Question about Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens

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Fuzzy images I just got the Canon 24-70mm L series lens and I can't seem to get sharp images when I stand further than two feet from my subject. I have tried everything, and there is still fuzziness and noise. I have lowered my ISO to 400, 200 and even 100. Nothing has worked. I am shooting in daylight, typically with my subjects beneath trees. Either my subject is blurry, the background is blown out or everything is blurry. I've tried shooting on automatic and manual. Please HELP! I spent over a thousand on this lens and my 100 dollar telephoto works better.

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Hey jjbeanwink,
This is a very nice lens, and is unlikely that your blurry images are caused by the lens. The most common cause of blurry pictures is that the shutter speed is set to low. A general rule would be your shutter speed should be at least 1/60th of a second while handholding the camera. The bigger the lens, and the higher the magnification of the subject you are using the faster the shutter speed you should use. If camera shake is the cause of your blurry pictures you could also try using a tripod. Another common cause of blurry images is subject movement, and one solution would also be setting a faster shutter speed. Another solution is using the flash to stop the action instead of the shutter speed. Of course manufacturers do occasionally make a bad product and that is why there are manufacturers’ warranties. If you just purchased this lens you could have an authorized service technician look at the lens and see if there is anything wrong with it. I these suggestions help!

Sincerely,
Allan
Go Ahead. Use Us.

Posted on May 15, 2008

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if I'm to understand your problem when you transferred the 28 to 135 lands from your rebel to your new XSI you began getting out of focus pictures.First make sure that your diopter is set properly on the camera to do this remove the lens turn the camera meter on and adjust your rear diopter control so that all the numbers in the finder are sharp to you then replace the lens. Next I would test the quality of the autofocus system. To do this place a magazine page with large bold lettering flat against the wall. Then aim the camera at this page at a 45° angle using just the center focus point.select a word on that page. Make sure your camera is in the AV mode with no flash and set your f-stop to 4.5. When you take this image you're going to look at it on the computer what you should see is the focus point that you used should be very sharp everything trailing off the backside of that focus point should be fuzzy and everything to the front side of that focus point should be fuzzy.If you find the image is sharper to the front side of your focus point you're getting what they call front focusing. If your image is sharper to the backside of your focus point you're getting what they call rear focusing. These issues can be addressed usually in the software set up on the camera. Again to recap you'll need a flat piece of artwork that you can put on the wall you need to position your camera 45° from that artwork set your f-stop to wide-open centerpoint focus only. I would be more than happy to answer any further questions directly contact me@Dave@advancecamera.com

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5 Answers

I want a nature camera


First, to answer your lens question, 400mm is unlikely to be adequate. On a digital camera this is going to give only 6x magnification. Some nature subjects will require much more than that.

Also, do not need a fully featured 'pro' camera. These have features which you may not want. Look at lenses first, and let that dictate the camera.

It rather depends on your intended subject matter, but in general for nature photography (I presume you are thinking of vertebrate animals, rather than plants or insects.) you require very long focal length lenses. This is because wild animals are very difficult to approach, and many are comparatively small as well. As an example, you may only be able to get within 30ft of a heron however well you are hidden, and for a bird that size at that distance a 400mm lens will just be big enough. Just.

As a rule you want to fill the frame. So to work out what focal length you need you need to work out the size of the image in the camera. This is not difficult to work out, as the magnification is only the ratio of the subject to lens distance to the (Thoeretical) film/sensor to lens distance. (Most long lenses are physically shorter than their theoretical focal length. That's the true origin of the word 'telephoto', the lens is optically 'telescoped' into a shorter package.)

In reality this varies a little as the lens moves in and out to focus it, but in practice you just use the focal length of the lens. So for out Heron which is about 10,000mm away with a 400mm lens the magnification is 400/10,000 = 4/100 =.04. A heron is about .5m tall (18inches roughly), and 500mm x 0.05 = 20mm. The hieght of a digital sensor is about 16mm, so that's full height, but a heron is a tall bird, so portrait mode might be better, and that will be closer to 24mm.

So in our example, a 400mm lens will do but only for an animal half a meter in size, if you can get thirty feet away. And that's pushing your luck. (The nearest I ever got to a heron without sitting all day in a hide hoping for it to show was twice that distance!)

Most subjects will be smaller, or further away. Getting within 150ft of a deer in clear view is quite a challenge even for an expert stalker. At 1.5m tall with a 400mm lens, the image will be 12mm high. If the subject is a grizzly bear, then I doubt you would want to be that close.

Of course if you are wanting to photograph smaller animals, then the problem is compounded. Especially if they are easily spooked.

In essence you want as long a lens as you can manage, so you can photograph from a comfortable (for the amimal) and safe (grizzly bear) distance. However, as in many instances you won't be able to control that, and the range of animals you want to photograph will vary in size, you really want either more than one lens, or a really good zoom.

Really good zooms of long focal length are very expensive, so two lenses might be a better option, or a long lens with a factory matched multiplier would be almost as good. (Zoom lenses cannot perform at optimum over all the focal lengths available, so really good ones are difficult to design and make.)

So you first need to decide what focal lengths you need.

Then you have to consider camera shake. As a rule of thumb you need an absolute minumum shutter speed of 1/(focal length in mm) for hand-held shots. As you will be using long lenses, with small apertures, you won't be able to take shots hand held.

One (partial) solution is to use an image stabilized or shake reduced system.

Image stabilization is built into the lens, and works by moving optical elements to compensate for vibrations. This makes the lenses much more expensive, and will eat batteries. This has the advantage that it is always optimal for the lens.

Shake reduction moves the sensor in the camera, to achieve the same effect. It makes the camera a little more expensive, but the lenses are a lot cheaper, and that's where most of your money will go!

(Note, that digital image shake compensation is not the same thing, and reduces the image sharpness.)

Of course the traditional solution is a really sturdy tripod. Most tripods are simply not up to the job, so you need to check out as many reviews as you can. But be aware a really good tripod will not be cheap.

The camera mount must be really rigid if the camera is not to move during exposure (A camera with a mirror-up function can help. The mirror is the Major source of vibration in a camera, this allows the mirror to flip well before the shutter fires allowing time for vibration to die away.) and the tripod itself must not flex or twist.

A tripod with the means of suspending a weight underneath is useful, extra weight will make sure the tripod feet are firmly placed and help pre-stress the tripod so any residual 'slack' is taken up. (A simple hook that you can hang a kit-bag on will suffice!)

A good tripod and head could cost £200 or more alone!

As for selecting the lenses....

Canon do some very long focal length lenses but they are also very expensive (£2000+) These include a zoom with image stabilization, and a dedicated multiplier to double the range. A good used example will cost over £1000.

However, you should be aware that Canon are generally quite expensive, and other manufacturers produce similar systems, at various prices. I would look at Nikon, and Pentax, these brands are still well regarded.

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It will not focus on anything closer than 5 feet.

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Capable of macro photography, this lens has a 1:2 maximum close-up magnification at the 300 mm focal length. It's the ideal high performance lens for portraits, sports photography, nature photography, and other types of photography that frequently use the telephoto range. It also has a switch for changeover to macro photography at focal lengths between 200mm and 300mm with a maximum close-up magnification from 1:2.9 to 1:2. The minimum focusing distance is 1.5m / 59 in. at all zoom settings.

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