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Focus distance

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Accuracy Edit

The focus distance reported by the lens has fairly large steps and is typically only used for flash calibration, where a few cm of error are acceptable. Typically higher quality lenses have finer steps with more accurate measurements. Additionally, not all lenses support reporting the focus distance.

Tested lenses Edit

Lens Focal length Focus distance Comments
Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fish-Eye (13) Yes No
Canon 24mm f/1.4L Yes Yes
Canon 28mm f/1.8 USM Yes Yes
Canon 35mm f/2 (11) Yes No
Canon 50 f/1.4 (?) Yes No
Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM (198) Yes No I think I read somewhere (DxO?) that reading the distance was "problematic"
Canon 50 f/1.8 (1 or 29?) Yes No Rack focus works, but is noisy
Canon EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro USM Yes Yes
Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM (155) Yes Yes Only 7 (apparently accurate) distances : infinity, 11.91m, 2.88m, 1.49m, 1.05m, 90cm, 85cm
Canon 100mm Macro f2.8 Yes Yes Fixed Focal Length.

Accurate Focus Distance (20) 31cm, 32cm, 33cm, 34cm, 35cm, 36cm, 37cm, 39cm, 40cm, 42cm, 45cm, 50cm, 54cm, 61cm, 74cm, 1.170m, 1.310m, 1.570m, 2.160m, Infinity

Lens S/N: 3600503D

Canon 200mm f/2.8L USM (151 or 162?) Yes Yes Few (7) and apparently inaccurate distances (Mark I version of the lens).
Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (488) Yes Yes Lens is not Parfocal (focus changes extremely while zooming)
Canon 16-35mm f2.8L USM (229 or 246?) Yes Yes
Canon 17-40mm f4L USM Yes Yes
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM (240) Yes Yes
Canon 17-85mm f/4-5,6 USM Yes Yes fairly good accuracy
Canon 18-55mm kit lens Yes Yes
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L (230) Yes Yes

Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens

Yes Yes

In Video Mode ONLY, on two 60D's with ML v2.3

Lens is not Parfocal (focus changes extremely while zooming)

Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (237) Yes Yes http://www.dpreview.com/news/0508/05082207canonlenses.asp#specs24
Canon 28-70mm f/2.8L (161) Yes No
Canon 28-90mm f/4-5,6 (41 or 46?) Yes No Old lens from film camera
Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (178) Yes Yes Fairly accurate for both.
Canon 55-250 f/4-5.6 IS (49) Yes Yes
Canon 70-200mm f/4L (186) Yes Yes fairly good accuracy
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM (242) Yes Yes "Accurate" reading of both. http://www.dpreview.com/news/0608/06082414canon70-200f4lens.asp
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (224) Yes Yes http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_70-200_2p8_is_usm_c16/
Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (238) Yes Yes Fairly accurate for both. http://www.dpreview.com/news/0508/05082207canonlenses.asp#specs70 Accurate focal length in 1mm increments.Accurate Focus Distance (14) 28cm, 30cm, 31cm, 33cm, 35cm, 39cm, 43cm, 48cm, 56cm, 69cm, 94cm, 1.550m, 6.010m & InfinityLens S/N: 133111
Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM (232) Yes Yes
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (150.2) Yes Yes

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 (169.4 ?)

Yes Yes
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro (10.3) Yes No
Sigma 180mm f/3.5 Macro (173.1) Yes Yes
Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 (152.1) Yes No
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM Yes Yes Fairly good accuracy on shorter distances in live view, but in photo modes ML says that "no distance reported". On longer distances my lens reports a bit too long. Approximately 29 distances.
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 (137.4 or 161.1 ?) Yes No Accurate focal length
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5,6 APO (8.1?) Yes No Approximative focal length and no distance.

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3

Yes Yes Approximate distance not very accurate
Sigma 150-500 DG APO OS HSM Yes Yes shows the zoom and distance values accurately.
Tamron 17-55mm f/2,8 VC Yes Yes Shows the zoom accurately but inaccurate distance values (start from 33cm instead 29cm )
Tokina 12-24mm f/4 DX (?) Yes Yes shows the zoom accurately but inaccurate distance values (not enough steps, normal considering the focal length).
Tamron 28-75mm f/2,8 (?) Yes No
Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5,6 Yes Yes
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Yes Yes Works in live view, photo mode says "no distance reported". Have not measured accuracy yet.


lenses type are in brackets and are taken from: http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/TagNames/Canon.html#LensType

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