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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-01-2015

Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

 

SOMEONE HELP!! PLEEEEASE!!

 

I have two mark iii's and I use all L lenses. I basically hate everything I shoot because it seems like 90% of my shots are not crisp as I think they should be for what I pay for the equipment.  I have tried micro adjusting the lenses, I have made sure the lenses are clean. I thought it was my camera because I had over 150,000 shots on it so I bought a new one.....does the same thing. 

 

I don't know if I am micro adjusting the lenses incorrectly or what but I feel like spending that much money on the cameras and lenses, that I should not have to work so hard to get a picture in focus.

 

Biggest problem is the 50 1.2. I never shoot below 2.8 because it will just be pointless, won't ever give me a clear shot. I feel thats ridiculous.  The 70-200 2.8 is better, but still not as crisp as I feel it should be. The 24-70 2.8, I just about cringe anytime I have to put that lens on the camera. 

Now why would all of my lenses be giving me problems?! I had the camera and the 70-200 sent in for servicing in January by geek squad because I purchased them through best buy. I don't feel like it did anything.

 

Does geek squad really perform the correct servicing?

 

I want to give clients sharp amazing images, not soft noisy images! Even at ISO 100 I get noise even in well lit situations. I am just so annoyed with everything right now! 

 

 

Forum Elite
Posts: 14,239
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

[ Edited ]

OK, kido, lets start from the top.

 

"I don't know if I am micro adjusting the lenses incorrectly ..."

 

Yes, you probably are not.  Set everything back to 0 for now.

 

"Biggest problem is the 50 1.2. I never shoot below 2.8 ..."

 

This is a love or hate lens.  I love mine.  It is not an easy lens to use and has a long learning curve.  You don't pick it up and run with it.  So, you are not alone in that assessment.  Although better at f2.8, the DOF is shallow and at f1.2 it is razor thin.  This accounts for many, if not most, of the complaints with this lens.  But in the grand scheme of things, there is nothing like f1.2.

To use this lens you should use the single center AF point.  Turn all the others off.  As a matter of fact for what I believe you shoot, leave all except the center off for every lens.

Focus on the person eye or the subjects main area.  Do not let your subject or YOU move. Not even a 1/2 inch. That is too much and if so you must refocus.  From the nose to the eye is too much and you must refocus.

 

"Does geek squad really perform the correct servicing?

 

You jest? Smiley Frustrated  Never, never, never let Geek Squad touch your equipment.  With what you have, you need to be a member of  CPS  (Canon Professional Service). They are the only service people that should ever work on your gear.  Join today.  You can send them you camera and a lens at the same time and they will calibrate for you.  They can even recalibrate the lens which you can not do. 

 

"The 24-70 2.8, I just about cringe anytime I have to put that lens on the camera."

 

This lens and my 70-200mm f2.8 are, by far, my most used lenses.  They live on my cameras.  They are the backbone of photography.  They are incredibly sharp for zooms.  They are not primes so don't expect prime AF or IQ from them.

 

I am afraid PS and/or LR is just a fact of life for pro photographers.  You really do need to get to know them well.  Adobe just released Lightroom 6 and I strongly urge you to get it.

 

If I were to ask you, what do you rate your level of photography knowledge, what would you tell me.  I really need to know this before I, or anybody, can offer and meaningful advice.  It is best to observe but not poossible on a web forum. I do hope I can help.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-01-2015

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

I shoot mostly newborns and children, so It of course is difficult when shooting children of course. I shoot newborns with an ab400 with an 86in PLM umbrella typically at f/2.8. I always use the center focus point and focus that on the inner corner of the baby's eye. I know it is difficult to shoot with a 50, this is year 5.5 that I have shot with a 50. I started my business with a 50. I used to shoot with the 50 1.4 and loved it and never had an issue with it on my 7d. I was shooting the 1.4 on the mark ii one day and while changing lenses something broke on the ring or something and so I decided well might as well upgrade to the 1.2! I have never shot at 1.2, 1.4, or 1.6. If I am shooting a random object that I know wont move I might shoot it at 1.8 but with my experience with shooting children, I know not to even try to shoot below 2.8 with the 1.2. But even my daughter who is a perfect model who will stand there perfectly still, if I shoot at 2.8 It still will not give me the result I want! Its been this way since I got it and I keep wondering "did I get a lemon"?  I want to be able to see every eyelash when I am focusing on the eyes!

 

Ok I will never let Geek squad touch my equipment again! haha! 

 

When I was first doing weddings I was renting the 70-200 2.8 and used it on the mark ii. It never missed a beat! I was loving it! So when I finally decided to purchase it for myself, I was kind of disappointed. Mine doesn't take as sharp of a picture as the one that I had rented! It is the lens that I prefer to have on my camera all the time, except for newborns. 

 

The 24-70 must be really off. I had also rented it before I bought it to try it out and it also was amazing when I rented it everything was super sharp always focused correctly. I buy it, and again disappointed. 

 

I have PS6, PS CC and Lightroom 5. I have more knowledge in photoshop than I do in lightroom. 

 

I am not sure how I would rate my level of photography knowledge. I am not a beginner, but I am not an expert on everything. I don't feel like im in the amateur range either. I feel like I know enough and have had a pretty good amount of success in what I do, I just want a better result. Everyone always tells me I am way too critical of my work, and that the client won't notice that it is not tack sharp but I notice so I want that result!

Forum Elite
Posts: 14,239
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

Fine, we have a starting point.

I hate to say this, it hurts, but you may be better off with the EF 50mm f1.4 or even, as some say the best there is, Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art.  It is incredibly sharp.  I had it and sold it to buy the EF 50mm f1.2 knowing full well I was losing sharpness.  But when you want f1.2, you want f1.2.  Otherwise there is no good reason to have this lens.  If you continuely shoot at f2.8 does this not make sense?  I am considering buying the EF 85mm f1.2 ($2000!) for the same reason.  It is a f1.2 lens.  And to boot I have the Sigma 85mm f.4 which will have to go.  This knowing full well the Sigma wins the sharpness battle.  But it doesn't have f1.2.

 

With that willing, darling daughter, I would do some critical testing.  But first I must know what you think sharpness is.  I recently purchased the Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3.  As a rule I don't like Tamrons but this lens was irresistible.  I worried about its IQ but after some through testing I am pleased with its performance considering its price point.

Below is a typical shot.  Is it sharp?  What do you think?

tamron 150_600_100.jpg

 

Since we seem to be talking several lenses here you may need to have CPS look it over for you.  I would send it and the 24-70mm f2.8 in together.  Ask for a calibration.  This combo should produve outstanding results for you.  Better than any client could expect.

 

One other thing before we leave sharpness, how do you look at your photos?  Is your monitor a good one and it is calibrated?

 

"Everyone always tells me I am way too critical of my work, and that the client won't notice that it is not tack sharp ..."

 

Boy!  That is not a very reassuring statement.  Nobody will notice how bad it is?  C'mon. However, kido, you may be too critical. Let me see one if you can u/l here.

 

"I have PS6, PS CC and Lightroom 5."

 

If you have CC, you have LR 6 automatically.  I would encourage you to get up close and personal with Lightroom.  It does almost all you will need to do and it does it very quickly.  You are shooting RAW?  In LR that is seemless.  You can apply all sorts of adjusts in batch if needed.  LR can make your clients album or slideshow, etc, or prints.  Even exports them to your service like SmugMug, Blurb, Shutterfly, etc..

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-01-2015

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

I have rented the sigma art 50mm before and did notice it focused quicker and was sharper. I have been debating on actually purchasing it, I am just annoyed that I can't get that with the 1.2 I think its ridiculous!

 

I have never tested the 85mm 1.2 I was looking at it just the other day and wondering if I should test it out.

 

Yes the image you included does look sharp to me.

 

My monitor is a 27 inch retina display from Mac. I havent gone through any software like spyder to check the calibration.

 

If looking at an image fully zoomed out, the image looks ok but if I zoom in it does not look sharp to me. Its pixelly and noisy and the eyes are not sharp like I want them. 

 

Here is an image I did of a newborn. This is my problem. Even shot this at f/4 and still didn't get her eyelashes in focus like I think they should be! This to me is not sharp.12.jpg

 

 

Here is an image I shot with a canon 50 1.4 I rented not too long ago to test out if I would get a better result with the 1.4 It was a full length shot of her that I zoomed in to see if her eyes were in focus. Not even close. 

13.jpg

 

 

 

 

Did this shot last night with the 70-200 2.8  from afar it looks good, but up close I hate it. This is where people say I am too critical but in my mind I am thinking, if mom orders a big print of this she will be able to see that her babies eye is not clear and it looks pixelly14.jpg

15.jpg

That is what I consider not sharp. I want to zoom in and see her lashes strand by strand, not zoom in and see the noise and this was actually edited so a lot of it was removed and sharpened in camera raw. Shouldn't I be able to get something like your image? clear clean lines?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,558
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

What shutter speeds are you using? When lenses as good as yours give consistently blurry results, one has to suspect shutter speeds that are too low. What happens if you mount the camera on a tripod and fire it remotely? If that clears up the problem, you need either faster shutter speeds or stabilized lenses. Your 24-70 lens isn't stabilized; Canon doesn't make a stabilized 24-70. Your 70-200 may be stabilized, so make sure you have stabilization turned on.

 

As far as AF microadjustment is concerned, it isn't particularly difficult, but you do have to understand what you're doing. There are several techniques, so read up and find one that works for you. Note that the 5D Mark III lets you adjust each end of the zoom range separately. All that said, though, I've never used an "L" lens that needed AFMA. So I'd look at shutter speeds first if I were you.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,558
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"Does geek squad really perform the correct servicing?

 

You jest?  Never, never, never let Geek Squad touch your equipment.  With what you have, you need to be a member of  CPS  (Canon Professional Service). They are the only service people that should ever work on your gear.  Join today.  You can send them you camera and a lens at the same time and they will calibrate for you.  They can even recalibrate the lens which you can not do. 

 


Is there really a separate service group for CPS? That's not my impression. When I bring cameras or lenses to the Jamesburg shop, they of course know I'm a Gold member, and I get excellent service. But the one time I sent a camera there before I was a CPS member, I got excellent service as well. I think most of the CPS advantages involve price breaks or special handling, but the same technicians do the actual work.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Forum Elite
Posts: 14,239
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

I think I am begining to side with the folks that tell you, you are too critical.  The young lady in the  middle shot is at 400%. Wow!  If that kind of crop is required, you need to be closer to her.  I can't quite see the other but it looks like it is at 100%.

You know 100% is considered pixel level.  IE. one pixel from the image maps to one pixel on the screen.

 

If you truley need that level of crop, you probably don't want the Canon 50mm f1.2 or the 85mm f1.2.  Futher you may not want any zooms either.  The doll I shot, many times BTW, was from a heavy tropod.  The lens set at its middle 300mm range. Aperture wide open.  A SS of 1/1000 and a ISO of 400.  Lens set at near min focus, close to the worse place for a lens.  There is no crop.  I suggest you try the same with each lens.  Do a critical examination at 100% crop. NO LARGER.

 

Now after this, if you still see an issue, send the camera and a (single) lens to CPS.  They will calibrate both and you will have piece of mind knowing all is right.

 

And lastly, it is essential you get some settings on your monitor correct.  If you don't do this step, you can forget the other things.  However, there are only a few things that you need to be concerned with. You don't need any fancy extra add-on to do this.  No additional software or gadgets, etc.  No monkeys, no spiders, nothing!  Most people set their monitors too bright.

You must get the gray-scale very close.  You need to get the brightness very close and you need the contrast very close.

You are on a Mac and I use a Windoze machine but I think things are similar.  Windoze has the three needed adjustments included and I believe Mac does also.  Possibly you vodeo card has them as some are very complete and through.

 

Do you do your own printing?  I do (did, I am retired) most of mine.

 

BTW, I assumed the solutions that Bob from Boston gave so I didn't bother with them.  You already know that stuff.  Right?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Forum Elite
Posts: 14,239
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

"I think most of the CPS advantages involve price breaks or special handling, but the same technicians do the actual work."

 

I think so, too.  But the OP is a pro and running a business so CPS is warranted.  CPS will also provide overnight and loaners plus a nifty shoulder strap!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Forum Elite
Posts: 14,239
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Someone tell me why I can't get a photo in focus!!!!!!

"... servicing in January by geek squad ..."

 

Not to belay this point but this has to be close to the worse place a person could send a pro outfit for service.  If anything they could have jacked up the OP's stuff.  One more reason I want the OP to go back to 0 and join CPS.  Who knows if they took anything apart or just turned it on or whatever?

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