Firmware 1.0.2 AF improvements

1. Introduction

Recently Nikon issued a new firmware release (1.0.2). In the list of changes improved subject tracking performance for AF-C is mentioned. On dpreview forums, several people mention also improved AF-S performance. As usual on those forums, such statements create a lot of fuzz because of claims made without any backup.  Time for a small experiment


2. Experiment

Reikan’s Focal Calibration Tool can be used to check focus consistency of a camera-lens combination. The tool allows to use any target at wish. WIth many targets (e.g. Reikan’s own target, Tom Hogan’s target, ISO target, a simple line etc.) the consistency of focus reaches figure that are > 96% using my D800 and 24-70@50mmf2.8. 

When I use a specific book as a target, the consistency drops to 92-93% (repeating tests). After performing a firmware update on the tripod, and under the exact same circumstances, the consistency increases to 97-98%. 

Typical results FW 1.0.1:



Typical results FW 1.0.2 (scale is different):



Impression of what the central AF point sees as a target:


This gives a very strong indication that AF-S consistency has been improved with this firmware update. Further tests will follow. 


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