Poor Images w/ Canon 50D+17-55 2.8 ?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by t_p|10, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. Hey all,

    Newbie here with ongoing frustration over the image quality from my Canon 50D w/ Canon 17-55 lens.

    I have a 1 yr old 50D and recently purchased 1 17-55 lens however my photos have been average/good at best. Regardless of what setting I use, and where I focus, I just cant get sharp photos. I shoot in jpeg with no post processing (im currently working on learning that element).

    When shooting in auto mode, the photos are worse than those taken with my old point and shoot SD1100. Yes, I know....auto mode will normally result in average photos, but surely a $1000 camera body with $1000 lens shouldnt result in poor quality photos even in auto mode.

    While Im not a pro, and still getting used to my camera settings, I'm beginning to think my camera/lens need to be serviced. Or is this truly a case of raw/post processing being necessary to get super sharp photos.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks !

    Terry
    Chicago
     
  2. 99% of focus problems are user error. Here are a few things right off the bat that should help. Choose a specific Auto Focus point yourself (I don't think you can do this in auto mode) and put that point on your subject when focusing, that way you are forcing the camera to focus on the right thing and not allowing it to choose from 9 points and hope it chooses correctly. Also, use one shot focus on still subjects and al servo on moving subjects. One shot locks focus so the camera won't refocus after correct focus is achieved. Al servo is continuously focusing and refocusing, so if a subject is moving this mode keeps it in focus instead of locking focus, as One shot does, and then the subject moving out of the focus plane. As you take the shot, do not move, even a movement of an inch closer or farther from your subject can cause it to be out of focus. A tripod is ideal, but not always practical. Lastly, make sure your shutter speed is fast enough. Lots of times what appears to be an out of focus (OOF) image isn't OOF at all, its blurred because the shutter speed wasn't fast enough to freeze the subject. On still subjects you should never shoot slower than 1/focal length shutter speed. For example, with a 50mm lens you would need to shoot at a shutter speed of at least 1/60 second (1/50 isn't an option). For action, you'd need a much faster shutter speed.
     
  3. also, a sample image could go a long way in diagnosing your problem.
     
  4. I took a photo of an object with the SD1100 then again with the 50D using AV mode and focusing on the area which looked the sharpest in the SD1100 photo, but still no comparison. The SD1100 was sharper.
    Shouldnt the 50D at least look better than the SD1100 in full auto mode ?
     
  5. Here's a link with some sample photos:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/116479188421149458559/Desktop#

    The first photo was taken with the Canon SD1100 (auto mode)
    Second photo with Canon 50D w/ 17-55 lens (auto mode)
    Third photo with Canon 50D w/ 17-55 lens (landscape mode). The first thing I noticed is how out of focus the brown roof on the right is. (f10, 1/100, iso-100)
     
  6. The two photos of the car were on taken on full auto. Looking at the grille and wheels of the car, you can see that the 50D is out of focus as compared to the SD1100.
    The landscape photo was taken at f10, 1/100, iso-100 using the landscape mode on the camera.
     
  7. The two photos of the car were on taken on full auto. Looking at the grille and wheels of the car, you can see that the 50D is out of focus as compared to the SD1100.
    The landscape photo was taken at f10, 1/100, iso-100 using the landscape mode on the camera.
     
  8. The red roof is a little blurry b/c its on the edge of the photo with a wide angle lens. Anything on the edges will always be less sharp than the center, especially with wide lenses, and this is even more apparent on the 50D than the P&S b/c the sensor size is so much larger. The larger sensor takes in more of the outer edges of the image circle where more blur occurs. Photos are sharpest at the center and since P&S sensors are so small, they ONLY take in the center. The same thing applies to the car photos. It looks like the 50D is focused more on the near side of the car drawing and it looses sharpness as you get farther away. This is b/c its farther from the focus point and the bigger sensor gives less depth of field. Try taking a portrait at a low f stop with each camera and see the difference in background blur, the P&S won't have near as much as the 50D. I don't think there's anything wrong with the camera, its just new to you and you have to learn how it will react in different situations and learn how to use it to its fullest potential. Until then it will be in control of your images instead of you.
     
  9. what was the f-stop on each of the first 2 photos?
     
  10. First photo of the car (taken with SD1100) was f3.2, 1/60, ISO-200 (taken on full auto mode)
    Second photo of the car (taken with 50D) was f2.8, 1/50, ISO-100 (taken on full auto mode)
     
  11. [[Shouldnt the 50D at least look better than the SD1100 in full auto mode ?]]
    You're comparing apples and oranges. The small sensor and very wide angle lenses required for the SD1100 will not produce the same results as the 50D, especially at large aperture. The SD1100 will naturally have far more depth of field than the 50D.
     
  12. There you have it 2.8 on the 50D gives hardly any DOF. Shoot the same shot from a tripod at f/8 or 11 and see what you get. f/3.2 on a P&S gives lots of DOF, more like an f/8 on a DSLR.
     
  13. Having tried numerous settings, focal points, etc, I still cant get the 50D to produce as sharp of a photo as the SD1100. Im going to try again with my friends Canon T1i.
     
  14. I think Nathan is right and you first need to try shooting with smaller apertures. Set the camera in Av mode and set aperture at least at 5.6 (preferably in the 8-11 range). Take a few pictures and let us know if the images are sharper. If not, do you have any other lenses? Did you buy 17-55 brand new or used?
     
  15. Tried with a tripod and all sorts of settings/apertures, and still no super crisp results. Lens was purchased used (6 months old at time of purchase last month). Ill try a friends lens and camera and see how they compare. Worst case, I bring camera and lens into local Calumet Photo for a checkup
     
  16. also, go to the picture style settings and make sure that at least some sharpness is being applied to the Jpeg. If you shoot RAW this is unnecessary as you will have to apply any sharpness in post. Again, I think DOF is the main issue here, but this won't hurt.
     
  17. [[Having tried numerous settings, focal points, etc, I still cant get the 50D to produce as sharp of a photo as the SD1100. Im going to try again with my friends Canon T1i.]]
    TP:
    You need to be more systematic about your testing. As mentioned, the SD1100 will, by it's nature, produce photos with more depth of field than the 50D. And yes, it's likely that the SD1100's default sharpening (and color saturation, and contrast) settings are higher than with the 50D.
    Additionally, as the 50D is producing 15MP photos and your SD1100 is producing 8MP images, if you're comparing 100% views, you're again not comparing apples to oranges.
    Buying expensive equipment doesn't mean your images are going to be "better" if you don't understand how the equipment works. (This is not a criticism, this is just reality.)
     
  18. Thanks for the feedback. I greatly appreciate it. I will shoot more samples with both cameras along with a friends T1i to troubleshoot.
     
  19. Jeez. Stop apologizing for the thing. The 50D + 17-55 should be tack sharp even at f/2.8. My normal reaction when viewing the images is, "Gosh, I love this lens." If you don't get that, something very well could be wrong. Make double sure by carefully shooting more test shots. Shoot them at f/5.6, no smaller. Use flash at fastest sync speed to eliminate camera shake. Mount the camera on a stable tripod if you're uncertain.
    Send it back to Canon for adjustment if it is still under warranty. Just a brief note about soft images will suffice.
     
  20. TP, the problem with 17-55 is that previous owner might have opened it to clean the dust and then did not put it back correctly. Was there any dust inside the lens when you purchased it? Did it collect dust since you bought it ( I assume it was used)?
     
  21. No dust that I can see and she claims to not have taken it apart. It is still under warranty (purchased at Adorama)
     
  22. When shooting in auto mode, the photos are worse than those taken with my old point and shoot SD1100​
    This may or may not be the case, depending on who is shooting. And it seems to be true in your case. Just because someone got a new racing car doesn't mean he/she can drive any faster. I remember in a movie (is that Pretty woman?) how Richard Gere drove a stick shift car
     
  23. Understood, however after using several different settings, I still cant get razor sharp photos. As far as full auto mode goes, while I dont normally use it, I figured it would at least give better results than a point and shoot at full auto.
     
  24. I figured it would at least give better results than a point and shoot at full auto.​
    You thought so or you wish so but in fact, you figured out it is the opposite. And that's the truth, at least with you
     
  25. John is right, P&S will often produce better results than a DSLR on full auto. P&S's are designed for people that just want to do just that, point and shoot, and don't usually know much about post processing or camera settings. For that reason, the maufacturers design P&S's to make great photos with little work. All the camera settings and post work is done by the camera, not the person, and they usually do a good job. However, with a DSLR all the settings and post work is up to you and if you don't know how to do these things as well as P&S are programmed to do then your photos won't look as good. But when you do learn how to manipulate the settings and really fine tune RAW images in post the differences can be dramatic.
     
  26. OPK

    OPK

    Terry,
    50D can behave strangely. I had similar problem, no matter what lens. this camera is very sensitive. any tiny handshake can produce unsharp images. despite it is a great gear I sold it and bought EOS 1D - no problems anymore.
    maybe your lens is faulty and need alignement? If you can't take sharp picture on f 5.6 then you should ASAP go to your seller or Canon service.
     
  27. John is right, P&S will often produce better results than a DSLR on full auto.​
    Where are you guys getting this stuff? That isn't going to happen, unless it's the uninteresting case of having the P&S in your pocket when you left the DSLR at home. It sounds to me like you're just beating on the OP for whatever your reasons. The 50D on full auto is a P&S. With good glass, it'll outperform handily every little lozenge lens, small sensor box sold as such. The 17-55/f2.8 IS is one of the finest short zooms Canon makes. If he isn't seeing that, the problem almost certainly is in that particular lens. He just needs to make a few careful test shots to rule out other problems.
     
  28. I have the 17-55 lens also. And very often, I have the same problem. Try this. Use live view and manual focus on a
    tripod. That always works. I have a canon G-10. And it's always been sharper than my 17-55. But, it's not the fault of the
    lens. I can make the 17-55 as sharp as the g-10 if I go to the trouble. It also helps if you have a lot of light and I saw the
    car photo was in a darker room. I'm using on a canon 40d.
     
  29. It sounds to me like you're just beating on the OP for whatever your reasons. The 50D on full auto is a P&S​
    Michael, I have no idea what beating you are talking about. All I said is that I concurred with the OP that, depending on who is shooting, a P&S may have a sharper picture than a 50D has. I just agreed to that because his finding seems very possible. That's ALL. I don't even have a 50D and honestly, I didn't think that the 50D has a full auto mode. I thought only the P&S have the "Green square" mode (full auto)
     
  30. John, I see a lot of blowhard talk about how difficult photography is, and why his amateurish attempts should be lousy. Why don't we both just give it a rest?
     
  31. The 50D photo of the poster appears to be focused on the front edge of the frame, with such a narrow depth of field at f/2.8 that almost the entire poster is out of focus. Make sure to focus on the center of the poster if it is not parallel with the focal plane, and perhaps try f/5.6 at ISO 400 or f/8 at ISO 800 for greater depth of field.
    The landscape photo seems fine at the 1600 x 1067 pixel resolution posted. Depending on what the full resolution version looks like, increasing the sharpening in-camera might help. At f/10 on a 50D, diffraction blur will be starting to set in. Something like f/8 or f/7 should be slightly sharper, though with less depth of field which may not be a net win for a landscape.
    From those two photos I cannot draw any conclusion about the quality of the lens beyond that it is at least sane.
     
  32. Hi Terry,
    I also went through the same disappointing results when I started using my "new" 20-D, (8 mega-pixels). None of my photos were as sharp as the ones that I had been getting with the old G-2 (4 mega-pixels). What I learned after much frustration, was... the G-2 had more in camera sharpening (jpgs) than the 20-D had set in the parameters from the factory. Plus as someone noted already when you check photos @ 100% taken with both cameras @ the same settings, the 8 mega-pixel file will appear less sharp because you are seeing a much smaller area (as in, the 100% crop is a much smaller piece of the original photo) so in essence what you're seeing is the same number of pixels but a much smaller piece of the entire photo, thus not going to look as sharp.
    Hope this is not too confusing, I know it took me a month or two of reading this forum to get this through my head.
    I don't know how many pixels your point & shoot has, but I'm assuming less than the 50-D.
    I also have the efs 17-55 2.8 and like Michael says its a sharp one.
    Have fun with it,
    Dee
     
  33. Michael Young's comment is spot on and agrees with my experience shooting this lens and camera.
     
  34. I am also dissappointed - but not EOS50. The EOS 450 with Sigma 28-70/2.8. Just crap - both the lens and the camera. My Olympus is 2 heads&shoulkders above.
    00XEzT-277987584.JPG
     
  35. OP, you have "Micro Focus Adjustment" - use it to callibrate the lens to your 50D.
    It looks like it does front focus a little, but you should be able to adjust for it in camera.
    MFA is the main reason i decided to get 7D instead of the 60D (altho i must say, playing with it at the Canon Expo, it is A LOT of camera for a little over $1000, IMHO the only thing missing is the MFA).
    My XSi if front focusing with every lens i have used on it (to a different degree, but it's always off). My old 28-135mm was dead on on my XTi, never looked sharp after i got the XSi.
    Thinking there must be some thing wrong with the lens i got the new 15-85mm. it's a little better, but still not very sharp.
    I was adjusting my friend's 50D with he's lenses (including my old 28-135mm) and most of them were dead on on the 50D, only 2 of them needed adjustment. The same lenses on my XSi are missfocused.
    I came to a conclusion - next time, get a camera with MFA in whatever price range you are.
    If i can't afford 7D when i'm ready to buy, i'll just get a 50D. Thought it's an older camera, but at leas i'll know that when i focus on some thing it will be focused correctly. And if the picture is still not sharp or is out focus, than it's not the camera/lens problem but the idiot behined it :)
    Just my $.02
     
  36. I don't think an angled flat surface (such as a poster) is the best way to test the accuracy of focussing - I am not sayng it can't be done (some test regimes rely on this) but it is prone to error on where you are focussing; surely easier to set up a series of stacked objects (offset a set of books or scatter a load of coins for instance) and focus on an actual edge.
    But, like others have said, I think a key part is thet the SD1100 has a lens with a focal length of 6mm to 18mm - with that range, virtually anything is going to be within DOF (especially at 6mm). You then have the in-camera sharpening that is factory-set and you may need to be more aggressive than you first think when you post-process.
    The 50D on full auto is a P&S.​
    I agree completely
    It may well be the 50D or the 17-55 has a fault, but only after being scrupulous with your testing of the DSLR can you come to this conclusion, and work out which one it is.
     
  37. First, figure out if the lens is focusing right: http://www.photo.net/learn/focustest/
    Then shoot something using the camera on a tripod with mirror lock-up and bracket focusing manually (shoot the first frame where AF recommends and a few frames manually adjusted either way from there). Look at the raw files on your computer and see which is the sharpest.
    If you have a focus problem, send to Canon. If not, enjoy your camera and try to keep your shutter speeds up.
     
  38. Hello
    you've made the update of frimewar, currently 1.7. think of personalize your settings, especially that of sharpness, contrast, saturation and your picture-styles. Think also has developing your RAW with DDP. it gives matches Exelente!
     
  39. Its a little late I am sure to respond to this post, but I thought I would anyway. I too have a Canon 50D. T I use a Canon 24-50 2.8 L .. I had the same problem when I first got the camera. I swore for 2 months that the camera was broken..LOL But it was me. It produces beautiful images, but it takes a little time to figure out the best settings. Its just my opinion, but I don't think it takes that great of pics on auto mode. However if you use the AV,TV and P modes with the proper settings, It produces high quality sharp images. Little quirks I have found with it...1. Really need to set the focus points manually. 2. The auto white balance not so great, really need to set it for the occasion (shade, daylight etc). 3. It is extremely sensitive to ANY camera shake whatsoever. I posted 2 pics for you on here in the gallery. The lake picture was when I first got the camera. The river picture was after I finally got the hang of it. I really found out that it was me once I put it on a tripod and worked with all the settings. I hope that helps you. If you work with the camera and still can't get sharp pics, then perhaps maybe there is something wrong, because it really does take nice sharp pictures.
     
  40. Its a little late I am sure to respond to this post, but I thought I would anyway. I too have a Canon 50D. T I use a Canon 24-50 2.8 L .. I had the same problem when I first got the camera. I swore for 2 months that the camera was broken..LOL But it was me. It produces beautiful images, but it takes a little time to figure out the best settings. Its just my opinion, but I don't think it takes that great of pics on auto mode. However if you use the AV,TV and P modes with the proper settings, It produces high quality sharp images. Little quirks I have found with it...1. Really need to set the focus points manually. 2. The auto white balance not so great, really need to set it for the occasion (shade, daylight etc). 3. It is extremely sensitive to ANY camera shake whatsoever. I posted 2 pics for you on here in the gallery. The lake picture was when I first got the camera. The river picture was after I finally got the hang of it. I really found out that it was me once I put it on a tripod and worked with all the settings. I hope that helps you. If you work with the camera and still can't get sharp pics, then perhaps maybe there is something wrong, because it really does take nice sharp pictures.
     
  41. Hey Terry, I had a similar problem when I purchased my 50D. Have you tried creating your own "mode" to shoot with? I punched the sharpness up in the internal camera settings and it made a world of difference.
    I also had a similar problem when I owned my 300D "back in the day." I had dropped it/banged it a few times too many and it needed to be recalibrated by Canon.
     

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