Possible lens/body problem


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Apr 13, 2012
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Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
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Hello! This is my first new thread post. I've been reading a lot. Haven't been needing to post anything until now. My wife is a wedding photographer, I assist her, and deal with all of our equipment.
This whole year, maybe part of last year we had been noticing that our 50 1.2 wasn't as sharp as it probably should be. It used to take fantastic shots, but now they're somewhat blah. The problems occur on both of our bodies, and are only exclusive to this lens.
I had originally thought that it was camera shake, but at the shutter speeds it seemed unlikely. We've even using an 85 1.2 this year and shooting wide open all day with it and having the sharpest pictures ever.
I'll post a few pictures when I get onto the computer. But any ideas, could it be CA or something like that or back focusing, etc.
The images don't "pop" like they should.
Thanks in advance.
I would do a micro-calibration on it. What bodies are you using? Welcome to the forum!
Thanks Kathy

We use a 6D and a 5D Mark II.

I've tried micro adjustment on the 6D and found no noticeable differences. When I get my examples up I'm sure it'll help.
If other lenses are performing well and the lens you have is not performing in line with what you know or suspect it should be based upon comparison to others work then there are a few things to consider:

1) Assuming its the enigma in your setup ensure that you're not using in a limited range of situations where your method or the situation itself might result in a lower quality photo.

2) Micro adjust only adjusts the point of focusing; good for correcting minor focus calibration errors and nothing more. IF test shots against a well lit and angled target (around 45 degress to the camera) show that the maximum sharpness is suffering then its not an AF issue.

Chances are the camera and lens are having a calibration error as a result of the tolerances of the two units being at odds with each other; the fix is :

1) Send the lens to Canon for recalibration- as nothing is "wrong" with the lens that you know (it could be perfectly fine on a different body) this can be a lottery as you send it back ove rand over until the techs land a good calibrated result for your camera body(ies)

2) Send your camera and lens to Canon for calibration and they'll fit the lens to the camera perfectly. Note for this you want to specify that only the lens is adjusted (otherwise your camera could end up soft with all your other lenses).

3) Note since you are without your camera its often something people will do with their whole setup; sending all their own brand lenses and cameras to Canon for a full calibration check and adjustment.
50 1.2

85 1.2

The 50 doesn't pop like the 85 does. And both of them locked focus.
Do you have a filter on it?

I would try to eliminate things, to really narrow down the problem. For example, maybe try the lens on some other cameras if you can. Maybe even get another copy of the 50mm F1.2 and try that on your cameras, to see if you get the same results. (not sure what camera stores you have in Regina).

If you can, with certainty, narrow it down to that lens being the problem, then I'd suggest sending it to Canon. They might ask you to send a camera along with it, as mentioned above...but they may also be able to find a problem and fix it without a camera.

I sent a lens into Canon Canada last year. They require a $100 deposit, which covers the inspection and diagnosis. In my case, the lens (50mm F1.4) required a new part...an AF motor or gear, but they didn't charge me anything more than the $100. I had the lens back in less than two weeks.
Thanks Mike, I didn't even think about trying a different 50 out. I think our local dons photo should have one in stock. Usually, it does have a filter, but in all of the subsequent tests I have done as of late, I have had the filter removed, still a total lack of sharpness. I will report back with my results.
It looks like it was back focusing about 10cm behind a subject about 3-4m away. I was able to get that corrected, ended up being about 19 units forward I had to move it. Although, still a bit worse with CA than the new model in the store. But it did make me happy to see that both my lens and the lens at the store both needed adjusting, mine was just about 5 times as much though.
Good to hear that you found a problem and a solution...but it's still odd that it shows more CA then the one in the store. I want to suggest sending it to a Canon repair facility...but I have a feeling that they woulnd't do anything for you...could be wrong though.
Took about 10 good shots. Put the camera away. Went to a shoot this weekend, it was crap again. Looks like it'll be getting sent to canon in the near future.

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