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Auto focus fine tuning - do you?

Mark L. Cooper -- Junction City, Ohio , Jan 25, 2011; 11:03 p.m.

After reading an earlier post regarding fine tuning I was wondering how many folks fine tune their lenses to their cameras? I have a D300, a 17-55 f/2.8G ED, and a 70 -200 f/2.8 VR 1. I've not had any noticeable focus problems so I've never done any focus testing with these 2 lenses. I'm planning on getting a Sigma 30 f/1.4 sometime in the near future and am aware of the possible need to fine tune this lens. After having said all that, do you test the focus on your lenses? How often do you find a focus issue?

Just curious - Mark


Matt Laur , Jan 25, 2011; 11:13 p.m.

I use that same body and all three of the lenses you mention, and have never needed to fine tune, as each was dead-on. Likewise with several others. I've toyed with the feature, just so that I understand it, and do some reasonable testing on all lenses I use - but it just hasn't been an issue.

Dan Brown , Jan 25, 2011; 11:13 p.m.

No. Never noticed any focusing errors.

Ofer Sivan , Jan 25, 2011; 11:17 p.m.


Leigh B. , Jan 26, 2011; 12:07 a.m.

Nope. D300S w/several lenses, Nikons and one Tamron 18-270 zoom.

- Leigh

matt smith , Jan 26, 2011; 12:23 a.m.

Never needed to fine tune any Nikon lens but as my D3 front focuses I have the AF Tune set to +12 as the default setting.

Chris Leck , Jan 26, 2011; 02:11 a.m.

Yes. I've found lenses all over the map on my D700. Some are correctable, and some are not. I use a LensAlign Pro to help correct (see http://mtapesdesign.com/).

My guess is that some would be surprised by the results of using such a tool. The LensAlign is worth its price (several models and options). There's a bit of a learning curve and the process isn't exactly instant, but it's no big deal.

What's interesting is when you find an expensive zoom that requires a wide range of corrections at different focal lengths.

Stephen Lewis , Jan 26, 2011; 11:39 a.m.

When I got my D300 I tested out my lenses and all were dead on.

Richard Snow , Jan 27, 2011; 08:16 a.m.

The only lens I needed to adjust on my D300s is my 300mm f/4 (AF-S version) as it slightly front focused.

I will mention that I own and use the 17-55mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 VRI. You should NEVER use the AF fine tune on these lenses...or any other zoom for that matter. AF fine tune is really meant for primes. Your zooms have many moving elements which can alter front and back focus depending on the focal length you are using. If for some reason you find a zoom is severely front or back focusing throughout the zoom range you can set the lens to the middle of the zoom range (135mm on the 70-200 for example) and play with AF Fine tune, but you will likely get much better results by sending both the lens and camera to Nikon for adjustment.


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