Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Sending a camera/lens combo for calibration

  1. #1
    Senior Member NickPeterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA/Roanoke, TX
    Posts
    654

    Sending a camera/lens combo for calibration

    Hello All,

    I am wondering if any of you fellow Canonists have ever done this, and if it is even possible. Sadly, it was my recent trip to JFK that completely affirmed that my 50D and 100-400mm quality levels have deteriorated unacceptably (nothing hurts like 2 days and over 1K photos that are ALL and I mean ALL soft to some extent, even at 1/3200 of a second ). This 50D has been a challenge for a very long time (canon has had it 4 times in for servicing, and promised me a replacement camera before "they could no longer find one in stock" and ceased taking my calls) and I presume the problems may be due to the camera (as my 400 prime on the 50D has no sharpness issues whatsoever).


    Any advice? Buying a 7D will no doubt cost hundreds and thousands more than a calibration, if such a thing exists. I'd like to have a fully functioning camera before April (possible KMIA trip and arrival of the Space Shuttle at IAD) and unless I hit the lotto, it's doubtful that 1,800 dollars will manifest before then.


    Nick

  2. #2
    Program Coordinator
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    2,077
    Hi Nick!
    and unless I hit the lotto, it's doubtful that 1,800 dollars will manifest before then
    First off, there is always the chance that it could spontaneously appear. Or second, you could learn to count cards and then try your luck at blackjack.
    But I digress…

    Seriously though, I’m a bit confused by you saying it is the camera, but noting that the 400 prime works just fine with it. If the 100-400 is off while the 400 works fine, my guess is that it is the lens, not the body. I don’t know if the 50D has microadjustment capability but if it does you could dial in the microadjustment on the focus which can correct for forward and/or back focus issues. I’m sure someone else can provide a solid link to a good site with directions on how to do this at home (there are a handful of resident guru’s on the site J). Otherwise you might want to consider sending the lens to Canon.

    Regarding a new body:
    I have never operated the 50D but I do own the 7D. The 7D with 100-400 did not impress me, so much so that I sold the 100-400 over a year ago for a 70-200 f/2.8 II and never looked back. I miss the extra reach but the quality of the 70-200 over the 100-400 is just night and day in my book. I also know a number of photographers (including Ty Rogoway, a photog who’s work I greatly admire) who used the 100-400 with a 7D and sold the 7D to pick up the 50D instead. I don’t get it personally, but they swear by it. Two other photogs I know well went the same route I did and sold their 100-400 to pick up either a 70-200L or the new 70-300L.

    Hmm…so I guess based on that I’d start by looking at the lens, because it probably isn’t the body based on what you wrote above.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NickPeterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA/Roanoke, TX
    Posts
    654
    Ah, I somehow left out a sentence that makes my assumption make far more sense! The 100-400 is tack sharp on my Rebel Xsi, as is the 400 Prime. It is for some reason, only the 100-400mm + 50D combo that seems to have these issues. Sorry for the confusion. This is what happens when I type slower than I think.

    As for retaining a 50D versus a 7D, I had honestly never given that much thought, seeing all the rave reviews I had heard about the 7D. I may have to do a little more thinking.


    Nick

  4. #4
    Program Coordinator
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    2,077
    Probably needs a micro adjust, if possible. Otherwise I would still probably start with the lens

  5. #5
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Bronx, New York
    Posts
    6,028
    This may be silly but I'll try anyway... Can you post examples? You never know if the softness is CA or fringing or aperture etc...

    Do you use manual exposure or semi auto? Have you done a controlled test? I mean nothing better than a silent large brick wall at 50 yards :P
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    2,581
    Nick, has this happened since your trip to JFK? I only ask this because on that saturday I used my 100-400L on my 5D MKII and had good results. Then the following day (the day I met you and Fasil), I had gotten my 50D and threw the 100-400 on it. My images came out somewhat soft. But, a few days later back here at home I tried the combo out again and the images were fine. I am bringing this up because a lot of us were complaining about the amount of heat shimmer that we had to deal with. Maybe the images that are appearing soft are really just images with light heat haze. Just a thought.........
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography
    JetPhotos.net

  7. #7
    Senior Member NickPeterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA/Roanoke, TX
    Posts
    654
    Steve,

    That is a very valid point. It's something that I had also noticed on recent trips to BWI and TJSJ (still editing those photos, will probably post later). But JFK was just horrifying in terms of IQ. There was heat haze, but when I was shooting 13L arrivals from somewhere I shouldn't have been (or at least I got that impression) the images were plain out of focus. I am going to take a crack at micro-adjusting it again. See if it gets me anywhere. If anything, I can see if it acts any better when I head for BWI in a week or two. Can only pray it performs if the DC-8 I'm hunting decides to show :)


    On a separate note, you like the 5DII combo with the 100-400? Good AF performance (thats the only gripe I've ever heard)


    Nick

  8. #8
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Bronx, New York
    Posts
    6,028
    Good point made by Steve. DO NOT discount your shooting conditions etc. Shooting across the roof of your car or any car, through your car's open window, especially if engine is running, will usually result in heat damaging the final results. Try to keep your front lens element as far away from the ground as possible and as far away from any radiating object as possible... nothing but free and clear air between you and your subject :P
    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    2,581
    Yes, I love the performance of the 5DMKII and the 100-400L combo.
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography
    JetPhotos.net

  10. #10
    Senior Member NickPeterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA/Roanoke, TX
    Posts
    654
    It's a very good point Manny! Heat haze is definitely public enemy number 1 for me at IAD anymore (well that and the rainstorms that follow me whenever the heavies arrive)

    Steve- That's good to hear, I'd all but written it off after hearing that the AF is an issue, and it Vignettes badly with the 100-400. I'd love to see some of your shots with it, if you wouldn't mind too terribly?


    Nick

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    2,581
    Quote Originally Posted by NickPeterman View Post
    Steve- That's good to hear, I'd all but written it off after hearing that the AF is an issue, and it Vignettes badly with the 100-400. I'd love to see some of your shots with it, if you wouldn't mind too terribly?
    Nick
    Nick....click on the "Furst Edition Photography" link in my signature. All but the Jan 15th 2012 JFK gallery were shot with the 5D MKII.
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography
    JetPhotos.net

  12. #12
    Senior Member NickPeterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA/Roanoke, TX
    Posts
    654
    Steve, thanks.

    Manny, I somehow just saw the post where you asked to see some examples. Let me finish the last batch from TJSJ and I'll grab 3 or 4 representative examples from JFK and IAD


    Nick

  13. #13
    Senior Member NickPeterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA/Roanoke, TX
    Posts
    654
    Okay,

    I tried to pick some middle of the road examples (IE not the sharpest and not the absolute softest). Maybe I'm asking a lot-y'all will be able to comment, but I use my ability to get a shot from a set of a given aircraft through screening on Airliners.net as a guideline for general sharpness. And these all far and away failed that test. I don't think I'm being too unreasonable to ask for decent sharpness, especially after cropping and resizing. These are unsharpened and full size.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6804734857/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6804732525/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6804731131/ (best of the bunch)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6804733683/


    Nick

  14. #14
    Senior Member NickPeterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA/Roanoke, TX
    Posts
    654
    I'm gonna bump this, and can post more examples that I recently found

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •