Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lenses and Cameras, A Question Of (Auto) Focus

As a photographer who highly values pin sharp images,  any technology that can help improve the consistency and accuracy of focus is essential and something worth investigating.

Lens calibration used to involve sending camera bodies together with all lenses back to Canon or Nikon service (at much expense in cost and time!) they would make sure everything was correctly adjusted. However, in recent years camera manufacturers have included within the camera a micro focus adjustment setting on their mid-range and professional cameras. Great though this feature is it puts the onus on us, the photographers, to understand and make use of this functionality.

I've recently been made aware of software that makes the process of auto focus calibration straight forward and gives a high level of confidence the calibrated values are correct. Having recently replaced my two main camera bodies with the latest and greatest from Canon it seemed a good time to have them calibrated.

It's easy to assume a lens and camera body, particularly pro bodies and lenses would just work perfectly together, sadly this is not always the case! As an example, the brand new 35mm f1.4 mark 2 prime needed virtually no adjustment on one camera body, the software clearly showed my other main camera body required significant adjustment with this same lens, an adjustment that would be noticeable in my real world images.

Below are a couple of images, one of the software showing how much difference it made to the 35mm lens and I couldn't not include an image of Ted (who supported me throughout the calibration process this morning!).

Great software, highly recommended, Reikan FoCal Pro, more details on their website at http://www.fo-cal.co.uk

Screen shot showing FoCal Pro with the before and after image crops

Ted, along with the FoCal Target, 35mm prime after calibration, shot 10000 ISO 1/60th,  f1.4 wide open.

kevin wilson photography | wedding photographer | dorset