Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD Problem

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by K9Kirk, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I recently bought a Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD for my Canon T6 camera and I found that it has trouble focusing @ big zooms. The lens will either jump around, focusing on one thing then jump to another and back and forth as though it's confused or it will focus on an object close to what I'm taking a picture of, rendering it a little out of focus and you can't tell until the picture is processed or it just won't focus at all depending on the situation it seems. E.G. Bird in flight 100 meters or less coming toward me, lens @ 500-600mm zoom and it won't focus at all or jumps around in focus. Now I'm taking hits for bad, slightly out of focus pictures and I want that to change.

    I was told that this is normal behavior with a long focal length. I feel that's probably true, it seems to make sense but can this be confirmed by anyone with the same lens or a professional background in photography. Is my only option to focus manually on such big zooms? It's hard to focus well on moving subjects, especially when you only have a few seconds or less to do it and the focus keeps changing because they're coming toward you. Thanks for any input!


     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  2. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I cant answer specifically if its the lens, but my now deceased 35-350 L lens did the same thing.

    I would hunt for a focus point and many times I was so frustrated that I would switch to manual and shoot that way.
     
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  3. zulu42

    zulu42 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What AF mode are you using?
     
  4. RowdyRay

    RowdyRay No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Make sure you have the camera set for single af point. The center will do. That way you eliminate the camera try to choose.

    Second, make sure you have it in ai servo mode. Continuous shooting. Set the shutter 1600-2000. F10, ISO auto.

    There could be a front or back focusing issue, but give this a try first.
     
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  5. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm using center weighted average w/ ai servo.
     
  6. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am using center weighted and ai servo along with continuous shooting and camera set to "DAYLIGHT" but I haven't tried the shutter and aper that high. I will try that with the ISO set to auto and see if that helps, thanks!
     
  7. zulu42

    zulu42 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    center weighted average I believe has to do with your metering.
    As @RowdyRay said, get that body in single point AF. It's imperative for birds.
    I shoot at a minimum of 1/800 for a stationary bird at 600mm, minimum of 1/1250 for a large slow bird in flight.
    Turn off your VC when your shutter speed is above 1/1000 and see if that has an effect on sharpness.
     
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  8. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Well I have this lens and it can jump about a bit during focusing, I find I need to change the focus speed in the custom funtions to get the best out of it, though I'm not sure if the T6 has that as an option.

    I've went back to using the multi focus points for birds in flight though I do switch between AF points regularly.

    Long lenses have a bit of a learning curve to use and it could be a few things causing blurred pictures. Can you post an example?
     
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  9. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There are a few pics under Nature & Wildlife titled, "Birds On The Move." The first pic isn't so bad but the others show how the camera focused on something in the foreground. I just read an article and it said that many times with AF if there isn't much contrast between the subject and it's surrounding the AF won't know what to lock onto so I'm thinking there's a bit of that going on, depending on the picture/surroundings. there are some pics that seemed to have plenty of contrast for "lock on" but the lens locks onto the wrong thing. I've been using AI Servo which is suppose to be for moving objects but it isn't working so well. I'm going to switch over to the Single AF and see if that makes a difference and locks on the whatever is centered.
     
  10. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Ok, I see what you are on about now. As Braineack pointed out your shutter speed is way too slow, the thing is that long focal lengths really ampilfy any motion blur. Second thing you'll need to realise is that with any bird in flight photograhy you're going to have a lot of misses. Of you can get a 1% keeper rate you'll be doing ok.

    I'm happier at 1/500th at 600mm with VR on, really I'm looking to get 1600th or ideally 2000th/sec when I'm at 600mm with VR off though I would shoot stationary animals at 1/250th if I'm forced to.

    Our lens isn't the sharpest, but you can't expect it to perform like a 600mm f4 prime, mine is definately acceptably sharp though heavy cropping can take a toll.

    Thankfully there's an easy way to tell, just stick it on a tripod and find a stationary subject (like not even moving in a slight breeze) and see if you can hit focus on it. I used a dandilion sticking out of our patio when I did mine (it was fine). After that I got a large level with a measurement gauge on it and propped it up at an angle at took a shot at 600mm on a tripod, mine was pretty spot on so I had to concede it was my technique.

    So, what I do is hit the focus button when the bird is in the central focal point then try and track with it with the extended ones. Bear in mind that even at 600mm if the bird is small the camera may miss focus anyway. Try stopping down to f8 as well. But I suspect you are having more of a techniqe issue.
     
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  11. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  12. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch Always looking... Supporting Member

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    Lol, No one should be compared to coastalconn...anyone that knows his work will tell you he is exceptional and has no equal with bird photography.
     
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