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Tips on fixing softness of "old" lens?

  
 
droge
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Tips on fixing softness of "old" lens?


I'm having some troubles getting sharp images with the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM. Obviously it's a 20+ year old lens so it's not going to be in it's prime but I'm having troubles getting any kind of usable images with it lately. Any suggestions?

Here's a link to 2 examples https://imgur.com/a/ETFRpPt



Aug 28, 2023 at 08:09 PM
jcnemy
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Tips on fixing softness of "old" lens?


Sorry, not a Canon user...so I'll throw out some thoughts after looking at the pics:

- heat haze...looked like a hot day on turf?
- single AF versus continuous?
- not enough shutter?
- incorrect AF mode where the AF points or most of them are not centered on the athlete?

Lots of Canon shooters here, so suspect someone can offer more details than the above obvious ones.

JC



Aug 29, 2023 at 04:36 AM
schlotz
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Tips on fixing softness of "old" lens?


The images do not contain any exif data which is important when trying to analyze what might be the issue. Yes the lens is old but it should easily provide sharp results assuming of course it hasn't suffered any damage.

Approximately how far away was the subject? Less than half the field or more?
How much cropping was done?
What canon body?
What Ap?
What shutter speed?
Where you using a single focal point?



Aug 29, 2023 at 05:06 AM
PShizzy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Tips on fixing softness of "old" lens?


I looked at both images, and it looks the images aren't focused well. Also looks like very thin DOF. in the first image, the sneakers have a lot of detail, and the grass tells me that the focus lines up there, but as she is moving forward, her face may not be in the DOF range

It's hard to tell but you may be shooting at too low of an angle, and when you shoot up, anything that's above the focus point gets looks back focused, and anything below looks front focused.

If it's just a front/back focus issue on the camera, then you could maybe calibrate the camera. I have a cheap chart thing I got off B&H and it worked great.

Another possibility: check the screws on the lens where it mounts. I lent a friend a 400 2.8 and he had the same issue and it turned out the screws weren't fully tight. Not enough that it was wobbly, but enough to mess with the focus.

After that, heat/haze, reduced contrast and even chromatic aberration could all be coming into play.



Aug 29, 2023 at 09:04 PM
Eric Smith
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Tips on fixing softness of "old" lens?


I would check the screws on the lens mount. If they are even slightly loose the lens will not mount flush and you will have the issues you are describing. I had an early 90's Canon 400 2.8 and they would need to be tightened from time to time. So much so that I always kept a mini phillips head screwdriver in my bag. I would look at the photos you posted but the link is "no longer valid."


Sep 03, 2023 at 09:47 AM







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