D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...

Started Apr 7, 2012 | Discussions
DvD5
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D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
Apr 7, 2012

I just spent the entire day yesterday fine tuning the AF on the D800 for each of my lenses. Interesting because I had to dial in quite a bit of adjustment for nearly all my lenses. This was not my experience on my D700.

If you don't shoot wide open and you don't make large prints/crops, then you may not notice, but otherwise I found this made a big difference for me.

In the end, here's what I came up with:

14-24mm f/2.8G: -20
24-70mm f/2.8G: -18
70-200mm f/2.6G VRII: -19
24mm f/3.5 PC-E: -14 (Based on the focus confirmation dot & LV)
50mm f/1.4G: -14
85mm f/1.4G: -9
500mm f/4G: +7
500mm f/4G + TC1.4 +20 (Note: this TC has always been an issue)
500mm f/4G + TC1.7 +2

These settings obviously won't work for your combination, but I thought it was interesting that most of my "regular" lenses needed so much adjustment. In a way I'm glad that my D800 body seems to be biased to the negative side since my 500 + 1.4TC combo has always been a problem on my D700 and D300s--It always wanted more than +20, but that was the limit...

YMMV, Don
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ukat123
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Re: D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
In reply to DvD5, Apr 7, 2012

Good to know. All my fast prime lenses (24G, 35G, 85G) needed a lot of adjustments on my D700 as well when shooting at 1.4

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thomas2279f
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Re: D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
In reply to DvD5, Apr 7, 2012

Thanks for sharing your settings..

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Yaamon
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That's excessive
In reply to thomas2279f, Apr 7, 2012

I also have a D800 on order and if I had to adjust my lens by that amount while on your D700 they were good I would send it back fro exchange or send it into Nikon and have them calibrate your D800.

Not good when you have to fine tune lens when they are at the limit of fine tune adjustment.

My D7000 had a similar issue constant back focus till I sent it in twice so the lens no longer needs any fine tune.

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DamionR
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Re: D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
In reply to DvD5, Apr 7, 2012

Don,

I had to do pretty much the same thing you did with my D800.

Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 needed to be set to -20.
Sigma 50-500mm OS needed to be set to -20 also.

This is kind of worrisome that they needed so much adjustment. It begs the question, what if we could adjust beyond -20?

Is something wrong with our D800s that they need so much adjustment in AF-tune?

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Tom Matty
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Re: D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
In reply to DvD5, Apr 7, 2012

I found the same for my D800, much greater adjustments required than for my D700. I ended up setting the body at default -10 and only then could I get all my lenses aligned.

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lefty from Saratoga
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Re: D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
In reply to Tom Matty, Apr 8, 2012

How are you checking your focus wide open? Are you using the Lens Align tool or?
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cafenated
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Re: D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
In reply to DvD5, Apr 8, 2012

Weird.

On the d800 I have 0 need to fine tune the sigma 50 1.4 nor the 85 1.4--the 50 which needed -7 on the d7000 with the same pixel pitch while the 85 needed none.

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DvD5
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Re: D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
In reply to DamionR, Apr 8, 2012

DamionR wrote:

Don,

I had to do pretty much the same thing you did with my D800.

Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 needed to be set to -20.
Sigma 50-500mm OS needed to be set to -20 also.

This is kind of worrisome that they needed so much adjustment. It begs the question, what if we could adjust beyond -20?

Is something wrong with our D800s that they need so much adjustment in AF-tune?

Good question--as long as I can get everything tuned I'm okay with it. The concern is if I get a new lens that needs -25!

Don

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DvD5
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Re: D800 AF Fine Tune: Matters more than D700...
In reply to lefty from Saratoga, Apr 8, 2012

lefty from Saratoga wrote:

How are you checking your focus wide open? Are you using the Lens Align tool or?

I don't use Lens Align. You can do something as easy as setting up a business card with contrasty print on a measuring tape. Make sure the card is parallel to the sensor and the measuring tape runs perpendicular to the sensor (or at a slight angle). Focus on the business card (using a tripod and good light). Examine the image at 100%; if the focus point is in front of the business card, you need +correction. If the focus point is in back of the card, you need -correction.

Don
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The Photo Ninja
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This just doesn't seem right to me.
In reply to DvD5, Apr 8, 2012

I've got a D700,

My lenses are 24, 35, 85 1.4 variety, 14-24, 70-200 2nd edition and all are set to 0 for AF fine tune.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

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shzygjrmdwg
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Re: This just doesn't seem right to me.
In reply to The Photo Ninja, Apr 8, 2012

I just realized that my lens are bit off focus today as well, the samyang 35mm f/1.4 (which is manual focus) is at -10, 24-70 seems also be good at -10 but it's only been tested indoors, will do some more testing in better light. The 85 f/1.4D seems to be OK at.

It is kind of annoying as I often forget to fine tune after changing lens

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: This just doesn't seem right to me.
In reply to The Photo Ninja, Apr 8, 2012

The Photo Ninja wrote:

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Or maybe the others are photographic dopes

People claiming lenses have front or back focus hardly ever show it with a sample image.

Their camera instruction books tell them fine tune is not normally needed, some types of AF target can induce wrong focus and for good measure Nikon repeat much of this at
https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4585

Despite all this many who do "no hope of a reliable result" tests blame the equipment instead of themselves.

Having examined over 720 images posted over a number of years I have seen only 2 using AF targets which Nikon consider as reliable for consistent accurate focus.

What the actual equipment failure rate is is unknown, but based on examples posted at dpreview it seems below 1% - with the other 99% being mainly a failure to test in a way likely to produce an accurate measure of AF accuracy.

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Leonard Shepherd

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lightmagic
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Re: This just doesn't seem right to me.
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Apr 8, 2012

i use just pro lenses. The newest, 2 months old for me is the 400/2.8 VR. It works with every camera. I never ever feel the need to fine tune any lens.
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DvD5
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Re: This just doesn't seem right to me.
In reply to The Photo Ninja, Apr 8, 2012

The Photo Ninja wrote:

I've got a D700,

My lenses are 24, 35, 85 1.4 variety, 14-24, 70-200 2nd edition and all are set to 0 for AF fine tune.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Not at all. Most body/lens combinations don't require any fine tune. My experience with my D700 was that all my lenses other than the 500VR were fine with 0 fine tune.

Very different experience with my D800.

Don

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inasir1971
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Nikon needs to do something to expand the adjustment range
In reply to DvD5, Apr 8, 2012

Since a lot of people are having to fine to the maximum limit, the lens might actually need adjustment beyond that.

Nikon, until they figure out what is going on and if there is a problem, should at least put out a temporary fix urgently in the form of a firmware update possibly to expand the fine-tuning range for the D800 (/ D4?).

And Happy Easter everyone

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DvD5
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Re: This just doesn't seem right to me.
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Apr 8, 2012

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

The Photo Ninja wrote:

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Or maybe the others are photographic dopes

People claiming lenses have front or back focus hardly ever show it with a sample image.

Their camera instruction books tell them fine tune is not normally needed, some types of AF target can induce wrong focus and for good measure Nikon repeat much of this at
https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4585

Despite all this many who do "no hope of a reliable result" tests blame the equipment instead of themselves.

Having examined over 720 images posted over a number of years I have seen only 2 using AF targets which Nikon consider as reliable for consistent accurate focus.

What the actual equipment failure rate is is unknown, but based on examples posted at dpreview it seems below 1% - with the other 99% being mainly a failure to test in a way likely to produce an accurate measure of AF accuracy.

Why do you think Nikon & Canon (& Oly) put the feature in the cameras? It is because so many people had problems with front/back focus. The methodology I use for setting AF fine tune works very well for my purposes and is highly repeatable. It makes a big difference in two scenarios especially: 1) 500 VR with or without TC's. 2) Shooting wide open (e.g. f/1.4) where DOF is razor thin.

As I pointed out, if you are shooting at small apertures or printing small, you likely won't need to fine tune AF for your lenses.

Don

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ssmumich00
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Re: This just doesn't seem right to me.
In reply to DvD5, Apr 8, 2012

My D700 has required ZERO AF tuning for 24-70, 70-200, 85 1.4, 24 1.4, and 50 1.4....

DvD5 wrote:

The Photo Ninja wrote:

I've got a D700,

My lenses are 24, 35, 85 1.4 variety, 14-24, 70-200 2nd edition and all are set to 0 for AF fine tune.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Not at all. Most body/lens combinations don't require any fine tune. My experience with my D700 was that all my lenses other than the 500VR were fine with 0 fine tune.

Very different experience with my D800.

Don

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Photo Exporter
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My experience is similar with D3/D700, D7000
In reply to DvD5, Apr 8, 2012

My D3/D700 needed very little adjustment with all of my lenses (Sigmas, Nikkors). But both my D7000's need significant (and nearly identical) adjustments.

For example my Nikkor 14-24 on my D3/D700 was -2 on both. But on both D7000's it is -20 -- Wow, right! When I first shot with the 14-24 without adjustment I though I had a $100 junk lens. After AF finetune, you could (ahem) cut glass with the sharpness.

I have noticed every lens I have requires a negative AF finetune on both D7000's, and every one of them is within 1 point between the bodies. So it seems that both bodies are identical (or close). It has alos been noted by many that the D7000 tends to back focus., Almost seems like a design or manufacture issue. But since I have been able to get every lens perfect within the +20/-20 range I have not felt it necessary to send them in to Nikon.

BTW when I get new gear I spend hours calibrating, using: test charts, brick walls and REAL photos. It stinks to blow all that time. But if you are going to spends tens of thousands of dollars and then not tune... well, a Ferrari needs tuning before she goes out to race

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Resul83
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Best way?
In reply to DvD5, Apr 8, 2012

What is the best way to do AF tuning?

Saw something called focus pyramid for $20... Anyone have experience with that?

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