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Author Topic: D850 and lens alignment  (Read 72944 times)

Eric Brody

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D850 and lens alignment
« on: November 22, 2017, 10:22:52 pm »

When I used the Nikon D800E, I was most frustrated by the need to align my autofocus lenses to prevent front and back focusing. Zooms absolutely made me crazy. For many reasons, not just this one, I switched to the Fuji X system and quite enjoyed the EVF and the lack of need to align lenses.

I am now suffering some megapixel lust and have been looking at both the D850 and the about to be released A7RIII.

Do D850 users need to align their autofocus lenses and if so, is it as challenging as it was when I purchased and used the Lensalign tool?

I'll appreciate any responses.



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    • Pieter Kers
Re: D850 and lens alignment
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2017, 05:54:35 am »

yes, but

there is some automation now
works like this
choose your desired distance for a target.
make it sharp in liveview
push a button - and now also the AF will go to that spot.-
the Sigma method ( 3 distances) is better but even more time consuming
my observation:  do it directly after buying the body for all your lenses and you are done with it.
if it still a problem in practice do it again...
I have no problem getting tack sharp photos at f1.4

Pieter Kers


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Re: D850 and lens alignment
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 06:42:47 pm »

As we get more and more resolution, calibration becomes increasingly important; I remember the effects of adjusting on a D700 being nowhere near as critical as with the D800 or D850.

The auto AF fine tune is definitely a step in the right direction. However, it's only solving one piece of the puzzle, and this is where Sigma really gets it right with focal length AND distance.

For example, I was debating between a Nikon 24-120 and Sigma 24-105, and I went with the Sigma largely due to the confidence I felt that such a large range of settings would be accounted for in calibration. A global +7 adjustment on a 5x zoom cannot be considered satisfactory. I've attached an image of the calibrations on my copy - you can call it poor quality control out of the box, or something that can only be appreciated to have the ability to address.

One critically annoying aspect of the Sigma calibration software is that it must connect to the internet each time a lens is docked (which can be in tens of times for a zoom calibration session). At farther distances not achievable indoors (i.e. Sigma 100-400), you'll have to bring a laptop tethered to a phone to use it.

Sigma 24-105 Calibration by Robert Asami, on Flickr

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