D300 lens AF fine tuning is FANTASTIC!!!!!

Started Nov 27, 2007 | Discussions
OP dylanear Veteran Member • Posts: 3,413
Why I think infinity isn't a problem....

I think that the adjustment is a certain distance, a small distance, like 6 inches at most. So subtract that from infinity and your still pretty much OK.

I haven't tested this yet so I could be wrong. If it's a percentage, not an offset or something I could see that being a problem, but I don't think Nikon would do that. It's about fine tweeking, not altering things so much as to make things so out of whack that infinity is no longer working.

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OP dylanear Veteran Member • Posts: 3,413
Re: D300 lens AF fine tuning is FANTASTIC!!!!!

Make sure the value is being saved. The first few times I wasn't hitting "OK" or something and when I went back in the value was gone and still showed "-".

Put it on a tripod to make sure your not changing the framing or distance so much that your not comparing apples to oranges.

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SteveL54 Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Re: Why I think infinity isn't a problem....

dylanear wrote:

I think that the adjustment is a certain distance, a small distance,
like 6 inches at most. So subtract that from infinity and your still
pretty much OK.

I haven't tested this yet so I could be wrong. If it's a percentage,
not an offset or something I could see that being a problem, but I
don't think Nikon would do that. It's about fine tweeking, not
altering things so much as to make things so out of whack that
infinity is no longer working.

The manual warns you that the camera may not be able to focus at infinity (or minimum ) range after an adjustment.

The focusing errors I've experienced are larger (in terms of distance) the further the target. The error's effect on image softness can be about the same regardless of distance. But, there may be other types of focusing errors that show up only at a given range of distances.

Unfortunately, whatever correction the AF fine tuning applies, it does not correct my camera's focus error consistently across distance.

Steve

Radu Tenenbaum
Radu Tenenbaum Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Multiple copies of same lens

I think the D300 recognizes multiple copies of the same lens. You can assign a lens identifier number so that you can have 50 f/1.4 #1, 50 f/1.4 #2, etc.
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Radu Tenenbaum
Radu Tenenbaum Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Re: Question: AF adj. really effective for 3rd party?

You can globally turn off AF Fine tuning and all the lenses will default to the 0 adjustment value. If you turn it on, then the programmed offsets will be implemented specific to mounted lens value.
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Radu
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Radu Tenenbaum
Radu Tenenbaum Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Zoom lenses require compromise

I found my 70-200 VR to require a +20 adjusment at 200 and +2 at 70. I compromised on +11 and the center of the target is now in focus across the range, but not always in the middle of the focused area.
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ron wrucke
ron wrucke Senior Member • Posts: 1,065
Re: D300 lens AF fine tuning is FANTASTIC!!!!!

dylanear wrote:

I can't tell you how many hours I've spent adjusting my
viewfinder/mirror and learning the focusing idiosyncrasies of a
myriad of lenses, especially my wide aperture primes (28mm, 50mm,
85mm 1.4s etc.) A few minutes with the D300's AF lens fine tuning and
they are focusing spot on consistently MUCH more reliably than the
D200 ever has in the 2 years I've futzed with it. This feature alone
is worth the upgrade in my opinion!!!

.. I'm a little late to this dance, but the technique discussed and 'targets' included in this D200 BackFocus discussion are ideal for checking focus with the D300 .. the 'target' is at the end of the article (d'load the pdf file and print the page) ..

http://www.focustestchart.com/chart.html

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Radu Tenenbaum
Radu Tenenbaum Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Re: Thoughts on your thoughts...

A newspaper might have several copies of the same lens.
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Radu Tenenbaum
Radu Tenenbaum Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Re: D300 lens AF fine tuning is FANTASTIC!!!!!

This is the chart that I used. I tried a few others, as well, but always came back to this one.
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Adam Shyevitch Regular Member • Posts: 385
Could adjustment be concealing camera issues?

So far, I've adjusted focus for my 50 f/1.4, 35 f/2.0 and 30 f/1.4. All these lenses needed between a +9 to a + 13 adjustment for tack sharp focus at their widest aperture.

While I am happy to get the most out of these lenses with this focus adjustment feature, I'm a bit surprised that such adjustments are necessary on each of the lenses I've tested so far. Does this mean there is a problem with my D300 that I'm compensating for by fine tuning the focus?

I've still got to calibrate my 85 f/1.4 (which I expect will also need a +10 adjustment) and my 18-200 VR, which I hope works right off the bat. If my 18-200 needs major adjustment also (and I consider a +10 adjustment pretty significant), then I may ask for a new camera body.

Adam

ron wrucke
ron wrucke Senior Member • Posts: 1,065
Re: D300 lens AF fine tuning is FANTASTIC!!!!!

Radu Tenenbaum wrote:

This is the chart that I used. I tried a few others, as well, but
always came back to this one.

.. I've been hanging on to it for a long time; finally get a chance to use it ..

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SteveL54 Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Re: Multiple copies of same lens

Radu Tenenbaum wrote:

I think the D300 recognizes multiple copies of the same lens. You
can assign a lens identifier number so that you can have 50 f/1.4 #1,
50 f/1.4 #2, etc.
--

Then each lens must have something like its serial number encoded into its chip that the camera can read.

SteveL54 Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Re: Multiple copies of same lens

After re-reading the section on AF fine tuning I think you are correct. The section describes where the user can manually assign the last two digits of the lens serial number to help distinguish two similar entries suggests this.

Thanks
Steve

Radu Tenenbaum wrote:

I think the D300 recognizes multiple copies of the same lens. You
can assign a lens identifier number so that you can have 50 f/1.4 #1,
50 f/1.4 #2, etc.
--
Radu
http://www.pbase.com/raduray

SteveL54 Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Re: Could adjustment be concealing camera issues?

Adam Shyevitch wrote:

So far, I've adjusted focus for my 50 f/1.4, 35 f/2.0 and 30 f/1.4.
All these lenses needed between a +9 to a + 13 adjustment for tack
sharp focus at their widest aperture.

In this case maybe not. You may be compensating for focus shift due to spherical aberration within the lens. That's not a camera problem. SA is a problem at very wide apertures. As one stops these lenses down you can actualy see the point of sharpest focus shift.

Steve

snappey Senior Member • Posts: 1,050
I sure wish 40D had this feature

I'd love to have this feature with my 40D. Too bad it doesn't. Oh well, one of those things the higher price is paying for, I guess. Well worth it if you ask me (but nobody did).

OP dylanear Veteran Member • Posts: 3,413
I'll have to check the manual, I missed that.

And that's too bad, so far I LOVE this feature, but I guess it's not a cure all.

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narayana Contributing Member • Posts: 655
Re: D300 lens AF fine tuning is FANTASTIC!!!!!

Is there an optimum test distance?
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narayana

Raymond Bradlau
Raymond Bradlau Veteran Member • Posts: 5,736
Re: D300 lens AF fine tuning is FANTASTIC!!!!!

Thats what I am wondering, fairly close up my fast lenses are as perfect as I could expect but add some distance and things get a little more inconsistent, this could just be the larger AF points in my D200 and D2x are giving me grief

I dont know about this feature, I am glad its there but some of the reports here where people are having to correct half there lenses just doesn't make me real confident with Nikons factory set ups.

regards
Ray

narayana wrote:

Is there an optimum test distance?
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ron wrucke
ron wrucke Senior Member • Posts: 1,065
Re: D300 lens AF fine tuning is FANTASTIC!!!!!

Raymond Bradlau wrote:

I dont know about this feature, I am glad its there but some of the
reports here where people are having to correct half there lenses
just doesn't make me real confident with Nikons factory set ups.

.. I was curious, so I did my Sigma Bigma, Nikon 70-200 VR w and w/o my 1.7TC, and a Nikon 18-70 .. all were pretty much nat's a** - I tweeked the 70-200 with the teleconverter setup just a smidge (a little bit of back focus) but otherwise everything checked out fine. I was certainly happy that was the case - I only have three more Nikons to check, but they are lenses I don't use much anymore so no rush ..
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Peter Davis Senior Member • Posts: 1,171
Re: Why I think infinity isn't a problem....

dylanear wrote:

I think that the adjustment is a certain distance, a small distance,
like 6 inches at most. So subtract that from infinity and your still
pretty much OK.

Infinity minus 6 inches is still infinity, but that's unfortunately not how lenses work. The adjustment is not a percentage either, but more likely a factor in an equation modeling the nonlinear physical optics.

Maybe we can think of it as turning the focus ring a little bit left or right of where it would normally be. It's easy to see that focused close up, turning 5 ticks to the right has a much smaller effect, distance-wise, than it does at infinity.

I'd guess that what it really affects is the desired offset between the two images projected by the split prism in the focusing sensor itself. Normally if the lens is focused, the split images align perfectly, but if it is front or back focusing, then for perfect focus, you actually need imperfect alignment one way or the other.

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