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Possible Flaw With Canon EF70-200 F4 L  
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4823 times:

Hi all,

Some of you may remember I recently had a problem with my 70-200 L developing some softness on the right-hand side of some images. I would even go as far as to say it was an out-of-focus problem in some instances. The problem tended to occur at long focal lengths when shooting smaller aircraft. After looking into the matter considerably, and taking advice from fellow photographers here (some of whom suggested camera-shake as the problem), I upped my aperture to F9/10 (from the sweet-spot that is F8) and the ISO to 200 for all long-range shooting. This seemed to solve the problem.

However, on a shoot yesterday the problem seemed to return on the many smaller aircraft arriving at BHX. Funny thing is, I was on F8 with ISO200 at 1/800, under which settings camera shake/movement should not be an issue. Again, the blur was on the right-hand edge of the picture, on the nose of the aircraft only. I have had experience of the blur on the opposite side of the image too but it mainly seems to be the right side, aircraft noses appearing to be the most susceptible.

Interestingly, in my last thread regarding this problem, someone said that he'd had similar problems and it turned out to be a loose element in the lens. He also said he'd known other photographers suffer the same, and it seemed to be a problem with this particular L lens.

Thinking his may be an isolated case, plus I'd never dropped/banged the lens, I thought nothing more of it and, in turn, the lens seemed to function normally again, until yesterday. Becoming a little concerned again today, I searched the net and found this:

http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/canon_ef70-200usm.htm

If you look towards the end of the article, there is a concerning suggestion that Canon may have a quality control problem with this lens. If you read the appropriate section in full, and you own the EF70-200 F4 L, maybe now is a good time to start worrying........  worried 

Anyone else own the lens and discovered similar probs?

Karl

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLinco22 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1380 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4814 times:

Hi Karl,

Interesting find, thanks for posting. To be honest I always thought I had a slightly soft copy anyway. I havent studied in detail this issue with my own lens.

The difference between the f2.8 and f4 sharpness is astonishing!

Sorry I can't help you much more than that Karl

Regards
Colin


User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4736 times:

Strange.... mine is an über sharp copy and the only thing that could be better is a little 'scratchy' sound when the lens is focussing. Apart from that, it's got good IQ, sharpness and little CA...

Sad to hear of your right-hand side OOF Karl and softness on yours, Colin.

Maybe I haven't discovered the fault? At least those seem pretty normal to me...


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Alfred Eliasson - Reykjavik Spotters
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Photo © David Alfred Eliasson - Reykjavik Spotters




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Alfred Eliasson - Reykjavik Spotters
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Alfred Eliasson - Reykjavik Spotters



Well, those are edited, but many members here know probably that I'm having some problems with sharpening methods, but those are looking quite normal to me.

David  Sad

PS: Sorry 'bout the self-plugs, hope you don't mind as those are pretty boring shots.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4731 times:

David,

Firstly, the Dash 8 is certainly not considered boring where I come from! If one of those was coming to MAN, I'd rush out there!

The fault seems only slight, and appears to affect small aircraft only, at long focal lengths. This is not to say it happens all the time, however - in fact, it happens only rarely, which leads me to believe it may not be the fault of the lens. One dash 8's nose can seem very soft, but the next one along will be pin-sharp all over.

One thing I forgot to mention above - the problem appears to be at its worst when the sun is at quite an angle to the aircraft, e.g. 60-70 degrees. When the sunlight is fully on the aircraft, e.g. 0-40 degrees, the problem is (usually) eliminated. Maybe it's a fault with the way the camera reads the situation?

Anyway, more opinions/comments welcome.

Cheers,

Karl


User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4726 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
Firstly, the Dash 8 is certainly not considered boring where I come from! If one of those was coming to MAN, I'd rush out there!

 ashamed 

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
One dash 8's nose can seem very soft, but the next one along will be pin-sharp all over.

If you're saying it's about my photo, it can be very well true! I used AI Focus and center spot for this panning shot. No, not a fast shutter speed, but I panned. I was recommended AI Servo and all focus points for that kind of shots.

---


Sorry Karl, but I cannot help you with this fault. Sounds to me pretty strange.

David


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4696 times:

Quoting Aero145 (Reply 4):
If you're saying it's about my photo

Don't worry, I wasn't referring to your pic. There are a lot of Dash 8s at BHX and MAN, and that's the aircraft type that highlights the problem the most. However, one Dash 8 can have terrible blur on the nose, and an identical one a few moments later will be pin-sharp. Strange!

Karl


User currently offlineWagz From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 516 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4694 times:
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I may have chimed in the last thread too, but anyway, I had the same fault in a 70-200 F4L I had for a while. Also occured in the left side mainly as the author of the article mentions. Actually his sample photos of the castle look a lot like what mine did.

My copy performed fine for about 6 months, when the issue started to crop up. It took two trips back to Canon to fix it. By this point I sold the lens to a friend and upgraded to a 70-200 F2.8L IS. My friend reported the problem was solved, but he thinks it may be starting to show up again now. Considering how many people are reporting this problem now, I tend to agree this seems like a craftsminship problem.

Not to start plugging photos now, but in this shot, the softness is apparent even in the A.net edited photo on the left side on the nose. I sent the lens back for reapir immediately after shooting this day, and this demonstrates the problem at its worst.


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Photo © Joseph K Wagner



Excuse the overall poor quality. It would have most likely been rejected had it not been a special circumstance.

Joe Wagner



I think Big Foot is blurry, Its not the photographers fault. Theres a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside
User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4668 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 5):
I wasn't referring to your pic

 Wow!

Quote:
There are a lot of Dash 8s at BHX and MAN, and that's the aircraft type that highlights the problem the most. However, one Dash 8 can have terrible blur on the nose, and an identical one a few moments later will be pin-sharp. Strange!

Yes, very strange. And you had this too, Wagz.... Amazing. Mine is so good, even sharp at f/4.... and easy to sharpen a bit in PS then.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4614 times:

Quoting Aero145 (Reply 7):
Quoting JakTrax (Reply 5):
I wasn't referring to your pic



Quote:
There are a lot of Dash 8s at BHX and MAN, and that's the aircraft type that highlights the problem the most. However, one Dash 8 can have terrible blur on the nose, and an identical one a few moments later will be pin-sharp. Strange!

Think you might have misunderstood what I was saying - doesn't matter, it was in no way a bad reference to your pic.

Karl


User currently offlineAirKas1 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 4028 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4611 times:

Hmm... I have the same lens set-up (70-200 F4 L), but I haven't noticed any major difficulties or flaws with it (yet  crossfingers  )

User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4597 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 8):
Think you might have misunderstood what I was saying - doesn't matter, it was in no way a bad reference to your pic.

Think YOU have misunderstood what I said, because I was expecting bad reference because some parts of the photo ARE soft.  Smile


User currently offlineEDDL From Germany, joined Dec 2002, 738 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 weeks ago) and read 4578 times:

Karl, I experienced exactly the same problem with my first 70-200/4 L. The lens was working fine in the first two years of use, then suddenly the softness on the left hand side appeared. I did not drop it beforehand. Canon did not find anything and told me the lens was perfectly fine. So I sold this lens and bought a brand new 70-200L. It's sharp as hell and working fine up to this day.

One year later, a friend of mine bought a new 70-200/4 L. After some days of shooting he noticed some softness aswell ... guess where? The very same flaw. Canon sent it back to him telling him there's nothing wrong with it. He sold it.

Sending it back to Canon is just a waste of time. Seeing the good re-sale value of the L-lenses, consider selling it ... pray and get a good copy. There are very good copies out there ...

Good luck,
Phil / EDDL


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