Not doing very good with a 70-200 f4 IS USM

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ron_brown|6, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. I've been trying my hand at a 70-200 f4 IS USM lens on my 5D, but don't seem to be doing very good. The photos seem to be coming out
    OK, but as I zoom in on something, they start blurring. I'm sure that is not supposed to happen is it? I can't upload any photos to show
    you because my computer is shot. Can anyone give me an idea of what I am doing wrong.

    I was shooting at a Cemetery, bright sunny day, had my ISO at 100, changed my settings from f10 - f22, walking from sunshine into
    shadows back into sunshine. I had the IS on, because I do not have the steadiest hands. Any thoughts?
  2. What speed was ISO 100 at f/22 or so producing?
    Even IS cannot go much more than a couple of stops worth of stabilization.
    You may just be shooting at too low an ISO. I'm not sure what the so-called "native" ISO on the 5D is, but I think it is higher than 100.
    Either shoot at a faster ISO, or get a tripod.
    As I recall, ISO 400 was very decent on the 5D (classic).
    Of course, as an old GAF 500 slide film user, I was personally thrilled with ISO 3200 on my 5D, so I may not be the one to ask.
  3. Native ISO on the 5D is 100, as it is for just about all of Canon's DSLRs. But I agree with JDM that ISO 100 may not be sufficient when shooting at long focal lengths in shade or at very small apertures, even with IS turned on. Try ISO 400 and make sure the shutter speed is always 1/100 or faster to be on the safe side.
    Also, at f/22 your images will be softened by diffraction. Try not stopping down farther than f/11 and see if that helps. It's not clear from your post if you mean that your images look soft at 100% or if they are so badly blurred that they look soft even with the whole image visible.
  4. I vote for f/11 as small as you need to go unless shooting macro or something requiring large DOF. Pay attention to the SS, which will be up around 1/200-sec. SS and focus are the two most important parameters for sharp images. (Make sure you've got the focus button pushed to AF and not MF).
  5. I have been using a 70-200 2.8 non IS for at least fourteen years. You need a light reading. I have a 100-400 IS also. With sports or wildlife IS or no IS I like to keep the shutter speed at 1/1000 or faster with either lens if I can. Camera shake can be a problem the slower shutter speed you go. 1/500th works ok if I have to on the 70-200. Also the comments about diffraction are correct. I like to stay around f 7.1 to f11 if I can. ISO is the major variable to achieve the above settings. The old 5d I owned was quite good at least up to ISO 1600 and I have published sports pictures at ISO 3200 from the 5d. Lightroom compensates for noise very well and pictures at higher ISOs come out very well. Use a monopod for both steadiness and as I did for arm weariness. The 5d works very well if you pay attention to the variables. I am kind of sorry I still don't own it.
  6. but as I zoom in on something, they start blurring​
    Do you mean that you are focusing and then zooming? Very few still-camera zoom lenses are parfocal, so you should always focus at the zoom setting at which the shot will be taken.
  7. What Robin said. Also select an ISO that results in a shutter speed of 1/800 or 1/1000 th. Try that. If things are better try improving your technique of hand holding steadiness and reduce shutter speeds as things improve.
  8. There is a list of parfocal zoom lenses here
    though it may be out of date. There are very few as you can see. In the days of manual focus lenses, such as FD, parfocal operation was common.
  9. From my old photography tips page:
    "As a rule of thumb, when hand holding a camera, shutter speeds should be faster than your lens's focal length to avoid blurred images from camera shake. For example if using a 70-210 MM zoom lens, if it's set at 100 MM, 1/125 second should be fast enough on the shutter. If the lens is set to 210MM, at least 1/250 second would be recommended. A 400 MM lens would require at least 1/500 second and so on. Lenses with image stabilization would allow slightly slower shutter speeds."

    Check your photo metadata on the blurred shots and see how your focal length compares to shutter speed.
  10. J. Harrington's quote is where I start with any lens longer than about 70mm. I've used the 70-200f4 for years for thousands of shots, but I'm not young anymore, so getting the shutter speed right is the first option. Even working with a monopod only adds a stop or two, as does IS. But I think making sure the shutter speeds are high enough is more important than the aperture at those lengths. If I need more aperture, then I start cranking up ISO to get where I need to be.
  11. I think with modern cameras a shutter speed of 1/(3*focal length) is worth trying for (without stabilization) if you can get it in the light you're shooting in; this way you optimize your chances of shots free of camera shake and of course it reduces movement blur too, over 1/FL which is really only a reasonable limit for when the aim is web viewing or 4x6 prints and not for large prints or high resolution images. If you turn IS on then the game does change.
    Apertures smaller than about f/9 are probably to be avoided unless you have a specific need for sacrificing sharpness to gain more depth of field. So, rather than shooting in the f/10-f/22 range shoot from f/5.6 to f/8, and get the shutter speed to 1/500s or faster (you may want to turn IS off). Then try to make sure you nail the focus. The sharpness of your images should increase quite dramatically.
  12. At those f-stops and low ISO, your shutter speeds are going to be too long to get crisp hand-held shots--at least not very often.
    Open up your aperture (to f/4 or f/5.6) and turn up the ISO to 800 or 1600 (or even higher) and see what you get.
    As your shutter speeds automatically get faster with low f-stop numbers and high ISO, you WILL get some crisp shots handheld. In halfway decent light, you might not even need IS.
    That lens really ought to do fine wide open, at f/4, for most shots. As for ISO, the 5D is pretty good at high ISO. I shot it for years.
    I would do this as a test. Pick a subject and take a number of shots at f/4 (on all test shots) but with various ISO values, starting at about ISO 400 and going up from there. You will see pretty quickly what you can get away with.
    I am assuming in all of the above that you are shooting aperture priority.
  13. The 70-200mm f/4 L IS is a remarkable lens.
    In addition to the suggestions I would say practice, practice, practice. That is one of the best things about digital. Practice is free. You need to properly set up the camera and lens for the task at hand. You need to use the proper technique. You need to determine your capabilities and your weaknesses.
    I have included a shot just to show the capability of this lens. The lens settings were; 169mm, f/4, 1/100, ISO 800. The shot was taken during burnout so the car wasn't traveling that fast.
  14. Here is another shot when the cars were going faster. The lens settings were; 97mm, f/4, 1/125, ISO 1600.
  15. Providing a sample of the problem images would go a long way to helping diagnose the problem.
  16. Providing a sample of the problem images would go a long way to helping diagnose the problem.
    With full Exif.

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