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Author Topic: Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS  (Read 60076 times)

sumowondertoad

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« on: September 18, 2007, 12:43:03 PM »

I shot about 1200 images last week with a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon EF 600 f/4L IS.  On several of the images, I get a very strange effect on the out of focus areas.  In the attached image, it is visible in the bushes in the background.  It is hard to describe, but appears almost like double images.

If anyone has used the EF 600 f/4L IS that has experienced this phenomenon and has thoughts about how to eliminate it, it would be greatly appreciated.  Note that I have also had similar issues with the Canon 1D and EF 400 f/2.8L IS combination, so it's likely not a technical problem with the lens or the body, just a peculiarity of the lens.[attachment=3308:attachment]

Nill Toulme

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 01:22:55 PM »

I think it just happens sometimes with OOF specular highlights with the BWL's.  You should see some of the weird stuff I get with my 400 f/2.8 with sun coming off cars in the background through chainlink fences.  Saw similar effects with the 300 f/2.8 also.

Nill
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BernardLanguillier

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 06:07:36 PM »

Quote
I shot about 1200 images last week with a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon EF 600 f/4L IS.  On several of the images, I get a very strange effect on the out of focus areas.  In the attached image, it is visible in the bushes in the background.  It is hard to describe, but appears almost like double images.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140203\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you could repost a higher quality jpg, it might be easier to comment. The current image is so full of jpg compression artifacts that it is plain impossible to tell anything IMHO.

Regards,
Bernard
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sumowondertoad

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2007, 02:44:10 AM »

Quote
If you could repost a higher quality jpg, it might be easier to comment. The current image is so full of jpg compression artifacts that it is plain impossible to tell anything IMHO.

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140275\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Nill, going through some of my images taken many years ago with the EF 600, I have found it to be more common than I originally thought.  I wish I knew how to avoid it as it doesn't seem to be something that is controlled with the aperture setting.

Thanks, Bernard.  Here is another with one of the questionable areas circled.

Nill Toulme

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2007, 09:18:31 AM »

That looks different from what I'm describing... that's almost like a funny sort of doubling effect (and not limited to specular highlights, of which I don't think I see any in that shot).

Nill
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Mort54

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 10:43:44 AM »

Quote
Nill, going through some of my images taken many years ago with the EF 600, I have found it to be more common than I originally thought.  I wish I knew how to avoid it as it doesn't seem to be something that is controlled with the aperture setting.
Well, the whole image is very soft. Assuming it's properly focussed, I'm guessing you have some lens shake that is smudging the detail, in addition to the out-of-focus blurring. In other words, you've got several effects going on with the blurred sage.
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sumowondertoad

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 10:55:23 AM »

Quote
Well, the whole image is very soft. Assuming it's properly focussed, I'm guessing you have some lens shake that is smudging the detail, in addition to the out-of-focus blurring. In other words, you've got several effects going on with the blurred sage.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140417\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Here's a better example I took in 2003 with a D60 / EF 600 f/4L IS.  The subject is in pretty good focus, and the animal in the background is smoothly out of focus, yet the bushes all have this wierd effect, even though some of them are even further away than the out of focus animal.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 10:56:00 AM by sumowondertoad »
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Let Biogons be Biogons

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 11:05:48 AM »

Quote
Here's a better example I took in 2003 with a D60 / EF 600 f/4L IS.  The subject is in pretty good focus, and the animal in the background is smoothly out of focus, yet the bushes all have this wierd effect, even though some of them are even further away than the out of focus animal.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140423\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's actually painful to look at.  Maybe it's time to try Nikon.  ;-)
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Nill Toulme

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2007, 12:26:30 PM »

That is indeed rather strange.  Interesting, but strange.

Nill
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Mort54

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2007, 01:05:13 PM »

Quote
Here's a better example I took in 2003 with a D60 / EF 600 f/4L IS.  The subject is in pretty good focus, and the animal in the background is smoothly out of focus, yet the bushes all have this wierd effect, even though some of them are even further away than the out of focus animal.
Some lenses just have ugly bokeh. I guess the 600 L is one of them. Nice bokeh is usually associated with lenses that have a larger number of diaphram blades, and where the diaphram blades are rounded.
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ErikKaffehr

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2007, 02:36:25 PM »

Hi!

I can see something similar on my Minolta 400/4.5 when used with 1.4X extender. I have no explanation.

Best regards

Erik

Quote
Some lenses just have ugly bokeh. I guess the 600 L is one of them. Nice bokeh is usually associated with lenses that have a larger number of diaphram blades, and where the diaphram blades are rounded.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140470\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

D White

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2007, 10:21:07 PM »

It seems to be a factor of large aperture long lenses. A version of mirror lenses "donuts' if you will. I have the 600f4 IS and had the non IS, (in addition to a 300f2.8L). Both 600's have/had this as well as a previous FD400f2.8L. The EF 600's have a 9 blade aperture -- so it does not get much better than that. Heat waves may be a factor in magnifying the effect.

You will not hear about this as much in Nikon long lenses as not very many people use them. (You have all seen the side lines of sporting events the last 10 years).
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Limosa

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2007, 10:49:18 AM »

What type of filter did you use, if any? I've read somewhere (cant remember where) about filters messing up OOF areas - or even the whole image - horribly. This guy took his brand-new mega-telelens on an African safari without testing it first and came back with what you describe. It turned out to be the filter he used.
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sumowondertoad

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2007, 02:05:30 PM »

Quote
What type of filter did you use, if any? I've read somewhere (cant remember where) about filters messing up OOF areas - or even the whole image - horribly. This guy took his brand-new mega-telelens on an African safari without testing it first and came back with what you describe. It turned out to be the filter he used.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=141219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I didn't use any filter, though there is what I assume to be a clear filter in the filter holder already (has a slide-in filter holder in the rear of the lens).  I did check to make sure it was not smugged or dusty.

Coot

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2007, 02:38:18 PM »

Why don't you ask the folks who made the lens?

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controll...16&modelid=7320
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sumowondertoad

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2007, 02:50:22 PM »

Quote
Why don't you ask the folks who made the lens?

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controll...16&modelid=7320
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=141261\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Oh, yes, I have already tried every source I could think of.  I started with Canon, went up to Canon CPS, asked a few regular sports photogs, asked the writers of photo blogs (including Luminous Landscape), all with the reply of what it possibly might be, but no way to pin it down and avoid it.

Since I seem to only really have this problem when the background is highly detailed (like bushes), I'm hoping the solution may still be around the corner with inquiries to the people who read this forum.

jd1566

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2007, 05:33:54 PM »

Hi there,
I noticed this on my 70-200 IS version, and this effect definitely wasn't there in the previous non-IS version..
Two possibilities at work here:
1) IS creates this effect in the out of focus areas in certain lighting conditions, or more likely in certain types of backgrounds
2) the optical formulas of all these IS lenses with their additional elements have something to do with this..

Try and find some non-IS lenses to check against and see if it's there.. more likely not.

I definitely don't like the effect.. BUT Image Stabilisation is such a great tool that I will just have to live with a wierd OOF area.. The alternative is more often than not an unsharp image..
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thewanderer

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2007, 11:21:37 PM »

ihave seen this type of thing, when shooting primarily from 10am to 5 or 6 pm,, in other words, mid day shooting, when heat waves from the ground and plants begin to shimmer, and judging the shadows on your bison shots, you are shooting at miday in may or june,, due the  light color of the calf, i also have the same problen when shooting animals on sunny days in the snow, at least mid day shooting when the sun begins to reflect off the snow and,,,,, it can totally ruin a photograph and cause some focusing problems,,, especailly if you are wanting detail from a somewhat distant subject,, thats my opinion and experiecne from that sort of shot,, in addtion, the compression of the lens on the subject and bg compounds the problem,,
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 11:23:54 PM by thewanderer »
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Roskav

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2007, 01:35:02 PM »

I used to get this effect when using an IS lens placed on something steady like a monopod or back of a seat... I hadn't realised that this messes with the image .. you get what looks like a cross between a double image and camera shake.

Ros
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Rob C

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Strange bokeh (out-of-fucus) with EF 600 f/4L IS
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2007, 05:30:48 PM »

Is there any way you can try to replicate the conditions with the lens but shoot on film, to compare, and to see if it has anything at all to do with digital sensors rather than the lenses?

A strange effect that I have seen with very long lenses is a sort of distortion where in, say, a range of heads at an angle to the image plane, the one in focus appears to be smaller than an out of focus one further away from the camera. Very disconcerting, and often visible on tv news shots.

Rob C
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