How to do AF Microadjustment (50D)

Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' ItPosts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
edited March 6, 2012 in Technique
You have this beautiful camera (the 50D) and a host of lenses. But, you mount a lens and take a picture. And you're a pixel-peeper (like me:wink) and the image doesn't have that stellar sharpness you were hoping for. What do you do?

In the past is was the whole send the lens in for calibration, get it back, still not sharp, complain, "Oh, you need to send in the lens and the camera" ....

Not any more. You can do it all by and for yourself. And you can do it without doing anything dangerous to you camera - none of that "clean the sensor trauma."

The following are the steps I've arrived at to get the job done in the quickest time possible. I've had to develop this because the routine found here didn't work for me. I used it to attempt to dial in a 50mm f/1.4 and the result was a serverly front-focusing lens - not a goodness.

Note: In these images, the focus point is on the center of the nearly healed over know near the center of the crops.

The steps:
  1. Mount your lens.
  2. Set your camera to Av mode, RAW only, and set the aperture to the maximum provided by your lens. I suggest RAW as this avoids all the processing (sharpening, in particular) the camera will do when generating JPGs.
  3. Find a subject that has a variable distance from you camera - I use a tree trunk in my back yard. I focus on a spot on the trunk of the tree about half way between the "front surface" (from my perspective) of the trunk and the very edge. Doing this allows me to compare where on the trunk of the tree the camera/lens is actually focusing with where I had intended it to focus. When these two points coincide, I know I have achieved a proper adjustment. Working with only a flat, square on surface can only tell you that you have (or don't have) focus.
  4. Determine the "usual" distance from you subject you use your lens and setup your tripod that distance from your target.
  5. Find out how to set the AF Microadjustment - it's on page 180 (and following) of your instruction manual. Since it's already written up for you, I shan't repeat it here. Be sure to use the "Adjust by lens" option.
  6. Set the adjustment value to -20. Take a shot. Repeat these steps for adjustment values -15, -10, -5, 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20. Nine images in all.
  7. Download all 9 of these images to your computer.
  8. Using ACR:
    • Load all the images
    • Select them all
    • Turn off the sharpening
    • Zoom to 100%
    • Using the cropping tool, select most of the image (roughly 98% of what is displayed)
    • Save these crops to "high" resolution jpgs. I had nine of them. In terms of sharpest focus (which was on that vertical cut in the center of the images), these are the best 3 (let's assume them to be -10, -5, 0):
      Front focused:
      447969207_TCRiM-M.jpg

      Just about there
      447969222_eRcE3-M.jpg
      and, back-focused
      447969234_bpfq4-M.jpg
  9. I then use the Windows Picture and Fax viewer (that's why the conversion to JPG) and cycle through them quickly to find the one that is sharpest at the point of focus.
  10. Determine which AF Microadjustment factor was used for that image (it's a counting game, the first one is -20, the second is -15, etc - not exactly rocket science:D).
  11. Insert your CF card back into the camera (you are using a CF card reader, right - it's just easier to do so) and format the card.
  12. Using the value determined in step 10, count backwards 3 and set your AF Microadjustment value. For example, say your sharpest was -5, set your AF Microadjustment value to -8.
  13. Remount your camera on the tripod and take a series of 7 more images, this time stepping the AF Microadjustment value by only 1.
  14. Repeat steps 8 through 10 to determine the "optimal" AF Microadjustment value. These are the single step images I got:
    • -8
      447969582_nLzgW-M.jpg

    • -7
      447969484_GffzB-M.jpg

    • -6
      447969472_DUcYu-M.jpg

    • -5
      447969588_8xHmF-M.jpg

    • -4
      447969608_J6bya-M.jpg

    • -3
      447969655_zQeRd-M.jpg

    • -2
      447969511_Xpa23-M.jpg
  15. As you can see, the focus is moving further and further from the camera as you step through the images, the sharpest one being (to my eyes at least) -3. Set your AF Microadjustment according to your results.
  16. Grab your next lens and repeat steps 1 through 15
As a final note, something that has taken me a while to wrap my head around. Setting the AF Microadjustment value more "Forward" moves your focus point closer to the camera and "Backward" moves the focus point further from the camera. So, if the ground in front of your model is sharp and the model isn't, you will need to dial in more positive values, moving the pointer in the "Backward" direction. Think "Pull Forward, Push Back".
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Comments

  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 3, 2009
    Okay Scott....You are the man!!! bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif

    Im sure I will have questions....but this will be a tremendous help.

    Thanks!thumb.gif


    Say, one question I do have....

    I fully understand calibrating it at a distance you normally use the lens for.....I follow that line of thinking perfectly. I am just curious how well the lens performs after the fact over a wide range of distances. Acceptable?
  • Shootin1stShootin1st Major grins Posts: 288Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 3, 2009
    Great info and a perfect example of what to use!

    clap.gif
    Constructive Criticism Welcome!
    All photos are Copyrighted and Registered. Please don't use without permission.

    5DSR 16-35 2.8L III 24-70 2.8L II 70-200 2.8L IS II
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 3, 2009
    jeffreaux2 wrote:
    Okay Scott....You are the man!!! bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif

    Im sure I will have questions....but this will be a tremendous help.

    Thanks!thumb.gif


    Say, one question I do have....

    I fully understand calibrating it at a distance you normally use the lens for.....I follow that line of thinking perfectly. I am just curious how well the lens performs after the fact over a wide range of distances. Acceptable?
    Ahhhh I don't know if you iloveyou.gif me or are just :buttkiss because you think it'll get you what you want :lol4

    But, to answer your question - I'll probably have an opportunity to find out tomorrow - it's dark out right now. I suspect that it'll all be good given the margin of error we've all been having to deal with all along. How's about you do the test as well as me and we can compare notes? There's an ideadeal.gif

    What was interesting is that my 17-55 was off 3, my 70-200 f/2.8 IS was off zero (0), and my 24-105 f/4 was off 8 (all front-focusing) and the offset for each lens was the same on both cameras. That would seem lend credibility to the concept that a lens might need to be calibrated.
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 3, 2009
    Shootin1st wrote:
    Great info and a perfect example of what to use!

    clap.gif
    Glad you liked the information. I hope you find it useful. I selected a tree trunk because I have a few in the backyard, there was ample light, and because it provided a high-contrast target to make the focusing as accurate as possible each time since this was not an attempt to test the focusing system but to calibrate/adjust it.
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 4, 2009
    jeffreaux2 wrote:
    I fully understand calibrating it at a distance you normally use the lens for.....I follow that line of thinking perfectly. I am just curious how well the lens performs after the fact over a wide range of distances. Acceptable?
    Yes, quite acceptable!

    Here are some 100% crops (800px x 800px) All photos are SOOC - no sharpening, WB correction, contrast ... nothing.

    These are 17mm, 33mm, and 55mm (all at f/2.8) taken from about 5 feet from the subject - which is about 1/2 of the shortest distance I would normally be using this lens.
    448527230_LJJVM-M.jpg 448527225_ZxzzF-M.jpg 448527268_985B6-M.jpg

    These are 17mm, 35mm, and 55mm (again, all at f/2.8) taken from about 45 feet (effectively infinity focus). The 17mm crop appears to be a bit soft - I think it's because I wasn't taking the time to do this right. I noticed the same thing with the 35mm shot and went out to re-do it (which accounts for the different WB - I didn't correct for WB in any of these shots) becuase I wasn't happy with it (it back-focused pretty bad). The second time around it worked well. So, I think the 17mm shot here is also pilot error.
    448527228_K4t8e-M.jpg 448527278_Eo8ca-M.jpg 448527279_69eQk-M.jpg

    The entire gallery with all the original sized images can be viewed here
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 4, 2009
    Okay, I gave it a shot.

    First go 'round with 17-55mm which, by the way, was my sharpest lens on my XTi.

    1- adjustment at zero.

    448799622_fSxCL-X3.jpg

    +5
    448799738_GMjQC-X3.jpg

    +10
    448797069_EL9j7-X3.jpg


    Then the fine tuning...settled on this a plus 4 ( a different crop, but this is 100% not the previous 3)

    448797285_vQz9A-X3.jpg


    Then 85mm F1.8

    zero
    448798182_CDmvZ-X3.jpg

    plus 5
    448798295_BJvxf-X3.jpg

    plus10
    448798396_rJbwR-X3.jpg

    Fine tune at +6

    448799478_S998k-X3.jpg


    I hope to pick up where I left off with the 70-200 tommorrow. If I have better light tommorrow I may do a double check on these against tree bark like you did.
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2009
    A couple of notes on what I see.
    • 17-55, I think you did well here (I say that like I'm some sort of expertmwink.gif). Your selected adjustment appears to be sharper than the "intemediate" (0, 5, 10) shots.
    • 85mm - it appears you didn't do such a good job with this one. To my eyes, you "0" shot is sharpest of all those presented.
    • There are at least 2 reasons to use a tree rather than a flat sign:
      1. Lots of contrast without the huge contrast you have in your sign - may lead to less CA and, thus, less confusion.
      2. Shooting a landmark on the appearant edge of the tree trunk allows you to judge not only the focus, but also whether the adjustment is front or back focusing. That little bit of information helped me a lot in dialing in the "proper" adjustment.
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2009
    A couple of notes on what I see.
    • 17-55, I think you did well here (I say that like I'm some sort of expertmwink.gif). Your selected adjustment appears to be sharper than the "intemediate" (0, 5, 10) shots.
    • 85mm - it appears you didn't do such a good job with this one. To my eyes, you "0" shot is sharpest of all those presented.
    • There are at least 2 reasons to use a tree rather than a flat sign:
      1. Lots of contrast without the huge contrast you have in your sign - may lead to less CA and, thus, less confusion.
      2. Shooting a landmark on the appearant edge of the tree trunk allows you to judge not only the focus, but also whether the adjustment is front or back focusing. That little bit of information helped me a lot in dialing in the "proper" adjustment.

    Good points. The CA was very distracting. Ill give it another shot. What distance and focal length did you use on the 17-55? 70-200?
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2009
    jeffreaux2 wrote:
    Good points. The CA was very distracting. Ill give it another shot. What distance and focal length did you use on the 17-55? 70-200?
    Working from memory (gotta remember that as you age memory is the second thing to go and I don't remember the first), for the 17-55, I think the distance was right about 10' to 15' and the 70-200 was a about 30'.

    Oh, and I used 55mm on the 17-55 and 135mm focal length on the 70-200. Don't ask why for the 17-55 (I may have to revisit that), but the 135 was an attempt at an "average" use focal length for that lens.
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2009
    Well, I rechecked the 17-55 and the 85. Practical use will tell me whether it needs to be revisited. I also worked on the 70-200.

    Here is what I got.....

    This is zero on the 85mm....that was in question on the previous posts. Quite soft.
    449470515_XsRw3-M.jpg

    This is where I set it...plus 5. It was hard to make a call between 5 and 6 (my previous setting)
    449470437_dzsMn-L.jpg



    That final plus 5 setting is a 100% crop from this photo.
    449471360_aBKQj-L.jpg

    The 17-55 plus 4 confirmed.
    449474186_z37UN-L.jpg

    The original frame for the plus three on the 17-55 shot above.
    449475258_mFdis-L.jpg


    And finally the 70-200. This surprised me some. It was a tad softer than the 17-55 on my XTi. I had all along just taken it as user error....however zero in it was quite soft. I ended up keeping it at plus 6. This is the plus 6 100%crop.
    449530570_3pzn7-L.jpg

    and the image it was cropped from
    449530270_mJVWQ-L.jpg


    As I said time...and practical use will tell whether I have achieved anything good, but I think an important point is that Canon has given us an excellent tool. There is quite a bit of difference from one end of the scale to the other....quite a bit of room there for adjustment rather than sending the lenses in for service. Worse case scenario....I set them all back to zero and give it another try!


    Thanks Scott. Its a good method. I have a sports shooting friend coming over Wednesday and we are going to dial his glass in as well!
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2009
    The full-sized images look very sharp.

    The crops ... not having seen all the crops .... it's hard to tell. An improvement in your technique might be, in the first full-sized image, to focus on the left-edge of the lichen just to the left and below the 100% crop rectangle. This would greatly improve one's abilty to determine exactly the position of the plane of focus. This helped me to take the guess work out of my example in post #1.

    Like you say, it's the real-life photographs that are going to tell the whole story.
  • KEDKED Laffin' & Blastin' Posts: 843Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2009
    You have this beautiful camera (the 50D) and a host of lenses. But, you mount a lens and take a picture. And you're a pixel-peeper (like memwink.gif) and the image doesn't have that stellar sharpness you were hoping for. What do you do?
    I have a 1d Mk III that also allows for AF microadjustment, and I came across a thread here for a reasonably affordable product that's meant to make the process even more precise, particularly if one lacks such a photogenic tree in the back yard. The link is www.rawworkflow.com; mine shipped today and I should have it later this week. I am NOT endorsing it as an alternative to your method (not yet anyway), but it was glowingly endorsed by sources whose opinions matter to me (Luminous Landscape for one) so I am optimistic.

    Apparently this device can also be rented, which I learned after placing my order; that's probably worth considering.
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2009
    KED wrote:
    I have a 1d Mk III that also allows for AF microadjustment, and I came across a thread here for a reasonably affordable product that's meant to make the process even more precise, particularly if one lacks such a photogenic tree in the back yard. The link is www.rawworkflow.com; mine shipped today and I should have it later this week. I am NOT endorsing it as an alternative to your method (not yet anyway), but it was glowingly endorsed by sources whose opinions matter to me (Luminous Landscape for one) so I am optimistic.

    Apparently this device can also be rented, which I learned after placing my order; that's probably worth considering.
    Yup - at either $80 or $140. Hmmmm .... not to throw cold water on this product, but I think I'll take the tree or any other textured surface I can find.
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2009
    Well heres something I know nothing about....bird photography!!! But it does fortify one thing.....

    Taken with the 70-200 after going through the micro-adjust per this thread.

    449770358_hySW3-L.jpg


    That shot was taken at 200mm with the 70-200....F2.8....ISO400....1/250th. After I finished my tests, I went out back to get the camera and tripod picked up and there were several of these guys eating in the bird feeder. Anyway, it is a 100% crop taken from the image below.....


    Now theres some practical useage.....of course one shot proves little....but still....:ivar


    449769913_cHbdu-L.jpg
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2009
    jeffreaux2 wrote:
    Taken with the 70-200 after going through the micro-adjust per this thread.

    449770358_hySW3-L.jpg

    Now theres some practical useage.....of course one shot proves little....but still....:ivar
    I think it proves that you got a very, very well focused photograph of a Cardinalclap.gif :ivar wings.gif bowdown.gif
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2009
    Well I have a few more shots....the last I intend to post here...I promise....but bare with me.


    I admittedly also know zero about floral photography, and am not really trying to learn, but I shot these thinking it might be a good practical test. Each of these was taken at very near the close focus distance of each lens and at its widest aperture. My thinking was that this would represent the thinnest DOF I might encounter and that if I were having front...or back focus issues that might be related to my tinkering it would be apparent at these settings. It was quite windy, so I kept ISO high enough to freeze things....but this of course varied from glass to glass. These have had some pp done on them that included some sharpening. Nothing crazy, but just a bit of what I normally do with images anyway. These are not cropped however, but rather websized copies of the original frames.

    1- Canon 85mm F1.8- I have never been treated to the sharpness I have seen this lens produce for other folks. This looks promising though.
    450182788_WjspD-X2.jpg

    2-The 17-55 F2.8IS. This was previously my sharpest lens and looks to be sharp on the 50D as well.
    450183260_Un5Uz-XL.jpg

    3-Lastly the 70-200 F2.8L IS Nice!
    450184073_pchJo-XL.jpg
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2009
    Yes! That 85mm f/1.8 is looking very promising!clap.gif It will be interesting to see what you get when you shoot "real" photos.
  • jrnylstjrnylst tickled Posts: 69Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 6, 2009
    Wow. This has been eye-opening. I just returned a rental zoom lens yesterday that I was very disappointed with because I couldn't get the sharpness out of it on autofocus that I can get from my fixed telephoto lens. I wound up manually focussing it most of the final week of the rental. I thought the quality of a zoom lens vs. a fixed lens was the problem. Maybe I needed to go through this process?

    I'm using a Nikon D300. After 10 months, I'm still learning how to use it. Are the steps going to be similar to what you've explained for a Canon?
    alias Snowcatcher, but still a jrnylst at heart
    http://snowcatcher.smugmug.com/
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2009
    jrnylst wrote:
    Wow. This has been eye-opening. I just returned a rental zoom lens yesterday that I was very disappointed with because I couldn't get the sharpness out of it on autofocus that I can get from my fixed telephoto lens. I wound up manually focussing it most of the final week of the rental. I thought the quality of a zoom lens vs. a fixed lens was the problem. Maybe I needed to go through this process?

    I'm using a Nikon D300. After 10 months, I'm still learning how to use it. Are the steps going to be similar to what you've explained for a Canon?


    While I am not familiar with the Nikon system at all, I would imagine the method would work. Why don't you give it a shot, and post up your results......just in case...you know....another Nikonian needs the inspiration? Worse case, you arent satisfied with the results.....just set exerything back to factory specs.
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2009
    jeffreaux2 wrote:
    While I am not familiar with the Nikon system at all, I would imagine the method would work. Why don't you give it a shot, and post up your results......just in case...you know....another Nikonian needs the inspiration? Worse case, you arent satisfied with the results.....just set exerything back to factory specs.
    ditto on all points.
  • clemensphoto'sclemensphoto's Major grins Posts: 647Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 7, 2009
    Hey Scott,

    When I was looking at another post (which pointed to a website for white balance card) they also had a Focus Calibration System that seemed pretty cool. http://www.rawworkflow.com/lensalign/ Granted your way is by far cheapers! But, I'd though I would share.
    Ryan Clemens
    www.clemensphotography.us
    Canon 7D w/BG-E7 Vertical Grip, Canon 50D w/ BG-E2N Vertical Grip, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 580EX II Flash and other goodies.
    Ignorance is no excuss, so lets DGrin!
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 7, 2009
    Hey Scott,

    When I was looking at another post (which pointed to a website for white balance card) they also had a Focus Calibration System that seemed pretty cool. http://www.rawworkflow.com/lensalign/ Granted your way is by far cheapers! But, I'd though I would share.
    You're right - it's a pretty cool tool .... if it works. I'm not yet convinced that setting the AF Microadjustment in close quarters will translate well to the real world - it's something that I have yet to test. And, there's one situation where this tool would/could be better - when the weather doesn't allow you to get outside for the calibration work - we've had rain for the last couple of days.
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 7, 2009
    Hey Scott,

    When I was looking at another post (which pointed to a website for white balance card) they also had a Focus Calibration System that seemed pretty cool. http://www.rawworkflow.com/lensalign/ Granted your way is by far cheapers! But, I'd though I would share.

    It does look like it would work, but I initially tried to use a license plate with black text on a white background...with a business card added for a smaller text. If you look back at those shots you can see how difficult it might be to determine sharpness if you are shooting a target with that much contrast with a lens that produces CA fringing. With my 85mm F1.8(which is known to produce fringing at wider apertures) it was even evident in the shots of the tree bark....albeit to a lesser degree. It wasn't evident in the full size crops, and at least seemed to be less of a problem the closer I got to having the lens fine-tuned.

    At $80, even if it were raining, I think I could just print out a focus test chart....or use a yard stick propped at an angle for a DIY solution.
  • eoren1eoren1 Major grins Posts: 2,391Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 17, 2009
    Hey Guys,
    Not sure if this is the right place for this but had a question about microadjusting a particular lens...
    I ended up deciding on a combo of Scott's technique and one by Chuck Westfall of Canon (see link here). I started with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 mk I. Used a focus chart taped to the wall with the 50D on tripod about 8 feet away. Shot tethered with MLU and a 2 second self timer. Each shot started with manual focus to infinity. Used aperture priority mode at f/1.8 with iso 200 (giving shutter speeds of 1/1000). Tried microadjustment settings of -20 to +20 at increments of 5 with 3 shots at each adjustment level.
    I noticed that within a series of 3 shots at the same adjustment level, I was seeing differences in focus. Finally settled on -5 and shot an additional 5 frames at that level using the same settings as above. 2 of those 5 were not in sharp focus.
    I went ahead and did the Sigma 30/1.4 next (which had been to the Sigma repair center) using the same plan as above. Found perfect, consistent focus with 0 microadjustment. The Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS was next and again gave consistent shots at each adjustment level. Light was getting poor by then so I stopped.
    My questions is whether the Canon 50mm f/1.8's AF mechanism is known to produce such poor results. Would the 50/1.4 do a better job with consistent focus?
    Thanks,
    E
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 17, 2009
    thumb.gif
    eoren1 wrote:
    Hey Guys,
    Not sure if this is the right place for this but had a question about microadjusting a particular lens...
    I ended up deciding on a combo of Scott's technique and one by Chuck Westfall of Canon (see link here). I started with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 mk I. Used a focus chart taped to the wall with the 50D on tripod about 8 feet away. Shot tethered with MLU and a 2 second self timer. Each shot started with manual focus to infinity. Used aperture priority mode at f/1.8 with iso 200 (giving shutter speeds of 1/1000). Tried microadjustment settings of -20 to +20 at increments of 5 with 3 shots at each adjustment level.
    I noticed that within a series of 3 shots at the same adjustment level, I was seeing differences in focus. Finally settled on -5 and shot an additional 5 frames at that level using the same settings as above. 2 of those 5 were not in sharp focus.
    I went ahead and did the Sigma 30/1.4 next (which had been to the Sigma repair center) using the same plan as above. Found perfect, consistent focus with 0 microadjustment. The Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS was next and again gave consistent shots at each adjustment level. Light was getting poor by then so I stopped.
    My questions is whether the Canon 50mm f/1.8's AF mechanism is known to produce such poor results. Would the 50/1.4 do a better job with consistent focus?
    Thanks,
    E

    I ditched my 50mm F1.8 before I had a camera that was able to micro -adjust. I got rid of it because of inconsistant focus. When it was good it was freaky sharp...but when it was bad it was unuseable.

    The F1.4 version should be better. Scott has one, and I am sure he will let us both know!
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 17, 2009
    eoren1 wrote:
    Hey Guys,
    Not sure if this is the right place for this but had a question about microadjusting a particular lens...
    I ended up deciding on a combo of Scott's technique and one by Chuck Westfall of Canon (see link here). I started with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 mk I. Used a focus chart taped to the wall with the 50D on tripod about 8 feet away. Shot tethered with MLU and a 2 second self timer. Each shot started with manual focus to infinity. Used aperture priority mode at f/1.8 with iso 200 (giving shutter speeds of 1/1000). Tried microadjustment settings of -20 to +20 at increments of 5 with 3 shots at each adjustment level.
    I noticed that within a series of 3 shots at the same adjustment level, I was seeing differences in focus. Finally settled on -5 and shot an additional 5 frames at that level using the same settings as above. 2 of those 5 were not in sharp focus.
    I went ahead and did the Sigma 30/1.4 next (which had been to the Sigma repair center) using the same plan as above. Found perfect, consistent focus with 0 microadjustment. The Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS was next and again gave consistent shots at each adjustment level. Light was getting poor by then so I stopped.
    My questions is whether the Canon 50mm f/1.8's AF mechanism is known to produce such poor results. Would the 50/1.4 do a better job with consistent focus?
    Thanks,
    E
    That's a lot of work - more than I'm willing to put into it.

    As to your questions - Yes to both. The 1.8 is know to be a little dodgy and the 1.4 is known to be much better.
  • eoren1eoren1 Major grins Posts: 2,391Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 17, 2009
    Thank you both. That answers my concerns about the lens. You're right, when it nails focus, it is great but now I'm more hesitant in putting it on the camera in the first place.
    As for the amount of work, I figure that a few days spent fine tuning things pays off in never having to think about the equipment again. I'm still trying to get a handle on the ISO range that I'm going to be comfortable with as well as the handling of AI servo compared to the 350D.
    I'll keep following all the other 50D threads to glean some advice in using this beast (again, compared to the diminutive 350D). Unfortunately, it looks like I'll have to find a way to acquire the 50/1.4 next (or consider ditching what I have and going for the 85/1.8 instead ne_nau.gif).
    Thanks again,
    E
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 17, 2009
    eoren1 wrote:
    Thank you both. That answers my concerns about the lens. You're right, when it nails focus, it is great but now I'm more hesitant in putting it on the camera in the first place.
    As for the amount of work, I figure that a few days spent fine tuning things pays off in never having to think about the equipment again. I'm still trying to get a handle on the ISO range that I'm going to be comfortable with as well as the handling of AI servo compared to the 350D.
    I'll keep following all the other 50D threads to glean some advice in using this beast (again, compared to the diminutive 350D). Unfortunately, it looks like I'll have to find a way to acquire the 50/1.4 next (or consider ditching what I have and going for the 85/1.8 instead ne_nau.gif).
    Thanks again,
    E
    Oh, you're going to hate me!rolleyes1.gif :lol :lol4
    Get both the 50 f/1.4 and the 85 f/1.8 :lol

    As for the ISO range - I've no problem working with anything from 100 to 800. I use 100 in studio and other indoor portrait sessions where I have all the light I could ever wish for.

    Weddings and receptions - well that's a cat of another color. I seldom have the light I would like so I end up shooting at 800 a lot. Sometimes, I have take the results and pass them through a noise reducing plug-in (like Noise Ninja).

    I've used 200 and 400, but not often. Strangely, the need just seldom seems to present itself.
  • Candid ArtsCandid Arts Ear2Ear Grinner Posts: 1,685Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 2, 2009
    Using ACR:
    Load all the images
    Select them all
    Turn off the sharpening
    Zoom to 100%
    Using the cropping tool, select the inner 98% of the image
    Save these crops to "high" resolution jpgs. I had nine of them. In terms of sharpest focus, these are the best 3 (let's assume them to be -10, -5, 0):

    You say "Using ACR:"...What is ACR?
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 2, 2009
    You say "Using ACR:"...What is ACR?
    Sorry for the confusion....

    Adobe
    Camera
    RAW
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