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Thread: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

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    D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    Hello,

    this is my very first posting and I hope you will have mercy with me.

    I didn't find any related topic by using the search-option -hence I open a new thread.

    I bought my D800 end of April, using mostly the 24-70/2.8 and the Sigma 15mm 2.8.
    Due to many threads and also personal findings, I thought that the photos are not as crisp as I expected them to be. Exceptions are the 85/1.4 and the 105/2.8, which are on the spot.

    I posted 1 photo taken with the 85/1.4 in the "fun with D800..."-thread.

    To optimize the camera-lense combination I decided to try the AF finetuning. Therefore I bought the Spyder LensCal and found out, that most of my lenses are slightly out of focus.

    My question now is which other methods/devices did you use ? Does anyone have experience with the Raikan FoCal system ?

    Thank you very much for your replies and apologies for my english.

    Greetings, Jurgen

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    D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?


    Take a look at the middle of this page from The Luminous Landscape, there's a paragraph named "Auto Focus Fine Tuning".

    Nikon D800 / E Initial Impressions

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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    Steen: Thanks for the reference to LuLa. I read it, and it is helpful. I have a few questions that you or someone may be able to clarify for me. If I focus with auto focus on a spot, then fine tune focus with the lens' focusing ring, will that guarantee correct focus? Also I have two modern "chipped" lenses that are manual focus only: the Zeiss 18mm, and Voigtlander 90mm f3.5 Apo Lanthar. Can these lenses be
    "fine tuned"? Also, the article said that live view is not subject to focusing errors, because you focus off the chip. How do you folks see the screen in bright daylight? Do you use something like the "Hoodman"
    Thanks in advance
    PS the D800E is the first camera I have owned with Live View, so I am a rank novice.
    Dave

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    D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?


    [1]

    If you press the shutter button halfway and keep the button pressed halfway to keep the obtained autofocus locked, then you can still manually override this autofocus with the lens' focus ring.
    It's easy to try out and see for yourself, even without taking any picture at all.

    - look through the viewfinder

    - press the shutter button halfway and keep the button pressed halfway, then turn the focus ring to adjust the focus (or to focus on another subject in the frame)

    - now press the shutter button halfway for the second time and the camera will again go back to refocus automatically



    I just looked in the Nikon manual for one of my AF-S lenses where it is put in this maybe better way (English is not my native language):

    "If desired, autofocus can be over-ridden by rotating the lens focus ring while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway (or while the AF-ON button is pressed).
    To refocus using autofocus, press the shutter-release button halfway again (or press the AF-ON button again)."



    I should add that I personally never use this manual focus overriding feature, since my eyesight is no longer good enough to compete with the autofocus in my AF lenses.
    In general I would say that to focus manually you will need good eyesight and a lot of practice.
    Still, it cannot guarantee you correct focus.



    [2]

    The Menu-driven "AF fine tune" feature has to do with autofocus and autofocus only.

    Adjusting the manual focus precision would involve calibration of the mirror and/or the viewfinder and/or the in-focus indicator.
    Unfortunately the manual focus system is not designed to be easily adjusted by the end-user.
    I wish it were.



    [3]

    To see the screen in bright daylight I sometimes put a jacket or similar over the camera and my head, just like in the old dark cloth days .-)

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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    STeen, thank you for your very thorough and thoughtful reply. My eyesight is not tops either (I'm 75 yrs old), but using the diopter adjustment eyepiece, I can make out.
    Best regards, ( and your English is perfect)
    Dave

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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    Thank you very much for the replies so far.

    Hopefully more answers will come, especially about the different methods/devices etc.

    Greetings, Jurgen

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    D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?


    In my opinion you don't need to buy any fancy test targets.
    You can use so many things you have in your home.
    Like e.g. a black string on a wall with rough and visible texture, or a black string on a rough canvas notice board / bulletin board.

    Shoot it on a 45 angle. Just straight jpegs. On a tripod.
    Zoom in to 100 % on the camera display to see if the focus is precisely on the string or clearly in front of it on the canvas texture, or behind the string.
    Adjust +/- in the "AF fine-tune" and reshoot focused on the string until you are dead on.

    No need for RAW conversions, no need for computers, you can do it on the fly, while staying on the tripod.

    If you cannot figure out what to use from your home, you can download and print a Focus Test Chart from this website Nikon D70 Focus Chart
    Just download the pdf document and you only need to print page 18, which is the Test Chart.
    Shoot it at an angle of 45 according to the description in the document.

    - - - - -

    Having done this quick and dirty adjustment on a 45 angle, you can later on go on and do the more subtle fine-tuning according to the method mentioned above in post # 2 and described on Luminous Landscape.

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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic View Post
    Hello,

    this is my very first posting and I hope you will have mercy with me.

    I didn't find any related topic by using the search-option -hence I open a new thread.

    I bought my D800 end of April, using mostly the 24-70/2.8 and the Sigma 15mm 2.8.
    Due to many threads and also personal findings, I thought that the photos are not as crisp as I expected them to be. Exceptions are the 85/1.4 and the 105/2.8, which are on the spot.

    I posted 1 photo taken with the 85/1.4 in the "fun with D800..."-thread.

    To optimize the camera-lense combination I decided to try the AF finetuning. Therefore I bought the Spyder LensCal and found out, that most of my lenses are slightly out of focus.

    My question now is which other methods/devices did you use ? Does anyone have experience with the Raikan FoCal system ?

    Thank you very much for your replies and apologies for my english.

    Greetings, Jurgen

    Welcome!

    I have been using the FoCal software Reikan FoCal - Automatic AF Microadjustment Software for the last few days to assess my D800E.
    Version 1.5 finally works as advertised. I am running FoCal on my MacBook Pro under VMware Fusion. and the Windows Vista x64 Edition.
    No problems so far with the setup.

    Here is an interesting thread on the subject: D800 - FoCal 1.5 - Multi Point Focus Test Report: Nikon D4 - D1 / D800 Forum: Digital Photography Review

    Good luck, best, K-H.
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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    Hello K.-H.,

    Thank you very much for the reply and the link. As far as I see it, there is no Mac version of the Raikan FoCal out yet, so I will wait for that.

    Greetings, Jurgen
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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    i too am waiting for the focal mac version. the ppl at reikan said in an email a couple of months ago that focal will be released some time in july.

    rh
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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    I have been using FoCal on my Macbook Pro via Parallels, works quite well. I would prefer a mac version, but I do like the results and feel the program is quite well done.
    wayne
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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    I have been using FoCal on my Macbook Pro via Parallels, works quite well. I would prefer a mac version, but I do like the results and feel the program is quite well done.

    I agree. It seems to work quite well. Occasionally Windows lets me know that FoCal stopped working. Then I just restart FoCal or even Windows.

    I have been working on my D800E and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 D lens near minimum focus distance. I plan on determining optimal AutoFocus MicroAdjustment (AFMA) for a focus distance of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 m or thereabouts, the last being the Canon recommended distance of 50x focal length.

    For a focus distance of roughly 0.5 m FoCal first determined AFMA=-17.
    In my next try FoCal got into an infinite loop, not making any progress.
    I killed it, slightly repositioned the focus target, and tried again.
    This time it determined AFMA=-16.

    AFMA=-16 seems to produce slightly better results with the multiple point focus chart in order to determine whether my D800E is afflicted by the "left focus point" problem. I can't come to a conclusion yet.

    For f=1.4 the outer focus points are a little worse than the central ones.
    For f=8 all focus points seem to work equally well (all get green colors).

    Interesting is also the focus consistency check and the quality of focus check as a function of f number. The latter has 2 local maxima, one around f of 2.8, the other in the f of 8 to 11 range.

    This is how far I got. Next come 1.0 m measurements.

    There is of course the possibility that the lens is out of spec and needs to be serviced. It should therefore be interesting to find out if my D800E produces better results with my Nikkof 24-70 f/2.8 G lens at 50 mm focal length. We'll see.

    I am very curious about the experiences other folks have with the latest version of FoCal that finally works with D800/Es. Please post your experiences here as well. Thanks.

    Regards, K-H.

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    Re: D800/E - how to do AF finetuning ?

    Relevant info on Thom Hogan's Nikon Camera, DSLR, Lens, Flash, and Book site
    Subject: Autofocus Problems
    Date: July 16 (Commentary)

    Regards, K-H.

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