Adjusting camera to individual lenses

I just looked at the images form this weekend and found many photos taken with the 85/1.8 severely back focused. Running the tests showed that it had to be adjusted to +7(!) for clear images.It’s a wonder I got any focused images before, but using smaller apertures in studio masked the effect.

For me, the best and quickest way turned out to use live view at 10x magnification and then checking AF with mirror down, first at 0, +5, +10, +15, then narrowing down the results. The difference in sharpness has been drastic. I also re-checked my 200/2.8 and 300/4 and did not find any need for adjustments.

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5 Responses to Adjusting camera to individual lenses

  1. Ken Thomas says:

    I’d never considered trying autofocus adjustments in Live View mode, but it’s a good idea. There’s another method where you lay a ruler on a table, angling away from you with the numbers facing back towards you. Focus on a number in the center and take a shot, then look at the numbers close-up to see if your camera is back-focusing or front-focusing with a particular lens. Kind of a poor-man’s version of the SpyderLensCal in the article.

    I shoot with an Olympus E-5, and my ‘Bigma’ 50-500mm needed a LOT of adjustment, but the rest of my lenses were a simple +/- 1 or 2.

  2. Chris Wage says:

    I’m surprised your 85 is backfocusing so badly .. I’d be screwed if mine was doing that, because my camera doesn’t have the AF fine-tuning..

  3. Les Jones says:

    I may have to try the AF finetune on mine. I just upgrade DSLRs and some of the pics have been much softer than I expected. I don’t know if it’s the camera itself or if the new camera has enough resolution to reveal flaws in my shooting technique.

    Oleg, do you have autofocus on the shutter release, or do you put AF on another button and just use the shutter release to activate the shutter?

  4. Camtec says:

    May I suggest Nikon?

  5. Oleg Volk says:

    Even more curiously, I took photos at longer distances and rolled the adjustments for the 85mm back to zero. Wonder if 5D2 AF just isn’t accurate up close.

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