May 22, 2011

Ask Dave, May 22nd - Focus Calibration

Ask Dave, May 22nd
I get tons of questions each week, I respond as quickly as possible, and I might just answer them here too. If you have questions you can email me at

From... Karl
Are you use one of the products available through B&H (as well as other sources), or a different method to micro adjust your gear?

I was going to try and make a video of me doing a micro-focus adjust; but I have been a little short on time over the last month.  When the heat of summer gets here maybe I'll find the time to make a video; but this will have to do for now.

Originally I had all of my gear physically calibrated by Canon Professional Services and they did a great job; but they don't do that anymore. In the past I used a homemade solution to test, and later to micro adjust my own gear.  Now I  have and use the Lens Align Mark II.  I am not 100% sure that it is worth the $79.95; but it is better than my old, cheap, solution.  

It is very important that you know how your gear performs and that you use every means available to dial things as near to perfection as possible. Find a way to correct front/back focusing problems, these days with most Canon and Nikon cameras offering micro-adjustment or AF fine tuning there is no excuse not to.

It is also a good way to see the sharpness of a lens. I was checking the micro adjust on my 5DII with my 500/4.0L IS a week ago and a friend was using a rental 500/4.5L, so we put that lens through the test too, and boy was it far off and soft. We dialed the lens in for his camera; but there was noting we could do about the softness :(

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