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D7000 AF fine tuning fun facts


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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011
Sat 02-Mar-13 03:21 AM | edited Sat 02-Mar-13 03:25 AM by Vlad_IT

Hello all,

It’s late now, but i wanted to post some results from half a day of fine tuning AF system on my D7000 to the various lenses i have. I must to say that no big surprises here, just the facts:

1. My D7000 just has been serviced by Nikon and they adjusted the mirror angle as well as fine tuned AF and upgraded FW. So I will consider the AF system is well aligned.

2. The tests were done in a well-lit room, allowing 1/500 speed at ISO 100, using wide opened aperture and a good tripod. The target was a flat lens align target 8”x8” in size. AF-S with focus lock priority and center point were used.

3. Lenses manually put to infinity before each test and then to zero before the next test to make sure the focus acquired correctly while lens is rotating in either of the sides.

4. After AF acquired using in viewfinder mode, using AF-ON button, I switched to LV mode, digitally zoomed on the target and use 10x lope to read LCD display image. While still staying in LV mode I moved the focus ring left and right a bit to see if imaged will become sharper (or more blur). On the lenses that have distance window I just marked position of the distance scale. Tests for each lens were repeated at least 4-5 times. This is preliminary step to find out if the image was as sharp using AF in viewfinder mode as it would be in LV mode.

5. The Second part of the test for the same lens was to focus using LV mode (2 times – manual focus as well as AF – they always were on the same mark anyway. In this mode the distance mark (from the LV mode focusing) considered to be a “golden”/correct distance to get the sharpest image. After that the camera was switched off LV mode and focused as per #4 above (before each focusing the focus ring was moved eigher to infinity or to zero.

7. If the mark on the distance scale window matched in both cases (LV focusing and viewfinder focusing) – the lens did not require any AF Fine tuning. If the mark on the distance scale was on higher side than ‘golden” distance – than positive value had to be added for the lens AF fine tuning and vise-versa.

8. Any of my primes did not required any AF fine tuning – 35mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 60G micro f2.8 and 105G VR micro f2.8 - all were good. I’m very happy to let everybody know that the primes very well made and aligned.

9. The 70-200 VRII lens required only +5 adjustments on 70mm Focal Length and did not require any adjustment on 200mm FL. So I left it at 0 as 200mm side is more important for me.

10. Sigma 50-500 OS – did not require any adjustment at all. Tested on 50mm, 70mm, 200mm, 300mm and 400mm. I did not have enough room to test on 500mm FL

11. Tamron 11-16 f2.8 – it required +20 adjustments and even then it was not perfect. I would think couple more digits would be even better (like +22/+24). But camera allows only +/-20 range. But the images were clearly much sharper when +20 adjustment was used. Tested at 11mm and 16mm

12. 17-55 f2.8 – required +19 adjustments. Tested on 17mm, 35mm and 55mm

13. A Big surprise was my old 18-135 f3.5/5.6. It did not required any adjustment. Tested at 18mm, 35mm, 70mm and 135mm. It is definitely one of the sharpest Nikon consumer zooms ever made.

Best regards,

Here is a test from Tokina 11-16 at 14mm handheld @ 1/25 sec, F/2.8, ISO 800 100% crop (571x378 pix) out of D7000 AFTER +20 adjustment. PP'ed in LR4. looks like a quite sharp image to me for wide open. So i think Tokina is still performs well, beside the fact that it's 2-5 points under adjusted.

Click on image to view larger version

Attachment#1 (jpg file)

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