Need help with soft pics with 60D and 100-400mm L

Started May 1, 2012 | Discussions
haha1111
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Need help with soft pics with 60D and 100-400mm L
May 1, 2012

60

I have a 10 year old 100-400L lens that I've been using to take soccer photos with a 60D. I've always blame the lack of sharpness on the long distance and motion blur (20-120m away from moving targets). Finally got around to testing it with stationary targets. Do these photos look soft to you, or am I pixel peeking?

The photos are taken at 10,20 and 30 m, with IS on mode 1, 2 and off. Files name also tag for MONopod, TRIpod, camera on GND, and indoor resting on ground. All photos taken at ISO800, F8, with shutter exceed 1/1500 outdoors, and 1/30 indoors. The crop shots are 800x800 square centered around the focal point.

My first assumption is user error, so any suggestion on improving the sharpness are welcome. From photos I've seen around the web, I know this lens can do much better than what the crop is showing.

Canon EOS 60D
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JoeAmateur
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Re: Need help with soft pics with 60D and 100-400mm L
In reply to haha1111, May 2, 2012

They're definitely soft. Has your lens ever been serviced? If not, after 10 years, it's due!

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-Joe

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Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +1 more
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haha1111
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Re: Need help with soft pics with 60D and 100-400mm L
In reply to JoeAmateur, May 2, 2012

Nope, never been serviced. In fact, I've never sent in anything to canon. Should I sent it in myself or go to a service center/camera shop? Somebody mention that they may need the camera as well to do lens adjustments?

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JoeAmateur
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Re: Need help with soft pics with 60D and 100-400mm L
In reply to haha1111, May 2, 2012

If you're fine with the camera, you can send both in and have them cleaned and calibrated together. I would go direct to Canon ...nobody does anything for free, so you can figure on some up-charging on the cleaning/calibration.

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-Joe

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Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +1 more
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haha1111
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Re: Need help with soft pics with 60D and 100-400mm L
In reply to JoeAmateur, May 2, 2012

Thanks. Sound like a trip to the canon shop for the lens and camera. Good a have a second opinion before sending it out and blaming the lens.

I think the camera and operator is okay. I shoot single point focus selecting the point closest to the subject. All my other lens are doing fine. Here's one with the 100mm macro. Love the 100mm macro.

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JoeAmateur
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Re: Need help with soft pics with 60D and 100-400mm L
In reply to haha1111, May 2, 2012

Nice pic, I love my 100 macro (old non-IS.) Sharp as a tack.

I take it that's Chihuly glass? You live in Seattle?

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-Joe

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Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +1 more
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haha1111
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Re: Need help with soft pics with 60D and 100-400mm L
In reply to JoeAmateur, May 2, 2012

Yes, Chihuly glass. Caught it in Boston Museum of Fine Arts last year. Camp out in the museum for a few hours. Recently upgraded to LR4 and finally doing these pictures some justice.
https://plus.google.com/photos/101950111377601699290/albums/5735549368792735585

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haha1111
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Lens is back
In reply to JoeAmateur, May 24, 2012

The lens is back. Pictures looks much sharper (resized full frame and cropped unsized):

First time sending stuff to canon for service. It was interesting. Some details in case anyone else need some data points.

I submitted a ticket for the lens issue. Lens is 10 years old, so it's definitely out of warranty. Then I call to see if they need the camera to adjust the lens. They said that's a good idea, so I sent both in.

Then they bill me separately for the lens and the camera. $285 for the lens, $223 for the camera. But I only wanted to provide the camera for adjustment, not to have it serviced. I look up my purchase date, it's one year and one week, figures. I call back to have my camera returned, then they inform me that there is a 2 month grace period. Finally, a break. I submit a receipt and got the camera charge removed.

In the end, it cost me $285 to save the lens. From ship date to lens back (MA to NJ, a short trip): 9 days round trip. Camera is not back yet.

I sent in the lens and camera with original box and carrying case. Got everything back in original condition.

Here's the service details:

Your product has been examined and it was found that the part did not operate properly so that the power supply did not operate properly. The collars were replaced. Product functions were confirmed. Adjusted center/tilt/front, back focus & checked all factory specs.

Parts: COLLAR (Part# CA2-6842-000-400, YA2-366[4,5,6,7]-000-400) 3 each

LENS ASSY, IMAGE STABLIZER CY3-2110-010. No extra charge on the parts just a break down of: $269 labor charge, and $16 2 day shipping.

What the hack is a collar anyway. Why so many (15 in all replaced), lol.

For the 100-400, it's worth it. I'm not sure I'll do it for the cheaper lens. Broken lens is an excuse to upgrade.

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JoeAmateur
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Re: Lens is back
In reply to haha1111, May 24, 2012

Looks MUCH better!

Glad to hear the repair wasn't outrageous ...my 100-400 dropped 5' into the dirt off a fence post, mount side first this weekend. Managed to throw it out of whack pretty good I think. That's what I get for trying to do a quick-and-sloppy lens change!

Haven't sat down yet to do a thorough cleaning and re-MA it, but I think it'll have to go in for service.

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-Joe

 JoeAmateur's gear list:JoeAmateur's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +1 more
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haha1111
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Re: Lens is back
In reply to JoeAmateur, May 24, 2012

Bummer. Best of luck. Hope you can fix it and avoid a trip to the lens hospital.

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John Vant Land
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Re: Lens is back
In reply to haha1111, May 24, 2012

I also have a 60D and 100-400 that I noticed in March was "soft". I read on this forum to send them both in together to get them calibrated and that's what I did. The camera functioned perfectly with other lenses so there was nothing wrong with the 60D--I just sent it in for a reference for the lens.

I got two quotes, one for standard adjustment fee for the 60D: $240.98 (which I told them was not needed & they mailed it right back) and the other for the adjustment for the lens (their "standard fee") of $307.98 which I thought was exorbitant. But I had no options. The lens came back extremely sharp and after looking at recent photos, it was worth the cost.

But it sure is hard to swallow that money for a lens that went out of adjustment without being dropped or anything.

John
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Enjoying God and His Creation.

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