Sensor and lens tilt and how to DIY adjust your equipment

Started Sep 19, 2020 | Discussions thread
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SamuelChia New Member • Posts: 9
Sensor and lens tilt and how to DIY adjust your equipment
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It is difficult to determine which forum category is best for posting this thread since it is cross-disciplinary, discussing our discoveries and issues as it relates to astrophotography, though not necessarily limited to astro-work only, mainly using the Sony a7R II as an example, though the problem isn't Sony-specific. Perhaps it is best suited to live in the Sony E-mount forum since many of the examples are for the Sony system, but any enterprising photographer can easily adapt our methods to any other system.

Joseph Holmes and I have found our Sony a7R II (and my Canon 5D Mk II too) sensor to be crooked relative to its bayonet mount. A few years ago, such a claim would be considerably more aberrant. It is less so as sensors have gone way up in resolution and way small in pixel pitch, revealing tiny alignment errors better, and reader comments on Roger Cicala's recent flange distance articles and elsewhere on the web indicate that increasing numbers of photographers are concerned about such issues. No one has yet proposed a simple and relatively cheap method that is also sufficiently precise for determining sensor tilt and my hope in publishing this information is to provide such a means to anyone interested.

It should come as no surprise to most that lenses also have focus field tilt issues too, and on average the tilts seem to be more severe than sensors. Returning 'bad copies' which are decentered is fine, but returning them because they are tilted is a fool's errand since every single lens is tilted (according to Roger Cicala and also in our experience), unless one is so lucky to find one that matches the tilt of their camera. Marianne Oelund shared her method of adjusting field tilt using aluminium foil about three years ago. The ring shims Joseph and I found might be of interest. We think they are a more elegant way to shim the bayonet mount of our cameras and lenses. All the details are in my article.

Fair warning: the discourse is a very long one and covers a multitude of issues and discoveries, but I trust it would make a worthwhile read for anyone who cares.

https://cacaoeditions.com/your-cameras-and-lenses-are-crooked/

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Cheers,
Samuel Chia

P.S. I posted this topic first on the Sony Full Frame E-mount forum a while back but it didn't seem to get any attention. I thought perhaps since the content is quite astrophotography focussed, it might be useful to anyone who frequents this subforum category more. I hope it might help you.

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