No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?

Started Apr 27, 2008 | Discussions
KROW Regular Member • Posts: 265
No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?


Seems every other thread you read here is about a camera and/or lens not focussing properly or some other issue that results in lousy photos. I've had lots of good examples of bad photos

I had (still have) a DR/300D for almost 4 years. Besides the kit lens, I bought a Canon 55-200 zoom, a Tamron 90mm macro, Canon 100-400, and then the Tamron 17-50 2.8. I've taken lots of photos with these lenses that were out of focus or had other issues but none of those problems can be attributed to the equipment - I'm sure they were all due to my ineptness.

Now I have the 40D. I have only used the Tammy 17-50 and Canon 100-400 with it so far. I get some extremely sharp captures with both. Sometimes I mess up and get a blurry of not-tack-sharp photo. I can't pin the problem on the equipment; i sure the problems can always to attributed to myself - using too slow a shutter speed, wrong focussing method, etc.

I never had to send a body or lens away for calibration and know of nobody in this area who has (I belong to a camera club with 100+ members with varying types of equipment). Is it that there are problems with our equipment that we are just too ignorant to recognize? Or are we just fortunate enough to have all the good-quality stuff being sent our way whereas the junk goes elsewhere?

Anybody else been "worrying" about not having problems?


CityLights Forum Pro • Posts: 12,556
Re: No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?

Same experience here. Zero problems in 4 years.

Anybody else been "worrying" about not having problems?

Worrying about bad equipment doesn't do any good. Trying to figure out what is wrong with my technique does some good though.

Alvin Nunley Veteran Member • Posts: 4,305
Re: No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?

Great header. In my early days with the 10D I had all kinds of problems. Problems I never had with film. I came here and asked for help. I was surprised with the great response. So many people with helpful suggestions to fix my problems. I thought many times of turning my camera back in. It turns out it wasn't the camera, (as you all know) it was just a matter of learning how to shoot digital. It's a lot different from film. I never had any problems shooting film. I had a Minolta, a 50mm and a 70-210 Vivitar.

The digital world is a lot different than the film world, but once I learned it, I now have few problems. I can now shoot RAW or JPG and almost everything comes out great as far as exposure is concerned. Thanks to everybody here.
Taking pictures is easy, making them art is hard.

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OP KROW Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?

CityLights wrote:
... Zero problems in 4 years...

Alvin Nunley wrote:

...It turns out it wasn't the camera, (as you all know) it was just a matter of learning how to shoot...

Well, that makes three of us that haven't had equipment calibration issues. I would have thought there would have been many more.


RaptorDriver Regular Member • Posts: 491
Re: No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?

I would be number four, there are more. This thread is very similar to another and is likely getting less traffic.

Keith Reeder Veteran Member • Posts: 3,725
Re: No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?

KROW wrote:

Well, that makes three of us that haven't had equipment calibration issues. I would have thought there would have been many more.

There are - I'm one..!

I love my 40D/100-400mm, and couldn't be happier with the IQ from the combo.

MarkNicholas Senior Member • Posts: 1,524
Re: No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?

Good post. It does seem that a lot of people do suffer from technical problems. When i bought my 70-200 f/4 IS lens i had read so many threads about people with front focus and back focus issues that i was almost amazed that my lens was tack sharp from the first shot.

I am still amazed at how many very basic questions are asked that could be answered with a very quick google search and am even more amazed at the number of patient replies posted by experienced contibuters. Obviously they do not have much to do!!

Still it all makes for very interesting reading and i very much enjoy my forays into the forum.

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Vegasluv Contributing Member • Posts: 845
Re: No Lens or Camera problems - what's wrong?

I also never had any problems with my cameras unless I broke it myself. I still have an old Pentax K-1000 that works like new (bought in 1977). I also have an old Canon A-1, New F-1 and a T-90 camera that operates flawlessly.

Today I have EOS 30Ds, 40Ds and a EOS 1D Mark II that have been pure joys to own and operate. My 30Ds are work horses during youth sports shoots. I have never had any error messages or focusing issues (knock on wood). My 30Ds have all had well over 100,000 exposures on them when I got rid of them. I still have 6 30Ds and want more buy cannot find anyone with new 30Ds so I am now using 40Ds.

I dropped a former EOS 1D Mark II I had. But I repaired it and sold it and bought a new EOS 1D Mark II. But that was my fault not Canon's.

Doug J Forum Pro • Posts: 11,607
I feel quilty

Count me in as well - 2 bodies & 9 Canon lenses without a problem, maybe I'm not shooting enough charts :).

I know there are folks with real equipment problems, and I wish no one had to go through an exchange or service with new equipment. However I believe the vast majority of users are trouble free. It's been said many times on these forums that satisfied users are unlikely to start a 'Hi, I'm happy' thread.

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hockeynut Veteran Member • Posts: 4,268
No, and here's why.

The bulk of the problems are user error.

And it doesn't help that the bulk of the advice on these forums is given by clueless newbies answering other clueless newbies' questions.

Newbies only know that their P&S had limitations. They see the images coming from the DSLR crowd, and they envy the DSLR owners. They don't know what it takes to shoot a DSLR. They just know that they expect to outperform their P&S with a DSLR. They don't expect to have a steep learning curve. They don't expect to have to buy better lenses. They buy cheap lenses, and they have high expectations. They don't know what post-processing is.

If Canon were truly as bad as a few people would have us think, then EVERYONE would be having trouble. Magazines, newspapers, and TV shows would be talking about quality issues.

Instead, we hear rave reviews. Why is that?

Most newbies first question on these forums concerns their impending choice of lenses. Newbies ask for help, and the other newbies all chime in with, "Hey, I got this and I it has the perfect zoom range." The experienced people try to get the word out that the image quality is lacking. But the newies turn a deaf ear. They only understand zoom range. They want the perfect "walkaround zoom lens". Many newbies zero in on the worst possible zoom lenses. It's like a moth to a flame.

And when they have issues, they ALWAYS BLAME THE CAMERA! Funny?

What I find truly amazing is the number of people mysteriously don't have problems when it comes time to post a sample. Or when they do post a sample, we find that they have been using Auto at 1/60th of a second, and we can clearly see camera shake in every shot.

Of the hundreds of complaints here every month, it's amazing how few actually turn out to be camera-related issues.

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thesurfdog Senior Member • Posts: 1,581
Re: No, and here's why.

Well said...
Though you left out one element in the "zoom range" argument: cost.

When "those in the know" try to explain just what it is about differences in lenses it very often comes back to cost. Sorry, but high costs are part & parcel of photography...and for the most part always have been. Sure, lenses with 10x zooms can be had fairly cheap, especially compared to three 3x zooms, but oddly enough they really DON'T want to hear that... You're right about some turning a deaf ear.

Yes, some people have had actual problems with their gear...but those are the exceptions. I too am one of those that has been VERY happy with my Canon equipment...and that's after shooting Nikons for the past 20-odd years.

Then again, some people absolutely do NOT want to admit that perhaps they really don't have a clue: It's gotta be the camera/lens/software that's the problem. So instead of working on actual photography they spend way too much time shooting dubious test charts at, most likely, non-calbrated angles anyway. ROFL

(And don't even get me started on the people that have never held an SLR that have a paid wedding to shoot "next weekend" and want to know not only what to buy but what settings to use. aaargh!)

Bohdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,122
You're not going to hear

the "news" report alleged Canon quality problems due to issues of libel.

As far as user error. There are more than a few that have, subsequently, sent their lenses and/or bodies to Canon and Canon has acknowledged having to calibrate them. You don't hear very often where Canon returned a lens saying it was in spec. If that was not the case, then you would have reason to say that user error is usually the problem. I am not denying that it is, but those people, with advice from this board, usually accept that and change their shooting habits.

There are people here that have sent numerous, new, lenses in for needed calibration. That is not acceptable, no matter what the product is, let alone a lens that can cost thousands of dollars.

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Bob Carthy Regular Member • Posts: 209
Re: You're not going to hear

When you look at it from Canon's point of view, it really wouldn't make for good customer relations to send lens/cameras back to people saying they were within spec. That would be like them saying "No, you're wrong. Your lenses and camera are fine. You just aren't a very good photographer". I think more likely the tell people the made so minor adjustments and send them happily on there way. I know no company puts out products without mistakes, but if you listen to people on these boards long enough, you would wonder how Canon stays in business.

Kiddpeat Contributing Member • Posts: 986
BS. The media doesn't hesitate to report a

documentable quality problem, and the media have staff who are knowledgeable photographers and use the equipment. It is laughable to suggest that the media is silenced by libel threats.

Yes, lots of newbies have returned cameras and lenses at the drop of a hat professing themselves able to discern an inch or so of front or back focus. Canon seems to think it best to be sure their equipment meets its specs, and then return it. The costs of that are factored into the price that we all pay for camera equipment. None of that proves there is a wide spread problem. It simply shows that many want to impress others with their new found expert status. It's a bit like sports fans who seem to think that they are actually part of the team.

olderbob Senior Member • Posts: 1,051
one more,

First Dcam,G2,then a D60 now a 5D and 40D...17-40.24-105,70-200f4IS,100-400L...only the 24-104 back focuses a bit on the 40D..Everything else is very good,amazingly the 100-400 is one of the best on both bodys..I usually use the 24-105 on the 5D only and it is right on with that body...If on the 40D I go f8 and no prob...I feel for the folks with all the problems,maybe I'm not picky enough?...But all I can print is up to 13x19 on a i9900 and they look wonderfull to us...Bob

Bohdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,122
Pure conjecture'on your part /nt/
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c.hammett Forum Pro • Posts: 12,125
Re: I"m # 5 or #6

i guess I am incredibly lucky, but I've been shooting with Canons since 1979 and I've never had a problem. I've been through the AE-1, two A-1's, two Elan II's, 10D, 20D and now 40D, not to forget my little favorites G3 and Pro1. The only problem I ever had was the rewind knob (remember those ?) on an A-1 that fell off , and a shutter that died, both after the cameras had extensive use and were well over 10 years old. With those two exceptions, all these cameras still work fine ! Any other problems were mine

Ranger a.k.a chammett

'elegance is simplicity'

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Jon Leroux Regular Member • Posts: 181
Thank you!

It's about time someone put these people in their place.

It makes me sick thinking about how many cameras get sent back to a company, and I am not just saying Canon but all brands because people are too arrogant and ignorant to admit that they know nothing about the gear or photography in general, instead they blame everything on the camera & lenses.

People really need to take the initiative to actually learn things themselves these days, everyone assumes they can have a forum solve all their problems for them and instantly they will be professional shooters.

I know there are a few (and a very few) cases where people have had problems with legitimate things and had to get them repaired. That is life, tolerances are made in manufacturing, anyone that owns a car should know this, they always like to break down at the best times no matter what brand or price range. The other 99% of the time user error is the fault, and people need to grow up and take responsibility for their own mistakes and learn from them instead of assuming they could do no wrong.

Hopefully some people get the hint and realize that photography really isn't a joke or something you can go into blindly. Knowledge is everything, the more of it you have the better you will do in many things in life, and photography is one of them.


Bohdan Senior Member • Posts: 1,122
If we count you

that's a grand total of about 10 people that have not had a lens calibration problem. Actually a few talked about their cameras and never mentioned lenses but I ill let that pass.

Ya, that's putting them in their place.

Of course, this thread has only been up for only 1 day.

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Doug J Forum Pro • Posts: 11,607
Remember the 10D launch? a blast from the past...

When Canon introduced the 10D there was a huge wave of P&S folks that could now afford a DSLR, jumped on board, and the D30/D60/10D forum was literally stuffed with complaints, issues & questions. It seemed like every other thread related to an AF issue - front focus, back focus, no focus, is this shot in focus, my focus is better than your's, etc.

There were definitely malfunctioning bodies and lenses, but most of the issues came down to user error. A lot of this was caused by not understanding AF, size of the AF sensors, motion blur vs. focus, IS, etc.

Here is a thread from 5 years ago, the OP tried to rationalize some of the issues and establish a little peace in the forum. There were too many rock throwing contests back then, and a number of posters got banned.

It's all relative.....

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