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Sharp focusing issues...

mwelsford

CA
7 posts

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mwelsford Registered since 30th Sep 2012
Sun 30-Sep-12 02:20 AM

I was shooting a fall session with a few local family friends this weekend and when I got home to review my photos I realized that the focus on the individuals was off. I've had focusing issues with my new D7000 which I shoot 90% of the time with a 50-155mm tokina f2.8
I even shot with a tripod and sitting between f5.6 to f8 for the majority of the day I still had issues. I always lock onto the faces if at a distance and an eye if closer. I feel as though something is off in some menu somewhere. There is no shake and the shutter speeds are up enough. Really needing help with this focusing issue.
The long and short of it is this: I aim at their face and the hay bails are in focus yet they are not. I know how this sounds but I must be missing something.

Patrick604

US
85 posts

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#1. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 0

Patrick604 Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Jun 2012
Sun 30-Sep-12 12:38 AM

That sounds very frustrating! What focus mode were you using? Auto or manual? Single shot or continuous? Did you select the focus sensor, or was the camera in auto select? How far away was your subject?

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mwelsford

CA
7 posts

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#2. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 1

mwelsford Registered since 30th Sep 2012
Sun 30-Sep-12 12:54 AM

Thanks for the response! I was in auto...continuous....center focus sensor (which I use almost exclusively) and not sure how many feet away but was around maybe 50 feet away. I was zoomed sitting at the 100mm range on my lens. Small correction in my initial post; I have a 50-135mm 2.8. Not 155...not that this affects much, just thought I'd clear that up.

RLDubbya

US
553 posts

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#3. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 0

RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011
Sun 30-Sep-12 10:36 AM

Where is the focus actually set in your pictures? You can evaluate this in camera (Menu - Playback Menu - Display Options) and turning focus point on. You can also evaluate in Nikons Capture Software (you have to buy a license for this, but I believe Nikon allows a free download and 30 day trial).

It could be that the focus is just getting set to the wrong place.


If that is the case, try other focus modes (AF-S with an external Speedlite, for example) which give you more control of the focus process and might yield results more in line with what you want.


Maybe you can upload one of these photos, with EXIF data preserved, so that we can see the problem?

mwelsford

CA
7 posts

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#4. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 3

mwelsford Registered since 30th Sep 2012
Sun 30-Sep-12 12:29 PM

Now that I have turned that on in the menu it would seem that my focus point is next to people after recomposing. I think that I must have set done something in some menu to not have it lock and then allow me to recompose. I was messing in the back button focusing menu a week or two ago. I must not be hearing the lens refocus the little bit that it is when I recompose. I certainly don't have it on continuous focus.

Gamecocks

Joanna, US
986 posts

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#5. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 4

Gamecocks Registered since 22nd Jul 2010
Sun 30-Sep-12 02:30 PM

Perhaps I'm miss reading but check your a1 setting to see if it is set for release or focus and the note on page 208 in manual.

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J_Harris

US
781 posts

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#6. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 4

J_Harris Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Awarded for his contribution to the Nikonians Articles section Nikonian since 29th Mar 2011
Sun 30-Sep-12 02:40 PM | edited Sun 30-Sep-12 02:57 PM by J_Harris


Hi Mark,

Bob (RLDubbya) is correct, Nikon does charge for Capture NX2. However, if you would like to review your photos in NEF RAW or JPG (TIF files too - sans focus point) and see your focus point location you can download their "freeware" version called View NX2. It is a good photo viewer, a NEF RAW to JPG/TIF converter, and will do basic editing like crop, brightness, contrast, sharpening, shadows enhancement, provide EXIF information, etc. A direct link is below.

http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/61#Anchor-1

Jerry

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RLDubbya

US
553 posts

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#7. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 6

RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011
Sun 30-Sep-12 03:22 PM

Didn't realize that View would display focus points. Glad to learn it does, thanks for the clarification!

>
>Hi Mark,
>
>Bob (RLDubbya) is correct, Nikon does charge for Capture NX2.
>However, if you would like to review your photos in NEF RAW or
>JPG (TIF files too - sans focus point) and see your focus
>point location you can download their "freeware"
>version called View NX2. It is a good photo viewer, a NEF RAW
>to JPG/TIF converter, and will do basic editing like crop,
>brightness, contrast, sharpening, shadows enhancement, provide
>EXIF information, etc. A direct link is below.
>
>http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/61#Anchor-1
>
>Jerry
>

mwelsford

CA
7 posts

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#8. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 6

mwelsford Registered since 30th Sep 2012
Sun 30-Sep-12 03:26 PM

My D7000 came with ViewNX2...and since I run CS3 I need to use it to convert RAW files. I also have the shots from the weekend still on my camera and I switched on the focus point display. It is clearly telling me I focused then recomposed then shot. I've never had a problem with this before. I certainly focus right on the face then when I get home to look at the #### it looks as though it just focused a foot behind them. I know this sounds crazy. It would if someone were explaining it to me. It has to do with the recomposing I'm sure. Once again, I'm using spot focus on af-a and my shutter release is set to focus when has depressed. I have heard an occasional refocus noise when going to recompose (I'm sure I wasn't using continuous) I feel like I'm just missing one little setting. Maybe I'm best off resetting everything to factory setting then trying again

mwelsford

CA
7 posts

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#9. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 8

mwelsford Registered since 30th Sep 2012
Sun 30-Sep-12 03:35 PM

I just had a lightbulb moment! I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with the Tokina 50-135mm f2.8G, nut the manula focusing sleeve is able to slip forward and back to pop itself in and out of manual to auto focus as opposed to doing on camera. A few times not after I've had it in manual, when I slide the cuff back to auto the camera isn't engaging with the lens' autofocus screw and spinning. I have to play with the cuff a few times till the autofocus screw grabs. Now I wonder if the lens is at fault. I'm going to run the camera with a few other lens.

ShrimpBoy

Brighton and Hove, UK
887 posts

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#10. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 4

ShrimpBoy Registered since 08th Jan 2006
Mon 01-Oct-12 12:45 AM

>Now that I have turned that on in the menu it would seem that
>my focus point is next to people after recomposing.

This is correct. The camera reports which focus point was used, not the object you focused on. When you recompose you're moving the camera so that the focus point is no longer on the thing you focused on.

Gary
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mudman2

Jamison, US
188 posts

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#11. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 9

mudman2 Silver Member Nikonian since 14th May 2009
Mon 01-Oct-12 05:32 PM

That sounds more likely I think.

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Patrick604

US
85 posts

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#12. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 2

Patrick604 Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Jun 2012
Mon 01-Oct-12 11:44 PM

A couple of points. First, if you focus and recompose, the sensor displayed on the camera of NX2 after the photo was made will not necessarily be what you were actually focused on . . . if you are in AF-Single mode. In single mode you lock focus, recompose and shoot. The focus indicator in NX2 will not be what you focused on because you moved the camera after locking the focus.

However, you said you were using continuous mode and that is a whole different kettle of fish. In that mode the camera is shifts it's focus as you recompose. The focus sensor reported by NX2 will be accurate, and your intended aiming point will be out of focus.

Try setting your focus to AF-Single. Then you can focus, recompose and fire without changing the focus from what you intended.

Good luck!

Patrick

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Snapshott

Richmond, US
451 posts

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#13. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 9

Snapshott Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Sep 2007
Tue 02-Oct-12 03:57 PM

>I just had a lightbulb moment! I'm not sure if anyone is
>familiar with the Tokina 50-135mm f2.8G, nut the manula
>focusing sleeve is able to slip forward and back to pop itself
>in and out of manual to auto focus as opposed to doing on
>camera. A few times not after I've had it in manual, when I
>slide the cuff back to auto the camera isn't engaging with the
>lens' autofocus screw and spinning. I have to play with the
>cuff a few times till the autofocus screw grabs. Now I wonder
>if the lens is at fault. I'm going to run the camera with a
>few other lens.

I've never had this problem with mine but I can see it possibly being the problem if you don't get the focus ring fully engaged. Also the auto focus on my lens was off when I first got it. It required a -13 AF fine tune. I sent it into Tokina and it came back spot on. BTW my turn around time is very quick. You may not have this problem but you may want to check your lens out for accurate focus.

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cwils02

HIXSON, US
826 posts

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#14. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 13

cwils02 Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2012
Tue 02-Oct-12 04:49 PM

Snap,

What method did you use to determine the need for the "-13 AF fine tune"?

Charlie

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3571 posts

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#15. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 03-Oct-12 03:47 AM | edited Wed 03-Oct-12 03:48 AM by km6xz

Welcome to Nikonians!

You have gotten some good suggestions but any suggestion will be a guess at this point. Can you post one of your photos where this focusing problem is displayed? If you retain the metadata in the image, a lot of useful information about the settings of the camera and values will be visible.
Does this problem occur with all lenses or with this lens at any or all focal lengths? Does it still occur when using flash?
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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mwelsford

CA
7 posts

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#16. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 15

mwelsford Registered since 30th Sep 2012
Wed 03-Oct-12 11:24 PM

After a lot of researching I think it may be the AF fine tune in the set up menu. I through on a 80-200 f2.8 and it was sharp. So I think I have to fine tune my tokina 50-135 2.8

ShrimpBoy

Brighton and Hove, UK
887 posts

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#17. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 16

ShrimpBoy Registered since 08th Jan 2006
Thu 04-Oct-12 01:52 AM

Be careful with AF fine tune. You can only set one value for the lens, so only use it if your lens consistently front focuses or back focuses at all focus distances and all zoom settings.

I think you should try single-point AF-S first. It won't let you shoot unless the camera thinks you're in focus. If those shots come out incorrectly focused then you may well have a focus accuracy problem. Otherwise, since you say you heard the focus motor while recomposing, my guess is that AF-A is engaging one of the focus tracking modes and it isn't tracking quite as reliably as you might wish.

I have been training myself to use back-button focusing, and in that exercise I thought it might be clever to use 9-point AF-C (a tracking mode) to account for any jitters or slight motions by me. Results prove me wrong: dialing down to single-point, whether AF-S or AF-C, seems to deliver more reliable results in my hands. The multi-point mode seems to like to jump between AF points a little too eagerly.

Gary
"Yea, Sussex by the sea!" - Rudyard Kipling

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Rmastran

Carver, US
61 posts

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#18. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 17

Rmastran Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Nov 2011
Thu 04-Oct-12 11:39 AM | edited Fri 05-Oct-12 01:33 AM by Rmastran

I'm using AF-C and continuous shooting (CL or CH). I've set the AE-L/AE-L (f5) button for Auto Focus (AF-ON) in conjunction with the front function button (f3) for AE/AF lock. This works well with the focus\recompose issue, i.e. back-button focus, press the front focus button, recompose and shoot.

For subjects moving towards or away from you, as well as for panning, press the AE-L/AE-L button (with AF-C set) and fire away in continuous mode (CL or CH).

With practice, I've gotten very used to this, to the point that it seems almost second nature.

Ralph

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mwelsford

CA
7 posts

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#19. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 17

mwelsford Registered since 30th Sep 2012
Thu 04-Oct-12 03:15 PM

First, thanks for all the input from everyone. I have dialed the AF fine tune to -20 and it is tack sharp now through my entire zoom range it would appear. I'm by no means done testing but this seems to be the answer.

Snapshott

Richmond, US
451 posts

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#20. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 14

Snapshott Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Sep 2007
Fri 05-Oct-12 03:03 PM | edited Fri 05-Oct-12 03:05 PM by Snapshott

>Snap,
>
>What method did you use to determine the need for the
>"-13 AF fine tune"?
>
>Charlie

Nothing scientific or elaborate. I shot an object at f2.8 and 135mm. I chose this at the time because that’s where I was expecting to use it for my next shoot. Then I manually focused to get the sharpest shot I could. Then did a series of shots adjusting af-fine tune and refocusing. I then reviewed the shots to determine the one closest to my sharp manually focused shot. Then I went through the same procedure but narrowed down the range of af-tuning I tested. In my case I was lucky and it worked well through the zoom range.

Quick and dirty but worked for me until I got Tokina to adjust it.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3571 posts

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#21. "RE: Sharp focusing issues..." | In response to Reply # 19

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Sun 07-Oct-12 05:48 AM

If the test results agree with actually shooting results, it would appear that your camera needs to be adjusted. Any Nikon authorized service center can do it quickly.
Last spring, while shooting an event all my wide angle lenses suddenly focused poorly while all those over 60mm were as good as ever. I was heading back to the States in a few days so arranged for Precision Services in Sacramento to look at it. When done it was done, no parts were needed, just adjustment and it was returned in like new condition. I sure would like to know who they clean the exterior to look so good. The well used D7000, when unwrapped could not be told from new. No charge.
A consistent -20 focus bias indicates your needs similar adjustments.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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G