Fine tuning new camera

KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
edited September 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I have a bunch of Nikon lenses, optimised with my D800. I had this done by Nikon, and it was a remarkable difference. I never was able to get that same level of fine adjustment done by myself.

Now I am getting a new D810, and I wonder... Do I need to send it all in again, and if I do, will it affect my D800 settings? I.e. is the fine tuning done entirely in the camera, or are any adjustments done in the lenses? And, now that I am a bit more experienced, can I do this myself, and if so, what is everyone else doing? I have a license to Focal Pro, but haven't really used it...
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Comments

  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    It depends on what Nikon did to Optimise your lenses.
    If they readjusted the lenses for "normal" camera then they will be "neutral" for all systems.
    If they adjusted just the fine tuning for each lens on the D800, then the same should be done for the D810.
    If they adjusted the lenses to match the D800s sensor, then they will probably need to be re-adjusted for the D810.

    It all depends.

    There exists two variances - Lens being "off" and the Sensor being "off." What can happen is that your sensor may be +10 and your lens is +20 off, which would be outside of the camera's fine tuning. So the question becomes, was the D800's sensor adjusted and the lens just fine-tuned, or just the lens adjusted to match the sensor, or one of the multiple combination of tweaks. I would think if you looked at the repair/service sheet it should say.

    •Formerly TTJ•
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    Without the service sheet (which I can't find) is there any way to tell what they did?
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    Not that I know of. You might check the "fine tune" menu option to see what is saved. That might eliminate something. You could compare two cameras to find out, but that is haphazard.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    @killerbob call Nikon and ask them for specifics. They might just give you a generic answer.
    For my d800 it was all over the place until it got serviced.
    For the d810 only the sigma 50 art needs fine tuning out of the box.
    I will use the focus tune software for that and I'm about to do it with all my lens anyways.

    For sigma lens you can use the usb dock too.

    My df and d800 had different settings.
    I'm sending the d810 for the white dot issue and sending all my Nikon glass except the 70-200 for calibration.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    In the Fine AF tuning menu there everything is default.

    I remember the Nikon guy saying that several of the lenses has several measuring points, the 80-400mm for instance had 5, that all needed to be adjusted and calibrated for in the camera. I took that to mean that the D800 was "reprogrammed" for every lens, and it stores the data. If that is correct, I "just" need to send in the lenses again alongside the D810, and have them program the D810 for the lenses, without changing anything int he lenses - right? I.e. is it possible for Nikon to reprogram the camera to reflect the individual lenses, much more than what is possible in the AF Fine Tuning menu?

    As for my other lenses, funny enough they works pretty well with my D800, only the Nikons were a bit out of calibration.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 559Member
    I don't know what Nikon does. But when I get a new lens I perform a test - I use a left, right and center AF point and aim for an eye at close range. If that eye is sharp when the lens is wide open I leave it alone. I have only sent one lens in for service. That was a 16-85dx that did not focus properly from 65-85. The service people told me that there was some small magnets giving info to the camera that needed adjusting???

    Other than that I have never dialed in + or - for any lens.

    My thinking is: "If it isn't broke, don't fix it". Maybe I am missing something? Maybe I can get better than sharp?
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I talked to Nikon, and they supposedly focused their efforts on the camera. I'll check it out when I get the D810. As for why... I thought it was sharp before, only had a small issue with the 85mm, but when I saw the results after calibrating the 14-24mm, the 24-70mm, the 85mm, and my "tack-sharp" 105mm, I was blown away.
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 559Member
    It may be worth trying. Maybe what I think is "good" can get better?

    I would like to hear from other member who send in "good" lenses if they got "better" performance after a trip to Nikon Service.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,605Member
    @Henrik1963 - I am also interested in hearing about results. When I sent my D7100 and 17-35 F2.8 to LA Nikon Service to check for a soft focus issue also requested they perform the AF Fine Tune as defined in the manual and the results saved in the menu. A Nikon Customer Service representative told me that they do not perform this adjustment because it is subjective. I am very confused when I see other members here having theirs lens adjusted for their camera.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    lol that is complete BS... It is NOT subjective, it is actually quite measurable. Hence you can get software where you measure photos of charts, and the software can set the micro-AF just right for your camera (Focal for instance). In DK it is a free service, and I am sure Nikon would not offer this to all new lenses on professional cameras, if it was subjective:)
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    I think that was a Nikon CSR that was saying "I don't believe you know what you are talking about and it is user fault that your images are blurry." To their defence, 90% of the time they are probably right.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    When Nikon calibrates a lens and body combination they do not store the fine-tune values into the firmware where you can see it. They access maintenance settings in the software that you and I can't see. Also, if a lens is off enough, they will physically adjust the lens for better performance across the focal (and zoom) range. Again, these adjustments would be invisible to you and I.
    To Nikon, the "fine tune" is actually a rough adjustment (only 1 setting for a lens across the entire range). The "fine tune" they do is much more accurate and has multiple adjutments, kind of like what the Sigma dock lets you do, but with even more adjustment. Don't ask me how I know this, I can't tell you ;-)
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    As I said above, the Nikon 80-400mm have at least 5 points where they measure and adjust for the nuances. I don't know if they do this in the lenses first, and then following in the camera, or if it is all done in the camera. I know that Nikon has told me that if the lenses have been calibrated once (with the D800), it is a base for the lenses, and then in the camera. So when I bring in the lenses and the D810, it supposedly is much easier to get them right with the new camera. At least that's what they tell me:)
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,605Member
    lol that is complete BS... It is NOT subjective, it is actually quite measurable. Hence you can get software where you measure photos of charts, and the software can set the micro-AF just right for your camera (Focal for instance). In DK it is a free service, and I am sure Nikon would not offer this to all new lenses on professional cameras, if it was subjective:)
    I agree and when I pointed out the pages in the manual they said not they do not perform this service.

    @IronHeart - nice explaination, thanks.

    @Bokeh_Hunter - I understand your perspective and agree that a lot of "blurry" images are the user. When they made two adjustments to the D7100 under warranty and replaced parts or rebuilt parts in my 17-55mm I knew they had found the issue of my soft pictures. That is what I had expected and that is why I asked them to perform the AF Fine Tune adjustment after fixing the problem. I was very disappointed with this part of the service.

    I am going to send a message to Nikon Service and hope I get a different CS representative and if that doesn't work I plan to call them.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @Photobug, My point of my above explanation is that if you send your camera and lenses to Nikon for a Cleaning, Lubrication, and Adjustment (CLA), you will get back a set of gear who's correct calibration is zero. Several members have had this service done "over the counter" if you are close enough to a Nikon service center. What you are really asking is "how far off were my internal adjustments" which they might be able to tell you if it weren't trade secret.
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    When Nikon calibrates a lens and body combination they do not store the fine-tune values into the firmware where you can see it.
    That is the complete opposite from what I have had Nikon (and every other lens tech) ever tell me. I have always been told adjustments are lens and or body independent. That means the focus on the body is physically adjusted (by screws that the sensor is mounted with) and in the lens by one of two ways, either the physical focus mechanism or by the software inside the lens. I have had all of them say with 100% certainty it is not done in the "firmware" on the camera. If you sit and think about it, why would they adjust just something in the body. When they get a new body, the lens will still be off. It makes zero sense to do that.

    I remember when the first D800 units had the "left focus issue" (or right whatever) there was a false rumor floating around they fixed it via firmware - that was absolutely false. Nikon even sent out a service advisory to stores denouncing that - something my local store showed me. This idea and assumptions that everything is just "firmware" fixes needs to stop. These are mechanical devices with computers attached. If something is off, it needs to be on the end-of-use piece in the system, not the beginning.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited October 2014
    I'm not going to quote myself from five posts earlier, nor am I going to describe the complete calibration process in detail. . But yes, of course, the gear needs to be brought into spec physically, but then there are firmware adjustments for both the lens and body to further fine-tune the focus. The tolerances are too tight to be adjusted by a twist of a screw. The "fix" for the d800 was to physically adjust the sensor to bring it into tolerance, and then re-run the factory calibration program and store those values (which are specific to each camera) into the firmware. I never said or meant to imply, it was all done in the camera. The lens and the body are tuned independently, otherwise the whole idea of an "interchangeable lens" system would fail.
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    Ok - that makes more since. I hate to have people walk away thinking otherwise. Incorrect information can grow like weeds. ;)
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,847Member
    just got a new lens arriving monday..are you saying that nikon can do a better adjustment and give me a batter picture than if I do my normal back focus adjustment ?
    If this is true this also implies that they can do this for a zoom but not for a fixed focus lens?
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    Yes it would be far better than what you could do. And No, they can do it with every lens.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    Of course it is not in every case the result is obvious. However, we are dealing with mass-production items and there are always variances. If you have a camera which happens to be in the "low end", and get a lens which is in the "high end" it will be noticeable. This goes for primes as well as a zooms.

    If i undestood the Nikon guys correctly, they calibrated the camera to be baseline correct. Then they adjusted every lens to be baseline correct as well, and finally they made small adjustments in the camera firmware to fine adjust for the relationship between every lens/camera combination...
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,847Member
    Ok so what are you saying..I take my new 28-300 check the back focus at about 4 points ..find they are all different and then complain to nikon who have it all back and adjust it for me...
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    That's about right. Except, you don't need to try and do it yourself... At least in DK, it is a standard service, that Nikon calibrates professional lenses and cameras. Of course you can try yourself, but it is impossible for us normal users to do it right, as we can only make one adjustment pr. lens.
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    Ok so what are you saying..I take my new 28-300 check the back focus at about 4 points ..find they are all different and then complain to nikon who have it all back and adjust it for me...
    With apertures of 3.5-5.6 the spot on focus is barely noticeable because the DOF is already about 2ft (.6m.) The concern with correct calibration is really for 2.8 lenses and below or the f/4 super telephotos.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,847Member
    at 300mm f 5.6 and 10 ft DOF is 1 inch ...typical ring shot at a wedding ..so I think adjustment is in order.
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