Saturday, August 31, 2013

Halo Problems on Canon Lens 70-200 L IS USM II - Canon Ignoring The Problem... and You??


Let me just start from the beginning...

I sold my 70-200 L IS USM II lens has it was used and needed a replacement, also was hopping on getting the newer one with the newer lens cap and a new serial number. In fact that was never an issue but my lens get so much use than from now and then it is better to sell them and buy new ones than to send them back to repair.

That was the case for this lens. It had a lot of mileage so it went in for Canon CPS Portugal to get a clean and was sold.

I ordered a new one and for my surprise it did not arrived with the new lens cap although the serial number was a newer one.

I took it for an assignment and start to noticed that between the zoom range 90mm-110mm it produced some kind of a strange flare, well not a flare but more of an halo. First I thought it could be something related to the front filter but that being also a Canon Protect I thought it was a little odd and decided to test it out without the filter on a new assignment.

That's what I did and for my surprise it produced the same thing all over again :(

Tested with a friend's 70-200 L IS USM older model and none of his happened.

I started to scratch my head and ask for a replacement on the shop I bought it. This time the new one arrived with a different and newer serial number and this time with the new pinch lens cap.

So I guess this one should be in great conditions, unfortunately it came with dust already inside the front lens, contacted the seller that informed me that this is somehow normal has it would be impossible to keep a little speck the dust out of while on manufacturing the lens (for me this has to do with lower quality control on manufacturing) and I never thought of buying a lens that came already with free dust inside.

After a couple of tests the lens came with the same problem and this one with even worst than my previous one. When you point it to a bright situation it creates this horrible flares either on the left/right/up/down side of the lens and always at the same mm, that's between 90mm and 110mm and when zooming slowly at those positions the effect of that reflection ruins completely the photo.

I decided to investigate the problem, has I never had such a problem on my previous six 70-200 lens I had in the past neither I've heard anyone complaining of something of this kind, either photo or video.

So this what I did to test the lens out with Lens Hood on it.

1) Grab a flash light
2) Put the flash light in front of the lens
3) Zoom in and out slowly between 90mm and 110mm

Then check if you got the results I show in the images below.


It's very subtle the effect on the right and left side. This is because the lens that I have at the moment is not too evident on the halo effect, but on previous one's I had this was a quick way to detect it and has you can see it's still there. It is normal that the lens creates the Flare effect but not this halo thing.

So I decided to investigate and tried to find out why this halo reflection occurs and I got to the conclusion that has to do with a inner black part that is reflecting back the light. This part should be completely black to avoid any kind of reflection but instead is a dark grey that when light hits it it creates that halo reflection with the lines.

Let me show you what I'm talking about...


Is this piece inside the lens, just look how bright it is under the lamp light.


As you can see I got a lamp above the lens and that inner piece is reflecting back the light as showed in the red arrows.


If you take a closer look it's reflecting all the light that enters the lens and that will reflect back and back in again while zooming the lens between 90mm and 110mm that's when the blades cross.

Let me show you some good example of the fantastic photo you can grab with this NORMAL Canon effect. I call this NORMAL has Canon replied me that this is a NORMAL thing this lens produces.

Enjoy the photos with this new effect...


















The videos below (with no audio due to copyright issues) were recorded while on assignment for a client with full front stage access with 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II with it's lens hood on it (as I never use any of my lens without the lens hood) with a 5D MarkIII, that allow me to capture on movie the problem I'm having with this lens that Canon refuses to acknowledge the problem.

One example of the halo problem caught on video that occurs every time you have a back light situation. This would be either on the right side or left just depends on where the lens is pointing at and does nothing to do with normal and typical lens flare that could be produce in situations like this.


Here is another example of the halos produced by the lens when pointed at bright lighting situations where you cannot avoid and if you need to zoom in you will get horrible lens reflections.


And another example...



I have already replaced mine for 3 other with the same problem (all of them completely new).

Contacted Canon Germany and was informed this was not a malfunction it was a NORMAL procedure with this lens under this lighting condition as per information of Canon Inc. Tokyo.

Strange I have never had this before on many of my older 70-200 only with the new ones that were recently manufactured with the new pinch lens cap, so I guess this could be somehow related to bad control quality issues due to rush sales and market demand for this lens.

Check if yours have this problem and report back.

This usually happens between 90mm and 110mm range in back light situations. This also mess with photos as they all come with this halo problem either on right or left and if you slowly zoom in and out will get critical ruining your photo and maybe even make you loose a couple of clients.

Here goes the serials of the ones I had so far with this exact same problem:

- 9420006293
- 0330001231
- 0120004900

At the moment I'm using one with this problem has Canon refuses to acknowledge the problem and replacing it with a non defective one... Hey!!! but it looks like they no longer produce such a fine 70-200 L IS USM II lens... so we're screwed :(

Leave your comments and share this if you feel you've been cheated by Canon on such an expensive lens... also report the problem to Canon maybe they will address this in the future upgrade of this lens.

Hope this helps someone with the same problems!!

Test yours ASAP and if you also find that your lens produces such thing please report it here with serial number so we can deal with Canon, the more reports the better so they could gives us a solution on this problem in such an expensive lens. 

DIY Photography got some interest comments in it's page, have a look.

--//-- Update 12-09-2013 --//--

I've tried today this same setup with my older 70-200 L IS USM II, serial 119011,  that I had sold to a friend and was bought on the same supplier as the ones that are coming with this problem but it did not produce this kind of problem.

Sent also today a personal email to Mike Owen (Canon UK), Guido Krebs (Canon Germany) and Jose Antas (Canon Portugal) talking about this all mess and will report back when I got some more answers about this. 

Reported this to several lens rental houses in the UK, USA, Australia, Germany and France, some have replied saying that none of their costumers report this on the 70-200 L IS USM II that were rented.

Meanwhile test yours to see if you also got any of this problems and report them here.

We are much strong if we are all together!!


--//-- --//--


--//-- Update 25-09-2013 --//--

Got email from Canon Portugal with a great answer to this problem. And unfortunately so far nothing new... checkt it out.


Estimado Sr. Rui Leal,

Agradecemos o seu contacto e a questão colocada aos nossos serviços relativos à sua nova EF 70-200 2.8L IS U II.

Lamentamos que a sua nova objetiva não esteja a corresponder às suas expectativas.

Informamos que após análise técnica ao modelo em questão, não foi detetado nenhum defeito de fabrico no mesmo. A situação reportada não se trata de um defeito do produto, mas sim de uma limitação, que eventualmente poderá ocorrer em situações raras e apenas na conjugação de vários fatores.

Certos da sua melhor atenção.

Com os melhores cumprimentos,

Luis Sintra
RCC - CIG Service Country Coordinator
Marketing (CIG Service)
Canon Portugal, S.A.

Translation:

Dear Mr. Rui Leal,

Thank you for your question and contact to our services related to your new EF 70-200 2.8L IS U II.
 

Sorry that your new objective is not meeting your expectations.

Please be advised that after technical analysis to the model in question, was not detected any manufacture defect. The situation reported it is not a product defect, but rather a limitation which may possibly occur in rare instances and only on the combination of several factors.

Grateful for your best attention.

Yours faithfully,


Leave to your attention to comment a spread the word around on this very serious lens problem that Canon keeps ignoring. Thanks

--//-- --//--  

--//-- Last Update 30-10-2013 --//--

No more news from Canon about this problem. They keep insisting it's a normal procedure of the lens and that it should work like this.

Apparently this only affects the full frame sensors has they cover a larger area of the lens. Never happened to me before on my previous versions of this lens.

So the best and only way that Canon have is to say that this is a normal thing so they don't have to recall all their defective lens.

Shame on Canon support and German CPS service center.

Canon, Thank God this is a normal lens feature ;)

--//-- --//-- 



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

eBook: SimpleSLR Hands-On Photography Guides by Andy Lim


SUPER PROMOTION!! 

All SimpleSLR guides are going at half price (50% off) until September 7. Use the discount code WEDDING50

Andy Lim got started in photography after leaving design college in 1992, and has given several public talks on the subject of photography. He has a gallery of travel and landscape photography, which showcases his work, some of which have been published worldwide.  Andy conducts SimpleSLR hands-on digital photography workshops, from beginners to advanced levels.

He also writes useful and practical digital photography tips on his GoodPhotography.info website. Andy Lim is an accomplished professional wedding photographer. His brand, Emotion in Pictures, attracts clients worldwide with his unique flavor of wedding and portrait photography.

He bring this quite useful collection at an affordable price in an eBook format to help you master your speedlights.


In 3 different flavors that goes from Hands on Photography to Portrait Lighting and Portrait Recipes just as easy as 1, 2, 3.

This will definitely improve your photography and the way you handle your speedlights.

Hands-On Photography Guide
Learn to Take Better Pictures in 4 Hours

This is the electronic version of Andy Lim’s SimpleSLR PhotoClass. Having this e-book is almost like being there at Andy’s class, because the exercises that he takes his class participants through have been distilled here.

Unlike a regular book, it’s designed to quickly get you up to speed with basic photography principles, and provides a platform for you to experiment and refine your techniques. This is not another e-book on photography theory. Instead, Andy provides plenty of hand-holding using easy-to-understand conversational language.
Learn to take better pictures in 4 hours with this e-book!

We start off with a section of ‘Photography Exercises’ to familiarize you with the basic techniques of photography, using a show-and-tell approach. This breakthrough approach has been proven time and again to be effective in getting beginners to start experimenting intelligently with photography. Andy’s approach emphasizes deep understanding, and strives to make photography simple.

In the accompanying section called ‘Analyzing The Shot’ Andy takes you through his thought process with the photographs that he has taken, describing how he arrived at the combination of settings used for each shot, and further advice on how you can apply these techniques to your own photographs.

Lastly, great care has been taken to design an e-book that is easy to use, elegantly crafted and most importantly effective in teaching you photography. This e-book is horizontally laid-out, which maximizes your screen area for reading (instead of the portrait orientation that many e-books use). Paragraphs are narrower for easier reading, and diagrams/photos are used throughout to illustrate each point.

Preview this e-book by checking out a few sample pages. This will give you a good idea what to expect when you purchase it.




Portrait Lighting Guide


This series of guides aims to help photographers master a key aspect of wedding and portrait photography, which is lighting using a variety of methods: speedlights, available light as well as natural light.



Available light does not always mean natural light, because available light can come from any light source, including the overhead spot light used in a wedding ballroom.
View a sample page from this guide.



SimpleSLR Portrait Lighting is the anchor guide that will help you create portraits at the speed of light. I will show you simple lighting techniques that create powerful results, which can be put together very quickly using the most basic equipment. This is the first guide you should purchase as it contains foundation skills for using speedlights effectively.


Portrait Lighting Techniques On-the-job skills of a wedding and portrait photographer, revealed using an approach that is easy to understand. Available to you at prices that are a steal!

Efficiently Organized Pages packed with useful information and how-to diagrams. Illustrated with actual portraits by professional photographer Andy Lim.

Less Is More Contrary to popular belief that more pages are better, SimpleSLR digital photography e-books get the point across with fewer pages.

Elegantly Crafted Photography Ebooks Landscape format PDF e-books designed to read well on your screen. Works on any computer or Ipad. Print them out if you like!


Portrait Recipes Vol.1
Indoor Portrait Photography

In VOLUME 1 of the 3-volume companion guides Portrait Recipes (available individually or as a bundle), various portrait scenarios in indoor portrait photography are illustrated, and 8 different detailed lighting setups are revealed.
 
Detailed diagrams showing placement of lights (be it speedlights or available light) accompany each scenario, with EXIF settings shown, and my thought process described.


Portrait Photography Lighting Tips

These are the 8 scenarios in this volume of Portrait Recipes. Each scenario comes with its own set of challenges, and I will reveal portrait photography lighting techniques that include:
  • how to solve indoor portrait photography lighting challenges on a case-by-case basis
  • change the look of the portrait easily without tedious post-production
  • how a speedlight-lit portrait compares to one that was shot entirely with available light
  • quick guerrilla-style lighting techniques that deliver results with a basic set of equipment
  • portrait photography with speedlights
With these tips, you can create natural looking photography with flash, and confidently tackle any lighting situation during your next portrait or wedding shoot!




Portrait Recipes Vol.2
More Indoor Portrait Photography

In VOLUME 2 of the 3-volume companion guides Portrait Recipes (available individually or as a bundle), various portrait scenarios in indoor portrait photography are illustrated, and 8 different detailed lighting setups are revealed.
 
Detailed diagrams showing placement of lights (be it speedlights or available light) accompany each scenario, with EXIF settings shown, and my thought process described.


Portrait Photography Lighting Tips

These are the 8 scenarios in this volume of Portrait Recipes. Each scenario comes with its own set of challenges, and I will reveal lighting techniques for portrait photography that include:
  • how to solve indoor portrait photography lighting challenges on a case-by-case basis
  • change the look of the portrait easily without tedious post-production
  • how a speedlight-lit portrait compares to one that was shot entirely with available light
  • quick guerrilla-style lighting techniques that deliver results with a basic set of equipment
  • portrait photography with speedlights
With these tips, you can create natural looking photography with flash, and confidently tackle any lighting situation during your next portrait or wedding shoot!



Portrait Recipes Vol.3
Outdoor Portrait Photography

In VOLUME 3 of the 3-volume companion guides Portrait Recipes (available individually or as a bundle), various portrait scenarios in outdoor portrait photography are illustrated, and 8 different detailed lighting setups are revealed.
 
Detailed diagrams showing placement of lights (be it speedlights or available light) accompany each scenario, with EXIF settings shown, and my thought process described.


Portrait Photography Lighting Tips

These are the 8 scenarios in this volume of Portrait Recipes. Each scenario comes with its own set of challenges, and I will reveal lighting techniques for portrait photography that include:
  • how to solve outdoor portrait photography lighting challenges on a case-by-case basis
  • change the look of the portrait easily without tedious post-production
  • how a speedlight-lit portrait compares to one that was shot entirely with available light
  • quick guerrilla-style lighting techniques that deliver results with a basic set of equipment
  • portrait photography with speedlights
With these tips, you can create natural looking photography with flash, and confidently tackle any lighting situation during your next portrait or wedding shoot!





Hands-On Photography Guide
Learn to Take Better Pictures in 4 Hours

This is the electronic version of Andy Lim’s SimpleSLR PhotoClass. Having this e-book is almost like being there at Andy’s class, because the exercises that he takes his class participants through have been distilled here.

Unlike a regular book, it’s designed to quickly get you up to speed with basic photography principles, and provides a platform for you to experiment and refine your techniques. This is not another e-book on photography theory. Instead, Andy provides plenty of hand-holding using easy-to-understand conversational language.

Learn to take better pictures in 4 hours with this e-book!



We start off with a section of ‘Photography Exercises’ to familiarize you with the basic techniques of photography, using a show-and-tell approach. This breakthrough approach has been proven time and again to be effective in getting beginners to start experimenting intelligently with photography. Andy’s approach emphasizes deep understanding, and strives to make photography simple.

In the accompanying section called ‘Analyzing The Shot’ Andy takes you through his thought process with the photographs that he has taken, describing how he arrived at the combination of settings used for each shot, and further advice on how you can apply these techniques to your own photographs.

Lastly, great care has been taken to design an e-book that is easy to use, elegantly crafted and most importantly effective in teaching you photography. This e-book is horizontally laid-out, which maximizes your screen area for reading (instead of the portrait orientation that many e-books use). Paragraphs are narrower for easier reading, and diagrams/photos are used throughout to illustrate each point.

Preview this e-book by checking out a few sample pages. This will give you a good idea what to expect when you purchase it.


Enjoy this great set and get them all while they last...