Update on back/front focus adjustments SD14 etc.

Started Jun 13, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Update on back/front focus adjustments SD14 etc.

Hi All! (Images showing stages to adjust for back focus problem at bottom)

As many will know I have generally preferred my SD9 to the SD14. Not that I disliked the SD14 but I never felt it produced images as sharp as the SD9, using the same original 15-30EX and 24-70EX lenses.

It was one specific image that got me thinking about back focusing, so I checked the "how to" and found to adjust was fairly uncomplicated. Basically the procedure is to set the camera as though for sensor cleaning, meaning to remove the lens and protective glass thingie (found the latter was easy enough if a fingernail was used to clip the thingie upwards in direction of the arrow on same. This released the bottom and the thingie was easily and safely allowed to fall on to a clean card - not from a great height of course. I do love these technical words, don´t you?

Then with LH top camera dial set to AB and then the FUNC and back top right buttons pressed together (takes a couple of seconds to work) the mirror is raised safely. Clearly either a mains adapter or a fully charged battery is required. The adjustment is done by inserting a 1.5 HEX (Allan key) into the little socket on right near front entrance to camera and for correction of back focus, turn it clockwise. To adjust for the amount I required (I did intermediate tests) I found I actually ended needing about two full turns - by that I do not mean two full turns - rather two maximum possible part turns as obviously, the amount of turn is subject to the key hitting the body - so I reckon in real terms, it means about a total of roughly a half really full turn. Hope that is as clear as mud for you!

The images should show how it was to start with (which is obviously why I was dissatisfied with sharpness/focus as definitely some way behind the point manually focused upon). The intermediate stage is also shown as is the final. After each adjustment, the cover glass was carefully replaced and shots taken to check. With the inevitable slight delays between these stages, the shots ended up being done in almost sunlight to actual first raindrops. Yes, it does rain sometimes in Spain you know.

Although this has been covered in various amounts in the past, I thought an actual demo of how the simple adjustment clears back or front focusing problems might be helpful. I would point out that NEVER send lenses away for calibration. had I done that, then the focusing on the SD9 would have been ... um ... er ... kn^kered! From previous descriptions, I could not quite work out where the adjustment was located but was easy with mirror raised. I found the last image of help but as I searched around a bit, cannot quite remember where it came from so apologies in advance to whomsoever but thought worth including as very helpful.

Basically to adjust for BACK focus (for the Manual and Auto adjusters shown) you turn CLOCKWISE (and vice-cersa to correct for front focus of course). (Note all shots for focus checks used 24-70EX at f2.8 and 70mm setting)

And the final successful adjustment

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The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process. -Edward Weston

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