Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Started Apr 5, 2008 | Discussions
Bob Blount Veteran Member • Posts: 7,458
Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Bought the following in mid-January: 40D, 28-135mm IS, 70-200mm f4L IS, 100-400mm L IS. Every one of these went to the Irvine, CA Canon Service Center for focus issues with the 40D having to be redone immediately after the 1st trip. The 100-400 went in the day after it delivered. Canon confirmed the focus problems and matched the body to the three lenses.
In all good conscience, I would have to recommend Nikon to a friend.
--
Bob

'There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.' - Ansel Adams

Canon 40D, 70-200mm f4L IS, 28-135mm IS, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 Macro, 100-400 mm f4.5L IS
Sony R1
Canon Pro1

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 7D
Nick Slaapt
Nick Slaapt Contributing Member • Posts: 781
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Hey Bob,

Didn't they tell you what the plans are with this (big) problem? I own a 100-400 too, I get really frustrated about that focus-issue with this combo! The money isn't growing in my back yard!
I wonder if it could be fixed with a firmware update?

Nick
--
wildlife and concert photos:
http://www.photobreak.eu

 Nick Slaapt's gear list:Nick Slaapt's gear list
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Karl Gnter Wnsch Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Bob Blount wrote:

...and matched the body to the three lenses.

So you really did have only one problem, a 40D that was out of specification, which can happen if it gets knocked about in transport...
--
regards
Karl Günter Wünsch
Visit my gallery at
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OP Bob Blount Veteran Member • Posts: 7,458
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Canon tried once to recalibrate the 40D alone, it was worse so they ask for the two Canon lenses which they kept of another eight working days. The 100-400 arrived much later and was return for calibration which Canon admitted was front focusing. They made mechanical and electrical adjustments which too another 8 days. I did not take the D40 in with the 100-400 since I was afraid they would mess up the body with the other two lenses.

I went shooting birds this morning and was disappointed with the focus compared with a friends 100-400 on this 5D. We shot side by side, blew up the images the same amount with his much sharper than the 2 MP difference would account for so I will return the 100-400 again with the 40D this time! Frustrating.

Karl Gnter Wnsch wrote:

Bob Blount wrote:

...and matched the body to the three lenses.

So you really did have only one problem, a 40D that was out of
specification, which can happen if it gets knocked about in
transport...
--
regards
Karl Günter Wünsch
Visit my gallery at
http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/mypics/461808

-- hide signature --

Bob

'There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.' - Ansel Adams

Canon 40D, 70-200mm f4L IS, 28-135mm IS, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 Macro, 100-400 mm f4.5L IS
Sony R1
Canon Pro1

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 7D
Karl Gnter Wnsch Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Bob Blount wrote:

I went shooting birds this morning and was disappointed with the
focus compared with a friends 100-400 on this 5D.

You are comparing a 5D image with an image from a 40D and expect similar sharpness? Forget that test, the 5D is so much more forgiving in terms of lens requirements in both focus and pixel pitch that any such comparison is due to end up in disappointment for the crop camera photographer.

On a more serious note: Do you use a protective filter on your lens? In my experience there isn't a single lens more critical in this respect than the 100-400L and I have ditched my high quality UV filters when I did a simple test with and without it on my 100-400L.
--
regards
Karl Günter Wünsch
Visit my gallery at
http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/mypics/461808

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S Clark Senior Member • Posts: 2,944
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Well Bob, I agree with you as I have had the same sort of experiences with my Canon equipment.
--
http://www.pbase.com/galleries/sasc
In the Arkansas Ozarks

OP Bob Blount Veteran Member • Posts: 7,458
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

S Clark wrote:

Well Bob, I agree with you as I have had the same sort of experiences
with my Canon equipment.

Sad isn't?

-- hide signature --
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Bob

'There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.' - Ansel Adams

Canon 40D, 70-200mm f4L IS, 28-135mm IS, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 Macro, 100-400 mm f4.5L IS
Sony R1
Canon Pro1

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 7D
Nick Slaapt
Nick Slaapt Contributing Member • Posts: 781
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

I own the 5D and the 40D.

The BIF with the 40D + 100-400 are not only dissapointing in comparison with the same kind of images captured with the 5D + 100-400, they are total useless most of the times! The AF can't nail a BIF in most of the circumstances... And I found out; Its not only user error!

Nick

Karl Gnter Wnsch wrote:

Bob Blount wrote:

I went shooting birds this morning and was disappointed with the
focus compared with a friends 100-400 on this 5D.

You are comparing a 5D image with an image from a 40D and expect
similar sharpness? Forget that test, the 5D is so much more forgiving
in terms of lens requirements in both focus and pixel pitch that any
such comparison is due to end up in disappointment for the crop
camera photographer.

-- hide signature --

wildlife and concert photos:
http://www.photobreak.eu

 Nick Slaapt's gear list:Nick Slaapt's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark III Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM +4 more
Puppetzinc Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Yeah, although I feel for you having something wrong, I honestly don't believe that all that stuff was faulty. Really, you may have been unlucky, and if so well really really unlucky, but with so many people raving about the 100-400 with the 40d and the fact that Canon is so large, I just cannot accept that their quality control is that bad. It may have slipped, from a time before on account of so many different items being produced, but I don't believe that all those items were faulty off the assembly line. They simply couldn't survive if that was the case.

However I don't know your situation, and once again I feel for you as time without my camera would kill me. To their credit they have fixed all your gear

and they stand behind it which is good to see. Not sure about other brands but would hope they would do the same. It does seem to smear the brand that I and so many others have never had a single fault with ever, and fingers crossed that continues, or maybe it's just a matter of time?

-- hide signature --

I love all photo gear.

vadim_c Senior Member • Posts: 1,712
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Puppetzinc wrote:

Yeah, although I feel for you having something wrong, I honestly
don't believe that all that stuff was faulty. Really, you may have
been unlucky, and if so well really really unlucky, but with so many
people raving about the 100-400 with the 40d and the fact that Canon
is so large, I just cannot accept that their quality control is that
bad. It may have slipped, from a time before on account of so many
different items being produced, but I don't believe that all those
items were faulty off the assembly line. They simply couldn't survive
if that was the case.

I do not want to disappoint you but I was in a similar situation. 3 out of 5 items required service straight out of the store. I am not talking about pixel peeping,the images simply were painful to look at at anything larger than 6x4. After the calibration completely different story. Once I put an analogy here that selling a miscalibrated camera is similar to selling a car with underinflated tires. Something that is very easy to fix, if not fixed it depreciates the value of the product temendously.

S Clark Senior Member • Posts: 2,944
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

vadim_c wrote:
Once I put an analogy here that selling a

miscalibrated camera is similar to selling a car with underinflated
tires. Something that is very easy to fix, if not fixed it
depreciates the value of the product temendously.

Yeah, but I can go out to my garage and air up my tires for maybe a pennys worth of electricity. My Canon equipment I have to pay over $20 a trip and two weeks to a month to get fixed. What if you had to take your tires off and mail them to the manufacturer to be aired up?

http://www.pbase.com/galleries/sasc
In the Arkansas Ozarks

Keith Reeder Veteran Member • Posts: 3,725
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Nick Slaapt wrote:

Its not only user error!

Maybe.

My 40D/100-400mm combo is fantastic - I couldn't ask for better AF performance, and I'm finding myself attempting BIF shots I wouldn't even have considered with my 30D...

Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,702
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Hi Bob,

It's always worried me that Canon likes to "match" the lens and camera to get ideal focus.

I have six Canon bodies and many Canon lenses. My 40D images always are slightly OOF and just not crisp the vast majority of the time. I have resisted sending my 40D to Canon because I certainly don't want lenses which work well with my other five Canon bodies (D30, 10D, 1D, 1DS, 1D Mark II) to be "matched" to only one camera. The point is that the camera body "should" be calibrated to a standard which make it optimal with properly calibrated lenses and not diddled so that the "combinations" work. Camera bodies come and go but lenses persist....

Best regards,

Lin

Bob Blount wrote:

Bought the following in mid-January: 40D, 28-135mm IS, 70-200mm f4L
IS, 100-400mm L IS. Every one of these went to the Irvine, CA Canon
Service Center for focus issues with the 40D having to be redone
immediately after the 1st trip. The 100-400 went in the day after it
delivered. Canon confirmed the focus problems and matched the body
to the three lenses.
In all good conscience, I would have to recommend Nikon to a friend.
--
Bob
'There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and
the viewer.' - Ansel Adams
Canon 40D, 70-200mm f4L IS, 28-135mm IS, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 Macro,
100-400 mm f4.5L IS
Sony R1
Canon Pro1

Leon Wittwer Forum Pro • Posts: 13,525
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

AFAIK, camera body calibration is to a standard lens and not to an individual lens. In general, lens calibration is also to a standard camera body. It certainly is possible to more tightly calibrate a lens to a particular body. Assuming the body is well calibrated, the "tuned" lens should still have reasonable performance on other bodies. I do not know, however, whether lenses are actually tuned to specific bodies.
--
Leon
http://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm

JimH Forum Pro • Posts: 12,912
They don't do that.

Canon does NOT match your body to your lenses or vice-versa.

Canon adjusts bodies to a "tool lens" and lenses to references as well.

When people send in bodies and lenses at the same time, Canon does not adjust them to match each other. Instead, all are matched to references but presumably they then test your lenses with your body to be sure all is working within the stated specifications.

As you point out, adjusting a customer's body to match their lenses, or adjusting their lenses to match their body would be a disaster because you'd end up with bodies and lenses out there which were not, then, able to be used with other bodies and lenses. This would defeat the entire premise of having an interchangeable lens system.

People frequently believe that Canon will adjust their body to match their lenses or vice-versa, but in reality, the only statements I've seen from Canon state clearly that they will not do this.

I think that people just misinterpret what they're being told and/or assume that because they've been asked to send in both their lenses and their bodies that this means that they'll be calibrated to match each other rather than adjusted to standards. This assumption, so far as what I've read from actual Canon sources, is completely wrong.

You should not worry that your lenses or bodies will be purposely miscalibrated if you have Canon make the adjustments. They DO adjust everything to standards. To do otherwise would result in chaos.

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Jim H.

S Clark Senior Member • Posts: 2,944
Re: They don't do that.

Canon calibrates to within a scale of acceptable specs. They do not set your camera or lens to 0. It is considered acceptable if within range of say -5 to +5 which means if you have a lens set to -5 and a camera at +5 focus will be far from perfect.
--
http://www.pbase.com/galleries/sasc
In the Arkansas Ozarks

Bohdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,122
So what happens then ?

both are within "spec" yet, together, produce unacceptable results.
--
I may be, and probably am, completely wrong.

OP Bob Blount Veteran Member • Posts: 7,458
Re: So what happens then ?

At my initial post, the 100-400 had been taken to Canon with soft focus. Same problem when it was returned so it was taken back with the body. The body was not to be worked on since it works great with my other Canon lenses. The body was provided at Canon's suggestion. Both are back and work fantastically. The 100-400 is tack sharp!

Some have suggested the I (Canon's suggestions/findings) don't know what I am talking about. Canon's work orders state the problems going in and what the corrective action was so maybe Canon service needs to be straightened out by some of the experts on the forum. The results speak for themselves.
--
Bob

'There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.' - Ansel Adams

Canon 40D, 70-200mm f4L IS, 28-135mm IS, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8 Macro, 100-400 mm f4.5L IS
Sony R1
Canon Pro1

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Hawkman
Hawkman Veteran Member • Posts: 7,847
Ditto

I had a 1D MArk II (back focus), a 500/4L (back focus) and a 400/5.6L (front focus). Yes it is sad and a royal PITA.

Gene
--
Gene (aka hawkman) - Walk softly and carry a big lens

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Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,702
Re: Four Canon Items - Five Focus Problems

Hi Leon,

On some of the new Canon bodies there are firmware provisions which allow precisely fine tuning the body to a particular lenses (the 1D Mark III for example). Why this was necessary and if necessary on one Canon body why not on all has always puzzled me.

Over the years I've had more problems with Canon and focus issues than with all my other dSLR's combined. Perhaps I've just been unlucky and fall out there on the third standard deviation, I really don't know. One would "think" that when a lens works correctly with a number of bodies and doesn't work correctly with another that the probability would be the camera body - at least from a logical probability perspective. But that "may" not always be the case. It's quite an expensive proposition to ship a half dozen lenses and multiple camera bodies back to Canon service to find out though with with insurance, time without the use of the tools, etc.

Sometimes I long for the old days with manual focus only when someone with reasonably good eyesight could pretty well depend on getting an in-focus frame nearly every time without so much "spray and pray" LOL.. Unfortunately, even using manual focus has not always let to satisfactory results in every case today.

Best regards,

Lin

Leon Wittwer wrote:

AFAIK, camera body calibration is to a standard lens and not to an
individual lens. In general, lens calibration is also to a standard
camera body. It certainly is possible to more tightly calibrate a
lens to a particular body. Assuming the body is well calibrated, the
"tuned" lens should still have reasonable performance on other
bodies. I do not know, however, whether lenses are actually tuned to
specific bodies.
--
Leon
http://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm

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