Lens AF micro-adjustment – curing back-focus and front-focus

Written by Gary on December 13th, 2008

I suspect the concept that your camera and lens requires AF adjustment is a rather foreign concept to most Olympus users, and indeed, if they have a problem, its a job for service centre to fix, up until the new Olympus E-30 arrives which allows one to correct back-focus and front-focus AF errors.

Perhaps Olympus has so far been able to avoid such issues as they have good quality control and better tolerances, or perhaps the wider depth of field can disguise it better, nevertheless, the issue has been a problem with Canon and Nikon users.

My Canon 1DMIII required significant adjustments to a couple of lenses and my friend’s Canon 5DMII required even larger adjustments.

I checked the AF accuracy of my Olympus E510 with ZD 50-200mm SWD and it was spot on – which I guess is fortunate otherwise its a trip back to Olympus.

Now how does one go about doing micro-adjustments?

There are several methods – all taking a minute or two to do per lens:

Keith Cooper’s blog with downloadable AF target to assist accurate focus assessment on camera LCD screen.

LensAlign product reviewed on Luminous-Landscape.com

You can use either of these to check ANY camera but obviously, only those cameras with AF microadjustment will allow you to adjust it yourself, at present, this includes:

  • Canon 1D MKIII, 1Ds MKIII, 5DII, 50D
  • Nikon D3, D3x, D300, D700
  • Sony A900
  • Pentax K20
  • Olympus E-30

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. M Thompson says:

    I have been having terrible problems with my focus system ever sine I changed over from Film SLR EOS3 to 5D’s (Canon). I am wanting to find out if any one else is in the same boat! Canon has not been much help & are quick to say there is nothing wrong with my equipment or that it is human error. I am seroiusly thinking of givine Canon a miss!