Nikon D500 Automatic AF Fine Tune

With the release of the D5 and D500, Nikon have introduced an “automatic AF Fine Tune” feature into their range of dSLR cameras.  We’ve spent a couple of days with our D500 in the Reikan lab running tests to get an idea of how Nikon’s new feature performs.

*The D5 and D500 are not yet supported in the main FoCal release (that should happen during May) but we created an internal build as part of our development and research.

160427_135037_20160427_135037-iPhone SE-0363
image-12522

Summary

There’s a fair amount of detail in this blog post, so I wanted to give a summary of the initial findings.

On the surface, the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune system does a fair job of quickly calibrating the autofocus system.  In reality, however, the need to manually repeat calibrations to iron out variability in results extends the time taken. The need for absolute perfect focus before calibrating introduces a large amount of variability to the results and the lack of consideration for the overall autofocus system (mechanical, optical and electronic together) leads to suboptimal choices by the camera.

If you want to get your AF Fine Tune in roughly the right area without a computer handy, the D500’s auto AF Fine Tune is great.  Otherwise (perhaps not surprisingly) we’d recommend to use FoCal!

Read on for details about how we came to these conclusions.

Using the D500 Automatic AF Fine Tune system

[Useful video from DPReview using this feature Nikon’s automated AF Fine Tune explained]

To use the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune feature, you need to have the camera on a solid tripod and aimed at a target suitable for calibration.  This should have strong high contrast edges, and for the testing we’ve been using a FoCal hard target.

The next step is to fire up Live View and obtain the best focus possible on the target.  This is a critical step (we’ll show just how critical later).  You can use contrast detect autofocus as a good starting point, but it’s worth moving the focus dial on the lens back and forth a bit at 100% magnification in LiveView in order to ensure you have the best possible focus.

Make sure the centre focus point is selected then hold down the focus mode button (by the lens mount) and the record start button (by the shutter button) for a couple of seconds.  You’ll then see a message on the screen:

D500 Auto AF Fine Tune

D500 Auto AF Fine Tune

When you hit the OK button, the calibration is performed, LiveView will stop and the result is written to the AF Fine Tune setting:

D500 Auto AF Fine Tune completed

D500 Auto AF Fine Tune completed

You have to go into the Setup menu and open the AF Fine Tune setting to actually see what value was written which is a bit annoying, but other than that it’s quick and simple to run the procedure once.

How does it work?

We don’t have any insider knowledge from Nikon on how their automatic AF Fine Tune feature works in detail, but the big clue is in the need for perfect initial focus, and this leads us to believe the calibration method is the same as the TurboCal test in FoCal (which is only available for Canon cameras in FoCal).

By setting the focus to the best possible focus you can achieve manually, the camera is able to compare the internal phase detect autofocus result with this perfect focus.  Then it has all the information needed to set the AF Fine Tune value – to adjust the camera’s view of where it should focus to match your view of where it should focus.

This method is really quick, but as we found with the FoCal TurboCal test, that initial perfect focus step really is important.

“Perfect” Initial Focus

Let’s take a look at an example.  With good lighting on a high contrast target, and the D500 on a sturdy tripod we carefully achieve what we believed was the best focus possible using magnified LiveView with our Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens (unlike FoCal, there’s no feedback on the quality of the image as you shift the focus).  We then ran the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune 10 times in a row, and took the median value.  

We then moved the focus ring by a tiny amount, and ran another 10 D500 automatic calibrations and took the median value.

“Perfect” Initial Focus Imperfect Initial Focus
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens - perfect focus position Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens - imperfect focus position
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens - perfect focus results Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens - imperfect focus results
Median AF Fine Tune = -15.5 Median AF Fine Tune = +11

So, how much is this shift in real terms?  Well, the image below is a close up of the zoom ring, showing the 2 positions of the lens side-by-side with a red arrow shown at the same position on the lens focus ring in both shots.  The white dot near the top of the image is around 1mm across.  So, for this 50mm f/1.4 lens, a focus ring shift of just over 1mm can give a change in the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune result of 26.5 AF Fine Tune steps!  This shows just how critical that initial “perfect focus” step is.

Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 focus position difference for 26.5 pt AF Fine Tune difference

Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 focus position difference for 26.5 pt AF Fine Tune difference

In real use this is quite an extreme example as you can easily see that the image on the back of the camera for the imperfect focus shot above is obviously out of focus.  But it does go to show that being fractions of a millimeter out on the focus ring can change your AF Fine Tune result by quite a few steps.

Can’t you just use Contrast Detect AF for initial focus?

Contrast Detect autofocus works by optimising the focus on the image sensor, so it’s not subject to the same errors as phase detect autofocus.  When you run contrast detect autofocus in Live View, you’re getting the camera’s best attempt at perfect focus on the image sensor, so it would make sense to use this for calibration, wouldn’t it?

Sadly, contrast detect autofocus produces similar variations in end result as phase detect.  Although in theory perfect focus could be achieved, it just doesn’t happen every time.  The graph below shows the variation in contrast detect autofocus for one test with the D500 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4.

Contrast Detect focus consistency example

Contrast Detect focus consistency example

(Graph Explanation: The vertical axis is Quality of Focus ranging from 1300 to 1700, and the horizontal axis is the shot number from 1 to 10.  Each shot involves defocusing and then autofocusing on the FoCal target where the quality is then measured.  A higher vertical value means a better quality of focus)

The graph looks a little scarier than it really is as the vertical axis doesn’t go to zero, but we’re getting a quality difference of 330 QoF points in FoCal, which is pretty significant.  The crops below show the best and worst contrast detect (Live View) focus results:

image07 image16

It’s clear that contrast detect focus is not enough on it’s own to achieve perfect focus and get reliable results from the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune system.

What about repeatability?

This is always a good test of how well a calibration mechanism works.  Ideally, you want to be able to run the calibration a number of times and get the same results every time.

To test this, we set our D500 up on the tripod with the 50mm f/1.4 lens, set to perfect focus and ran the test 10 times.  (In order to make sure we didn’t accidentally adjust the focus, we moved AF from the shutter button to AF-ON button only).

We repeated the process again, but with a defocus step in between so we had to manually achieve perfect focus again.  The results for the 2 runs are shown below:

Run 1 Run 2
-11 -9
-18 -18
-20 -16
-19 -19
-8 -20
-10 -19
-17 -8
-16 -11
-15 -18
-14 -18
Median -15.5 -18
IQR 6 6.5

The median value shows is a pretty good indication of the most likely real world result for the calibration under these conditions (notice there’s a 2.5 AF Fine Tune step difference between the two tests, and this is quite possibly due to the initial perfect focus being in a slightly different position.  Based on the above information about perfect focus, that equates to a difference in focus dial position of around 0.1mm).

The IQR (interquartile range) gives an idea of the spread of the data – it’s the difference between the highest and lowest value for the middle 50% of the data.  Here, we can see that over 10 runs with no changes to the physical setup whatsoever, we’re getting a spread of around 6 – 6.5 AF Fine Tune units.

Is this acceptable?  With FoCal, our testing has shown that a difference of up to ±3 AF Fine Tune units is unlikely to give you much of a change in real-world focus results, and the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune does seem to produce results just within this range.  We’ll update when we’ve done some more testing with different lenses.

And how about mechanical variations in focusing?

This is something that really isn’t catered for with the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune – the variation in focus point that the camera picks each time it focuses.  The D500’s system is purely calibrating the offset between the AF sensor result and real-world best focus.  So what does this mean?

When you hit the AF button on your camera, it doesn’t focus the lens in the same place every time (just run the AF Consistency test in FoCal and you’ll see that).  Part of that is down to the operation of the AF system and the compromise between speed and accuracy, but part is down to physical characteristics of the autofocus system as a whole (including the physical AF sensor, the lens mount, the lens body, optics and motor etc).

A slight misalignment of the lens mount, temperature related expansion of the lens body or slightly misaligned lens optics can all lead to changes in the focus position achieved by the camera.  And the overall combination of these things can actually have a level of determinism – i.e. each repeated AF operation can be incorrect by a similar amount each time.

The net result of this is that without moving the lens during your calibration, there’s a whole host of things that can affect your focus position that are not being taken into account.  

And this is where a system like FoCal has a distinct advantage – by defocusing and refocusing between each test shot and statistically analysing the results against our lens behaviour model, we can calibrate your camera and lens for this extra set of potential causes of error.  The net result is more consistent focusing in the real world.

Comparison with FoCal Results

We can’t complete this look at the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune system without comparing it to the results achieved from FoCal!  Support for the D500 has been added to our internal builds of FoCal and will be available in the next release.

We ran one FoCal calibration at each of 3 different distances from the camera (0.8m, 2.2m and 3.6m), and also ran the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune system from the same positions (running it 10 times in a row and taking the median of the results).

0.8 metres (16x focal length)

Below is a crop of 3 shots taken after each calibration (the camera was defocused before each shot to ensure full AF operation):

D500 Automatic AF Fine Tune (Median = -14, IQR = 4):

image15

FoCal (-8):

image06

At this close distance, there was quite a difference between the results from FoCal and the D500’s auto AF Fine Tune (-14 vs -8).  

But here is a great example of how not taking into account focus repeatability can give a false calibration result.  The crops above look very similar, but if you look at the chart below you can see that the image quality at -14 and -8 are very similar – at -14 the QoF result is around 1850, and at -8 the QoF result is around 1900.

image09

(Graph Explanation: The vertical axis is Quality of Focus – a higher vertical value means the focus quality is better.  The horizontal axis is the AF Fine Tune value under test, ranging from -20 to +20.  The red, green and blue lines show the results for each separate colour analysis (red, green and blue), and the bolder orange line is the combined result based on the colour temperature of the test environment.  The highest vertical point of the orange line represents the best general AF Fine Tune result).

However, the -14 (D500) result is very much on the downward slope of the lens profile curve (the orange line).  This means that small errors in autofocus – which on this chart would be side-to-side movement – could start to give quite a change in focus quality.  At -8 (FoCal) we’re right on the peak of the lens profile curve so you could have an error of ±6 AF Fine Tune steps before the image quality drops to the level of the -14 calibration.

2.2m (44x focal length)

Below is a crop of 3 shots taken after each calibration (the camera was defocused before each shot to ensure full AF operation):

D500 Automatic AF Fine Tune (Median = -4, IQR = 4):

image11

FoCal (-5):

image13

The camera and lens were a little less happy focusing on the target at this distance, so the FoCal result confidence was lower, but the D500 and FoCal agreed on the calibration value for this distance.

image00

(Graph Explanation: The vertical axis is Quality of Focus – a higher vertical value means the focus quality is better.  The horizontal axis is the AF Fine Tune value under test, ranging from -20 to +20.  The red, green and blue lines show the results for each separate colour analysis (red, green and blue), and the bolder orange line is the combined result based on the colour temperature of the test environment.  The highest vertical point of the orange line represents the best general AF Fine Tune result).

3.6m (72x focal length)

Below is a crop of 3 shots taken after each calibration (the camera was defocused before each shot to ensure full AF operation):

D500 Automatic AF Fine Tune (Median = -11, IQR = 0):

image17

FoCal (-6):

image08

Here, we have another repeat of the first scenario – where the lack of consideration of AF repeatability has meant the D500 is picking a suboptimal real-world calibration value.

image18

(Graph Explanation: The vertical axis is Quality of Focus – a higher vertical value means the focus quality is better.  The horizontal axis is the AF Fine Tune value under test, ranging from -20 to +20.  The red, green and blue lines show the results for each separate colour analysis (red, green and blue), and the bolder orange line is the combined result based on the colour temperature of the test environment.  The highest vertical point of the orange line represents the best general AF Fine Tune result).

FoCal’s result of -6 is right on the peak of the lens profile curve, whereas the D500’s result of -11 is on the downward slope.

Conclusion

First – it’s important to remember that the test results and conclusions are with a single lens under lab test conditions.  We will do further testing and update if there are any significant differences found after testing a number of lenses, but on the whole most of the conclusions are likely to apply to the D500/D5’s  automatic AF Fine Tune system as a whole irrespective of lens.

The D500 (and D5) automatic AF Fine Tune system is definitely a useful feature in being able to quickly get better focus from your camera, but it does have some significant limitations.

The calibration operation itself is really quick, but once you take into account setting up the camera on a tripod, finding a suitable target, configuring the camera, carefully focusing in Live View, repeating a number of times and then verifying the results the whole process is not any quicker than using FoCal.  We also found occasionally the process would fail with no indication of what had gone wrong.

As we’ve shown above, that first step of very careful Live View focusing is absolutely critical, errors of fractions of a millimeter in the position of the focus ring on the lens can result in significant error.

Our comparison with FoCal results shows the effect of not taking into account the variation in focus position from real world autofocus usage. The D500’s calibration result was towards the back-focus end of acceptable, a small amount of variation in the camera’s focus position would, in a lot of cases, result in suboptimal focusing.

In summary, if you want to quickly get your AF Fine Tune in roughly the right place, then with careful use and a bit of time you can achieve this with the D500’s automatic AF Fine Tune.  But if you want to guarantee the best focus – along with guidance on how to set up, checking the setup all the way through and giving all the details about why a particular result is best, you need FoCal.

On top of that, with FoCal, you have the ability to delve deeper into the inner workings of your camera and lens through AF consistency and aperture sharpness testing and save comprehensive PDF reports of each calibration and test. FoCal also provides the option to check the variability of all your focus points (not just the center focus point) and quantify dust on the sensor. You can even compare your calibration and test results against thousands of other FoCal users to find out if your camera and lens are working as they should.

To find out more about Reikan FoCal check out a recent 3rd party review Photorec.tv Using FoCal to calibrate your lenses.

About

Lead developer of Reikan FoCal automatic lens calibrations software.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Interesting, R&D
44 comments on “Nikon D500 Automatic AF Fine Tune
  1. Rudi says:

    I was wandering that my D5 has different values each time. And mostly even high negative and high positive values.

    Anyway, the question is if Focal can write the AF-values automatically to the D5.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Rudi,

      We’ve done some evaluation with the D500 and Nikon’s automatic af fine tune does seem to produce varying results (probably one way is to run multiple times and average out the value!).

      Running the D5 (and D500) with FoCal is something we are currently working on and expect an updated release during May. As with most Nikon cameras it’s almost certain to be “user assisted”, unless we find something unexpected as we investigate further.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      • Bill Hunt says:

        Dave, I’ve been using FoCal for quite some time and totally agree with your findings about the Nikon Auto-Fine-Tune for my D5. A couple of comments. I too found the D5 auto fine tune to be useful but widely variable even with studio lighting on a Gitzo 3 series tripod using your printed targets. I ran tests (10X each)on all 8 of my lenses at the FoCal recommended distance and then took the mean of the results. I’m not happy with the results of Nikons system and am hoping your software becomes available really soon to fine tune the lenses. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to manually intervene with each shot and hope you guys find a way to automate the process like what you can do with the Canon cameras.

        • Rich says:

          Hi Bill

          You mentioned you took the mean of your results – you might find the overall result is better if you use median (as this isn’t influenced by the magnitude of outliers). Having said that, there’s still variability, and it’s good to hear you see similar results to us across your full range of lenses (we’ve only fully tested with 2 lenses so far).

          The D500 and D5 code is all compete in FoCal now. We have some other areas to finish off and final testing to do, but we’re hoping that a new release will be available before the end of May. This one won’t be able to automatically control the Nikon cameras (although the hotkey and voice prompt functionality has made it much easier to run tests on Nikon cameras), but we’ll keep trying!

          Rich

      • Richard says:

        Any news on when the expected May update will arrive for the Nikon D500.

        regards,

        Richard

  2. Falk Lumo says:

    This is a great article.
    It confirms that a difference of ±5 AF fine tune points isn’t very significant and of course, shifting the focus of a 50mm/1.4 lens by 1mm is huge 🙂

    You don’t address the most important point IMHO. The fact Nikon made the auto AF tune firmware feature tells that Nikon cares about phase AF calibration more than they did in the past.

    This raises two questions:
    1. Would Nikon allow FoCal to change AFMA programatically, for an automated calibration? I know Nikon wouldn’t do this by themselves. But did you try to contact Nikon to get them move, maybe via a DPReview staff member?

    2. Maybe, Nikon wants to distribute FoCal as an officially supported tool. Again: did you try to contact Nikon?

    I ask because the mood of Nikon wrt AF calibration software may have changed.

    Kind regards,
    Falk

    • Rich says:

      Hi Falk

      Thanks for your comments on the article. As another commenter mentioned, the 50/1.4 we used is pretty soft and we’ll try again with something like the Sigma 50/1.4 Art lens which may result in a more reliable result as it should have a sharper peak during focusing. But essentially, 5 AF Fine Tune points isn’t going to be a night-and-day difference, especially around the peak focus as the drop-off in quality is slow for the first few points (as you know, the slope can get quite steep as you move away from the best focus so 10 AF Fine Tune points can have a much more significant effect on image quality than you’d expect if you compare it to 5 AF Fine Tune point change).

      It’s definitely promising that Nikon are changing attitude to AF Fine Tune, although in reality they have a feature which is somewhat buried (in operation and documentation!). But it’s a start, and we will continue to try and get automated AF Fine Tune functionality in FoCal with Nikon cameras through any means we can.

      Rich

  3. Daniel says:

    Were your pocket calculators on a strike?…;-)
    Run2: -(9+18+16+19+20+19+8+11+18+18)=-156, how did you come to a -18 average? Same for Run1 which sums up to -148…
    But I agree on the shot to shot variability (which means one needs to run the AF tune several times and take an average) and on how critical the initial focus is.
    Best regards,
    Daniel

    • Rich says:

      Hi Daniel. As you mentioned in your other comment – we’re using median as the average (rather than mean) so it’s not sensitive to the magnitude of the outliers.

  4. Daniel says:

    Sorry, just noticed you were speaking about median (which is less sensitive to outliers) not average. My mistake!
    Daniel

  5. Tony says:

    Great analysis, as one would expect from Reikan. 🙂

    May I suggest you provide more information about how to read the comparative graphs? The lack of a legend, combined with the small font, made it difficult for me to interpret the results.

    • Rich says:

      Hi Tony. Thanks for your comment. The graphs have been copied from the PDF report of the tests and you’re right, they aren’t perfect for showing on the blog! I’ve added a short explanation under each of the graphs to make it a bit clearer about what they show.

      Rich

  6. Joachim says:

    “A slight misalignment of the lens mount, temperature related expansion of the lens body or slightly misaligned lens optics can all lead to changes in the focus position achieved by the camera. And the overall combination of these things can actually have a level of determinism – i.e. each repeated AF operation can be incorrect by a similar amount each time.

    The net result of this is that without moving the lens during your calibration, there’s a whole host of things that can affect your focus position that are not being taken into account.”

    As far as I understand, FoCal also can’t compensate all of the given “problems”, as FoCal as well can only take a scnapshot of the testing day. Tomorrow, with 20°C more, the results could be different – for both methods.

    Then: Running your tests with a comparatively lousy, weak lens (at least wide open – it can’t remotely compete with the performance of Sigma’s 50/1.4 Art) is giving a hard time for both test methods. Please don’t waste your time with poor glass 😉

    As you said yourself, +/- 3 units is not very critical. But with excellent glass I want to see the best of performance wide open. With the Nikon 50/1.4 G, you give up +/- 5 units just because it’s so weak wide open, I’m afraid.

    • Rich says:

      Hi Joachim

      A fair point about softness of the 50 we used! We will be publishing a summary of wider results with more lenses soon and this should iron out any possible data skewing from things like lens softness.

      You’re right as well about FoCal not being able to calibrate for large temperature changes, but there are some things that are missed by not moving the lens focus. For example, suppose the drive motor exhibits some mechanical “stickyness”, and due to the implementation of overall camera AF system (stopping early due to speed-of-focus constraints) the AF results is biased slightly front- or back-focused each time. For this example, using Nikon’s automatic AF Fine Tune system and calibrating at static perfect-focus will calibrate exactly what you expect – the system wide image-sensor to AF-sensor offset – but it’s won’t calibrate for this AF motor induced errors. Whereas FoCal – having driven the lens motor a number of times during testing – will calibrate this error out as best as it can.

      This is a fairly subtle scenario where driving the lens focus motor can lead to a better calibration, and there are others and we believe (as we would 🙂 ) that calibrating by actually using the full AF system gives a better real-world result.

      Rich

  7. Marc Whitney says:

    I have started primarily using a mirrorless camera so I don’t have the need for AF fine tune I once had. However, there are some analytical tests provided useful information on other aspects of lens and camera. Are there any plans to build a software product that is oriented toward collecting analytics as a f ctionality seperAte from AF fine tune?

    An example of useful info: I ran FoCal to identify the resolution. vs aperture for a Nikon 105mm micro D-series. The resolution improved continuously up to f/14 then fell of drasticly by f/16. This is very different from the rule of thumb that resolution peaks close to f/8 then starts to decline but is still acceptable at f/16. This result was repeatable at various target distances. It is useful to know this is a macro situation where DoF is important.

    • Rich says:

      Hi Marc

      Watch this space! Although FoCal started off as an AF Microadjustment calibration solution, it’s grown to add a lot more functionality that’s useful for understanding the details of difference cameras and lenses, as well as confirming they’re working within norms. Tests like AF Consistency, Aperture Sharpness, Dust Analysis and several new tests we’ll be introducing soon are all able to provide useful information for many different cameras, not just the ones that FoCal currently supports. Although you can’t run with a mirrorless camera today, we will be adding this functionality very shortly.

      Rich

  8. Monte Comeau says:

    Have you taken into consideration the outliers? Results that are totally off base and throw those out of the average? I think you would get a better final number this way don’t you?

    For example if you threw out the -20, -10, -11 -8 you would get a more precise number. Do this with 20 tests and I think you have a number that would be perfect.

    • Rich says:

      Hi Monte. When combining results from multiple tests, we used the median (rather than mean) as an average. This is less influenced by outliers and gives a better indication of the likely result.

  9. Malcolm Black says:

    The article on the new Nikon ‘Auto Fine Tune’ was very interesting; thanks for that. My experience with a D500 is similar to yours. The idea is nice, comparing a Contrast Detect on the photo sensor with Phase Detect on the AF sensor, but it is a sensitive process, as you say. I used a Focal hard target and about 40x focal length distances. For me the main outlier was mostly the first calibration for each lens, after which the variation was only one or two marks, particularly if I didn’t try to manually ‘improve’ Contrast Detect focus. The process ends up taking as long as using Focal, yet you learn much less about each lens, so for lens calibration Focal remains the basis for my lenses. Roll on the D500 version.
    That said, the Nikon system does have some really great uses, with zoom lenses. As you know the Nikon system only stores one calibration for each lens, for me the longest zoom. I do a lot of wildlife photography, but for various reason now find taking a 600/f4 to a remote hide becoming increasingly onerous, so I often use a Nikon 200-500/f5.6 zoom. In many instances I know where a subject will eventually appear, so I can pre-set the zoom to frame, and the pre-focus. With the Nikon system I can do an impromptu calibration for, say, the lens zoomed to 430mm and focussed at 15.6m. This seems to be beneficial for intermediate zooms, though I expect to re-set to the Focal figure afterwards, when I have it. But for fixed focal length lenses I’m planning to only use Focal calibrations.

  10. Guido de Kleijn says:

    Hi Rich, any idea when the update Of Focal for the D500 will be released?

    Greeting,

    Guido

    • Dave says:

      Hi Guido,

      Thanks for your interest in FoCal, D500 and D5 support is still in the works, expect to have an update to include this cameras within the next couple of weeks! 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

  11. Jesse Larson says:

    Was wondering how far along this update is. It is well into june now and my results vary widely with the D500. It is sad that my Focal tuned D7100 can destroy my new D500 in terms of focus beyond 40 yards with 150-600mm. My friend having same problems going from D810 to D500 with 600mm/F4.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Jesse,

      Thanks for your interest in FoCal, D500 and D5 support is still in the works, expect to have an update to include this cameras within the next couple of weeks! 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

  12. Brett says:

    I’m prepared to purchase FoCal Pro to complement my new D500 in order to fine tune focus for all my existing lenses. It appears the May release mentioned in the blog was missed. Any idea when you might be ready with the update?

    Also, not currently owning a FoCal product and being in the US, I’m planning to purchase through US distribution. I see B&H is a dealer, are there others to consider?

    Final question, if I purchase the Pro version from US distribution, with the focus target, I presume the software will require an update if it’s shipped in CD form with the target. Is this something I will be able to do online, from within the software GUI?

    • Dave says:

      HI Jesse,

      Thanks for your interest in FoCal, D500 and D5 support is still in the works, expect to have an update to include this cameras within the next couple of weeks!

      Estimating when a release might be ready is always tricky as each new camera is a journey into the unknown (it would be nice if all the cameras worked the same from a software point of view!). We’re making progress though so it is close 🙂

      When you purchase ‘boxed FoCal’ it includes an activation code to download the software direct, there’s no physical media as such s you always get the latest version. Once installed you can download updates from the website.

      B&H is our stockist in the US, we have a UK stockist as well for boxed versions. You can go with the download version and print your own target or purchase the target as a stand alone item.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

  13. SOMDEB BISWAS says:

    I am using NIKON D500 & NIKKOR 500 F4 VR2. When are you going to launch the latest version of your software supporting NIKON D500? Please let me know as I will purchase it online using your portal.
    With regards,
    Somdeb Biswas

    • Dave says:

      Hi Somdeb,

      Thanks for your interest in FoCal, D500 and D5 support is still in the works, expect to have an update to include this cameras within the next couple of weeks! 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

  14. Eric Cabrales says:

    Hi Rich,

    Please contact me when the new release is available.

    Thanks,
    Eric

  15. Gary says:

    Can’t wait for the update, keep reading update will be in a couple of weeks, but is that from when you first said it or the latest mention?

    Could you at least unlock the camera so we can upload images into to FoCal to do a semi auto focus check, all I get when attempting to upload is D500 not supported 🙁

  16. Rudi says:

    Hi Rich,

    on May 5th you wrote: The D500 and D5 code is all complete in FoCal now.

    6 weeks later you now say in the next couple of weeks…

    Would be great to have that cams without any other functions so far…

    Thanks, Rudi

  17. Gary Howells says:

    Ok, let me first say I’m not as technical as you guys. I have a d500 and have noticed that my sigma 120 – 400 will focus perfectly using the live view touch focus but not when I use the shutter or back af. So is there any point using the camera fine tune as its based on the live view function only ?

    • Dave says:

      Hi Gary,

      The camera calibration makes use of liveview but the intent / outcome is the calibrate the normal AF system (one used for shutter / back button).

      Best Regards,
      Dave

  18. Pete Farrell says:

    Any updated news on supporting the Nikon D5 yet?

  19. Charles Corrado says:

    Hi,
    I just purchased a Nikon D500 and I see for the past several months you have been saying an update is coming in a couple of weeks. I must assume that you ran into severe problems with this update. Do you have a new anticipated release date?
    Thanks for a great product.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Charles,

      Thank you for your interest in FoCal.

      Thank you for your patience. Always difficult to estimate how much work is required for adding a new camera(!). We’ve released today the new release for the D5/D500 on the blog: FoCal 2.1 D5 and D500 Support

      Best Regards,
      Dave

  20. Mirosław says:

    I know that this is the article about the newest Nikon babies, seems that everybody misses their support in FoCal but it also seems that the “C” gang has been a liitle bit forgotten but…

    Canon 1D-X Mk II support?

  21. joe says:

    still waiting for D500 support. what’s the latest on when we’ll see it?

  22. Rudi says:

    Hey guys, what about the D500 / D5 release?

  23. Nantha says:

    Still waiting for an update for use with D500. The auto AF fine tune on the D500 is terrible with results varying a lot each time the tuning is done. Holding off use of the D500 as my D810 performs way much better. Pls release an update quickly as I have been waiting since May.

  24. Guido de Kleijn says:

    Any chance the update for D5/D500 is there before august?

  25. non-white says:

    I am using NIKON D5300. When are you going to launch a version of your software supporting NIKON D5300?
    Best regards,

    • Dave says:

      Hi,

      Thank you for your interest in FoCal.

      Sadly Nikon did not grace that particular camera with the AF adjustment feature. There’s no way for a user to calibrate that camera with a lens and no ability to make the adjustment within the camera (whether using FoCal or some other method). Since the camera doesn’t allow user AF adjustment it won’t be recognised by FoCal and can’t be connected to the software.

      FoCal’s general policy is to support Canon and Nikon cameras that support AF fine tune adjustment, the page at http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/why/camera-compatibility/ provides a list of supported cameras.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Nikon D500 Automatic AF Fine Tune"
  1. […] locked down on a tripod for optimal results, of course. For more information on the process, this tutorial from FoCal is an excellent […]

  2. Nikon D500 | says:

    […] locked down on a tripod for optimal results, of course. For more information on the process, this tutorial from FoCal is an excellent […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*