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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!...Bought this lens just before Christmas & have finally got round to using it in anger! Went to a local ...
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Old 15-01-2007, 15:02   #1 (permalink)
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Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Bought this lens just before Christmas & have finally got round to using it in anger! Went to a local cycle race on boxing day & a rugby match yesterday & I'm not happy with the sharpness.

just wondered if anyone else had this lens & what they thought of the sharpness.

If you want to see the shots taken with it they are at Sarah Brooke - Cycling Photographer in Northamptonshire and are in the files, Wellingborough RFC vs Old Grammarians and the Boxing Day cycle race.

I'm going to give it one more go, but think I may ask for a replacement.
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Old 15-01-2007, 16:12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

I have the non IS version and it is tack sharp.

I had a quick look through some of your shots but as they are all presented without any shooting details it is very hard to offer an opinion on the lenses ability (sharpness wise). Perhaps if you want to post a couple of shots here with full details we may be able to offer some opinions?
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Old 15-01-2007, 17:32   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Thanks Steve, I'll post one up.

Sarah

How do I link it in here?

Last edited by Whipspeed; 15-01-2007 at 17:56. Reason: Addition to text
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Old 15-01-2007, 20:06   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipspeed View Post
How do I link it in here?
If your using your Pixalo gallery then just upload as normal, click on the photo to view it, just below the photo there's a 1 line box named UBBCode:... highlight and copy all the text in that box, and then when your making your post in the forums just paste the text into the reply box and click submit reply as normal.

That should be it, when your post appears in the thread it should be also be displaying the pic you want to show

Feel free to PM me if it dosn't work and I'll try to explain it better

http://www.pixalo.com/community/rule...lery-7611.html
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Old 15-01-2007, 21:01   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!


100% crop taken with 100-400mm f4-5.6 L IS USM - Settings f11 ISO 100, apeture priority mode. Flash used also tripod & cable release.


100% crop taken with 70-200mm f4 L IS USM - Settings f11 ISO 100, apeture priority mode. Flash used also tripod & cable release.

It's just not obvious on this, but I really didn't get one picture I was happy with the focus on Sunday. Maybe it's the IS? It seems noisy compared to the 100-400.
Maybe I'll try again on sunday & shoot at different settings & take the other lens & then duplicate them. Maybe 10 images per setting.

Any help appreciated as I'm tearing my hair out & I've just been to the hairdresser.
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Old 15-01-2007, 21:02   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Oh no PS on either shot, as taken from camera.
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Old 15-01-2007, 21:09   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

As you say...seems to be OK on that one.
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Old 15-01-2007, 21:16   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Well I'm not sure you should use a tripod in conjunction with IS.
Having looked at a number of your cycling shots some of the problems (and they are minor in my eyes) is motion blur.
At least one of the pictures looks like you/the camera focused off subject.
I also think there is an issue with panning and IS lenses, I do suggest you read the lens instructions before condemning an optic of such high regard.

My best guesses anyway.
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Old 15-01-2007, 21:18   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Yes, it does, which is good, but doesn't explain Sunday. I usually get some photo's that are ok! But what I'm going to try now is to go outside with the dogs tomorrow & try some more movement & then the rugby on Sunday. It could just be me & new lens teething troubles.
I just want to sort it out before February as I'm going up to the Manchester Velodrome for 3 days of cycle racing! Just ordered a 40gig storage device, as I intend to shoot til I drop.

Thanks Stephano

Hi Soupdragon. The cycling shots on here were taken with the 100-400 and of the shots on the website, only the boxing day shots were taken with the new lens, in dull weather. However, I've not had the kind of blur from the 70-200 lens with the 100-400, motion blur yes & bad photography more than once, but with the rugby it was more than that, it was a general all over problem & yes, xmas morning was spent with the instructions, I'm a bit sad like that. I have all my little books in my backpack. For the lens test above, I didn't have the IS turned on.

Last edited by Whipspeed; 15-01-2007 at 21:24. Reason: Addition to text
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Old 15-01-2007, 21:29   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

I've used the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens, although sadly don't own it, and I have had some unbelieviably pin-sharp images off that at f/4 and above, and even at f/2.8 it's sharper than anything I personally own!

Early implementations of IS shouldn't be used on tripods, as they expect a small amount of motion, and without it go into a feedback loop, causing blur instead of reducing it. However, the modern implementations of IS will now detect when they are being used on a tripod, and will cancel out both any movement in the tripod itself, as well as reducing mirror slap (the movement caused in the camera by the action of the mirror mechanism flicking up when you take the photo).

The f/2.8 IS version of the lens defintely has this tripod-sensing feature, but I can't find any reference to it on the f/4 IS version - however, I would be amazed if it didn't, as it's a newer implementation of IS than in the f/2.8 lens, so I would recommend leaving IS permanently on unless you are concerned about battery life.

Regarding panning, it is true that you have to be careful with IS lenses - because they are inherently trying to stop camera movement affecting the image, panning with IS can have varied results - the lens is trying to prevent the panning movement, but will eventually reach the limits of correction it can apply, and hence the resultant picture will not have smooth background motion blur. However, both of these lenses have a IS panning mode, activating by the IS mode button on the lens barrel. In mode 1, normal IS function is enabled, but if it is switched to mode 2, the IS only works in the vertical axis, meaning that you can pan horizontally without issue, and have the lens correct any unintentional vertical movement you may introduce. Of course, you need to understand what this is doing, and realise that when panning to track certain things such as aircraft, you may be panning diagonally, and hence should disable IS completely.

To the OP: It would be good to see one of the 'bad' shots in full detail with the settings you used, so we can maybe see if the problem is a lens which front or rear-focuses, a lens which has an optical element out of alighment, or a faulty IS implementation. But fundamentally, this is a very expensive lens, and if you aren't happy with it, then take it back and get it checked out.
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Old 15-01-2007, 21:33   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Thank you for your detailed & informed reply. I'll add one of the rugby shots in its unedited state for you to look at.

Sarah



Taken in Apeture priority mode. f7.1 shutter 1/500, ISO 200. Face is indistinct. As I said, it could be teething, maybe I've got so used to the 100-400 over the last 18 months, it's all I've used for sport in that time.

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Old 16-01-2007, 01:47   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Just as a side note... here at Pixalo we have a picture size limit of 200k, the rugby picture your displaying is only 43kb which will not look as good as a shot taking advantage of the full limit, which in turn may make it harder to accurately solve your problem.

Just thought it would be worth mentioning
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Old 16-01-2007, 09:36   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Thanks Sonsey

When I get home later today, I'll upload a larger file size. Just shoved that one on quickly last night. Me being impatient & in panic mode about the lens! My poor husband despairs
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Old 16-01-2007, 10:29   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Is that a crop or is that the full image? I'm guessing that's the full image, in which case it might be interesting to see a 100% crop of the guy's face as well. But I agree that, from what I can tell, that particular photo is not as sharp as it should be.

What focussing mode were you using on the camera? One-shot or AI servo?
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Old 16-01-2007, 14:10   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Try some shots with the IS turned off and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 16-01-2007, 16:29   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Right then, this is the full frame straight from camera, just resized to 1000 pixels & 200k and the other shot is a 100% crop.




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Old 16-01-2007, 17:31   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

It's not motion-blurred, it's out of focus (to my eyes), so I don't see it being the IS. The question is, is it out of focus due to user error or due to a poorly-calibrated lens?

Can you confirm, were you in one-shot focussing mode (where the camera gets focus lock and beeps) or were you in AI servo mode (where the camera continually attempts to get perfectly focussed all the time until you take the shot, and never gives confirmation of focus lock)?

If you were in the first mode, this is possibly due to the player moving closer to the camera in between the shot being focussed and the shot being taken.
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Old 16-01-2007, 23:30   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Thanks for the reply, it was in AI servo mode. I will take a few more test shots this week, both stationary & movement & see what happens.
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Old 19-01-2007, 10:33   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

I have altered the links to your shots in our gallery...because you have uploaded at 1000px (for obvious reasons), the gallery automatically reduces the size down to 800 for displaying and the the link it gives, however if you click on the shot in the gallery you are shown the full size image. The way to link to that version (and thus show the maximum quality) is to remove the '/middle' section from the url or view the full size shot and right click>properties and copy that url.

Hope that helps for the future
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Old 19-01-2007, 11:22   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Thanks Steve, just heard from the chap who I bought it from & he's suggested sending it back to canon for re calibrating, but I need it for the 23rd February for 3 days of cycle racing. The last camera I sent off to canon took 8 weeks to repair & then got sent to somewhere in wales! So never came back to me, luckily the Warehouse express gave me a new one. I've asked for a replacement instead.
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Old 19-01-2007, 11:24   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Did you buy this lens secondhand or from a well known retailer?
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Old 19-01-2007, 16:31   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Bought new from Ian Kerr who trades on ebay, he's got a good rep & alot of people have used him. I've decided to hunt out the receipt (Buried amongst all the Xmas paperwork!) & send it off to canon for calibration. I hope they have a quick turnround as I'm up at the Manchester Velodrome on 23rd February for 3 days of track cycling photography.

Just spoken to Canon UK and apparently there is a 5 day turnaround for the calibration & they will make sure that I get it back well in time for my trip. Lens has an international warranty, so that is ok and I have an invoice/receipt. I'll hopefully post some improved shots when the lens comes back!
Sarah

Last edited by Whipspeed; 19-01-2007 at 17:05.
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Old 22-01-2007, 15:05   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipspeed View Post
Just spoken to Canon UK and apparently there is a 5 day turnaround for the calibration & they will make sure that I get it back well in time for my trip. Lens has an international warranty, so that is ok and I have an invoice/receipt. I'll hopefully post some improved shots when the lens comes back!
Sarah
I don't know how much Canon equipment you own but if you own enough L lenses and a couple of bodies you can apply to become a member of the Canon professional Service. This strictly speaking is mean for working professionals but if you have enough kit you may be able to gain entry.

One of the main benefits (and why I mention it) is because they guarantee preferantial treatment and 'queue jumping' for equipment repairs...in most cases a 1 day turn around Obviously if you are working professional and something goes wrong with your equipment then your livelihood is potentially on the line.

On saying that a 5 day turnaround sounds very reasonable to me. Keep us informed on how it goes and also if the lens performs to your expectations on its return.
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Old 22-01-2007, 20:06   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Out of interest, what's the process for returning a lens for calibration? I've got a 50mm f/1.8 that has a front-focussing problem that I keep meaning to get sent off to be fixed.
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Old 22-01-2007, 20:58   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

The process is simply to find the nearest service centre to your location (or the main national one if your have more confidence with that) then give them a ring, explain the problem and they will probably give you a return number. Pack the lens up properly and mark the number as well as the correct address on the outside. Pop it in the post and wait for the nice men at Canon to do their jobs.

As Sarah has reported Canon usually have a fairly fast turnaround but the different service centres may have different times according to their work loads...it may be worth checking with more than one if their quoted time is not to your liking

Hope that helps

BTW if you have not already marked down the serial numbers of all your equipment I would recommend doing so, especially before sending any off for repair etc.
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Old 23-01-2007, 17:28   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Steve, thanks for the info, didn't realise you could get preferential treatment, don't know if I'd be classed as a professional, even though the inland revenue class us as such for selling a few picutres, but may be worth looking into.
Lens was posted today, insured! So hopefully it will be back next week so I can try it before the track cycling weekend.
Shot the rugby this weekend with the 100-400 & the difference was very clear as you can see.



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Old 23-01-2007, 22:57   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

It really is mighty hard to do a comparison of focus on moving targets as there are simply too many variables that can affect it. Let's get one thing clear though: you SHOULD be able to get some very sharp photos with the 70-200mm f 4 IS L series lens. No question.

Ok, let me just meander through a few thoughts as well to see if anything gives you something worth trying....

The IS system is two-fold so have you got it switched to the correct one when hand-holding (and switched off when on a tripod). The first gyro detects movement horizontally and the 2nd gyro vertical movement so if you are only panning horizontally, use the correct stabiliser.

What shutter speed are you actually using for these shots? and at what focal length? Comparison of these two lenses will be very different if you compare the 100-400mm lens at 400mm and the 70-200mm at 70mm and you could even compare 100mm on the big lens and 200mm on the shorter lens! If you are hand holding and shooting AF you have got to be using 1/250th second for the 200mm lens to be sure of getting decently sharp pictures.

What focusing mode are you using? You should be using predictive Autofocus which keeps adjusting until you shot, if not the shots will be soft as the subject has moved by the time you press the shutter.

Personally I would do some test shots hand-holding but of static targets in order to get a better comparison. If you don't, Canon are simply going to argue that it might be the person taking the picture who is not holding it very steady for moving shots, etc.

Try shots of subjects moving across the field of view but also of subjects moving towards you, again this makes a huge difference. When going across the plane, the lens does not need to refocus but when coming towards you it does as the distance is changing.

If the IS is noisy, that definitely sounds dodgy as it shouldn't be. It is pretty quiet to the point of being hardly noticeable. Just a very quiet click as it flicks into action but no continual noise. That definitely sounds like something worth checking. As has been said, try some shots without the IS turned on to see what difference is being made by the IS. If there is nothing diffeent then it could be the IS gyro is simply not working correctly.

I'll be interested to hear what canon say about it so please do give us an update when you get it back. I will be very keen to know.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 23-01-2007, 23:10   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Rob, Hi & thanks for your in depth input. Yes, the IS was set correctly for the type of movement, it's the same as the IS on the 100-400 & have never had a problem, either handholding, on a monopod, panning etc. Useing predictive autofocus, again, this is what I normally use for sport.
I've written a letter to canon and have included some test shots for comparison, also referred to web site.

I also noticed a difference on the web site. I got orders for shots from this weekends match & not the weekend using the faulty lens! So difference must have been obvious, those shots are not on the site now.

As soon as I hear from canon I'll let you know.

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Old 24-01-2007, 15:58   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

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Originally Posted by Rob Barron View Post
If the IS is noisy, that definitely sounds dodgy as it shouldn't be. It is pretty quiet to the point of being hardly noticeable. Just a very quiet click as it flicks into action but no continual noise.
Not sure about that - the 70-200mm F/2.8L IS lens I rented had exceedingly loud IS - both a very loud 'clunk' as it kicked into action and a continual whirring gurgling noise as it kept working.

The IS on that lens worked perfectly though, much better than the IS on my 28-135mm lens, although that IS is virtually silent as you describe. I wasn't sure if the noise on the L lens was due to the floating IS element(s) being much larger/heavier and hence needing something beefier to move them, or just because the lens had had a lot of use.
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Old 24-01-2007, 16:31   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM - Help!

Thanks for that, I'll let you know what Canon say about it. It was one of the things I mentioned, along with the soft focus.
It is definately noisy compared to the 100-400 L IS though. As you say a clunk, whirring and gurgling, which is a very good description.
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