AF-Fine Tune: You Don't Need It

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Comments

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,036Member
    HockyMan ..I have always said that some lenses "run in " like a car and you need to check the FFA after about 1000 shots and annually. I usually sit with a new lens on the patio and focus far /near /far /near for half an hour before I adjust it.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @Pistnbroke has long been saying that AF "wears in" as a lens gets broken-in and used. I personally haven't observed this yet, but he puts a ton more wear and tear on his gear than I do.
  • HockeyManHockeyMan Posts: 68Member
    @Pistnbroke that half hour of far/near far/near focusing sounds like good advice. I'll have to remember that with any new zoom lenses that I purchase!

    But at the gymnastics events I shoot, I sometimes take 1500+ shots. I don't think I can af fine tune in the middle of all the events. I took 3000+ when someone offered to pay me to shoot their entire team.
    D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.4G, 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, TC17E II, D300, DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G. Coolpix E5400, some AI lenses from my father.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,036Member
    I have found this with a number of new lenses but if Hockeyman you take 1500 at an event then after one event it will be run in and just check the fine tune and you are good to go . The worst example was my favourite lens to hate the 24-120 which had changed dramatically after one wedding shoot
  • HockeyManHockeyMan Posts: 68Member
    This comment is to all you pros. I can't imagine trying to be a photographer as a primary source of income. Things like this would make me sweat bullets.
    D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.4G, 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, TC17E II, D300, DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G. Coolpix E5400, some AI lenses from my father.
  • NIKONTNNIKONTN Posts: 80Member
    @Pistnbroke , You are right about a lens getting broken-in. My 70-200 was ok but got worse with use, I checked it it was +5 out. Great advice, I will check it again after the next outing.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,036Member
    I note on the latest Canon cameras ( spit vomit) you can do focus adjust at wide and tele on the zoom lenses ...come on Nikon for 2017 we want that .
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    Ken Rockwell may figure the average user is probably not going to spend money on an AF Tune system or even read up on it so likely to do themselves more harm than good if they try it. Regardless, if that is what he thinks he should say it that way in my opinion.

    I use Reikan's Focal which is computer driven and completely automatic from start to finish with my D3S cameras; adjusting autofocus is fast, painless, and extremely accurate. Focal AF Tuning is done manually with the D800 / D7200 series and is equally accurate but of course more tedious as you are manually adjusting the AF Fine Tune between shots per the computer's instructions which takes longer accomplish.

    I have no idea of why Nikon dropped whatever the interface is on the D3S but think it was a mistake because it is made for love with Focal.

    AF Tuning on zoom lenses is best done at highest focal length. The reasoning is that shorter focal lengths like Msmoto mentioned above have an inherently greater depth of field at any given aperture.

    The built-in AF Tuning in the D5 and the D500 will not give you as reliable a result as Focal which is confirmed by some of the user comment on their article last year by Nikon users in the link below which is worth reading.

    http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/2016/04/nikon-d500-automatic-af-fine-tune/
  • So while in Florida a couple of weeks ago I discovered that my 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VRII wasn't focusing sharply on my nearly new D810 so I did some research on AF Fine Tuning here and around the Web and came up with this setup to check my lenses:

    photo _DS81144-for Web_zpshryh1sq9.jpg


    It seemed to work ok; I ended up @ +11 on the 70-300 (although at the 70mm end +10 seemed better); +10 on my 16-35f/4G ED VR & +10 on the 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G...

    When I first got the D810 just after T-day I did some test shots with the 70-300 & 28-80 and it seemed to be focusing perfectly...

    Is it possible that like some lenses, the body had to "wear in" ?? (I had about 800 shots on it when I noticed the sharpness wasn't good)
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,036Member
    edited February 2017
    I have commented on numerous occasions to the boredom of everyone that new lenses do seem to run in and your 800 shots seems typical. I also find that if its +10 on one Nikon body its the same on the others 810 800 7100 7100 is what I have at present in my bag.
    I usually use a shallower angle than the staircase ..about 20 deg but the method is correct.
    A barcode in the picture is also a good guide and using flash also eliminates movement.
    P.S If you go to the top of this page (4) you will find lots of comments on this subject.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    Pistnbroke is right on new lenses having a break-in period and I agree with him that most lenses stay in the general range of their setting + or - a bit body to body. Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge that alignment from camera to camera is dependent on the surface tolerances of our camera bodies the same so there are exceptions in spite of Nikon doing a commendable job in machining the surface around their lens mounts.

    There is a meaningful variation worth correcting with long focal length telephoto lenses and their teleconverters regardless of how well matched my cameras are body to body. Once I am set-up to align a lens the only significant amount of time between alignment is moving the target to the proper distance for each lens' focal length. I calibrate each lens to each camera body and then calibrate them with each of the teleconverters I plan on using with each telephoto lens against each camera body.

    Photographers like me who are lugging their equipment to remote locations and over rough terrain constantly are well-served to check alignment as close to every six months as possible. I am very careful with my gear and taken a few falls protecting my equipment when there was a potential for serious damage. Nevertheless, even the most careful shooters will inflict minor bumps on their gear will accumulate over time that will impact alignment.

    A sharp image does not guarantee a great image but still highly desirable for the majority of my shots. My preference is to start sharp and soften and sharpen the parts of the image that will enhance it because reduces editing time. I think there is meaningful variation worth correcting with 300mm plus photo length telephoto lenses and teleconverters. I match each teleconverter to both the lens I am using it with and each camera.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited February 2017
    It's not just the mount tolerances, there are mirror tolerances, AF module tolerances, and internal lens tolerances. All of which may add up, or cancel out, depending on which way they go.

    The range of AF fine tune is +/- 20 which corresponds to +/- 0.10mm. So each "click" on AF fine tune is 1/20th of 0.10mm or 0.005mm

    That's some tolerance! It's a wonder these things work at all...
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,036Member
    Thanks Trishooter...your confirmation of "running in " does my heart good. I was even banned from one site for proposing it ..I was misleading and malicious,providing misinformation . don't you just love Nikon rumors.
    Ironheart is of course right but you can swing the FFA on bodies like the D90 with the right software by considerable amounts if you get a body that is way off.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,036Member
    edited February 2017
    Found this device which for a couple of dollars ( all over e bay /amazon ) gets you into this with no pain ..particularly like the b/w squared area which shows up very well
    .The one I posted here is overpriced ..I only paid £1.35
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DSLRKIT-Lens-Focus-Calibration-Tool-Alignment-Ruler-Folding-Card/142009144448?_trksid=p2050601.c100574.m4253&_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=20151214145836&meid=84776db9d92347c182f478c1c6e107d1&pid=100574&rk=3&rkt=4&sd=222151294633
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,430Member
    Well I’ve found it to be necessary when using my 16-80 for close ups. Otherwise I was getting back focus. But it is a PITA to get adjusted correctly.
  • rmprmp Posts: 541Member
    Thom Hogan has a new quick read article on testing a lens. It leaves auto-focus-fine tune for another day.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,036Member
    and the reference is …….
  • rmprmp Posts: 541Member
    The lens testing reference is dslrbodies.com/lenses/lens-articles/lens-technique/how-do-you-test-a-lens.html
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,036Member
    edited July 2018
    Thanks rmp will check that ...another tip is if you get a lens that needs over say +20 then you can move the default setting . the FFA swings around the default giving you greater range ..can happen with older Sigma telephotos. Unfortunatly it will affect any other lenses you have in the memory which would need re setting.

    GOOD ARTICLE JUST READ IT
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
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