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Old Sep 14, 2007, 2:58 PM   #1
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I'm having blurring with my 70-300 IS USM lens at 300mm. I'm using it on an XTi. Is this normal for the lens at this length? Would a tripod help with the blur? The pictures where this is most noticable are sports pictures(Little League, soccer etc.) Any advice on this lens would be greatly appreciated. I am debating whether or not I need to return it.-Thanks
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 3:09 PM   #2
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First you need to post a photo exhibiting the "blur".I assume you know that you must have a high shutter speed to take blur-free shots, especially hand-held situations.

Not knowing your photographic experience, I would tend to first suspect that you are experiencing movement blur, not lens blur or focusing problems, because your shutter speed is too slow to stop the fast movement. It could be from shaky hands or the sports action itself. A sample photo with its EXIF info intact would help diagnose that.

Beyond that, most zooms are a bit "soft" in focus at their maximum zoom — blur usuallycomes from movement of the shooter or the subject.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 5:09 PM   #3
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As already mentioned, chances are, it's a shutter speed issue.

Are these night games you're trying to use this lens at? If so, you'll want to crank your ISO speed up to ISO 1600 and shoot with the aperture wide open (f/5.6 at the long end of the zoom range with your lens).

Even then, it may not be bright enough to stop motion blur from subject movement. So, you may have to try and catch the players when they are relatively still.

It's a good idea to have a lens with f/2.8 available for sports in most stadiums for night games (which is 4 times as bright as f/5.6). But, a lens that long gets a bit pricey if you need f/2.8.

As suggested, I'd post a sample image so that users can see the camera settings used. Don't use Save for Web if you are using Photoshop to downsize (as that strips out the EXIF that contains camera settings). Use Save As instead. I'd downsize an image to around 640 pixels wide for posting here.

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Old Sep 15, 2007, 10:35 AM   #4
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thought I read somewhere the 70-300 doesn't perform very well past 200
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 10:49 AM   #5
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Note the "without" part, and see the MTF charts:

The performance of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS came as a total surprise. Unlike its predecessor the lens is capable to produce a very high performance throughout the zoom range without the significant drop in quality at 300mm typical for most consumer grade lenses in this range.

But, the lens is not as bright on the long end. So, shutter speeds are going to start dropping as you zoom in more. Plus, blur from subject movement is gong to be more obvious at longer focal lengths (because the movement will occur across a greater portion of the frame for a given viewing size when zooming in on a subject).

That's why I'm guessing it's probably a shutter speed issue (although it could be that focus is being missed because of a shallower DOF, too).

Some sample images would help to narrow down the cause.

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