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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Warsaw/Poland
    Posts
    109

    Canon 40D + 17-55 f/2.8 - focusing problem or am I an idiot ?

    After months of research, tons of reading, weighing pros, cons, price, biting thru the DSLR world I bought it. This is my first DSLR, I sold my Panasonic FZ20 after using it for 4 years.
    40d + 17-55 has been with me for 2 days...2 nightmare days.
    I took about 300 shots out of which maybe 5 are in focus. I played with various AF settings, played with focusing points, etc. Nothing...all the photos are freakin out of focus. Im devasteted...Im fairly sure by now that Im not an idiot and that the gear is faulty (although I may be wrong)
    Did anyone have this problem with this lens ? I mean...this was supposed to be top notch, state of the art, ultra precise lens. Or maybe its the camera ?
    I will post some pix later but 1/100 - F4 - ISO 200 with AF on and stabilization on - is it possible that a shot like that would be out of focus with this gear ?
    This is my first DSLR and I might be doing something wrong, I dunno...
    help ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    8,163
    First dSLR, owned it for 2 days, and blaming the kit already? It's certainly user error...it always is. There's a learning curve associated with dSLRs (SLRs in general actually) when compared to a P&S.

    There are a million variables...none of which can really be addressed without a sample photo.

    I'm not calling you an idiot, because we've all been where you are, but you can't go from a P&S to a dSLR and figure on getting a lot of great images in just 2 days. dSLRs take thought and work to get the best out of 'em. But first we need a sample photo so we can determine what the problem really is, and then address its cause.
    Last edited by cdifoto; 04-12-2008 at 11:08 PM.
    Ouch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,406
    a common reason for that is you have it set to continuous drive mode.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Warsaw/Poland
    Posts
    109
    ok, here are 4 test shots of a yogurt.
    Im in Nairobi - Kenya, the internet sucks realy bad here so its taking me ages to upload these.
    first 3 shots taken on shutter priority with different focusing points, last one was taken on portrait program (with flash) with center focusing point and is the only sharp one in my opinion.
    Im not using continuous drive.

    Please note that these shots were taken in a well lit room with a fairly steady hand and stabilization ON ofcourse. I have a lot more shots taken in different conditions and all are out of focus.
    Or is my gear ok and I just have to learn proper focusing and generaly learn to use this camera ?
    When swithing between different focusing points I have a feeling that they do not work properly...I mean all the red square focusing points work fine and the camera doesnt show any problems but Im not satisfied with the results. The lens seems to work fine too, I can feel that the stabilization is "stabilizing" properly (You can feel it working)
    Mybe Im just intimidated by reading about this gear for too long.
    Here are the shots :



    Last edited by koti; 04-13-2008 at 01:00 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,406
    pics are FAR too big, pls make them 800px across maximum.
    you have focussed on the front top part of the handle of the cup, not on the yogurt. so yes, this is operator error.
    D800e l V1 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l EP5 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Warsaw/Poland
    Posts
    109
    I downscaled the pix, sory, I wanted to show the focusing detail so I posted them right from the camera.
    Im using the center focusing point and I swear I was pointing right in the middle of the strawberries, not at the cup handle.
    Thats what Im saying...Im pointing the camera with center focusing point at an object in different conditions, with different settings and it misses. It doesnt miss only if Im using flash, like in the last yogurt pic (its a macro program shot, not portrait program)
    Im trying not to blame the camera....I sincerely hope its all my fault.
    Last edited by koti; 04-13-2008 at 01:07 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,406
    your standard canon software should have a function where you can show up the focus point when the pic was taken. if the focus point is on the yogurt, you have a dud lens.
    D800e l V1 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l EP5 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Crapville, Australia
    Posts
    5,148
    I thought they'd be worse to be frank.

    Seems like you you just had the camera focus slightly below where you wanted - can happen easily but you should get the hang of it after a while.

    Of course if it happens consistently maybe you just have a combo which front focuses?
    Christian Wright; Dip Phot
    EOS 5D Mark III | EOS 600D | EOS-1V HS
    L: 14/2.8 II | 24/1.4 II | 35/1.4 | 50/1.2 | 85/1.2 II | 135/2 | 180/3.5 Macro | 200/2.8 II | 400/2.8 IS | 16-35/2.8 II | 24-105/4 IS | 70-200/2.8 IS II | 100-400/4.5-5.6 IS
    580EX II | EF 12 II | EF 25 II

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    62
    I thought they'd be worse too.

    OP: I've used the 40D out of the box with that lens.

    Try simplifying. I think some of the steps you're taking are on the right path.

    Out of the box, IIRC, the 40D uses selectable AF points. It drove me crazy with the 40D and the 30D. Eliminate that for now to develop a feel, *predictability* and confidence.

    Use Center AF point
    AF-Drive: One Shot (focus on half press)
    Drive mode: Single shot

    Use Shutter Priority to ensure a fast shutter speed while handholding. Choose a suitable ISO. This part you have done. If using a tripod, know whether to disable IS on your lens model.

    Take test shots without reframing, i.e., place the subject dead center.

    Choose a non-reflective, contrasty subject.

    IIRC, and I may not, but you can look it up, the actual AF area in Center AF mode may be a different size than the box you see via the optical viewfinder. Please do not take that to the bank, you must verify that. If it's larger, then things could get thrown off and you'd have to develop a feel for the center AF "behavior." I seriously doubt this is the problem and like I said I don't even recall for sure if this applies to this camera - I hesitate to bring it up.

    Expect a learning curve. More money doesn't mean mind-reading (rest assured, I'm not being pedantic). With the extra control you get with a dslr, you also get a less forgiving camera in many ways. You may have already solved this problem, it sounds like you're on the right path, good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    3,109
    Well I think in all fairness, there have been some focus issues with the 40D. I'm not convinced this is user error. Select ONLY the center AF point for tests. 1) Test the lens on another camera. 2) try another lens on your 40D. If still poor results and it's the not your original lens, return/exchange the body or send it in for service if it's too late to return.
    Canon A720 IS, 40D w/ BG-E2N, 28 1.8, 50 1.4, Sigma 70 2.8 macro, 17-40 F4 L, 24-105 F4 L IS, 70-200 F4 L IS, 430 EX, Kenko 2X TC & Ext Tubes, AB strobes and more...
    View my photo galleries here: imageevent.com/24peter

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