It is frustrating to have a new camera lens, and when you have tried to put it on the camera body, the results of the photographs you took did not satisfy you. Several factors could affect the performance of the newly bought camera lens. It can be a factory defect, shipping and handling neglect, and sample variation. After spending a lot of money to buy a lens that would suit your photography needs and preferences, it is just disappointing when you cannot get the picture you’re expecting. Lens calibration is quite a complicated topic to discuss, but this article will help you understand how to calibrate camera lens. Bringing the camera lens and camera body together requires minor adjustment.
Calibrating a Camera Lens
Having blurry pictures is rooted in this main problem—a missed focus. Relying on just using auto-focus to be accurate when you use your newly bought camera lens will disappoint you with the results of blurry photos as it rarely happens. So, it’s understandable if you’re asking – how to calibrate camera lens. Whether you have an old or brand-new camera lens, you need to have sufficient knowledge on how to calibrate a camera lens. Aside from taking ‘clear’ pictures, lens calibration will also help you get the best out of the lens you own.
Calibrating your lens is fairly simple, as it can be done in just a couple of minutes as long as you have the right knowledge on doing it. Just keep in mind that lens calibration is done to achieve sharp images and accurate focusing, instead of fixing your ‘soft’ lens. Lens calibration will not solve your problems of having ‘soft’ lenses once you use the manual focus.
Getting a Calibrator
Most photographers are afraid to know how to calibrate camera lens or start because they think that professional experience is a must to do it. Some are just terrified that they might screw up the whole process of lens calibration. However, luckily, all you need is to have a good calibrator, sturdy tripod, software where you can review the results, and most especially long patience that you will using throughout the entire process of calibrating a camera lens. If you are deciding what calibrator you would use, you can choose from using a focus pyramid, which you can buy online for a lower price, but if you still want to be thrifty, you can also use a ruler as a calibrator. Do not worry because this article will discuss how to calibrate camera lens using each kind of calibrator.
Calibrating Lens using a Focus Pyramid
To begin calibrating your camera lens, you need to set up your camera in a tripod or on a table with a flat surface. At level surface about 6 feet away, start by setting the focus pyramid. You can also set the distance depending on how far you usually take photos from. But you should not be bothered with it because you are calibrating your camera lens for it to have an adjustment and get it focusing on point, thus making it good at any distance.
Focus Using Viewfinder
Always check that the Live View is turned off throughout the entire process because it uses a different autofocus system, and any adjustments you make will not be noticeable when the Live View is turned on. You should only focus using viewfinder.
Focus on the Center Line and Adjust
As you look through the viewfinder, keep the focus on the center line of the pyramid, and then shoot with the lens at its widest aperture. Click play, and while zooming in to see where the focus hits, you should recognize where it focuses and where the sharpest lines are by using the numbers above and below the center line. Go into your camera settings and make the necessary adjustments to make it accurate once you see whether it is front focusing or back focusing. It might be a little tough but continue taking shots until you have the center line perfectly in focus so you can now say goodbye to blurry images.
Menu Settings for Canon and Nikon
Your goal is to change the saved value and make sure that the fine-tuning is turned in, which you can find this AF fine-tune at the wrench or under the setting menu for Canon. To show you where you are moving the focus point, the AF fine-tune has a diagram. While for Nikon, changes can be made in the Function then Auto Focus settings. After that, continue the process by following the same instructions indicated for Canon.
Calibrating Lens Using A Ruler
To begin using a ruler to calibrate your camera lens, mount the ruler at an angle so you can see the focus drop off. Having a specific point to focus on will help you recognize where the actual focus is failing. Focus your camera halfway along the ruler while mounting your stand at a downward angle.
Setting Up Using Tripod and Ruler
Locate your camera and lens at an appropriate distance from the ruler, which is dependent on the focal length of the lens you are calibrating. You can use LensAlign to help you check the details on the chart so you can place your camera as to what the site recommends based on your inputs.
Setting the Camera
You will need first to set your aperture to the smallest your lens will allow. After taking several shots, go to the live view so you can zoom in and recognize the focus. Then, zoom in and focus on the center of the ruler and take a shot again.
Importing Images and Making Changes
You need to import your photos to editing software like Lightroom so you can zoom in again to check the focus point accurately than in the camera. To make changes with your camera, just be guided with the steps listed above as it will depend on what brand of camera did you use while taking photographs. Know more about camera lens.
It may seem difficult and confusing to do lens calibration on your own after knowing how to calibrate camera lens. But do not worry because a beginner can easily follow the guide above in photography. You just need to be confident about what you are doing and be oriented on your main goal: to say goodbye with blurry pictures as you calibrate your camera lens.