« | Blog Home | »

A Few Sunday Thoughts: Auto-Focus Lens Calibration and ComicCon

I am in the last month of finishing up my apps and my blogging has fallen into a deep crevasse since April. I suck. Go look at my Flickr or Twitter for visual and textual updates. Will resume normal service once my apps are submitted.
In the meantime, a couple of thoughts from the weekend:
1) Auto-Focus Lens Calibration: Ever since I bought my Nikon D800 and a few new lenses, I have been surprised how my cheap, $120 nifty fifty Nikon 50mm 1.8D lens has repeatedly shot great, sharp photos but that my ‘good’, expensive lenses have been a little soft in their focus.
Last week over at The Mansurov’s photography, Bob V blogged on “Nikon D800 – Cavier, Sardines, or … Spam?“, of which I am not experiencing a soft left focus on my Nikon D800 but the article did bring to my attention that one could purchase a Datacolor Spyder LensCal and calibrate one’s lenses at home.
That is what I did today, as the Datacolor Spyder LensCal (link includes a how-to video) arrived on Friday afternoon. As I expected, my Nikon 50mm 1.8D lens was pretty close to spot on with only a tiny bit of Auto-Focus fine tuning needed (-2), but my other lenses needed between -4 and -12 in fine tuning their focus. I was very pleased with the sharpness of focus that my Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 lens was able to achieve after calibration, but my 50mm 1.4G and 85mm 1.8D remained a bit soft even with calibration and the 85mm has a chromatic aberration issue.
I will not bore you with the tiny details or with the photos that I took to complete the calibration, but I need to do some research to see if the 85mm 1.8D lens is known to have a color shift or does the lens need to go to Nikon servicing.
2) While I am a Sci-Fi/Fantasy book fan and have been so since my late childhood/early teens, I am not a big comic book person nor do I watch TV or Sci-Fi movies. When I first heard of ComicCon and found out that it was not for Sci-Fi book readers also but for comics and film fans, I was a bit sad but happy for my friends who do love comics and film to have their own Con to go to. Other than a few dips into Pern and Discworld Muus and Mudds in the early 90s, I have not found myself involved in any fanfiction, roleplaying, and Con worlds. I spent most of the 90s and early 2000s heavily immersed in music worlds.
Thus when I get asked every year around this time if I am going to ComicCon and I demure, I usually get nods from my friends who are vets of the Con and bewildered expressions from folks who only know about it from the evening news. The second group usually says, “But you like weird hair and dress, you are artsy, AND you are a geek, shouldn’t you go?”
I will leave it for my friends for whom it is the highlight of their year.
Speak of friends, BEST. PHOTO. EVER. of Christopher Schmitt taken by Arianne from this weekend at ComicCon 2012:
meeting Zombie @teleject for the Joss Whedon panel