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Fly-K
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7D Focussing Problems

Thu May 13, 2010 1:53 pm

A question to the fellow 7D users:
Since I got my 7D half a year ago, I haven't been too happy with its autofocus. Yes it's fast and silent, but often too sensitive and what's worse, when it comes to aviation photography, regularly not precise. With my previous 10D and 30D I had never experienced the same problems before, but now, in certain conditions (like fast moving aircraft on approach or departure), 80% of all images don't focus properly and are outright unsharp. I've tried all various settings with different focus points and AF modes, but still the same problem.
Right after buying the 7D, I've had my main lenses calibrated with it, and maybe they didn't do it properly and I should bring it back.
Any other user experiences or tips...? Thanks!
 
Rotate
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Thu May 13, 2010 1:59 pm

Never had any issues with my 7D. So should you ... , I recommend you to take the cam to your store and have another check with it.
 
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JohnKrist
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Thu May 13, 2010 5:37 pm

My 7D has a fast and accurate autofocus even in low light situations. 50D was good, but I get even more keepers with the 7D. Only problem is late evening/night time photography, but then live view and manual focus is a breeze with that screen  
 
ake0404ar
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Thu May 13, 2010 7:41 pm

K-man, it's easy to blame it on the equipment. Ever asked the question, that the root cause is somewhat behind the camera ?  

V.
 
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planespot
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Thu May 13, 2010 9:05 pm

Konstantin, I too have had quite a bit of trouble with the 7D and focus (also metering), especially with the 100-400IS lens. I've spent a lot of time on a large photography forum trying to see if others have the same problem, but most people with focusing issues seem to lack basic knowledge in photography, and others who have legitimate problems get grouped in with the amateurs by people blindly defending the camera. Did you get your 7D when they first came out? I did, and wonder if we received a bad batch. My issue is with the AF (center point only, AI SERVO and/or ONE SHOT, IS on, IS off) missing badly most frequently when shooting a plane arriving from the front quarter. I have plenty of DOF, my shutter speed is locked to 1/1000, yet it's quite a bit OOF. Also, when I try the center point with expansion, I always get a completely OOF picture. Nothing on the plane is in focus - not the fuselage, not the engines, not the wing, etc. This is on an airplane that's 85%-90% of the frame, in front of a clear sky (no clouds). I've never had these issues with my 20D, 40D, or 1DM3, so I may take my camera into Canon to have it checked out.
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Thu May 13, 2010 10:02 pm

Thanks for all the constructive feedback (you know that doesn't include you, V!), my problem sounds very similar to planespot's. Indeed mine was an early model. I'll have it definitely checked, because the way it is now, the camera is almost useless for the hobby.
 
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Plainplane
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Thu May 13, 2010 11:28 pm

I've noticed more often since I got the camera that at least half of the shots I've been taking are all out of focus or blurry even with a shutter speed at 1/2000 and optimum conditions. I thought it was something I was doing wrong but mine is also one of the first models. Hence I haven't uploaded in a while. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one having this issue.
 
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planespot
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 14, 2010 3:18 am

Quoting Fly-K (Reply 5):
Thanks for all the constructive feedback (you know that doesn't include you, V!), my problem sounds very similar to planespot's. Indeed mine was an early model. I'll have it definitely checked, because the way it is now, the camera is almost useless for the hobby.

I agree - I've been considering stepping down to the 50D for my main 1.6x crop body. As it stands, I'm already shooting most aviation subjects in Manual to get things right with exposure, and the AF issues just add to headache. It's a shame, since when the camera does work properly, the results are great.
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 14, 2010 8:11 am

Wow, now that's 3 of us already... but it seems, more recent users of the 7D don't face these problems.
 
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JohnKrist
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 14, 2010 9:18 am

I think mine is one of the early ones, bought it in October, serial 02801089XX.
I'm not saying all are in focus, but far less OOF images than with my 50D, which was good as well.
 
bottie
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 14, 2010 10:22 am

Quoting Fly-K (Reply 8):

You can add my name to the list.

I've been using it with these lenses:

EF 300 f/2,8 IS L
EF 100-400 IS L
17-40 f/4 L


Strange enough, all my shots with the 17-40, were perfect ...with the others, less than 50%. Same remark, early model...
 
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JohnKrist
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 14, 2010 10:43 am

Quoting bottie (Reply 10):
Strange enough, all my shots with the 17-40

My shots with the 17-40 are tack sharp right out of the camera, the ones that are OOF are with the 70-200, could there be a problem with the early 7D and IS?
 
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Plainplane
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 14, 2010 3:31 pm

Is this something I should go to Canon directly about or should I go Best Buy and see if they would exchange it under the 4-year black tie protection plan?
 
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Plainplane
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 14, 2010 8:29 pm

Sorry for the double post, does everyone that is having the problem have firmware 1.2.1?
 
bottie
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 14, 2010 9:03 pm

Quoting Plainplane (Reply 13):
Sorry for the double post, does everyone that is having the problem have firmware 1.2.1?

I upgraded to the latest firmware today and just got back from BRU ...


at first sight ... still AF-issues with the 'big' lenses ...
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Mon May 17, 2010 6:57 pm

The problem really seems to be more common than I thought...

I'm still on firmware 1.1.0...
 
chris78cpr
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 21, 2010 8:39 am

I have one of the early ones aswell and have updated it to the latest firmware.

I have never had a single problem with the AF on the camera and find it to be on par with my 5Dmk2 and just as good as my 1D2. The only problem i have had with the camera is some issues with the noise it produces. However i think i have remedied this now.

I find the 7D files need a little bit of aggressive sharpening but look good after

Chris
 
aviopic
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 21, 2010 8:36 pm

Quoting bottie (Reply 10):
Strange enough, all my shots with the 17-40, were perfect ...with the others

Not so strange as wide angles have a huge DOF and probably everything more than 1 meter away will be in focus anyway.
If a camera has a focus issue it will show with a long lens, the longer the lens the shorter DOF the more a problem if present will show.

All Bodies come with a certain tolerance as does every lens which almost never leads to a problem.
Until both have are off in the same direction(front or back focus) eventhough either one might be within spec.
For this reason all "newer" bodies come with an adjust function in software.
Did any of you try to adjust the various lenses ?
 
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Plainplane
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 28, 2010 8:05 pm

I haven't realized this type of setting existed, would this be done through the camera? I don't think I'd be able to fine tune settings like this very well, I never really had an eye for determining whether the focus was a tad soft or proper in a shot.
 
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stevemchey
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 28, 2010 8:22 pm

There are actually a few different tools to test the lens calibration. The most popular one I think is LensAlign.

However, it is a little pricey. So if you don't want to spend that much money, there are a few tutorials on how to do it on the cheap:

http://www.prophotohome.com/lens-calibrating-a-dslr-is-easy-and-fun-dont-be-a-chicken-just-do-it-peter-gregg
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=10526
 
aviopic
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri May 28, 2010 9:59 pm

Quoting Plainplane (Reply 18):
I haven't realized this type of setting existed, would this be done through the camera?

Yes you'll find it in the menu under lens profile(or something).
Think a 7D is capable to store some 20 different lens profiles.
I don't have a 7D so I can't check the manual for you but the option was already available on the 50D I had for a while.
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:24 pm

I finally brought the 7D in for service, and even though they hadn't encountered similar problems before, they were not too surprised, as they said that when they first calibrated my 7D in October, Canon hadn't really provided the proper software for it... so this might be the cause. Let's see in one week if they have been able to fix it!
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:54 am

First feedback from the Canon service: it might have to do with the focus sensitivity which is a specific 7D feature and mainly intended for macro photography, and many users (apparently including myself) have this function activated without knowing it.
 
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JohnKrist
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:45 pm

Quoting Fly-K (Reply 22):

So, should it be set to Slow, Zero or Fast?
I have mine at Fast...
If you are looking for it it's under CFn III, tab 1
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:03 pm

Quoting JohnKrist (Reply 23):
So, should it be set to Slow, Zero or Fast?
I have mine at Fast...
If you are looking for it it's under CFn III, tab 1

I wasn't even aware of this function. Will have to check when I get the camera back.
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:34 pm

Final update: got the camera back and it focuses flawlessly now. It was indeed mainly due to the a.m. focus sensitivity. Finally I can enjoy my 7D  
 
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JohnKrist
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:03 pm

So, what's the setting now?  
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:24 am

All setting under C.Fn III should be reset to standard.
 
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Plainplane
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:00 pm

Thanks, I'm going to change the setting, go spotting today, and see what happens.
 
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Plainplane
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:09 pm

Just to confirm, the standard settings for all of the items under that category are option 0?
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:01 pm

Quoting Plainplane (Reply 29):
Just to confirm, the standard settings for all of the items under that category are option 0?

I believe in most cases yes.
 
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Plainplane
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:19 pm

Seems like the camera is still having trouble focussing so I think I'm going to send it off to Canon, because if they fixed it for you they should be able to fix it for me.
 
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Fly-K
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RE: 7D Focussing Problems

Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:55 pm

Quoting Plainplane (Reply 31):
Seems like the camera is still having trouble focussing

Maybe a lens calibration would help?

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