DreDaze wrote in post #18992806
using live view will show you the maximum sharpness possible since there is no chance of the AF being off...
That's not completely true. Live View AF has less accuracy problems, but is not totally without them.
My suggestion takes no time at all to set up, if you are in the right situation.
I often do what you suggest for the extra information, don't get me wrong, but I always do the angled surface test first, because it tells you in one shot (if shutter speed is good and ISO is reasonable) just how sharp the lens can be with whatever RAW conversion is used. It's a quick no-brainer that lets you know potential right out of the gate. A camera on a tripod at a slow shutter speed chosen for a low ISO in low light, BTW, is not as stable as a hand-held steady shot at a high shutter speed. Tripods oscillate, and never give maximum sharpness unless shutter speeds are used that would also give sharp hand-held shots. Tripods simply restrain motion within a smaller angle than the free drift range otherwise possible, hand-held. I have rarely seen tripod shots at slow and moderate shutter speeds that are as sharp as my best hand-held shots, even with mirrorless or live view, where the shutter curtains are the only mechanical motion.
that's why i said to take a shot with live view, and compare it to through the viewfinder...and use the different planes to figure out which way you need to adjust the focus
Yes, but you don't know what the best possible focus is with the lens, making it harder to know if you're achieving it. That's why my first move is the angled surface, so you know what to expect. The softer the lens is, optically, the more difficult it is going to be to precisely MFA it, and it's good to go into any MFA process knowing what you've got.