Go to a  "printer friendly" view of this message which allow an easy print Printer-friendly copy Go to the page which allows you to send this topic link and a message to a friend Email this topic to a friend
Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #4749
View in linear mode

Subject: "D5100 back focusing! " Previous topic | Next topic
Cruch Registered since 22nd Nov 2011Tue 22-Nov-11 08:43 PM
9 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
"D5100 back focusing! "


CA
          

Darn!!

I never had this problem with my Rebel XT and T3i but for the first time experienced this 'phenomena' with my new D5100. I just found out what it's called! Darn! Bought the camera used in mint condition. At least it's in warranty luckily. Many sell this model used when they purchase it for video and it doesn't have the manual settings they would like..

When we were looking over the pictures of a wedding we attended, my wife took many pics with the AF-S 35mm 1.8g at f1.8 (dark hall). We noticed that when reviewing pics, all the focus was behind the subjects.

I then made some time now to play around with the camera and sure enough, you focus on the eye ball, the ear ends up being in focus every time.

We tried every focus mode, different distances, etc, etc. Basically at f3.2 (optimal sharpness f range for this lens), the ear will be in focus when you focus on the eye. It does this maybe 80% of the time.

I had the shutter at 1/250 and flash. It definitely wasn't shake or a settings issue. It just reliably focuses on the ear, rather than the eye which from what I'm reading is 'classic back focusing'.

Maybe you guys should try it yourselves if you have the AF-S 35mm f1.8g. Might be fun.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
briantilley Moderator
22nd Nov 2011
1
Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
DavidN4 Silver Member
22nd Nov 2011
2
Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
Cruch
23rd Nov 2011
5
     Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
blw Moderator
08th Dec 2011
14
Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
blw Moderator
23rd Nov 2011
3
Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
Cruch
23rd Nov 2011
4
     Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
briantilley Moderator
23rd Nov 2011
6
     Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
Cruch
24th Nov 2011
7
          Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
Len Shepherd Gold Member
24th Nov 2011
8
          Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
briantilley Moderator
24th Nov 2011
10
               Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
Cruch
25th Nov 2011
11
                    Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
briantilley Moderator
25th Nov 2011
12
                    Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
Mik3ymomo
07th Dec 2011
13
                    Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
hemi49er
12th Dec 2011
15
     Reply message RE: D5100 back focusing!
blw Moderator
24th Nov 2011
9

briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Tue 22-Nov-11 10:00 PM
28328 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#1. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 0


Paignton, GB
          

If your camera/lens focuses correctly 20% of the time (which is what I think you are saying), then you probably don't have a true "backfocus" problem.

My 35mm f/1.8DX does not have any focus problems when used on my wife's D3100 - or on my D300.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

DavidN4 Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Nov 2011Tue 22-Nov-11 10:27 PM
263 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#2. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 0


Johns Creek, US
          

I have the D5100 and the 35mm 1.8, and have not had that issue even one time so far. I use the matrix metering 99% of the time.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Cruch Registered since 22nd Nov 2011Wed 23-Nov-11 08:29 PM
9 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#5. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 2


CA
          

Look close up at your cat picture. You'll see the tip of the cats nose in focus.

This is the sort of thing I'm talking about.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 08-Dec-11 10:59 AM
26302 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#14. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 5


Richmond, US
          

For the record, the cat's nose is what is in focus - but even in the worst case, that's not a demonstration of back focus. If anything, it would be front focus, as there is absolutely nothing between cat and camera - so it couldn't possibly have focused on something in front, then erroneously "back" focused onto the nose.

I didn't check for the AF point indicator, but having done this more than once myself, IF this is an error, it's almost certainly a user error, not a fault in the camera or lens.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 23-Nov-11 07:43 AM
26302 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#3. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

This doesn't sound like back focus at all. Certainly not "classic" back focus. Please post one of the offending images, it will be easier to diagnose what went wrong.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

    
Cruch Registered since 22nd Nov 2011Wed 23-Nov-11 08:26 PM
9 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#4. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 3


CA
          

I did take some pics and took some focus measurements using a chart and sure enough it's back focusing. It also does this 100% of the time during further inspection on my computer. This explains the 'nikon softness' people talk about.

I went to Best Buy and got ANOTHER lens at another location with a serial number that was in a lot different than mine and sure enough it does the exact same thing which means it's a Nikon AF issue potentially.

Again, grab your 35mm lens, focus on an eyeball, and then see if the eyeball, or ear lobe is in focus.

I'll post the crops up later..

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 23-Nov-11 08:46 PM
28328 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#6. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 4


Paignton, GB
          


>This explains the 'nikon softness' people talk about.

Which people? Those who actually know what they are talking about don't use such a phrase. Many of the complaints about unsharpness we've seen here have proved to be down to something else.

So, are you sure you have an actual problem? If so please post some examples with details of your camera settings, and we will try to help you overcome it.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

            
Cruch Registered since 22nd Nov 2011Thu 24-Nov-11 09:06 AM
9 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#7. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 6
Thu 24-Nov-11 09:06 AM by Cruch

CA
          

You can see my post here for documented proof this is an issue:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1034&thread=39917592

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                
Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Thu 24-Nov-11 10:20 AM
12722 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#8. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 7


Yorkshire, GB
          

>You can see my post here for documented proof this is an issue:
>http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1034&thread=39917592
Are you sure this is "documented proof"?
Sure you have some issues with AF sometimes not being where you want it, but that is not necessarily front or back focus in the sense you mean.
You are likely to be using an outer AF point - which is not as efficient with some targets as the central cross type sensor.
I do not own a D5100 but the information in this Nikon link is in your camera instruction book https://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4585
The link explains fine texture targets and low contrast light (the eyebrows and lighting of your face shots are similar) can make AF unreliable and manual focus can sometimes be more accurate.
The link also mentions details at different distances in the AF area (as in your 45 degree target) can also cause poor focus. This target is known to sometimes wrongly indicate back focus starting from infinity, and front focus starting from minimum focus.
All camera, including Canon, use AF systems which are not infallible and sometimes focus at an unexpected distance.
Sorry - whether your camera is faulty or good cannot be determined from your "documented proof" - your "proof" is based only on subjects where AF may not be accurate.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                
briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 24-Nov-11 11:12 AM
28328 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#10. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 7


Paignton, GB
          

It's interesting that - amongst all the "noise" common at sites like DPR - your post attracted some responses that questioned whether you actually want to solve the problem or just rant about it.

You'll find that ranting doesn't go down too well at Nikonians. If you DO want to solve this problem, please post some examples here - with full shooting data. Without that we can't do anything to help you.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                    
Cruch Registered since 22nd Nov 2011Fri 25-Nov-11 08:09 AM
9 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#11. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 10


CA
          

I'm serious about fixing the problem:



I'm not trying to act as an employee for Nikon. I'm not on their pay roll and not here to defend them. I'm here to be honest and impartial.

I'm trying to get the thing to take pictures properly like any other camera. The last thing left to do is try another camera which I might do tommorow and report back results.

I also am going to adjust back focus manually using a hex screw and see how it turns out as I'm essentially on my own as I can not rely on the online community who are not interested in camera's taking pictures, but rather defending a brand name.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                        
briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Fri 25-Nov-11 08:53 AM
28328 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#12. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 11
Fri 25-Nov-11 08:59 AM by briantilley

Paignton, GB
          


>The last thing left to do is try another camera which I might do
>tomorrow and report back results.

If you do that, please report back with images and shooting data, not just your conclusions. Then we might be able to help.

>I also am going to adjust back focus manually using a hex screw
>and see how it turns out.

I would not recommend that approach, even if it is possible outside a service centre. Until you know where the problem actually lies, it could easily make things worse - especially if you don't know what you are doing. That's not a personal criticism - I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to tinkering with a camera's critical innards, and I've been using SLR's for 40 years...

>I can not rely on the online community who are not interested
>in cameras taking pictures...

I think Brian's post below shows that, at least at Nikonians, we ARE interested in taking good pictures

...but rather defending a brand name.

I don't think anyone here is blind to possible faults - we recognise that you might have a problem of some kind: with your camera, lens, technique or testing setup. But... we justifiably feel the need to put the record straight when someone takes an individual problem and turns it into generalised and unsupported statements about "Nikon softness".

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                        
Mik3ymomo Registered since 30th Apr 2007Wed 07-Dec-11 08:59 PM
224 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#13. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 11


Mount Laurel, US
          

>I'm serious about fixing the problem:
>
>
>
>I'm not trying to act as an employee for Nikon. I'm not on
>their pay roll and not here to defend them. I'm here to be
>honest and impartial.
>
>I'm trying to get the thing to take pictures properly like any
>other camera. The last thing left to do is try another camera
>which I might do tommorow and report back results.
>
>I also am going to adjust back focus manually using a hex
>screw and see how it turns out as I'm essentially on my own as
>I can not rely on the online community who are not interested
>in camera's taking pictures, but rather defending a brand
>name.


I do not buy only Nikon photography products and I am in no way endorsing one product or the other. What I see is a fundamental problem with your understanding of the technology and how to trouble shoot it correctly. It may well be a hardware problem.... your conclusion is yet baseless because of your techniques or lack there of for solving it.

I also see you have convinced yourself you already understand the problem and do not want to muddy up your conclusion with false explanations from what you consider Fanboys of the Brand that would argue user error instead.

I understand your frustration but you are jumping to conclusions and have yet to give these guys what they asked for to try and help you sort out the issue with proven techniques and decades of experience using the technology.

In the end you need to do what it is that you think will make you happy. If the solution in your mind is to head over to the dealer and pick yourself out a trusted Canon body then I think you are well on your way to solving this back focus problem once and for all.

D300, 12-24mm f4, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm F2.8 VR, 60mm F2.8 Micro, AF-s, 300mm F4 AF-S
Manfrotto 3021PRO/322RC2 Grip Ball Head
Sold: D200, 18-200mm 80-400mm VR, 24mm F2.8D
www.flickr.com/mik3ymomo

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

                        
hemi49er Registered since 20th Nov 2011Mon 12-Dec-11 07:02 AM
4 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#15. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 11


Merced, US
          

I am a relative newbie here, much like yourself. I read through this thread as well as the one at DPreview and I was take back by your sensitivity, and the willingness to accuse.

Troubleshooting problems is a pain in the butt, regardless of brand. I too like others would lean toward suggesting you stick with Canon products, as clearly you either have a problem with the Nikon brand, or you are predisposed to Canon - and there is nothing wrong with that for sure.

In the future though, you might want to avoid the over-reaction and name calling as it takes away from the topic - I saw no evidence of anyone wanting to make this personal except for you.

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

        
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 24-Nov-11 11:01 AM
26302 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profileClick to send message via AOL IM
#9. "RE: D5100 back focusing! "
In response to Reply # 4


Richmond, US
          

> This explains the 'nikon softness' people talk about.

Is this one representative of Nikon's "famous" softness?



And I guess this image does too?



And what about this "classic" "Nikon" "back focus?" Focus is on the eyes - it didn't focus on the ears, did it?



And that softness isn't limited to expensive cameras and lenses:



That one was with a $250 camera and $99 lens. This one is with the 18-55 kit lens:


_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)
Attachment #4, (jpg file)
Attachment #5, (jpg file)

  

Alert Printer-friendly copy | Reply | Reply with quote | Top

Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #4749 Previous topic | Next topic


Take the Nikonians Tour and learn more about being a Nikonian Wiki /FAQ /Help Listen to our MP3 photography radio channels Find anything on Nikon and imaging technology - fast!

Copyright © Nikonians 2000, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Nikonians®, NikoScope® and NikoniansAcademy™ are trademarks owned by Nikonians.org.
Nikon®, Nikonos® and Nikkor® are registered trademarks of Nikon Corporation.