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Author Topic: 100-400 L image quality at 400  (Read 4939 times)
dseelig
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« on: March 24, 2008, 09:05:10 PM »
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I jist got the 100-400 Canon L . It seems like the iq at 400 f5.6 is not that good is this normal or is my lens needing work ?? Thanks David
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kjkahn
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 11:08:25 PM »
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I jist got the 100-400 Canon L . It seems like the iq at 400 f5.6 is not that good is this normal or is my lens needing work ?? Thanks David
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I never found the 100-400 L to be terribly sharp at any fl or aperture, and least so at 400mm and f/5.6.

This test confirms my impression:

[a href=\"http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Canon%20EOS%20Lens%20Tests/204-canon-ef-100-400mm-f45-56-usm-l-is-test-report--review?start=1]http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Canon%20EO...-review?start=1[/url]

Michael also tested it against the 400 f/5.6L.  He only shows figures for 400mm, but you can see the 100-400 is pretty poor at that end.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...non-400mm.shtml

I leave mine on f/8, and it's not too bad at 100mm, but there are better lenses at that fl (but none that cover the same range).
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dlashier
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 11:39:08 PM »
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Mine was pretty good up to 300mm then starting falling off. Since I mostly used it at 300 to 400 I ended up trading it in for a 300 f4 + 1.4TC which is noticeably sharper and faster focusing.

- DL
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 11:41:30 PM by dlashier » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 12:12:28 AM »
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Variability amongst lenses of the same model can be significant. We're still in the dark ages I'm afraid. I can see no sound reason whatsoever why each and every lens should not ship with a complete set of MTF charts specific to that lens.

Sorry! I've already just thought of a reason as I write this. There's the obvious reason that most people simply do not care, and that reason is also connected with the reason that most people would probably not understand an MTF chart anyway.

So we're stuck with the problem.

I once bought the Canon 400/4.6 prime and found it to be inferior to my 100-400 IS zoom at 400mm, so returned it for a refund of course.

My own copy of the 100-400 IS at 400mm is noticeably soft at full aperture, no great surprise; sharpest at f8 (no great surprise); and virtually as sharp at f11 as at f8 (also no great surprise).

If you find a 35mm lens which is sharpest at f16 or f22, then you're in trouble.
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stever
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 12:24:09 AM »
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i shoot at f8 and ISO 1600 in preference to 5.6 and 800 at the limit

my 300 f4 with 1.4x is marginally sharper than the 100-400, but not enough to outweigh the versatility of the 100-400

that said, there is production variability in these lenses (hopefully less now, than early on - the original Photozone test of the 100-400 was much worse than the one now posted) - the best test i can think of is against the 300 f4, at f8 there shouldn't be much difference in sharpness (i think the greater simplicity of the 300 makes these lenses more consistent) - neither lens will be that great wide open.

i should add that mine is much happier on the 20D or 40D than the 5D. i can consistently make good 13x19 prints with the crop-frame body (at f8)
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pindman
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 12:50:43 AM »
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Despite what the "tests" show, my 100-400 is excellent.  As with all new lenses, the first thing I do is take some test shots.  Some of the L lenses are exchanged.  I needed to send my 70-200 f/2.8 IS to be calibrated (much improved) while the 100-400 was good out of the box.  So don't just go by what you read.  Try it yourself.  If yours isn't up to par you may want to send it to Canon in Irvine.  They do a great job of calibration.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2008, 01:03:12 AM »
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Hi,

Your suggestion would make lenses better for sure!

I guess that it would be very inconvenient for the manufacturers. There is a lot of in sample variation, which may be hard to explain to customers. I also guess that MTF-testing is not cheap but nor are L-class lenses, so vendors may accept the cost of individual MTF-testing for expensive lens lines.

Delivering individual MTF for each lens would certainly raise the bar.

I see a problem with MTF testing, tough. I feel that the present 10 and 30 LP/mm MTF:s or 10,20 and 40 LP/mm MTF:s may not be appropriate for DSLR as sensor resolutions are closer to 80 LP/mm. Any toughts on that?

Best regards
Erik

Quote
Variability amongst lenses of the same model can be significant. We're still in the dark ages I'm afraid. I can see no sound reason whatsoever why each and every lens should not ship with a complete set of MTF charts specific to that lens.

Sorry! I've already just thought of a reason as I write this. There's the obvious reason that most people simply do not care, and that reason is also connected with the reason that most people would probably not understand an MTF chart anyway.

So we're stuck with the problem.

I once bought the Canon 400/4.6 prime and found it to be inferior to my 100-400 IS zoom at 400mm, so returned it for a refund of course.

My own copy of the 100-400 IS at 400mm is noticeably soft at full aperture, no great surprise; sharpest at f8 (no great surprise); and virtually as sharp at f11 as at f8 (also no great surprise).

If you find a 35mm lens which is sharpest at f16 or f22, then you're in trouble.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184056\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2008, 01:07:28 AM »
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Hi,

Anyone having any idea what Canon means by calibration? Are they:

Adjusting autofocus?
Adjusting bayonette so lens i perpendicular to sensor?
Disassemble and reassemble the lens groups to fix decentering?
Just replace the lens?

Sorry for asking.

Best regards
Erik


Quote
Despite what the "tests" show, my 100-400 is excellent.  As with all new lenses, the first thing I do is take some test shots.  Some of the L lenses are exchanged.  I needed to send my 70-200 f/2.8 IS to be calibrated (much improved) while the 100-400 was good out of the box.  So don't just go by what you read.  Try it yourself.  If yours isn't up to par you may want to send it to Canon in Irvine.  They do a great job of calibration.
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Ray
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2008, 01:20:18 AM »
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I see a problem with MTF testing, tough. I feel that the present 10 and 30 LP/mm MTF:s or 10,20 and 40 LP/mm MTF:s may not be appropriate for DSLR as sensor resolutions are closer to 80 LP/mm. Any toughts on that?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184064\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Of course! It's a long time since Photodo did any MTF testing at 10, 20 and 40 lp/mm. The bar has been raised. 10, 30 and 60 lp/mm would now be more appropriate.
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Conner999
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2008, 08:23:11 AM »
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The 100-400 is a well known participant in the Canon lens lottery. I know of a couple of photogs that have had to test 4-6 copies of the lens before getting one that was worth the $$$.


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Of course! It's a long time since Photodo did any MTF testing at 10, 20 and 40 lp/mm. The bar has been raised. 10, 30 and 60 lp/mm would now be more appropriate.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184067\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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kjkahn
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2008, 11:30:11 AM »
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Hi,

Anyone having any idea what Canon means by calibration? Are they:

Adjusting autofocus?
Adjusting bayonette so lens i perpendicular to sensor?
Disassemble and reassemble the lens groups to fix decentering?
Just replace the lens?

Sorry for asking.

Best regards
Erik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=184065\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Erik,

Because I was not satisfied with the performance of my 100-400, I took it to Canon NJ (along with my IDMkII as recommended). I wasn't sure whether the problem was with autofocus, IS, or optical alignment (or some combination). I think it came back marginally sharper. I should have done some tripod tests before to see if there was an IS problem. One thing, I can say, though. The sensor came back cleaner than when the camera was brand new. As I mentioned in my previous post, it was never too bad at shorter fl's, but for that, a 70-200 L IS would be better.

Ken
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nigeldh
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2008, 10:20:15 PM »
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I seem to have lucked out with a 100-400 that appears sharp wide open. It was my standard telephoto lens until I got a Sigma 120-300 f2.8. Since I am shooting pictures of birds with it, the 100-400 is the better range and covering up the pins on a TC allows me to get AF some of the time. Taking photos up here in Central NY state during the winter trying to get f 5.6 at 1/250 and ISO 400 can be hard at times.

I have even used it for shots of bees on flowers and it can be fun to put a 500d close-up lens on the 100-400. The ~2m close focus distance isn't an issue.

Based upon the test photos on this site I choose the 100-400 over a 70-210 with TC.
For shooting high school basketball the 70-210 f 2.8 IS would be a better lens. Although the school I take most of my photos at is bright enough that my 28-135 at 5.6, 1600 ISO and down 1/3 stop gets me 1/200 sec most of the time.
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dseelig
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2008, 04:44:39 PM »
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Well I am sending my 100-400 to canon to see what is up thanks for the replies David
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