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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 27 Nov 2015 (Friday) 02:09
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Focus test on receipt of new equipment?

 
d4z0mg
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Nov 27, 2015 02:09 |  #1

I've seen videos on youtube of people testing their lenses upon arrival for any focus issues etc.. Mainly using the round black and white image used in most focus tests with a bit on the side at an angle to test for front/back focus issues.

I've never really bothered in the past with my 600D and Sigma 17-50 but now I'm upgrading to a D750 with a Sigma 35mm 1.4 I want to properly check it for any issues straight away when I get it.

Does anyone have any advice for the best way or things to use to do this at home?




  
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Bassat
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Nov 27, 2015 02:37 |  #2

I know I'm the odd-man out here, but I don't focus test anything. I buy fast primes to use them wide open. My testing consists of using a lens. Period. Any issues will be readily apparent in normal use. If they aren't, do they matter? I try not to go looking for trouble.




  
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windpig
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Nov 27, 2015 05:48 |  #3

I would test any new lens to be sure nothing major is wrong.


I have micro focus adjustment on my 5DIII, so...............
I focus test all of my lenses using the following linked product. It's not a panacea because focusing can be effected by a number of contrast changing lighting situations. Still, I feel it's been worth the time and money as it allowed me to set up and test all my lenses at one time. Three out of ten showed marked improvement. All L glass.

http://www.reikan.co.u​k …x.php/versions/​focal-pro/ (external link)


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Mathmans
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Nov 27, 2015 05:54 as a reply to  @ Bassat's post |  #4

I do test every lens I get for front or back focus and I use AF fine tune if needed and then forget about it. AF fine tune is especially important for prime lenses. The depht of field is very narrow wide open at f1.8 or f1.4 so correct focus is important.
So, if some of my photos are not sharp where I want them to be I know, it's my error.
I do the tests with home made target and a ruler at 45 degree angle. Looks like this: https://photographylif​e.com/how-to-calibrate-lenses (external link)


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chauncey
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Nov 27, 2015 07:31 |  #5

I focus test them all using Mathmans technique, but then I'm an anal retentive pixel peeper that believes anyone done is worth doing well.
I also only use Canon L glass for the same reason.


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Bassat
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Nov 27, 2015 07:34 |  #6

I have a closet full of lenses. I've never needed MFA. I tried it some on my 6D; it didn't help anything. I tried it with my 55-250 II on the 70D. Again, nope. Just a less than stellar lens.




  
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MatthewK
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Nov 27, 2015 07:36 |  #7

Always test lenses first thing out of the box before return period is over. Start out with a Reikan Focal assessment and adjustment (if necessary, which it always is), and then I just go about shooting normal stuff. The difference with the first 50-100 images is that I load them in DPP and then check at 100% to see if it is hitting where the focus point is.

It's the right brain side of me that gets a certain degree of satisfaction knowing that if/when I look at my photos that I'll see razor sharp eye lashes under the focus point that I set, and I don't get to blame the gear when I miss a shot :-P

Serves two purposes, with the most important being that the lens just functions correctly, and to make sure it is calibrated to work as precisely as possible with my camera's auto focus. My 24L II was a HUGE PITA that had to be sent back to Canon 3 times for maintenance due to focus issues which weren't quite evident out of the box. Glad I tested...


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windpig
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Nov 27, 2015 07:37 |  #8

Bassat wrote in post #17798169 (external link)
I have a closet full of lenses. I've never needed MFA. I tried it some on my 6D; it didn't help anything. I tried it with my 55-250 II on the 70D. Again, nope. Just a less than stellar lens.

You're a lucky photog. The biggest issue I had with a lens was a EF400 F5.6.


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Bassat
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Nov 27, 2015 07:43 |  #9

windpig wrote in post #17798173 (external link)
You're a lucky photog. The biggest issue I had with a lens was a EF400 F5.6.

Being blind in one eye and not too finicky helps, too. :)

I looked at MFA a few years ago when I first got my 6D. Canon recommends you only do it if necessary, and redo it if shooting at a different distance or in different light. Nobody in their right mind is going to do that, so I don't do it at all. FTR, I have: Σ15mm FE, 28 1.8, 35 IS, 50 1.4, 85 1.8, 100 2.8, 135L for primes. None of them need any help on the 6D. The ones I've used on the 70D are fine there, too.

I also have Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 UMC. It has the uncanny ability to ALWAYS focus where I set it. Perfect!




  
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windpig
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Nov 27, 2015 07:47 |  #10

Bassat wrote in post #17798180 (external link)
Being blind in one eye and not too finicky helps, too. :)

Well, I fit half of that. I'm glad glasses can help one half, I refuse to medicate for the other half:-P


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Bassat
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Nov 27, 2015 07:50 |  #11

windpig wrote in post #17798182 (external link)
Well, I fit half of that. I'm glad glasses can help one half, I refuse to medicate for the other half:-P

This may be a little off topic. After heart surgery two years ago, and a handful of drugs every morning, I just can't seem to get exercised about things like micro-focus. Could just be me, though.




  
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Wilt
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt. (5 edits in all)
     
Nov 27, 2015 09:12 |  #12

d4z0mg wrote in post #17798056 (external link)
I've seen videos on youtube of people testing their lenses upon arrival for any focus issues etc.. Mainly using the round black and white image used in most focus tests with a bit on the side at an angle to test for front/back focus issues.

I've never really bothered in the past with my 600D and Sigma 17-50 but now I'm upgrading to a D750 with a Sigma 35mm 1.4 I want to properly check it for any issues straight away when I get it.

Does anyone have any advice for the best way or things to use to do this at home?

Absolutely the WRONG WAY is to point your camera at a TARGET which is not a flat plane which is PARALLEL to your SENSOR!!! If you point at a round object, and/or an focus target which is at an angle to the sensor, just how is the camera to know WHERE PRECISELY to focus?!


  1. Aim at a flat target, parallel to sensor and use that as at FOCUS TARGET, and
  2. include within your frame something in the foreground and in the background, relative to the focus target object, which you use to visually determine if the camera focus is on the same plane as the focus target or not!


But just take some photos, rather that shooting a target and looking at focus evaluation objects!

  • One way of looking at the task is "Why assume something is wrong, as delivered?! Why not shoot the focus evaluation taks only after everyday shooting discloses a possible problem with AF?!
  • Do you test a brand new PC looking for something wrong with its harddrive or processor, right after you first plug it in, or do you simply start to use it and assume that it is all operating properly?!
  • Are you hoping for something to be wrong with a brand new car, to see if it matches the 0-60mph times published in the magazine road tests, so you can agonize over getting it fixed to match performance?!
  • Are you measuring the 1lb. bag of lettuce in the hopes it is not exactly 16.00 oz., so you can spend the time and gas going back to the store to trade it in?!

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CyberDyneSystems
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Nov 27, 2015 09:24 |  #13

Bassat wrote in post #17798064 (external link)
I know I'm the odd-man out here, but I don't focus test anything. I buy fast primes to use them wide open. My testing consists of using a lens. ...

Likewise, although for me most often the first use is a nice walk around where the ducks are swimming and the gulls flying at which point, I guess i am actually in a way, testing. :)

So far so good, I'd assume that if anything major was wrong it would show up in use.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Nov 27, 2015 09:46 |  #14

i think it is worthwhile to take a semi-scientific look at how specific lens-camera combinations work.

As said above, lighting conditions and even camera-subject distance has an effect on how the camera focuses, so trying to get it perfect is a waste of time unless you have a very specific set up that you use time and time again. Outside of that, doing MFA is just an exercise that lets you know a bit more about how your gear works.

There are however cases where something is amiss with a certain piece of equipment. For instance my 6D. I can pretty much just go ahead and dial in +8 for any new lens and know that it will focus better right off the bat.

here's canon's take, IMO it is more important to use a distance that is similar to how you use the lens:

https://learn.usa.cano​n.com …ate_EOS_AF_Quic​kGuide.pdf (external link)


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Mathmans
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Nov 27, 2015 13:05 as a reply to  @ Left Handed Brisket's post |  #15

I think it's nothing wrong to check the lens for errors befor return period or before going shooting something important.
It's the first thing I do with a new lens I get. But that't just me and there's nothing wrong if someone thinks different.
I have also checked my new PC if everything is OK when I've got it. A lot of things could be wrong with a new PC: bad RAM stick,
not properly installed RAM sticks in the slots, badly installed cooler on the processor, some missunderstanding between motherboard
and other components, Win7 won't recognise all RAM, graphic card overheating, ....etc, etc.
So, I check my things (PC, woodworking tools,welding machine, camera, lenses, TV, ...) if they work as they should and then I forgot about it and use them.


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Focus test on receipt of new equipment?
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