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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Mon 27-Aug-12 06:36 PM
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"Back focusing"


Raleigh, US
          

I have a new D7000, and all four of my prime lenses are back focusing on it, requiring adjustments ranging from -8 to -20. This is repeatable and can be observed both in testing with a LensAlign Mk II and real world shots.

I am wondering what, if anything, I should do. I do not currently have another body on which to test the lenses, although I did test one of them previously on a D800 and it also back focused.

Is it common for lenses to have this problem? If all the lenses back focus, then is it likely that the body has a problem instead of the lenses?

I can think of a few options:

1. I can just enter the fine tuning data in the D7000 and try to forget about it.

2. I can return the D7000 for an exchange as it is still within the time limit.

3. I can pack up all of the lenses and the camera and send them to Nikon for calibration. I am not even sure if this option is realistic. Would they likely say the camera and lenses are within normal tolerance since the fune tuning brings in the focus?

Any suggestions?

Rocky

  

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ericbowles Moderator
27th Aug 2012
1
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phllrees
02nd Oct 2012
57
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Gamecocks Silver Member
28th Aug 2012
2
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pistnbroke
28th Aug 2012
3
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ericbowles Moderator
28th Aug 2012
4
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pistnbroke
28th Aug 2012
6
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Gamecocks Silver Member
28th Aug 2012
7
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pistnbroke
28th Aug 2012
9
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briantilley Moderator
28th Aug 2012
14
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pistnbroke
29th Aug 2012
15
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briantilley Moderator
29th Aug 2012
16
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Gamecocks Silver Member
29th Aug 2012
17
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Leonard62 Gold Member
28th Aug 2012
8
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pistnbroke
28th Aug 2012
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Leonard62 Gold Member
28th Aug 2012
12
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jadiniz
28th Aug 2012
5
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km6xz Moderator
28th Aug 2012
11
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RockyIII Gold Member
28th Aug 2012
13
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RockyIII Gold Member
30th Aug 2012
18
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pistnbroke
30th Aug 2012
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RLDubbya
30th Aug 2012
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30th Aug 2012
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Matthew Gregory Silver Member
30th Aug 2012
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30th Aug 2012
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elec164 Silver Member
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30th Aug 2012
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30th Aug 2012
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30th Aug 2012
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RockyIII Gold Member
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31st Aug 2012
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RockyIII Gold Member
30th Aug 2012
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RockyIII Gold Member
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01st Sep 2012
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01st Sep 2012
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01st Sep 2012
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11th Sep 2012
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RockyIII Gold Member
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08th Oct 2012
58
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RockyIII Gold Member
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11th Sep 2012
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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Mon 27-Aug-12 09:22 PM
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#1. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 0


Atlanta, US
          

Rocky

You've been at this a while and know the issues. I'd probably exchange the camera unless you have a Nikon Authorized repair location nearby.

If all your lenses are materially off in the same direction, it sounds like the camera may be out of spec. It could be a simple adjustment by a knowledgeable tech - but it could be an endless runaround. I'd probably just exchange the camera rather than deal with the issue.


Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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phllrees Registered since 24th Sep 2012Tue 02-Oct-12 10:57 AM
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#57. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 1


GB
          

Hi
Can someone tell me what back focus is so I can find out if I have as you see by the question I an new to this

Thanks
Phill

  

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Tue 28-Aug-12 02:38 AM
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#2. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 28-Aug-12 11:53 AM by Gamecocks

Joanna, US
          

I go along with Eric on returning the body as that will start you a new warranty period. If back focus happens again one could believe the lens are at fault. In either event, you have the option of sending in the body and lens for checking or trying the fine tune. Good luck.

John

Edit: Since you tested one lens (on another body) that showed back focus perhaps it is the lens.

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Tue 28-Aug-12 07:27 AM
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#3. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 2


GB
          

Its not a fault .NIkon have given you the ability to adjust the back focus to match the lens to the camera...would you rather not have this feature ....All pro video cameras have had a back focus adjust on the lens for years...

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Tue 28-Aug-12 10:01 AM
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#4. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 3


Atlanta, US
          

<Its not a fault .Nikon have given you the ability to adjust the back focus to match the lens to the camera...would you rather not have this feature ....All pro video cameras have had a back focus adjust on the lens for years...>

Do your cameras typically require calibration and adjustment for every lens? Mine don't. The camera is certainly not performing as designed.

Just because you can compensate for a defect does not mean you want a brand new camera that is not performing normally. You say it is not a fault - is missed focus really a feature of new cameras so you can try out the focus adjustment?

A replacement is readily available. Better to try another body and avoid the problem.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops - Smokies Oct 2012

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Tue 28-Aug-12 11:17 AM
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#6. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 4


GB
          

Its no a fault ..there are tolerances in the production of both the lens and the body and the adjustment is there to adjust for that ...just as swopping lenses on pro video cameras required the back focus to be adjusted so you now have that feature on a still camera...

  

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Tue 28-Aug-12 12:00 PM
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#7. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 6


Joanna, US
          

The fine adjustment is there to assist in getting the lens and body to work together and is a feature that is very helpful. However, when all lens have to be adjusted there has to be a reason. You may be able to correct the issue by using the adjustment but that doesn't mean you've corrected the cause. Until the cause is corrected you may have to adjust all future lens and that is not acceptable. Also, by adjusting the lens wouldn't a zoom lens possibly be out of focus somewhere within it's range of operation?

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Tue 28-Aug-12 01:30 PM
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#9. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 7


GB
          

its enevitable that all lenses will have to be adjusted as they will all have different production tolerances ..you may of course find some identical but still within the band of tolerance.

because we have a feature not previously available on film cameras means that some will mis understand it ..like I said cannon video lenses have had this built into the lens for 40 years ++

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Tue 28-Aug-12 10:59 PM
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#14. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 9


Paignton, GB
          

>its enevitable that all lenses will have to be adjusted as
>they will all have different production tolerances

No, it's not inevitable. I've owned something over 20 Nikkors and four Nikon DSLR's with the AF Fine Tune feature, and have not yet needed to use it once.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Wed 29-Aug-12 06:30 AM
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#15. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 14


GB
          

the resolution has now risen to a point where back focus errors are noticable whilst they were not 20 years ago..The lenses are "cheaper" with wider tolerance and from different makers ..so use the back focus..

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Wed 29-Aug-12 08:26 AM
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#16. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 15


Paignton, GB
          

AF Fine Tune can be very useful in the right circumstances, but is not automatically the best solution in all cases - Nikon themselves caution against using it indiscriminately.

In this case, Rocky's lenses (as listed in his profile) are Nikkors of relatively recent design. As they all require an adjustment in the same direction, it is likely that the camera itself needs adjustment.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Wed 29-Aug-12 12:21 PM
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#17. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 15


Joanna, US
          

I would disagree with your assumption that "lenses are cheaper" and "tolerances" are wider. Are you saying that today's lens are less expensive or cheaper in quality?
Manufacturing practices today are much better than they were years ago simply because of technological advancement and, therefore, tolerances can be not only better controlled but closer.
Thankfully the engineers at Nikon have addressed this issue as noted on page 246 in the manual. It is not a panacea, as your post suggest, but a useful tool.

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Tue 28-Aug-12 12:50 PM
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#8. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 6


US
          

>Its no a fault ..there are tolerances in the production of
>both the lens and the body and the adjustment is there to
>adjust for that ...just as swopping lenses on pro video
>cameras required the back focus to be adjusted so you now have
>that feature on a still camera...

Not true. Yes every design has tolerances and when parts are mated together the completed assembly must work properly. But the design is based around a zero tolerance model with the manufacturing and parts tolerances forming a bell curve to the right and to the left of nominal. A certain percentage of the parts within the curve are acceptable but the parts that fall at the tail ends of the curve are not and are either repaired or rejected. If everything falls to one end or the other the design or some part is out of tolerance and changes must be made.

I don't know anything about pro video cameras but I suspect that if every camera must be adjusted for back focus it is probably done on purpose and done to create a certain effect, maybe like Nikon's 105 and 135mm f2 DC lenses.

In any case for all 4 lenses to fall to one side outside of acceptable is a problem with the body.

Len

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Tue 28-Aug-12 01:34 PM
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#10. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 8


GB
          

ok len look at it this way ..if we forget your bell and make it a rectangle then any lens in that spec can be fitted and adjusted...so we make the lenses less well ..to a wider tolerance ..so we make them cheaper because we do not reject so many as out of spec ..we just adjust the camera....Video lens same as Photo lens ..matching the two.

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Tue 28-Aug-12 04:03 PM
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#12. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

Steve, I think at this point we can agree to disagree.

I think if your scenario is correct it points to sloppy design and manufacturing. I don't think Nikon falls in this category. I just think it's a difficult process to control on Nikon's more advanced cameras. They implemented the AF fine tuning in the bodies made after the D2 series and the D200. It is now implemented only on the D3 and D4 series, D300, D700, D800 and D7000. These are very advanced AF systems. They do not have AF fine tuning on the earlier bodies or current bodies including the D90, D3000 and D5000 series with more basic AF systems. I'm not basing my opinion as a photographer or user of Nikon equipment but as a design engineer, engineering manager, quality control manager and expert witness for my company over a 41 year career.

Len

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jadiniz Registered since 25th Dec 2010Tue 28-Aug-12 10:07 AM
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#5. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 3


Estoril, PT
          

Mine had the same problem. At the time I had four primes all requiring an adjustment between minus 15 and minus 20 (or more, if available).

Went for an adjustment at a Nikon repair center (body only), and came back so good I now have AF fine tuning turned off.

The fine tuning is to be used to calibrate isolated lens. Your body is obviously at fault here.

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Tue 28-Aug-12 03:44 PM
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#11. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 0


St Petersburg, RU
          

If you are confident the camera is at fault, but all else is working as expected, and have a Nikon warranty station close by, I would have that one adjusted since it is a minor adjustment to an otherwise good camera. Exchanging it begins a new round of variables. If fine tuned by the warranty station is done, even the lenses that you find acceptable now, will be better in all likelihood than a new one with normal production tolerances.

My D7000 was fine for the first 10,000 frames but suddenly when shooting an event, the wide angle lenses failed to focus well.I took it to the warranty station in Sacramento while visiting back home. Six days later, the camera was done, and I found out that what had been working well before was working even better after a careful calibration. A camera or any device with a known easy to adjust issue would probably be a better performing unit than a random replacement, although still within production tolerances.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Tue 28-Aug-12 04:16 PM
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#13. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 0


Raleigh, US
          

I really appreciate the comments. I am returning the camera today for exchange.

Steve, you may be correct about the necessity for fine tuning being normal. The problem is that in the D7000 User's Guide, Nikon states, "AF tuning is not recommended in most situations and may interfere with normal focus; use only when required."

You must agree that a user who has never done fine tuning is going to be wary after reading that statement. I would feel a lot better about using it if the statement was something like, "Every lens should be tested and tuned routinely for optimal AF performance."

The lenses in the range of -8 to -10 do not bother me as much as the one that still back focuses slightly even with an AF fine tune setting of -20. If the new replacement camera is no better, I think I will try sending that lens to Nikon service.

Rocky

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Thu 30-Aug-12 12:05 AM
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#18. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 13
Thu 30-Aug-12 12:05 AM by RockyIII

Raleigh, US
          

Ugh.

The replacement D7000 arrived today. I have not checked all of my lenses yet, but so far they need the same amount of fine tuning as before.

The next thing I am going to do is return the worst lens for exchange, as it is still within the time period.

Rocky

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Thu 30-Aug-12 06:47 AM
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#19. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 18


GB
          

dont see why its Ugh...you have adjusted the focus system to give you exact focus on the sensor chip....you have not really adjusted the back focus distance but matched the focus sensors in the cameara to the autofocus guts in the lens....whats bad about that

  

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RLDubbya Registered since 24th Dec 2011Thu 30-Aug-12 10:51 AM
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#20. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 18


US
          

If it was me, I'd probably just dial in the fine tune to fix the issue, and forget about it. I have one lens with a substantial amount of fine tune, it was a good experience for me to learn how to test and set it. Now that it's done, everything just works.

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Thu 30-Aug-12 10:54 AM
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#21. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 20


GB
          

Well said Dubbya ..lets go take some pictures !!

  

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Matthew Gregory Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Oct 2011Thu 30-Aug-12 11:46 AM
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#22. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 21


Glenwood, US
          

My camera went for service a month into ownership due to this failure. Some lenses could be compensated for, others not. Nikon service told me that, although there is definitely the ability to adjust for inconsistencies from lens to lens, IT SHOULD BE THE EXCEPTION, not the rule.

My camera was returned to me and required NO adjustment to work with ALL of my lenses. Why on earth would anyone accept even a chance of misalignment if it could be corrected mechanically - where the manufacturer intended?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Thu 30-Aug-12 12:06 PM
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#23. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 22


GB
          

it was not corrected mechanically ...they do not change the mount to sensor distance....the computer was adjusted ..remember although its called back focus you are adjusting the focus system of the camera to match that of the electronics in the lens....with a manual focus lens you cannot adjust the badly named back focus

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Thu 30-Aug-12 12:45 PM
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#24. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 23


US
          

>it was not corrected mechanically ...

I don't believe you can say that with absolute certainty.

It could be adjusted as you stated, or there is a secondary mirror that could become out of alignment that directs the light to the focus sensor. In that case it would be a mechanical adjustment.

As to back focus being a misnomer, it isn’t really. I suppose the actual defect should be properly termed as a miss calibration. But people generally describe it by which direction the miss calibration is occurring.

For my experience, out of 6 lenses that I own, 2 need Fine Focus Adjustments and the other 4 seem to work fine.

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Thu 30-Aug-12 12:51 PM
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#25. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 24


GB
          

adjustable back focus is a term that comes from the film industry where every lens had the ability for the whole lens group to be moved back and forth to match the exact mount to sensor distance ....set at infinity and unlock the screw and rotate to get perfect focus...

Matching the focus electronics in the camera to the lens electronics is not quite the same

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Thu 30-Aug-12 01:21 PM
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#26. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 25


Paignton, GB
          

These days, the term "back focus" is generally understood to refer to the situation where a camera and lens combination focuses at a point behind the intended target - the corresponding term for an error in the opposite direction being "front focus".

It will avoid confusion if we all stick with that definition here.

Thanks

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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RLDubbya Registered since 24th Dec 2011Thu 30-Aug-12 05:57 PM
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#27. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 21
Thu 30-Aug-12 06:05 PM by RLDubbya

US
          

>Well said Dubbya ..lets go take some pictures !!

Just to be clear: I'd do this now, after receiving another D7000 body and having a similar problem. If I just had the one body, and a problem, I would have proceeded as the OP did, and eliminated that variable.

However, eliminating that variable would be as much as back-and-forth as I personally am willing to do with any company. Again, that's just me.

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Thu 30-Aug-12 06:24 PM
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#28. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 20


Raleigh, US
          

I had one lens that still backfocused some even at -20. I sent it for an exchange. If you hear a scream tomorrow night, that will be me when the replacement lens is no better.

Rocky

  

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RLDubbya Registered since 24th Dec 2011Thu 30-Aug-12 06:31 PM
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#29. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 28


US
          

>I had one lens that still backfocused some even at -20. I
>sent it for an exchange. If you hear a scream tomorrow night,
>that will be me when the replacement lens is no better.
>
>Rocky

Ouch. What lens, if you don't mind me asking?

  

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pistnbroke Registered since 01st Jul 2012Thu 30-Aug-12 06:39 PM
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#30. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 29


GB
          

going to unsubscribe from this one as its just going in circles..the basic problem is you have an adjustment and many dont seem to want to use it ..bye

  

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N4TVC Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jul 2006Thu 30-Aug-12 10:28 PM
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#31. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 30


Burke, US
          

My secondary mirror was adjusted mechanically to correct a focus issue by Nikon service.

My lenses now require no correction.

Charles

  

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Matthew Gregory Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Oct 2011Thu 30-Aug-12 10:55 PM
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#32. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 31


Glenwood, US
          

That was my problem, as well.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Thu 30-Aug-12 11:30 PM
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#33. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 32


St Petersburg, RU
          

There are a number of mechanical and electronic variables that can impact focus, and as with all precision systems, there is occasional need for adjustment and calibration. The greater the precision the more likely that some tweaking will periodically need to be done.
Can anyone name a system that is as high of resolution as their camera that does not need calibration occasionally? I would be hard pressed to come up with one. It is a normal cost of ownership. Have it adjusted and start out with a clean slate again.
Getting a new one as a replacement just puts you back to square run \
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Thu 30-Aug-12 11:56 PM
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#34. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 32


Raleigh, US
          

Charles and Matthew,

What sort of settings were your lenses needing for AF fine tune before you sent your cameras for adjustment? Was it beyond +20 or -20 on some or all lenses? Did you send just your camera, or did you send lenses too?

Rocky

  

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Matthew Gregory Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Oct 2011Fri 31-Aug-12 01:23 AM
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#36. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 34


Glenwood, US
          

A 50mm f1.4D, a 35mm f1.8G, and a 24mm f2.8D. None of these could be used with acceptable results with or without AF fine tune until I sent the camera in for service, at any aperture setting. The closest I could get to acceptable was at +20 on the 50mm, and that was still not right.
None of my other lenses (85mm f1.8D, 60mm macro, 18-200vr2, and my friend's 35-70 f2.8, Tokina 11-16, 70-300 VR, 50mm f1.8G) needed any adjustment. ALL of them work perfectly now without requiring any AF fine tune - after the camera was serviced, of course.

I sent the 50 mm lens and the body, but only because I thought there was a problem with that lens, too.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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N4TVC Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jul 2006Fri 31-Aug-12 03:14 PM
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#37. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 34


Burke, US
          

Mine required + adjustments but not all the way to +20. Mine was adjusted while the Oil Spot problem was repaired. I did not send lenses because my lenses worked perfectly on my F5 and D70. Nikon made that adjustment on their own. I did not ask them to do so.

I posted the reply above because someone said there were no mechanical adjustments required. There are.

After the repair and adjustment, my lenses require no fine tuning.

Charles

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Thu 30-Aug-12 11:57 PM
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#35. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 29


Raleigh, US
          

Bob, a 10.5mm f/2.8G DX.

Rocky

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Sat 01-Sep-12 12:27 AM
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#38. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 35
Sat 01-Sep-12 12:28 AM by RockyIII

Raleigh, US
          

This doesn't make any sense to me.

The replacement 10.5mm f/2.8G, on the replacement D7000, is also back focusing. Even at -20 it still back focuses slightly. This is exactly what the previous lens and camera were doing.

It doesn't seem like rocket science, but maybe I'm doing something wrong. In addition to the LensAlign MkII, I've taken shots of a bookshelf and a brick wall, all with the same results. It focuses fine with live view but not with autofocus unless I go to -20.

Meanwhile, my 85mm f/1.8G focuses almost perfectly with no fine tuning. It might need -1 or -2 to be perfect, but that is nothing compared to -20.

Maybe I should just fine tune my lenses the best I can and use the camera for awhile before deciding about sending it in for calibration.

Rocky

  

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RLDubbya Registered since 24th Dec 2011Sat 01-Sep-12 12:49 AM
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#39. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 38


US
          

Rocky, is this behavior with the 85/1.8 different with this body than the last?

If so, then, I'm quite confused, and (although I know it's not rocket science, and you're a knowledgeable guy) I'd suggest digging into the testing protocol.

If the behavior with the 85/1.8 is the same on this body as the last, then I'd suggest sending the body, perhaps with the worst offending lens, into Nikon.

Note that I'd apply this same sort of criteria to the other lenses as well. That is, if I have consistent behavior across bodies (with minor deviation, but consistent minor deviation), I'd be packing it up and sending it in. But if I was getting inconsistent results, I would doubt my own testing methods.

Just my take on it - and sorry that you're going through this. I was really hoping you'd find a solution easier than all this.

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Sat 01-Sep-12 01:09 AM
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#40. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 39


Raleigh, US
          

Bob,

I just got the 85mm lens yesterday, so I did not test it on the first D7000. My 35mm lens is the same on both cameras. I have not tried my 50mm and 105mm lenses on the second D7000 yet.

If all lenses are the same on both cameras, that seems to rule out a bad camera, but it is difficult to believe all but one lens would need fine tuning when so many people say they never need to fine tune at all. Plus, two 10.5mm lenses both being so far out is also hard to believe.

I will do more testing this weekend.

Rocky

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Sat 01-Sep-12 01:11 AM
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#41. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 40
Sat 01-Sep-12 02:40 AM by RockyIII

Raleigh, US
          

If a camera and lens focus perfectly fine with live view but not with autofocus, does that indicate whether the problem lies with the camera or the lens?

Rocky

  

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jadiniz Registered since 25th Dec 2010Sat 01-Sep-12 08:01 AM
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#43. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 41


Estoril, PT
          

>If a camera and lens focus perfectly fine with live view but
>not with autofocus, does that indicate whether the problem
>lies with the camera or the lens?
>
>Rocky

No such conclusion is possible.

http://egozarolho.blogspot.com
1. Good content, good aesthetics and good tecnique. On that order.
2. Light is more important than glass and pixels.
3. In the digital photography process, software is as important as gear.

  

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Sat 01-Sep-12 01:57 PM
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#44. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 41


Joanna, US
          

Hi Rocky,

I could be mistaken but not long ago there was a thread regarding this and I believe it was determined that there is a difference in how live view focuses compared to autofocus.

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Sat 01-Sep-12 02:32 PM
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#45. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 44
Sat 01-Sep-12 02:36 PM by elec164

US
          

>I believe it was determined that there is a
>difference in how live view focuses compared to autofocus.
>

Yes there is a difference in that Live View uses the imaging sensor to focus so there are no elements involved that can become out of alignment. Viewfinder focus uses a separate sensor that uses a double image and measures the phase difference that has elements that can become misaligned.

Live View sacrifices focus speed for focus accuracy whereas Viewfinder focus sacrifices accuracy for speed. As such in general Live View focus will be more accurate on a consistent basis than Viewfinder focus.

Being that the errant lens since the body swap is the fish eye, I wonder how it was determined that there is a back focus. I mean at 10.5mm, even wide open at f/2.8 the hyper focal distance is around 6.5 feet. So at nominal print sizes and viewing distances everything should appear relatively sharp.

Another possibility is field curvature.

Would it be possible for you to provide a sample image using the LensCal and the 10.5mm lens?

Just the curious troubleshooter in me!!!

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Sat 01-Sep-12 07:20 PM
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#46. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 45
Sat 01-Sep-12 07:28 PM by RockyIII

Raleigh, US
          

Pete,

At a subject distance of about six inches, I think the depth of field of the 10.5mm lens at f/2.8 is about an inch, and at a distance of 10 inches it is about two and a half inches. However, your comment made me realize that I will be very unlikely to use this lens at that distance and aperture, so perhaps I am creating a problem for myself when there isn't one.

If field curvature is involved, wouldn't that also show up when focusing with live view?

I am going to review and tighten up my testing procedure, taking into consideration the actual use of each lens, and redo all the tests.

Rocky

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Mon 03-Sep-12 01:20 PM
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#49. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 46
Mon 03-Sep-12 01:22 PM by elec164

US
          

>Pete,
>
>If field curvature is involved, wouldn't that also show up
>when focusing with live view?
>

Perhaps, I just threw that out there as a possibility. I know just enough to make myself dangerous!!

I learned about this when I was testing my 17-55. I thought that my alignment was off a bit in that the center looked dead on but the left side looked back focused and the right side looked front focused. That's when I discovered about field curvature and that many lens designs try and correct, but change the curve to a squiggly line.

Another thing I noticed is that at shorter focal lengths, the variability of phase Detection AF was greater than longer focal lengths. And there was a variation when comming from infinity inward, or closest focus outward.

Bottom line for me is that self testing of the lens and body for focus accuracy is difficult at best!

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jadiniz Registered since 25th Dec 2010Sat 01-Sep-12 08:00 AM
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#42. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 40


Estoril, PT
          

Don't disregard the possibility of receiving two cameras with the same problem, just because everything looks the same with this body that doesn't quite rule out camera problem. There were /are many D7000 out there miscalibrated.

http://egozarolho.blogspot.com
1. Good content, good aesthetics and good tecnique. On that order.
2. Light is more important than glass and pixels.
3. In the digital photography process, software is as important as gear.

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Sat 08-Sep-12 06:50 PM
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#52. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 38


Raleigh, US
          

After further testing, here are my fine tuning values:

12-24mm f/4G. . . . 0
35mm f/1.8G . . . . -8
50mm f/1.8G . . . .-10
85mm f/1.8G . . . . -5
85mm f/3.5G . . . . 0

I returned the second 10.5mm lens and have not tried another one yet.

Rocky

  

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RLDubbya Registered since 24th Dec 2011Tue 11-Sep-12 09:53 AM
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#54. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 52


US
          

Assuming that you've shot some with these values set, and that you're pleased with the IQ? If so, is this acceptable behavior to you?

(I'd be OK with it, especially considering everything you've tried.)



>After further testing, here are my fine tuning values:
>
>12-24mm f/4G. . . . 0
>35mm f/1.8G . . . . -8
>50mm f/1.8G . . . .-10
>85mm f/1.8G . . . . -5
>85mm f/3.5G . . . . 0
>
>I returned the second 10.5mm lens and have not tried another
>one yet.
>
>Rocky

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Tue 11-Sep-12 10:57 AM
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#56. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 54


Raleigh, US
          

Bob,

So far so good. As we all know, the autofocus system is not perfect, but with the fine tuning I think I am getting the best I can from my camera and lenses.

Rocky

  

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EYeye Registered since 16th Sep 2012Mon 08-Oct-12 12:14 AM
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#58. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 20


US
          

>If it was me, I'd probably just dial in the fine tune to fix
>the issue, and forget about it. I have one lens with a
>substantial amount of fine tune, it was a good experience for
>me to learn how to test and set it. Now that it's done,
>everything just works.
>
>
What was the procedure for checking for back focus that you used? I have a D600, so perhaps my adjustment procedure is different, but I wonder how to check accurately for back focus. I THINK I see some on my 50mm 1.4 G, but not 70-300mm 3.5/4.5 VR or 70-200 2.8 VRII. I do not see it on my DX lenses (bought the 50 used from local dealer).

Single point focus is better for me on that lens than multi point focusing, and d9 better than d39. Haven't tried d21 much yet.

Focused on stamens, and it looks to me like leaves behind that point are in best focus.


Same, look at left stems and leaves which seem to me more in focus than the bloom.

What do y'all think? Is this backfocus?

EYeye

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Mon 03-Sep-12 05:21 AM
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#47. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 0


Raleigh, US
          

Those you who say none of your lenses require fine tuning, have you done testing with the LensAlign, LensCal, other target, or are you basing your statements on the fact that your everyday photos are in good focus?

Based on my own experience, I am thinking ignorance is bliss.

Rocky

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Mon 03-Sep-12 12:29 PM
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#48. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 47


US
          

>Based on my own experience, I am thinking ignorance is bliss.
>

It is sometimes!! LOL

I have watched numerous threads about this since joining Nikonians many years ago, and even participated in a few.

Until a few months back, I was under the impression you should only fine-tune for specific reasons as Nikon suggests. That is until I got the new Sigma 50-150 f/2.8. Although to be fair I was never happy with the 18-105 I got with the D7000.


I used the much hated 45 degree angle chart to check the 18-105 and felt it back focused, but never tried fine tuning it and just chauled it up to a bad copy. After all my 3 other lenses were fine ( Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 with the 70-300 VR and Tamron 90 macro).

I acquired the Bigma next and that also appeared fine. But then I bought the Sigma 50-150 and noticed that it was really soft at 50mm but seemed to clean up nicely once zoomed out. That was until I tested it with a flat resolution target on a wall. I have since fine tuned both the 18-105 and 50-150 and have changed my opinion on when and how to use fine tuning.

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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N4TVC Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jul 2006Mon 03-Sep-12 01:52 PM
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#50. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 47


Burke, US
          

Rocky, I was using another ISO target, and then even tried the 45 degree angle idea with yet another target. I tried adjusting (fine tuning) focus on 3 different Nikkors and could not improve on the default "0" setting. All of this is after Nikon Service on Long Island repaired my camera.

In my case, ignorance would have been bliss

Charles

  

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J_Harris Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Mar 2011Mon 03-Sep-12 03:12 PM
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#51. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 47
Mon 03-Sep-12 03:25 PM by J_Harris

US
          


>Those you who say none of your lenses require fine tuning,
>have you done testing with the LensAlign, LensCal, other
>target, or are you basing your statements on the fact that
>your everyday photos are in good focus?
>
>Based on my own experience, I am thinking ignorance is bliss.
>
>Rocky



Exactly, that is why I have no interest in using LensAlign, et al. I made a decision long ago that bliss will be in the results of my printed photographs - not 100% enlargements on my computer screen and using focus test charts - too much frustration otherwise.

I am sympathetic to your dilemma, wish you luck, and hope you find a satisfactory solution.

Jerry

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ricwawa Registered since 20th Apr 2012Tue 11-Sep-12 06:27 AM
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#53. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 51


US
          

did you send both your lens and camera together back to Nikon for calibration?
I have heard a few cases about the D7k focus problem already. I also use D7k. My 70-200vr2, 35 1.8 and 50 1.8g lens are spot on, but all the 1.4G lens require fine tune.

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Tue 11-Sep-12 10:55 AM
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#55. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 53


Raleigh, US
          

Rick,

I had a D800 with the left autofocus problem, and I sent that to Nikon for calibration. It came back fine, but I still had lenses that had to be fine tuned.

I did not send in any lenses or my D7000. I exchanged the D7000, and the second one is about the same. I decided to fine tune the lenses and forget about it unless a problem comes up with real world photographs. I'm weary of testing.

Rocky

  

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NDGraham Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2007Sun 14-Oct-12 01:41 PM
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#59. "RE: Back focusing"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 14-Oct-12 01:44 PM by NDGraham

Dorval (Montreal), CA
          

I have read just about all the things that folks are writing about here with the D7000. I've had mine for 10 months and taken 2 courses on the use of the D7K. I've also taken mine into Nikon for servicing to see if my suspicions about back focussing were real or not. When I got my D7K back from Nikon, I was told they had not been able to adjust anything better than it already was. They said the camera was doing the best it was designed to do. I took a couple of shots with my 17-55 f/2.8 at the service counter and they were very sharp. The rep at the counter said that sometimes resetting the camera makes a difference. This intrigued me since I had done the exercise of setting AF Fine Tune for all my lenses. So I experimented more and found that if I turned OFF AutoISO 3200, used Matrix single point auto focussing, DL Normal, Fine Tune Optimal Exposure set to -1 and other settings, I could get sharp photos depending on the focal length of each particular zoom lens. I also knew that Live View always autofocussed more sharply than the viewfinder.
So the AF puzzle continues for the D7K. When it works well, the photos are better than I can get off my D300. When it doesn't focus sharply, it's a pain.

Neill
Proud to be a Montreal Nikonian
http://picasaweb.google.com/NeillDGraham

  

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