200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

Started Jun 25, 2021 | Discussions
Susurus Regular Member • Posts: 293
200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

Hi!

I am using Sony 200-600mm lens with 1.4x TC on both A9 and RIV almost from the moment the lens first became available.

I have not eperienced any focusing issues others were / are randomly describing with RIV combo. Works with A9 great as well - as expected.

However, there is a wierd issue which I have recently noticed again, and thought I would ask for some help. Maybe it is something related to the TC which never actually comes off the lens normally.

I have noticed already last year at some random points that when focusing to some object / subject which is more than ~30m far away, the camera(s) confirm focus fine in different modes, but the subject / object is kind of soft in a picture.

First, I noticed it with some wild ducks on both cameras (daytime). I think I tried variety of settings, and it might have been that switching from mech to electronic shutter helped with a few images if I remember correctly. But it could have been just my subjective thought as well.

Anyway, as cropping relatively small subject (smaller bird) so distand did not usually got any acceptable results in any case for me - I forgot about it. Anything more close works great.

This week I noticed the issue again. Few days ago I took some handheld random series of evening moon (sun was still visible). I think it was f/9, ISO100 and 1/320 (A9). All images were tack sharp, good detail.

Yesterday, just for testing I tried focusing on a distant large mobile network tower around 150m away, and I believe the outcome was acceptable as well.

However, afterwards I tried to test with a distant bird standng in a field, maybe 50m away, and, no matter what I did on my A9 - the picture was pretty soft (AF-C / tracking or single spot).

In the evening it was full moon - and I wanted few pictures with A9. This time the focus was always confirmed (also RTT or Single Spot) but the moon was kind of soft in every single picture. Settings were f/9, up to 1/500, and ISO 200-800 / handheld. I certainly understand that it is long lens, ‘slow’ shutter, higher ISO, etc., but at least few images should have been sharp. No blur mostly, just too soft. I have deleted them all.

Is anyone experiencing something similar with distant objects / subjects? Maybe some TC wierdness? Some specific settings maybe needed?

P.S. Stabilisation mode was @ 1. I could have tried manual focus maybe with ‘static’ object but did not at that point.

Sony a9
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G Pik
G Pik Contributing Member • Posts: 666
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.
5

Depending on distance could be just heat haze?

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 G Pik's gear list:G Pik's gear list
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FrenchKiss78 Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.
1

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

JerseySailor Senior Member • Posts: 1,096
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

I'm curious - what leads you to say that? Are there any documented tests on that?

 JerseySailor's gear list:JerseySailor's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 +4 more
Tristimulus Veteran Member • Posts: 9,999
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

Would suspect turbulence (air currents) to be the main problem.

Fast turbulence can soften any image and even the very best optics can not prevent that.

FrenchKiss78 Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

JerseySailor wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

I'm curious - what leads you to say that? Are there any documented tests on that?

Google is your friend.

I experienced it myself with hoya protector.

The lens front focus over 400mm 90% of the time.

Took it out "et voila".

jbuzzinco Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

The FE 200-600mm works with filters.  Using a good quality filter is important if you don't want to degrade image quality.  But saying that the lens doesn't work properly with filters is baseless.

jbuzzinco Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

Susurus wrote:

Hi!

I am using Sony 200-600mm lens with 1.4x TC on both A9 and RIV almost from the moment the lens first became available.

I have not eperienced any focusing issues others were / are randomly describing with RIV combo. Works with A9 great as well - as expected.

However, there is a wierd issue which I have recently noticed again, and thought I would ask for some help. Maybe it is something related to the TC which never actually comes off the lens normally.

I have noticed already last year at some random points that when focusing to some object / subject which is more than ~30m far away, the camera(s) confirm focus fine in different modes, but the subject / object is kind of soft in a picture.

First, I noticed it with some wild ducks on both cameras (daytime). I think I tried variety of settings, and it might have been that switching from mech to electronic shutter helped with a few images if I remember correctly. But it could have been just my subjective thought as well.

Anyway, as cropping relatively small subject (smaller bird) so distand did not usually got any acceptable results in any case for me - I forgot about it. Anything more close works great.

This week I noticed the issue again. Few days ago I took some handheld random series of evening moon (sun was still visible). I think it was f/9, ISO100 and 1/320 (A9). All images were tack sharp, good detail.

Yesterday, just for testing I tried focusing on a distant large mobile network tower around 150m away, and I believe the outcome was acceptable as well.

However, afterwards I tried to test with a distant bird standng in a field, maybe 50m away, and, no matter what I did on my A9 - the picture was pretty soft (AF-C / tracking or single spot).

In the evening it was full moon - and I wanted few pictures with A9. This time the focus was always confirmed (also RTT or Single Spot) but the moon was kind of soft in every single picture. Settings were f/9, up to 1/500, and ISO 200-800 / handheld. I certainly understand that it is long lens, ‘slow’ shutter, higher ISO, etc., but at least few images should have been sharp. No blur mostly, just too soft. I have deleted them all.

Is anyone experiencing something similar with distant objects / subjects? Maybe some TC wierdness? Some specific settings maybe needed?

P.S. Stabilisation mode was @ 1. I could have tried manual focus maybe with ‘static’ object but did not at that point.

Sounds symptomatic of heat haze.  Was the full moon near the horizon?  If so, you were shooting through more atmosphere (due to angle) and likely warmer air layers (due to proximity of ground) than if it was overhead.

FrenchKiss78 Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

jbuzzinco wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

The FE 200-600mm works with filters. Using a good quality filter is important if you don't want to degrade image quality. But saying that the lens doesn't work properly with filters is baseless.

Obviously you are a troll or something. Instead of your blabla, go buy the lens, buy a good quality filter and try it yourself.

Kalrykh Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

jbuzzinco wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

The FE 200-600mm works with filters. Using a good quality filter is important if you don't want to degrade image quality. But saying that the lens doesn't work properly with filters is baseless.

Obviously you are a troll or something. Instead of your blabla, go buy the lens, buy a good quality filter and try it yourself.

Since when is a Hoya UV filter/protector good quality glass? Why are you even using one to begin with? The extremely large/deep lens hood on the 200-600 will protect the front element far more than a Hoya and it's not like you're shooting film.

 Kalrykh's gear list:Kalrykh's gear list
Sony a1 Sony 1.4x Teleconverter (2016) Sony 2x Teleconverter (2016) Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 +2 more
jbuzzinco Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

jbuzzinco wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

The FE 200-600mm works with filters. Using a good quality filter is important if you don't want to degrade image quality. But saying that the lens doesn't work properly with filters is baseless.

Obviously you are a troll or something. Instead of your blabla, go buy the lens, buy a good quality filter and try it yourself.

Yes, obviously I must be a troll because I called you out for making blanket statements without evidence.  It truly puzzles me how filters have become such a divisive issue.

You are the one who made the claim so the onus is upon you to provide evidence to back it up.  Show us examples of failures of the FE 200-600 lens directly attributable to filter use.

Fact #1: I own the FE 200-600mm lens.

Fact #2:  I have tested many filters on this lens and others lens.

Fact #3:  Poor quality filters can and often do degrade image quality.

Fact #4:  High quality filters do not degrade image quality.

FrenchKiss78 Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

jbuzzinco wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

jbuzzinco wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

The FE 200-600mm works with filters. Using a good quality filter is important if you don't want to degrade image quality. But saying that the lens doesn't work properly with filters is baseless.

Obviously you are a troll or something. Instead of your blabla, go buy the lens, buy a good quality filter and try it yourself.

Yes, obviously I must be a troll because I called you out for making blanket statements without evidence. It truly puzzles me how filters have become such a divisive issue.

You are the one who made the claim so the onus is upon you to provide evidence to back it up. Show us examples of failures of the FE 200-600 lens directly attributable to filter use.

Fact #1: I own the FE 200-600mm lens.

Fact #2: I have tested many filters on this lens and others lens.

Fact #3: Poor quality filters can and often do degrade image quality.

Fact #4: High quality filters do not degrade image quality.

Keep your filters and lean how to use google.

The same on this forum. Click the search button.

JerseySailor Senior Member • Posts: 1,096
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

jbuzzinco wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

The FE 200-600mm works with filters. Using a good quality filter is important if you don't want to degrade image quality. But saying that the lens doesn't work properly with filters is baseless.

All of this talk about filter crapping out the 200-600mm lens drove me to shoot some test shots today, with and without the UV filter, with both autofocus and manual focus. The setup is shown here:

Setup shot with 55mm lens, showing target window 575' away

The camera was tripod mounted, Steady Shot off, remote shutter release to minimize vibration, five pound weight hanging on tripod to add stability. All shots at 1/1000 sec, F9.5, ISO 1600, 200-600mm G lens with Sony 1.4TC. Kitchen window was open to avoid shooting through the window. No post processing other than cropping.

Test photos were shot with both manual focus and auto focus, both with no UV filter, and with a $155 B&W F-Pro UV Haze 1X MRC. As you can see, there was little difference in detail between shots with or without the filter. Of course this was a high end, expensive filter. If you use a cheap junky filter, expect junky photos. In all four photos, you could even tell if the window lock was open or closed - from a 10th of a mile away!

Here are the results:

100% Crop - No Filter - Auto Focus.jpg

100% Crop - No Filter - Manual Focus.jpg

100% Crop - With Filter - Auto Focus.jpg

100% Crop - With Filter - Manual Focus.jpg

 JerseySailor's gear list:JerseySailor's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 +4 more
JerseySailor Senior Member • Posts: 1,096
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

Obviously you are a troll or something. Instead of your blabla, go buy the lens, buy a good quality filter and try it yourself.

FrenchKiss - it is time for you to back off, stop thinking that you know it all, and then calling other members 'trolls'.

In your post above, you accused the prior poster of not owning the 200-600mm lens, but if you had simply taken the time to look at jbuzzinco's gear list, you would have seen that he already owns the lens, so he is talking from first-hand experience.

I also note that while other posters to the thread have shown us their gear list, you have kept yours hidden. Would you care to share that with us - the way the other posters have?

 JerseySailor's gear list:JerseySailor's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 +4 more
Kalrykh Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

JerseySailor wrote:

jbuzzinco wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

The FE 200-600mm works with filters. Using a good quality filter is important if you don't want to degrade image quality. But saying that the lens doesn't work properly with filters is baseless.

All of this talk about filter crapping out the 200-600mm lens drove me to shoot some test shots today, with and without the UV filter, with both autofocus and manual focus. The setup is shown here:

Setup shot with 55mm lens, showing target window 575' away

The camera was tripod mounted, Steady Shot off, remote shutter release to minimize vibration, five pound weight hanging on tripod to add stability. All shots at 1/1000 sec, F9.5, ISO 1600, 200-600mm G lens with Sony 1.4TC. Kitchen window was open to avoid shooting through the window. No post processing other than cropping.

Test photos were shot with both manual focus and auto focus, both with no UV filter, and with a $155 B&W F-Pro UV Haze 1X MRC. As you can see, there was little difference in detail between shots with or without the filter. Of course this was a high end, expensive filter. If you use a cheap junky filter, expect junky photos. In all four photos, you could even tell if the window lock was open or closed - from a 10th of a mile away!

Here are the results:

100% Crop - No Filter - Auto Focus.jpg

100% Crop - No Filter - Manual Focus.jpg

100% Crop - With Filter - Auto Focus.jpg

100% Crop - With Filter - Manual Focus.jpg

Judging by the setup pic, I think you forgot to remove the rear lens cap and attach the lens to your camera

 Kalrykh's gear list:Kalrykh's gear list
Sony a1 Sony 1.4x Teleconverter (2016) Sony 2x Teleconverter (2016) Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 +2 more
FrenchKiss78 Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

JerseySailor wrote:

jbuzzinco wrote:

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

If you are using a filter, take it out. This lens AF simply cant work properly with one.

Heat haze lurs the AF on the distance, especialy close to the ground.

The FE 200-600mm works with filters. Using a good quality filter is important if you don't want to degrade image quality. But saying that the lens doesn't work properly with filters is baseless.

All of this talk about filter crapping out the 200-600mm lens drove me to shoot some test shots today, with and without the UV filter, with both autofocus and manual focus. The setup is shown here:

Setup shot with 55mm lens, showing target window 575' away

The camera was tripod mounted, Steady Shot off, remote shutter release to minimize vibration, five pound weight hanging on tripod to add stability. All shots at 1/1000 sec, F9.5, ISO 1600, 200-600mm G lens with Sony 1.4TC. Kitchen window was open to avoid shooting through the window. No post processing other than cropping.

Test photos were shot with both manual focus and auto focus, both with no UV filter, and with a $155 B&W F-Pro UV Haze 1X MRC. As you can see, there was little difference in detail between shots with or without the filter. Of course this was a high end, expensive filter. If you use a cheap junky filter, expect junky photos. In all four photos, you could even tell if the window lock was open or closed - from a 10th of a mile away!

Here are the results:

100% Crop - No Filter - Auto Focus.jpg

100% Crop - No Filter - Manual Focus.jpg

100% Crop - With Filter - Auto Focus.jpg

100% Crop - With Filter - Manual Focus.jpg

Great test but the point is using filters for fast action or bif. That is where the filter is messing with the AF.

JerseySailor Senior Member • Posts: 1,096
Re: 200600mm +1.4x TC @ infinity focus - Sharpness issues.

FrenchKiss78 wrote:

Great test but the point is using filters for fast action or bif. That is where the filter is messing with the AF.

So, now you are changing your claim that filters are never any good, to now, claiming just no good on fast action and BIF? You keep pushing your no-filter claim, but never offer any proof whatsoever. Why do you keep doing that, posing as a know-it-all, and demeaning other posters, while showing no evidence to your claims?

I posted test photos shot with both manual and automatic focus, and found no problem with either one. On the other hand, you keep claiming AF doesn't work with a filter, with no proof. Please offer some evidence if you've got any proof.

If you have some real information and tests to post, please do post then here. We'd love to see it. If not however, it is time for you to stop this nonsense.

Also, why do you still not post your gear list? Could it be because you are still just shooting with a Kodak Instamatic, while posing as an expert on our high-end Sony cameras and lenses?

 JerseySailor's gear list:JerseySailor's gear list
Sony a7R IV Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 +4 more
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