Sometimes the autofocus on your lenses may not be exactly where you want it. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix as most modern cameras offer “micro adjustment” or “fine tune” option that lets you calibrate autofocus of attached lenses. You do need a calibration tool to do it, though. However, Karl Talyor offers you a simple calibration method without buying (or making) a special tool for it. In this video, he’ll show you how to do it for $0 and in just a few minutes. All you need is a few items that you already have at home.
Whenever I buy a new lens, I have to calibrate it and AF fine tune five different DSLRs. Two are my primary stills shooters, and three are for video. But if I only have the video DSLRs out with me, and want to grab a few quick behind the scenes shots, I need to know their AF is spot on. So, I use the SpyderLENSCAL to calibrate every lens with every body. For me, it’s worth the cost.
If you’ve only got one camera and one or two lenses that you’ll only need to calibrate once, though, it might seem like a bit of a high expense. You buy it, use it once or twice, and then it just sits in a box. Well, there are other options. You can make your own. This video from Crafty Cams has been out for a while, but it’s recently become popular again and it’s well worth a watch.
When most of us are testing out new lenses, it’s often a very subjective thing. And our testing exercises are rarely very scientific. In fact, we may not even notice some issues until we’ve had a lens for a few months. Then, one day, the problem pops up, clear as day. For cinematographers that rely on a certain level of technical excellence in the equipment, though, it’s a big deal.
They want to know that a lens can stand up to the task. That multiple lenses used to shoot a scene from multiple angles are consistent. Rental houses also want to be sure that equipment comes back to them in the same condition as when it left. So, they take things a little more seriously. This video from Cinematography Database shows off some of the process, and what they’re looking for when testing.
Here’s a (semi) fun way to start the year off right – it’s time to calibrate the focus of your lenses!
Most DSLRs offer options for “micro adjustment” or to “fine tune” the focus of attached lenses. If you happen to use Sigma ART series lenses, you can also use Sigma’s USB Dock for even more refined lens focus calibrations.
Amongst the fanfare of abilities like 10fps shooting, and ISO performance never before seen in a crop body, one little mentioned feature of both the Nikon D500 and D5 is the Automatic AF Fine Tune feature.