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50mm 1.8f blurry shots even at f11

Brett Y , Jun 14, 2010; 03:38 p.m.

Seems like my 50mm is taking constantly blurry photos. Even at f11 and 1/500 + shutter speeds. I know it's not motion blur. My 17-40 f4L lens is tack sharp, but my 50mm fails me in every single shot. Can the lens be "fixed" or is it time to throw it away, and get a better lens? If so can anyone make a suggestion? Do I need to go with L glass to get sharp shots, or will some of the others give me the clarity that I need?

Responses


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James (Jim) Johnson , Jun 14, 2010; 03:56 p.m.

Brett,
A sample image from the 50mm might help.

My 50 f/1.8 and f/1.4 were both acceptable. No, not as sharp as my 100-400 L or 100mm Macro L, but pretty close.

Scott Wilson , Jun 14, 2010; 04:01 p.m.

A sample would be good to look at. You might have a dud, my 50mm f/1.8 is very sharp.

Tudor ApMadoc , Jun 14, 2010; 05:13 p.m.

Simple question, but did you make sure the AF/MF switch is in the AF position?

Have you done test shots -

  • set the auto focus point to just the center
  • In a large room, put the center point on something very close to you, take a pic
  • Put the center point on the far wall, take a pic

Post both pics for us to look at.

Steve Dunn , Jun 14, 2010; 05:29 p.m.

This lens should provide you with sharp pictures at reasonable apertures; don't expect miracles near wide open, or stopped down nearly all the way, but at f/11, it should not be blurry.

In addition to the possibility that there could be something wrong with the optics of the lens, it could be a focusing issue. If you take a picture of a scene in which there are objects at a variety of distances, both in front of and behind whatever the subject is, are any of them in focus? If you manually focus, are the results better?

Brett Y , Jun 14, 2010; 06:07 p.m.

As soon as I get home, I'll take some pics at varying distances and post them up. Any suggestions on f-stop?

Tudor. No it's not set to manual focus.

Scott Wilson , Jun 14, 2010; 06:23 p.m.

The 50 f/1.8 should be at about its sharpest at f/8, f/11 will still be sharp but not as sharp as f/8. The lens should be fairly sharp down to f/2.8 or so, at f/1.8 it gets a fair bit soft.

Peter J , Jun 14, 2010; 06:28 p.m.

Brett, did you buy the lens new or used?

Biliana Rakocevic , Jun 15, 2010; 03:27 a.m.

Scott is right :)

Neill Farmer , Jun 15, 2010; 10:14 a.m.

Your 50mm 1.8 should be sharp, even when pixel peeping. You don't need to buy L lenses to get sharp images. If all your other lenses work then chances are the 50 is sick. If it is an old lens replace it as its probably cheaper to buy a new one than fix it. If its new send it off for warranty repair. I'm on my second 50 1.8. The first one just quit after the slightest of knocks, the second's focus is slowly going further and further backwards from the subject. This lens is cheap enough not to agonise over it.
Broken 50 1.8s make great lupes to view clour slides with, the dead are worthwhile being pensioned of into this duty.
Neill


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