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Archive 2012 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.
  
 
rtljr
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


I've been hearing a lot about the 100-400 needing a micro focus adjustment. I thought this adjustment corrected either front or back focusing issues. I have read where people claim to get sharper images after performing this, but they do it with software in the computer and out of the camera.

I obviously don't know what is going on, and I don't know whether my lens is front of back focusing. Is this adjustment something I should do with my 7D and 100-400 lens? And should I use the in camera micro adjustment feature? If I use the in camera adjustment and register it, the camera will recognize the lens when I use it.



Dec 31, 2012 at 02:46 AM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


Focus micro adjustment is done in camera in the custom functions.

There is software that will do it for you (focal), or help you do it manually.

It makes 'sharper' images because the image is correctly focused, not because the lens is any sharper. A slight front/back focus issue will show the subject to be a little soft, but in reality outside of the are of maximum focus/sharpness.

You should be able to tell if the lens is misfocusing by examining a number of pics and identifying the plane of focus. Is it infront, correct, or behind, on the whole?

There are numerous possible issues for image softness. If nothing is 'sharp' check your shutter speeds, check your filter (if any , IMO dont use one on the 100-400 it hates them). And IMO the 100-400 IS system needs a second or two to settle, before then it can cause more issues than it solves.



Dec 31, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Shutterbug2006
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


I've noticed a little softness on the far end when I use my 100-400 on my new 6D. I haven't really tested all my lenses on the new cam yet.

It's fine in live view manually focusing, so I'm assuming a MA adjustment will ensure properly focused shots otherwise all things considered.

I've never noticed the issue on my other bodies. Knock on wood.




Dec 31, 2012 at 03:22 AM
rtljr
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


Thanks. I'm not using filters, and I'm thinking that the softness is probably due more to my bad technique. I've been shooting a lot of birds in flight and at 400mm so I'm just not that steady. I was also shooting some birds that were perched fairly high up and I was at 400mm and they also were not completely in focus, but I'm sure I was not steady as they were handheld pointing upwards. Quite possibly I need to use a faster shutter speed. And a tripod, but that's tough for birds.

Now I also read that if you take both batteries out of the camera for at least 10 seconds, sometimes this will fix issues regarding AF. Supposedly the camera resets and is able to focus better. Not sure I completely understand but I think I might wait on that one. I'm going to try with my technique first. Has anyone ever heard of this battery removal helping?



Dec 31, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Shutterbug2006
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


rtljr wrote:
Has anyone ever heard of this battery removal helping?


No.



Dec 31, 2012 at 04:32 AM
msalvetti
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


rtljr wrote:
Now I also read that if you take both batteries out of the camera for at least 10 seconds, sometimes this will fix issues regarding AF. Supposedly the camera resets and is able to focus better. Not sure I completely understand but I think I might wait on that one. I'm going to try with my technique first. Has anyone ever heard of this battery removal helping?


There were stories about early 7Ds (keep in mind the body has been out more than 3 years) having AF issues fixed by taking out both batteries (both meaning the main battery and the little button cell). I always thought this was actually a combination of wishful thinking and user error. Haven't heard this tip in a long time. I don't think there's any truth to it.

The 100-400 can be tricky. In order of likelihood, if you are not happy with sharpness the odds are (1) you need more practice with this lens, (2) it needs MA, or (3) there's something wrong with the body (pretty unlikely).

If you do want to try micro adjustment, you don't need to buy Focal. See this tutorial, in particular the procedure at the end that explains how to do it using EOS Utility.
http://ophrysphotography.co.uk/pages/tutoriallensmicroadjustment.htm

Also, be aware that a zoom often needs different MA settings at different focal lengths, some more than others. It wouldn't be a total shock for the lens to need a much different MA at 400mm than at 100mm. You'll just have to try different focal lengths and pick the best average, or if you are at 400mm most of the time, use that focal length to set MA.

If you can post some examples, we can probably give you some better advice.

Mark



Dec 31, 2012 at 04:51 AM
dwweiche
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


rtljr wrote:
Thanks. I'm not using filters, and I'm thinking that the softness is probably due more to my bad technique. I've been shooting a lot of birds in flight and at 400mm so I'm just not that steady.


I've read posts from the best shooters on this site using the best gear money can buy say their bird-in-flight keeper percentage is around 1%. That keeps things in perspective for me when I'm out shooting.



Dec 31, 2012 at 06:52 AM
corndog
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


dwweiche wrote:
...using the best gear money can buy...


Excluding the 100-400, of course.



Dec 31, 2012 at 06:57 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


rtljr wrote:
I've been hearing a lot about the 100-400 needing a micro focus adjustment. I thought this adjustment corrected either front or back focusing issues. I have read where people claim to get sharper images after performing this, but they do it with software in the computer and out of the camera.

I obviously don't know what is going on, and I don't know whether my lens is front of back focusing. Is this adjustment something I should do with my 7D and 100-400 lens? And should I use the in camera micro adjustment feature? If I use the in camera adjustment
...Show more

If you don't know what is going on, why would you MA your lens

First of all, it is up to you to prove it is either front or back-focusing, and that requires proper testing with a tripod, mirror lockup, and remote release. You do not need software to MA. Many lenses need MA, not just the 100-400.

Do a search and you will find many descriptions on how and when to do MA, including suggestions by Canon.



Dec 31, 2012 at 07:30 AM
Ferrophot
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


Look at your shots. If everything is soft chances are it's motion blur or camera shake, use 1/1000th minimum. If the plane of focus is in front or behind the point that you focussed on then an MA adjustment should help. You can do this by trial and error, looking at your images. The 100-400L is a more difficult lens to use than shorter ones, it requires some practice and experience to keep it steady, even with IS. When you go out to the airport and can see that the pilot of an aircraft 500 yards away has taken his tie off you will know you are getting there.


Dec 31, 2012 at 08:20 AM
 

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John_T
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


Perhaps to understand what is going on when using a telephoto lens:

- extend your arm, holding a pencil pointed at something small and see how steady you can hold the pencil point sighted on the object.

- now take a broomstick by one end and do the same thing, trying to keep the far end of the broomstick steady sighted on the same object

Consider that the difference between using a 24mm and a 400mm lens.

IS will help some, but the rest is up to you, primarily by choosing an appropriate shutter speed, probably an aperture of f/6.3 or smaller up to f/11 and being realistic in your expectations if the light is less than the best.

I love my 100-400, gotten great shots with it, but that has been since using it a lot and honing and honing technique and settings.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/ufiles/91/744691.jpg




Dec 31, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Wobble
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


Like Imagemaster wrote, using a "tripod, mirror lockup, and remote release", take a picture of a yard stick leaning against a wall at a 30-45 degree angle (with the camera level with the floor) aimed at the middle of the yardstick. Take a picture. Look at the picture on the camera screen at 100%. You should be able to tell right away if it is front or back focusing and make adjustments to get it close before taking the extra time to download them to your computer and view on the larger screen.

When you start the fine tuning of the manual MA, take an index card and mark the amount of MA on the card and include it in your shot to view on your computer monitor.

This can also be done with AA batteries standing up in a diagonal row going away from you. Focus on the center battery and see where you focus is sharpest and adjust from there.



Dec 31, 2012 at 03:10 PM
TeamSpeed
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


The easiest way to MFA the 100-400L on the 7D is to go to a grassy lot (your yard if you have one), and put a bright colored ball or toy in the yard. Go back to a pretty good distance so that the toy/ball fills the the center AF point and not much more. Set the 7D to spot AF, one-shot mode, and do a test shot. If the grass in front of the toy is in focus, use + values, if behind, use - values until the grass and toy/ball are both in focus together.

This is what I do if I do not have the FocusGenie chart that I sell handy at the time I am shooting.



Dec 31, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Wobble
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


Here is a quick read on MA:

Link



Dec 31, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Monito
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


Wobble wrote:
take a picture of a yard stick leaning against a wall at a 30-45 degree angle (with the camera level with the floor) aimed at the middle of the yardstick.


Those kinds of tests yield lots of false negatives.

There is a reason that the micro-adjustment testing kits have a target parallel with the sensor plane which means they are also parallel to the AutoFocus sensors plane too.



Dec 31, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


Canon suggests using the procedures below to perform test shots, to see which of the AF Microadjustment settings is best for you. Always remember: you can return to the factory default AF settings in two ways, either by setting AF Microadjustment Custom Function back to option "zero" (this doesn't clear any of your Microadjustments from memory, it just ignores them until you re-activate the "Adjust all by same amount" or "Adjust by lens" options on the C.Fn menu), or alternatively by going into one of these AF Microadjustments, and dialing your setting back to zero on the +/- 20 step scale. This last action will clear your previous settings from the camera's memory.

To change an AF Microadjustment, you need to take test shots of a 3-dimensional subject, where you can precisely check whether focus is exactly where you want, or if it's occurring behind or in front of your subject. Simply shooting squarely into a flat wall won't tell you that; shooting at an angle might. Keep the following points in mind when taking these test shots:

• Shoot test pictures using the lens(es) you normally use, and at the distances you typically use them. In other words, if you're seeing a consistent focus shift when you shoot group pictures at weddings, don't take test shots of a ruler on your desk with a macro lens.

• Use Av mode, and always shoot the test shots with the lens aperture wide-open - regardless of whether you normally stop the aperture down or not. You'll be much better able to see any subtle focus changes wide-open, than with the lens stopped down.

• If you're using a zoom lens, zoom to its maximum telephoto focal length for test pictures. AF Microadjustment can only apply one correction to a zoom lens, so you cannot have one adjustment for the lens's wide-angle setting and another one for the same lens when it's zoomed to telephoto.

•Even if you're a full-time sports shooter, do not use AI Servo AF mode for these test shots. Shoot a completely stationary subject, with the camera set to One-Shot AF. There are far too many other variables involved in focus-tracking with AI Servo AF to get conclusive results for AF Microadjustment taking test shots this way.

•If at all possible, use a tripod to keep the camera absolutely positioned on one part of your intended subject, and also eliminate any potential camera movement from entering the mix.

•Manually select only the Center AF point (regardless of whether this is how you typically use the camera), and be certain that any AF point expansion is completely disabled. Do not, under any circumstances, use Automatic AF point selection mode - this can definitely lead to unpredictable results.

•Be sure the center AF point is solidly upon part of your subject with sufficient detail, and that there's adequate detail in front of and behind your target to assess whether focus is indeed occurring in front of or behind what the center AF point is seeing.

Since the values for each step on the AF Microadjustment scale are so fine (again, only 1/8th of the forward or backward depth-of-field!), it's best to start your test shots with major adjustments like plus or minus 20, and then work your way back to finer values if necessary. If you feel your camera focuses behind where it should, for example, you might take two initial test shots at minus 20 and minus 10, and see how your test subject appears when closely examined. If you start with very fine increments (such as plus 3 or plus 5, for example), the changes may be so subtle that you'll have trouble detecting them.

When you get test shots that seem to place the focus dead-on, note the adjustment value in place and be sure the camera is set there on the +/- 20-step scale. AF Microadjustment is complete. Go out and shoot some real subjects!



Dec 31, 2012 at 05:04 PM
scalesusa
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


You have to have a camera that supports micro adjustment. Not all cameras or lenses need adjustment, its like fine tuning.


Here is a image of the Test report of my 100-400mmL at 400mm using Focal software to test and adjust my lens. It was also tested at 100mm, but I'm showing 400mm, where a very slight benefit was gained by a +2 adjustment. At 100mm, it was plus 1.

This is really a non event, its plenty sharp without adjustment.

http://www.mount-spokane-photography.com/Photography/FoCal/i-ttGBtsX/0/L/100-400mmL_Page_2-L.jpg



Dec 31, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Ralph Thompson
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


I was able to dial in my 100-400 on the 7D using a method similar to teamspeed's method. I also have a lens align pro. I shoot my 100-400 as a "go light" set-up to my 1d** w/400 2.8 so I MA'd it at 400mm. Got it pretty close (but a prime it aint ). One point a couple years ago, my lens was producing just plain crap. I boxed it up and sent it in. Canon replaced a butt load of stuff, chassis parts, electronic parts for the generic $285 CPS gold discount. It was very very solid when it came back...


Jan 01, 2013 at 02:30 AM
kevinsullivan
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


See this tutorial, in particular the procedure at the end that explains how to do it using EOS Utility. http://ophrysphotography.co.uk/pages/tutoriallensmicroadjustment.htm

Thanks for pointing out this tutorial. Ran it today on my 24-70 II (which needed +2 and +3) and my 70-200 II (which needed -2 and +2). It really worked like a charm! The only really hard part was seeing exactly where the sweet spot was. It took a pretty sharp eye and some experimenting back and forth, back and forth, counting clicks!



Jan 01, 2013 at 10:07 PM
40Driggs
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Micro adjustment on a 100-400 lens.


It's always good to rule out any deficiencies. My 100-400 seemed like a dud but has been a good performer at +8 and 400mm.


Jan 04, 2013 at 04:12 PM





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