Do You Microadjust the Autofocus On Your Camera?

A few days I was performing some microadjustments to my camera’s autofocus system and I snapped a photo of my setup and posted it to my Instagram stories with the question “do you microadjust your cameras and lenses?”. I wasn’t thinking too hard about it at the time, I was just snapping a quick photo of day-to-day life behind the lens as I often do on Instagram. Some of the responses to the question caught me by surprise though! I’m paraphrasing them slightly, but they loosely speaking they fell into 4 categories

  • What is AF microadjustment?
  • I didn’t know my camera could even do that!
  • I have tried, but am only somewhat satisfied with the results.
  • I’ve been meaning to get around to that at some point…

You know, this is the reason I use social media! It gives me a way to connect with you guys, and the conversations I have there are usually more plentiful than the ones on the blog here. I know thousands of you are reading this, but for some reason you’re often very shy to leave a comment here (is there a reason?).

I’m glad I asked the question there because it immediately showed me that this would be a useful topic for me to write about. For those that don’t know, AF microadjustment is the process of fine tuning the accuracy of the autofocus system in your camera to match your specific lenses. Small variations and tolerances in the manufacturing process of both camera and lens, can lead to slight shifts in the AF accuracy of a particular lens and camera combination. Ultimately it can lead to sharper images in a few situations, but only some mid-range to high-end cameras have the ability to perform these adjustments, so it’s possible that your camera doesn’t do it. If it’s a topic you think you might be interested in, first step would be to Google your camera model and the phrase “microadjustment” find out if it can do it.

If it turns out that your camera can’t do it, it’s not the end of the world! There are many situations where it just doesn’t make a blind bit of difference, and guess what? Your cameras is still the same camera it was yesterday, and still takes the same great photos.

If your camera does have this feature, you might want to start reading up on it. I’m in the process of planning out some content around this topic, since it seems like one that is a little misunderstood. I’m going to review a couple of products that can help you microadjust your camera (LensAlign and SypderLENSCAL), I’m going to write some tutorials on how best to use those products and I’m going to attempt to bust a few myths and underline some common mistakes with the adjustment process.

I know this particular post might leave you with a few questions about this topic, but rest assured that I’m working on the content that will help you. I want to do some more controlled testing, reviewing and research before I publish content that is designed to help people get critical sharpness from their cameras.

If you have any questions on the topic in general, leave me a comment here, send me a message on social media or use the contact form on this site to email me. Your feedback is really helpful!

In the meantime, why don’t you check out my latest in-depth guide to camera L-plates on Shutter Muse.

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Dan Carr

Founder of Shutter Muse, full time photographer and creative educator. Dan lives in the Canadian Yukon, but his wanderlust often sends him in search of images all around the world to meet the needs of clients and readers alike.

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