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Soft Focus - How About A Standardized Test ?


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agitater

Toronto, CA
4526 posts

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"RE: Soft Focus - How About A Standardized Test ?"

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Thu 07-Feb-13 05:57 PM

>Thanks for all those that replied so far. I am exactly where
>I started, except with the knowledge that a concise test of
>the D7000 does not exist, nor, probably should it.

But that is entirely inaccurate. It has been mentioned repeatedly in this thread that concise tests exist. Products such as FoCal and LensAlign are both used by some photographers in the relatively rare situation in which AF fine tuning is needed. The three main things that a number of members have have suggested to - based entirely on the example photo you offered and based on the substance of the questions you posted - are that a) based on the example photo there is nothing wrong with your D7000 or the lens that was used, b) based on your example photo any concerns you expressed about a unsatisfactory comparison with your compatriot's Canon 6D were likely irrelevant because the aperture chosen to make your example photo was much too large for the subject target, and c) use of any focus testing tool requires extremely diligent and careful setup in order to obtain valid results.

>The D7000 appears to be an artists brush, rather than a
>calibrated instrument.

It is both, as can be inferred directly from the posts by a number of members contributing to this thread, and by the tests done using widely available testing tools, and by the various photography applications for which a wide range of photographers around the world use the D7000.

>I am comfortable with the camera, I was just hoping for a
>specific test.

Asked and answered. Either you're not asking the question you mean to ask, or you don't consider some of the specific recommendations made in this thread to be valid. If I have missed your meaning, repeatedly, I apologize. But if your viewpoint has changed or your own clarity about the questions asked in your original post has changed or improved, please let us know.

If you're asking strictly about a homemade or home-brewed or fully DIY test toolmaking and test application method, then you're completely right - no such thing exists. The reason is mainly that it is highly unlikely that even an avid hobbyist has the toolmaking skills and test target creation skills to make something that actually challenges the resolution and AF fine tuning control range of the D7000 (or any other advanced digital SLR camera for that matter).

Perhaps you're asking strictly for the standard against which all Nikon cameras are commonly calibrated during manufacture and during service? If so, then the answer is that Nikon establishes the standard and applies its testing tools, test bench measurement standards, software analysis standards and allowable calibration tolerances. Nikon does so in a standardized procedure designed to establish a very high baseline below which no Nikon camera should be adjusted, and above which the majority of cameras coming off the assembly line or out of a Nikon service bench should ideally be operating. Nikon does not publish or discuss the proprietary details of its AF control software, AF/MF operation (except in very general terms - the methods and hardware are patented), image data processing as it is fed from the sensor to the CPU and firmware, etc., etc., etc. If that's the sort of brand-wide standard you're seeking for AF performance testing or general focus performance testing, it does not exist in the public domain in any form of which I'm aware.

HOWEVER, you're an engineer - so I think it's appropriate to offer you the engineer's approach to answering the questions you've asked. When a FoCal or LensAlign product is set up diligently, with all primarly factors (setup stability, evenness of lighting, lens, ideal test distance between the plane of sensor and the plane of the target given the chosen lens, alignment in all planes, positional relationship, sufficient lighting to use base camera ISO with a range of common aperture settings, test target design validity sufficient for the AF system to consistently recognize and lock, and so on), then it is possible to obtain test results using a large number of sequential test shots which will provide a) the maximum range of variability in the AF system design, b) the sub-range of variability in which the camera most often functions, c) the amount of fine tune adjustment (frequently a much smaller adjustment than anticipated, if any at all is actually needed), and d) the decision point based on the tendency of the camera to fall outside the point of absolutely satisfactory focus too rarely for an AF fine tune adjustment to be valid.

I hope this helps.

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Howard Carson

This is a hot topic  It has been locked by a team member Soft Focus - How About A Standardized Test ? [View all] , SweetMK , Sun 03-Feb-13 11:53 AM
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