D-Noc Photography

Micro adjustment made easy

Micro adjustments has always been a bit intimidating to me. The idea is that the lens and the autofocus sensor in the camera does not always result in an exact focus on the actual image sensor. Focus might be a bit in front or behind the point that were focused upon when autofocus were engaged. This happens because of a tiny offset between the distance between Lens/Autofocus sensor and Lens/Image sensor.

To fix this, most Mid-/High range DSLR's allows you to perform micro adjustments per lens. But the procedure included buying advanced focusing gadgetry that had to be set up very precisely, taking photos of the gadget and then trying to determine how far off the focus is.

In short, complicated and with a bit of magic involved.

This weekend I read a bit about a procedure called Dot-Tuning. It is kind of the same procedure as explained above, but much more simple to understand and do. Instead of a complicated setup, you print out a sheet of paper with a high contrast pattern which you then tape to a wall or similar. Next you place your camera on a tripod at a distance of 50x focal length of the lens (e.g. with a 50mm lens the distance would be 50x50mm=2500mm). Position the camera to point directly at the high contrast pattern with the center focus point and enable Live View. Now use the 10x magnification on the Live View to set focus, either manually or with the focus button. Once focus has been acquired, set the lens to manual focus to avoid refocusing.

Next the idea is to microadjust up from 0 to +1, +2 and so on, one step at the time, each time looking in the viewfinder and checking if the camera can acquire focus instantly without any hesitation. Once you reach this point, write down the number of the offset that were the last giving a positive focus dot. Now do the same micro adjusting down from 0 to -1, -2 and so on.

When you have two points, e.g. 6 and -2 you find the middle value, in this case 2. (-2, -1 ,0, 1, [2], 3, 4, 5, 6).

To make this step simpler, the video above links to this calculator.

The idea is that since 2 is dead in the middle of the values giving positive focus confirmation, the auto focus should be much more precise than without the micro adjustment.

I tried it on my 35mm, 50mm and 85mm primes, and so far it is too soon to determine if this were a major difference, but the camera / lens combinations seems to be faster to acquire focus when I try to focus on my fast moving 7 year old daughter or in low light situations. I will still have to test this further before I can say anything with absolute certainty, but at least the Dot-Tuning procedure has made micro adjustment easy to do.

Further details about the method, as well as an ongoing discussion can be found here.

Please note that I did not invent this method, nor am I trying to take credit.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

I should get out more

..maybe you should too?

 This episode of Vision Is Better really got me. I am so guilty of doing this. I spend too much time on the theory of photography and too little time on actually going out and take pictures.

This ends now! I have to become much better at just going for a walk with my camera. It doesn't matter if it results in any pictures every time. It will still be valuable practise.

Do you fall into this trap as well? Get outside right now. Bring a camera!!

I know I have been linking to a couple of these Vision Is Better episodes lately, but photography guru David DuChemin just seems to touch on subjects that I can relate to at the moment and when I find something that makes me think or change my ways I just have to share it.. ..or comment on it... ..or both :-)

More on working for free (or not)

I am currently trying to catch up on the Vision Is Better episodes on YouTube, by photographer and personal inspiration, David DuChemin.

In episode 42, which I just saw, I found that he talks about having the same problem with people telling you to not work for free, as I mentioned in this post.

I think it is nice to see that I am not alone in having this point of view and I think it is important to stand up against this commercial bullying.

I really recommend this YouTube podcast series to anybody who is interested in photography as a craft, instead of a gear-buying hobby.

The truth about your pictures

I recently saw this video by Ted Forbes from the YouTube channel The Art of Photography.

At first I thought the points of views expressed were a bit cynical, but after giving it a bit more thought I realized that he were absolutely right and his points resonates very well with my own experiences with critique from online sources (Can be found here, but it is in danish).

I think the real truth as to why it is so hard to get meaningful critique is just at Ted Forbes describes it: nobody cares about your photography! 

If you consider it, it is really quite simple. The people giving you critique only do it to be eligible for critique of their own pictures. They don't really care if your pictures suck a little or suck a lot. They care about their own work. Sure, there are some people who give critique to a strangers photos without a wish for getting critique for their own work. But then they do it to be important some other way. As a know-it-all-guru, or as a great photographer who's work you ought to admire.

In short, it is all a matter of getting something for something. The interest in your work does not really exist. Why? Because it is not interesting.

For me that was quite a pill to swallow at first, but then it dawned on me that it doesn't matter. It might actually set you free to acknowledge that nobody cares. You are free from hunting Likes on social medias, free from chasing popularity, free from trying to be famous.

What do you do then, with that freedom?

The answer is simple and also given by Ted Forbes in the video above. You practice and hone your skills. You create something that makes a difference. Not necessarily in a society changing manner. Maybe just something that matters to you, your family or your friends. Maybe something that is really spectacular and enjoyed by a lot of people. Not because they really want you to look at their pictures but because the really want to look at your pictures.

Teknikken bag objektiver

Hvis man, som jeg, er nysgerrig og gerne vil vide lidt om hvordan et objektiv fungerer, og hvad de forskellige  glaselementer inden i egentlig gør, så kan jeg varmt anbefale at man ser videoen her, fra Filmmaker IQ.

Den beskriver med nogle simple eksempler hvad det er der sker med lyset, når det passerer igennem et objektivs glaselementer. Det er lidt teknisk, men jeg føler faktisk at jeg fik et par brikker til at falde på plads, og fik nogle fagbegreber demonstreret på fin vis.

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