Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Postby henk99 on Tue 11 Sep 2018, 11:08 am

Hi all,

This airshow season I have been having trouble getting keepers with my Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS lens. I usually use it with the 1.4x extender (version III) on two bodies, the 7D mk2 or 5D mk3. Normally, this combo is sharp as a tack, but the keeper rate has been very low this year. In the meantime I have checked it a couple of times using the Reikan Focal program (as I have been doing for years) and it comes out fine. The MF correction value is fairly stable and in that respect it seems to be doing fine. During the last airshows I switched to my Canon 100-400mm mkII and then I have tack sharp images again.

Does anyone recognize this issue and if so, what would you recommend? I can have it serviced maybe, but that's not exactly around the corner for me, so that's something that has to be planned if it should be the best way to go. I have also experimented without using MF values in the camera, but that doesn't change it either. It really seems to have something to do with the lens itself. Last weekend I was at the Belgian airshow, and again a low keeper rate. The keepers I do have are razor sharp as they should be, but where I would normally get around 80-90% keepers, I'm now down to 50-60% or so.

One thing I did notice is that shooting static objects is giving me better results, as well as slow aircraft passes. Can it be that there is something wrong with the image stabilization?

Any help appreciated!
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Re: Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Postby Paul_Reflex on Tue 11 Sep 2018, 11:31 am

Sounds really frustrating! Is there a difference in the keeper rate between high and low shutter speeds? I Would have thought that an IS problem would be much more pronounced on shots of helicopters than fast jets.
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Re: Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Postby blackcat on Tue 11 Sep 2018, 12:38 pm

What weather types have you been having the issues with?

Its been such a hot sunny Summer that a lot of airshow shots of aircarft in the air are heat hazed out,
I know a lot of my Fairford ones were and know peoplw who gave up taking images at RIAT because of it...
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Re: Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Tue 11 Sep 2018, 3:12 pm

This year i've had the same problem on my 300 mk1, both with and without 1.4 converter.

pics that should be pin sharp arent and those that shouldnt are just me'h.

it got so bad at Fairford that in frustration i did a full reset of my 5Dmk3 in case it was me. 1 day would be fine, the next poor.
Really couldnt get my head around things, as suddenly things clicked and i was off and running again with sharp pics.

It's got so that when i'm in japan in 11 days time i'm taking 2 bodies, the 300, 100-400 and a 150-600 as it's a 1 time deal for me there, and i need to know my equipment is good for the trip.

I dont know what caused my issues mate, but maybe take both cameras back to basics and start again working up to how you expect it to be.

Got to love Russianhardware

Re: Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Postby Stagger2 on Tue 11 Sep 2018, 3:31 pm

Can't really add to the above except for trying the lens on moving subjects with the IS turned-off & ensuring the correct Mode is set when 'on'? There was plenty of light during several parts of the BAFD @ KB that would not really require stabilisation? (if that was possibly corrupt). That test alone could've ruled-out IS issues? From your description I would favour an IS problem.
All this assumes you had no hangover or new medical condition causing a 'shake'. :wink:

Re: Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Postby Agg on Tue 11 Sep 2018, 8:58 pm

To be fair, I've always had trouble using the 300 2,8 I with an extender - the 1,4x is slightly better than a 2x, but still the auto focus seems to slow down so much that getting anything sharp of something that's moving towards or away from you is nigh on impossible. I've more or less given up using it with an extender, and now only use it for take off and landing shots where 300mm is enough.
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Re: Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Postby henk99 on Wed 12 Sep 2018, 7:39 am

Thanks for all the comments guys, some very useful tips there

[1] Resetting the camera body(s). I have never done that before, but certainly worth a try. I don't have that many things setup in either camera.

[2] Switching off IS completely. Hmmm....that's a tricky one. I have never really understood if it's supposed to be on/off with fast jets. I have read reports that it doesn't even activate if the shutter speed is above, say 1/1000th. Other keep it on all the time. I also have it on all the time, in mode 2 for panning.

[3] Stop drinking while enjoying airshows :lol:

[4] I see what you mean there Agg. It's quite a weight to swing around and with slower AF it can certainly introduce issues. However, I have been using this lens for years now, and never had so much issues.

On top of it all, I found out yesterday that the lens can't even be serviced/repaired anymore :shock:
I was emailing with a Canon service point about it and they told me that they can check it for AF, but can't repair it anymore, as it is outdated. They can't get the parts anymore from Canon. So, if something is really wrong with it, I could basically toss it in the bin :wall:
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Re: Canon 300mm/2.8 I IS issue

Postby TonyT on Fri 14 Sep 2018, 12:53 pm

Lens can get serviced still but not by Canon, BTW are you putting the lens on the camera first or the lens, you can get issues putting it on the camera first as the body senses that and not the lens properly, you should but the extender on the lens and then the body and it will sense it as a whole.

The Lens Doctor has got some superb reviews from folks

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