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Focus Calibration

Are you struggling with the focus accuracy of your DSLR? Restore your image quality with a Fixation focus calibration. See below for prices and turnaround times, along with further details about the service we provide.

As any photographer will know, the sharpness of your focus has a huge impact on your final shot, especially apparent on high-resolution sensors. DSLR auto-focus sensors are separate from the imaging CMOS sensor so there can be a variation between the distance from lens to AF sensor vs lens to CMOS. This variation can cause the AF to lock on even if the image recorded is slightly soft.

Our new focus calibration service matches bodies to lenses for optimal focus performance using FoCal software and the AF fine tune options built into your camera.

Focus calibration procedure

The Fixation calibration service starts with a thorough professional sensor-clean that cleans the sensor, mirror and mirror-box assembly. Dust in the mirror box area can interfere with the auto focus performance and we need a clean slate to start testing and adjusting. Our technicians go the extra mile to ensure the most accurate tests, undertaking the following steps each time:

  • Take test images to establish level and location of dust
  • Clean the mirror box area, including the underside of the focus screen
  • Clean the sensor
  • Clean front and rear elements of lenses
  • Upgrade your camera to the latest firmware
  • Check lenses and cameras for any faults before calibration
  • Test each lens and adjust AF fine-tuning using Fo-Cal calibration software
  • Email focus performance report with a record of adjustments made

Please note that we may change your camera settings whilst we perform sensor cleaning. Please read our T&Cs for further info. Before and after tests may not show dramatic improvements in focus performance when shooting wide open as many lenses are softer at their widest apertures.

How does focus calibration work?

Focus calibration is an adjustment to correct front focus or back focus. This is where the sharp area of your image falls just in front of, or just behind, where you intended to focus. Calibration tells the camera that for a specific lens the focus should be pushed back or forwards a little to compensate for this inaccuracy. Canon calls this setting AF micro adjustment while Nikon calls it AF fine tune. We test each of the lenses you supply with each of your camera bodies at every focus adjustment position to identify the best focus position for each camera and lens combination.

How often should I have my cameras and lenses calibrated?

We are often asked how often servicing and calibration is needed. There is no one answer to this question as it depends on the frequency of use and working environment that your camera is exposed to. Subtle changes in image sharpness can build up over time, we recommend you keep track of your camera’s performance by comparing images with a similar shoot that you did in the past. Remember that the adjustment is specific to each camera and lens combination so you may experience different results using one lens on different camera bodies.

Focus calibration prices

One body with up to 2 lenses: £80 + VAT
One body with up to 5 lenses: £130 + VAT
Two bodies with up to 5 lenses £208 + VAT
Extra lenses: £25 + VAT

Our Focus Calibration is available at Manchester and London.

For more info contact admin@fixationuk.com or call us in London on 020 7582 3294 or in Manchester on 0161 274 4455

Which models can be calibrated?

We can calibrate Nikon and Canon DSLR bodies which have the AF-fine tune option.

Full Frame
Crop Frame
Full Frame
Crop Frame
D5, D4, D4sD500, D300/s1D X, 1D X Mk II1D Mk III/IV
D3, D3s, D3XD7200, D75001Ds Mk III7D, 7D Mk II
D700, D750, D800/E, D810/A, D850D7000, D71005D Mk II/III/IV50D, 70D, 80D, 90D
D600, D610, Df 5Ds, 5Ds R, 6D/II 

Please note: We are only able to calibrate focus on cameras with the AF fine-tune menu option and a working USB port. If the camera USB port is not functioning we will have to estimate to repair the port. We do have the facilities to service and adjust other bodies as part of our full repair service. Find out more on our repairs pages for Canon and Nikon.