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AF Fine Tuning a zoom lens

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sun 15-Jul-12 04:44 PM

Now that I am using Reikan Technology's FoCal for my AF Fine Tuning of my D800, I have a lot more opportunities to fine tune my autofocus. However, it also opens a can of worms. When I do AF Fine Tuning of my zoom lenses, I have to select one zoom position for each lens for that fine tuning because the D800 only allows me to save one number for each lens or lens/teleconverter combo.

How do you folks decide what AF fine tuning number to use if you test at each end of the zoom range? Or do you just roll the zoom to the middle of the range and do the AF Fine Tuning?

Nikon says go to the middle at:
http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/15869/~/how-do-i-use-the-%22af-fine-tune%22-feature-on-my-d-slr-camera%3F

Reikan Technology says the following in their FAQ section:

"How do you calibrate zoom lenses?

Most cameras only support a single micro-adjustment setting for the whole lens at all zoom positions, which is not ideal. What you tend to find is that the ideal microadjustment values are different at each ends of the zoom range.

Whilst FoCal cannot address the lack of support in a camera for multiple microadjustment values, you can still calibrate a zoom lens and get a better result than uncalibrated. It's easiest to explain this with a quick example...

Suppose you have a 24-70mm lens. If you calibrate at 24mm and get a result of +10 and at 70mm and get a result of +15, then any value between +1 and about +17 will almost certainly make your lens better at any focal length than it would have been at the default setting of 0.

So which value is best? Well, focus errors have a greater effect at the telephoto end of a zoom lens as the depth-of-field is shallower, so it's better to shift slightly towards the telephoto end. In the example above, the recommended value would probably be +13 or +14 - in real shooting you probably wouldn't notice a difference between the two so either would work. What you would notice is a huge improvement over the images compared to an uncalibrated setup!"

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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