RF 70-200 focus issue?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Colin46 Senior Member • Posts: 1,385
RF 70-200 focus issue?

Sorry for starting a new thread on this but I’m curious and my question would have gotten lost in other threads.

can anyone tell me what they are actually shooting in real world situations at 200mm f2.8 at minimum focus distance of 70 centimetres from the focal plane to see this “potential” issue, this lens focuses 50cm closer than any other 70-200 on the market.

this puts the front of the lens, especially with the hood attached, very close to the subject.

ive used this lens now since it’s day of release and I’ve not had any issues in real world situations, it’s tack sharp, fast and very accurate.

im not into shooting test targets, there are quite a few lenses out there ( another being the Nikon 24-70 f2.5e vr ) that have problems in test environments but in the real world they are superb.

not saying people are wrong but I think the real world situation of shooting at  200mm at f2.8 at mfd is limited.

 Colin46's gear list:Colin46's gear list
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Franz Kerschbaum Contributing Member • Posts: 638
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

If you do "half macro" shoots with it say part of flower should be in exact focus or the eyes of an small critt5er then you wil noticve since it places the focus some 5-8mm forward. Its not a lab issue. I also wait for news/updates.

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OP Colin46 Senior Member • Posts: 1,385
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

Franz Kerschbaum wrote:

If you do "half macro" shoots with it say part of flower should be in exact focus or the eyes of an small critt5er then you wil noticve since it places the focus some 5-8mm forward. Its not a lab issue. I also wait for news/updates.

But is it the right lens for this type of shoot?

its only about a 1/4 macro

 Colin46's gear list:Colin46's gear list
Nikon D500 Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Nikon D850 Canon EOS R Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +16 more
expro Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

100% agree with you. So now a 70-200 is meant to be macro! Which even from a dof issue is a non starter....

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 15,961
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

The 100-400 II can be used as a macro lens (even though not 1:1), see, e.g., this shot:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57432053

You do not always carry all of your lenses...

expro Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

Can. Not should.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 15,961
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

expro wrote:

Can. Not should.

You should not buy that lens either.

OP Colin46 Senior Member • Posts: 1,385
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?
1

J A C S wrote:

The 100-400 II can be used as a macro lens (even though not 1:1), see, e.g., this shot:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57432053

You do not always carry all of your lenses...

Yes it can with compromises

if you intend to shoot macro nothing will stand up to a dedicated macro lens

 Colin46's gear list:Colin46's gear list
Nikon D500 Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Nikon D850 Canon EOS R Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +16 more
sfnorton Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?
1

Colin46 wrote:

Sorry for starting a new thread on this but I’m curious and my question would have gotten lost in other threads.

can anyone tell me what they are actually shooting in real world situations at 200mm f2.8 at minimum focus distance of 70 centimetres from the focal plane to see this “potential” issue, this lens focuses 50cm closer than any other 70-200 on the market.

this puts the front of the lens, especially with the hood attached, very close to the subject.

ive used this lens now since it’s day of release and I’ve not had any issues in real world situations, it’s tack sharp, fast and very accurate.

im not into shooting test targets, there are quite a few lenses out there ( another being the Nikon 24-70 f2.5e vr ) that have problems in test environments but in the real world they are superb.

not saying people are wrong but I think the real world situation of shooting at 200mm at f2.8 at mfd is limited.

It's totally real. If a $2700 lens can't focus at it's specified, advertised MFD then it's a huge issue for me.  My lens definitely exhibits this issue and I'm hoping for a firmware solution from Canon before my return window expires.  If no fix comes soon I'll return it and wait until it gets sorted then buy again.  It's potentially a great lens, and I have some faith that Canon will be able to address it.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 15,961
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

Colin46 wrote:

J A C S wrote:

The 100-400 II can be used as a macro lens (even though not 1:1), see, e.g., this shot:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57432053

You do not always carry all of your lenses...

Yes it can with compromises

if you intend to shoot macro nothing will stand up to a dedicated macro lens

If you intend to shoot telephoto, nothing beats lenses like the 400/2.8, 600/4 etc., but people use the 100-400 more often.

OP Colin46 Senior Member • Posts: 1,385
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?
1

J A C S wrote:

Colin46 wrote:

J A C S wrote:

The 100-400 II can be used as a macro lens (even though not 1:1), see, e.g., this shot:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57432053

You do not always carry all of your lenses...

Yes it can with compromises

if you intend to shoot macro nothing will stand up to a dedicated macro lens

If you intend to shoot telephoto, nothing beats lenses like the 400/2.8, 600/4 etc., but people use the 100-400 more often.

That argument doesn’t make any sense because the 100-400 is a telephoto lens like the 400 and 600 and all three lenses have the same intended purpose. Nothing does beat the 400 and 600 but not many can afford them

 Colin46's gear list:Colin46's gear list
Nikon D500 Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Nikon D850 Canon EOS R Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +16 more
NoTicket Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?
3

Colin46 wrote:

Sorry for starting a new thread on this but I’m curious and my question would have gotten lost in other threads.

can anyone tell me what they are actually shooting in real world situations at 200mm f2.8 at minimum focus distance of 70 centimetres from the focal plane to see this “potential” issue, this lens focuses 50cm closer than any other 70-200 on the market.

this puts the front of the lens, especially with the hood attached, very close to the subject.

ive used this lens now since it’s day of release and I’ve not had any issues in real world situations, it’s tack sharp, fast and very accurate.

im not into shooting test targets, there are quite a few lenses out there ( another being the Nikon 24-70 f2.5e vr ) that have problems in test environments but in the real world they are superb.

not saying people are wrong but I think the real world situation of shooting at 200mm at f2.8 at mfd is limited.

First, I’ll answer your question about what shots I’m seeing the issue in on my own lens:

Close up portraits.

Detail shots.

Pretty much all portraits.

Now, let’s set the record straight on what the problem is:

The RF 70-200 f/2.8 front focuses consistently at all focal lengths and at all distances. There is a whole pile of photos on fredmiranda showing the issue.

I personally did a series at 70 and at 200 starting at MFD and backing away from the target. And the lens always consistently front focused.

Now the reason it isn’t as much of an issue at further distance or with shorter focal lengths is that the depth of field is long enough at these ranges that the part you were autofocusing on is always acceptably in focus, even tho the zone of critical focus is in front of it.

So, why is this an issue?
Because images shot with the RF 70-200 taken about 1 meter from the subject using autofocus always appear significantly softer than the EF variants. This is especially true when using face or eye autofocus.

When shooting portraits at 85mm the eye will be in crisp focus on the EF and it will be soft on the RF.

If this is acceptable to you, then that’s great. Enjoy the lens and don’t worry about it!

As for me, I am going to be returning my lens before the return window closes depending on the outcome of the user on fredmiranda who is waiting on Canon to fix his lens at the service center.

This choice will be up to the user. I think though that it is unlikely you’ll see this lens sell well unless it’s fixed by Canon. It is the most expensive 70-200 on the market, and it should at a minimum offer autofocus precision on par with the $1000 cheaper EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS III.

OP Colin46 Senior Member • Posts: 1,385
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?
2

NoTicket wrote:

Colin46 wrote:

Sorry for starting a new thread on this but I’m curious and my question would have gotten lost in other threads.

can anyone tell me what they are actually shooting in real world situations at 200mm f2.8 at minimum focus distance of 70 centimetres from the focal plane to see this “potential” issue, this lens focuses 50cm closer than any other 70-200 on the market.

this puts the front of the lens, especially with the hood attached, very close to the subject.

ive used this lens now since it’s day of release and I’ve not had any issues in real world situations, it’s tack sharp, fast and very accurate.

im not into shooting test targets, there are quite a few lenses out there ( another being the Nikon 24-70 f2.5e vr ) that have problems in test environments but in the real world they are superb.

not saying people are wrong but I think the real world situation of shooting at 200mm at f2.8 at mfd is limited.

First, I’ll answer your question about what shots I’m seeing the issue in on my own lens:

Close up portraits.

Detail shots.

Pretty much all portraits.

Now, let’s set the record straight on what the problem is:

The RF 70-200 f/2.8 front focuses consistently at all focal lengths and at all distances. There is a whole pile of photos on fredmiranda showing the issue.

I personally did a series at 70 and at 200 starting at MFD and backing away from the target. And the lens always consistently front focused.

Now the reason it isn’t as much of an issue at further distance or with shorter focal lengths is that the depth of field is long enough at these ranges that the part you were autofocusing on is always acceptably in focus, even tho the zone of critical focus is in front of it.

So, why is this an issue?
Because images shot with the RF 70-200 taken about 1 meter from the subject using autofocus always appear significantly softer than the EF variants. This is especially true when using face or eye autofocus.

When shooting portraits at 85mm the eye will be in crisp focus on the EF and it will be soft on the RF.

If this is acceptable to you, then that’s great. Enjoy the lens and don’t worry about it!

As for me, I am going to be returning my lens before the return window closes depending on the outcome of the user on fredmiranda who is waiting on Canon to fix his lens at the service center.

This choice will be up to the user. I think though that it is unlikely you’ll see this lens sell well unless it’s fixed by Canon. It is the most expensive 70-200 on the market, and it should at a minimum offer autofocus precision on par with the $1000 cheaper EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS III.

Is I’ve said above I’ve now used this lens for portraits and weddings over the last few weeks without issue,  Eyes are tack sharp and the equal to my 70-200 III and Nikon 70-200 fl. I hope you get yours fixed

 Colin46's gear list:Colin46's gear list
Nikon D500 Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Nikon D850 Canon EOS R Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM +16 more
NoTicket Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

Colin46 wrote:

NoTicket wrote:

Colin46 wrote:

Sorry for starting a new thread on this but I’m curious and my question would have gotten lost in other threads.

can anyone tell me what they are actually shooting in real world situations at 200mm f2.8 at minimum focus distance of 70 centimetres from the focal plane to see this “potential” issue, this lens focuses 50cm closer than any other 70-200 on the market.

this puts the front of the lens, especially with the hood attached, very close to the subject.

ive used this lens now since it’s day of release and I’ve not had any issues in real world situations, it’s tack sharp, fast and very accurate.

im not into shooting test targets, there are quite a few lenses out there ( another being the Nikon 24-70 f2.5e vr ) that have problems in test environments but in the real world they are superb.

not saying people are wrong but I think the real world situation of shooting at 200mm at f2.8 at mfd is limited.

First, I’ll answer your question about what shots I’m seeing the issue in on my own lens:

Close up portraits.

Detail shots.

Pretty much all portraits.

Now, let’s set the record straight on what the problem is:

The RF 70-200 f/2.8 front focuses consistently at all focal lengths and at all distances. There is a whole pile of photos on fredmiranda showing the issue.

I personally did a series at 70 and at 200 starting at MFD and backing away from the target. And the lens always consistently front focused.

Now the reason it isn’t as much of an issue at further distance or with shorter focal lengths is that the depth of field is long enough at these ranges that the part you were autofocusing on is always acceptably in focus, even tho the zone of critical focus is in front of it.

So, why is this an issue?
Because images shot with the RF 70-200 taken about 1 meter from the subject using autofocus always appear significantly softer than the EF variants. This is especially true when using face or eye autofocus.

When shooting portraits at 85mm the eye will be in crisp focus on the EF and it will be soft on the RF.

If this is acceptable to you, then that’s great. Enjoy the lens and don’t worry about it!

As for me, I am going to be returning my lens before the return window closes depending on the outcome of the user on fredmiranda who is waiting on Canon to fix his lens at the service center.

This choice will be up to the user. I think though that it is unlikely you’ll see this lens sell well unless it’s fixed by Canon. It is the most expensive 70-200 on the market, and it should at a minimum offer autofocus precision on par with the $1000 cheaper EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS III.

Is I’ve said above I’ve now used this lens for portraits and weddings over the last few weeks without issue, Eyes are tack sharp and the equal to my 70-200 III and Nikon 70-200 fl. I hope you get yours fixed

At this point given that every single person that has tested it has found the exact same result, I am inclined to believe yours also has the same issue unless you have evidence to the contrary.

Thankfully Amazon has a very generous return window during christmas. So Canon has a while to issue a fix.

expro Senior Member • Posts: 1,923
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

Makes me think it is the R af not the lens.... but I thought the new update had sorted this?

NoTicket Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?
2

expro wrote:

Makes me think it is the R af not the lens.... but I thought the new update had sorted this?

It is only happening with this lens. I think it is some preprogrammed focus offset that should be fixable via firmware.

Bhotoz Senior Member • Posts: 1,269
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

Colin46 wrote:

J A C S wrote:

The 100-400 II can be used as a macro lens (even though not 1:1), see, e.g., this shot:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57432053

You do not always carry all of your lenses...

Yes it can with compromises

if you intend to shoot macro nothing will stand up to a dedicated macro lens

I've had RF 70-200 over a week, but haven't tested how it behaves at mfd @2.8, because I've shoot just sports and some portraits with it so far. Very happy with the results from greater distance @2.8, no problems!

What comes to macro / close-up shooting, that I also love to shoot, mainly in the summer. I would never shoot dragonflies, butterflies etc. @f2.8, front focusing or not, because I want more dof and see details properly. But I do agree that lens should focus correctly at mfd also, although it won't be a big issue in my use with this lens. Have to test my lens too.

Franz Kerschbaum Contributing Member • Posts: 638
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?
1

Is is the right? What a question.  Within the offered focusing range it has to function properly. Full stop.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS M6 Canon EOS R +16 more
J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 15,961
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?
1

Colin46 wrote:

J A C S wrote:

Colin46 wrote:

J A C S wrote:

The 100-400 II can be used as a macro lens (even though not 1:1), see, e.g., this shot:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57432053

You do not always carry all of your lenses...

Yes it can with compromises

if you intend to shoot macro nothing will stand up to a dedicated macro lens

If you intend to shoot telephoto, nothing beats lenses like the 400/2.8, 600/4 etc., but people use the 100-400 more often.

That argument doesn’t make any sense because the 100-400 is a telephoto lens like the 400 and 600 and all three lenses have the same intended purpose. Nothing does beat the 400 and 600 but not many can afford them

And the macro lenses are primes, so they cannot replace a zoom; and you have to pay extra for them and carry them. It was the same non-sense argument as yours.

michaelbs Senior Member • Posts: 2,740
Re: RF 70-200 focus issue?

It's totally real. If a $2700 lens can't focus at it's specified, advertised MFD then it's a huge issue for me. My lens definitely exhibits this issue and I'm hoping for a firmware solution from Canon before my return window expires. If no fix comes soon I'll return it and wait until it gets sorted then buy again. It's potentially a great lens, and I have some faith that Canon will be able to address it.

There is a Firmware update out.

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/details/lenses/ef/telephoto-zoom/rf-70-200mm-f2-8-l-is-usm

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Michael
Some of my pics:
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