AF fine tune frustrations.

Started Apr 7, 2016 | Discussions thread
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Phathom Senior Member • Posts: 1,123
AF fine tune frustrations.

So, first off, I read Thom Hogan's article about AF fine tuning and completely chose to ignore it. Why? Because I'm stubborn, meticulous, and demand perfection. In the end I've spent a ton of money, and have absolutely NOTHING to show for it. I'm so frustrated with this whole process that it makes me want to smash my Lensalign kit. Here is the article he wrote, it's on his blog:

Basically, my camera was front focusing. Almost everyone pointed it out, and I had a lot of people indicate that the D5 was doing it the same for them too. So here is how my saga began.

1) I tried the AF auto fine tune with my Tamron 70-200. That worked great. I consistently got +9 as the result. However, my tamron glass kept overwriting the other profiles so I got frustrated and sold my tamron and bought a bran new warrantied Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR II (there was a rebate going on).

2) I tried the AF auto fine tune again in much the same way as my Tamron. In the end I got results ranging from +3 to +20. So I thought it must be my cruddy tripod. It probably can't handle the D5 weight.

3) I purchased a carbon fiber awesome tripod. A awesomely sturdy ball head. I tried the AF auto fine tune again and it gave me wild results. I said fine, I'll buy lens align, people keep raving about that.

4) Lensalign mark ii version 4 gets here. I set it up, bust out big lights. Measure my distance with a tape measurer. My test shots at +0 look completely fine. So I thought I'm good. Just to make sure I set it +8... those look EXACTLY THE SAME. I don't mean, sort of the same, I mean exactly the same. You have to zoom in so much on the test that it's hard to see anyways. So I got closer... and the exact same thing happened, no difference.

5) I heard about the Dot Tune method and decided to give that a try. Well, unfortunately for me the D5's AF arrows in the viewfinder have decided to go through some sort of blasted rave party and they wont stop flickering from both sides at almost every single number. >0< back and forth at high speed.

So, in conclusion, I've spent at least 8 hours on this, counting the cost of the trade in, tripod, and align kit, about $1500... and I have absolutely no clue if the lenses are calibrated correctly. So I left it at +8 which is what I was using before.

TL;DR Version: Don't bother to do AF fine tune if you don't already know how. You'll waste a ton of money and in the end just be frustrated. Oh, and listen to Thom Hogan.

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Just a lawyer who spends way too much time and money pretending to be a photographer.

 Phathom's gear list:Phathom's gear list
Sony RX100 III Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +3 more
Nikon D5
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