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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Out of focus Canon 30D?
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05/13/2006 08:38:50 AM · #1
Hi.
I am a 30d owner and i am trying to find other 30D owners that maybe having problems with clear focus results in their shots, or if they have noticed any deterioration in the clarity of the cmos over time?

I have had my 30D for 2 months now and have shot 3000+ images and i am finding that no matter how i try, the shots that i am capturing now are no where near as clean, crisp and in focus as the first shots that i have taken.

Have you encountered this problem at all?

Eager to here from any one regarding this

Cheers
Tim
Australia
05/13/2006 09:37:22 AM · #2
Is this phenomenon occuring across a variety of lenses? If it is only with a single lens, then that lens may have backfocusing issues. If you could provide us with some more details about lens use, and with some examples then we can try and see what the source of the problem is.

Lee
05/13/2006 09:51:41 AM · #3
Are you now shooting in Raw? Did you start out shooting in JPEG? The camera will sharpen JPEG images but doesn't sharpen or color correct the Raw files. This will make them look softer...
05/13/2006 10:09:08 AM · #4
Thank for the reply Lee

I have the 70-300 EF-S USM and the 18-55 EF-S USM lens.
I do not beleive that it is the lenses as i have the same drop in quality with both of these lens.

At first i thought that it may have been camera movement with shutter speeds under 1/60th of a sec but I took a look at a early shot of mine that seemed pin-point in focus (1/1000th at 5.6, 90mm exterior daylight no flash). The shot was part of a series that i am building on so i was keen to use the same lighting where possible. But the photos now do not seem to have the same snappiness (sic) that the previous shots have.

I then thought maybe it was a loose glass element in the 90-300 lens so i started to look back over my files for shots with a similar setting. I found that the effect was happening with both of the lenses.

Tonight I setup a control shoot with lighting and used f40 through to f5.6 and zoomed right in so that subject (mohair teddy bear) filled the frame at 300mm and shot in raw and jpeg. However, even using both lenes the detail that I once had has now gone, its not dreadfully unacceptable on its own but when put along side the images from before i am loosing details like body hairs ect.

Have youheard of this happening before?
05/13/2006 10:12:31 AM · #5
I have not touched the sharpness of original "sharp images" in CS2 basiclly a stock print out job but heavily croped which would enhance anysoftness or out of focus
05/30/2006 08:59:42 AM · #6
We are just starting to notice a quality of focus problem on our D30 - 2 months old, it seemed to begin occurring very intermittently and seems to have become common...

I remember a few revisions of canon software ago, that one could look at the focus points in a file viewer utility and that function no longer seems available - is canon hiding something?

I set my d30 to focus on the centre point to be sure, and I shot through a 17-55, i noticed that in groups of ten people, although I was absolutely sure I was focussing on grandpa at the front, somehow 10 feet behind the group a tree came in much clearer, repeatedly, and it was no where near teh focus point and it seems to get worse as I take a few steps back.

I am starting to lose faith in Canon lenses, recently another very experienced photographer explained to me that one of his lenses snapped off at the focus ring...he had the lense for six months and he did studio portrraiture, the lens broke off while the camera was sitting idle and no one was holding it....he is a meticulous person, don't slam his car door, he'll have a heart attack, Iand I think he has silk pajamas for his cameras - nothing but the best...

yet I remember my first AE-1 and how it bounced around in a speed boat while we sped away from a scene, hw my assistant left it on the roof of my car while we were racing to get into the vehicle to make a break for it and how it slid off the roof at 60 kilometers an hour and bounced (albeit on the telephoto lens) down the highway and over a rock embankment 30 feet to the edge of the ottawa river...the leather backing was a bit scuffed and the lens was destroyed, but it came off and i put another lens on and started shooting....

That camera lasted me 20 years and then I gave it away to a nonprofit who has been using it for the last 5- or 10....

anyway back to the 30d - any advice or guesses -
05/30/2006 09:55:48 AM · #7
It might be worth a try asking in the DPReview forums. I should imagine that the 30D will have been fully dissected there.

Good luck.
05/30/2006 09:59:30 AM · #8
I think you have to switch the function to display focus points on. It's off by default IIRC.
05/30/2006 10:24:15 AM · #9
Tim,

I'm assuming that you're using auto-focus, and so this probably doesn't apply at all, but just in case...

If you're using manual focus for these shots, could it be that the diopter has been re-adjusted, so you think you're looking at a clear shot while, in fact, it's out of focus?

Liz
05/30/2006 10:36:21 AM · #10
Do a focus test. Something like this. Done carefully, that will tell you if you have a problem with back-focus or front-focus. Misfocus would be my first guess as to why you're seeing loss of sharpness.
05/30/2006 11:09:54 AM · #11
Start with basics.

1) Clean your lenses front AND back elements. Take a test shot

2) Reset the camera to factory default, and then set the camera again an take a test shot

Half the time these two steps clear up any user error issues that cause focus problems.

If the problem continues

3) Run Kirbic's test for back/front focus.

4) Borrow/obtain a lens not from your collection to verify the problem.

5) Check DPReview for others who have similar issues.

6) Contact Canon with your data.

Doing this, going through the steps will expidite any repair needed. If you can tell the person, I've cleaned lenses, reset the camera, and then run focus tests with my own lenses and others, you won't have to deal with the "there's no problem it's just how you use it" issue.

Not that I've had customers cameras with serious backfocus issues returned twice because the Canon guys wouldn't test em. Nah, never happened. ;)
05/30/2006 01:42:10 PM · #12
What picture style are you using? Some are much sharper than others - neutral and faithful have NO in-camera sharpening applied while landscape is a bit too much and standard soes pretty good 'as-is'. So if you changed this setting it will make a difference.

I had a wedding Saturday and everything seems sharp - but for a few frames i had a terrible back focus issue on the 30D with 2 lenses, and one of them was BF on my 20D. Who knows? The lens hiccuped and caused the 20D to get lost in it's focus subroutine? Perhaps dirt on the lens contacts or on the focus sensor inside the camera (seemed to be on teh middle focus sensor only).

It cleared itself after a 'reboot' so to speak. Odd though.

read this - How Canon AF works - it might be enlightening.

Message edited by author 2006-05-30 13:43:10.
06/02/2006 08:02:43 AM · #13
Originally posted by GentleSoul:

Tim,

I'm assuming that you're using auto-focus, and so this probably doesn't apply at all, but just in case...

If you're using manual focus for these shots, could it be that the diopter has been re-adjusted, so you think you're looking at a clear shot while, in fact, it's out of focus?

Liz


Liz,

Tried both of those sugestions and made no improvement,

What i have found though is that the faster the shutter speed (1/500+) combined with a f stop of around f5.6 to f8, ISO 100, at about 120mm to 250mm on the 90 to 300mm EF USM lens tends to give me the same results as i was getting before.

I had setup a shoot for the "Heat Challenge" at home in my garage with a single 100watt spot light (no Broncolour's yet!) and I used both my 18mm to 55mm zoom and the 90mm to 300mm zoom trying to shoot a cube of ice (lit from below) and the results where so poor that i didnt even bother to submit the results.

All this just gives me the pits because i cant replicate shots for a series of themed photo-art prints im collecting
06/02/2006 08:10:00 AM · #14
Can you post some samples with the exif data in the info section. Hard to say what the problem is without seeing what you are seeing.
06/02/2006 08:30:12 AM · #15
yeah, this discussion is basically a waste of time unless we can see an example.
06/02/2006 10:29:08 AM · #16
image.php?IMAGE_ID=341941

The above shot is the good one but it is a bit hard to see the detail that it has when you zoom in with url res. The main issue i have is when im printing these images off. With the image above i have printed a cropped shot that mainly contains the hands and the feet. What you cant see here is that the image is so clear, when i printed this out there is a lenght of nylon string just below the little finger on the RHS. When i first printed this shot i thought that this was a hair caught on the ink when it was drying, but it was actually stuck in the dirt on top of the feet.

This maybe all academic but what bothers me most is that the details that where captured in this shot just cant seem to be captured again even under the same lighting, shutter speed, f stop combination.
06/02/2006 10:31:22 AM · #17
Little hands Little feet
06/02/2006 11:04:35 AM · #18
Uh is that the shot you are having issues with or is that the shot you want to produce again? Post a shot where there IS a problem.

Remember that when you drastically crop a shot you lose a lot of information and are basically applying the equivalent of a "digital zoom", you will lose detail when you blow up a cropped image...
06/02/2006 11:30:32 AM · #19
After how many beers start doing that?

btw
Sensor spots (dirty sensor) can prevent camera to focus in certain spots because of lack of contrast.

Message edited by author 2006-06-02 11:39:27.
06/20/2006 09:33:11 AM · #20
I find I am having the same issue with focusing, so let me know how it goes. I have done a test with my f2.8 24-70 USM IS lens and the f2.8 15mm fisheye (that's the worst.) The f1.8 85mm works great.
Groups or objects farther away are no good... I find I have had to manually focus and hope my eyes are telling me the truth.
06/20/2006 09:43:29 AM · #21
I had a bit of an issue with mine too and I'm not 100% satisfied that it's all tickity boo yet, but that's for a lack of shooting and testing... I had a bad 50mm lens early on...

Another thing that can throw you for a loop is the inherent softness on the 30D. Why? Because the new camera defaults have much lower amounts of IN CAMERA SHARPENING.

Of course, you have already checked things out as compared to earlier shots... did you play with the picture styles?

Did you do Kirbic's lens test yet?

That's pretty much the factory standard test... They've got a table just like that at the local Canon shop here and I watched them test my camera...

your posted example is not properly linked either.... here ya go.

341941.jpg

Just use [Xthumb]341941[/thumb] and remove the X...

MMestas, I don't think autofocus works on most fisheye lenses currently available? I seem to recall reading that... Manual focus territory...

Message edited by author 2006-06-20 09:44:35.
06/20/2006 09:51:27 AM · #22
I have a 30D with a problem but a different one - my switch doesn't work to allow me to shoot manual (I can't adjust my aperture). I have only taken 1200 shots in the two weeks I've had it so I'm not quite where you are yet. It has to go to service anyway - I MUST have manual mode.

I also have the 70-300IS. It completely sucks in portrait mode. Canon states they will decide what to do at the end of June but I think I will send it with my camera anyway. The lens though, in landscape mode is extremely sharp and reliable.

I have had no focus issues with the camera otherwise. Even in low light it performs well. (knock lots of wood here!)

Good luck with figuring it out and post to let us know what happens.
06/20/2006 10:00:46 AM · #23
For some reason all my waterfalls are out of focus too :-)

350234.jpg
06/20/2006 02:46:43 PM · #24
You guys are worrying me a bit. I just sold all of my Olympus dSLR system which was fault/worry free, and order 3k worth of Canon stuff including a new 30D. hmmm I'm biting my fingernails now wondering if I did the right thing.

MattO
06/20/2006 03:28:34 PM · #25
Originally posted by dahkota:

I have a 30D with a problem but a different one - my switch doesn't work to allow me to shoot manual (I can't adjust my aperture). I have only taken 1200 shots in the two weeks I've had it so I'm not quite where you are yet. It has to go to service anyway - I MUST have manual mode.

I also have the 70-300IS. It completely sucks in portrait mode. Canon states they will decide what to do at the end of June but I think I will send it with my camera anyway. The lens though, in landscape mode is extremely sharp and reliable.

I have had no focus issues with the camera otherwise. Even in low light it performs well. (knock lots of wood here!)

Good luck with figuring it out and post to let us know what happens.


the lens you have has known issues in portrait mode. do soem web searchign and you'll see.

for manual - put the on/off/- button on the back on the LINE - and the dial then adjusts aperture, the thumbwheel the shutter speed. if you don't move the button to the line then the wheel is turned off and won't adjust anything.
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