Halleluja – My lens is calibrated!

After a week or two of testing out my new 14-24mm lens, I was a bit disappointed. At first I thought it was poor technique or over-expectations from all the hype with this lens. Images I had captured up to this point were blurry or out of focus – they ALL really sucked. I knew something was out of whack when SheryAnne’s point and shoot photos were coming out light years better than the photos out of my rig. Since I am an amateur at photography, I figured it had to be me. I focused on improving techniques to keep the camera from shaking, shutter to focal length fundamentals, and lighting fundamentals. So I continued to shoot, test, learn, and study how to use this lens…but my photos were still coming out poor. After reading Seb’s review on the LensAlign focus calibration system, I thought I’d give it a try to see if I had any calibration issues – it turned out that I did! The calibration system revealed a significant amount of back focus at 14mm and by the time I stretched the lens to 24mm, it was front focusing! After fine tuning the lens and camera using the LensAlign system, my photos have been more in line with what I expect out of this lens – sharp and consistent! Here are some samples after calibration:

Now I understand why photographers love this lens!

And for you geeks out there my final AF Fine Tune settings ended up being:

50mm f/1.4 -2
14-24mm f/2.8 -18
24-70mm f/2.8 -3
70-200mm f/2.8 0

So now you can see why I was tripping over my photos prior to calibration! LOL


12 thoughts on “Halleluja – My lens is calibrated!

    • Honestly, it’s not necessary if you don’t see any discrepancies with your AF. I needed to do it because I noticed the 14-24 was way off. The lensalign pretty much verified that for me.

      • I’m noticing that my lenses aren’t as sharp as they used to be. Would you be willing to rent out your lens align kit…lol.

        • Haha, no need to “rent” it from me. You can borrow it anytime 🙂

  1. Rex- When you going to get a PC-E lens? I think it would be right up your alley since you take a lot of architecture images.

    • I thought about it, but I think I may have to wait for newer PC-E lenses to come out. Apparently, the current PC-E lineup is not compatible with the D800. I assume it’s because the tilting/shifting causes the housing to run into the prism. I assume there will be a redesign since the D800 is an architecture photographers dream. Seems silly that they would not be compatible.


      • People are reporting that the tilt and shift when using the 45mm and the 85mm does work.One of the knobs on the 24mm PC-E touches the bottom housing of the flash/prism limiting the tilt or shift on the D800

        Some pictures of the PC-E lenses taken with D800

        I’ve been thinking of getting the 45mm or 85mm PC-E lens for over a year now. Just might have to get one for Christmas.

          • . The main issue I have with these PC-E lens is that it’s manual focus. That’s a reason i’ve been holding off on getting one.

            But now with a FF camera that has a nice view finder that makes manual focusing easier, so I hear. I’m thinking about renting one from borrowlenses.com.

            $2k is a lot to drop on a specialized lens

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