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Good Way to Test Focus and Viewfinder W/O Fancy Equipment?

jim thomas

Edmond, US
1322 posts

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jim thomas Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2003
Mon 02-Jul-12 01:32 AM

I received my D800E last week and have not had the time to conduct a meaningful test to see if it has the focusing problem. I understand that the focus problem is best detected with a wide aperture, say 2.8. I will therefore probably test mine with either the 17-35mm or 28-70mm at 2.8. I plan to shoot, as others have, a brick wall. Is there any advantage to using one of the more sophisticated targets that one can download? I have tried (not very hard though) to read a couple of articles describing how to test for focus and they quickly get too technical for me...or perhaps I am just too lazy to make the effort to follow them. So, being a lazy person, I am asking for a lazy man's technique that will determine whether my camera has the problem. I do want to make sure about this so I am willing to expend whatever time and enery is required.

Now for a pretty dumb question. I have been advised that I also need to do a "viewfinder test". I was too embarrassed to ask "what is that", so I am asking my fellow Nikonians "what is that"? I assume that it is to see if the viewfinder is displaying what the sensor is actually capturing. Is that right? If so, I guess one takes a mental picture of what the viewfinder shows, take a photo and see if the photo shows what one remembers was shown by the viewfinder. However, that seems like a very imprecise and unreliable way to do the test. Is there a better way...or am I not understanding what a viewfinder test is. Please save me the embarrassement of telling the well known professional who advised me to conduct the test that I don't know what he is talking about.

I will appreciate any help you are able to provide with regard to these questions.