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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎02-19-2015

Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus

[ Edited ]

I recently upgraded from a prime 400 5.6 to the 100-400 4.5-5.6.   Many of my shots have a bokeh with parallel lines in it.  Trying to figure out why.  I have a UV filter on, not a polarizer, which was my first thought.  I have not tried without a filter yet, but will.  Thought maybe someone here might have an idea why I'm getting this.  The other thing I have noticed is that the autofocus is not as fast as with the prime and sometimes struggles to get to focus.  I'm a bird photographer, so sometimes my subject is quite small and in a bunch of branches, but my prime was faster.  I still like the final photo result of the new lens better, so I'm sticking with it.  I attached an example of the bokeh problemBlackpollWarbler-2-160601.jpg

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus

[ Edited ]

@mfostervt wrote:

I recently upgraded from a prime 400 5.6 to the 100-400 4.5-5.6.   Many of my shots have a bokeh with parallel lines in it.  Trying to figure out why.  I have a UV filter on, not a polarizer, which was my first thought.  I have not tried without a filter yet, but will.  Thought maybe someone here might have an idea why I'm getting this.  The other thing I have noticed is that the autofocus is not as fast as with the prime and sometimes struggles to get to focus.  I'm a bird photographer, so sometimes my subject is quite small and in a bunch of branches, but my prime was faster.  I still like the final photo result of the new lens better, so I'm sticking with it.  I attached an example of the bokeh problem


Yes, ditch the UV filter!

 

What brand filter is it?

 

Which version of the 100-400 the original or II version?

VIP
Posts: 8,471
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus

[ Edited ]

I suspect that what you seeing may be related to Image Stabilzation.  I have noticed similar bokeh distortions with my lens.  I also noticed that my shots were a little soft, just like yours.  I very carefully performed AFMA on the lens.  I performed the AFMA calibration several times and took the average result as the AFMA value, by lens, entered into the camera.

 

IMG_5669.jpg

 

The above shot is now typical of results that I get with the lens.  The photo has been cropped to roughly 1:3.  The focus mode was AI servo.  The AF area mode was "Single Point AF", the center point.  6D, 1/320, f/5.6, ISO 160.

 

Did AFMA fix the lines in the Bokeh.  I dunno.  I may have better technique.  It may be wiser choice of IS mode, too.

 

[EDIT]  I would expect that 400mm prime to focus faster than both the Mark I and II versions of the 100-400mm zoom at the 400mm.  In fact, I would pretty much expect the 400mm to have a better IQ than either zoom.  But, I could be wrong.  Once I got the Mark II seemingly calibraed, the shots have been awesome...like the one above.  I had lost the bird in the tree, and had stopped shooting, when it suddenly flew away.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 8,471
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus

"I'm a bird photographer, so sometimes my subject is quite small and in a bunch of branches, but my prime was faster.  I still like the final photo result of the new lens better, so I'm sticking with it.  I attached an example of the bokeh problem." 

 

I have long been a landscape and cityscape photogrpaher,and an avid fisherman.  I have just discovered the bird photography is remarkably similar to fishing, with a LOT less mess. 

 

I don't like your photo.  Do not rationalize that you have a "good lens" just because you may have spent good money for it.  If it's under warranty, then call 1-800-OK-CANON.  Send them a sample photo, the same photo. 

 

I suspect that you either have bad technique, or an improperly calibrated lens.  I cannot tell which is which, not without further info like what camera you are using and what shooting mode.  It is hard to tell if you have a bad lens, or are using the IS modes improperly.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus


@Waddizzle wrote:

 

 

I don't like your photo.  Do not rationalize that you have a "good lens" just because you may have spent good money for it.  If it's under warranty, then call 1-800-OK-CANON.  Send them a sample photo, the same photo. 

 


I would eliminate the UV filter as a suspect before taking the Canon route.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,343
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus

I've been shooting Ver 1 for just about 10 years & I bought it used & have NEVER seen an image like yours from it. DUMP the filter & get back to us.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎02-19-2015

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus

[ Edited ]

Thanks for all the advice. I guess the filter is definitely suspect.  I am shooting with a Canon 70 D and my lens is the latest version (II).  I got the filter as a freebie from Adorama when I bought the lens.  I put it on to protect the lens, but may be better off buying a good filter.  I will definitely give it a try without a filter and get back with you all after I do that.  I've read a little about the AFMA, but never tried it as it seemed pretty complex. I take most bird photos as aperature priority with auto ISO and set the shutter to about 400 depending on if I am using a monopod or if I am trying to get a bird in flight.  I have not looked at the IS modes yet, but right now it is set on 1.   BTW, this pic was cropped to about 1\3 the original so that may affect the bokeh as well.  Thanks again.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,343
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus

[ Edited ]

Forget the filter, use the lens hood for protection. If those birds are flying raise your shutter speed & set the IS to mode 2. AFMA may help with sharpness but that's not your current problem. As I said I shoot ver 1 but the 400 prime was considered to be faster AF wise but I think ver 2 is very close in AF speed to the 400 prime.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
VIP
Posts: 11,491
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus

"Forget the filter, use the lens hood for protection. If those birds are flying raise your shutter speed & set the IS to mode 2. AFMA may help with sharpness but that's not your current problem."

 

This is the best advice so far.  Neither zoom is as quick as the 400 prime.  Neither zoom is a s sharp.  I went backwards from what you did. I sold the two zoom versions in favor of the 400 prime!  The newer version II zoom is a big improvement over the first one however. But version 1 is still a good lens. I, too, used it for years. Did many weddings with it.

 

IMHO, neither zoom does well with a filter on them.  Neither of mine needed AFMA.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Bokeh has parallel lines with 100-400 f4.5-5.6 and slower autofocus


@mfostervt wrote:

Thanks for all the advice. I guess the filter is definitely suspect.  I am shooting with a Canon 70 D and my lens is the latest version (II).  I got the filter as a freebie from Adorama when I bought the lens.  I put it on to protect the lens, but may be better off buying a good filter.  I will definitely give it a try without a filter and get back with you all after I do that.  I've read a little about the AFMA, but never tried it as it seemed pretty complex. I take most bird photos as aperature priority with auto ISO and set the shutter to about 400 depending on if I am using a monopod or if I am trying to get a bird in flight.  I have not looked at the IS modes yet, but right now it is set on 1.   BTW, this pic was cropped to about 1\3 the original so that may affect the bokeh as well.  Thanks again.


It is most definately the cheap filter. The cheap filter may be interacting with the image stabilization to create the pattern, but, the culpret is the cheap filter not the IS.

 

I ordered a B+W 77mm XS-Pro Clear with Multi-Resistant Nano Coating (007M) for my new EF 100-400 L IS II.

 

I treat a protective filter as an extra lens cap. I remove it in environments where it is not need and leave it on at places where it is (i.e. the beach).

 

I've only had it for a few days, but, no weird bokeh and no AFMA needed that I can tell. If I do need AFMA I'll use the DotTune method.

 

 

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