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Canon R5 that cannot produce a sharp photo.

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        Last September 2020 I received my Canon R5 from BH Photo along with a 800mm RF Lens.  I did a little photography using my R5  with a EF 70-200mm IS and was never satisfied.  Over Thanksgiving I shot with the 800mm and was shocked I couldn't get an infocused photo.  I'd shoot auto or manual.... Raw or jpeg.  Every photo was out of focus.   I sent the camera back to Canon's Professional Service in Virginia and they sent it back saying they made slight adjustments.  When I got it back it was worse. Close up shots are more in focus but shots in excess of 300 yards are worthless. I am very sad and upset.  I've shot Canon's for over 35 years, most recently 5DMK3,  My R5  photos are watered down (blurry) and totally out of focus.   Does anyone have any thoughts?  I recently have heard that a batch of these cameras have the same problem.  Any one have any ideas what I should do.  I live in remote Alaska without any camera shops...  Thankyou,  Joe Ray  Ps: I included two perfectly focused photos.  Open them 100% to see what I am talking about.  Both were shot with a tripod.



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  • JoeRay changed the title to Canon R5 that cannot produce a sharp photo.

Oh man. I would have returned immediately to BH saying it was defective. I have seen other people experiencing something similar. Sorry, I don't have any solutions.

I fear with the camera market shrinking that camera companies are cutting on manufacturing quality, parts, and assembly to increase margins. Another pet peeve of mine is "weather sealing". If the warranty excludes weather related damage in their fine print, obviously the company does not feel confident about their product, and anything they say around the subject should be taken with a grain of salt.


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The focus on my R5 works perfectly, but I've heard similar reports.

If you can't focus on something that is far away, but you are able to focus on closer subjects, it would usually mean the distance from the sensor to the lens elements is too large (imagine an unwanted extension ring). However, it would generally take quite a large shift for this to happen, and the adjustments inside the camera are small.

Are you sure the problem is with the camera and not the lens? Would you be able to test the lens with another camera? Does any other lenses produce the same problem with your camera? A misalignment of the lens elements inside the lens could also cause this problem.

Side question, does the camera confirm focus? Does the box turn green in the viewfinder even if the resulting image is out of focus? 

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Ouch, that sounds unfortunate. I’d focus on documenting exactly what’s going wrong so you can confidently say to Canon here’s the problem and I need you to fix it. 

From your description it’s not clear whether the problem’s with the R5 or the 800mm lens. I’d start by narrowing it down. Take a known good lens, EF mount if you still have one, and shoot a series at different apertures and focus distances; repeat with the same lens and a known good body, eg your 5D mk3. Chimp as you go and repeat anything that looks soft to make sure it’s a genuine problem, not user error. 

Next, shoot a similar series with the 800mm. You won’t have a control body, so maybe try different AF settings to see if that makes a difference. 

You should now be able to clearly point to which body, lens, and settings trigger the problem. Send that information with the supporting and control pictures (to show what it should look like) to Canon and see what they say. You might as well copy B&H though I think it’s past the point they’d be required or even reasonably expected to do something. 

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One other thing to have in mind is that most of the old EF lenses are capable of focusing beyond infinite. With a lens able to focus beyond infinite, it should be next to impossible for a misalignment of the sensor to cause this effect. Perhaps the new RF tele-lenses have tighter tolerances around infinite? This could cause the camera-lens combination to give problems you would not experience with older EF lenses.

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