My quest for sharp pictures

goodguy

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Few months ago I got lots of feedback my pictures are soft.
I still didn't have the experience myself to see it but I took that too my heart.
Eventually even I saw it.
I got many good advises how to fix this but it was not my fault I knew its the camera.
Eventually I sent the camera to Nikon service centre to get it adjusted.
When I got the camera back there was a big improvement but from time to time I was still not 100% happy, it still felt soft and when I took same shot with my Nikon and then the Canon G15 I could see my Canon in some cases is sharper.
Also the results changed from lens to lens.

So last time before I sent the camera to be serviced I tried fine tuning but it just didn't work.
I decided to try it again, I put the camera on tripod set it, played with the fine tuning setting and was amazed at the results.
I have 4 lenses, My nifty fifty was the worst, I needed to make big setting changes to get it right but now its just sweet :)
The only one that was almost perfect was my new 70-300mm VR
Here is a small change between no fine tune and a tweaked picture from my 50mm 1.8G

In both pictures I focused at the brand name
Here is the initial picture

50mm0_zps44dd5d7e.jpg


And here is after a tweak

50mm-4_zps75572a6b.jpg
 
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goodguy

goodguy

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Its a bit disappointing to see no feedback.
I see some people here struggling with focus issues/soft pictures and I thought my experience might be helpful for them.

Yes many focusing problems are because of the user but once that ruled out I think my experience might help those who want to get better results from their equipment.
 

Designer

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I think it is a marked difference, and it is remarkable that you were able to do this yourself!

Please tell us the procedure, as I'm sure many would like to do this themselves.
 

Light Guru

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Its a bit disappointing to see no feedback.

Well you didn't say exactly what camera body and what lenses you are using so its hard to give any specific feedback on that aspect.

Eventually I sent the camera to Nikon service centre to get it adjusted.

Now if you only sent them the camera body then that may not actually get you where you want to be.

For starters you need to understand that tack sharp focus is a combination of lens and camera body. Even if you have 2 copies of the same lens the focus can be slightly different from one copy to the other.

Some DSLRs allow you to make and store autofocus corrections. This means that you can calibrate each of your individual lenses to your camera body and it will remember for each of your lenses.

To make the calibration simple you can use something like one of these.
http://focuspyramid.com/autofocus-lens-calibration-tool-canon-nikon-sony-olympus-and-pentax-af/
http://spyder.datacolor.com/portfolio-view/spyderlenscal/
 
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goodguy

goodguy

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Its a bit disappointing to see no feedback.

Well you didn't say exactly what camera body and what lenses you are using so its hard to give any specific feedback on that aspect.

Eventually I sent the camera to Nikon service centre to get it adjusted.

Now if you only sent them the camera body then that may not actually get you where you want to be.

For starters you need to understand that tack sharp focus is a combination of lens and camera body. Even if you have 2 copies of the same lens the focus can be slightly different from one copy to the other.

Some DSLRs allow you to make and store autofocus corrections. This means that you can calibrate each of your individual lenses to your camera body and it will remember for each of your lenses.

To make the calibration simple you can use something like one of these.
Focus Pyramid ? Autofocus Lens Calibration Tool for Micro Focusing Adjustments ? Focus Pyramid | Autofocus Lens Calibration Tool | AF Micro-adjustment
Datacolor SpyderLENSCAL - The Smarter Camera Focus Calibration Tool - Datacolor Imaging Solutions

My camera and lens is in my signature

1.Nikon D7000

Lenses

1.Sigma 18-35mm F3.5-4.5
2.Nikon 24-85mm F3.5-4.5 VR
3.Nikon 50mm 1.8G
4.Nikon 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 VR

When I went to Nikon centre I had all my lenses with me but they told me they will take the camera only without the lenses.
It would have been nice if they took the Camera with the lenses and go the extra mile and calibrate all lenses to the camera but alas they didn't so at the end of the day I have learned how to do it myself.
 
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goodguy

goodguy

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As for the fine tune process on my Nikon D7000, actually it really is easier then you might think.
There is the long way that is more exact and the short way which might be a little less exact but I found it to be perfect for me so I went with it.
You go to the "Set Up" menu choose "AF Fine Tuning" then put camera on tripod.
Choose something to shoot, preferably with small writing that you know your camera has problems focusing on and take a shot.
Then try to see if you are back focusing or forward focusing.
If you thing you back focus you need to go to the MINUS side and if forward focusing then go to the PLUS size.
Now go to the "Saved Value" dial a number and take a shot, examine the picture compare to the initial shot (that was taking when the camera was on 0 adjustment) and keep increasing the adjustment by one number till you get to the best result.
Now go to the "List Saved Values" the camera will show you the name of your current lens you are adjusting, mark it as lens number 1.
That's it, you repeat same process to all your lenses, just remember to give them a number (1,2,3,4......etc)

You camera will know every time what lens you put and will automatically adjust the fine tuning to the lens.
HEre are few short clips on youtube that might make this process even easier for you.




I found this clip to be very helpful to me.
 
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goodguy

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Here is another one

 
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goodguy

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And this one

 
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nola.ron

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Good work. I'm seeing these same problems on my D7K but I have not been able to find tune it yet. I don't have a tripod still but I should call my local shop and ask if they can find tune it for me for a fee. It's a known problem with the D7K, some are worse than others but they all just need to be tuned.
 
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goodguy

goodguy

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Good work. I'm seeing these same problems on my D7K but I have not been able to find tune it yet. I don't have a tripod still but I should call my local shop and ask if they can find tune it for me for a fee. It's a known problem with the D7K, some are worse than others but they all just need to be tuned.
Honestly you can do this yourself but I guess letting them do it for you would be another way too.

Yes a very well known problem of the D700, I am just sorry I didn't do this on day one as I did lose few good shots.
 

nola.ron

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Good work. I'm seeing these same problems on my D7K but I have not been able to find tune it yet. I don't have a tripod still but I should call my local shop and ask if they can find tune it for me for a fee. It's a known problem with the D7K, some are worse than others but they all just need to be tuned.
Honestly you can do this yourself but I guess letting them do it for you would be another way too.

Yes a very well known problem of the D700, I am just sorry I didn't do this on day one as I did lose few good shots.

But you need a tripod for fine tuning it right?
 

DarkShadow

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Congrats you got it but The 7K I had made No different, it looked like it got worse trying to fine tune. My local area camera shop gave it a go and seemed to them as the feature didn't not work at all. I sent it to nikon it came back somewhat better but not good enough.I sold it, now either going for the D600 or the D7100. Meantime not a issue at all with my little D3100.
 

480sparky

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But you need a tripod for fine tuning it right?


Pretty much. You want to eliminate all camera & subject movement. That's difficult to do without three legs.
 

samm

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I printed out the focus chart to check my D-4 .It was a little off backwards.So i corrected it like the video said .Its not only in the Dk7.I was surprised to see my camera like this .Is anyone else having issues with the D-4 like this ?Ive heard about focus chart .But never paid no mind .Guess its a must have for each lens.I was beginning to wonder if it was the camera .Its now a whole lot better and sharper.

Thanks for this input.
 

DarkShadow

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Its must be a real PITA for someone that has a lot of lenses to have to adjust for each lens,It should just work.Thats my IMO and I am sticking to it.
 

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