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Archive 2012 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question
  
 
garyvot
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p.2 #1 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


traveller88 wrote:
All comments, including constructive criticism welcome.


Traveller, I suspect your camera is simply not performing to spec, maybe not so uncommon with a brand new model / brand new focusing system, and may just need an adjustment. Nevertheless, please keep us posted on your experiences.

The out of the box issues with the lenses, unfortunately, I can believe. Canon QC is unsteady, and I too have seen brand new lenses with decentering issues. I regularly test new gear thoroughly in case it needs to go back to the retailer, but CPS is pretty good about fixing such issues if you decide to keep something. Canon does seem to stand behind its warranties.



May 20, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.2 #2 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


I used the 5D classic and the 1DS3 extensively (also the 1D2) and the 1DS3 and now the 5D3 files are as sharp or sharper and have more res than the 5Dc files. They are not softer at all.

The 5D3 AF has been Superb so far with my L lenses and the 50mm1.4. No microadjustment needed from what I am seeing.



May 21, 2012 at 02:27 AM
traveller88
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p.2 #3 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Hi Gary,

Thanks for your input.

Am hoping that if it's a lemon and I get a good one to replace it that works, I'd be happy.

I don't really know the term for lenses where the plane of focus is not aligned with the film plane, ie, one side is gradually going soft. Is that decentering? How many of these lenses have you seen?

I never really used to test my lenses, assuming they are all top quality through tight QC. I know there are variances in sharpness lens to lens, but I'm not a pixel peeper. I just need tools that work and deliver pro results. This kind of major defect is unacceptable for the regular pro, and some of my images are blown up to 6 feet.

At any rate I don't know how common this is. I think even if it's 10% of L lenses, it would be an appalling percentage. Wouldn't a basic QC check reveal this? But 6/6 I'm shocked and at a loss here. If the 5D Mark III film plane was off, that would explain it. But it doesn't seem to be the issue. The 3rd 70-200 2.8 L II is much better than the first one, but still shows it. If center and R side are sharp, left side is all soft. If I'm just super unlucky, to get this batch, the odds are so high that I'd best be buying lottery tickets.










May 21, 2012 at 02:50 AM
traveller88
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p.2 #4 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Thanks Sneakyracer.

Good to hear yours is fine.

Are you pro by any chance? Have you shot any with the 70-200 wide open at 200 at distant scenes?

The store here doesn't have any more bodies, and I can't find a local pro to test with another 5D3. If you care to post those somewhere in the meantime, I'd be curious to see them.

Thanks



May 21, 2012 at 02:58 AM
AGeoJO
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p.2 #5 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


traveller88 wrote:
Please note: I am a long time Canon fan, supporter and promoter., and a full-time pro. I have purchased well over 100K of Canon gear during my career, and have been published thousands of times. I have recommended nothing but Canon to all my colleagues, friends, assistants, workshop students and readers. I reviewed the Canon A2E with eye control AF years ago, for the top Canadian photo magazine, and gave it the highest praise. I tested it with models running towards me with a 300 2.8 L lens wide open and the performance blew me away. I reviewed the original
...Show more

Sorry, I didn't quote your entire posts, just the excerpt of both.

As a full-time pro, I assume that you have multiple camera bodies, right? Did all the six lenses show the same problems with your other bodies? What did you use as your main body before the 5D Mark III? Can you post some images showing your problem, please?



May 21, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Photon
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p.2 #6 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


traveller88 wrote:
...If the 5D Mark III film plane was off, that would explain it. But it doesn't seem to be the issue. The 3rd 70-200 2.8 L II is much better than the first one, but still shows it. If center and R side are sharp, left side is all soft. If I'm just super unlucky, to get this batch, the odds are so high that I'd best be buying lottery tickets.

I'd suspect that maybe that _is_ at least part of the problem, that is, assuming that the L/R mismatch is similar with each of the lenses. The 3rd 70-200 may actually be decentered in a manner that partially compensates for the misalignment of the sensor.

Sorry you've had such a run of bad luck with recent equipment. My experience has been very good in recent years. My first 5D3 had a problem with the SD card interface, but the second one has been bulletproof through its first few thousand frames. I don't think Canon has completely lost control of quality, though I don't doubt at all that there have been problem areas. Roger Cicala (Lens Rentals) is a pretty good source of info on consistency across substantial volumes of gear purchase.



May 21, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Sneakyracer
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p.2 #7 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Hi, I have shot the 70-200 quite a bit but mostly at middle to short distances. From my experience with other lenses infinity AF focus seems easy but it isnt guaranteed, its always best to check focus with live view. Il have to test for it on the 5D3.


May 21, 2012 at 09:40 AM
traveller88
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p.2 #8 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Hi AGeoJo, Photon, Sneakyracer,

I'm new to this forum and not sure how things works, so trying this Quick Reply box hopefully it works to answer all quickly.

AG-pls see my first post, has a lot of detail, incl my camera before, 5DM2, which I got rid off thinking 5D3 would blow away the AF on the 2.

I'm not a computer techie, and have been thinking about how best to upload some hi-res pix somewhere to be shown, but don't know so just tried to upload some on my site. No help from web guru not sure if this is the best way. Spent quite some time but it seems I just have to give a link to each file, not an elegant solution, so I'll just share a few here. I can also share a Dropbox folder for anyone that wants to see and download a whole set. If anyone can tell me a simpler way to upload large files easily accessible somewhere, pls let me know.










































put some basic caption in the metadata so you can see what was used

3711 I used center on AF to focus critically on the center, but you can see the focus on the grass from edge to edge, following the plane of best focus, gradually change to soft

Photon-I'm hoping to get to test at least another 5D3 to isolate what exactly is going on...

Sneakyracer, try it if you can, shoot something really far, and if you have foreground like in my sample pictures, you might see the focus way off, in the water, if yours has the same defect

Thanks




May 22, 2012 at 06:17 AM
CMDPHOTOS2
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p.2 #9 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Traveller88 - "Just upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark III myself with 3 new L lenses, and it's not focusing properly at multipoint AF."

Traveller 88 - I would really like to know what the outcome was with Canon and your 5D3 since you posted on May 19, 2012

I too, have been a Canon supporter for over 35 years! I'm a well published pro photographer and teach College photography. I've probably sold directly and in directly 1000's of Canon cameras, so bashers please give me a break.

I am soooo disappointed with not only my 5D3 right now but also Canon Service Center. I have been getting a LARGE portion of my shots with soft focus (i.e. nothing in focus) and I only use L glass. If I could, I would post an example of a shot taken at ISO 200, 39mm, f/7.1 at 1/200th. Model was stationary with solid rock underneath and plenty of depth. There is NO area in the shot that is in focus. This is one example of many, but I wanted to use this shot as an example because I payed close attention to everything possible. The only thing (I admit) was that I hand held. I can normally shoot hand held down to 1/15 with my older 5D Mark I. I'm at close to f/8 sweet spot and well over the reciprocal! I have reduced the image and it is still soft everywhere. No I have not calibrated my lens and should not have to!!! The lens is great with any of my other cameras. I have students that have purchased the D800 and aren't even using pro lenses and have no problems right out of the box! I understand about circles of confusion and the need for superior glass the higher the resolution.

I to am so tired of the Canon Customer Service Center "pat" answers. They told me that it must be the lens (even though I explained that the lens is great with all my other cameras) and to send in both the camera and the lens. They even ruined my lens (scratched and coated some kind of spray over the front element) after sending the ensemble back to me, but won't do anything about that either! I am still having soft overall focus problems! I have tried many focus combinations, especially single point. I just don't know what to do! I hate having to send the $3500 camera back to them at further expense and no clear sign that they will fix the problem!

Any information about whether you (or anyone else) managed to resolve the problem would be greatly appreciated!



Oct 17, 2012 at 07:19 AM
diverhank
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p.2 #10 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Interesting thread. My observation is that the 5DMk3 multi-point focusing is not very precise compared to the single center point. On top of that, the focusing spot will vary with different kind of light (or light level) for the same type of focusing.

I too notice image softness in my 5DMk3 compared to my lowly 50D - using the same lenses. The softness is most evident when I use multi-point focus of different kinds. Apparently the camera focuses randomly on probably the nearest contrasty spot, usually not what we want. Having said that, I was able to get razor sharp images using single spot focus.

In my attempt to Micro-Adjust (MA), I confirmed this, single point focus, dead on,; multi-point (even though it shows the same focusing spot) focus, front or back focuses by up to 10 clicks. What is even more frustrating is that, even with a single point focus, the true focus point shifts significantly in bright light versus dimmer light, as much as 10 clicks. The manual does mention that the MA is only good for 1 lighting condition only and suggest you do MA for the place you are going to shoot at. Before you ask, of course I use a tripod and not move my camera at all during the MA process



Oct 17, 2012 at 07:33 PM
 

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AaronNegro
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p.2 #11 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


I think I can help you in this even if I'm not one of the old dogs here.

I upgraded from my 5D to a 5DIII just a few months ago and I have taken some 4.5K pictures so far.

I will try to enumerate the stuff I find most relevant.

1-I take pictures of my children, the older one is 3 and runs quite a bit, very unpredictable if you ask. With the 5D I was missing a good deal of shots just 6 months ago but the keeper rate has increased a big deal in this regard.

2-Modern tech rules.

Yes, newer and better screen with new size and viewing ratio makes a big difference when checking the sharpness of your pictures. LV is a blessing and it is better implemented in the mark III than in previous models. VF coverage and size/brightness can be very well seen just after the first glance you get. Battery information, Auto ISO, sensor cleaning, newer and more advanced menus, HDR and multi-expossure. Way many things to enumerate.

3-ISO is really improved, you will want to shoot more indoors and dark locations. So inviting.

4-No more Focus/recompose! (Yes, I put this on its own even if I could add it to the AF point)

5-Resolution increase.

6-Better DR. Some people ignore this line and are always complaining about Nikon being way better but I must point this out. DR is higher in the 5DIII than in the 5D and the difference is more noticeable the more you crank the ISO up.

7-Mirror lockout and shutter reaction. it is just better and very welcome IMO.

8-Better built and sealed.

9-And a very important one never to be forgotten. Silent mode, what a bless for event photography.


There are many things I could say about this camera, some are not that good, like the AF red dot thing we all want and hope after seeing it fixed in the 1DX but...Overall I find it difficult for me to be happier with my camera these days.

I must say I also do not have any image softness and the AF for me is just miles ahead from the other cameras I used (Rebel, 40D, 5D).

Now I want more lens!

Good luck with the choice

Aaron




Oct 17, 2012 at 08:55 PM
CMDPHOTOS2
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p.2 #12 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Sorry Aaron, but none of the equipment advances matter if you have a picture that has total soft focus!


Oct 19, 2012 at 06:09 AM
marcus riley
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p.2 #13 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


AGeoJO wrote:
. Your new 5D Mark III has 22MP compared to 12MP of the 5Dc; as such, the new camera will magnify user error and slight misfocusing results, by the camera or by you, the user.


This is a big one, in my opinion. I first had a 300D digital rebel and was disappointed after upgrading from it to a higher-res camera. In my memory, the 300D didn't EVER have focus issues, and every pic was sharp. But the new, more expensive, higher-res camera seemed to have softer pictures. At first I thought it was just nostalgia and the fact that I was a new photographer with the 300D and didn't usually pixel-peep.

I still have my 300D and what I found is that because of the lower resolution, everything looks sharp, it isn't just nostalgia, especially at 100% views. In fact, I have a lens that takes a pretty big MA adjustment on my newer cameras, but on my 300D it looks fine. Even if I force the lens to front or back focus (adjust focus after AF locks) it's hard to tell much difference until it's really out of focus. And every lens, no matter how cheap, just looks amazingly sharp on the 300D.

So while higher-resolution is a blessing, it can also be a curse. It definitely shows things like misfocus, or motion blur from slow shutters, more than something like the 300D. Of course, when looking at full-screen images, these issues typically don't show up an the higher-res camera is going to give you a better picture (even in small print sizes, the 5d2-3 produce noticeably sharper images); but when zooming in to 100% the 300D/5Dc era camera's giant photosites definitely hide issues better, and make everything look sharp even if the focus is off a little or the lens isn't great quality.

Smaller photosites means you're essentially zooming into the picture more, so misfocuses are also more clear. And with smaller photosites, motion blur is more of an issue.



Oct 19, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Dogwalker2720
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p.2 #14 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Thanks the the tips. Yes, I totally agree that going from the 5Dc to the 5D MkIII clearly requires refinement of my shooting technique. I did forget about that and what you folks mentioned clearly had me questioning myself. However, what bugged me was in shots that I expected to be well focused (fast shutter, low iso), I somehow got that nagging feeling that it just wasn't quite there.

Here's what I did, I returned the camera and before I sent it back, I received another 5D MkIII. Its really hard once you start to doubt your gear (it's like an itch that you can't quite get at). That allowed me to do some head to head comparison shooting with a tripod. I apologize that its been a while since I posted on this topic and I didn't save the pictures that I took. However, in that tripod test, the new copy was sharper in focus. I compared them by doing a 100% crop and looked at the finer details of the photo but in every test that I did (shooting at plain text on a wall, same f stop, iso, no in camera noise reduction, raw, wide open, no MF adjustments), the new copy was a cleaner and the softness was not present. I did repeated tests with different objects trying to see if I was going insane with my focus obsession but I would say majority of the shots favored the new body.

Based on my empirical testing, I sent my copy back and kept the new one. I know it may be more of a placebo effect than anything, but reflecting back on this, I'd say I learnt something new: On new gear releases, I'll wait a few months before getting the new gear and let Canon sort out any release issues (light leak etc) before I jump in. . Now when I shoot, I fail to detect the softness that I observed in my earlier copy. Call me batty, or call it the placebo effect, the images that I get are not 'soft', unless I messed up (which I would readily admit to).



Oct 21, 2012 at 05:35 AM
jnevitt
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p.2 #15 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


I may have the same problem with focusing. But my main problem is focusing on moving objects, like eagles in flight.
I thought the camera was OK until last weekend when I shot eagles with a 120-300 2.8 Sigma lens. Which worked great on my 5DMKII, but now sucks with the new 5DMKIII.



Nov 19, 2012 at 02:27 AM
dgdg
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p.2 #16 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


jnevitt wrote:
I may have the same problem with focusing. But my main problem is focusing on moving objects, like eagles in flight.
I thought the camera was OK until last weekend when I shot eagles with a 120-300 2.8 Sigma lens. Which worked great on my 5DMKII, but now sucks with the new 5DMKIII.


I suggest your difficulty with the 5DIII is either due to calibration issues with the lens/camera (mfa can be critical), or your technique. The af on the 5DIII is quite powerful, but needs to be set up and used properly. I guess I got lucky on my first try but have a lot more to learn. It is possible, but I doubt your 5DIII is flawed.

I found my 5DIII did very well with eagles in flight.....
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1166999



Nov 19, 2012 at 03:17 AM
jnevitt
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p.2 #17 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Well I have been shooting birds in flight for quite a while, no problems with the 1D MKII or 5DMKII, only had problems with the 7D and the 5D MKIII. I tried the micro adjustment, but to no avail. Not sure which one of the AF modes (6 of them) it should be in, but I tried a couple with no success. I think the focus is so far off the micro adj doesn't seem to help. Although non-moving subjects seem to be ok. Dgdg, those look like they are from Conowingo Dam and that is where I was last weekend, when I ran into the problem.


Nov 19, 2012 at 02:49 PM
dgdg
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p.2 #18 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Sorry you had problems. Sounds like static images are in focus, so mfa would not be the issue. You could always have someone else you know take some bif photos after checking all your settings. If you get sharp photos, then you can explore what is different. If they have troubles too, then perhaps sending in your equipment to Canon is in order to test the ai servo.


Nov 19, 2012 at 03:27 PM
jnevitt
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p.2 #19 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


dgdg, where are you located? Near Woodbridge, Va? I don't know anyone with a 5dMKIII.


Nov 20, 2012 at 02:45 AM
jnevitt
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p.2 #20 · Canon 5D Mark III focus question


Here is my email address: jnevitt47@verizon.net


Nov 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM
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