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Canon 100-400 len calibrate


Peter_West 3 148 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2013 8:25PM
Hello everyone, please if anyone can help, is the a way to tell if your lens need calibrating or if it's camera shake your experiencing. Thanks Pete

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lawbert 7 1.7k 15 England
15 Jun 2013 8:30PM
What camera are you using?
Peter_West 3 148 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2013 8:33PM
Hi It's the 600d
colin beeley e2
12 1.1k 10 England
15 Jun 2013 8:44PM
do use the centre focus point ?
Peter_West 3 148 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2013 8:48PM
hi Yes I use centre spot all then time when I photographing birds, just keep getting to told to focus on the eye which I do but I'm never happy with results and someone just mentioned my lens might need servicing very frustrating, wished I had someone else to try lens out
15 Jun 2013 8:54PM
On a crop sensor body, assuming the eye is a reliable and large enough AF subject at the shooting distance, with good technique at 400mm with a static bird you should be able to get some shots sharp at 1/750 shutter speed, and most shots sharp at 1/1500.
llareggub 4 743 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2013 9:01PM
Stick it on a firm tripod, lock up your mirror and take some shots using autofocus at a few focal lengths of something with decent contrast. If it focuses accurately then the lens is fine Smile
Peter_West 3 148 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2013 9:05PM
See where your coming from, but if I'm on AV you cant alter shutter speed only ISO, and the whole point in using AV with birds is to get a shallow DOF or should I be in M mode
lawbert 7 1.7k 15 England
15 Jun 2013 9:16PM
set up on a tripod and use a shutter release....set up in av mode at 5.6, iso 100 and pick a subject in flat lighting such as a fence post that has a few splinters and is roughly sawn..take a pic
Now set lens to manual focus and select live view and magnify to x10 and critically focus on same subject...which hopefully hasnt moved!! and take a pic
repeat at diferrent apertures and review all side by side on PC
If the manually focussed ones are sharper then contact a canon repair centre and send off to get the lens calibrated to your 600d
If both are as sharp then work on tecniqueWink
colin beeley e2
12 1.1k 10 England
15 Jun 2013 9:18PM
if your shooting birds in flight you should use a small aputure for depth of field that will help & as fast a shutter speed as you can , so up your iso . and set the lens on positon II .
is your canon 100/400 an old one ? they do say the old ones were not as good !
llareggub 4 743 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2013 11:34PM

Quote:See where your coming from, but if I'm on AV you cant alter shutter speed only ISO, and the whole point in using AV with birds is to get a shallow DOF or should I be in M mode


Your aim should be to ascertain whether then lens is capable of consistent and accurate focus in Auto Focus mode, as such you want it on a tripod with mirror lock up and if possible with a remote shutter release (as Lawbert suggested). If your lens focuses accurately and consistently then it is either your technique or the tracking of the 600D or combination of both, I have seen some stunning BIF picks from the 100-400L so it is a capable lens.

The only way to eliminate the lens being your problem is to isolate the lens from both user and camera limitations and use it in optimal conditions.

Having said that looking at your portfolio you have an image of a chaffinch where the branch in front certainly looks more in focus than the bird which could suggest a front focus problem, you seem to have a relatively similar issue with your photograph of the dipper. It is not conclusive but there does seem to be a theme, test the lens in optimal conditions first then send it to Canon if you still have an issue.
lawbert 7 1.7k 15 England
16 Jun 2013 12:06AM

Quote:

The only way to eliminate the lens being your problem is to isolate the lens from both user and camera limitations and use it in optimal conditions.



So perhaps pass the whole kit on to you Mr Gubublaramy so he can then test the kit in "optimal conditions"TongueWink

What are Optimal Conditions????TongueTongueTongueWinkWinkWink
16 Jun 2013 6:08AM

Quote: that looking at your portfolio you have an image of a chaffinch where the branch in front certainly looks more in focus than the bird which could suggest a front focus problem,

I generally disagree with your suggestion. I do not think this picture is reasonable evidence of front focus. The branch has better quality detail for autofocus to detect then the chaffinch. Depending on the camera settings it is quite possible for autofocus to pick the better detail on the branch rather than the less good quality detail on the bird.
If a lens or camera focus is about by as much as in this image something is badly wrong and a reasonably sharp photograph cannot it be taken in any circumstances.
Testing with a good autofocus subject parallel to the camera back using a tripod is likely to indicate if the problem is the equipment or your technique.
As your other pictures are sharp I think it is the least of 99% probable the problem is not the equipment.
With a few types as a subject getting autofocus to focus exactly where you want is an acquired skill with either Nikon all Canon. In a way it is a bit like learning to drive a car. It is a relatively easy for a learner driver to drive a car along a straight level road when there is no traffic. Learning to do gear changes, hills starts, three point turns, emergency stops and being aware of other road vehicles are skills needed it to pass a driving test. Generally cars or cameras in good condition are less than 1% likely to be faulty. Whether more than 1% of owners are not as good at driving/photography as their car or camera could be an interesting new topic.
llareggub 4 743 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 9:10AM

Quote:that looking at your portfolio you have an image of a chaffinch where the branch in front certainly looks more in focus than the bird which could suggest a front focus problem,
I generally disagree with your suggestion. I do not think this picture is reasonable evidence of front focus. The branch has better quality detail for autofocus to detect then the chaffinch.



I clearly stated could and explicitly said that it is not conclusive and that the OP should test further using simple and pretty bog standard methods! I merely pointed out that the OP has three images in his portfolio taken with the 600D 100-400L combination (two of which I mentioned) and all three of them do appear to be focused more towards the front of the image than I would expect. Not conclusive at all but certainly something to investigate using the methods I have mentioned.


Quote:The only way to eliminate the lens being your problem is to isolate the lens from both user and camera limitations and use it in optimal conditions.


So perhaps pass the whole kit on to you Mr Gubublaramy so he can then test the kit in "optimal conditions"TongueWink

What are Optimal Conditions????TongueTongueTongueWinkWinkWink



No problem, fair old trek though as I spend most of my time in Rural Hungary (but the weather is as close to as optimal as it gets at this time of year) Wink Optimal conditions are good light, contrasty subject, mirror lock up, sturdy tripod and remote release, it really is not rocket science, you will never test if a lens is focusing accurately by trying to shoot birds in flight, there are too many variables. I have had a go at it and confirmed that all my lenses are a bag of pants as I rarely get one spot on, strange that they do a great job with other things though Wink

The OP's questions is how to tell if my lens needs "calibrating", this is the easiest cheapest and simplest way to identify if there is a potential problem, if you cannot gain either satisfactory or relatively consistent results ship it to canon along with your camera as I believe from what I read the will want to check it with the body that it is used with.
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2013 10:52AM
One of my favoured techniques for this is just as lawbert described (also remember to turn IS off) but to focus a wee bit above ground level, and the patch of ground that is in focus will show how accurate it is.

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