say, a tree line, the image isn't very sharp at all. I have tried using various f stops as well as a couple of different AF settings with the same outcome. I am also using One Shot as opposed to Al Servo. Any suggestions as to what I need to do differently to get sharp landscape shots? Thanks in advance!

 

 

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 425
Registered: ‎01-19-2014

Re: Problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2

Smaller aperatures yield greater depth of field but the accompanying longer exposures can introduce camera shake and capture motion blur in a moving subject. You don't say what setting you are using aside from the focus mode. I would start there.

 

Adding a tripod and remote shutter release solves many problems and I highly recommend you use one.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,807
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2

How are you focusing your 7D II?  The camera has a vastly more advanced focus system than the 40D, but when shooting landscapes, you may wish to focus manually.  

 

If you allow either camera to use any focus point it wants, then it will gravitate to the focus point which can achieve focus at the NEAREST distance to the camera.  On the 40D, however, the focus points aren't nearly as spaced apart as they are on the 7D II.  This means the focus point with the nearest focus distance on the 7D II may be so close that the depth of field is no longer able to cover the subjects which are farthest away -- in which case you'd need to manually select a focus point that chooses an object slightly farther away.

 

But there is another way to focus...

 

When I think of a landscape shot, I usually want something with strong detail interest in the foreground, and a nice composition of the background which is also in focus.  This means what I'll probably need to do is use a high f-stop (Av) and find the "hyperfocal distance" for the focal length at that f-stop.  

 

The "Hyperfocal Distance" is the distance at which the maximum range is in acceptable focus (you have maximized depth of field.)  You might think you get maximum depth of field by just focusing to "infinity" but the problem with that is it throws close subject out of focus and usually you want some nice foreground interest... perhaps some rocks or some grasses, etc. 

 

When you focus at any specific distnace, there will be some range both nearer than the focus distance as well as farther than teh focus distance which will ALSO be in acceptable focus.  Yet... if you focus to "infinity" there's nothing "farther" than infinity so that half the depth of field is simple wasted.  

 

So the real idea behind using the hyper-focal distance is that it lets you cheat the focus CLOSER to the you to find the point where focus from that point and farther... turns out to also cover distances all the way out to infinity... and yet that distance and closer will bring even more foreground interest into sharp focus.

 

Once you calculate the hyperfocal distance, you manually focus the lens to that distance, then take the shot (hard-core landscape photogoraphers will do one better... and use a tilt-shift lens.)

 

This site may help:  http://dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

 

If, for example, you used the 17mm end of your lens and f/11, then the hyperfocal distance for f/11 at 17mm works out to about 4.5 feet (4.47').  

 

If you plug the values into that website:

Set the camera to Canon 7D body -- it doesn't matter that it's a 7D II, really all it wants to know is the sensor dimensions and the 7D and 7D II both have an APS-C size sensor)

Set the focal length of the lens to whatever you want to use (e.g. I used 17mm for this example)

Set the f-stop (aperture) to whatever you intend to use -- for a landscape that shoudl be f/11 or f/16... something high

 

Ignore the subject distance box for a moment... look to the right and there's a section labeled "Hyperfocal distance" - that's the value you are looking for.  Having that value, key it into the "distance" box on the left and click "compute".  This will then tell you how much foreground will be in focus and you can angle your camera appropriately to catch some nicely focused foreground interest.

 

But all this means you're not actually using the auto-focus system at all... you're just using manual focus.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-26-2015

Re: Problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2

Thanks fo much, Tim. This is great information and I appreciate the time you took for that detailed response. I will check the link out for sure. I feel much better about moving forward. Have a great day.

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-26-2015

Re: Problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2

Thanks for getting back to me I defintely do need to use a tripod more frequently especially now that I'm getting a little older. Thanks again!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,947
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2


@Macmassey wrote:

Good morning. I just got the new 7D Mark II in November as an upgrade to my 40D. I am having a problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2.8 lens which has been consistently sharp for landscape on my 40D. The 7D Mark II takes fabulous close in photos and nice sharp photos out to about 15 feet, but when I pull back to get, say, a tree line, the image isn't very sharp at all. I have tried using various f stops as well as a couple of different AF settings with the same outcome. I am also using One Shot as opposed to Al Servo. Any suggestions as to what I need to do differently to get sharp landscape shots? Thanks in advance!

 


Check your autofocus microadjustment. The 17-55 is a good, sharp lens, but it's not an "L" lens. Mine requires plus-9 AFMA on my 7D's.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-26-2015

Re: Problem getting sharp "landscape" photos with 7D Mark II. I am using a Canon 17-55mm 2

sounds good will do. Thanks!

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