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Stephen Hill May 31st, 2011 03:35 AM

Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
I bought a Tokina 11-16 off an assoicate 2nd hand. The lens had barely been used and I got it for a very reasonable price. After months of using the lens I have always had a niggling feeling that something wasn't quite right with it. My other lenses have always looked loads sharper but are far less wider then the Tokina. Perhaps I am expecting too much ?? At the weekend I ran a test with the lense apperture closed right up and an ND filter on in bright sunshine. I set my focus to inifinity and did some walk around. Now I didn't expect everything to be pin sharp but I did atleast hope to see clearer detail in objects within a few feet of me. Instead everything looked very disappointingly soft :(
I have looked into warranty info but nothing appears to have been provided with the lens. My associate is checking for the Amazon receipt which should be on email so I will atleast have that option if needed. My main questions really are:

Is it possible to get a sharp depth of field for walk around shots (glidecam) or am I expecting too much ?

Does anyone have any experience with Tokinas customer service ? So far I cannot find any straightforward info online.

Are there any alternative wide angle lenses that might perform better ?

Jim Michael May 31st, 2011 05:08 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Are you using autofocus? Can you get sharp manual focus? If yes+yes, see if you can use the micro-adjust feature.

Stephen Hill May 31st, 2011 05:13 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Wasn't aware you could auto focus in video mode, I am using manual focus. admittedly it was a bright day so using the LCD screen wasn't easy. When you say microadjustment do you mean zooming in and fine tuning with the LCD ?

Chris Medico May 31st, 2011 05:39 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Hi Stephen,

You should go out and shoot some stills with the lens to determine if it has a focusing issue. Use a tripod or a fast shutter speed to make sure you aren't softening the image with camera movement.

This will tell you quickly if its a lens problem or a settings problem in video mode.

If focus is sharp when shooting stills you will need to look at your video settings for the source of the problem.

Stephen Hill May 31st, 2011 05:48 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Thanks Chris. Will do. If it is a settings issue is there anything notorious I should be on the lookout for ?

Stephen Hill May 31st, 2011 06:04 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
I just noticed this on member Andy Wilkinsons blog:

(4) Very slightly slower and noisier autofocus (AF) - but it's super wide so itís not an issue as very little is not in focus or needs focus adjustment (and in video I only use AF before I hit record anyway). Or, if I want to throw away a second in edit and re-autofocus, whilst I'm still video recording, I just press the ĎAF Oní button on the back of the 7D (this works even during video recording). Mostly, I manual focus with video though for obvious reasons.

So you can autofocus in video mode ?

Chris Medico May 31st, 2011 06:13 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
You can but its not likely you'll like the results on screen. It uses sensor data to look for sharp contrast edges to determine focus. Its slow and it hunts back and forth a few times before settling down to a focus solution.

I only use manual focus in video mode personally.

Chris Medico May 31st, 2011 06:19 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen Hill (Post 1654324)
Thanks Chris. Will do. If it is a settings issue is there anything notorious I should be on the lookout for ?

If stills are nice and sharp here are my thoughts on why the video may be suffering.

You may have a shutter speed too slow for your application or you may not be able to hold the camera still (enough). Motion blur is the most likey cause.

If you are trying to hand hold the camera without mounting it to something that can help manage its poor ergonomics the problem here is very small vibrations you induce that may hardly be visible in the framing of the image but will significantly soften the video.

Thats why I rarely shoot video with the 7d bare hand held. I normally use a monopod or some other device to give me a good grip on the camera so I can manage those micro shakes that ruin the image. To be more exact to give me a relaxed grip so I'm not trying to strangle it and make more vibration.

Chris Medico May 31st, 2011 06:22 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
I will add that since you are comparing this lens to others in regards to sharpness the most likely cause of the problem is a soft lens.

Stephen Hill May 31st, 2011 06:31 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Thanks again Chris. Your input is appreciated.

I do stabilise with either a tripod or a monopod but I concede the test I did at the weekend were handheld. I think I need to be a little more methodical and precise in my testing before I reach any conclusions. Shutter speed hadn't been something I considered but I am 99% I would have used a shutter of 100 while shooting 1080/25p

Andy Wilkinson May 31st, 2011 06:36 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Stephen, yes you can Autofocus on a 7D with an AF lens on - with the way I described - but you would not want the hunting section in your edit as Chris implies. As indicated, I only use this if I'm seeking to check my focus in certain situations before I start getting useable video again. Manual is the way to go 99% of the time anyway.

Shooting some stills on a tripod of (for e.g.) a highly detailed textured brick wall "square on" with oblique sun lighting and then examining the picture file by zooming in on areas on a good PC monitor should tell you if you have a soft Tokina 11-16 lens pretty quickly.

For the record, the copy of the Canon 10-22mm I have is razor sharp and I'd be surprised if a good Tokina 11-16mm was n't - but every now and again poor copies get through QC with all the manufacturers - some makes are worse than than others for this - from what I read. Try it at F2.8 and also at F4 (might be sharper then?)

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Stephen Hill May 31st, 2011 06:51 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Lovely. Cheers Andy. Will check out the auto focus just out of interest really. I prefer to focus manually but I think I need an LCDVF as I occassional struggle with the LCD.
Shooting a brick wall is a great suggestion. I think I was too caught up in trying to recreate shooting conditions/scenarios and missed the obvious.
The main reason for my test was that I was test a new lightcraft variable ND filter. There were lots of fluffy white clouds in the sky and I was trying to retain detail in every area of my shot. Not really an ideal test for sharpness in hindsight.

Andy Wilkinson May 31st, 2011 06:53 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
If you're quick you might just catch the sun before it rains again!

Liam Hall June 4th, 2011 05:08 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
Stephen,

I can recommend the LCDVF - that in itself should help you produce sharper images. I can also recommend the Tokina 11-16mm; it's an excellent lens, I use it all the time. But, like most lenses, it is a little soft wide open.Try shooting around f/4 and you should see good results.

Also, make sure you don't stop down beyond f/16 as this can produce soft images due to the circle of Confusion.

Martin Campbell June 8th, 2011 08:05 AM

Re: Tokina 11-16 has never felt sharp compared to my other lenses
 
stephen - I agree with you here. I have not used my wide tokina much as I felt that the images I was getting were too soft and not crystal sharp as I would expect from another lens. I have heard people say it's their favourite lens. I really need to go back to it and do some more experimenting. I have been shooting at a 1080/50, 25p manual with a LCDVF.

You MUST get a LCDVF or Zacuto.


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