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Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus


@limvo05 wrote:

Hello,

 

While searching for a great deal on the Canon 300mm f2.8 IS mark I, I came across a few reviews suggesting soft focus issues with this lens. I was wondering if anyone experiences the same? Is this an inherent problem with this lens or luck of the draw? Below are some of the comments found on B&H site.

 

Unreliable and soft focus

Bymurphyslaw
 

After owing this lens for more than 3 years and struggling with the soft focus issues, I am now convinced that this lens has inherent quality issues and even after a tune up by Canon, i am still seeing soft focus issues inconsistently. I tried the several lens tests on a tripod, however, could not get a consistent result. Now looking at others who have similar issues, I am convinced that this is a faulty product, or atleast I have a lemon. Shame on Canon for producing such flawed products in the top of their product line.

 

------------------------------------

I was excited to have this lens, as a wedding photographer working in many low light situations --- my excitement was VERY quickly dashed. I used this lens at 1 wedding, and while I managed SOME photos that will be salvaged, the majority of the shots were MUCH softer focus than I want for my clients. Canon makes amazing equipment that I stand behind 100%.....THIS Canon lens is NOT something I can get behind.


Did you check the autofocus microadjustment before using the lens at the wedding? I made that mistake once at an event  with a (new) lens I had just bought; and if I hadn't been also using a second camera, if would have been a BIG embarrassment.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus

Bob,

 

The comment provided was from a reviewer I got on B&H website. I am looking to buy the lens still.

 

Thanks.

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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus

[ Edited ]

And for some true soft focus images, these were shot with Canon's discontinued  EF 135 f2.8 "soft focus" lens that a friend from Japan gave me.  It has a separate variable soft focus control calibrated from 0 to 2 with it behaving like a normal very decent 135 f2.8 with the control set to 0.  The shots in order are shot at soft focus 0, 1, and 2 respectively.

 

And setting it to soft focus 2 doesn't seem to hinder the camera AF system (or maybe I just can't tell since it really is soft) Smiley Happy

 

Rodger

 

SF 0.JPG

 

SF 1.JPG

 

SF 2.JPG

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus

Not only it allowed for controlled soft focusing. It also deleted the fly as well Smiley Happy

 

Nice photos.

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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus

Thanks Smiley Happy  Don't worry, the fly didn't delete itself; it just went after the photographer.  It is an interesting lens that probably was useful for portraits although at maximum soft focus the results are pretty bizarre instead of "dreamy".  At a less soft setting, it does what Canon stated in producing a soft image that doesn't look terribly blurred.

 

But I much prefer the sharpness of the 300 f2.8 (or this lens in its 0 setting) to the soft focus look.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus


@wq9nsc wrote:

Thanks Smiley Happy  Don't worry, the fly didn't delete itself; it just went after the photographer.  It is an interesting lens that probably was useful for portraits although at maximum soft focus the results are pretty bizarre instead of "dreamy".  At a less soft setting, it does what Canon stated in producing a soft image that doesn't look terribly blurred.

 

But I much prefer the sharpness of the 300 f2.8 (or this lens in its 0 setting) to the soft focus look.

 

Rodger


I think the real reason for soft-focus lenses in portrait photography was to make warts, pimples, and other skin blemishes less conspicuous. It was a lot easier to blur them a little than to do the intricate, time-consuming dodging, burning, and re-touching that were the only practical alternatives in the film era. Digital photography has changed all that, of course. Any decent photo editor allows you to whisk the blemishes away with a couple of mouse clicks, effectively rendering the soft-focus lens obsolete.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus

If I were you, I would consider and more likely buy the Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens.  Why do you think you need the f2.8 version?  One stop!  Brand new the f4 is around $1300 and has IS. It is as sharp or sharper than the f2.8 model.

 

 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus

"And the only reason I would take a 300 f2.8 to a wedding was if it was one of those "southern shotgun weddings" where I would want to shoot from a safe location"

 

Before I got the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens, I regularly use my ef 100-400mm zoom for weddings. I like 300mm for weddings. I didn't use them a lot but there is always that shot!

For instance, some priests are finicky and don't want to see or hear the photographer.  A 300mm lens helps with that. Over the years I have met and run into all kinds and all kinds of either total freedom or very tight controls.  As a photographer you have to be ready.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus

Are you saying the 300 F4 IS lens is sharper than the 300m F2.8 IS lens? One reason for liking the F2.8 over the F4 is the ability to connect with the 2x converter. I know a lot of folks here would disagree with such combination, that said, I've seen and read reviews of such combo many have stated that there is no degradation as made out by others. I guessed it's really up to individual taste and judgment? 

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Re: Canon 300mm F2.8 USM IS Soft focus

Found a mint mark ii for $3300.  I can't decide if I should get this 300mm F2.8 IS Mark ii or 500mm F4 IS mark i? The 500 is $2700, I was thinking of getting the 500mm and look for a 1.4x extender, this would give me a good reach for Yellowstone.

 

With the 300mm, I already have the 2x extender, so don't have to spend the extra $$$.

 

What do you think?

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