FE SEL24-105 soft focus

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
JERumball
JERumball Junior Member • Posts: 26
FE SEL24-105 soft focus

I just got a brand new 24-105 for my A7R3 but I find the images are not nearly as sharp as I expected.

I am shooting people, primarily with the camera on a tripod, with OSS disabled on the lens.  I've used various modes and the results are the same.  I usually shoot at f8, ISO100 and 1/200s or 1/250s using the Godox AD200s to light my subjects.

This is really my first full frame lens for the A7R3.  Prior to this I have used a Zeiss 16-70 f/4 lens exclusively and have not run into this problem.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

John

Photographer124 Regular Member • Posts: 432
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

JERumball wrote:

I just got a brand new 24-105 for my A7R3 but I find the images are not nearly as sharp as I expected.

I am shooting people, primarily with the camera on a tripod, with OSS disabled on the lens. I've used various modes and the results are the same. I usually shoot at f8, ISO100 and 1/200s or 1/250s using the Godox AD200s to light my subjects.

This is really my first full frame lens for the A7R3. Prior to this I have used a Zeiss 16-70 f/4 lens exclusively and have not run into this problem.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

John

Show us some samples. I am not overly excited about the sharpness of that lens, but it definitely is not a soft lens... should be plenty sharp, unless you missed focus.

I stopped using it since I bought the Tamron 28-200.

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JERumball
OP JERumball Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
1

OK so here's one example from yesterday.  f/8 , 1/250s ISO 200 at 105mm.

Jersey is in focus but face goes soft... eyes are not sharp... at least to me they are not.

Thanks.

John

VisionLight
VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 6,143
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
4

JERumball wrote:

OK so here's one example from yesterday. f/8 , 1/250s ISO 200 at 105mm.

Jersey is in focus but face goes soft... eyes are not sharp... at least to me they are not.

Thanks.

John

The sharpest focus appears to be on the waist level glove. Even at f8, at 105mm I can understand there being some softness in the facial area. Was your focus point on the eyes/face or in the center of the image?

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SQLGuy
SQLGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,871
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

Looks to be about 20 feet to the subject. That should give you a good 3 feet behind the focus point that's still "acceptable" focus. But the focus point is always going to be sharpest. Look to me like the focus is on his right glove.

Maybe use one of the tools to check the focus point (Soens is one, I think). If it shows the focus point as being on the eye or face then there's a problem with the camera or lens.

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MattPointZero
MattPointZero Senior Member • Posts: 1,752
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
1

JERumball wrote:

I just got a brand new 24-105 for my A7R3 but I find the images are not nearly as sharp as I expected.

I am shooting people, primarily with the camera on a tripod, with OSS disabled on the lens. I've used various modes and the results are the same. I usually shoot at f8, ISO100 and 1/200s or 1/250s using the Godox AD200s to light my subjects.

This is really my first full frame lens for the A7R3. Prior to this I have used a Zeiss 16-70 f/4 lens exclusively and have not run into this problem.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

John

I assume you have image stabilisation off on the body as well as the lens?

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Tristimulus Veteran Member • Posts: 9,542
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
2

SQLGuy wrote:

Looks to be about 20 feet to the subject. That should give you a good 3 feet behind the focus point that's still "acceptable" focus. But the focus point is always going to be sharpest. Look to me like the focus is on his right glove.

So no soft focus. Simply out of focus.

Maybe use one of the tools to check the focus point (Soens is one, I think). If it shows the focus point as being on the eye or face then there's a problem with the camera or lens.

Try eye focus (choosing and setting up the right focus settings can be a bit daunting but find what works for you - and stick to it).

moficera Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
1

MattPointZero wrote:

JERumball wrote:

I just got a brand new 24-105 for my A7R3 but I find the images are not nearly as sharp as I expected.

I am shooting people, primarily with the camera on a tripod, with OSS disabled on the lens. I've used various modes and the results are the same. I usually shoot at f8, ISO100 and 1/200s or 1/250s using the Godox AD200s to light my subjects.

This is really my first full frame lens for the A7R3. Prior to this I have used a Zeiss 16-70 f/4 lens exclusively and have not run into this problem.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

John

I assume you have image stabilisation off on the body as well as the lens?

Image stabilization switch on the lens controlls both, OSS and IBIS cannot be activated independently.

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MattPointZero
MattPointZero Senior Member • Posts: 1,752
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

moficera wrote:

MattPointZero wrote:

JERumball wrote:

I just got a brand new 24-105 for my A7R3 but I find the images are not nearly as sharp as I expected.

I am shooting people, primarily with the camera on a tripod, with OSS disabled on the lens. I've used various modes and the results are the same. I usually shoot at f8, ISO100 and 1/200s or 1/250s using the Godox AD200s to light my subjects.

This is really my first full frame lens for the A7R3. Prior to this I have used a Zeiss 16-70 f/4 lens exclusively and have not run into this problem.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

John

I assume you have image stabilisation off on the body as well as the lens?

Image stabilization switch on the lens controlls both, OSS and IBIS cannot be activated independently.

Ah, I didn't know that!  I don't usually have OSS lenses, but have just got a 24-105, so that's useful information, thanks

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Lan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,563
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

Probably a settings issue; it looks like the AF point is the centre of the frame not on the eyes?

Enable Eye AF if you haven't already, and personally I'd suggest making sure that AF priority is set to AF.

One outside chance; there was a recall on some early batches of the SEL24105G:

https://www.sony.co.th/en/electronics/support/articles/00195593

Apologies for using the Sony Thailand link; it was the only one that I could immediately find that still works...

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,452
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

I would have used 85MM

Photographer124 Regular Member • Posts: 432
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
2

JERumball wrote:

OK so here's one example from yesterday. f/8 , 1/250s ISO 200 at 105mm.

Jersey is in focus but face goes soft... eyes are not sharp... at least to me they are not.

Thanks.

John

To me the image looks sharp on the focus point, the glove.. His face is purely out of focus, and  also slight image blur. The kids just moved slightly, but his glove stayed put.

I don't think the lens is defective, just from seeing this image. More info is needed... as others said, try to focus on the eyes with eyeAF.

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JERumball
OP JERumball Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

Thank you for posting this link. I verified that my lens is not a part of this recall.

EyeAF was enabled at the time.

Thanks to the other person who referred me to the A7Info application. It reveals that for this image, the focus point was indeed on his left cheek/eye area.

Another person suggested that the player moved during the exposure... he's standing still and its unlikely that he moved even slightly. Besides, the strobes would have frozen him in place due to their brief duration.  Next time I will try high speed sync to rule this out absolutely.

By the way, I have many images from this session with the same problem... it's not just one image I'm having the problem with.

Thanks to everyone who commented thus far... I really appreciate it.

William Curtindale
William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 9,503
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

I also would not be satisfied with the soft focus (or out of focus) on the face and eyes (especially on that type of photo).

Is this a one-off event (talking about the focus sharpness of the posted image at your settings)? Have you shot several images of other subjects with the same settings and 105mm and obtained similar results (at 105mm f/8)?

I use my FE 24-105mm G on my A7C and have not noticed the softness you have pointed out (all though probably not at your exact settings). I will do a few shots today to see if sharp or soft at 105mm and f/8. I already know my FE 24-105mm G is very sharp at other zoom settings (even with a much wider open aperture).

I enjoy the A7C / FE 24-105mm G combo for many types of photography.

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SQLGuy
SQLGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,871
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

JERumball wrote:

Thank you for posting this link. I verified that my lens is not a part of this recall.

EyeAF was enabled at the time.

Thanks to the other person who referred me to the A7Info application. It reveals that for this image, the focus point was indeed on his left cheek/eye area.

This is pretty convincing to me. The camera/lens combination was not focused where it was supposed to be focused. I would guess that this is a lens issue.

The only other thing I can think of is Aperture Drive in AF. If this was focused wide open and then stopped down to F8, it could be focus shift. I don't know whether this is an option for the lens/body combo that you're using. That seems like it would have been a lot of focus shift for a not very fast lens, though... but not focusing stopped down might introduce other errors....?

Another person suggested that the player moved during the exposure... he's standing still and its unlikely that he moved even slightly. Besides, the strobes would have frozen him in place due to their brief duration. Next time I will try high speed sync to rule this out absolutely.

By the way, I have many images from this session with the same problem... it's not just one image I'm having the problem with.

Thanks to everyone who commented thus far... I really appreciate it.

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Michael W00d Senior Member • Posts: 1,061
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
4

I use the FE 24-105mm lens extensively on my A7R3 and find it reliably sharp even when viewing images at 100%. I subjected your image to Topaz Sharpen AI and found it could not achieve satisfactory sharpness, which indicates that motion blur is not the cause, so it is caused by general OOF.

Eye AF is very dependable on this camera so you may have settings that have not activated it during your shooting session.

I would recommend you watch this excellent video on focusing by Mark Galer, who is recognized as one of the foremost experts on using Sony cameras. The video centres on the A7R3 so is wholly relevant to your problem.

The video is Sony Alpha Focus Masterclass - YouTube and the section on Eye AF starts at 32 minutes.

Good luck!

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JERumball
OP JERumball Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

Thanks Michael.  I will check out that video.

I have reached out to Sony directly for assistance.  I have sent them files for analysis so we'll see what they have to say.

Cheers,

John

gnet158 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,211
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
1

Send it back, almost all lenes are sharp at F8 using flash.

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I got to get out and shoot more.

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SQLGuy
SQLGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,871
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus
1

gnet158 wrote:

Send it back, almost all lenes are sharp at F8 using flash.

Did you look at the photo? It's plenty sharp on the glove.

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jhunna Senior Member • Posts: 2,292
Re: FE SEL24-105 soft focus

JERumball wrote:

I just got a brand new 24-105 for my A7R3 but I find the images are not nearly as sharp as I expected.

I am shooting people, primarily with the camera on a tripod, with OSS disabled on the lens. I've used various modes and the results are the same. I usually shoot at f8, ISO100 and 1/200s or 1/250s using the Godox AD200s to light my subjects.

This is really my first full frame lens for the A7R3. Prior to this I have used a Zeiss 16-70 f/4 lens exclusively and have not run into this problem.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

John

I think this lens is more a creature of its statistics 24-105/4 OSS what is not to like?  The rendering and the sharpness.  This lens does nothing for me, so much so that I have replaced it with the 16-55/2.8 which is sharp and has a beauiful rendering.  I do miss the OSS BUT once you see the output it is worth it.
Following this thread with interest as the specs make this the perfect do everything lens IF it is sharp.

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