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Author Topic: AFMA - Is is really necessary?  (Read 7708 times)

East Wind Photography

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2013, 09:16:25 AM »
One of the problems with doing that is that the moire patterns you sometimes get (not sensor moire but from the screen on the camera) on the older models can give you a false interpretation of the results.  I have tried very carefully to use the rear screen to eval AF points and then find later after downloading to the PC that it was off.  The only thing I can come up with is that the screen DPI even at actual magnification, alters the image slightly enough to make AFMA determination risky (yes I made sure all of the in camera alterations were disabled).  5D3 and 1DX are much better but it's still easier to find the exact AF point on a larger computer screen.

You really need to take the time to evaluate it correctly...sometimes requires going out back and taking 12 shots then coming in to eval, make some tweaks, go back out for another 12 and repeat until you have it nailed down.  Anything else and you are simply guessing and unless your AFMA is already way off, it's probably best left at disabled.


I am semi-pro and use a 5D mark III body and I have recently upgraded my Mk 1 lenses to the 24-70mm f2.8L II and 70-200mm f2.8L II.

I have never bothered with any AFMA and the mark II lenses do look sharp - even in 100% crops, but it has always niggled in my mind that they "could" benefit from some AFMA.

Should I be doing it and, without buying a calibration kit, what is the easiest way to do AFMA?

I have heard a method where you tether the camera to a PC and use the EOS tool to do it - this looks reasonably easy.

yes^yes unless you are really lucky

sometiems just aiming at a crack in the pavement and adjusting works

sometimes just aim at a player and adjust until grass centers around their feet as you like

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2013, 09:16:25 AM »

Scott_McPhee

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2013, 10:24:49 AM »
Well, some great comments here on my original post, thanks for the input and opinions.

I've purchased the Plus version of FoCal and will be giving it a go tonight.
From what I read you can't do fully automatic calibration with the 5D3 but it's as close and you can get.

Anyone know if I add my 1.4 TC to my 70-200 will the camera store separate AFMA data from it than when I use the 70-20 on it's own?

neuroanatomist

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2013, 11:01:37 AM »
Anyone know if I add my 1.4 TC to my 70-200 will the camera store separate AFMA data from it than when I use the 70-20 on it's own?

Yes, a lens + TC is treated as a unique 'lens' for AFMA value storage.
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East Wind Photography

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2013, 11:28:14 AM »
I think thats only true if it's a canon TC.  Will it save say a Canon lens and Kenko TC combo?

Anyone know if I add my 1.4 TC to my 70-200 will the camera store separate AFMA data from it than when I use the 70-20 on it's own?

Yes, a lens + TC is treated as a unique 'lens' for AFMA value storage.

neuroanatomist

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2013, 11:32:29 AM »
I think thats only true if it's a canon TC.  Will it save say a Canon lens and Kenko TC combo?

Depends on the model and firmware (dot color) of the Kenko TC.  Some don't report their existence at all, so no separate AFMA.  Some that report their existence cause certain Canon camera models (e.g. the 5DIII) to lock up if AMFA is enabled, requiring pulling the battery to reset the camera).
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Scott_McPhee

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2013, 11:43:09 AM »
Mine is a Canon TC so all good.  :)

Hopefully FoCal will take the hassle out of calibrating my lenses - will do all 3 of mine and the 70-200 with the TC.


East Wind Photography

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2013, 01:55:00 PM »
I hope you find it hassle free.  For me it has been more work and disappointment (see my post below).  My SpyderCal has been a much better investment in time and $$$.

Mine is a Canon TC so all good.  :)

Hopefully FoCal will take the hassle out of calibrating my lenses - will do all 3 of mine and the 70-200 with the TC.

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2013, 01:55:00 PM »

cayenne

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2013, 03:47:38 PM »
Well, some great comments here on my original post, thanks for the input and opinions.

I've purchased the Plus version of FoCal and will be giving it a go tonight.
From what I read you can't do fully automatic calibration with the 5D3 but it's as close and you can get.

Anyone know if I add my 1.4 TC to my 70-200 will the camera store separate AFMA data from it than when I use the 70-20 on it's own?

I'm looking and reading about this too....I have a 5D3.

I'm curious, since you have to do the adjustments manually, why did you get the PLUS version rather than the standard version?

I read the FAQ page about 'why they say you should still buy the higher versions', but it didn't make much sense to me what else you get out of the plus vs the standard version really.

Curious your thoughts on the Plus version and why you got it...?

Thanks in advance,

cayenne

Scott_McPhee

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2013, 10:42:06 AM »
I found the program really easy to use - the only issue for me was it needs a bit of PC POWER to run and it wouldn't run on my little notebook so I had to do all the calibration from my main PC - this was a bit of a pain for me due to the minimum recommended distance for calibrating the far end of my 200mm lens.
I had to use a USB lead extender and place the target on the wall at the far end of my hallway to get the distance.

The calibration results I got were as follows:

50mm F1.4 - +1
24-70mm f2.8L II - W:+1 T:+1
70-200 f2.8L II - W:+4 T+1

Surprised at the 70-200 with the +4 at the wide end but the program was easy to use and I am now shooting with these recommended values. (My 24-70 and 70-200 lenses are brand new.)

I went for the Plus version as (hopefully) 5D3 users will get fully automatic calibration soon, although it's not a real pain now as all you have to do is change the AF Microadjustment (ALL) value when prompted buy the software. 

AFMA was always something I avoided doing as the manual method was too hit and miss for me, at least now I can calibrate my lenses on a year to year basis.

Do I notice the differerence after calibration - yes - shots look slightly sharper but I am not sure even a +4 AFMA will produce a very noticable difference on the wide end of my 70-200mmm.

IMO - if you want to calibrate and want to do it easily or have never done it before, FoCal is a good way to go.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 07:28:00 AM by Scott_McPhee »

comsense

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2013, 11:08:53 AM »
Do I notice the differerence after calibration - yes - shots look slightly sharper but I am not sure even a +4 AFMA will produce a very noticable difference on the wide end

'Looks' slightly sharper with +\- 1 is definitely a placebo effect. It should not make any difference in non test chart shooting situations and very little even on test charts.

baphomet

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2013, 12:29:10 PM »
one additional question which has something in parallel with AFMA.
When do you say a picture is 100% sharp., at 100% crop, 300%? What is your expectation?
Background, just got my new 5d mark iii, and also thinking about afma.. at 300% crop I can see that the pictures seem not being sharp, at 100% they do, so now, afma or not :) ?

Zv

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2013, 12:55:17 PM »
one additional question which has something in parallel with AFMA.
When do you say a picture is 100% sharp., at 100% crop, 300%? What is your expectation?
Background, just got my new 5d mark iii, and also thinking about afma.. at 300% crop I can see that the pictures seem not being sharp, at 100% they do, so now, afma or not :) ?

No image will be sharp at 300%. Are you kidding? Look at the image about 50-100%. I prefer 50% when I'm doing PP as it's about as big as it will ever be viewed in real life. 100% for AFMA purposes using Lightrooms compare mode.
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baphomet

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2013, 01:36:45 PM »
one additional question which has something in parallel with AFMA.
When do you say a picture is 100% sharp., at 100% crop, 300%? What is your expectation?
Background, just got my new 5d mark iii, and also thinking about afma.. at 300% crop I can see that the pictures seem not being sharp, at 100% they do, so now, afma or not :) ?

No image will be sharp at 300%. Are you kidding? Look at the image about 50-100%. I prefer 50% when I'm doing PP as it's about as big as it will ever be viewed in real life. 100% for AFMA purposes using Lightrooms compare mode.

thanks :) Just wanted to be on the save side :) thx.

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2013, 01:36:45 PM »

Dick

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #43 on: June 26, 2013, 02:23:13 PM »
For fast primes I can say I've benefitted from AFMA.

For everything else it has been complete waste of time. I have actually set every 2.8 & 2.8+ lens to 0 AFMA.
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roadrunner

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2013, 02:27:05 PM »
Glad everything worked out for you. I just recently purchased the Lens Align II, which feels like it is built out of recycled cardboard, and sent it back back and purchased FoCal. FoCal works awesome, even in the semi-auto mode with the 5D3. I too purchased the plus version. It's a Godsend for my 7D too, making the whole process super easy.

Many of my lenses showed no visible difference in real world use, like my 24-70LII, but other lenses like my 85mm 1.8 and Sigma 35mm 1.4 were clearly sharper. I think they both used +7 or +8. FoCal is one of the best investments I've made.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 04:02:04 PM by roadrunner »

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Re: AFMA - Is is really necessary?
« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2013, 02:27:05 PM »