Photos coming out blurred/out of focus. Maybe lens problem. Help :(

Started May 8, 2012 | Discussions
pra2veen
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Photos coming out blurred/out of focus. Maybe lens problem. Help :(
May 8, 2012

I bought a new Canon T2i with the 18-135 IS lens in Jan 2012 and lately I have noticed that pictures taken with this lens are out of focus or blurred. I also have a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens and photos taken using the same settings and tripod come out sharp whereas the ones from the 18-135mm lens are not.

^^ Image 1 was taken using the 50mm prime at f/4, 1/3s exposure and ISO200.

^^ Image 2 was taken using the 18-135mm at 50mm zoom, f/5, 1/2s exposure and ISO200.

^^ Image 3 was with 18-135mm at 50mm zoom, f/5, 1/15s, ISO1600.

All these pictures were taken using AutoFocus in Av mode without flash, 2s timer and the same tripod.

The images 2,3 and 4 turned out blurred/out of focus but the image1 is in focus. The lens is only 4 months old and I don't think I dropped it anywhere. The lens worked fine until recently. I hadn't used it in a while and it was sitting in a bag for a month, and when I took it out to use it, it was this way.

Using Manual focus to take pics doesn't help either. The image looks nice in the viewfinder and the LCD display but the picture taken turns out blurred.

I also thought I'd mention that I'm having trouble attaching the 18-135mm lens to the camera. It fits in fine initially and when I start turning to lock it in, half way through the turn it gets really tough to turn. Sometimes I have to yank it into place. The 18mm prime fits easily.

Anyone face a similar issue? What are my options now? Will this be fixed under warranty?

Canon EOS 550D (EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4)
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trekkeruss
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Re: Photos coming out blurred/out of focus. Maybe lens problem. Help :(
In reply to pra2veen, May 8, 2012

Here is a thread about someone with the same issue:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=41136680

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Bjorn_L
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Re: Photos coming out blurred/out of focus. Maybe lens problem. Help :(
In reply to pra2veen, May 8, 2012

Nice Randy Jackson bobblehead.

The 18-135 is not that great a lens, but it is not as bad as your images. it clearly needs service. Canon has pretty good customer service. No one here can answer for them on what they will or will not cover. Contact them and find out.

If you want to try to figure out what is going on you can check for front focus. Put several objects in the scene at different depths Use manual focus on an object in the middle and see what ends up on focus.

If the item is new, you might be able to talk the store in to swapping lenses with you, or you can take both the body & lens to them and have them test it a bit.

I would guess your difficulty in attaching the lens might be related to the focus issues. Lenses are not supposed to require "jerking" to get them to seat properly.

Have you inspected the mount on the lens to see if there is something there? (damage, dirt, etc)

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Deleted1929
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Re: Photos coming out blurred/out of focus. Maybe lens problem. Help :(
In reply to pra2veen, May 8, 2012

A couple of thoughts :

Are you too close ? You may simply be be below the minimum distance the lens can focus at.

The 18-135 has IS. As a general rule you need to turn IS off when on a tripod as the IS system can screw up ( to put it simply ) when a tripod is used.

Using Manual focus to take pics doesn't help either. The image looks nice in the viewfinder and the LCD display but the picture taken turns out blurred.

This doesn't really show anything one way or another. The LCD is small and I don't think you'd necessarily see the out-of-focus blurring.

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StephenG

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scorrpio
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Re: Photos coming out blurred/out of focus. Maybe lens problem. Help :(
In reply to pra2veen, May 8, 2012

pra2veen wrote:

I also thought I'd mention that I'm having trouble attaching the 18-135mm lens to the camera. It fits in fine initially and when I start turning to lock it in, half way through the turn it gets really tough to turn. Sometimes I have to yank it into place.

I would take the lens back to the store then and there, before even bothering to take any pictures. This is not supposed to happen - something is clearly wrong with lens mount. Whether the resulting focus issue is the result of that or not is a moot point. You are clearly past return period now, so you should send it to Canon for warranty service.

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beagle1
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Re: Photos coming out blurred/out of focus. Maybe lens problem. Help :(
In reply to pra2veen, May 8, 2012

pra2veen wrote:

I bought a new Canon T2i with the 18-135 IS lens in Jan 2012 and lately I have noticed that pictures taken with this lens are out of focus or blurred. I also have a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens and photos taken using the same settings and tripod come out sharp whereas the ones from the 18-135mm lens are not.

All these pictures were taken using AutoFocus in Av mode without flash, 2s timer and the same tripod.

The images 2,3 and 4 turned out blurred/out of focus but the image1 is in focus. The lens is only 4 months old and I don't think I dropped it anywhere. The lens worked fine until recently. I hadn't used it in a while and it was sitting in a bag for a month, and when I took it out to use it, it was this way.

Using Manual focus to take pics doesn't help either. The image looks nice in the viewfinder and the LCD display but the picture taken turns out blurred.

I also thought I'd mention that I'm having trouble attaching the 18-135mm lens to the camera. It fits in fine initially and when I start turning to lock it in, half way through the turn it gets really tough to turn. Sometimes I have to yank it into place. The 18mm prime fits easily.

Anyone face a similar issue? What are my options now? Will this be fixed under warranty?

you should not have to "yank" the lens to get it on the camera! Check the mounting flange. But 1/2 second is really slow and things can happen even with a tripod and delay, Did you turn the IS off when on the tripod? Try again with a faster shutter speed. (increase the ISO). if repeated tests show it out of focus then the lens probably needs repaired

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confyushis
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agree ... turn off IS on tripod (n/t)
In reply to Deleted1929, May 8, 2012

sjgcit wrote:
A couple of thoughts :

Are you too close ? You may simply be be below the minimum distance the lens can focus at.

The 18-135 has IS. As a general rule you need to turn IS off when on a tripod as the IS system can screw up ( to put it simply ) when a tripod is used.

Using Manual focus to take pics doesn't help either. The image looks nice in the viewfinder and the LCD display but the picture taken turns out blurred.

This doesn't really show anything one way or another. The LCD is small and I don't think you'd necessarily see the out-of-focus blurring.

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StephenG

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pra2veen
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Re: Photos coming out blurred/out of focus. Maybe lens problem. Help :(
In reply to beagle1, May 8, 2012

I will go to BestBuy or some other store and ask if I can try out one of their lenses to test the lens mount on my camera. At least that will narrow the search down.

If it matters, I tried to mount the lens again and the white (square) mark on the lens which we use to align the lens with the mount, turns to around the Flash button normally. After that, it gets really tight and needs to be turned in really hard.

Some more observations i just made are:

1. Although the camera thinks it's focused (box turns green in LCD), the objects do look pretty out of focus. I can clearly see this by using digital zoom.

2. Using manual focus to bring all objects completely out of focus, I can see that the blurring itself looks different. It almost seems like I can see some ghosting of the object, in the direction of the light source. I think I know how the out-of-focus objects usually appear. They're usually a soft blur. This one seemed extremely weird. Will try to post a few pics later.

Considering your inputs, I'm guessing one of the following are the reasons:

1. A part of the lens mount on the camera is messed up. The part after where the 50mm prime turns to (because the 50mm prime lens turns and locks in perfectly without any unusual resistance).
2. The lens itself is messed up internally.

p.s: It's a John Axford bobble head

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Barrie Davis
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50mm prime... [??]
In reply to pra2veen, May 9, 2012

pra2veen wrote:

I will go to BestBuy or some other store and ask if I can try out one of their lenses to test the lens mount on my camera. At least that will narrow the search down.

If it matters, I tried to mount the lens again and the white (square) mark on the lens which we use to align the lens with the mount, turns to around the Flash button normally. After that, it gets really tight and needs to be turned in really hard.

Some more observations i just made are:

1. Although the camera thinks it's focused (box turns green in LCD), the objects do look pretty out of focus. I can clearly see this by using digital zoom.

2. Using manual focus to bring all objects completely out of focus, I can see that the blurring itself looks different. It almost seems like I can see some ghosting of the object, in the direction of the light source. I think I know how the out-of-focus objects usually appear. They're usually a soft blur. This one seemed extremely weird. Will try to post a few pics later.

Considering your inputs, I'm guessing one of the following are the reasons:

1. A part of the lens mount on the camera is messed up. The part after where the 50mm prime turns to (because the 50mm prime lens turns and locks in perfectly without any unusual resistance).
2. The lens itself is messed up internally.

p.s: It's a John Axford bobble head

Sorry to be a pain....

... but the 50mm prime doesn't look particularly sharp tome, either. I mean, nothing like so bad as the zoom, where something is obviously wrong...

... but not so sharp as I would have expected, (bobble head face) given (a) the care you have been taking in your tests, and (b) the level of performance that would be expected at the aperture you selected.

...errr... sorry...[??] It just might be that your zoom lens is not your only problem, possibly [??]

Good luck... (sincere sentiment)

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Baz

"Ahh... But the thing is, they were not just ORDINARY time travellers!"

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pra2veen
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Re: 50mm prime... [??]
In reply to Barrie Davis, May 9, 2012

^^ Hmm... I hadn't noticed that the 50mm prime pic wasn't too sharp either. Looks like I'll send the camera to Canon. I'll check the lens mount against one of the lenses in one of the stores (if possible), so that I can be clear about my issue when I speak to Canon.

Thanks

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Hank3152
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Possibly caused by mirror vibration?
In reply to pra2veen, May 9, 2012

Does the camera have the mirror lockup option?

Results from the shutter speeds being used are particularly vulnerable for vibrations caused by mirror slap. If the camera is equipped, use the MLU feature and try again.......if not then raise the ISO and try to select faster shutter speeds.

Generally speeds between 1/30 and 1 second are adversely affected........anything above or below is fine.
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beagle1
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Re: Possibly caused by mirror vibration?
In reply to Hank3152, May 9, 2012

Hank3152 wrote:

Does the camera have the mirror lockup option?

Results from the shutter speeds being used are particularly vulnerable for vibrations caused by mirror slap. If the camera is equipped, use the MLU feature and try again.......if not then raise the ISO and try to select faster shutter speeds.

Generally speeds between 1/30 and 1 second are adversely affected........anything above or below is fine.
--

I agree, none of these tests should be performed below 1/100 second. But it sounds like the OP has a mounting problem with the 18-135 lens

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Michael Edward Rudge
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try turn OFF IS
In reply to pra2veen, May 9, 2012
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pra2veen
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Re: try turn OFF IS
In reply to Michael Edward Rudge, May 29, 2012

^^ I did take pics with and without IS. The photos turned out just as bad.

Anyway, I gave my lens to a friend of my brother's, who is a professional photographer. She used my camera with her lenses and found no issue with the camera lens mount and apparently, her pics turned out fine.

It looks like I'll have to send the lens to Canon to get it fixed. Anyone have any idea how to claim a warranty repair for the lens? The Canon website has a link to request a quote for repair, but is there another way to do it if you have a warranty, or are they going to consider the warranty when they include the price?

Thanks again guys.

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Deleted1929
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Re: try turn OFF IS
In reply to pra2veen, May 29, 2012

I gave my lens to a friend of my brother's, who is a professional photographer. She used my camera with her lenses and found no issue with the camera lens mount and apparently, her pics turned out fine.

Given your friend's brother the lens to test.

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StephenG

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ptl-2010
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blurry 18-135
In reply to Deleted1929, May 29, 2012

I had the same issues with this lens. I got rid of it. I think it a quality control issue, as some people get good copies.

I got acceptable results from it at F8 and that was about it... even though I was just shooting video you could see how soft the image was.

I think it's just a softness issue, if you want to test focus print page 18 of the document below, set your center focus point on it (be sure you have the center point selected in your AF), and take the photo at an angle as shown in the other pages of the document.

http://focustestchart.com/focus21.pdf

Use a tripod, 2 second shutter timer, and mirror lockup if you're shooting a slow exposure.

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pra2veen
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Re: blurry 18-135
In reply to ptl-2010, Jun 16, 2012

I tried using a friend's 55-250mm lens on my camera and it fit without a problem. I also tried my problematic 18-135mm lens on a friend's camera and it wouldn't lock properly. I still had to yank it to be able to lock it in.

I stated the problem and sent the lens to Canon for repair. Canon said that the lens mount was damaged and although my lens is still under warranty, this is considered as Physical Damage and is not covered under the limited warranty.

The quoted price was $130 including shipping but when I called up Canon asking about this repair, a kind lady offered me a 20% discount, so the cost came down to around $110.

I should've bought the SquareTrade Accidental warranty, i suppose.

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