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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II

I have a canon 7D mark II.  I mostly take pictures of birds.  When I take a picture at 10 - 30 feet the focus is tack sharp, however, if I take one at 100 feet or more it is always blurry.  Does any one have a suggestion on a cure.  I almost always use a tripod and the canon 100-400 mm II lens.  The first picture (of the great blue heron) is at about 150 feet.  The second picture (of the tufted titmouse) is at about 15 feet. Both pictures have gone through photo editing.B42A6567.jpgB42A4520.jpg

Valued Contributor
Posts: 372
Registered: ‎10-21-2016

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II

Difficult to tell with the small pictures, could be AFMA is needed, could be motion blur, have you got a filter fitted.

 

Even though it is on a tripod it can still move, do you turn IS off, do you use a cable release, do you mount it on the lens tripod ring or the camera body, is your quick release really stable. Any minor vibration will show more in longer shots.

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 570
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II

I agree with Ray's comments.  It is tough to tell without these small photos but the Blue Heron looks like it might be front focused to me. Download and follow the Canon procedure for checking autofocus calibration:  https://www.learn.usa.canon.com/app/pdfs/articles/AF_MicroAdjustGuide_desktop.pdf

 

Are both photos the same crop size?

 

For best stability with the tripod also use a release (or maybe the 2 second self timer built into the camera until you get an external release).  I use the Canon TC-80N3 as a remote release. Locking the mirror will further reduce any camera shake.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M2, 1DX, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Posts: 11,330
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II

Please don't think this harsh but neither of your shots are sharp.  I really mean this to help you get what you desire in bird photography.  The big reason?  I believe you choose too slow of a SS. 1/40 in one or 1/50 in the other is way too slow for best results.

With a 400mm lens on a 7D, you need a minimum SS of around 1/1000.  When you get more experience holding these large long FL lenses you may be able to better that to say 1/500 but for the most part try to stay above it.  You are trying to keep the SS at the reciprocal of the lens.  400mm = 1/400 or rounding off to 1/500.  However in your case we must add the crop factor of 1.6 x and that rounds off to around 1/1000.

 

_DX_0700.jpg

EOS 1Dx with 600mm, f7, 1/500, ISO 800

 

Keep in mind that as your distance increases the resolving power of the lens decreases.  That is why we say getting closer is better than getting a better lens.  Close it good.

Hope this helps and keep shooting. Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II

Thank you for the input.  I think it may be a combination of your suggestions.  I will look at them one at a time.

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Posts: 11,330
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II

Also, how do you edit?  Adding sharpening can cause more issues then it fixes.  Are you using LR?  If you are do a lens correction upon import than take a look and see just how much sharpening is needed.  Some require none to very little.

 

If you are using PS open them in ACR and do the same lens correction.  Take a look and add what is necessary.  Using unsharp mask is your friend.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-22-2018

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II

[ Edited ]

I have the exact problem even at high shutter speeds. I absolutely hate the 7D Mark II. I was expecting such an upgrade from my 60D, but the 7D is dust covered, I never use it because I missed so many shots using it. I just had my 60D cleaned and hope it never wears out. Canon insists 7D functions properly but I recently had it in a camera store and even on a tripod no one can get crisp sistance shots with the EF 100-400. Something I can do, handheld, in good light with my 60D. I'd love an answer to the focal problem for the field. I've tried every imaginable AF setting with no luck. It's great for indoor run of the mill studio work I do when I do it which is rarely. Did you ever get an answer or find a solution?

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Posts: 8,316
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II


@jbdesign wrote:

I have the exact problem even at high shutter speeds. I absolutely hate the 7D Mark II. I was expecting such an upgrade from my 60D, but the 7D is dust covered, I never use it because I missed so many shots using it. I just had my 60D cleaned and hope it never wears out. Canon insists 7D functions properly but I recently had it in a camera store and even on a tripod no one can get crisp sistance shots with the EF 100-400. Something I can do, handheld, in good light with my 60D. I'd love an answer to the focal problem for the field. I've tried every imaginable AF setting with no luck. It's great for indoor run of the mill studio work I do when I do it which is rarely. Did you ever get an answer or find a solution?


Have you downloaded the Canon AF Guide for the 7D Mark II?  This is a must read if you want to do action photography with your 7D2.  Are you using the EF 100-400mm second generation lens, or the original release?  I will assume version 2, for now.

Without knowing more details about the shooting scenario and your exposure settings, shooting mode, lens settings, and selected AF mode and AF points, it is next to impossible to way what is wrong.  I hate to say it, but the problem is most likely user error.

 

Can you post a sample of a “good” shot and a “bad” shot, complete with EXIF data, and description of shooting conditions and settings like I pointed out above?  I can tell you know, that your lens will perform and behave a little differently on a 7D2, compared to a 60D.  Believe it or not, the 7D2 can capture better action images with that lens than a 60D ever will.

 

Those two cameras have very different AF systems, which can and will perform differently with that lens.  The two bodies have very different AF sensors and AF systems. If you are using the same lens for closeup and distant shots, then you need to be sure to set the AF focusing range on the lens appropriately. There is also

And, that is just the lens

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,008
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II


@jbdesign wrote:

I have the exact problem even at high shutter speeds. I absolutely hate the 7D Mark II. I was expecting such an upgrade from my 60D, but the 7D is dust covered, I never use it because I missed so many shots using it. I just had my 60D cleaned and hope it never wears out. Canon insists 7D functions properly but I recently had it in a camera store and even on a tripod no one can get crisp sistance shots with the EF 100-400. Something I can do, handheld, in good light with my 60D. I'd love an answer to the focal problem for the field. I've tried every imaginable AF setting with no luck. It's great for indoor run of the mill studio work I do when I do it which is rarely. Did you ever get an answer or find a solution?


You don't say whether you've tried autofocus microadjustment. I assume you have, since it's mentioned earlier in the thread. But in case you haven't, it could be worth the effort.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Posts: 11,330
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: focus issues ata a distance with Canon 7d mark II

"I have the exact problem ..."

I don't want to sound rude but this issue is almost certainly user induced. However, with further info and some samples I can not say for sure. Again how you shoot, what you shoot and how you post edit all enter into this. All correctable.

 

BTW, version 1 of the 100-400mm is not all that sharp. Version 2 is much better. It is not focus adjustment if the entire shot is OOF or not sharp.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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