My Nifty Fifty Returns from the Canon Hospital!

And it’s soooo much better! I am seriously kicking myself for not realizing the problem and getting it fixed earlier.. all those precious photos of itty bitty Jasper that are slightly out of focus just KILL me now when I look at them. Damn crappy canon quality control.

At least I feel vindicated that I wasn’t imagining the front focus issue..I have it in writing from the canon tech that worked on it:

“We have examined the product according to your request, and, it was found that the adjustment of the part was incorrect causing front focus.”


I mentioned before that photography forums are abuzz with people who don’t believe that the focus test chart results are an accurate way to diagnose a problem and usually blame user error.  Really I should have just trusted my instincts. At any rate, since a picture says a thousand words and all, here are a few pics I took with my newly healed Canon 5omm 1.8:

Before being adjusted, I can almost guarantee the focus would have incorrectly fallen on the green block in front of his face, but now it falls correctly on his eyes:

Notice that sometimes when he is not looking squarely at the camera (like in the picture above the block picture) that one eye is in focus and the other isn’t! That is because when you shoot so wide open the depth of field is tiny and only the smallest area is actually in focus, anything infront of or behind that plane can be out of focus.   It’s obviously preferable to have both eyes in focus, but if you have to choose it’s better to focus on the front eye. This picture is OK (not great) focus wise but would be even worse if the front eye were blurry and the back eye in focus!

DSLR owners, If you aren’t already familiar with changing the focus points on your DSLR it’s worth practicing. In most cases center recompose works well, but wide open it often does not and it’s better to manually choose your AF point.

There is a nice little post on Pioneer Woman about that, so I won’t reinvent the wheel. Keep in mind while reading that post that what she is saying she would have missed in all those shots is if she were using the center focus point and focusing over the subject’s eye.

All of the photos above were shot at 2.0 at 1/50th, which is really slow and very wide open so not really a great test of focus, so I also wanted to take a few shots with the healed Canon 50mm and the Sigma 30mm side by side in better lighting conditions where I could use a faster shutter speed (1/125th) and I did that in the basket photoshoot.

The last two pictures (the ones that are all the way ‘zoomed’ in) were taken with the Canon. All the rest with the Sigma.

Canon 50mm 1.8:

Not bad, but not as sharp as the Sigma 30mm 1.4:

Notice that even though these were both shot at 1/125 and 2.8, the back eye in the Sigma shot isn’t nearly as blurry. Interesting! But again, the Sigma is $300 more than the Canon, so there should be SOME noticeable difference. (I also notice while post processing that the Sigma colors are more vibrant.)

So, I imagine that was passably interesting for those of you interested in photography.. for the rest of you not so much.

If the rest of you actually made it this far, can we talk about the new Gap Inc. Clothing Company “Athleta” ? I kinda like the clothes, but oy, that name! It’s like an Ikea name, you know, a tool kit called “Fixxa” or something. Why not just call it “gym clothesa?”.

But name aside, what do you think? I’m considering taking advantage of the combined shipping with Old Navy/Gap etc and ordering Jasper some new spring clothes and me some cute gym apparel. Perhaps that will be the motivation I need to drag my arse back to the gym this weekend??? Nah..

PS, tomorrow’s Photoshop Friday will feature a three part series on Lightroom!

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ariana says:

Hi Lisa,
It should still be under canon warantee if amazon won’t take it back. For canon support you do it all through their website: It was very painless. Good luck!

lisa says:

Hi Ariana- Love your site. I purchased the canon 1.8 lens this past september and I have to say I have the same issues. I am a beginner photographer, so I automatically thought it was user error. It can be frustrating. I bought it off Amazon. Do you think it is still under warranty? Who did you contact at Canon?

priscilla says:

Seriously, this kid (and his mom) cannot take a bad picture. He is a beautiful boy.

ariana says:

Thanks heartartz! I do try to enjoy every possible moment.. already 8 months has flown by in a heartbeat.

Erin, thanks for the heads up, I had no idea Gap purchased a preexisting company. Figures! Good to know it’s nice stuff.. I hate that I can’t return it too a store if it doesn’t fit though like I can with Gap and old navy onlne purchases.. at least I think I can’t?

erin says:

hi! love your blog! the photography stuff is sometimes way over my head, but it is absolutely fabulous nonetheless.

just wanted to tell you that Athleta has been around for awhile … i’m not exactly sure how long, but i’ve got about a zillion back issues of the catalog sitting around the house, so it’s been some time. i’m not sure how the purchase by gap will change their stuff, but up until now, it’s been pretty great! definitely a good motivator for getting back to the gym … or just looking good for going out to stroll around with jasper! :)

heartartz says:

Your photo tutorials are great. Thank you.
They explain some problems I have had.
However the techniques are rather advanced for point and shoot camera users like me.
I just love seeing the GREAT pictures of Jasper.
You cannot take a bad picture of that cute model!!!!
Jasper is sooo adorable.
Enjoy every moment with Jasper… my baby turns 20 this Saturday. :(

ariana says:

Keri, how exciting!!! Too bad about the long wait time though. Let me know when it arrives!

Merks, wow, thank you so much! After I’m done with a tutorial I’m always like “well that made NO sense!” because I always feel I have to rush or else the file sizes get to ginormous to deal with. I’m so glad that’s not completely the case :)

Merks says:

I have now shared your blog with a lot of my friends and colleagues. One of my friends and I both agree that your photoshop tutorials are more intuitive than Adobe’s. I’ve learned so much from your blog, plus I LOVE seeing pics of how cute Jasper is.

Keri says:

I just ordered my 50mm and can’t wait for it to get here. (I heard they are on backorder from the Canon warehouse, so it could take a few weeks). I need to figure out how to change focus points. Even after reading the PW post, I am going to need some help:-)! I’m still in the way beginner league.

I love the photos you posted, though!