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Lens & Camera Calibration


EsparzaE
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I have an inkling my lenses and camera might benefit from calibrating them. Would you happen to have any knowledge or useful resources? Thoughts on having the pros do it vs a DIY? 

If it matters I'm working with Canon gear. 

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I haven't really had much personal success with this sort of stuff. I'm very fortunate to have my lenses and camera body that play well together. There are plenty of DIY things you can print out, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND PRINTING THEM ON A B&W LASER PRINTER. The "OfficeJets" and ink-jets of the world may not produce crisp enough lines for something like calibration charts / guides. Of course a tripod will be required, along with a remote trigger of some sort. If your camera has a Mirror Lockup function, be sure to use that, as it will cut down body shake from the mirror flipping up.

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On January 31, 2016 at 11:50 PM, Christina Keddie said:

What kind of Canon camera(s) are you shooting with?  Some have micro-adjustment functionality so you can calibrate your lenses yourself, but not all.

I currently have a 5D II body, 24-105 F/4, & 50 f/1.4. Thank you for the info, I'll look up to see if these come with the micro-adjustments. 

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10 hours ago, Brian said:

I haven't really had much personal success with this sort of stuff. I'm very fortunate to have my lenses and camera body that play well together. There are plenty of DIY things you can print out, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND PRINTING THEM ON A B&W LASER PRINTER. The "OfficeJets" and ink-jets of the world may not produce crisp enough lines for something like calibration charts / guides. Of course a tripod will be required, along with a remote trigger of some sort. If your camera has a Mirror Lockup function, be sure to use that, as it will cut down body shake from the mirror flipping up.

Awesome, awesome! Thanks a bunch, very good information. 

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Oh! The 5D Mark II only has ONE RELIABLE FOCUS POINT!! It's the CENTER AF point. All of the others can be hit or miss. So it may not be you or your lenses. 

Why you may ask? 

Canon is a company that likes to cut corners with their camera bodies. The 5D Mark II uses the same focusing system from the 5D Mark I, which was from 2005. It only has one cross-type AF point, the center one. The newer Canon 6D is the same way.

Canon's solution? Purchase a 5D Mark III. 

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6 hours ago, Brian said:

Oh! The 5D Mark II only has ONE RELIABLE FOCUS POINT!! It's the CENTER AF point. All of the others can be hit or miss. So it may not be you or your lenses. 

Why you may ask? 

Canon is a company that likes to cut corners with their camera bodies. The 5D Mark II uses the same focusing system from the 5D Mark I, which was from 2005. It only has one cross-type AF point, the center one. The newer Canon 6D is the same way.

Canon's solution? Purchase a 5D Mark III. 

Uuuuuugh. Stab me in the heart already. I suppose I should get started on selling my soul...perhaps I can barter a kid. Once again, thanks for all of this. 

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In addition, you need to practically be on the surface of the sun for a 5D Mark II to lock on your subject. Of course I'm exaggerating and having a bit of fun, but I'm also serious. 

You need to have enough light and contrast swing in order for a 5D Mark II to lock on consistently. Of course, there are exceptions and others might disagree with me, but you aren't the 1st person to question accurate focus with a 5DMK2. 

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Final thought: It's really crappy for Canon to do this. It's just not the 5D Mark II either. Many other Canon bodies suffer the same fate. It's pathetic and unacceptable for a company as large as Canon. My (Retired) Entry Level Nikon D40 with its 3 whole AF points runs circles around a Digital Rebel from that era when it comes to focusing. A friend of mine stopped using his AF system completely. He manually focuses and his results are way better than his Canon body's AF system. 

People pay good money for this sh*t and they shouldn't have to fork out $3000 for an accurate AF system.

/end rant

 

 

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I have noticed all of the above, particularly having sufficient light. I wish I would of found this four way before. I was considering purchasing another canon lens but doing some serious reconsideration before I commit more seriously to this relationship. 

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A work around is to use a flash, like a 580 ex II that uses a IR beam to aid in focusing. What you do is point the thing straight up, set it to manual and use the lowest power setting possible. Granted, it's not the ideal thing to do, but it works. Either use the IR beam or have a small flashlight on hand. 

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