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D3 and AF fine tune

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR Forum' started by RKnecht, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. I've been doing A LOT of reading about the AF fine tune feature of the D3 lately. However, I feel that trying to set it up for various lenses is quite confusing. I know there is a setting for lenses with and without TCs attached. I also saw a video in which, at the end, it says that AF fine tune isn't necessary with AF-S lenses. This can't be correct, as I can't seem to figure out why an AF-S lens can't be subject to back focus.

    This became quite apparent this weekend while shooting a dog agility show. I was using the D3 with my 300 2.8 and the combo would consistently focus on the marker cones near the obstacle instead ot the obstacle itself. This was when the focus was set on dead center of the obstacle. I was pretty shocked as I haven't noticed this before.

    Are the available charts reliable? Also, if you fine tune the lens, will it be consistent from minimum focusing distance and infinity? I wish Nikon's user manual explained this better. For a feature that can impact photo quality such as this, it seems that Nikon really dropped the ball in their manual. I know I can buy a third party manual, but it seems silly to do whan buying such a camera. Oh wait....we did get "free" NX with it. Then they introduced the new version which you had to pay for.

    Any thoughts? Have you been successful calibrating your D3? Comments?
  2. None of the AFS lenses I use on my D3 needed AF tuning. I didn't run focus tests, I just observed my real world results. The two AF-D lenses I use did require adjustment. I used a foam core mounted poster with lots of text as a focus target. Set it up so it was perpendicular to the lens axis. Shot from a tripod and made sure to defocus between shots.

    If the majority of your 300 f2.8 shots show front focus then I would test it at your normal shooting distance. If only the shots of the obstacle show front focus there may be a different issue. With my lenses the focus error could be seen on the majority of shots taken with it.
  3. My 200-400 and 600 both needed some adjustment.
  4. Sauk


    Aug 4, 2008
    Sandy, UT
    My sigma 300mm F2.8 with TC needed it, but without the TC it was fine.
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