The LensAlign/FocusTune Micro-Adjusting Tutorial e-Guide
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For serious photographers using telephoto lenses including the Canon 100-400 II.
The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to use the LensAlign hardware and the FocusTune software to determine an accurate AFA (autofocus adjustment) value for a given gear combination. It is written for users of current Canon camera bodies; folks who use the older Canon bodies and users of Nikon bodies that offer the ability to fine-tune focus will also benefit tremendously.
What can I say about the guide other than “It’s great!” It was about eight months in development. I spent dozens of hours writing it and many hundreds of hours testing and re-testing all of my lenses, teleconverters, and camera bodies, while at the same time fine-tuning the text. I even did some micro-adjusting on IPTs, some of those with the light setup! Most of the many improvements that I made in my techniques over the years were a result of finally listening to and implementing what Michael Tapes had told me in the first place. I can be stubborn, but then again, Michael and I are very much alike in that regard. The problem is that he is smarter than me.
Apologies to the many who were supposed to receive early drafts of this guide but did not. I only sent one to a very few folks as I was never completely comfortable with the contents and the flow and the clarity of the work. I am now. Very much so. I did get a copy to Bill Hill who wrote, “Thanks a ton. As in the past, I rely on you to interpret what the geeks write. Even though the version of the e-guide that you sent was far from complete, I found it much more helpful than anything that I had read online.”
Michael Tapes had this to say about the new guide: “I especially like the second half of the document where you show all of the examples.” He was referring to the many sample graphs in the guide that are accompanied by my illustrative comments:”Here is what I saw. This is what I thought. Here is what I did. And this is why I did it.”
Over the years many have come to value my simple, easy-to-follow instructions, my conversational style, and the clarity of my writing. Many find micro-adjusting to be complicated, time-consuming, and as I did often (and still do on occasion), frustrating. In the new guide, I have worked very hard to take you by the hand and lead through the process step by step. The guide includes camera and lens set-up lists, precise instructions on setting up, positioning, and aiming the gear, and detailed instructions on the testing, the strategies I developed and used, and interpreting the FocusTune graphs (that many find mystifying). Instructions for micro-adjusting zoom lenses at the T (tight or telephoto) end and the W (wide or zoomed out) setting are of course included. Plus dozens of practical tips to make your micro-adjusting experience a lot less frustrating than mine was.
For years many folks have marveled at my ability to create sharp images with Canon 2X teleconverters and long f/4 super-telephoto lenses. Now the secret for much of that success is out of the bag. There is not a single sharp image in the guide; to see those simply surf the blog for the past two years. You will find hundreds of super-sharp images each accompanied by the AFA (autofocus micro-adjustment) that was in play.
Note that micro-adjusting is not for the faint-of-heart. Only serious photographers interested in creating the sharpest possible RAW files with their telephoto lenses (and teleconverters) should apply …
ALSO NOTE: This guide is sent out manually, so it will be sent to your email on the same or next business day.
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