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Old Jan 11, 2008, 7:48 PM   #1
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i recently picked up a year-old 100-400L at a good price, and i've been giving it some field time whenever the weather permits (which this time of year isn't often). i've been trying to get it to produce images as sharp as my Sigma 80-400, and so far it hasn't. i've seen so many crystal clear, razor-sharp images taken with this lens, frankly, i'm very disappointed. so far, my percentage of keepers is far below what i was getting with the Sigma. i don't know for sure if it's me or not, but many of my shots come out soft, or not quite focused right, even shooting from a monopod with my 40D and doing the same things i did with my Sigma 80-400. for instance, today, i took a shot of a GBH standing 100 yards or so away. the shutter speed was somewhere between 1/400 and 1/640, at f/7.1, with IS turned on, with the monopod, the camera wasn't moving. still, the heron was hopelessly blurry. (unfortunately, i deleted the shot in disgust... :roll: ) i guess that's why i got such a good deal... i've not had these kinds of problems with the Sigma - it may take longer for the AF to work, but when it says it's focused, by golly, it's focused! at this rate, i may go back tomy old lens, at least until i can get the Canon issue resolved... i don't really want to send the"L" lensin to Canon and have it gone for 2 months, is there some way i can check to see if there's a problem with the lens, or if it's just me?
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 8:25 PM   #2
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I had the Sigma 80-400 OS lens for a few weeks, then got the 100-400. My experience was just the opposite. Many more keepers with the Canon L. Must be your lens.
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 9:39 PM   #3
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put the old lens on and do some test shots if its the same check your sensor. i had this sometime back. rick
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 10:54 PM   #4
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1. The Sigma 80-400 OS is actually quite a good lens - Check it's MTF against the latest (2nd copy) of a 'good' 100-400L aacording to Photozone:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...56os/index.htm
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...6_is/index.htm
-> "The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS is a very good performer with few weaknesses ... that's assuming you get a good sample - the first tested sample was mediocre whereas the second one performed very fine."

2. Three 100-400L (one lens even belongs to Canon) were tested with 3 different sets of results here :
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Ho...is-YOUR-lens-1


BTW my 100-400L is OK and so are my Sigmas:

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Old Jan 11, 2008, 11:17 PM   #5
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yeah, i've always been pleased with the results i got from the Sigma... andyeah, i checked the MTF to theCanon lens before i even bought the Sigma! that's one reasoni got it... the only reason i got the Canon is that my 80-400 started giving me 'error 01' messages, and 3 trips to the service center didn't fix it. the problem occurs with both my latest 30D and 40D, but i never had a hiccup with my first 30D... anyway, i got the "L" in hopes of solving that problem without sacrificing image quality. i do like the faster focus and the way the AI servo works with the "L", but the image quality is... well, lousy!
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 11:35 PM   #6
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You might want to check into a 400L instead :idea:

The 100-400L is one of Canon's older design which has been quite problematic to some people because of its "push-pull" although my copy is quite capable... I tend not to use my 100-400L as much since I recently got a Bigma/D300 to compliment my 500mm...




squirl033 wrote:
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and the way the AI servo works with the "L", but the image quality is... well, lousy!
BTW have you try single-shot AF with this lens?

-> What I've found with AI-servo is that the camera moves the lens focusing ring back and forth on a stationary object so unless you're doing a burst and pick out the best shot, how do you know which position on the focusing ring is correct when the shot is taken?
I can understand with a moving subject the camera anticipates the movement by moving ahead or backward, but if the subject is stationary (or during an AF test) single-shot AF may be a better setting to try...
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 12:09 AM   #7
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yeah, i've tried single-shot AF, it's no better.

i'd prefer not to go with the 400 fixed lens... it does a wonderful job, but i like the flexibility of the zoom, not everything wants to be shot at 400mm! no, if i can't get this one to work, i'll go back to the Sigma. but i've seen so many simply stunning shots taken with the 100-400L, i'd really like to see if i can get this one to work...
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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Do you know if it front or back focuses?
-> The MrkIII can AF fine tune for this (or my D300), but they should definetely put this feature in all cameras...

If i's not sharp at all when it is supposed to be in focus then that's a different story - The good thing is because it's Canon I guess you can send both the lens and camera for adjustments although I never had to do it myself all the time that I've been shooting using just about any camera! :-)
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 12:22 PM   #9
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it seems to be back-focusing... my 40D has no focus problems at all with my 80-400 or either of my Tamron short zooms, so i'm pretty sure it's the lens...
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 3:08 PM   #10
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**Questions for oakey.** What led you to it being a sensor problem? Was it strictly a front/back focus issue or just a general focus problem? Sensor replaced and corrected the problem?

My issueis a little opposite. I have started having front focus but does the same withany lens I use.
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