AF fine tuning is easy with Camera Cntrl Pro + LR auto import

Started Nov 29, 2007 | Discussions thread
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John Rayl Contributing Member • Posts: 761
AF fine tuning is easy with Camera Cntrl Pro + LR auto import

I have found the following to be quite accurate as you get nearly instant feedback on your fine tuning adjustments.

Required items:

  • D300/D3

  • Flash if ambient light is low

  • Lens(es)

  • Tripod

  • Target paper with sharp text

  • Computer

  • USB 2.0 cable

  • Nikon Camera Control Pro 2(trial only available)

  • RAW converter that can watch a hot folder and auto import(I use Adobe LightRoom)

My setup:

1. Camera on tripod, level with target paper full of sharp text. Distance to paper varies with lens focal length. Make sure the camera focal pane and target paper are parallel to each other, perpendicular to level ground as you can get it.. if your walls are straight, tap the target paper to it

2. If you don't have ample light for at least a shutter speed of 1/60th and ISO200, use your SB800 for good lighting of the target paper. I shoot in aperture priority and opened the aperture up as large as possible(lowest f number).

3.On the camera body, goto the tool menu, AF Fine Tune, Turn it ON.

4. Macbook Pro running Nikon Camera Control Pro 2(trial). Connected to D300 via USB 2.0 cable, capturing 12bit RAW, dumping to a hot folder that Adobe Lightroom is watching. Shooting RAW is important as we do not want the in camera JPG sharpening to skew our results!

5. Switch to Camera Control Pro, click the AF and Shoot button. Firing the shutter remotely like this will help ensure minimal camera shake.

6. Moments later, it shows up in LR, 100% zoom, apply standard sharpening, view RAW file image of text you just captured, raise right eyebrow and rub chin... does it look out of focus? Not as sharp as it could be?

7. On the camera body, goto tool menu, AF Fine Tune, bump Saved Value to +5, or -5, or whatever tickles your fancy..

Repeat steps 5, 6, and 7, trying different values + and - and viewing the result with and without the standard sharpening in LR. Based on how sharp or out of focus the next result looks will determine which direction to adjust the Saved Value in step 7.

KEEP TRACK of your adjustments as you move the Saved Value up and down as this will help when you have fired your 10th frame and are comparing it to the third frame and you cannot remember what that Saved Value was!

Once you have your OMG! moment when the text is tack sharp, Try each end of the zoom(if applicable) and in the middle. Now disconnect the camera, and go shoot some regular shots of say your willing spouse, child, wall, junk on desk, or pet and review the results on screen at 100%

Come back and reply to this thread detailing the lens(make/model) and Saved Setting that you figured out.
'My mind is a gallery full of beautiful pictures that I should have taken'

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