"D800 AF Fine Tune Firmware Upgrade Request" Thu 08-Nov-12 06:42 PM by SoCal Dave
Marina del Rey, US
A recent post on Mansurovs about the new USB connection to Sigma lenses for their new software fine tune made me think about the state of our D800 fine tune and how it could be improved.
Right now we are limited to one single number for adjustment and it's up to you to decide whether to optimize for a particular setting or subjectively evaluate a range of results to pick that number representing the best compromise across all three axes. By this I mean that after playing with the manual observation method of adjustment (both w/ and w/o Lens Align) and with FoCal Pro it is obvious that general repeatability issues aside, results will vary with changes to three variables: distance, focal length (zooms) and aperture. At a minimum, the 5D MkIII shows that it would be easy for us to be given at least two points for adjustment (short/long) on zoom lenses and I would ask that Nikon consider AT LEAST giving us that in a firmware upgrade in the short run.
Even better would be multiple points on a curve!
Having both tried FoCal Pro and read in this forum about efforts to use the software available I believe that FoCal and Tapes software both seem to be suffering teething pains -- as will be expected with early versions of anything. But this concept of using computers to do the fine tuning is something I think has huge promise in the future. After trying the available options it strikes me that Nikon/Canon etc. will eventually have an automated procedure built into the cameras to calibrate fine tune at a matrix of different distances, focal lengths and apertures (three axis solutions) for each individual lens you put on the body. Given the processor capability built into modern DSLR's it would seem to be a short and easy jump to cook this into the firmware. Necessarily, as additional empiricle data was added to the matrix, the software will have to interpolate for missing data to smooth out the curves. Ever since AF Fine Tune came out, I have been impressed with how much more you can get from a body/lens combo from careful calibration. These CPU based solutions offer huge promise I predict we will see in the coming few iterations of DSLR.