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Ok, so I currently shoot with a canon Rebel which of course has a 1.6x crop factor. My primary lens is Canon's mid-level 50mm f/1.4. I love this lens for close up portraits and can get a very sharp focus even at a low f-stop.

I am having a lot of trouble however getting crisp images, say of an entire family, even with a higher f-stop, say f/5.6 from any farther than 15 feet. It's not just focusing on the wrong area- the area it does focus on is correct, but the in focus area is VERY grainy every time- just not sharp. (even at a low ISO in plenty of available light)

I am wanting to upgrade to a Canon 6D but if I do then the only lens I have right now that would be compatible with it is my 50mm and I don't want to be stuck in the situation where I have a nice camera but need to get another lens for decent shots.

I just recently noticed on the top of the lens in front of the manual focus ring there is a little window with the distances of the focus reach and it only goes up to 10 feet. So is a Canon 50mm f/1.4 not meant to focus past 10 feet?

  • It's an awesome lens. Is it set for automatic focus? That might be one problem. If you do some tests and it's not focussing right, send it back to Canon. – user4894 Jun 30 '14 at 22:30
  • If you (or anyone else) have ever dropped that lens when the focus was set at anything other than infinity it is likely the focus collar has been deformed in the area where the lugs for the focus elements connect. This could be preventing your lens focusing correctly at longer focus distances. There are many DIY guides online for fixing this problem. Here's one: image23photographic.blogspot.no/2012/04/… – Michael C Jul 1 '14 at 3:42
  • I bought the lens used and I have dropped it once (not sure what the focus was set at). I will definitely give the online guide a try. Thanks! – user29895 Jul 1 '14 at 22:23
  • Did you solve the problem? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jul 20 '14 at 19:20
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You'll notice that after 10ft on the focus scale there is an 8 on its side. That's the symbol for infinity, the lens is designed to focus that far, if yours doesn't it may be damaged.

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Are you looking at your close-up portraits and your group portraits at the same magnification? Or are you magnifying your group portraits more to judge focus? The higher your magnification, the more "grain" you'll see, because your pixels will be getting bigger and bigger.

There is nothing wrong with your lens or camera, and I highly doubt a 6D is actually going to make you a lot happier, because then you'll be seeing the corner performance (where lenses traditionally perform their worst, because light is being bent at the most extreme angles) that's hidden when you put it on a crop body.

Look at your group portraits at the same magnification as you look at your single-person portraits, and you're likely to find the quality is pretty much the same over a similar area of the sensor.

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