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Archive 2012 · Soft images with 35L and 7D
  
 
Maced
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p.1 #1 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


I have rented the 35L 4-5 times and have generally been very pleased with it's performance. I had a senior shoot this weekend and got home and was appalled by the softness of my shots.













I put away 20% or so of my profits for new gear and I am at the point where it's time to buy something between 22mm and 70mm (I have a 50 1.8). I was happy to have this lens this weekend and ready to purchase this week as I have a few more senior shoots next weekend and a wedding the following weekend.

That being said, do I have a bad copy, am I doing something wrong? I am at a loss. Fortunately I caught this about halfway through my shoot, but I lost just about all the shots due to softness with this lens at my first location.

The above shot was at f/1.4, ISO 200 1/8000. Using manual focus point, and I was right on her chin with the upper left point on the 7D.

Is this something that I just need to deal with, with this lens? If so, I don't think its for me. I used this on a 5Dc and was MORE than happy with the results, (and a T1i and 40D)

Help! Please?



Sep 17, 2012 at 02:03 AM
bigbluebear
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p.1 #2 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


it should not look like that. I'd say it's a bad copy or user error.

1) did you happen to recompose after focusing? Wondering if this led to a shift in the distance from subject

2) try shooting a dollar bill taped to the wall and see if it looks the same. If so, then try micro focus adjust.



Sep 17, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Maced
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p.1 #3 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


Steve,

I don't think this is a one off user error. I am not afraid to admit it! I have 30 pictures for this shoot at 1.4 and none are sharp it seems. Even with center point manual. They are sharper, no doubt, but still unsatisfactory.

If in fact it is user error, I am unsure how to shoot the way I want with this combo. I will go try the dollar bill right now!

That being said, my 85 1.8 seems just fine on the same body wide open using manual selective focal point.



Sep 17, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Maced
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p.1 #4 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


So I tried to recreate it, on a tripod, at f/1.4 all points are soft. When doing the same setup, and changing to aperture to f/2.8 I get sharp results.

I am really hoping it's a bad copy.



Sep 17, 2012 at 02:56 AM
dwweiche
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p.1 #5 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


Could be a bad copy.
Could be AF error.

It's not possible to tell with the web-sized image, but if you inspect the grass behind and in front of your subject on your full image, do you see a sharp plane of focus? If so, maybe your focus is off.

If you go with a tripod and manually focus with 10X live view and take the dollar bill shot at a few different distances, then you will rule out AF and just be testing the optics.



Sep 17, 2012 at 03:27 AM
JimboCin
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p.1 #6 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


Maced:

1. Did you try micro focus adjust (MFA) as Steve suggested? (If you don't understand what this is or how to accomplish it just ask).

If MFA does not solve the problem, I would say you have a bad copy of the 35mm L lens.

2. It is a little difficult to tell from the posted image, but it appears to me as though at least some of her jeans jacket and some of her hair is in sharp focus. Is this what it looks like to you?

Jim



Sep 17, 2012 at 03:28 AM
JimboCin
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p.1 #7 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


dwweiche wrote:
If you go with a tripod and manually focus with 10X live view and take the dollar bill shot at a few different distances, then you will rule out AF and just be testing the optics.


Great suggestion!

Jim



Sep 17, 2012 at 03:32 AM
JimboCin
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p.1 #8 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


Not really related to your question, but if you where shooting at 1/8000 second at ISO 200, why not go to ISO 100?


Sep 17, 2012 at 03:38 AM
 

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bigbluebear
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p.1 #9 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


JimboCin wrote:
Not really related to your question, but if you where shooting at 1/8000 second at ISO 200, why not go to ISO 100?


ditto. i was thinking that maybe the camera shutter speed maxing out at 1/8000 could be the culprit but I doubt it. It's most likely that he just left it at ISO 200 since some shots were in the shade.



Sep 17, 2012 at 03:44 AM
ultrapix
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p.1 #10 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


It looks as a front focus issue to me.


Sep 17, 2012 at 06:27 AM
wickerprints
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p.1 #11 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


This is almost certainly excessive spherical aberration or a decentered element caused by a faulty lens.

There is some copy-to-copy variation of the EF 35/1.4L, and this design is known to show a visible loss of sharpness in the image periphery at the fastest aperture. However, for the position of the subject's face in the frame, and taking into consideration that the image was shot on APS-C, it is likely that the lens used was defective or flawed. You can tell from the shot that the plane of sharpest focus just isn't sharp--that is to say, missed focus cannot explain the softness.



Sep 17, 2012 at 06:51 AM
akin_t
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p.1 #12 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


Yeah, probably just the copy you got. When I had the 35L, I noticed that my copy was not sharp wide open.

Sometimes you get a decent shot depending on the light, but usually, if there's not enough contrast, the lens just seems to fall flat at f/1.4 and picks up at f/2.8.

Anyway, just rent another one. Copy variation is real ... So much for quality control.



Sep 17, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Maced
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p.1 #13 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


Well when I took this back today, I had them open a brand new lens and it was sharp as I expected.

I am headed back this week to pick up my own copy and will be sure to test a few different lenses to be sure that I don't get one that is going to disappoint.



Sep 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Wahoowa
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p.1 #14 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


This reminds me of one time my friend came to me and asked why his 35L was not quite as sharp as he expected. We did test shots side by side with everything equal except the lenses. To our surprise, pictures did not look the same--color renditions were different and sharpness was not the same.

There was one test shot that concluded our experiment. We shot out-of-focus pictures of a street light at night to reveal out-of-focus bokeh. The edge of the circular bokeh from my 35L was very very smooth, while my friend's was very very rough and uneven. (I'll dig my files to see if I still have them.)

Our conclusion? Bad copy.



Sep 18, 2012 at 01:23 PM
michael49
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p.1 #15 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


Also, focus at f/1.4 can be very difficult with any lens. For these types of shots outdoors in good light I tend to shoot at f/2 - f/2.5 which has a much higher focus accuracy, yields sharper images and still yields nice "pop" and subject isolation.


Sep 18, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Maced
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p.1 #16 · Soft images with 35L and 7D


To update this, and keep any potential buyers of this lens at ease...

I purchased a new one and got a sharp copy without having to do any MA. I am getting acceptable sharpness at 1.4 and at f/2 it is fantastic.

Very glad I purchased this lens. I've shot two weddings, a few seniors, and an event, and this thing hasn't left my body. (well at least when I am not shooting sports!)



Oct 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM





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