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Thread: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    I've not been too impressed with the focusing ability of the AFDIII, and looked into it a bit more now that I've got time and it appears I have a body that front focuses (kind of ruled out the lenses).

    I tested the camera with a football and my dog, white dog, black eyes, white distressed football on grass. I repeated this numerous times, my boy tends to pose quite nicely.

    Exhibit a: Focus point on the dogs head (red line is where the sharpest focus is).



    Then, on the football:



    Then onto a static tuft of grass:



    Is this something to do with the gap between the back and the body? Or something more?

    Thanks!
    Chris

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    I've not been too impressed with the focusing ability of the AFDIII, and looked into it a bit more now that I've got time and it appears I have a body that front focuses (kind of ruled out the lenses).

    I tested the camera with a football and my dog, white dog, black eyes, white distressed football on grass. I repeated this numerous times, my boy tends to pose quite nicely.

    Exhibit a: Focus point on the dogs head (red line is where the sharpest focus is).



    Then, on the football:



    Then onto a static tuft of grass:



    Is this something to do with the gap between the back and the body? Or something more?

    Thanks!
    Chris

    Chris -

    Were both the ball and the dog in the focus circle when you captured? In that case, generally, whatever subject in the circle that is closest to the camera will in most cases be the area that the camera will focus on. I've found that setting the bias to the left or right triangle can narrow this to a degree, though it tends to hunt a bit more. On a DF body, you also have the option below, but unfortunately not on an AFDIII.

    DF Body AF Accuracy vs Speed :: Capture Integration Medium Format Digital Back Sales & Rental and Other Professional Photographic Equipment

    In the example of your doggie photo, you might have tried to position the dog in the circle without the ball, and then recomposed. That may have provided a better result.


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Hi Steve,
    Yep, in both cases I made absolutely sure that the central focus point was dead centre. I only used the central one too, turning off the supporting ones either side.

    I cropped the images down to fit the web better. But, in all cases, I focused, waited for confirmation and fired the shutter. I didn't focus and recompose. The boys head and the footballl pretty much filled the focus circle and I felt there was enough contrast there to secure a decent lock. In the case of the football it filled the exact diameter of the central AF circle.

    Original frames:




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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Hi Steve,
    Yep, in both cases I made absolutely sure that the central focus point was dead centre. I only used the central one too, turning off the supporting ones either side.

    I cropped the images down to fit the web better. But, in all cases, I focused, waited for confirmation and fired the shutter. I didn't focus and recompose. The boys head and the footballl pretty much filled the focus circle and I felt there was enough contrast there to secure a decent lock. In the case of the football it filled the exact diameter of the central AF circle.
    Chris - What I meant was that if both the ball (or the grass parallel to the ball in front of the dog) and the dog were within the circle, then the ball/grass would likely be the point of focus. If you are saying the ball was not in the circle (nor the grass at the spot in front of the dog), then probably it does appear to be a front focus situation, though some duplication in different scenes and tests can confirm this.


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
    TechCam: Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar Authorized Reseller

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Ah I see, yes Steve, I totally made sure the individual objects filled the frame.

    So with Harvey (the dog) his head filled the focus circle absolute. The football filled the circle and if anything, was larger than the focus circle.

    In a way I'm relieved because I couldn't believe how bad the focus was compared to my H1.

    How is something like this usually addressed?

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    I have a Phase One AF and a Phase One DF. Both are very accurate both auto focus and manual focus with focus confirmation.

    Looks like your camera could use a fine tuning.

    It would be nice to have focus calibration in the firmware.
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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Ah I see, yes Steve, I totally made sure the individual objects filled the frame.

    So with Harvey (the dog) his head filled the focus circle absolute. The football filled the circle and if anything, was larger than the focus circle.

    How is something like this usually addressed?
    Chris - notify your dealer and they should be able to arrange for Mamiya/Phase to make an adjustment. Make sure it's done right! Don't accept the situation if it is not properly resolved.


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Thanks Steve, just mailed Yair as it's Mamiya, Leaf and a load of front focusing!

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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    My DF exhibits the same issue. I'm taking mine to the P1 conference in miami, hopefully they will be able to correct.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Ok so here's an update.

    I tried the ruler test with the 85mm wide open and it's fine but anything real world and it's very inconsistent. Life isn't black and white.

    Interesting about the DF Ed, I'm more and more swinging back to Hasselblad. I considered the DF as an option, heck even agreed to buy one but it fell through. Can't use the film backs though which is a deal breaker for me, I don't want two cameras for Medium format.

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    The necessary diagnostics include determination of where the issue lies.
    Lens (if it is one of several and some are ok, back, if the image in the finder is sharp and all lenses are front focusing, camera if AF produces an unsharp image in the finder, or some combination of all the above (take it to an expert)
    -bob

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Question is. Have you shot off tripod?

    B/c i personally have issues with recomposing, that i know of - i do tend to lean out when recomposing.. Had to force-train myself to not do that And still do that every now and then

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    Question is. Have you shot off tripod?

    B/c i personally have issues with recomposing, that i know of - i do tend to lean out when recomposing.. Had to force-train myself to not do that And still do that every now and then
    Well here's the thing, I used a tripod during a shoot today. Actually had to in order to get ISO50 1/30 sec @ F/3.5.

    But despite it getting focus right often there were a lot of shots where the eyes were soft and the cheekbones sharp.....there were no instances of the area behind the eyes being more in focus. Always front focusing.


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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Chris, were you doing any recomposing at all? B/c on this one center would fall on about nose

    In either case it looks way better than with doggie where focus was way off.

    I was on this very boat for a while - my shots with ZD back were dead on, no matter which of AFD bodies i used (i have all 3 versions ), and with Leaf i kept having focusing issues.. Then i realized that it balances differently when i recompose. ZD is way lighter than Leaf, so for whatever reason i kept overcompensating movement after recomposing. Uppermentioned leaning was part of it.

    And then i added RZ to arsenal and all the hell broke loose

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Well the above shot was on a tripod and the af point I was using was the one just outside the centre so there pretty much wasn't any movement at all.

    Things is, and I'm happy to be wrong thinking this way, but the amount of movement (if any) is tiny as it was on a tripod. Focus issues don't seem so troublesome when the subject is close but a few metres away and it all goes a bit wrong.

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    When you are this close and using such shallow depth of field you can expect the focus to shift as the subject breaths. Focus going from eyes to cheekbone is within that range.
    Shooting with 8x10 I have learned to watch out for subtle movement.

    I prefer to manually focus if I'm this close.

    Also If you shoot this close I would recommend getting a 210mm for slightly flatter perspective for certain faces. Very nice lens and quite good prices used.

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Well here's the thing, I used a tripod during a shoot today. Actually had to in order to get ISO50 1/30 sec @ F/3.5.

    But despite it getting focus right often there were a lot of shots where the eyes were soft and the cheekbones sharp.....there were no instances of the area behind the eyes being more in focus. Always front focusing.

    Skin tones look very natural as do the yes. More film like than 35mm DSLR.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Thanks, I took delivery of a 1.9 80mm of which I really like and have a 110mm 2.8 incoming.
    Tripod shooting looks the way to go so at least I'll have my hands free for manual focus

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Thanks, I took delivery of a 1.9 80mm of which I really like and have a 110mm 2.8 incoming.
    Tripod shooting looks the way to go so at least I'll have my hands free for manual focus
    IF you don't mind shooting stopped down the Hasselblad 110mm f2 is a fantastic lens.

    Here is a quick test shot with one.


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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    I've considered the Hassy 110 too. But I'm going to give the Mamiya a try.
    Plus it's finding a 110 F2 used, anywhere!

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    I've considered the Hassy 110 too. But I'm going to give the Mamiya a try.
    Plus it's finding a 110 F2 used, anywhere!
    There are 2 on ebay at the moment, one via a camera shop and one from a private seller in London

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Thanks, I took delivery of a 1.9 80mm of which I really like and have a 110mm 2.8 incoming.
    Tripod shooting looks the way to go so at least I'll have my hands free for manual focus
    Chris, I don't think the LS 110mm works other than wide open and focal shutter only on the AFDIII.

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Chris, I don't think the LS 110mm works other than wide open and focal shutter only on the AFDIII.
    I use 55mm MF LS on AFD bodies. All it takes to make them work is like 5 seconds and screwdriver. Of course you will need trigger it with cable, but hey..

    (i do start to come up like some sort of mad diy lately on this forum somehow... )

    But if we talking about new LS D version then yeah, no mechanical cock-up mechanism.. So AFD users screwed

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Chris, I don't think the LS 110mm works other than wide open and focal shutter only on the AFDIII.
    It's the manual focus one. I want to see how I get on with the focal length.

    Out of interest, has anyone noticed differences in metering when using a light meter? I just finished a session where the light meter was giving me a reading which was 1.5 stops under what the camera wanted it to be, and in lightroom correcting it by this amount made a better exposure. (i.e. the camera was correct, not the meter).

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    I think I can put up with the cameras shortcomings....

    ISO25:




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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    It's the manual focus one. I want to see how I get on with the focal length.

    Out of interest, has anyone noticed differences in metering when using a light meter? I just finished a session where the light meter was giving me a reading which was 1.5 stops under what the camera wanted it to be, and in lightroom correcting it by this amount made a better exposure. (i.e. the camera was correct, not the meter).
    When focusing as close as you are you need to compensate for light loss as you extend the lens away from the camera. At the distance you are shooting at I would say that 1 stop is about correct. The rest of the error could be a badly calibrated light meter.

    When shooting with the aptus look at the histogram and make sure it is nicely spead out to match the subject you are shooting. You can go higher in the historam than you can safely get away with with 35mm DSLR sensors. While adjusting exposure in post looks remarkably good with MF backs you will get better results shooting a bit hotter and adjusting a bit in post maybe darkening a little.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    When focusing as close as you are you need to compensate for light loss as you extend the lens away from the camera. At the distance you are shooting at I would say that 1 stop is about correct. The rest of the error could be a badly calibrated light meter.
    Hmmm, ok, will give it a try. When you say extend the lens away from the camera, can you clarify this for me? As I'm reading it as being too close to the subject and taking the light away from them. But I'm almost 2 metres away and sitting down.

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    I've not been too impressed with the focusing ability of the AFDIII, and looked into it a bit more now that I've got time and it appears I have a body that front focuses (kind of ruled out the lenses).

    I tested the camera with a football and my dog, white dog, black eyes, white distressed football on grass.
    Had AFDIII myself before, and focus issues. How do you know it is not an issue of where you point the focus, or misalignment (within Mamiya tolerance) or similar of focus sensor in camera??

    There is one RELIABLE and NO NEED FOR DISPUTE means to test for focus accuracy: LENS ALIGN

    Here: LensAlign - WhiBal (I used the smaller one, works great!)

    With it you get a reputable method for testing rather than a dog, thus no method of testing to dispute or doubt.

    Attached is from Phase One of focus check procedure, that tells you the acceptable tolerance. Also of course that it varies depending on what focal lens you use... Sure, you can try only the method by Phase One, but Lens Align allows you to focus accurate on a single plane. Thus Lens Align is better, well worth the $$.

    After above you can resolve quietly with Mamiya or Leaf as required.

    I hope helps!

    Best regards,
    Anders

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    I've considered the Hassy 110 too. But I'm going to give the Mamiya a try.
    Plus it's finding a 110 F2 used, anywhere!
    Found mine on ebay.... it's a gem and got it for $ 800, but with a stuck iris.
    Hasselblad can repair it for $ 200 including cleaning internal lens surfaces.



    Another lens to consider is the Pentacon mount Carl Zeiss Jena 180mm 2.8.
    Nice and softer Boken than even the Mamiya 200 2.8 APO that I also have.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Wow, Bargain. I'm also impressed with the 110mm 2.8 (arrived yesterday), doesn't like bright sunlight though (low contrast - can you get hoods for the old Sekor lenses)?

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Wow, Bargain. I'm also impressed with the 110mm 2.8 (arrived yesterday), doesn't like bright sunlight though (low contrast - can you get hoods for the old Sekor lenses)?

    They use folding rubber hoods chris, there are a few on ebay at the moment. But mainly for the W/A lenses. However as they use the filter mount, you could just get an after market rubber hood in 58mm? to use with the lens.

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Wow, Bargain. I'm also impressed with the 110mm 2.8 (arrived yesterday), doesn't like bright sunlight though (low contrast - can you get hoods for the old Sekor lenses)?

    any screw-in hood will do. There are rubber ones, there are metal ones, even plastic ones. I have rubber one that comes with 180/4.5 boxed set.. Rubber ones you can find around pretty cheap if not hunting for brand (afaik i paid 10-20$ a piece back in 2006 when i got set for Nikon back then).

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    Re: Fixing front focusing issues with a leaf back (AFDIII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Wow, Bargain. I'm also impressed with the 110mm 2.8 (arrived yesterday), doesn't like bright sunlight though (low contrast - can you get hoods for the old Sekor lenses)?
    Many older 645 lenses have some mild haze to them. This lowers the contrast.

    To see how the haze situation is when buying used lenses put a light bulb up
    over a dark background. With the lens off the camera point it at the light and see how dark the area surrounding the light bulb is.

    Unfortunatly haze can be hard to deal with. The main problem is breakdown of the bonding material in lenses that have two elements bonded together. This bonding degrades over time.

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