Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Followup To Last Weeks Post About AF Fine Tune

It's sharp!  In the last post I talked about calibrating my 18 - 200mm lens to my camera body.  Take a look.  Enlarge the shot (click on it).  Check it out.  You can see the difference in a controlled environment (taking a shot of a Logitech webcam sitting on top of my monitor) using a flash to take camera shake out of the equation.  But, and it's a big but (only one "t"), how would it work in a real world situation?  Today's image is the final version of my testing.  For some tips on what to look for, hit the "Read More".

The biggest thing is that it's sharp.  The skiers way up the hill are fully formed.  Before they would have wound up indistinguishably blurry.  It today's image you can see arms, legs, heads.  That's real world.  You can see the boy on the right's eyes in the goggles.  On the green and yellow sign you can read "the fine print" down along the bottom.  Just below the word NASTAR you can read that it's "A SKI Magazine Program".  The orange-ish sign in the back you'll find that the phone number for Suburban Sports is 860-828-XXXX.

So, I want to go back to what I was talking about in the last post.  If you have a camera capable of matching up the focus characteristics of the lens and camera combination, do it.  It only takes a few minutes and the improvement (or piece of mind) is worth it.  You don't even have to go out and buy a target like I did.  Find "something" (it could be a cereal box) that has sharp printing on it.  Set it up so the side you're shooting is dead on facing the camera.  (No slant.)  Make sure the camera is on a tripod and is at the exact height of your "target".  It you have Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, shoot tethered.  You'll be able to analyze what's going on as a you shoot.  If not, take notes.  Trip the shutter, write down what shot it is and what calibration tic mark the shot is on.  View each shot with whatever image editing application you use.  Compare each shot.  When you've determined which shot is sharpest, set the AF Fine Tune to that value.  Just remember, nothing can move while you're shooting.  The camera's on the tripod.  Be very gentle when you go to the menu to make the AF Fine Tune adjustments.

Have fun with your newly sharpened camera and lens.