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Archive 2013 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective
  
 
D. Diggler
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


Hey, fellow FMers.

Just did my first successful auto-focus micro adjust. I used the method at the following link toward the bottom of the page under "The better DIY approach".

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/photography-tips/AF-Microadjustment-Tips.aspx

Materials used were:

* an empty box
* pencil
* tape measure
* tripod
* a sheet of white paper and a black marker and scotch tape, to make and fasten the target

Instead of setting the camera on a book (as shown at the above link) I figured it would be easier to get the correct camera height by using a tripod with a geared center column.

I didn't even load the images to a computer to check for focus. Instead, I just magnified the pics on the back of the camera's LCD to check how I was doing. (Possibly it would be easier to check focus if you had the camera tethered to a laptop while you did this procedure but I don't have a laptop so never tried.)

Any questions, feel free to ask.



Sep 24, 2013 at 06:24 AM
Scott Mosher
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


How's the final real world result?


Sep 24, 2013 at 06:29 AM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


Wow,

How does anybody go without it? I used to do an MA type check even before my cameras had MA.

If you want to really piss yourself off, try it in different lighting types, changing aperture (1.4/2.0), or better yet near MFD.

I use a mix of manual stuff and FOCAL. Be sure to take multiple shots, as the last few steps to get the "right" MA can affect consistency.



Sep 24, 2013 at 07:31 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


Scott Mosher wrote:
How's the final real world result?


Very good! Considerably sharper than the the default "0" setting I had been using prior to the AFMA. I ended up with an AFMA of "-13". I showed another photog some test shots taken at both the "0" setting and then at the "-13" setting and he was quite surprised at the improvement!

As an aside here, in my research in how to do AFMA, I came across the comment somewhere that a lens that needs an AFMA of "5" will be "noticeably" off in sharpness. It was said that a lens that needs an AFMA of "10" will be "obviously" off in sharpness.

What caused me to do the test in the first place is I was shooting some bridal shots this weekend with an 85 and the few shots that I checked for focus at the time seemed soft on the camera's LCD. I hadn't used that 85 on that particular body much before. (The lens had no problems on other bodies.)

In the past, I had been planning to do my first AFMA using the "Dot Tune" method. [Method is described on Youtube.] Dot Tune might be faster but what I like about this method is I could actually see the gradual improvement in auto-focus as I progressed along in the test, which gave me confidence in the correctness of my final setting. For example, as I was going along, I could see from the test shots that "-10" was not enough and could also see that "-15" was too much. I then tried each setting between "10" and "15" to find the best one. With Dot Tune, it's a different way of going about AFMA that doesn't rely upon visually comparing the sharpness of the test images in order to get to what is supposed to be the proper final setting. Yes, you can compare your beginning setting to the final setting that Dot Tune tells you to use and see that there is improvement, but I'm thinking it requires a bit of faith to believe that the final setting is the absolute best setting you could use. Nothing against Dot Tune at all - I've never tried it - but I feel pretty confident in my results having looked at all the different test shots with my own eyes.



Sep 24, 2013 at 07:50 AM
tonyhart
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


I swear by FOCAL.


Sep 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM
photosymbol
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


Do you have a blog post about it? Care to share the results of your photographs from your website?


Sep 24, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Scott Mosher
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


SloPhoto wrote:
Wow,

How does anybody go without it? I used to do an MA type check even before my cameras had MA.

If you want to really piss yourself off, try it in different lighting types, changing aperture (1.4/2.0), or better yet near MFD.

I use a mix of manual stuff and FOCAL. Be sure to take multiple shots, as the last few steps to get the "right" MA can affect consistency.


Now I should swing by your place and do some calibrating. And give you your SD card back



Sep 24, 2013 at 02:24 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


How does micro adjusting work with zoom lenses? What if you have a lens that is not sharp k my at one end of the zoom range?

- trr



Sep 24, 2013 at 02:25 PM
JakAHearts
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


TRReichman wrote:
How does micro adjusting work with zoom lenses? What if you have a lens that is not sharp k my at one end of the zoom range?

- trr


The newer canon bodies allow different adjustment values for the long/short end of the zoom range.



Sep 24, 2013 at 02:57 PM
photosymbol
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


Scott Mosher wrote:
Now I should swing by your place and do some calibrating. And give you your SD card back


You know Mr. Diggler? In real life?



Sep 24, 2013 at 03:04 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



tonyhart
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


photosymbol wrote:
You know Mr. Diggler? In real life?


Nope he knows SloPhoto.



Sep 24, 2013 at 03:07 PM
photosymbol
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


Ha, wrong quote. I was going to say, my theory is that Diggler is English. Not living in the US.


Sep 24, 2013 at 03:30 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


MA... Blah. If I had issues with a lens I would send it back


Sep 24, 2013 at 03:49 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


SloPhoto wrote:
If you want to really piss yourself off, try it in different lighting types


Don't tell me that.

I did mine in mostly fluorescent light.



Sep 25, 2013 at 07:19 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


SloPhoto wrote:
Be sure to take multiple shots


I used the "eight shots" method as described at the link in my initial post, which method is as follows:


"At each setting, I shoot eight shots, two starting from infinity, then two without refocusing, then two starting from the MFD [minimum focus distance], then two more without refocusing."


I will say here, Slo, that (prior to performing the AFMA procedure) I had been expecting there to be some difference in focusing accuracy depending upon whether I did the shot starting with the lens focused at infinity vs. starting with the lens focused at minimum focus distance vs. not de-focusing the shot. What I found was that I did see no pattern at all in the results. I don't know if it's maybe the particular camera and lens combination I used but, amongst those eight shots I took at each AMFA setting, there was not much variation in accuracy. I do plan on continuing with the "eight shots" method for future lens tests.



Sep 25, 2013 at 07:32 AM
photosymbol
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


Getting closer Mr Diggler?


Sep 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM
amonline
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


TTLKurtis wrote:
MA... Blah. If I had issues with a lens I would send it back


Agreed. I did this one quiet afternoon a couple of years ago. Turned out to be a huge waste of time. I just let Canon adjust them during check ups.



Sep 25, 2013 at 02:19 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


tonyhart wrote:
I swear by FOCAL.


That one was on my radar. Looks pretty nice, especially the top-of-the-line Pro version. Probably faster to do a bunch of lenses with FoCal than what I did.



Sep 26, 2013 at 12:54 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


TRReichman wrote:
How does micro adjusting work with zoom lenses? What if you have a lens that is not sharp at one end of the zoom range?


I think most cameras - ?maybe all Nikons - only allow you to set micro adjust at only one setting per lens. The advise I've heard is to set AFMA at the long end of the zoom. The rationale being, I think, that any out-of-focus due to not having the AFMA exactly on at the wider end of the zoom would be more likely to be lost by the deeper depth of field at the wide end. If that makes sense in how I explained it.

Some of the Canons allow you to set two AFMA points for a zoom lens, so you'd set one AFMA setting for the widest end and another setting for the longest end. So, of course, you end up testing two times for a zoom lens. Off the top of my head, I think Canon's 6D, 5D3, and maybe 1Dx allow this. What happens with one of these Canon's, I think, is that when you have the zoom set to a mid-point in the focal range, between the shortest end and the longest end, the camera will "guess" at the proper AFMA setting. For example, say your wide-end setting is "-10" and your long-end setting is "0", one of these aforementioned Canon cameras will guess a setting of "-5" at the mid-point range of the zoom.



Sep 26, 2013 at 01:14 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · My First AFMA: No Cost And Effective


TTLKurtis wrote:
Blah. If I had issues with a lens I would send it back


It doesn't sound like you really understand the reason AFMA was introduced, having to do with the commonplace imprecise manufacturing tolerances in both camera bodies and lenses. And that tolerance errors in both body and lens are additive.




Sep 26, 2013 at 01:29 AM
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