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Archive 2012 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!
  
 
dorian
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


hey fm'ers

here's my story....

1) used 7d for 1 year, no issues, loved it

2) bought 1d in january and really cut back amount i used 7d

3) took 7d on vacation in june, took photos using 24-105 f/4, and thought photos looked a bit soft. this was the first time since i bought the 1d that i had used this camera on a day-in and day-out basis.

3) used 7d sporadically after vacation with mixed results, particularly on flying birds and on boat trips. i though that things looked soft but i chalked it up to operator error.

4) two weeks ago i needed a bit more reach than the 1d could provide so i hooked up the 7d to my 500/1.4. this time, i thought these shots looked very soft when shooting even stationary birds.

5) today i put my 400/5.6 on the 7d and played around with the micro-adjust with no success. all the shots looked soft. the one in-focus shot i got was apparently by accident! i never had to micro-adjust any of these 3 lenses previously. so, there clearly must be some problem with the body.

6) since i shoot mainly birds, i have my camera set to spot focus most of the time. why this might matter i am not sure but i figure that the more info i give you the better. i have played around with the focus modes and do not think that i have something set funny that might cause these problems.

ok, what might the problem here be? what is the best way to go about sorting this out? do i need to send my camera back to canon? any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

dorian



Aug 06, 2012 at 03:41 AM
UCSB
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


Any chance that you have dust on your AF sensor that you can just blow off?


Aug 06, 2012 at 03:45 AM
kewlcanon
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


Maybe it needs to be resetted ?. Remove the time/date and the power batteries for 10 mins.


Aug 06, 2012 at 03:50 AM
dorian
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


is cleaning the AF sensor as simple as using some canned air to blow out the inside of the body?



Aug 06, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Jeff
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


Have you gone back to check images shot with the 7D prior to acquiring the 1D? If you are talking about the original 1D, files are likely to appear sharper at 100% than files from your 7D. Just a thought.


Aug 06, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Ralph Conway
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


Jeff wrote:
Have you gone back to check images shot with the 7D prior to acquiring the 1D? If you are talking about the original 1D, files are likely to appear sharper at 100% than files from your 7D. Just a thought.


Same idea here. When I purchased the 40D as an backup, I was shocked about the difference in IQ (at 100%) to my 5D II. I stopped to compare 100%. After I got familiar with 40D again - and now it really looks fine.

Ralph



Aug 06, 2012 at 07:24 AM
John_T
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


I would NOT blow around with canned air. First of all it will drive dust in the corners, can cause damage to the shutter curtain, etc., and canned air is rarely clean, so it will add its own spatter to the mix. I have had my 7D since they came out and never needed to clean the sensor once, other than the puff of a bulb blower or the static attraction of a sensor brush not even once a year.

In any case, I doubt seriously that your focus problem has to do with dust on the sensor, rather you are being visually fooled as Jeff suggests.



Aug 06, 2012 at 09:14 AM
John_T
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


...and if you are using small apertures, say smaller than f/11, you could be running into diffraction too.


Aug 06, 2012 at 09:41 AM
dorian
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


when i say soft, i mean "not usable". i really do not think this is a 7d vs. 1d issue although that is an interesting. i use to get very nice images out of my 7d and now i cannot get anything that would make the cut for my webpage. i do not need to look at 100% to tell something is wrong. yesterday i had an american goldfinch not 15 feet from me on a thistle for a full minute and walked away with ZERO keepers. i was so frustrated that i tossed all the files out before posting this. these are examples of some shots with my 7d previously so you have an idea of what i define as a keeper. these birds were as far or further away that the finch i was shooting yesterday.




  Canon EOS 7D    EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens    500mm    f/8.0    1/125s    400 ISO    -0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS 7D    EF500mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x lens    700mm    f/8.0    1/640s    200 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  Canon EOS 7D    EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens    500mm    f/8.0    1/400s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Aug 06, 2012 at 01:28 PM
verygoot
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


I'd be interested to find out what is wrong with your camera, my 1D III started to focus horribly just the other day. Hope it works out for you.


Aug 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM
 

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farscapes
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


I went through a similar scenario, tried the '7d factory reset' which can be found on most forums and then sent it to CPS in the UK. There has been distinct improvement on its return, but I still find the variation in accuracy of the AF on MY particular 7D to be the biggest issue. Using Fo-Cal and a high contrast target in 'perfect' lighting conditions, the 7d 'scatter' of focus compared to the 5d2 (both bodies using centre point AF) is quite large. As I shoot wide open most of the time, it can be a pain.

I did read that some 7d units were possibly having an electronic subsystem related to AF replaced to correct the 'problem', but this may well be nothing more than rumour. Either way, Canon say my camera is now performing to expected tolerances.

Good luck.




Aug 06, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


I had a similar problem with my 7D. Took it to Canon and they replaced the autofocus mechanism. It was loose.


Aug 07, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


MAybe FW 2 will help. It just appeared on Canon USA downloads.


Aug 07, 2012 at 01:48 AM
BluesWest
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


...they replaced the autofocus mechanism. It was loose.

What??

John



Aug 07, 2012 at 05:25 AM
LCPete
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


I would send it in to Canon does sound like there's a problem with your 7D
I use a 7D and 550 D get more keepers with the 7d



Aug 07, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


You say you were using spot focusing. I've found spot focusing much less accurate than using a full focus point, especially for moving birds. I was photographing clapper rails at a local estuary the other day and not one came out. When I got home I realized I'd been using spot focusing so I switched to the full focus point and shot finches and hummers around our local feeders and they almost all were in focus. I'm going to try to get back to the estuary this week and experiment some with different settings.

I've generally found getting accurate focus more difficult with the 7D than with the 40D and with my 5D center points. I have no doubt its faster and has way more options, but I suspect its accuracy. I've also found that I have to bump the ISO higher to use a faster shutter speed and use a smaller aperture than with the 40D. I think this is all due to the higher resolution of the 7D sensor. My experience is with the 100-400 which gives me wonderful images on my other bodies.




Aug 07, 2012 at 02:54 PM
mikeengles
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


Hello

I have had a 5D2 for 3 years and Just this year bought a refurbed 7D, for the extra reach for bird photography. Like you I was immediately struck by the 'soft' but actually in focus images. They looked like my 5D2 images viewed at 200%. At ISO 200, the images were pretty good, but at ISO 640 and over, they just looked coarse and seemed to have good mid level detail, but really lacked 'edge' Sharpening just brings up noise and NR just smears. I have had very few images that really have any of the 'edge that 5D2 images have. If downsized to 9Mp, the images begin to have that 'edge'. I really think that the camera at ISO has so much in camera NR interpolation, that it is not really a 18MP camera, except for ISOs 200-400, which is why I never use any ISO above 640.

All the very fine looking images on this and other forums, are 18mp images downsized to 1Mp and then have sharpening applied. All look totally noise free and have the'edge'. No one shows a 100% crop of the original unprocessed image. They just accuse one of pixel peeping, if one asks.

Your reaction to seeing 7D images after those from a 1D is an honest and true reaction. My camera has been back to Canon twice and Canon tell me that the camera 'is what it is'.

So don't use ISOs above 640, try to fill the frame to avoid cropping, expose accurately and DON'T PIXEL PEEP, as the truth will hurt.

Mike Engles



Aug 07, 2012 at 04:45 PM
BluesWest
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


Hello I have had a 5D2 for 3 years and Just this year bought a refurbed 7D, for the extra reach for bird photography. Like you I was immediately struck by the 'soft' but actually in focus images. They looked like my 5D2 images viewed at 200%. At ISO 200, the images were pretty good, but at ISO 640 and over, they just looked coarse and seemed to have good mid level detail, but really lacked 'edge' Sharpening just brings up noise and NR just smears. I have had very few images that really have any of the 'edge that 5D2...Show more

Wins the award for absurd post of the day.

John



Aug 07, 2012 at 05:28 PM
mikeengles
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


Hello

Absurd or not, quite a few of the long term users of the 7D have moved onto the 1D1V, losing the advantage of the reach. Perhaps one of the reasons among many for the 1D1V is much better High ISO IQ. Curiously I am seriously thinking of giving up on the 7D and returning to the 5D2. Once you see really good IQ, you know it. Just use your eyes.

Mike Engles



Aug 07, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 7d autofocus worked fine, now not!


I tend to agree with Mike Engles although my experience has not been that bad. I think Canon has pushed the 18 MP sensor a tad too far and it is a very unforgiving camera, especially if you are used to working with 5D files. My 7D is still on probation; I need to prove to myself its consistent and reliable. When everything works I get better images than my 40D could, but so far I've had a better keeper rate with my 40D. I wish Canon had put all the gapless and other technology in a 12 MP APS C sensor. I noticed that when Canon upgraded the 5D2 to the 3 they went gapless, etc. but stopped at 22 MP. That translates to 9 MP in 1.6 crop terms. The 1D4 is 16 MP and the 1DX is 18 MP.

Regarding pixel peeping, I recently got a new iPad and its a great medium for sharing photos with friends. But they consistently spread their fingers on the screen to zoom in on critters or features that interest them. The iPad is 264 ppi so 100% needs to look good at that pixel density.



Aug 07, 2012 at 06:39 PM
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