How to go about calibration of your lens

How to calibrate your Camera and Lens

The reason for this blog is simple that I had a Nikon tele converter 1.4 that I had issues with and had it in for repair a couple of times and Nikon had replaced it with a new one. Strangely enough, I had not been happy with the results as my images looked very soft with the new Nikon D4S at the time. Basically I got better results for my 1.7 which was strange as I had used the 1.4 converter a lot with my D300S camera.

So my thought was this was not going to work for me and Nikon camera out with a version III converter that is supposed to not have detail loss using this newer version in which I purchased the new version of the converter. Funny the results were no better than the other one and it stayed in the big. Last week, I needed a converter, took out the 1.4 and then checked the AF-Fine tune on the camera. To my surprise I noticed that it was at +20 and I guess at some point in time had moved it, but never put it back. Once I returned it back to zero took the shots that I needed and now we are somewhat close, but a lot better with the images looking nicer.

With a somewhat calibrated lens and camera, I wanted to calibrate the camera gear, but the Lens-Align Kit which consists of a target and ruler and you need to take a number of shots of the target and then head inside and use their software called Photo-Tune which looks at the images and determines which is the setting that you can use for the correct calibration setting. Now, the other product I purchased is called Focal. Works in the same way as the other, but requires a Laptop to function. Here is the great thing about it for Canon users is that it will do all the adjustments for you, you stand back and let this software do it’s magic. Nikon users will need to make the adjustments when the software asks you to.

So you say, will you have the tools right? Wrong for me anyways. The reason I don’t have the space as home to do either of software because I need a lot of area to calibrate a 500mm lens and both converters. Here in Toronto the bitter cold winter is not the time to get out and calibrate the camera gear. Then I remembered seeing video that shows you how to calibrate your lens at best of all it’s FREE.

It’s called DOT TUNE.

Watch the video and the person tells you how to calibrate your lens just by watching your focus lock light in the view finder. If you see it flashing, you need to make adjustments as describe in the video, and in which way that you need to make those adjustments. With Nikon it is easier as we get a confirmation light that blinks if calibration is out, but also the direction to go. Arrow >O means that we need to move the AF-Fine Tune in the Positive direction Arrow<-O would mean the Negative direction.
Best of all, it’s free and because I had some experience with it I was able to calibrate the lens somewhat close and happy with the results. Watch the video a couple of times and try it out with your camera gear if you can make the AF adjusts, not all cameras will allow you so check you users manual.

Paid for calibration items:

Lens Aglign

Focal Software

Free video Link for DOT Tune

DOT Tune Video