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Subject: "AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7" Previous topic | Next topic
captainkev Registered since 24th Jan 2011Tue 01-Mar-11 07:11 PM
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"AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"


Washington Township, US
          

Have been working out my D7000 and of course reading way too many opinions on what to do to tweak it out.
The whole thing about AF set up for each lens vs. just giving a +7 or so default has me a bit perplexed. One such video on setting up each lens had a process that would take a good hour per lens to evaluate. What is everyone doing with this concept ?

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
captainkev
01st Mar 2011
1
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
briantilley Moderator
01st Mar 2011
2
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
KnightPhoto Gold Member
05th Mar 2011
3
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
aolander Silver Member
05th Mar 2011
4
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
PAStime Silver Member
06th Mar 2011
6
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
visionguru
06th Mar 2011
5
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
agitater Gold Member
06th Mar 2011
7
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
captainkev
06th Mar 2011
8
Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
Len Shepherd Gold Member
06th Mar 2011
9
     Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
km6xz Moderator
07th Mar 2011
10
          Reply message RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7
dm1dave Administrator
08th Mar 2011
11
               Reply message IRE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +...
larrycurrlymoe Silver Member
12th Mar 2011
12

captainkev Registered since 24th Jan 2011Tue 01-Mar-11 07:16 PM
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#1. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 0


Washington Township, US
          

additional question. If using Photoshop vs. Nikon Capture, will the AF setting adjustments carry over ?

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Tue 01-Mar-11 07:25 PM
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#2. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 1
Tue 01-Mar-11 07:28 PM by briantilley

Paignton, GB
          

Taking the last question first, it makes no difference which post-processing software you use. AF Fine Tune simply adjusts the camera's focusing logic to cope with lenses that might respond slightly differently. Once the lens is focused and the image recorded, that's it

Since AF Fine Tune is intended to adjust for different lenses, if you do want to use it your only option is to test each lens individually and thoroughly. There is absolutely no value in applying the same Fine Tune adjustment for every lens; doing that would undoubtedly make things worse in most cases.

My advice (and Nikon's) is to ignore this feature unless you are sure that one of your lenses is mis-focusing - and you know what you are doing with the required focus test. If all your lenses are mis-focusing in the same way, then the camera itself is faulty and needs attention from Nikon.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Sat 05-Mar-11 06:11 PM
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#3. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 0


Alberta, CA
          

>Have been working out my D7000 and of course reading way too
>many opinions on what to do to tweak it out.
>The whole thing about AF set up for each lens vs. just giving
>a +7 or so default has me a bit perplexed. One such video on
>setting up each lens had a process that would take a good hour
>per lens to evaluate. What is everyone doing with this
>concept ?
>

To answer your question yes hours per lens

Then to top it off, one can do what I did recently and march off to an event, shoot it, befuddled the whole time cause they didn't look sharp, and only the NEXT WEEK realize I had dialled in a negative setting when I meant to set a positive one. Duh!

So yes, lots of room for error. But I do continue to hammer away at it for my fast primes and f2.8 zooms and long telephotos both with and without teleconverters x 3 bodies. It is a journey not a destination I think.

Just like sharpening in post is a journey. (and a very long one at that)

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
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aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006Sat 05-Mar-11 06:19 PM
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#4. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 0


Nevis, US
          

Brian's recommendation is a good one; leave the AF Fine Tune alone unless you know for sure a lens is off. Seems like a lot of people fret endlessly about AF tuning when most lenses are just fine, especially when using them in real world situations.

Alan

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Sun 06-Mar-11 06:20 PM
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#6. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 4


Kingston, CA
          

>Brian's recommendation is a good one; leave the AF Fine Tune
>alone unless you know for sure a lens is off. Seems like a
>lot of people fret endlessly about AF tuning when most lenses
>are just fine, especially when using them in real world
>situations.

It it is also possible to slightly improve AF accuracy for a lens for some particular focal length or aperture or focus distance while at the same time, rendering suboptimal a large portion of the remaining focal length or aperture or focus distance set of combinations! I don't have direct experience with this but have seen evidence of it in others' work. Just a caution.... Peter

  

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visionguru Registered since 03rd Nov 2008Sun 06-Mar-11 04:05 PM
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#5. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 0


Chicago, US
          

>The whole thing about AF set up for each lens vs. just giving
>a +7 or so default has me a bit perplexed. One such video on
>setting up each lens had a process that would take a good hour
>per lens to evaluate. What is everyone doing with this
>concept ?
>

Arbitrarily giving +7? That makes absolutely no sense. If your lenses are not obviously front/back focusing, leave it alone. If you defnitely want to, finding a close enough adjustment value takes far less than 1 hour (15 min each for me). But remember, the "perfect" adjustment value can vary at different focal lengths and different focus distances. It's almost pointless spending money on "precision tools" or tons of time trying to find the perfect value, becaues there is none.

Jay
- Chicago Nikonian

  

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agitater Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007Sun 06-Mar-11 06:30 PM
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#7. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 0


Toronto, CA
          


>The whole thing about AF set up for each lens vs. just giving
>a +7 or so default has me a bit perplexed.

A +7 default? Where did you hear about such nonsense - I hope not on Nikonians.

I echo Brian's qualification of the whole AF Fine Tune 'feature'. It's not a feature/function that any photographer should touch unless there is unequivocal evidence that a particular lens is demonstrably out of calibration.

AF Fine Tune is either a hyper-technical feature for art or studio shooters for whom critical focus means the difference between selling a shot or losing a customer, or it's a photography geek feature. 99% of all photographers - amateur and pro alike - will spend a lot of time getting it wrong with the very rare lens which might benefit from AF Fine Tune.

AF Fine Tune should be clearly marked in the manual NOT FOR REGULAR USE OR THE FAINT OF HEART.

Never before have photographers been burdened with so many ill-conceived, complex camera features and functions which keep too many photographers too often chained to the manual, the message boards and the test bench instead of being out and about making photos.

AF Fine Tune may have its very rare uses, but IMO Nikon should be kicked in the pants for having added it to DSLR bodies.

Feature on top of feature on top of feature, ad infinitum. It's ridiculous and confusing.

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captainkev Registered since 24th Jan 2011Sun 06-Mar-11 07:26 PM
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#8. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 7


Washington Township, US
          

Well stated, thank you.

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Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Sun 06-Mar-11 08:59 PM
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#9. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 7


Yorkshire, GB
          

>AF Fine Tune should be clearly marked in the manual NOT FOR REGULAR USE OR THE FAINT OF HEART.
In fairness to Nikon they say in all fine tune body instructions
1/ Fine tune is not normally required
2/ If you get focus issues assume AF subject failure and find a better AF target or use manual focus
***
It is extremely rare to see evidence of a focus issue where Nikon's guidance on getting good results using AF have been followed.
Nearly all images in support of a claim for a need for fine tune turn out to be of targets where Nikon say there is a high chance of auto focus being fooled into focusing at the wrong distance.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Mon 07-Mar-11 06:08 AM
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#10. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 9


St Petersburg, RU
          


The OP might have confused Sharpening in Picture Controls which can benefit from a +6 or +7 setting.

AF fine tune was probably added due to the demand by some members of an infliencial forum DPR that often has extremely nit-picky or just plain crazy rumors assume viral proportions. After all, it was the claim that the D90 was defective in focusing because users had to get into their camera and use a hex-key to adjust the mirror angle. Thousands of users still claim that yet every one of that tried it screwed up their camera alignment. They bemoaned the fact that the D90 "alone" in the class had no AF adjustment, which was not true. It has millions of subscribers who don't know any better. Canon was wise in actually taking the feature out of the 60D because it did far more damage than good.

Poor focusing has many potential causes, usually some of many causes contribute to a particular photo's fuzziness. 90% of the causes are covered by Nikon's own instructions describing what makes a good and bad focusing target. Other causes including too narrow of depth of field for a particular subject, as is too low of shutter speed, or holding technique. We all have a number of out of focus shots but do not assume a general lens/AF problem, because the rest of the shots are sharp and in focus. The simplest answer to such problems is usually the right one, in this case, it is the safest bet to assume the occasional image problem is user error in technique, application or conditions.

Before listening to people who do not know you, your individual camera or examined your photos, by asking these questions, particularly with a high performance camera like a D7000, D3 or a Canon 7d, the simplest answer is that you have to learn how to get the most of such power and have technique to match its high resolution. Some very experienced photographers have experienced frustration applying old habits to higher resolution cameras and discovered they needed to be more careful and deliberate in their set up of a shot, holding and assumptions. But when they do, the results are worth the extra attention. Only then is the true value of upgrading in performance and resolution worth it.

Why not post some images you are concerned about that might suggest a AF alignment problem. In the meantime, yes, if you are using JPG or Nikon software in Post processing, do adjust the Sharpening control up to +6 or +7.
Good luck.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Tue 08-Mar-11 12:06 AM
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#11. "RE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 10


Lowden, US
          

“The OP might have confused Sharpening in Picture Controls which can benefit from a +6 or +7 setting.”

I have a feeling that that this may be the case.

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Lowden, Iowa
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larrycurrlymoe Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Feb 2009Sat 12-Mar-11 08:26 PM
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#12. "IRE: AF Fine Tuning or just go with Default of +6 or +7"
In response to Reply # 11


Calgary, CA
          

I believe the last poster is correct. I have been struggling mightily over the past couple of months with "mushy photos" and after reading this and many other threads decided to take my 7000 to a shop and get their opinion.
Result: Camera has been returned to Nikon for re-calibration. The techs at the shopped tried "tune" my lense, then took a duplicate lense off the shelf and it showed the same amount of adjustment required.
If I heard the shop guys properly they were stating that a lense should not need any more than a (+-) 5 adjustment, so a default of 6 or 7 to me would be contrary to this thinking. I will re-iterate hast I am not 100% certain that I heard the tech correctly.

larrycurrlymoe: not just a funny moniker, I can't dance either!

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