Autofocus Calibration

Autofocus Calibration


Focus makes all the difference in a photograph.  A sharpened image dose not have the resolution as an image that starts sharp.

Better focus is easy to demonstrate to your customer, especially if the model has live view.  Anytime a manual focused image is sharper then its AF counterpart the camera needs autofocus calibration.  When you do comparison tests on each AF sensor it’s not unusual to find one or more sensors that need calibration.

There is a caveat however, low quality lens like the ones sold in kits aren’t good enough to see an appreciable difference.  Cheap lens will either be soft or erratically soft  But you can show a difference on these bodies using your Test Lens, demonstrating the dormant capabilities in your customer’s camera bodies.  Even taking a passive approach works, customers complain all the time about soft or erratic focus.


With the release of the Canon 7D Advanced Software on March 8, 2012.  Autofocus calibration entered a new phase …….. AUTOMATED AUTOFOCUS CALIBRATION!  These features will be included in all Advanced versions from the 7D forward.

To view Autofocus Functions click on their Tabs Below.



To view Autofocus Functions for the Canon 7D and latter releases click on the Tabs Below.



Autofocus divides into three categories and has six parts:

Autofocus Categories

  • Calibrating your Test Lens
  • Calibrating the Body
  • Calibrating the Lens

Autofocus Calibration has six parts.

  • Backup
  • Calibrate Test Lens
  • Sensor Output
  • Enable Sensors
  • AF Shift
  • Lens AF Shift

Autofocus calibration holds big potential for camera repair shops.  It is a common complaint and can be a very in-demand local service.  It is also a service independents can offer which is better then factory service ….. Read more.

 It’s not as time consuming or as difficult as it sounds once you gain a little experience.  Frankly we have heard from all sides and … you can’t tell.  Techs experienced in autofocus calibration find it routine.  Inexperienced techs either find a learning curve or fall into it like a duck to water and do the first AF job in 30 minutes.  In the end the benchmark is easy to understand, sharp images.  It is all about the image!

You will gain all the experience you need when you celibate your test lens.


Tools Needed:

  • Test Lens.  Calibrated through the software, typically 50mm F/1.8
  • Target.  Printed through the software
  • 45-degree bench for the target. Simple carpenter angles work great.
  • Optical Bench. This can be an actual optical bench, or clever substitute. This can be a professional copy stand.  This can also be a tripod and some kind of alignment method.


A couple of spin offs:

  • Checking dust on AF Sensors
  • Quality checking a lens optical / mechanical system
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