The AFMA myth.

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,271
Re: The AFMA myth.
1

I have also been told by the technical reps with CPS that when a large AFMA is necessary the gear should be sent in for service.

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OP Distinctly Average Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Re: The AFMA myth.

BirdShooter7 wrote:

My take on the original post was that the OP didn’t approve of forum members suggesting AFMA until after every other remedy has been exhausted. I’m sure that works for him but I don’t think it is really appropriate to suggest that AFMA is rarely needed or that it is something that should be done with trepidation or as a last resort. Personally, checking calibration is the first thing I do when I mount a lens on a body for the first time. That way I can immediately be sure that any soft photos aren’t due to poor calibration of the lens or body. It’s an easy way to narrow down potential issues.

It’s sort of like when you buy a rifle. Do you sight it in first or do you just take it out of the box and start shooting?

I disapprove of members suggesting AFMA without evidence or actually gauging the experience of the poster. This for sure is a technical forum, but does attract a lot of users who do not have the experience or knowledge to understand what may or may not be causing their problems. They ask for help, and receive advice well above their level and quite often incorrect advice.

You know what you are doing. You have been taking great images for years. You know when you have messed up when taking a shot and you know what to expect from your kit in given situations. Not everyone has the years of experience as a base and I think many of us forget that.

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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,271
Re: The AFMA myth.

Obviously it is perfectly acceptable for you to have that opinion. I don’t know how productive it is for you to try to suppress other views.

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OP Distinctly Average Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Re: The AFMA myth.

BirdShooter7 wrote:

Obviously it is perfectly acceptable for you to have that opinion. I don’t know how productive it is for you to try to suppress other views.

I am not trying to suppress anyone’s views, just to have a discussion. Sorry for anyone that reads it that way.

I have recently seen a number of people out in the field really struggling and I find that frustrating. One chap spent £80 on FoCal plush the cost of charts etc but has struggled to even get it installed, so much so he has given up. He got some advice from a Canon hero or whatever they are called and his problems with his photography were fixed with some good and accurate advice, not the AFMA advice he got on a forum.

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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,271
Re: The AFMA myth.

I am a strong believer in reading the manual and trying out the various operations described in the manual. It really helps a lot, especially if you are struggling.

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OP Distinctly Average Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Re: The AFMA myth.

BirdShooter7 wrote:

I am a strong believer in reading the manual and trying out the various operations described in the manual. It really helps a lot, especially if you are struggling.

Me too, but a lot of what is written in the camera manuals assumes a certain level of knowledge and experience. It is why there is a good market in third party manuals for many cameras.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 19,991
Re: The AFMA myth.

BirdShooter7 wrote:

I have also been told by the technical reps with CPS that when a large AFMA is necessary the gear should be sent in for service.

You don't know what a relief that is to hear. I'm not the only one out there. I never had an issue with people who prefer to MFA, I just prefer factory calibrated gear before I fine tune.

On another note I picked up a Canon R the other day. Going to get my foot in the mirror-less door. It was so nice not to have to worry about that and I'm looking forward to the future.

I still have my 7D2. While the R can do BIF Canon DLSR's still have the edge for now based on what I have read. I haven't tried it yet but people are posting results. Two days of rain.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 19,991
Re: The AFMA myth.

Distinctly Average wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

I am a strong believer in reading the manual and trying out the various operations described in the manual. It really helps a lot, especially if you are struggling.

Me too, but a lot of what is written in the camera manuals assumes a certain level of knowledge and experience. It is why there is a good market in third party manuals for many cameras.

I'll 3rd that.

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OP Distinctly Average Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Re: The AFMA myth.
1

Zeee wrote:

BirdShooter7 wrote:

I have also been told by the technical reps with CPS that when a large AFMA is necessary the gear should be sent in for service.

You don't know what a relief that is to hear. I'm not the only one out there. I never had an issue with people who prefer to MFA, I just prefer factory calibrated gear before I fine tune.

On another note I picked up a Canon R the other day. Going to get my foot in the mirror-less door. It was so nice not to have to worry about that and I'm looking forward to the future.

I still have my 7D2. While the R can do BIF Canon DLSR's still have the edge for now based on what I have read. I haven't tried it yet but people are posting results. Two days of rain.

One thing I did find FoCal great for was charting obvious focus inconsistencies. I had a very well used lens, very well used would be an understatement, I thought I was going mad when I first got my 7D2 as I just couldn’t get a decent shot. I tried AFMA and all sorts of things. I sent the camera and lens to Canon explaining the problem and they serviced it and sent it back. I was still having trouble got FoCal. The results showed the AF was really inconsistent, by miles. I gave the results to Canon with my lens and body. I also had a good chat with the tech that was doing my lens. With no extra charge he replaced the AF unit and showed me the wear on it when I picked up the lens. FoCal for that was worth every penny I paid. Not used it since though and that was 5 years ago. The Canon tech said the same to me, that large amounts of AFMA should be  only a temporary measure. If you send the body with the lens and ask for calibration they will get it as spot on as possible. He also said my FoCal evidence saved him a lot of diagnosis time.

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poppyjk
poppyjk Contributing Member • Posts: 771
Re: The AFMA myth.
2

You lost all credibility in this discussion when you stated that "the camera did what it is supposed to do and picked it the nearer object". That AF behavior only occurs when the 'AF area select mode' is set to one of the 'zone modes' not in 'Manual selection' as is clear in the displayed EXIF. So in this case you assumed in error that AF behavior shifted the focus rather than the -10 or -20 AFMA. As a result your offhand observation led to a very wrong conclusion. The very kind of behavior that is your pet peeve.

I don't have the energy for any more of this pedantic back and forth.

On Flickr you have posted many excellent photos and you are a fine photographer. I happily enjoy my own photos. Discussions like this flatter neither one of us.

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poppyjk
poppyjk Contributing Member • Posts: 771
Re: The AFMA myth.

ThrillaMozilla wrote:

Incidentally, of your three examples the best focus was achieved with zero correction. This doesn't exactly make a compelling case for large adjustments.

I understand how you might have been confused by my wording and presentation.  The intent was only to show the large effect of large AFMA adjustments.  It was not to demonstrate that this lens needed any AFMA which it did not as I stated.

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ThrillaMozilla Veteran Member • Posts: 4,403
Re: The AFMA myth.

poppyjk wrote:

I don't have the energy for any more of this pedantic back and forth.

Thank you. 

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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,271
Re: The AFMA myth.

I guess I must believe in people’s intelligence more than you then. No worries.

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gipper51 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,064
Re: The AFMA myth.

Distinctly Average wrote:

I disapprove of members suggesting AFMA without evidence or actually gauging the experience of the poster. This for sure is a technical forum, but does attract a lot of users who do not have the experience or knowledge to understand what may or may not be causing their problems. They ask for help, and receive advice well above their level and quite often incorrect advice.

You know what you are doing. You have been taking great images for years. You know when you have messed up when taking a shot and you know what to expect from your kit in given situations. Not everyone has the years of experience as a base and I think many of us forget that.

That's a very valid point. Digging into AFMA is not a task for someone unfamiliar with the technical aspects of camera. Even long seasoned shooters may struggle if they are not familiar with the nuances of modern AF systems. Should only be adjusted if you thoroughly understand the problem and know what needs done to fix it.

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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,271
Re: The AFMA myth.

I’m definitely looking forward to the time when Canon gets the mirrorless AF to the point where it exceeds what the DSLRs can do with the long lenses and gets battery life on par. Not having to bother with AFMA is such a welcome thing.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 19,991
Re: The AFMA myth.

ThrillaMozilla wrote:

poppyjk wrote:

I don't have the energy for any more of this pedantic back and forth.

Thank you.

Now can we all see the paramount need for mirrorless cameras

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OP Distinctly Average Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Re: The AFMA myth.
1

BirdShooter7 wrote:

I guess I must believe in people’s intelligence more than you then. No worries.

I really wish it was just a matter of intelligence. I know plenty of people,who,are very smart, but not technically minded. I am sure you have also met people like this. One chap I know often phones me up when he has go in a mess with Lightroom and  has no idea about Photoshop even at a basic level. Before retirement he was an account lawyer at  senior level, but technology just seems to be something he struggles with. Even his iPhone he gets his wife to deal with. It is really not uncommon for the older generation who have not grown up with computers and the like to struggle like this. He is an excellent photographer though with a real eye for composition that I envy.

Anothr chap I sometimes assist has learning difficulties after an industrial injury. He really enjoys his photography but again struggles to grasp the more technical aspects.

Photographers who are new to the game often have a really steep learning curve. There is a lot to get to grips with. For some it is the technical stuff that is hard. I find that part easy but really struggle with the creative aspect. I don’t have the imaginative mind that many on the forums possess. I can document what I see, but don’t have that imaginative and creative spark that many on these forums possess.

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OP Distinctly Average Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Re: The AFMA myth.

poppyjk wrote:

On Flickr you have posted many excellent photos and you are a fine photographer. I happily enjoy my own photos. Discussions like this flatter neither one of us.

Thank you. I also enjoyed your gallery here, especially the South Carolina tree shot. I would enjoy seeing more of your work.

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DavidArmenPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 354
Re: The AFMA myth.
1

Distinctly Average wrote:

I really wish it was just a matter of intelligence. I know plenty of people,who,are very smart, but not technically minded. I am sure you have also met people like this. One chap I know often phones me up when he has go in a mess with Lightroom and has no idea about Photoshop even at a basic level. Before retirement he was an account lawyer at senior level, but technology just seems to be something he struggles with. Even his iPhone he gets his wife to deal with. It is really not uncommon for the older generation who have not grown up with computers and the like to struggle like this. He is an excellent photographer though with a real eye for composition that I envy.

Anothr chap I sometimes assist has learning difficulties after an industrial injury. He really enjoys his photography but again struggles to grasp the more technical aspects.

Photographers who are new to the game often have a really steep learning curve. There is a lot to get to grips with. For some it is the technical stuff that is hard. I find that part easy but really struggle with the creative aspect. I don’t have the imaginative mind that many on the forums possess. I can document what I see, but don’t have that imaginative and creative spark that many on these forums possess.

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This post really resonated with me as I have felt exactly the same way. I am an engineering student and have always been technically minded. I have always enjoyed photography but I have felt that my creative side needs a lot of work because even though technically minded people are able to take great photographs, artistically minded people are always able to elevate their photographs to have meanings, something I have always struggled with.

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BigBen08 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,523
Re: The AFMA myth.
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BirdShooter7 wrote:

I’m definitely looking forward to the time when Canon gets the mirrorless AF to the point where it exceeds what the DSLRs can do with the long lenses and gets battery life on par. Not having to bother with AFMA is such a welcome thing.

And not having to bother with AFMA discussions would also be a welcome thing.

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