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Author Topic: Canon EF300mm f4L IS USM - Help  (Read 9718 times)
ARD
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« on: August 01, 2006, 03:29:50 PM »
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Just received this lens after a couple of weeks wait for it to come in stock.

I have read on here of numerous people who have had numerous L lenses, and have had to swap them two, or even three times.

I did a lot of reading about this lens, and viewed many images.

I have tried this lens on the tripod, off the tripod, IS off, IS on, setting one and two, tried many shutter speeds, f stops, ISO's, and cannot get it to produce an image I consider to be what this lens is capable of.

Does anyone know of a combination of settings to get the best possible image from this lens. My camera is a Canon EOS 1D MKII, shooting in raw.

If this lens is a bad example, is it best to get it swapped in the hope that Canon have boxed a good one, or is it best to have it calibrated under warranty, even though it is only a day old to me.

Many thanks for your help on this one.
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dlashier
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2006, 04:32:00 PM »
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> If this lens is a bad example

It's hard to render an opinion without a sample shot, referably raw.

- DL
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ARD
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2006, 06:00:02 PM »
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> If this lens is a bad example

It's hard to render an opinion without a sample shot, referably raw.

- DL
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72359\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Camera locked down on tripod, main focus was supposed to be corner of the roof.


........tried to attach a raw file but can't get it to work
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 06:13:22 PM by ARD » Logged
jani
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2006, 11:53:26 AM »
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Camera locked down on tripod, main focus was supposed to be corner of the roof.
........tried to attach a raw file but can't get it to work
I PM-ed ARD and offered to put it up on a web page I control, and here it is:

_Y1V2625.CR2 (7.3 MiB, please don't download this too many times )
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Jan
ARD
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2006, 12:27:19 PM »
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Thanks for hosting the image
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dlashier
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2006, 05:42:04 PM »
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This shot is not really good for judging lens quality or issues. Even at f10, at such a short distance the DOF is just too narrow and the subject matter not nearly flat enough. You need to take a classic brick wall photo, perferably at some distance and perpendicular to the wall. Take at least three shots, one AF, and one each with focus tweaked slightly fore and aft.

- DL
« Last Edit: August 03, 2006, 05:42:38 PM by dlashier » Logged

jani
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2006, 06:41:17 AM »
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You need to take a classic brick wall photo
Why are so many photographers testing with a brick wall?

Brick walls are notoriously difficult to see details and contrast in. (I've tested with one, too.)  

That being said, I have problems finding any area in the posted image that was sharp, even though you could identify roughly where the plane of focus might have been.

It is likely that the long exposure is a problem here (1/15s is a bit too optimistic when photographing flowers).
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Jan
ARD
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2006, 11:29:44 AM »
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Why are so many photographers testing with a brick wall?

Brick walls are notoriously difficult to see details and contrast in. (I've tested with one, too.)

That being said, I have problems finding any area in the posted image that was sharp, even though you could identify roughly where the plane of focus might have been.

It is likely that the long exposure is a problem here (1/15s is a bit too optimistic when photographing flowers).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72550\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'll take a brickwall shot, and also anything else that might help in finding if the lens is defective or not.

Could you tell me what a good subject is for this, and what focal length and shutter speed.

I really appreciate everyones help on this one, and look forward to finding out if the lens is defective.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2006, 11:30:04 AM by ARD » Logged
ARD
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2006, 12:54:51 PM »
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I'll take a brickwall shot, and also anything else that might help in finding if the lens is defective or not.

Could you tell me what a good subject is for this, and what focal length and shutter speed.

I really appreciate everyones help on this one, and look forward to finding out if the lens is defective.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72576\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Tried emailing the brick wall shot, but it is too big for my email, 8.2meg
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RonBoyd
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2006, 03:09:45 PM »
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Tried emailing the brick wall shot, but it is too big for my email, 8.2meg
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72590\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Try YouSendIt (www.yousendit.com). You can upload large files for anyone (well, those you notify) to download. Quick, fast, no fuss, no muss.

Ron
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jimhuber
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2006, 07:49:43 PM »
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48MB PSD

(The file will be removed later, "later" being subject to my bandwidth utilization, the positions of the planets, tea leaves, and quantum mechanics)

The color space is ProPhoto RGB, but I saved it with 8 bits per pixel to make the file smaller than 16 bits per pixel would.


I downloaded ARD's brick shot and did my best to duplicate it with my own 300 f/4 L IS lens. His shot is at the top, mine is at the bottom. Aside from the obvious difference of being different brick walls, his shot, at top, was made with a 1D Mark II (8.2 megapixel, 1.3x crop factor) while my shot, at bottom, was made with a Rebel XT (8.0 megapixel, 1.6x crop factor). Adobe Camera Raw auto-adjusted his shot +0.85 exposure, mine -0.55 exposure (I exposed at +2/3). I applied Photokit capture sharpening to both captures, medium edge sharpening. I set the white balance of each from the mortar, and they are both just above 4000 Kelvin. My lens was tripod mounted with the collar and I used self timer and mirror lockup. He'll have to comment on his capture technique.

My preference is not to shoot bricks, but rather books, CDs, or DVDs because I find judging the sharpness of text written on the spines easier and there are many more colors present to judge. Shelves of such media are typically indoors, too, so the light can be controlled from shot to shot, or even duplicated at a later date. But in this case, bricks it is.

Judge for yourselves.
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ARD
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2006, 05:29:47 AM »
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48MB PSD

(The file will be removed later, "later" being subject to my bandwidth utilization, the positions of the planets, tea leaves, and quantum mechanics)

The color space is ProPhoto RGB, but I saved it with 8 bits per pixel to make the file smaller than 16 bits per pixel would.
I downloaded ARD's brick shot and did my best to duplicate it with my own 300 f/4 L IS lens. His shot is at the top, mine is at the bottom. Aside from the obvious difference of being different brick walls, his shot, at top, was made with a 1D Mark II (8.2 megapixel, 1.3x crop factor) while my shot, at bottom, was made with a Rebel XT (8.0 megapixel, 1.6x crop factor). Adobe Camera Raw auto-adjusted his shot +0.85 exposure, mine -0.55 exposure (I exposed at +2/3). I applied Photokit capture sharpening to both captures, medium edge sharpening. I set the white balance of each from the mortar, and they are both just above 4000 Kelvin. My lens was tripod mounted with the collar and I used self timer and mirror lockup. He'll have to comment on his capture technique.

My preference is not to shoot bricks, but rather books, CDs, or DVDs because I find judging the sharpness of text written on the spines easier and there are many more colors present to judge. Shelves of such media are typically indoors, too, so the light can be controlled from shot to shot, or even duplicated at a later date. But in this case, bricks it is.

Judge for yourselves.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72623\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Many thanks for taking the time to do a comparrison. I think your bricks have the edge, but I might be looking for problems
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dlashier
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2006, 02:51:53 AM »
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I don't think there's anything wrong with your lens. Sharp corner to corner, and focus appears good (autofocus was better than fore/aft). If I get a chance I'll take a similar shot with mine for another comparision. The 300 is a sharp lens but doesn't compare to the 70-200 for instance. Yours looks within normal range.

- DL
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ARD
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2006, 11:19:14 AM »
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I don't think there's anything wrong with your lens. Sharp corner to corner, and focus appears good (autofocus was better than fore/aft). If I get a chance I'll take a similar shot with mine for another comparision. The 300 is a sharp lens but doesn't compare to the 70-200 for instance. Yours looks within normal range.

- DL
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72725\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the reply, I thought that the 300 would be sharper than the 70-200 as it is a prime lens?
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akclimber
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2006, 01:08:56 PM »
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Thanks for the reply, I thought that the 300 would be sharper than the 70-200 as it is a prime lens?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72745\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I haven't reviewed the uploaded files but my 300 f/4 IS is very nearly as sharp as my 500 f/4 IS and both of them are as sharp or sharper than samples I've seen from the 70-200 f/2.8 IS and as sharp or sharper than the 70-200 f/4 I used to own.  I'd try dowloading a focus test chart and making some test images against other lenses (tripod, cable release, mirror lock, decent shutter speed, full range of apertures, etc.).  If you're still unhappy, either order another, compare it against the one you already have and send back the lesser of the two or send the original back and hope for the best from #2.

Good luck!
Cheers!
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John Sheehy
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« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2006, 09:56:02 PM »
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I haven't reviewed the uploaded files but my 300 f/4 IS is very nearly as sharp as my 500 f/4 IS and both of them are as sharp or sharper than samples I've seen from the 70-200 f/2.8 IS and as sharp or sharper than the 70-200 f/4 I used to own.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72752\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The 500 f/4L IS is much sharper than any pixel pitch can currently take advantage of, so unless you start comparing it to lenses like the 300 f/4L IS with the same amount of stacked TCs, you're going to experience equalization by a coarse recording medium.
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Ray
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2006, 01:24:25 AM »
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The 500 f/4L IS is much sharper than any pixel pitch can currently take advantage of, so unless you start comparing it to lenses like the 300 f/4L IS with the same amount of stacked TCs, you're going to experience equalization by a coarse recording medium.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72784\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


What about the Imatest method, John? Is resolution at 50% MTF (cycles per pixel)not an accurate guide?

This 300/4 IS lens seems to have (or has had in the past) a QC or design problem.

Check out the Photodo MTF charts below, comparing the IS version with the older non-IS version.

[attachment=876:attachment]
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dlashier
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2006, 02:54:18 AM »
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I haven't reviewed the uploaded files but my 300 f/4 IS is very nearly as sharp as my 500 f/4 IS and both of them are as sharp or sharper than samples I've seen from the 70-200 f/2.8 IS and as sharp or sharper than the 70-200 f/4 I used to own.  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72752\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No way is the 300/f4 as sharp as the 70-200 (one of Canon's sharpest lenses, zoom or not). Check Photodo, 300/f4 mtf = 3.4, 70-200 mtf = 4.1. Note that the non-IS version of 300/f4 tests 4.3. My own feeling is that photodo's rating on the 300/IS may be a little pessimistic, but it would be an exceptional example that would be sharper than the 70-200.

- DL
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Ray
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2006, 09:17:18 PM »
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No way is the 300/f4 as sharp as the 70-200...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72791\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The more significant question, Don, might be, 'Is the 70-200 with 1.4x extender sharper than the 300/4L IS?'

I wouldn't know, but I suspect even the rather poor copy of the 300/4 IS that Photodo tested would be at least equal to the 70-200 with 1.4x extender, as the test charts below would suggest. Add an extender and those curves for the 70-200 will probably drop by 10-20 MTF percentage points.

[attachment=881:attachment]
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ARD
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2006, 11:46:11 AM »
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The more significant question, Don, might be, 'Is the 70-200 with 1.4x extender sharper than the 300/4L IS?'

I wouldn't know, but I suspect even the rather poor copy of the 300/4 IS that Photodo tested would be at least equal to the 70-200 with 1.4x extender, as the test charts below would suggest. Add an extender and those curves for the 70-200 will probably drop by 10-20 MTF percentage points.

[attachment=881:attachment]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72852\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Good point.

I just wish Canon had better quality controls in place, I have read a lot about people having to return new lenses to get a good example, I wonder though how many people never realise they have a copy of a lens that is not as good as it should be.

For the price of L glass Canon should be far more vigalent
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