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I'm having trouble seeing any proof of Image Stabilization... help!
#26
Indeed.
You'll hear a lot of apocryphal stuff out there: most of such talk is pure pilot error and absolutely nothing to do with the lenses..and most certainly not the one to which you refer.
People sometimes have problems because they do not know what they're doing, have not understood what the camera or lens is capable of, and mistakenlly program either to do something too advanced or particular for their needs.
I have read several scare stories that turn out to be nothing more than brainlessness on the part of a user: one such area of daftness is inability to use a basic focus-recompose technique at full aperture: they mis-focus, as the AF-point is doing something like moving about..because they inadvertently told it to...and then they blame it on the lens instead of their own error. Another howler: when you have class lenses and cameras(the 7D for instance), one has a whole raft of thing available the manufacturers have decided we want....a key one is multiple focus points, like 19 or 45 or whatever.
In some Canon combos (mine), my 70-200 IS and body decided it would be helpful to default to 5 zillion focus points and to track between them if I wobbled the lens about: if it thinks I've got the onset of Parkinson's Disease, it ever-so-helpfully expands the amount of available AF points, deciding to use any darn AF point it wants on my behalf.
Or rather it did..., until I went into Custom Functions, gave it a Jolly Good Thrashing, bitch-slapped it and ordered it to pull itself together or else. It now just uses the one, the nice central one that I focus with...and I use one button to focus, another one for exposure lock...using the 2 together is asking for trouble.
The lens is fine, the camera is fine...there are no "incompatibility" issues whatsoever, apart from the basic one of matching a cretin to a camera which needs a brain to make it work.
There are, though, issues with old Sigma primes...and the user will recognise these by the obvious recalcitrance in the Sigma to shoot at anything other than wide open.
You are spot on, photohobo: I myself have seen such passing blogs or Flickr comments, that generate panic as above.
You're quite right to check it out with your chums here...we'll look after you mate! Besides, what Matthew doesn't know can be written on a postage stamp. Big Grin
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
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#27
I had the chance this weekend to put the 300mm to test. Got some pretty good
shots of various subjects, mainly shore birds and a few of my feathered friends
at the feeder. Took another shot of a windsock just as a carpenter bee stopped
and posed. Luckily the bee posed in the depth of field, however, when I tried to
focus on a fisherman a few piers down I would declare the lens focusing moved
almost as if it were hunkering down or being tightened to an out of focus mode.
Then the 5-10x magnification on the camera screen made the fisherman look
terribly out of focus, almost as if it moved while the image was being snapped.

I was on a tripod, IS off and using a remote.

There is either an aggressive learning curve with this lens or it has a defect. In
all my years behind a camera I have never had a lens so noisy and so jumpy.:mad:
I am, therefore I shutter!
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#28
At this point I confess a "I don't know" and I hitherto resort to guesswork..I'd value input from the many wiser heads here.
1.I'll try the obvious camera body checklist first: it is set to single-frame AF...not continuous focus(focus tracking), yes?
2. Have you tried setting AF/AE to different buttons in whatever custom functions there are in the camera? Otherwise, on half-depression of the shutter, the AF point will shift as you recompose the shot.
3. Have you tried setting just one central AF point in the (custom) functions?
I stress all the above are by way of screening out the possibility that the body is presently communicating some commands of which you may be unaware.
These are lens ones: 4. you've not set the lens to limit its travel? (I dunno if this is called focus-limiting or even if this is available on the lens, just a guess)
If all the above checks out and the problems persists, my only guess remaining is that the lens requires calibration by Canon.
Again, these are only my guesses...hopefully a colleague with more product knowledge than I will jump in.
Please keep us informed; I confess I'm quite engaged upon a solution and rectification here! Smile

Later thought: I've read generally nothing but plaudits about this lens...but very occasionally some users have reported what appears to be a small amount of back- or forward-focusing; mercifully one user was able to use the microadjustment facility on his 7D by(in his case) +12 increments, and he was a happy bunny.
I'd suggest in the light of this, and maybe only after going through the checklist above, you could give this a go...?
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
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#29
Zig,
I despise continuous focus! That mode never gives you the go ahead that I appreciate
so much in the focusing stage. Everything I read about the lens led me to purchase
it as well, therefore I intend to make it work!

The windsock that I shot for the heck of it (hand held) is as tack sharp as if I had placed
it on a tripod. The carpenter bee that happened by is so clear it's unbelievable. I love the
shot, in fact it's now the background on my iMac desktop. I love it when that just happens.
No way I could have set that shot up.
I am, therefore I shutter!
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#30
er...OK.
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
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#31
Too many exclamation points? I'll still need that
shot of Zig, so don't throw in the towel just yet!!!!!
Ooooo sorry, did it again with the points.
I am, therefore I shutter!
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#32
photohobo024 Wrote:There is either an aggressive learning curve with this lens or it has a defect. In
all my years behind a camera I have never had a lens so noisy and so jumpy.
There are really only four possible sources of problems with a lens:

1 - user error
2 - camera/lens mismatch
3 - lens defect or fault
4 - inherently poor quality

The fourth one almost never happens, and can certainly be ruled out for the 300/4L. It sounds like #1 can be ruled out as well. The 7D can adjust its AF, but the problem seems to be intermittent; did you buy this lens used by any chance - is it within warranty?
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#33
Matthew,

Thank you for responding and yes, it is intermittent.
Bought it brand new from KEH in Georgia, USA. Warranty is solid for one
year. KEH sells a host of used products as do all dealers, but this one was
new... $1399.00 & no tax. B&H was closed when I decided to buy so I
shopped around and found a very good representative to deal with at KEH.

I do recall reading a couple of reviews at B&H where an individual
stated he had also heard/read all the positives about this lens but somehow
never found that harmony in the lens he had purchased. Sadly my mind
defaults to that review, yet I hang on to hope that it is just user error and a
little self discipline will provide the medium.
I am, therefore I shutter!
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#34
Glad to report that the 300 and me have found
common ground. I am at peace with its performance!
And yes, its performance is fantastic.

Thanks for all the concern and assistance.Smile
I am, therefore I shutter!
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#35
That's excellent news..and thank you for telling us. How did you make it "go"?
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
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#36
300mm Cherry Pie

2 scoops of patience
4 quarts of fresh shuttertalk advice
1 tablespoon of knowledge
1 truckload of trial and error

Stir and blend.

Enjoy! Smile
I am, therefore I shutter!
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