AFMA calibration

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
cantaxonpen New Member • Posts: 22
AFMA calibration
2

I may have started a thread here on this topic years ago, or on a different forum, but after spending hours calibrating focus for lenses on a 90D (just returned it, I give up), I have to ask, how has this not been a bigger deal?

My Nikon 50mm 1.8 and 35mm 1.8 lenses required a lot of AFMA on my D7200.

My Canon 50mm 1.4, 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 and 35mm f2 required some bit of AFMA on both a 7D2 and 80D

My Pentax 50mm 1.4, 35mm f2, 77mm 1.8 all required some bit of AFMA on a K3-II and K50.

I had a SL1 that desperately needed AFMA with a 50mm 1.8 I ended up giving up on it all together.

The lenses and bodies are a mix of new and used, and the bodies were all bought new from either Canon or Amazon. I mean am I just that unlucky? (I mean I had focus issues with an a7ii with the 24-105mm stm and 70-200mm f4 is mk1 adapted via a MC11 adapter, maybe I am cursed)

I will never buy DSLR without AFMA, and I will probably just get a MILC with hybrid or contrast detect AF at this point just to never have to deal with phase detect misalignment ever again. I see people say they've never needed AFMA, I just can't believe that with fast lenses. I only had 2 fast lenses that didn't require any adjustment bought from Canon, and that's only after buying the body from Canon at the same time. and they're both ever so slightly miscalibrated on the new 90D.

Canon EOS 80D Canon EOS Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D) Nikon D7200 Pentax K-50
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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 15,524
Re: AFMA calibration

cantaxonpen wrote:

I may have started a thread here on this topic years ago, or on a different forum, but after spending hours calibrating focus for lenses on a 90D (just returned it, I give up), I have to ask, how has this not been a bigger deal?

Did you notice AF problems with your 90D?

To answer your question - 5D4, nine lenses, none needs MA but some needed MA with older bodies.

Pocket Lint Contributing Member • Posts: 686
Re: AFMA calibration

Not a large sample size, but 3 of my 4 Canon L lenses never needed AFMA on two of my Canon bodies. The only lens I had an issue with was the 50 1.2L.

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57even Forum Pro • Posts: 14,109
Re: AFMA calibration

I had more issues on some bodies than others, and with some lenses.

I never quite got my 16-35 F4 calibrated on any of my Nikon bodies, but it looked less like the bottom of a beer glass on the D700 than the D800 because of the lower resolution.

I went mirrorless years ago. Perfect sharp focus every time. No worries.

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jaeae Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: AFMA calibration
1

cantaxonpen wrote:

but after spending hours calibrating focus for lenses on a 90D (just returned it, I give up), I have to ask, how has this not been a bigger deal?

I dunno. I had a 4/3 Olympus SLR and a Pentax K-7 and had similar experience. Some lenses were off, but I could not calibrate since Oly did not have such feature. Next SLR had it, so I was happy about it until I found out that..

- zoom lenses required different calibration in the zoom range ends but only one data point was available. so the calibration was a compromise

- every single lens I had required different amount of correction

- the focus screen markings about the focus points did not quite line up

- there was some tilt in the AF sensor, so different AF behaviour left and right. had to compromise and use only center point for calibration

- after successful calibration of all my lenses with the body, about a year later I found out that it had deviated again and all lenses needed re-calibration

- a couple of lenses needed so much micro adjustment that the range ran out from the menu, so I had to physically adjust the AF sensor so that I was in the ballpark again

- focus screen qualities affect exposure too, because AE sensor reads it after the screen. AE accuracy was very compromised with faster lenses (like 55mm 1.4 SDM). So I had to remember how much compensation I need for each lens

- I was thinking of just manually focusing since the AF is so unreliable, but the focus screens are compromised for slow zooms (f/3.5 etc) and are not good for MF

Sold the SLR system and have been using mirrorless now for years. SLR is fine for MF film cameras, but I would not buy digital SLR again.

OP cantaxonpen New Member • Posts: 22
Re: AFMA calibration

J A C S wrote:

cantaxonpen wrote:

I may have started a thread here on this topic years ago, or on a different forum, but after spending hours calibrating focus for lenses on a 90D (just returned it, I give up), I have to ask, how has this not been a bigger deal?

Did you notice AF problems with your 90D?

To answer your question - 5D4, nine lenses, none needs MA but some needed MA with older bodies.

No, AFMA always fixed the problem, but it takes me about half an hour to calibrate each one properly. I just don't have the time or will to do it anymore when the m50 is accurate without the hassle.

Schrodingers_cat Senior Member • Posts: 3,060
Re: AFMA calibration
2

I just calibrate all mine and move on.

Not much trouble for me to get a big improvement and I never really thought much about it.

dmanthree
dmanthree Veteran Member • Posts: 8,068
Re: AFMA calibration

57even wrote:

I had more issues on some bodies than others, and with some lenses.

I never quite got my 16-35 F4 calibrated on any of my Nikon bodies, but it looked less like the bottom of a beer glass on the D700 than the D800 because of the lower resolution.

I went mirrorless years ago. Perfect sharp focus every time. No worries.

Honestly, that's reason enough for owning a MILC; the total lack of a need to MFA. I owned DSLRS for years, and had to go through that damned process, as well, for most lenses. But my current cam, a Canon R, is spot on for whatever I mount. I'll never go back just for that reason alone.

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57even Forum Pro • Posts: 14,109
Re: AFMA calibration

dmanthree wrote:

57even wrote:

I had more issues on some bodies than others, and with some lenses.

I never quite got my 16-35 F4 calibrated on any of my Nikon bodies, but it looked less like the bottom of a beer glass on the D700 than the D800 because of the lower resolution.

I went mirrorless years ago. Perfect sharp focus every time. No worries.

Honestly, that's reason enough for owning a MILC; the total lack of a need to MFA. I owned DSLRS for years, and had to go through that damned process, as well, for most lenses. But my current cam, a Canon R, is spot on for whatever I mount. I'll never go back just for that reason alone.

It's certainly a very compelling reason. Another is that I find EVFs much for effective for manual focus. Even without focus aids, it is possible to see the slight pixillation effect when the subject snaps into focus.

MF on DSLRs was random guesswork, and the focus indication was calibrated as well or badly as the AF.

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