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Archive 2012 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II
  
 
PetKal
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p.6 #1 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


Well, Gust, servo AF performance is not easy to evaluate objectively. People might have been very impressed with the AF speed of the new lenses, and that could have overshadowed any concerns over the "nervousness" in AF maintenance.


Aug 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Gust
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p.6 #2 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


Yes Pet, exactly what I think about the AF: to nervous!


Aug 11, 2012 at 11:02 AM
John--G
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p.6 #3 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


I never noticed any "nervousness" with my new 400/2.8 II when used with my MkIVs. I've been using the previous 400/2.8IS nearly year round for the past 6 years. When the new 400 arrived I took it a soccer game the next day. I then shot with the previous 400 at lacrosse the day after.

Over the next several weeks and for the remainder of the spring 2012 season I shot mostly with the new 400 but I would occasionally take the old 400.

The bottom line is that I bee-bopped back and forth between the old and new (with and without 1.4X and 2.0X converters) and noticed zero difference in the focusing speed or "snap". Other than the new lens being lighter the two functioned identical (which I thought was a good thing).

I just received my 1D-X a couple weeks ago and while it ROCKS with the 70-200/2.8IS II and 24-105/4 I have not had an opportunity to use it with my 200/2.0, 300/2.8 or new 400/2.8. I have recently sold my old 400 so side by side comparisons are no longer possible.

My season starts in two weeks so if I'm going to send in the 400 for the FW uodate it has to go out the door on Monday. Reading the various posts I'm still not sold on the update. You guys have me nearly convinced to NOT get my lens updated right away until more reports come in. I plan to continue to use my MkIVs with the 400 for field sports this fall and will probably use my 1D-X as a second body with the 70-200 and also for volleyball and later basketball and swimming. That will allow me to get a feel for any difference between the MkIV and 1D-X and the 1D-X when used with the new 400.

Once field hockey and soccer are over I will have all winter season to get the FW updated. By then there may be a better consensus of the results.



Aug 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM
PetKal
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p.6 #4 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


John, if your 400 II works to your satisfaction, then I guess there is no hurry to have the firmware recall done on the lens. That recall shouldn't be tied to the warranty expiration anyways.

I am only a short drive to Canon Canada, but I plan to have my lenses updated in a month or two. In the interim I have developed a couple of workarounds which mitigate the "nervousness" problem, so I am not in a hurry to have the lenses serviced either.
Moreover, I do not even know if the update addresses the "nervousness" to begin with.
It is only a couple of observations by previous posters which raised my hopes that it might.


An acquaintance of mine let me use his 600 II (for less than an hour), while he was shooting with my 500 II. The 600 II AF response was also very quick and "jittery", similar to my 400 II and 500 II. Interestingly enough, he hadn't noticed the "jittery" part, only the quickness part, until we had a chance to discuss it.




Aug 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Deborah Kolt
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p.6 #5 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


Gust wrote:
The first motorsportsshoot a few weeks ago with the new X and my 400MKII, was very disappointed.
after the first run, I started sweating and said to myself: oh no!
after analysing the 700 raw images the next day, having contact with cps, I went to them.
CPS tested about half a day, a special technic man came especially over [ about 30 min driving] and the conclusion was after lots of coffee: nothing wrong, but try other cases with several different presets.
so back home the testing began again, till the news of the new firmware came out.
next week I will drive
...Show more

The cases make a tremendous difference. When I went to shoot football for the first time this week, the X seemed to be acting up - until I remembered the camera was set up for swimming. Oops! Once I switched presets and added expansion points, it settled right down to its usual awesome self. As the afternoon went on I experimented with other combinations until it was dialed in the way I wanted it.

There is no reason for panic over the glide vs snap issue. Even though the AF was gliding, I still got frame after frame in focus. If you are accustomed to a snappy initial acquisition, it feels as if the lens is not responding, but so far going over my take from two events, I can't say that I am losing first shots or getting an inordinate number of oof first shots. I need to work with it more.

BTW, I had an evaluation copy of the 300 II recently. It focused more like my 400 II does post update.



Aug 11, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Gust
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p.6 #6 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


I tested all the cases and all presets, but I doubt if there is any difference between the cases. I think the parameters are the difference. coming week I go to Canon Europe [upgrade firmware 400II] and I'll asked and let me further explain, how the cases exactly works. In motorsports [motorcycle] the targets moving very quick and also can change the direction unexpectedly.


Aug 11, 2012 at 07:45 PM
dolina
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p.6 #7 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


The process of upgrading the Super Telephoto Series II lenses firmware is the same with the 40mm pancake firmware.

My guess is that the recall was done for the following reasons

- Canon doesn't want the firmware dissected by competing companies. Thus the controls put in place
- Only 2012 Canon bodies can do lens firmware upgrades. As indicated in the 40mm pancake firmware announcement
- Canon wants to inspect recently bought lenses for any defects

It took less than 5 minutes to do. I went through 2 hours of traffic to get it done. It was OK as I was also getting something near by.



Oct 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM
thetaobear
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p.6 #8 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


For those on the fence about sending the 400mm in for the firmware update-
I recommend sending it in. I've been shooting sports before the firmware with AI servo and one point (sometimes with surrounding assisting points) and the lens does exhibit some nervousness (the focus plane moves +/- constantly). Even with still objects on the field, with the AI servo, I do see some very very slight focus misses (but can be noticed at 100%). After the firmware update, the nervousness is reduced, producing better focused yield rate under AI servo. This is from my experience- so yours may differ.



Nov 08, 2012 at 02:24 AM
 

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Deborah Kolt
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p.6 #9 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


My advice would be just the opposite: don't do it. Mine is now a mess. They have looked at the files, say it is not working properly, but don't know what is causing the behavior and haven't been able to replicate it, so haven't been able to fix it. It's going back again.

Not a happy camper.



Nov 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.6 #10 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


Deborah Kolt wrote:
My advice would be just the opposite: don't do it. Mine is now a mess. They have looked at the files, say it is not working properly, but don't know what is causing the behavior and haven't been able to replicate it, so haven't been able to fix it. It's going back again.

Not a happy camper.


That just plain sucks Deborah. This idea of having to ship massive, obscenely priced lenses back and forth across the country is an epic fail from Canon.



Nov 12, 2012 at 03:02 AM
photomax
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p.6 #11 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


I shipped my 400mm and 500mm back for the update just before a three week
Africa trip. They performed flawlessly on a 5DIII and 1Dx. I do not know if I would have experienced any problems before the update but I loved the performance on my trip. Just amazing focus lock.



Nov 12, 2012 at 03:30 AM
PetKal
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p.6 #12 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


Deborah Kolt wrote:
My advice would be just the opposite: don't do it. Mine is now a mess. They have looked at the files, say it is not working properly, but don't know what is causing the behavior and haven't been able to replicate it, so haven't been able to fix it. It's going back again.

Not a happy camper.


Sorry to hear that, Deborah. At the same time, your experience represents a concern on a system level: do Canon folks really have a good grip on their MkII lens AF control ?

I believe that early 400 II and 500 II were released with a control deficiency.......the AF drive was overly accelerated and too sensitive, yielding a jumpy and "nervous" type of AF behaviour. Both lens models were practically identical in that regard. My first reaction to that was that I might have inadvertently turned the camera AF point expansion off, or that the lenses were bypassing the expansion, leaving just one AF point active. Well, that wasn't the case.
Then I thought that perhaps the MkII lenses have been fine-tuned to the new cameras, i.e., 1DX and 5DMkIII, therefore, my "ancient " 1DsMkII/1DMkIIN were the real culprits there. Well, once I observed the same behaviour on 1DX, that theory was dead too.

What did help somewhat was to decrease the camera AF sensitivity to its minimum value. In addition, both lenses behaved almost normally with 1.4xTC MkIII. Yes, there is much irony in having the lens AF performance improved by mounting a TC on it.

At any rate, after the new firmware installation, my 400 II has become more cilvilized in its AF behaviour. Not a big difference, but it is there. As far as 500 II is concerned, I still haven't had a chance to verify its performance more thoroughly.

Fortunately, my 600 II has come with the up-to-date firmware, and it works real well, perhaps better than any other model, and much better than my friend's "jittery" 600 II which I tested several months ago.

I have tried to get some info from CPS about the exact purpose of the new lens firmware update, but to no avail.



Nov 12, 2012 at 03:45 AM
werecow
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p.6 #13 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


I bought a 600 II a couple months ago and returned it for a refund due to what people are reporting here... Really jittery AF.
I used it with my 7D (i'm a birder) and did a direct comparison with my 500 F4 IS mk1 in single AF mode as well on a flat detailed wall.

The 500 mk1 got about 95% bangon critical focus (the other 5% only just out).

The 600 mkII had Just over 50% keeper rate and the out of focus images were often a LONG way out. Microadjustment wouldn't help because it'd front focus or back focus with every other activation of AF (in single AF mode remember).
If i kept AF active on the wall in servo, the 500 mk1 AF would barely "tick" it was so locked on. The 600 would make a continuous noise from the AF as if the wall was moving steadily, moving into both front and back focus.

I did the same tests with my old 1Dmk2N with the same difference in results but slightly more keepers on each as expected.

I don't know if the lens had the old or new firmware as it was a few weeks or so after the firmware had been announced. I consider myself burned by the 600 mk2 now and i'm going to leave it a good while before i try getting one again.



Nov 12, 2012 at 06:07 AM
AGeoJO
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p.6 #14 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


I had the firmware of my 300mm and 400mm upgraded by Canon. Frankly, after a brief testing, I didn't notice much, if any, difference between before and after. I then took my 300mm on a 3 week trip and I just made it back today. I used my 300mm photographing quite a bit of BIF. Due to the very limited exposure, the wildlife was pretty much unspoiled and my 300mm and a few times in combination with a TC was adequate for the reach. There were a few cases where I could place myself on a "landing strip" of zooming bird towards me and passing by me at a fairly high speed. I am glad to say that it performed exceedingly well. As long as I could keep the targets within the frame, my keeper rate was pleasantly high.

I realize that my experience doesn't take away from what Deborah experienced but I thought I put it out there .



Nov 12, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Deborah Kolt
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p.6 #15 · Firmware upgrade for 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm L IS II


It's still unclear whether the problem is the lens, the camera, or the combination. Since it couldn't be duplicated in the lab, even after I sent them my 1Dx body, after a long discussion with CPS, I am starting a controlled test with different lenses and bodies in the field. My biggest problem now is getting hold of another 400 version II.

My lens now will inexplicably lose focus on a large target in the middle of the frame, under the focal point, and gradually, over several frames, the focus will shift forward to what appears to be the front of its focal range (you can distinctly see it move on the turf) before finally shifting back to the selected focal point, resulting in 8+ oof frames. Then it may work correctly for a while. It appears to happen more often in bright sunlight; I've seen few examples of it under the lights. Very frustrating, as the lens worked better than expected before the update and after resembles a $13,000 doorstop. Ironically, it does seem to track side to side motion better than before which is why I sent it in. Moral: Be careful what you wish for!



Nov 12, 2012 at 11:25 PM
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