100-400mmL II - an issue with streaks in bokeh (PICS)

Started Apr 10, 2017 | Discussions
gabbybraveheart Regular Member • Posts: 153
Re: Filter
1

I posted this problem several years ago shooting a 7d and 70-200 2.8L IS, Several members suggested losing the protective filter, I did and no more problem.

Sudhakar Ravindranath New Member • Posts: 7
Re: 100-400mmL II - an issue with streaks in bokeh (PICS)

I have the same problem for my Nikon D5300 mounted with Sigma 150-600mm lens. Started investigating and happened upon your post. Learning a few things from the replies here. Will revert after testing the various suggestions.

Lhedden New Member • Posts: 4
Re: 100-400mmL II - an issue with streaks in bokeh (PICS)

I have the same lens and have the exact same results. I think it may be light bouncing off the lens retaining rings. If you hold the lens up to a light source at different focal lengths and focusing distances your see light bouncing off these rings at the side of the lens.

if it were stabilization issues it would affect in focus as well as out of focus area. It only appears in out of focus areas. It doesn’t happen all the time and varies with light intensity and light angle. It really makes for some weird backgrounds. I don’t believe I have seen it in out of focus areas in front of the focused subject, only behind it.

I’ve also got little speculate highlights that should be round solid circles but are instead what is best described as wagon wheels with spokes sticking out from the edge of the wheels. I’ve probably owned 25 Canon lenses over the years and never seen anything like this.

Marco Nero
OP Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 7,131
Possible resolvement of issue...
2

Lhedden wrote:

I have the same lens and have the exact same results. I think it may be light bouncing off the lens retaining rings. If you hold the lens up to a light source at different focal lengths and focusing distances your see light bouncing off these rings at the side of the lens.

What camera were you using? Did the filter used have any bearing on the effect?

if it were stabilization issues it would affect in focus as well as out of focus area. It only appears in out of focus areas. It doesn’t happen all the time and varies with light intensity and light angle. It really makes for some weird backgrounds. I don’t believe I have seen it in out of focus areas in front of the focused subject, only behind it.

Recap

Recap

Recap

I’ve also got little speculate highlights that should be round solid circles but are instead what is best described as wagon wheels with spokes sticking out from the edge of the wheels. I’ve probably owned 25 Canon lenses over the years and never seen anything like this.

Since changing the filter to a higher quality one (something this particular lens appears to be sensitive to), I've no experienced any problems. So with a Full Frame camera with a good quality filter there were no problems. But using a poor quality filter on an APS-C body produced the aberrations shown in the original post.
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Swapping the cheap filter (which was on there by mistake since I was supposed to be shooting on a beach that day) out for a better quality one, the images no longer showed streaks in the bokeh.  Both times the same standard IS was active and camera lens was mounted to a Mono-pod for added stability.  Yet the recent shots displayed no artifacts in the Bokeh.  I've also experimented with both the EF 1.4x III and the EF 2x III Extenders without incident.  The only unique difference was the use of an inexpensive UV filter that I had purchased to avoid salt buildup on the lens near the ocean.  I had intended to throw these filters away after use.  But on the first day of shooting my plans changed and I ended up in a park where I shot the images above... neglecting to swap over filters.
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This sensitivity to poor quality filters by this specific lens has been reported by many other users elsewhere on the internet. My best guess is that this was the cause of my own issues.
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Examples from same M6 camera (with higher quality filter) + same EF 100-400mmL II lens below: Note that the issue of streaks in the bokeh is no longer present.
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New - with better UV filter

New - with better UV filter

New - with better UV filter

New - with better UV filter

New - with better UV filter

New - with better UV filter

New - with better UV filter

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Regards,
Marco Nero.

 Marco Nero's gear list:Marco Nero's gear list
Canon EOS M6 Canon EOS Ra Canon EOS R6 Canon EF-M 32mm F1.4 Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM +20 more
MuzzaAus Senior Member • Posts: 2,070
Re: Possible resolvement of issue...
2

Hi Marco,

It has been a long time since I have communicated with you on the Eos M forum. I am mostly using DSLRs with the same lens ( EF 100-400mm L IS II) I occasionally would get this effect when I had an out of focus branch cross the bird I was tracking. I am really liking the 90D combo. I am keeping a close eye on the M6 mark ii.Have you tried it for BIF? I have always enjoyed your thorough comments and great photos.Here are a few from N.Qld

Cheers

Murray

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Noisy Friarbird

Common Ringtail Possum

Baillon's Crake (Quite rare )

Pelican

I like the detail using this combo

Red Backed Fairy Wren

Nankeen Night Heron

Nankeen Night Heron

Masked Lapwing

1Dx4me
1Dx4me Forum Pro • Posts: 11,140
Re: Possible resolvement of issue...

some of those birds are sure strange looking but nice photography

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You miss 100 percent of the shots you didn't take!!! "Wayne Gretzky"

Lhedden New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Possible resolvement of issue...

Marco I am using it with the Canon EOS R. I’ve taken the filter off, turned off stabilization. Done everything I can think of. Nothing corrects it. It generally only happens when I have mostly vertical reeds or small branches that are mostly out of the depth of field range. They can be in front of the plane of focus or behind it. It is very annoying and difficult to deal with in post production. My particular lens is extremely sharp but this bokeh totally detracts from the subject a lot of times. 
I live in Florida and where I mainly shoot is scenes that are mostly made up of the items that cause the bokeh problems.

Marco Nero
OP Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 7,131
To: Lhedden - Re: EOS R with same issue...

Lhedden wrote:

Marco I am using it with the Canon EOS R. I’ve taken the filter off, turned off stabilization. Done everything I can think of. Nothing corrects it. It generally only happens when I have mostly vertical reeds or small branches that are mostly out of the depth of field range. They can be in front of the plane of focus or behind it. It is very annoying and difficult to deal with in post production. My particular lens is extremely sharp but this bokeh totally detracts from the subject a lot of times.
I live in Florida and where I mainly shoot is scenes that are mostly made up of the items that cause the bokeh problems.

Canon recently admitted that their mirrorless cameras "may" have a problem with the Ultrasonic Motors on USM lenses. They mentioned something about STM motors being better for their mirrorless models and that USM motors appeared to produce an optical issue. This may account for our collective experiences.  I'm currently using mine with a stacked Hoya UV and CPL filter that are mounted to the front of the lens together.  I'm still not noticing any problems since changing the UV filter to a better quality one.
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Are your images from the EOS R similar in effect to the problems I was having?  If you experimented with the Stabilizer and Filter yet it's still happening, what happens when you turn the AF off altogether?

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Regards,
Marco Nero.

 Marco Nero's gear list:Marco Nero's gear list
Canon EOS M6 Canon EOS Ra Canon EOS R6 Canon EF-M 32mm F1.4 Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM +20 more
Lhedden New Member • Posts: 4
Re: To: Lhedden - Re: EOS R with same issue...

I have found that using manual focus with focus peaking turned on gives me more accurate and consistent focus so I focus manually for the birds. Putting the focus box on the birds head many times ignores the birds head and focuses on what is behind the bird. I’ve still had the same issues with manual focus, it’s maddening trying to figure what the true cause is. I’ve used Canon lenses and cameras since 1973 so I’ve made the journey from FD manual lenses to where we are now and never had any issues until I got this lens. If it weren’t so sharp I’d sell it. It’s excellent and I really want to use it.

Lhedden New Member • Posts: 4
Re: To: Lhedden - Re: EOS R with same issue...

Marco Nero wrote:

Lhedden wrote:

Marco I am using it with the Canon EOS R. I’ve taken the filter off, turned off stabilization. Done everything I can think of. Nothing corrects it. It generally only happens when I have mostly vertical reeds or small branches that are mostly out of the depth of field range. They can be in front of the plane of focus or behind it. It is very annoying and difficult to deal with in post production. My particular lens is extremely sharp but this bokeh totally detracts from the subject a lot of times.
I live in Florida and where I mainly shoot is scenes that are mostly made up of the items that cause the bokeh problems.

Canon recently admitted that their mirrorless cameras "may" have a problem with the Ultrasonic Motors on USM lenses. They mentioned something about STM motors being better for their mirrorless models and that USM motors appeared to produce an optical issue. This may account for our collective experiences. I'm currently using mine with a stacked Hoya UV and CPL filter that are mounted to the front of the lens together. I'm still not noticing any problems since changing the UV filter to a better quality one.
.
Are your images from the EOS R similar in effect to the problems I was having? If you experimented with the Stabilizer and Filter yet it's still happening, what happens when you turn the AF off altogether?

As far as the USM motors I’ve used most of my other EF lenses with no problems at all. The effects I’m having with the 100-400 are exactly like your results. I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t isolate the issue, other than it is only visible with mostly vertical lines that are possibly 50-100 feet from the camera and only things that are not in focus or close to the zone of focus. The in focus subject is sharp as could be asked for so it seems to me it’s no sort of vibration. Vibration would affect the entire image, so there would be nothing sharp. I’ve recently bought the 24-240 and there are no issues with it at all.

Victor Engel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,293
Re: To: Lhedden - Re: EOS R with same issue...

Lhedden wrote:

Marco Nero wrote:

Lhedden wrote:

Marco I am using it with the Canon EOS R. I’ve taken the filter off, turned off stabilization. Done everything I can think of. Nothing corrects it. It generally only happens when I have mostly vertical reeds or small branches that are mostly out of the depth of field range. They can be in front of the plane of focus or behind it. It is very annoying and difficult to deal with in post production. My particular lens is extremely sharp but this bokeh totally detracts from the subject a lot of times.
I live in Florida and where I mainly shoot is scenes that are mostly made up of the items that cause the bokeh problems.

Canon recently admitted that their mirrorless cameras "may" have a problem with the Ultrasonic Motors on USM lenses. They mentioned something about STM motors being better for their mirrorless models and that USM motors appeared to produce an optical issue. This may account for our collective experiences. I'm currently using mine with a stacked Hoya UV and CPL filter that are mounted to the front of the lens together. I'm still not noticing any problems since changing the UV filter to a better quality one.
.
Are your images from the EOS R similar in effect to the problems I was having? If you experimented with the Stabilizer and Filter yet it's still happening, what happens when you turn the AF off altogether?

As far as the USM motors I’ve used most of my other EF lenses with no problems at all. The effects I’m having with the 100-400 are exactly like your results. I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t isolate the issue, other than it is only visible with mostly vertical lines that are possibly 50-100 feet from the camera and only things that are not in focus or close to the zone of focus. The in focus subject is sharp as could be asked for so it seems to me it’s no sort of vibration. Vibration would affect the entire image, so there would be nothing sharp. I’ve recently bought the 24-240 and there are no issues with it at all.

If it really is a USM motor issue, then you should not see the problem when using manual focus and your are not adjusting focus. That would seem to be confirmable with a simple test. Some information about USM here: http://dougkerr.net/Pumpkin/articles/Canon_USM.pdf

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Victor Engel

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Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 600D Canon EOS 5DS Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II +13 more
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